View Full Version : 50w halogens no good for turn signals?

06/01/2003, 02:52 PM
Following the advice on Moncha's website, I bought a couple of sets of designtech 50w 1156H bulbs to replace my turn signals. But, when I did a comparsion with a new bulb on the left and an old bulb on the right and the hazard lights blinking, it looked to me that:

1) The halogen bulb took longer to light up
2) It never gets a chance to get to full brightness before the blinker cuts power.
3) Go to step 1, lather rinse repeat.

Anyone else try this mod and see a difference?

06/01/2003, 04:40 PM
I changed front eh OEM flasher to a heavy duty when I did that. I have since given up on the 50 watters save for the reverse lights. I have done a bunch of mods and need to do a major update to www.moncha.com but, have been very busy on this site's upgrade. I'm now experimenting with LED's. I like the way that there is no ramp up and fade.. Just on off on off on off on off....

Sorry if it caused any confusion.. Just keep in mind that you have spares for the rev lights. The 50 watters don't last very long.. I've gotten about a year and a half out of them at the most.

06/01/2003, 06:48 PM
I agree with Scott. I plan on doing more testing with LEDs as they seem to look better all around (to me).

I'll post pics as I have changed them out.

06/01/2003, 06:55 PM

Heres an 1156 base converted to Luxeon Star.

John C.

06/01/2003, 07:17 PM
I like it but I don't see that it would provide much light laterally. The biggest problem with LED is that they are directional. The light goes straight out the end of the LED with out much side dispersion. I like these (http://www.vehicross.info/forums/showthread.php?postid=3648#post3648) But always looking for better.

06/02/2003, 03:16 AM
Most white LEDs have a 30 degree viewing angle, the luxeon has a 110 viewing angle, and throws off about 120 lumens, roughly 40x the light of a single LED.

This is brighter than a Surfire tactical light.

John C.

06/02/2003, 07:32 AM
Well, I ordered a pair. I did some research on luxeon LEDs and they are indeed super-hyper-whamo-blamo-bright. From what I can tell, their white ones are the least bright, with red and amber being about 4x brighter than the white ones. The ledcorp website talked about how they are now selling red and amber 1156 luxeon stars, but I didn't see anything on the order page to indicate that. However, if the white ones work well, I will pursue red and amber ones too.

My goal is to tint my lights so dark that they are barely distinguishable from the black paint on my VX, yet when lit are at least as bright as stock. I've got my fingers crossed that these are what I need.

06/05/2003, 06:55 PM
Well, I got my pair and have mixed reactions. Mine are the white ones, which are probably a lot less bright than amber or red.

1) It is nowhere near as bright as a 50W halogen for the backup lights.

2) It is a way cool color compared to the halogen, definitely much higher color temp, giving it an eerie xenon look. I really, really like this color. If I could figure out a way to use it in my fog lights instead of the daytona 18w lamps I've got now, I would definitely do so because it would much better match my PIAA super plasma gt's.

3) I put one in my turn signal and kicked on the hazards to compare with the stock rear turn signal bulb. The LED came with a little piece of paper warning not to put them behind any tinted plastic and especially not the amber automative kind because any color other than the native color will filter out brightness and amber + blue/white is the worst combo.

HOWEVER, it didn't look much dimmer than when it was behind the clear reverse light cover. But, it still was substantially dimmer than the stock rear blinker. But, the quickness of the off/on/off transitions were amazing. It just felt so "crisp" and no-nonsense.

Subjectively it felt about half of the brightness of the stock blinker and a quarter the brightness of the 50w halogen reverse.

According to http://www.luxeonstar.com/luxeon-emitter.html - the white luxeon only does 18 lumens while amber is 36, red is 44 and red-orange is 55. It is hard to say if the red-orange is orange enough to be used as a turn signal. But I think I am going to try some.

I think part of the brightness problem may be due to the directionality of the LED, even with a ~140 degree viewing angle, the housings just never "glowed" they way do with the halogen and stock bulbs. Perhaps stacking a side-emitting luxeon underneath one of these "lambertian" ones might help to give the light a more full effect.

