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@milmast
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up some new tail lights and bulbs for my girl. The tail lights weren't the clearest thing in the world so I decided to get some new ones. I was first looking at some CG LED tail lights that were going for about $430 for both of them, but then I came across Honda Replacement Tail lights for $52 for both, and then bought some LED bulbs for them from VLEDs. Everything came to around $110 and they look very nice, especially for the price. The reverse LED's are 5000K and are basically HID's in the rear. They light up everything behind me :banana:
 

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cheap smds like you have pictured are a step backward in terms of light production and are nowhere near HIDs. vleds makes great bulbs but you need to buy their higher end products. that said, the v3 triton is the only LED bulb i'd trust in my oem housing brake lights.
 

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Car so nice, bought twice
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I recall getting my LED bulbs at superbrightleds.com. To me the appeared to be similar brightness to the OEM bulbs, but I was more interested in the instantaneous switch on capability over absolute brightness.
 

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@milmast
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
These bulbs arent cheap SMDs. The reverse bulbs alone ran me 40 bucks plus tax. They're very bright. I'll see if i can snap a picture at night time and show the light pattern
 

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Car so nice, bought twice
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Sorry, but how does one visually tell a "cheap SMD". I can show you a $30 Cree SMD LED that would blind you if you looked at it.
 

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Sorry, but how does one visually tell a "cheap SMD". I can show you a $30 Cree SMD LED that would blind you if you looked at it.
because the cree has a directional focal lens built into the housing.

the bulbs op has are your standard issue cheap smd bulbs. i actually couldn't find them on the vleds site because they're moving on from selling budget bulbs.

being that it's a little important for your brake lights to be seen at high noon i'd test the vleds platinum (i have these in my rear signals) or the tritron. your regular no-brand 68 smd 7440 bulb isn't going to cut it and will cause an accident.
well getting the replacement tail lights over the OEM is a big step backwards too.
it depends what you buy. there is no comparison between my eagle eye LED tails and the OEMs. stuffing a LED in a housing meant for incandescent usually doesn't produce better outcomes whereas aftermarket LED tails can exceed stock.
 

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Here are two pics of the lighting. The color is whiter, and much brighter than the OEM lights
the backup lights look fine but the brake lights seem weak to me.
The Cree lights are bright. They don't work at all for the sedan though
the crees with radial leds work a lot better.
 

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Corvalis TTX
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If it's possible to make light-cannon brake bulbs, I'm down for that upgrade. (God knows I've "randomly" stomped my brakes enough times ;) because of the radar detector going off )

So what's the absolute best brake bulb possible then? Something like: http://www.hidguy.net/r-tech-7440-7443-7441-t20-50-watt-cree-projector-lens-high-power-led-bulb/ ?
The best in our cars, bar none, in meeting all photometric requirements in the vertical and horizontal planes as well as directly from behind is a pin point light source - a filament bulb.

Some of the brand name bulb makers (Philips and Osram) are now developing LED plug ins for filament bulbs. They use, unlike the crap from VLeds and other aftermarket brands, LEDs with real electrical LED driver circuitry and special light-guide technology to put a pinpoint of light where the centre of a filament would be. These, and only these, will ensure proper photometry is met. They are not yet available in North America but should be in the next year or so.
 

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I would guess big name companies will start having LED bulbs more readily available before too long. Proper LED headlights are already starting to show up.

Won't be long!

I want someone to make an LED/halogen hybrid high-beam bulb. Why? LED for DRL with losing the ability to use your high beams! I'm a genius. Now if only I was smart enough to make it :(

Back on topic... Let's get a picture with only one side installed to compare light output for real! I also think the camera is picking up the reverse light more than the brake light and perhaps the brake light would show up better by itself.

I put in CREE LED's in my Civic for the reverse lights. I can't even call it an upgrade because its overall dimmer than it was before. Very bright in one spot, but not a good throw of light where it's really needed.
 

