I want to replace some (legacy) 2-pin "automotive base" lamps (e.g., things like 1157 except single filament) with LED equivalents. Primarily to reduce maintenance costs (the lamps are located in a very inaccessible -- NON-AUTOMOTIVE -- place).
Is it safe to assume that any "replacement lamp" will (be designed to!) produce the same light output as the incandescent version it replaces? And, if so, what sort of power saving is likely?
Is it possible to purchase un-ballasted versions of similar lamps (i.e., not require 12VDC for power)? Or, is this truly an "automotive market only" (with that base style)?
Available off the shelf. Just search for "1157 LED lamp". For example:
I just did that for a neighbor to replace their gate and perimeter lighting. They were using 15 watt halogen elevator lamps in a mis-designed enclosure which eliminated all convective air flow. When we had a little heat wave this summer, the solder on the BA15D base pins melted. I used silver solder to buy a few degrees, but these also melted in the next heat wave. I replaced them with LED equivalents purchased on eBay that ran much cooler.
Incidentally, every enclosure had a rather large black widow spider inside. I guess they like the warmth.
If you mean the same number of lumens, the answer is yes. If you mean the same color temperature, probably not. I played it safe and bought a range of different color temperature lamps, to see what looked best. Oddly, the cheapest and coolest was the favored color temperature.
The original lamps burned about 15 watts. The replacement lamps were available in 2 watts and 3 watts. I chose the 2 watt flavor, which turned out to run brighter than the incandescent original lamps. That had nothing to do with the lamps, but rather because the reduced load produced less of a voltage drop in the wiring and the power source. From 15 to 2 watts is an 83% drop in power consumption.
I don't understand. Inductive ballasts are only required on CCFL and fluorescent lamps to prevent the negative resistance characteristic of the lamp from drawing excessive current. LED's simply require a constant current regulator. You can probably find LED lamps without series resistors or current regulators, such as those used in flashlights, but probably not with bi-pin or similar bases that are assumed to be powered with about 12VDC. However, if you want to roll your own, you can buy bases and adapters between base types on eBay for about $1.50/ea.
Jeff Liebermann firstname.lastname@example.org
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
be careful. some LED "bulbs" do not fit in the sockets. I had that experience. the bright LED replacement form factor was wrong near the junction of the "bulb" and the base. it was not tapered like an original bulb glass and would not go into the socket far enough to allow twisting to lock it in.
Lots of sites sell LED replacements for automotive lamps -- my son just did the interior of his Mercedes (a turbo diesel older than he is). The lamps in the instrument cluster may be a PITA to get to, but you do it once and you're done.
superbrightleds.com is one site -- that's where we get ours.
Older cars are easier to do than the newer ones! Why? A lot of new cars (particularly higher end vehicles) have lamp-out detection systems (windowing the current drawn and throwing an alert if the value isn't in the window). Replacing incandescents with LEDs in my Mini Cooper for some functions would give me nothing but lamp out warnings, even though the LEDs are working just fine -- but they draw too little current!
When people use the term cool or warm in context of lighting I'm never sure of what they mean. The term should refer to more yellow colors being "warm" and bluer colors being "cool". However, they numerical measure of this is a temperature on the Kelvin scale and is reversed
I assume you mean cool to be the bluer lamps. Personally I hate the bluer colors, but that is an indoor setting where I am very used to incandescent colors. Lighting a sidewalk I might well prefer bluer colors.
He is using the term "ballast" to mean a series current limiting resistor... a naked LED.
One thing to look out for: some of these replacement lamps have a bunch of "regular" T1 or T1.75 LEDs that all point the same way - usually directly away from the base. You'll get a cone of light out of the "working" end and almost nothing in any other direction. Depending on the reflector / fixture you have, this may not be optimal.
I have seen some that have T1 LEDs pointing in many directions, and some that have surface-mount LEDs that point in many directions. These would give you a better shot at getting light "all over", if you need it for your application.
Also, sometimes the cluster of LEDs is bigger than the original glass bulb... look at the drawings.
Depends on who designed it. If it's from somebody like Dialight or Chicago Miniature, probably. If it's from People's Shining LED Factory #37, via "SUPER BRIGHT LED DIODE TAILLIGHT ALTEZZA ROLLS-ROYCE HYUNDAI" on Ebay, buyer beware.
Dialight says their red LED, 586-4601-103F, takes 0.03 A @ 14 V DC (0.42 W), gives 17.3 candela, and will replace an 1156. The specs on an
1156 are 2.1 A @ 12.8 V (27 W), and 32 mean spherical candlepower. (But note that the Dialight part has all the LEDs pointing in one direction.)
It's probably possible if you want to do a custom order. All of the ones I have seen seem to come with a resistor or regulator. You can get 6 V, 12 V, and 24 V nominal versions that probably use a resistor, and sometimes you can get one with a spec like "6 to 28 V DC", which might be using a small regulator.
Standard disclaimers apply: I don't get money or other consideration from any companies mentioned.
I realize your request was for a -- NON-AUTOMOTIVE -- place but in case others are misled (sic) Because of the angles that the light is projected a lot of LEDs are not approved for actual Auto replacement in some jurisdictions.
