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Dash Lights Empty Dash Lights

Post by dwgardner1 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:04 pm

What is the best way to replace the dash lights behind the bezel. My speedo light is out in my 75 Laguna S-3. Do you have to remove the bezel to get to the bulbs or can it be reached from underneath of the dash?
Thanks,
Danny Gardner  Question  

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Dash Lights Empty Re: Dash Lights

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Your best bet will be to remove the cluster face (look for all the hidden screws), then unbolt the cluster itself and pull it out -- you will then be able to reach the quarter-turn bulb sockets on the cluster printed circuit to replace the bulbs.
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Dash Lights Empty Re: Dash Lights

Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:16 pm

Yup, those pesky hidden screws. This may be the time to upgrade all the bulbs to LED ones!
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Post by w451973 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:07 pm

chevellelaguna wrote:Yup, those pesky hidden screws. This may be the time to upgrade all the bulbs to LED ones!

Has anyone here done it and how well did it improve if any at all ?
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Dash Lights Empty Re: Dash Lights

Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:36 pm

I still have the original bulbs in my Laguna LOL I'm sure that most are burned out and need replaced. However, the kid I work with us ALL about LED and HID's in his headlights. I can attest to the difference in brightness, I don't think he has a single old style bulb in his entire truck!
So they work, just have to be careful and use a low wattage because they can run hotter than regular dash lights. I've seen the 194 style LED bulbs melt headlight housings because the person chose too high of a wattage, and the bulb was enclosed in such a confined space, there was no airflow to cool the bulb.
Then there's the cost, each bulb can be expensive and add up when replacing 12 or so of them in your cluster.
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:43 pm

[quote="thatfnthing"]Your best bet will be to remove the cluster face (look for all the hidden screws),

Not only look for all the screws...but, make note of which ones went where. There are different sizes used.
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Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:06 pm

Starting to really HATE getting booted out when you leave the site!
Bulb breakdown second time around grrr
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Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:12 pm

Don't forget the three screws that go upwards into the dash pad
Dash Lights Image_zpsef153190

Thought, while I had all my manuals out anyhow.... Was installing the steering column, brake pedal, gas pedal assembly, heater box, under dash duct work etc, unghh, don't remember how it all went in lol, getting old I guess, just been a long time apart I guess!
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Post by thatfnthing on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:41 pm

chevellelaguna wrote:So they work, just have to be careful and use a low  wattage because they can run hotter than regular dash lights. I've seen the 194 style LED bulbs melt headlight housings because the person chose too high of a wattage, and the bulb was enclosed in such a confined space, there was no airflow to cool the bulb.
Then there's  the cost, each bulb can be expensive and add up when replacing 12 or so of them in your cluster.

Something's amiss there -- I have replaced every bulb in my car with LEDs (except headlights), and not a single one generates any noticeable heat, including the monster 1157 replacements. Even my 194 replacements have 5 LEDs per lamp, and generate no heat whatsoever. They require no ventilation or cooling whatsoever, and are therefore perfect for enclosed spaces.

The whole point of LEDs is that they are so efficient that they don't generate heat, because they convert almost all the energy to light and therefore need much less current -- unlike incandescents, which convert only 10% of the electrical energy to light and the remainder is lost as waste heat. This is also a reason LEDs last for upwards of 50,000 hours, and require a lot less energy. So much less, in fact, that replacing your directionals with LEDs will require an electronic flasher because they don't draw enough juice to heat the element in the old can flasher.

In fact, the wattage is so negligible (a 194 equivalent will draw a fraction of a watt, so there's no such thing as a high-wattage 194 LED) that it's not even an effective way to measure them in automotive applications. An example would be this 1156 replacement with 18 LEDs in it -- it draws 3.2 watts total, and produces the same amount of light as a 25-35 watt incandescent. At 3.2 watts, you're not melting any part on your car. I don't know what you saw, but you didn't see a 194 equivalent LED melt anything.

They are indeed more expensive, though, but the price difference is negligible in light of (no pun intended) the advantages. If there is a real disadvantage to LED's, it's that they cast a vary narrow directional beam of light. This is why for automotive bulbs, like 194's, the better ones will actually be composites of several LEDs aimed at different angles to 'simulate' wider beam pattern.
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Post by thatfnthing on Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:55 pm

w451973 wrote:
chevellelaguna wrote:Yup, those pesky hidden screws. This may be the time to upgrade all the bulbs to LED ones!

