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Thread: LED Brake Lights

  1. #1

    Default LED Brake Lights

    Hello CPF!

    I'm new to all this so please bear with me. I've searched the forums to see if there was an answer to some of the questions I have but could not find any that were satisfactory although the answer may have been right in front of me but, since I don't have much experience, I may not have recognized it as the answer I was looking for. In any case, here is what I'm trying to do:

    I'm building a custom classic car and would like to build custom LED tail lights for it. I will be retro-fitting the original housing with an LED board. What I would like for the light assembly to do is to have an outer ring of light that runs the perimeter of the inside of the housing that can function as running lights and turn signal along with increasing in intensity to match the brake lights portion of the board which will be located in the center of the board when the brakes are applied. This is what the housings look like:



    First off, I would like to change the original lenses out and replace them with a full red lens that spans the entire face of the housing. I will fab backup lights into the bumper. My plan is to buy a sheet of clear acrylic and cut out an insert that I will use for the base of the board that will fit inside the housing. I will cut out a secondary base but also cut out the center of the second base so that it resembles a clear acrylic bezel. The idea here is to make a sort of halo ring that can be laid over the top of the base. The base will be covered in a reflective material that has an adhesive backing with holes drilled to accomodate the LED leads. The Halo ring will also have the same reflective backing to separate the different operations I would like it to do and to keep any bleed through from occurring.

    The Halo ring will act as both running lights and turn signals. The center section will be filled with LED's and will act as the brake light portion of the assembly along with the Halo ring lighting up with equal intensity. With the brakes not applied and turn signal activated, it should light up to the brake light intensity on flash on and return to running light intensity on flash off.

    This should give you and idea of what I am looking to do. It's the tail light from an Audi A7 turned sideways:



    My questions are:

    What would be the best way to light up the Halo ring? I've seen acrylic speaker rings that have LED flex tape that has been adhered to the outer perimeter of the ring. Is LED flex tape bright enough to match up with whatever bulbs I use in the center section and for that matter be bright enough to use as part of the brake light? Would this be the best way or is there a better way? I don't want to see a break in the halo ring. It should light up all the way around without any dark spots. I've seen a few youtube videos chronicling how to make halo rings but they use LEDs that are inserted into holes that have been drilled into the ends of the plastic rod.

    What would be the best way to light up the center "Brake" section? Should I use normal 5mm LEDs bunched together and wired in series or would it be easier and more economical to go with a Superflux style bulb? I want the center section to wash out in light and not see any gaps between the bulbs. Because of the shape of the Supeflux bulbs there may be a gap in between bulbs or are the Superflux bulbs bright enough to wash out the center section and hide any gaps there may be?

    Hopefully my questions and explanation of what I want to do are understandable and not too naive!

    Thanks for bearing with me and my long post!

    John
    Last edited by novanutcase; 04-16-2012 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Is this going to be a show car, or a road driven car? I have a hunch the mods may look cool, but end up making your lights illegal due to the changes in lens and light source(s). On the other hand, state laws vary for one-off custom built vehicles (for example my state allows "blue dot" tail lights). Frankly, I think you can do just about anything with the right LED's, but the catch will be keeping it legal if you drive it on public roads.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  3. #3

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    I could lie and say i won't ever drive it on public streets but, I'm sure, at some point, it will get driven on public streets.

    The car is being setup as an 70% Track car/20% Show Car/10% street driven car. The street driven part is mostly just driving to carshows/cruise-ins although, ultimately, I'll probably buy a trailer and truck to haul it as my goal with this project is to be able to run it around the various tracks here in the US(Laguna Seca, Willow Springs, Etc.) I'll probably drive it on the Power Tour also which is where the legality of the tails comes more into play as the car will be driven on public roads for a longer duration. I guess if I can't make a LEGAL set of LED tail lights I can always have 2 sets. One, LED for shows, and the other stock incandescent, for street duties. That is why I want to keep the stock housing so that I can interchange them easily.

