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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just put some blue led's in place of the incandescent lights for the speedo, tach, gas gauge.

will see how it looks tonite and try to take a couple of pics.

not exactly as bright as I was hoping for, but the effect I was looking for is there. Also, an led with a wider dispersion may have helped..

but ya know, I spent $1.99 including shipping for 10 of em.. not bitchin

I have some white led's on order to replace the idiot lights. lets see how they work
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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nice.I like it

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk
 

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Just put some blue led's in place of the incandescent lights for the speedo, tach, gas gauge.

will see how it looks tonite and try to take a couple of pics.

not exactly as bright as I was hoping for, but the effect I was looking for is there. Also, an led with a wider dispersion may have helped..

but ya know, I spent $1.99 including shipping for 10 of em.. not bitchin

I have some white led's on order to replace the idiot lights. lets see how they work
I like the blue too! What size LEDs did you use, 3mm or 5mm? I'm thinking super brights might have been a little brighter. Also how did configure the light circuit? I know there has to be a resister inline with the LEDs just curious as to how your circuit is configured. Also, have you converted the idiot lights yet? If so could you also share how you configured the circuit for them?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the led's are plug in replacements for many dash bulbs in cars. I forgot the number off top of head. they have integrated limiting resistors, so no modifications to the harness needs to be made. I did the idiot lights as well (used white led's there), EXCEPT the headlight warning one. the resistance of that bulb is used in the RLU (reserve lighting unit) in normal operation, a very small amount of current flows thru it (it does in fact glow slightly, really only visible at night).

one thing I found out, and its a minor annoyance, is my neutral light is on all the time, and slightly brighter when actually in neutral. I think I have a problem in the jbox that is allowing some small amount of current to works its way into that lighting circuit. but if your jbox is working correctly (I KNOW mine has issues, as I had to bypass all the nanny stuff in it), it should work normally.

if I recall, the idiot lights where 194's. you can search the forum, there is at least one post with the proper bulb numbers listed.

I was going to do more work on the led's, but have since sidelined that project, as I intend on replacing ALL the gauges and idiot lights with a single combined gauge assy
 

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Lexus used to have clusters that were bulb backlight with led needles. The leds failed and the bulbs went out. Replacing the bulbs wasn't too hard, but using leds looked hideous. The clusters just didnt take to leds at all. They looked just like the vulcan gauges with leds, spots and unevenness everywhere.

16 years ago when i was in electronics engineering at college i bought my first lexus and faced the issue. Ended up in a company that i ran for 13 years rebuilding clusters with leds that i shaved, angled, modified, etc. MUCH like the lexus the VN gauges are not designed to disperse light well with leds you can make the leds work a lot better with some tricks such as lightly sanding them to disperse light and cutting the round tip flat. Painting the inside white in areas where its dark will reflect light better and using aluminum foil helps reflect light inside.

Total pain to do it right, but ive fought spotting for years and designed several clusters so cant stand spotting. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
a lot goes to the led design themselves... I recently put LED's in the dash of my Sporttrac, and I have full even illumination. the difference, the cost of the led's. the ones I used in the sporttrac where about 5 bones each, and have 5 diodes each, and an honest 360 degree light output. Also, white led's seem to have much more usable light output than other colors, but it just may be the limited spectrum of the output of the reds/blue/green/yellows.
 

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Until led strips came out i had a design i used that worked using reflective light by aiming them away from the face. (All custom soldered in stuff, nothing plug and play). However once led strips hit the market running a ring around inside facing either in or out finally put the old led single fire to rest. A strip is under $15 on ebay and is about 6 ft long. Plenty for many projects. Not all are equal, but after a few years of sourcing vendors i found the best ones.

After having my hands in so many different clusters for customers I've seen a lot of different ways they are built. For instance BMW uses a different type of light reflection because they come with leds back as far as 1998. Some use a diffused faceplate, some use a track of clear plexi to divert light.

The camera is the best way to tune your clusters light. It never lies. The eyes are not always sensitive enough, but in dusk light the spots show even if not at night. I built them while watching a video camera to get them right.

Depending on how dedicated you are, cracking the gauges open and using strips will eliminate spotting and brighten the gauges.
 
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