Yes, I'm aware of their availability. What I am *not* sure of is what criteria are used in their design/fabrication.
Obviously, "mechanical fit" has to be a concern. Along with operating voltage. Presumably, the environmental factors (heat/humidity) are also considered.
But, for anything other than "signal lights" (for which, I assume, there is some regulation regarding their visibility/light output), can you guarantee that they always produce the same light output as their incandescent counterparts?
[I should run out and check the number on the bulb I installed in my car as a "trunk light" -- selected, at the time, because it was "the brightest I could find"]
Heat isn't an issue (for the lamps), here. Rather, gaining access to them, after installation, will be a real PITA. So, I'd rather use something that "won't fail" (as often). Even the "heavier filament" trick (using a higher voltage lamp at reduced power) still requires
They also like to hijack other spiders' webs.
Ideally, I'd like to select "colors" but, "white behind a colored lens" is an acceptable alternative. I realize that the appearance of a bluish (white) bulb behind a given lens will differ from that of a yellowish bulb... but, the filtered colors are sufficiently different that you'll still be able to recognize "that's the green light" vs. "that's the blue light".
Exactly. Or, anything else that will keep the operating current in the right range GIVEN THE EXCITATION.
No, the point of my query is to decide if I can live with a particular base style (finding appropriate bulbs) or if I should "correct" that (and give myself more leeway in implementation choices).
I've only ever had to replace *one* "bulb" in my vehicle -- and it was an 1157 (hence the reason the number stuck in my head).
[SWMBO's vehicle uses the more recent "wedge base" style]
Yeah, I had already started looking at that. I need light "out the sides" instead of "out the end".
Exactly. Looks like a cylinder of LEDs.
Yes -- and perhaps in subtle ways (as indicated up-thread)
That;s the sort of thing I was trying to ascertain. Just because something
*looks* like it will fit (and, may, in fact!), doesn't mean it will have comparable performance.
I.e., I would like to just try a selection of automotive lamps and, once I've found something "bright enough", find the *equivalent* LED version thereof. Instead of having to evaluate a bunch of (dubious) LED products.
So, it's not just a case of *packaging* the LED in a base that resembles an automotive socket but, rather, *expecting* it to be operated in an automotive environment!
[Contrast with "fluorescent tube" LED's that expect the ballast to be replaced prior to use -- the form is meant to accommodate the MECHANICAL aspects of the application but not the ELECTRICAL]
The wedge base (flat pressed glass) has existed since at least the 1960s in smaller automotive lamps (like 5 W or less); sometime in the 1990s the larger wedge base on "big" lamps became common. I think it's partly cost - you don't need the metal base - and partly RoHS - you don't have to solder the wires to the base, just fold them over the glass or plastic.
Some of the wedge base lamps still follow the xx56/xx57 convention for single filament vs. dual filament. That number doesn't have any intrinsic meaning; I think it's assigned by ANSI or equal as lamps are developed. Yurp likes to use a code that includes the base and bulb shape and the wattage.
Automotive is probably the most common application. In a "bad" year, something like 11 or 12 million new cars are sold in the US; in a "good" year it's up to 17 million. Each one of those cars needs at least a couple brake lamps, turn signal lamps, back-up lamps, etc.
When LED replacements for small incandescents first became available, I remember seeing them marketed towards things like industrial control panels, mostly on the grounds of saving replacement labor, and maybe a little on the grounds of saving energy. A lot of these applications already wanted colored light anyway, so they didn't care so much about the source not being "white".
I think at first, the LED makers were waiting on SAE/DOT/other-country standards for LEDs on cars, and the automakers were waiting to see about reliability, and maybe waiting for good white LEDs.
I think the problem was mostly regulatory. The SAE/DOT specs say how much light, min and max, has to come out of (say) a brake light assembly (lamp + reflector + lens) at various angles. With the filament in an incadescent lamp in a fairly well-defined place, the geometry of the reflector and lens could be designed around that, to get the required light output. As long as a replacement lamp has the filament in the same spot, and is the same power, it will produce equal results when installed in the assembly.
There wasn't (and isn't, I don't think) any standard for how to install the LEDs on an incadescent lamp base, so the emitting area of the LED dies could be anywhere. This messes with the geometry of the reflector and lens and leads to uneven light output. So that's why, at least at first, LEDs weren't marketed to automotive.
I think there was a little talk about having some standard LED "modules"
- maybe not the same shape as an incandescent lamp, but instead something like a flat circuit board with LEDs on it and a standard connector. This would go in a reflector and lens designed for it, but still allow the user to change the LED module in case of failure or crash damage. I don't think this went anywhere... most of the factory LED tail lights seem to be using discrete LEDs in custom patterns - you break any part of it, you cough up the $250 for the complete replacement at the dealer. (Or, you excise the broken assembly, and bolt on a $10 trailer tail light in its place. This will get you through the state safety inspection in some states.)
Note that light cast "backwards" and "to the side" from a filament is also redirected outwards (parabolic reflector).
Ha! I guess I'll be thankful our vehicles still use "real bulbs"!
Amusing to think LEDs can reduce replacement frequency (for something that rarely needs replacement, anyway!) and increase energy efficiency (yet they'll keep lamps illuminated during daylight hours, etc.) :-/