    I guess my interest in LED tails is more cosmetic than functional(as in legal) although if I could somehow do both that would be great! Since the car is an old classic, I'm trying to update a few things to give it a more modern feel but still retain the classic lines on the car. As far as lighting I'd like to give it a more euro/super car feel thus the LEDs.

    This is the car it's going on:



    Here is a link to the build if you are interested:

    http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums...ad.php?t=78088

    My main concern, right now, is if the flex tape LED will be bright enough to light the halo ring to match the intensity of the center section LEDs? I guess I could reserve just the center section for brake lights and leave the halo ring for just running lights/turn signal duties but I'd like the entire face of the tail light to light up. I'm sure it would be easier to just fill the board with LEDs and wire accordingly but I like the smooth look of the halo ring. I think it would give a nice contrast to the look that LED's give off.

    Who makes a reflector for Superflux LEDs? I'm thinking it may be best to go this route as it will lessen the amount of LEDs I would need to solder onto the board. I may have to cannabalize a few tail lights from other cars and modify them to work within the housing constraints that I have in regards to optics, reflectors, etc.

    After having spent many hours researching on here I now realize just how complex it is to LEGALLY setup something like this. I now understand that, as important as the LEDs themselves are, they are but one part of a larger equation which includes optics, etc. if legality is what you are striving for. I'm thinking that if I'm going to attempt to make these at least somewhat legally passable I should probably defer to someone with more knowledge in regard to designing for LED and all the aspects that go into it. Is there anyone any of you can suggest that can help me implement a design and produce a set of tail lights like this? I've spoken to a few custom LED shops that do auto and motorcycle lights but after having read some of the horror stories on here I'd like to try and work with someone who is reputable.

    John
    Last edited by novanutcase; 04-15-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Changchung's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    I will recomend you that your self build the circuits Leds to the tail lights, flex type Leds and this kind of Led already build it fail very fast, this is a example that I will made for some friends and my motorbikes;

    This is what I just make to a friend for his KLR650 2011




    I will add a electronic device that do the tail light funtions, stop and some strobe flash when the brake is activated...

    If you need more info let me know... Nice ride BTW
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  5. #5

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Changchung View Post
    I will recomend you that your self build the circuits Leds to the tail lights, flex type Leds and this kind of Led already build it fail very fast, this is a example that I will made for some friends and my motorbikes;

    This is what I just make to a friend for his KLR650 2011




    I will add a electronic device that do the tail light funtions, stop and some strobe flash when the brake is activated...

    If you need more info let me know... Nice ride BTW
    Very nice!!!

    So you feel that flex tape LEDs are not reliable? Is there another method that I can use that will light the entire ring without any gaps like on Halo rings where the top is usually hidden since the LEDs are inserted there as well as the leads sticking out from there? If not then I guess I can forget the Halo idea and just run LEDs around the inner perimeter of the housing.

    Also, I'm not averse to milling new lenses so if anyone can give me some insight into LED optics it would be greatly appreciated!

    Does anyone know what sort of LEDs they used in the Audi picture I posted earlier? They look like Superfluxs but then again what do I know!
    I would appreciate any help and/or suggestions that you can offer even if it's don't do it!

  6. #6

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Hold it, folks. Sorry, but the lighting modifications/products you're asking about or recommending (homemade taillamps) are virtually all illegal. Rule 11 of this board prohibits advocating illegal activity. The exterior lights on a car are not toys or fashion accessories. They are highly regulated safety devices that must perform in objective(!) accordance with the standards. "Looks great!" or "Lights up red!" doesn't even begin to cut it. Homemade red acrylic lenses? No, that's about three separate kinds of noncompliance with the applicable regulations. LED flex rope/tape? Um, no, that belongs on Christmas trees, not on cars.

