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Chris Powell

Led Replacements

21 posts in this topic

Okay guys, i'm relatively comfortable with soldering and stuff, but i'm looking to replace EVERY LED in my focus (mk1 2.0 zetec) with blue ones...

It's just knowing what LED's to buy, and where from... Does anyone have any recommendations or tips?

Trying to get as much of my car modding done myself so that I get a lot more satisfaction out of it :D

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Yes - ive got a tip - don't bother - its too much hassle! - just kidding

The lights can be hard to see in bright daylight, and it can be difficult to see what you are doing at night, so you might have to work on it during the day and check to see how it looks at night

You will need the "diffuser" types for behind the clocks but the "spot" type ones may be better elsewhere

I tried coloured bulbs behind the clocks but i had to revert to white (LEDs) because parts of the display were unreadable/ too dark

You will already know LEDs are polarised and have to be the correct way round

On my Mondeo the no. plate lights are festoon - type bulbs, and so are the top interior lights, but the interior ones are slightly bigger, i just use the same size ones for both so i only have to buy one kind of bulb and i could swap them over in an emergency (they are white on mine, though - i swapped almost all bulbs, inside and out, to reduce electrical load so i could fit a lighter battery)

You can get coloured gel for dj/ band lights to use on white lights, which you can get a wider slection of colours , some not available in LEDs,

some of the LEDs (especially some with multi-elements) are too "fat" to fit in the space - watch out for that

Im sure i saw a bulb list and a fitting guide on the forum

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Thanks for the tips dude :)

For now though i'm thinking of the less important to 'see' LED's, but would still have a nice overall effect -

the electric window buttons, temp control, air con, traction control etc...

switches/buttons that i could remove from the car, take inside to the makeshift workshop, test on a 12v output and then reinstall after changing the bulbs :)

These are the LED's i'm interested in :) Would they be the same ratings? would i need to solder some resistors? :)

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to a certain exent. - My focus is mk1.

I know it can be done - there is a dude selling the ready-converted parts on ebay haha :)

Clever little business idea actually :)

But i know i could do it myself for literally <5% of his costs :)

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yes its doable... just take your time, get the right tools and practice before hand. I learnt my skills of soldering from a RAF training school and that was only the basics...if i can do it everyone else can lol

What i did was take everything out, look carefully on how to take apart, and once apart look at what type and size it is..

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i would have a look at a car with them first the all blue is really looking chavvy no offence intended and the leds can be over bright at night shining in the window so you cant see out the window properly

Focus-Jonny likes this

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So you know its do- able

A lot if it is common sense like if you have an MOT coming up soon wait till afterwards 'till you do the convesion in case anything goes wrong/ so you have more time to worl on it

It may be worth picking up secondhand standard switches to work on "at your leisure" (so everything on the car still works) then when you swap out the standard ones you could sell them on - or even sell conversions/ do them to order?

If you use 12v LEDs i do not think you will need resistors

I did all my outside rear bulbs, my front sidelights, de-tangoed my indicators (chrome- orange) all my speedo/ clock binnacle and my overhead interior lights- it was a lot of work and i had no guides/ help, i bought a lot of bulbs that would not fit and are left over, i had to modify some of them (eg the pins were wrong on the tailight/ foglight bulbs and i had to file one of the pins off in each bulb )

obviously you are doing something different from that but what i mean is it probably won't be easy and it may require a lot of work/ patience etc but if you persevere.....

before, when i switched my sidelights on, it would have been 2x5w sidelights, 4x3w dash bulbs, 2x5w tail bulbs and 2x5w no. plate bulbs (total = 42w) , the LEDs would be approx 10w a massive saving

The two interior lighs were 10w each - (20w in total) this is reduced to approx 2w (i don't have footwell lights puddle lights etc it was an LX/ i only have what is absolutely nessesary ,and the interior lights stay off when i open the door (so i don't ruin my night vision)

The overall reduction in electrical load means there is less mechanical load on the alternator, so less engine power is wasted (more performance/ economy - its quite slight though ) this also means the battery charges up quicker when the lights are on .

This has enabled me to swap the 19kgs battery for a 12.5 kgs battery, for further improvements to the performance/ economy (also as part of an overall 150kgs weight-loss) - i also fitted a small solar panel, (i considered removing the alternator altogether and just running the electrics off a larger solar panel - this might work in the summer but i don't think it would work in the winter(not enough light)) and i would need a bigger, heavier solar panel and more batteries - possibly negating the advantage

Anyway, ive been through 2 winters withe the smaller battery no problems

As before, not exactly what you are doing but shows how significant the LED conversion can be

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If you can get an old cluster better still to practice on.

FOCA likes this

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i would have a look at a car with them first the all blue is really looking chavvy no offence intended and the leds can be over bright at night shining in the window so you cant see out the window properly

Fair point - but each to their own - Members have different tastes and differen ideas what the want from their car

Resistors could be added to the LEDs to cut down the brightness

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Ok awesome. Thanks for the advice guys!!

So all in all, any 12v LED is gonna do the job really?

I'm not intending on making every LED piercing blue.. just a mixture of blue and white to get rid of the dull standard colours you get in any car :D

I like the idea of getting cheap 'practice' parts from the local spares place... I have a uk plug to cigarette lighter adaptor, and a fused cigarette lighter connection... bare wire clips to the power points of the switch i'm playing with should give me safe power to work with i'm guessing :D

jeebowhite likes this

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Nice one! bo you have a digital multimeter? - i bought myself a new one and have one going spare it has all the usual functions (volts/ amps. AC/ DC and ohms) + a transistor tester, and continuity tester with audible alarm

i also have all the LED bulbs left over that i did not use on my car - mostly white and some orange (you could do the outside of your car too)

Lastly, im working on another non-car related project, i ordered electric-blue coloured LEDs (instead of white) for that, should have a handful left over (they are tiny LEDs that solder on)

Im just wanting to clear all my stuff out and if you were interested i could put it all in the "buy & sell" section

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tiny LED's that solder on? Normal 2 pin type? or the surface mount ones? :)

Yeah that would be good if you could - save you having them if you don't need them :P

Also, could you point me to where you bought the car LED's? I'm so conscious i'll buy some cheap chinese LED's that will set my car alight :L

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I did the same Chris,

I bought a 3 way cig lighter extension from 99 p store, chopped it off at the extension, so now I have a naked wire with pos and neg cables open, I just wrap them around there appropriate wire and then switch on the juice and test my electrics that way! such a cheap yet effective way to test you aint doing it wrong before you get to the end...

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Yeah i just literally bought the connector, and some wires with crocodile clips on the end :P

Anyone still have a link or website or anything where to get the right LED's?

Just scared i'll set my car on fire hahaha.

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the amount of times I have thought that whilst installing the footwell lighting :lol:

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Afraid not have a word was the JohnH he may be able to direct you to the ones he bought

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Just waiting for him to come back to this thread :P

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I heard my name lol i bought all mine from a guy in peterlee (local to me), very sound and knows his stuff www.crazyleds.co.uk, speak to michael hes the gaffa. Say what car and that your looking to buy the kit of him...no doubt he will send some info on everything u need

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Also to note buy your self some flux, copper braid, pair of tweezers and some liquid solder...this makes the job 10x easier

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