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Rear taillight/turn signal upgrade


docj

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Lots of us probably have taillights/turn signals that use a standard 1157 two-filament bulb. I had installed LEDs a couple of years ago in mine but the technology has evolved dramatically since then. I just replaced the old LEDs I had with these: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-28-smd-led-tower-bay15d-retrofit-car/1644/4167/#/tab/Overview As suggested I purchased them in red and in that configuration they are rated at 154 lumens for the brighter filament (the brake light). Even though an 1157 is rated at >400 lumens that is a total over all wavelengths. Since a red taillight lens only transmits the red portion of the 1157's output, the useful light output is much, much less than the total. These LEDs appear exceptionally bright even in bright sunlight and the light is well distributed throughout the light housing; essentially they provide the 360 degree output of an 1157 bulb.

 

They are rather expensive, but I couldn't find equal lumen output in less expensive versions. I'm sure if you search enough you can find these on eBay at one of the "direct from China" vendors, but I've bought a lot from SuperbrightLEDs.com and I know they stand behind what they sell. For two bulbs I wasn't all that concerned about cost. If you do choose to go the direct from China route, be sure that the bulbs you order are "red"; most of the ones I've seen have been white. Red LEDs are far better for taillight use. About the only caution is that they are long so make sure your fixture has the necessary depth and that you have the room behind the fixture to maneuver them into place. One of the two of mine was a pretty close call with respect to maneuvering it into the fixture.

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Most LED replacement "bulbs" are not as bright as filament bulbs. I chose to buy upgrade kits: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UC17GW?keywords=LED%20stop%20lights&qid=1450573477&ref_=sr_1_49&sr=8-49

But, you're limited to your particular taillight design. They are so bright, that at night I have problems backing into the RV garage. The red reflection off the white metal inside the garage makes seeing behind me difficult.

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