    For any automotive lighting function, it is necessary that the intensity be within the proper limits through the entire regulated range of vertical and horizontal angles to create a recognizeable and penetrating signal to observers at any angle to your vehicle. And the intensity ratio between bright and dim modes must be correct for combination stop/tail or park/turn lamps. And the effective projected luminous lens area must be at least the legal minimum. EPLLA refers to the amount of lens area significantly lit up when the lighting device is active, and is much more complicated to measure than just calculating the area of the lens itself. You posted a pic of a newer vehicle's LED stop/tail lamps. Look at the picture and you'll see intricate optics, which you cannot mill or otherwise throw together at your workbench or buy off the shelf -- any more than you could "mill" yourself a pair of working contact lenses for your eyes. The optics must be calculated from scratch for each and every device, even for two differently-shaped devices that use the same LEDs. They are necessary to coordinate the light from a large number of LEDs (relative to the overall size of the device) to get everything right in terms of brightness in both dim and bright mode, uniformity of brightness throughout the visibility angles required by law, ratio of intensity between "bright" and "dim" mode, EPLLA, etc.

    Fact is, lighting devices meant to take filament bulbs need to use filament bulbs.

    For those who lack the tools, expertise, and equipment to make their own safe and effective LED lights, and who are wise enough to avoid the fast-talking profiteers—the vendors who offer uncertified/unapproved "LED retrofits" for classic cars—but who want LED lights, you can sometimes sneak a ready-made truck/bus LED lamp behind the lens of your car's original lights. You have to be careful to get the placement right; they need to be upright, facing straight, without any slant, tilt, or inward or outward rotation (the exception is the units made specifically for postal trucks with a 7° forward tilt to the rear surface where the taillamps are mounted). If the units you pick have a "TOP" marking, it must be at the (duh) top. I like these, in clear-lens variety when available; their performance is excellent and they aren't expensive:
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/vali6ovledla.html
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/sttutareled4.html
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/truckliestt.html

    Do not continue to discuss homemade lamps or this thread will be closed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Hold it, folks. Sorry, but the lighting modifications/products you're asking about or recommending (homemade taillamps) are virtually all illegal. Rule 11 of this board prohibits advocating illegal activity. The exterior lights on a car are not toys or fashion accessories. They are highly regulated safety devices that must perform in objective(!) accordance with the standards. "Looks great!" or "Lights up red!" doesn't even begin to cut it. Homemade red acrylic lenses? No, that's about three separate kinds of noncompliance with the applicable regulations. LED flex rope/tape? Um, no, that belongs on Christmas trees, not on cars.

    For any automotive lighting function, it is necessary that the intensity be within the proper limits through the entire regulated range of vertical and horizontal angles to create a recognizeable and penetrating signal to observers at any angle to your vehicle. And the intensity ratio between bright and dim modes must be correct for combination stop/tail or park/turn lamps. And the effective projected luminous lens area must be at least the legal minimum. EPLLA refers to the amount of lens area significantly lit up when the lighting device is active, and is much more complicated to measure than just calculating the area of the lens itself. You posted a pic of a newer vehicle's LED stop/tail lamps. Look at the picture and you'll see intricate optics, which you cannot mill or otherwise throw together at your workbench or buy off the shelf -- any more than you could "mill" yourself a pair of working contact lenses for your eyes. The optics must be calculated from scratch for each and every device, even for two differently-shaped devices that use the same LEDs. They are necessary to coordinate the light from a large number of LEDs (relative to the overall size of the device) to get everything right in terms of brightness in both dim and bright mode, uniformity of brightness throughout the visibility angles required by law, ratio of intensity between "bright" and "dim" mode, EPLLA, etc.

    Fact is, lighting devices meant to take filament bulbs need to use filament bulbs.