Has anyone here done it and how well did it improve if any at all ?

Judge the brightness for yourself.  Blurriness is due to a mediocre photographer.

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Post by Joe73 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:59 pm

I agree, no noticeable heat, definitely way less wattage. LEDs have no heat due to no filament. LED (Light emitting Diode). I converted all my 1156 bulbs in my camper to LED panels consisting of 32 LEDs in each panel. Even with just two 1156 bulbs running in my camper the blower for the heater would dim the lights upon start up. Now I can have ALL my LED lights on in there and they dont even flicker when the blower kicks on. And the LEDs are WAY brighter to boot.
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Post by chevellelaguna on Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:20 am

I guess I'm wrong, sorry.
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Post by dwgardner1 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:31 am

Thanks for all the info. I will check into replacing the bulbs when I get some free time in the next week or so.

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Post by pila on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:10 pm

The dash lights were supposed to be 168s, which run cooler than the 194s.
 
So, where are the LED type lamps available for the dash panel lights ??

And how well does the dimmer rheostat in the light switch work with the LED dash lights ?

One really good thing about the LEDs is that they will out last the car !

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Post by thatfnthing on Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:05 am

pila wrote:The dash lights were supposed to be 168s, which run cooler than the 194s.
 
So, where are the LED type lamps available for the dash panel lights ??

I get mine from superbrightleds.com -- you can search their stock yourself or they have a vehicle bulb finder you can use.  There are 168 equivalents as well, but I think they might be the same as the 194s since heat is not an issue for LEDs.

My gauges are aftermarket, so I actually use these instead because they're even brighter.

For dash lights it will be a matter of preference, but for tail/brake lamps and front turn indicators you'll want maximum brightness like these.

pila wrote:And how well does the dimmer rheostat in the light switch work with the LED dash lights ?
Dimming has been an issue with LEDs in the past because it's either on or off.  For mine, the tipping point is somewhere in the middle of the rheostat.

The technology is improving, however, and you can now get house bulbs that dim (I have a set in my bathroom).  For the automotive ones, they're not quite there yet -- mine will change intensity somewhat, but it's not as wide a range as the old incandescents.  I stress the 'yet' -- there's already new ones available since I did mine.  

However, different lamps are available with different numbers of LEDs in them, which translates to intensity.  I purchased a few different kinds and tested them out to see which ones gave the amount of light I wanted at night and there's no need to fool with the dimmer anymore.

pila wrote:One really good thing about the LEDs is that they will out last the car !
Another is that they drastically reduce the load on the car's electrical system, which makes it last longer and frees up juice for other electric goodies.  Joe's was a perfect example.


Last edited by thatfnthing on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by bitterfitter on Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:16 am

This past spring, I also replaced all my interior lights with LED bulbs.  I went with just a white light and they are very nice.  I was able to replace every bulb in my dash with LED and even the courtesy lights under the dash.  Very bright and clear, no heat ; what is not to love.
  The only thing that I had a little trouble with at first is that my LED's had a positive and a negative contact.  What I am saying is that the power must go through them in a certain direction for them to light.  The original bulbs would light in either direction.  This required me to check if the bulb lit before I buttoned everything back up.  I also had to flip the wiring on some of the lights that had bulbs that were dedicated and only went in one way.  (maybe courtesy and glove box )

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Post by Hawk03 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:58 am

Did you have to use resistors or anything prior to installing LEDs or did you just put them in like regular bulbs?
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Post by bitterfitter on Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:59 am

Just like regular bulbs

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Post by thatfnthing on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:13 am

That's the 'Diode' part of LED.  A diode does for electrical what a check valve does for plumbing -- it only allows flow in one direction, so they only work when plugged in the right way.  It doesn't damage them to be in wrong, they just don't do anything.  Sometimes the manufacturer marks which side is which, sometimes they don't, so it's pot luck. In the case of 1156/1157 models, they only go in one way.

Any LED intended for an automotive application will already have the necessary resistor built in, since the LED itself will explode if 12V is applied directly (ask me how I know Smile).  That's how little power they actually require.  You don't have to add anything.
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Post by w451973 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:00 pm

Thanks for the info. Any idea where's the best place to buy them and how much do they usually run ?

Thanks
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Post by thatfnthing on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:25 am

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Post by pila on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:41 pm

THANKS FOR THAT LINK ! Very Happy 

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