LED replacement lamps for cars: a warning

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Conventional "incandescent" bulbs use an electrically heated tungsten filament to produce light. However these generally have a short life span of about 2000 hours.  This can cause a problem for replacement particularly if the lights are difficult to reach.  The guide tells you which lamps can be replaced with LEDs and, most important, which not to replace with LEDs.

many of these lamps use a 5W lamp with a wedge base variously called W5W, T10, 158, 161, 168, 194, 501, 655, 1252, 2821, 2825 which produce about 60 lumens of light
LED modules can be a very effective replacement for these car lights, especially sidelights and tail lights with the following advantages:
*  never need replacing - life of 100,000 hours (12 years of continuous use)
*  low power drain on battery
*  a brighter whiter light
Points to check:
*  make sure the information on the replacement lamp specifies the "luminous flux" output in lumens.  It should be more than 60
*  for most modern cars you will need a lamp that is "CANBUS ERROR FREE"
* LED lights only work if inserted correctly.  If they dont work they will need rotating so they fit in the socket the other way around.

A good 55W halogen bulb (H1, H3, H4, H7 etc) produces over 1400 lumens from a very small filament.  The headlight fitting is designed to match this to produce a tightly controlled beam.
Replacing this with an LED fitting will give
*  less light (ten times less!)
*  very poor beam control
*  fail MOT due to the above

For more information on LEDs and their uses check out http://www.durhambats.org.uk/about_torch.htm

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