    For those who lack the tools, expertise, and equipment to make their own safe and effective LED lights, and who are wise enough to avoid the fast-talking profiteers—the vendors who offer uncertified/unapproved "LED retrofits" for classic cars—but who want LED lights, you can sometimes sneak a ready-made truck/bus LED lamp behind the lens of your car's original lights. You have to be careful to get the placement right; they need to be upright, facing straight, without any slant, tilt, or inward or outward rotation (the exception is the units made specifically for postal trucks with a 7° forward tilt to the rear surface where the taillamps are mounted). If the units you pick have a "TOP" marking, it must be at the (duh) top. I like these, in clear-lens variety when available; their performance is excellent and they aren't expensive:
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/vali6ovledla.html
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/sttutareled4.html
    http://www.levineautoparts.com/truckliestt.html

    Do not continue to discuss homemade lamps or this thread will be closed.
    Thank you for your post! I have read many threads on here discussing home made tail light assemblies and have seen your posts warning people of the intricacies and legalities of doing this sort of thing. Prior to your post I had pretty much made up my mind that to try and make an assembly that would be legal on the street would be both dangerous and futile in the end. This is why I posted this:

    "After having spent many hours researching on here I now realize just how complex it is to LEGALLY setup something like this. I now understand that, as important as the LEDs themselves are, they are but one part of a larger equation which includes optics, etc. if legality is what you are striving for. I'm thinking that if I'm going to attempt to make these at least somewhat legally passable I should probably defer to someone with more knowledge in regard to designing for LED and all the aspects that go into it. Is there anyone any of you can suggest that can help me implement a design and produce a set of tail lights like this? I've spoken to a few custom LED shops that do auto and motorcycle lights but after having read some of the horror stories on here I'd like to try and work with someone who is reputable."

    At this point I think it would be best to try and find a company that can do this although I would imagine that the costs for this would be exorbitant in regards to R & D and setup for manufacture. If there is anyone out there that can do this sort of development please enlighten me. Once I speak to them and am able to approximate a price for development and manufacture I can decide whether it would be worth all the hassle and money to do it.

    I would also like your permission in re-posting your last post on some of the car sites that I frequent as many, like me, are naive to all the legalities of this type of assembly. I constantly read posts about projects that had LED assemblies from "custom" shops made or are in the process of buying or making an assembly. I'd like to at least pass on the knowledge I have learned here in regards to LED tail lights so that they are at least forewarned that what they are doing is both illegal and dangerous.

    I would still like to hear more on LED construction and even on "home made" tails that I can use at car shows for cosmetic purposes only. If you feel that this is dialogue that is not acceptable for this site I will defer to your authority on this site and stop posting on this subject.

    John

  8. #8

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Thread re-opened after further consideration and offline discussion among all involved parties. Discussion can resume, but let's all think carefully about the questions and answers we post. One factor that gives us a little breathing space: it looks like the car in question is a pre-1968 model, so the vehicle was not subject to any Federal standards at the time of construction, so no Federal standards apply to its taillamps. That does not mean it's a good idea to throw whatever homemade red lights on it; remember other drivers are depending on your lights to convey their meaning immediately and accurately without any ambiguity. So they really do still need to perform in accordance with the applicable standards, even if this need is "only" technical and not legal.

  9. #9

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    My understanding is that after the discussion of legality, he was only looking to build LED tails for show purposes, and use factory tails on the road. Comment deleted.
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 04-16-2012 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Rule 8 issue

  10. #10

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Thread re-opened after further consideration and offline discussion among all involved parties. Discussion can resume, but let's all think carefully about the questions and answers we post. One factor that gives us a little breathing space: it looks like the car in question is a pre-1968 model, so the vehicle was not subject to any Federal standards at the time of construction, so no Federal standards apply to its taillamps. That does not mean it's a good idea to throw whatever homemade red lights on it; remember other drivers are depending on your lights to convey their meaning immediately and accurately without any ambiguity. So they really do still need to perform in accordance with the applicable standards, even if this need is "only" technical and not legal.
    Thank you for allowing this dialogue to continue as I think it would be enlightening to many that want to attempt this type of project but are complete newbs to lighting like me. Especially the timeline that was established in this thread. My first post was naive to the realities of doing a project like this. I, like many others, didn't realize just how complicated it could be to do something like this THE RIGHT WAY! Now that I have a little bit better of an understanding of all that is involved I can more confidently continue my quest.