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The best in our cars, bar none, in meeting all photometric requirements in the vertical and horizontal planes as well as directly from behind is a pin point light source - a filament bulb.

Some of the brand name bulb makers (Philips and Osram) are now developing LED plug ins for filament bulbs. They use, unlike the crap from VLeds and other aftermarket brands, LEDs with real electrical LED driver circuitry and special light-guide technology to put a pinpoint of light where the centre of a filament would be. These, and only these, will ensure proper photometry is met. They are not yet available in North America but should be in the next year or so.

My problem with a regular bulb is that it takes a while to fully turn on. Studies 10 years ago showed stopping distances were reduced for people behind someone using LED's instead, because of the instant turn on.

I ordered a pair of the LED bulbs I linked above. We'll test their "brightest bulbs we've ever seen" claim. I still have my filament bulbs in a box in the garage, so I'll reinstall one and compare to my current LED bulbs and the new ones.
 

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Corvalis TTX
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My problem with a regular bulb is that it takes a while to fully turn on. Studies 10 years ago showed stopping distances were reduced for people behind someone using LED's instead, because of the instant turn on.

I ordered a pair of the LED bulbs I linked above. We'll test their "brightest bulbs we've ever seen" claim. I still have my filament bulbs in a box in the garage, so I'll reinstall one and compare to my current LED bulbs and the new ones.
Newer studies are indicating that the quicker time to full intensity of LEDs is in fact not much of a benefit, if it's a benefit at all. I will try to dig up the studies for you.

Brightness is not the sole determining factor of bright light effectiveness. Once the proscribed and legal brightness is reached there is zero benefit in going brighter under almost all weather conditions. Indeed, going too bright may cause pain to those drivers behind you while offering you no benefit.

If you still think you will benefit from LED brake lights then why not put them in the centre brake light only. This will allow rear running lights to still be useful due to them being illuminated by the filament bulb which they were actually designed around.

You have to remember, also, that the studies performed that you are referring to were done with LED brake lamps that actually met full photometric requirements for things like off axis illumination and EPLLA. The plug-and-pray LED bulbs you are referring to always fall flat on their face in these areas and therefore cannot be considered the equal of the LEDs used in the studies.

Edit: As promised, a link to recent document (Feb 2013) questioning the real world results of the study you are basing your argument on: Read this study
 

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But Markus that's an actual documented study with charts and numbers.

This is the internet, and we only care about what's cool in our minds eye. People behind us are behind us, and we shouldn't have to care about them.

I'm going to install super bright LED's and then paint my tail lights black!

:) :) :)

I have a slightly off-topic question. If you rear-end someone that has non-oem and/or modified tail lights are you still at fault? Say in a more realistic situation of someone with tinted tail lights. Or would it come down to the more legal part of that the tail lights must be visible at X distance with at least X brightness level?
 

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Corvalis TTX
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But Markus that's an actual documented study with charts and numbers.

This is the internet, and we only care about what's cool in our minds eye. People behind us are behind us, and we shouldn't have to care about them.

I'm going to install super bright LED's and then paint my tail lights black!

:) :) :)

I have a slightly off-topic question. If you rear-end someone that has non-oem and/or modified tail lights are you still at fault? Say in a more realistic situation of someone with tinted tail lights. Or would it come down to the more legal part of that the tail lights must be visible at X distance with at least X brightness level?
People have been found at fault by both the courts and their insurance companies when they have had tinted lights and have been rear ended. I suppose it depends on whether the cop notices and/or whether the rear-ender notices the tinted lights. I know I'd be looking for a way out if I rear ended someone and they had modified their rear lights.
 

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One of my "ways out" is the dash camera that I just put in :)
 

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@milmast
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wouldnt do this to my car, but here is just a bit of experimenting i did with the old tail lights i have. One of the tailights i did two coats of black VHT with no clear (matte kind of finish), and the other is also VHT, however the red one.
 

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