On the other hand, a quick poke around on the net seems to indicate that a white 50w 12v halogen light should produce close to 900 lumens. I think our eyes see brightness on a logarithm scale and lumens is a linear scale, so the difference may not be so bad as it first appears.

06/05/2003, 09:49 PM
... that you had good results with them.

I have an Innova X5 white LED flashlight. It is basically a Luxeon Star mounted on the end of a small milled aluminum flashlight.
Yes.. its IS very bright.... You definitely dont want to look directly at it.

WyrreJ, Any chance you can take some digital pictures of the lights behind the various lens positions that you tried?

06/06/2003, 12:00 AM
Dang. Spendy. I think I'll stick to stock bulbs.

06/06/2003, 03:01 AM
All the Innovas I have seen are 5 seperate LEDs, either white or blue.

heres the specs on a Luxeon:


John C.

06/06/2003, 06:48 AM
Those specs are for the Luxeon V - the 5 watt version. They are only available in shades of blue and green, which won't do much for automotive needs. It is the regular Luxeons, 1-watt, that will do the reds, ambers and "true" white that we need.

I'd sure like to know why they can't do 5-watt versions of red and amber, seems like historically red has been the "easiest" color to produce.

I'll try and get a some digital pictures and maybe a short mpeg clip over the weekend.

06/06/2003, 07:05 AM
Either it's the properties of the matierials they are using...


... more likely... demand.

Blues and Whites are the hot thing the past couple years, both because they are 'new' and because they have quite functional applications.

(White LED flashights outsell red ones big time)

If that's what they would make the most money from... that's what they will make.

06/08/2003, 07:32 PM
Ok, here are some pictures.

First, the LED by itself. Note the camera's auto-aperature stuff caused it to lose detail in the light assembly. In real life, you can see details inside the reverse assembly with the LED installed. This image taken with a flash.


Now, the 50 watt halogen by itself. In this case, you can't see details inside the assembly because it is so bright and diffuse. This image taken with a flash - notice how "blue" the flash reflection appears in the black paint, but in the LED shot, the flash's reflection just looks white. That is the camera's color-balance kicking in, just remember that the Halogen is really as much more yellow than it appears as the light of the flash appears blue.


Now both at once to get an idea of the relative strength and color temp differences. Not flash used.


Now, to see the difference between the stock 26watt turn signal and the 1watt Luxeon LED used as a turn signal, click on this link to see a short movie (http://hpcjerry.com/vx-blinkers-led.avi)

Note how they appear to be out of sync because of the instantaneous off/on/off cycle from the LED.

06/08/2003, 08:46 PM
But I think I am more undecided now than before on if I should change or not. And if I do, to which.

06/08/2003, 10:19 PM
If you're undecided, then the best thing to do would probably be to stick with the standard bulbs. About the only thing you'd gain by swtiching to LEDs is a longer lasting light source. Where you lose is the initial hit to the wallet when you buy the LED bulbs. Personally, if you have functioning lights (i.e. they turn on and flash etc.) then that's all that matters. The LEDs may look cool, and I myself is quilty of it (have LEDs in horns), but it's not a mod that I can see and appreciate as I drive the beast. It's also not a mod that other drivers are alert enough to notice. Those that might are too busy getting whiplash trying to figure out what the VX is as you pass. I'd save the $ for something else... but that's just me.

06/08/2003, 11:00 PM
... but the 194 replacements I tried in the headlight horns, were definitely NOT bright enough for my liking. Maybe the multiple LED 194 models would work better.

Plus I have the 'port/starboard - red ;pr;/;pg; green' thing going on with the horns, using filament bulbs.

They add just enough yellow light (compared to my Sylvania SilverStar headlamps) so that my bulb colors (which are actually red and blue glass) look off-red and green. If I used the LEDs, they would be too pure in color and I might get pulled over for having them on front of my car.

I think I would have to see LEDs in the tail lights in person to make a better decision. So until then (or a really good sale), I will probably stay stock - for now.