    I would like to also thank Moderator Scheinwerfermann for having had the insight to re-open the thread along with pointing me to someone that is probably one of the foremost authorities on this subject. I have been in contact with Mr. Stern and am overjoyed to have someone that can answer all the questions I have in regards to trying to make this a reality. I'm sure many that have been and are still on this forum might take his tone as aggressive or downright rude but I would imagine that much of that comes from people either not wanting to listen to sage advice or just not understanding the ramifications that their actions may bring. I moderate on other forums myself and can completely understand his frustration!

    As to future posts, I think I will post whatever information I am able to come up with in regards to automotive LED lighting that can be done in a legal manner through my discussions with Mr. Stern. This way those that are attempting to cull the information that I am also looking for can see it grouped into one thread and relayed in more "layman's" terms. Some of the technical information that I have already received can be daunting to try and understand. I'll keep you all posted as information becomes available.

    Quote Originally Posted by opposite locker View Post
    My understanding is that after the discussion of legality, he was only looking to build LED tails for show purposes, and use factory tails on the road. Frankly, was a bit miffed at the closure of the thread in the first place...
    That's alright! I'm going to attribute it to a misunderstanding! Let's move on and see if producing LEGAL tail lights is both possible and affordable!

    John

  11. #11
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Actually, I think two different sets of lights is a great idea for show cars in general. People do all sorts of odd things on show cars, purple headlights, strange taillights, colored neon in odd places on the car, you name it. Having a set of legal lights that pop in easily will let you drive the show car instead of moving it on a dedicated transporter.

    With all the modern cars that are coming out with LED tail and signal lights, plus the aftermarket for trailer and truck lighting, I can't help wondering if there's anything available that would have most of your work for custom "show" taillights already done for you.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  12. #12

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton Felix View Post
    Actually, I think two different sets of lights is a great idea for show cars in general. People do all sorts of odd things on show cars, purple headlights, strange taillights, colored neon in odd places on the car, you name it. Having a set of legal lights that pop in easily will let you drive the show car instead of moving it on a dedicated transporter.

    With all the modern cars that are coming out with LED tail and signal lights, plus the aftermarket for trailer and truck lighting, I can't help wondering if there's anything available that would have most of your work for custom "show" taillights already done for you.
    For now it seems that having 2 sets may be the only solution if safety is the main concern. My having a pre-68 affords me the luxury of being able to pretty much put whatever I want in there but, as stated previously, it's the safety factor that is involved here which is the main area of importance for me. For me to be able to drive on public roads with LED tail lights that I feel comfortable using would mean that, at the very least, the lights would have to pass todays safety specifications as far as sideview/topview/rearview/candela output, etc.

    From what I see, it would seem that there are 2 basic things that LEDs are lacking in. How much actual light output the assembly makes(measured with a lumen meter) as a whole along with at different view angles and and the optics to correctly disperse the beam that LEDs produce in a way that gives the best chance at viewing them from the other drivers perspective. Of course that is putting it in it's most basic form but, in a nutshell, that is what I've learned so far.

    Thanks to Daniel Stern of Daniel Stern Lighting ( http://www.danielsternlighting.com/home.html )I was directed to someone that is very close to me that can help me in the development and manufacture of, possibly, a set of legal LED tail lights. Mr Stern has been great in disseminating information that has been very useful in helping me understand what, why and how automotive LED lighting in general needs to be to be legal. I suggest to anyone that is looking to attempt to build legal LED tails to visit his site. It's loaded with info that can help you. He's also got some pretty good deals on automotive lighting so check out his store. Good man to deal with!

    I'll keep you all posted on whatever info I receive after I visit the manufacturer in question.........

    John

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by novanutcase View Post
    From what I see, it would seem that there are 2 basic things that LEDs are lacking in. How much actual light output the assembly makes(measured with a lumen meter) as a whole along with at different view angles and and the optics to correctly disperse the beam that LEDs produce in a way that gives the best chance at viewing them from the other drivers perspective. Of course that is putting it in it's most basic form but, in a nutshell, that is what I've learned so far.
    "Non-imaging optics" (Using lenses to send light) is a minefield of issues and difficult design, along with expensive tooling (Mold production for each revision) requirements. Development is difficult, and is made more complex with the source size of LEDs.

    Most production LEDs that can produce as much light as a tail-light bulb are either a sizeable LED die (Compared to a filament) or an array of LEDs (Much larger than a filament). The design of optics for these sources becomes complicated, especially when trying to focus light in certain directions while dimming it to a specific level in others (Brake lights are dimmer but still visible to the sides).

    Heatsinking and control electronics are another concern. Cars produce from 11.1v to 13.8v under most conditions, and can get lower and higher (Up to 14.4v). The LED must not be damaged during surges, and still be bright enough under low voltage. This requires a more complex control circuit. Heatsinking requires a rebuild of the back of the lamp housing, as you may be dumping a watt of waste heat in a hot summer day near hot exhaust pipes.

    I believe LED signal lamps have been slow to come out because of these and other challenges. Finally, for the safety requirements there aren't really very many benefits to LED - the faster rise time is of help in safety situations, but the other benefits are less appealing.

    Watch for clever language. The other day I saw "Exceeds DOT Specs" on a taillight assembly. However, exceeding the axial and off-axis light levels is almost as unsafe as failing to meet them. If in doubt, as the experts or buy OEM gear for you car. Good luck in your search!
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Since were talking about LED brake light, I hope you don't mind me posting mine!









    Swap this OEM LED brake light as compare to the stock US brake light which has a red lens and a single bulb.

    The brake light is very comparable to the current Tacoma brake light when its on.
    Pick the pooch!

  15. #15

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo View Post
    Swap this OEM LED brake light as compare to the stock US brake light which has a red lens and a single bulb. The brake light is very comparable to the current Tacoma brake light when its on.
    Interesting -- what market are these lamps from? And what have you done to replace the rear side marker light and reflector, which are probably not present on your OEM rear lamp units not meant for the American market?

  16. #16

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    duplicate post deleted by poster

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    This is a JDM/Asian OEM brake light. I didn't do anything. I bought it as a whole tail light. Wiring, harness, hardware is the same as the US tail light so it's a bolt on. Clear lens is the only diffrence when I compare it to the stock brake light.
    Pick the pooch!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo View Post
    This is a JDM/Asian OEM brake light. I didn't do anything. I bought it as a whole tail light. Wiring, harness, hardware is the same as the US tail light so it's a bolt on. Clear lens is the only diffrence when I compare it to the stock brake light.
    Is the rear and side output rated by the OEM to be appropriate for US roads?
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  19. #19

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Ah, but there is a crucial difference. The US and Canadian regulations require two functions not required by regulations elsewhere in the world: rear side marker light (which lights up whenever the tail lamps are lit), and rear side marker retroreflector. Those functions are permitted outside the US/Canada, but they are not required. I don't know for sure, but I think if you look more carefully at the side face of these Japanese-market lamps, compared to the original American-market items, you will find the Japanese lamps lack a side marker light and a side marker retroreflector. If that is the case, then not only are your new lamps illegal, they are also a serious safety degradation that cannot be countervailed by any increase in performance of LED vs. bulb-type stop lamps. Side markers are very effective crash-avoidance devices.

    In order for your car to be legal and as safe as it originally was, you will need to either put the original rear lamps back on, or add separate side marker lights and retroreflectors to the left and right sides of the bumper fascia. LOTS of options; You could easily install these peel-and-stick flexible retroreflectors and these LED side marker lights, for example, or you could use '04-'06 Scion xB rear side marker light/reflector units, for just two examples.

    As for the performance of the lamps themselves: they are almost certainly compliant with American specifications in terms of intensity and all other performance aspects, though of course they would not be manufacturer-certified as such.

  20. #20

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Duplicate post deleted by poster
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-17-2012 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Duplicate post deleted by poster

  21. #21

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    that is obviously a toyota corolla, why grey it out?

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Upon closer inspection, it missing a side retroreflector. Thanks Schein for the suggesstion. I will add a retroreflector.

    @AnApple, they say yes.

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    Pick the pooch!

  23. #23

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    those look just like aftermarket (jdm, lol yea right) Chinese taillights that "performance' shops sell here, these f..kers blind the hell out of you if you stop behind one like that on the light or stop sigh....etc. headlights from the same source, aren't even as bad. i still have dots in my eyes for minutes after that car is long gone. during the day it is not too bad, but at night, a lot worst. none of that happens if i look at oem led taillights,
    makes me wanna come out, and put my 6d mag right thru those lights.

  24. #24

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo View Post
    Upon closer inspection, it missing a side retroreflector.
    and a side marker light, I'm betting. The North American Corolla RCL has a cutout in the side wall of the housing so the stop/tail bulb is visible from the side, thus providing the side marker light function. I haven't pulled and looked at the Japanese-market RCL in question, but I would be surprised if it has a side marker light function.

    they say yes
    Er...exactly who says yes, to what specific question?

    (Blanking out the car license plate for "security" reasons has never made any sense to me. The plate is readily visible to everyone who sees your car on the road or while it's parked, and most of them are total strangers.)

  25. #25

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    those look just like aftermarket (jdm, lol yea right)
    Look more carefully at the third picture, where we clearly see both "TOYOTA" and "KOITO"; this is definitely an OE lamp, not aftermarket. It also says "THAI", so that means this is the Thailand-market lamp, also used in Vietnam, India, and certain other markets. (don.gwapo, it looks like these are Toyota part numbers 81550‑02620 and 81560‑02620, is that right?) We also see ECE type approval markings, so while it is probably not certified as compliant with American regulations, it has been rigorously scrutinized and tested to the international technical standard. I can't share all the info I have access to on this lamp, but in general I can say the data suggest that aside from the lack of side marker functions, this lamp's performance is in accordance with the design, construction, and performance requirements in force in North America.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    There's an angled slats facing the side inside the reflector which the stock doesn't have. Light is visible on the side when its on.

    The dealer says yes to the question if I can use it on US roads!

    As for blanking out the license plate, I just took some precaution.

    EDIT:

    Schein, I'm not sure about the part number coz I don't have the receipt anymore to look at to.
    Last edited by don.gwapo; 04-18-2012 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Addendum.
    Pick the pooch!

  27. #27

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo View Post
    There's an angled slats facing the side inside the reflector which the stock doesn't have. Light is visible on the side when its on.
    That's not a substitute or adequate replacement for the side marker light function. You really need to add separate side marker lights.

    The dealer says yes to the question if I can use it on US roads!
    The dealer wants to sell you the lamps and is ignorant of the technical and legal matters involved.

    Schein, I'm not sure about the part number coz I don't have the receipt anymore to look at to.
    You bought these at a North American dealership? Which one, and what did they cost, do you recall?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    those look just like aftermarket (jdm, lol yea right) Chinese taillights that "performance' shops sell here
    Except, as SWM has already beat me to posting, these are the Real Thing, being Koito lamps manufactured for Toyota. You might be thinking of Kopex or Depo, not Koito.

    makes me wanna come out, and put my 6d mag right thru those lights.
    Vandalism isn't the answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by don.gwapo
    @Old, for security reason and avoid advertising.
    I suppose it might make sense in some ways if you don't want people associating a 'handle' with a real name. But blotting out the badging really serves nothing. It's OK to admit you drive a Corolla-- I drive one, too.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* don.gwapo's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    @Schein, I got it in Thailand when on vacation. I bought it for $200.00 in dollar equivalent for the pair.

    Yes, I will add a side marker and retro reflector in compliance with the US standard.

    Thanks for your help and suggestion on this matter.
    Pick the pooch!

  30. #30

    Default Re: LED Brake Lights

    Are there no regulations for side marker lights other than you must have something back there and it must be red for the rear?

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