Automotive Thoughts on Hella aftermarket CELIS LED taillights?

opposite locker

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I have read about all the junk LED taillights out there, so I have been hesitant to go that route on my 2008 Dodge Ram. Just came across a deal on some Hella CELIS taillights and couldn't pass. With theHella lights, the running/parking function is done by the CELIS strips and the brake/turn by the LED's. On stock lights, same bulb handles all functions.

Going to have real thick early morning fog again soon, and I'm hoping these will also make the truck more visible. Might even need to look into ditching the stock fogs (mediocre, though better with yellow bulbs) for some real aftermarket fog lights...

So what do you guys think...quality product or waste of money? Should be arriving in a week or two.

f98a986a8f213b1ae656c376cd03d0e0.jpg
 

-Virgil-

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If you are concerned about conspicuity of the vehicle in thick fog, install a red rear fog lamp; see here and here.

The Hella Celis lamps are certainly an OE-quality product, and they'll give better safety performance when you step on the brake (instant rise to full intensity rather than a ~250ms wait for a bulb to rise). Some LED rear lamps, both OE and aftermarket, have a narrower horizontal angle of visibility than some bulb-type lamps. I haven't seen these particular lamps, but given Hella's reputation for making compliant lamps, I would not expect a narrower-than-required view angle out of them.

It's unfortunate there's no conversion lamp for this application that provides a yellow rear turn signal; that would greatly improve the overall safety performance of the rear lighting system (i.e., make you significantly less likely to be struck from behind). When vehicles like this are sent outside North America, it's fairly common for the back-up lights to be fitted with amber bulbs and the wiring altered to make them function as turn signals, then separate back-up lights fitted in or under the bumper.
 

Diesel_Bomber

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When vehicles like this are sent outside North America, it's fairly common for the back-up lights to be fitted with amber bulbs and the wiring altered to make them function as turn signals, then separate back-up lights fitted in or under the bumper.

Is this a legal modification inside the USA?
 

-Virgil-

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Which part? Putting separate back-up lights elsewhere than their original location is legal, as long as the back-up lights installed are compliant. The sticky part comes when using the factory back-up lights with amber bulbs as turn signals. Some back-up lights will produce a compliant turn signal function when equipped with an amber bulb, and some will not. The minimum requirements for a US amber rear turn signal are not all that terribly high: 130 candela minimum axial intensity (750 max). But the minimum requirement for a back-up light is 80 candela axially, and the multiplier for going from a colorless to an amber bulb is 0.75, so in order to meet the axial intensity for a turn signal you'd have to start with a back-up light producing about 175 candela axially. Then there are the horizontal and vertical spread angles, which are less demanding and differently stipulated for the back-up vs. turn signal function. And there's a minimum-lit-area requirement for rear turn signals but not for back-up lights, which may be too small to meet that requirement. So the answer is a definite "maybe" that can't be predictively assured, varying from back-up light to back-up light. It's really not a good idea in countries where ECE regulations are used, either, but the ECE rear turn signal spec has a ridiculously low minimum intensity (just 50 candela!) and no minimum-lit-area requirement so it's more likely a back-up light with an amber bulb might meet some or most the requirements of the ECE specification, albeit sometimes in a pathetic, minimal manner.
 

Diesel_Bomber

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Thank you, sir. I was aware that aftermarket additional backup lights were legal, I was fuzzy on converting OEM backup lights to turn signals. Mostly academic for me. My cars are Japanese and have amber turn signals from the factory, my trucks have custom flat beds with standard 6" oval LED truck lighting implemented in a compliant manner, and have been rewired for amber turn signals.
 

irsa76

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Having seen numerous backup lights converted to amber turn signals here, Ford actually did it with the AU market F series in the 1980s-1990s, I can assure you it is an almost pointless exercise. It actually makes more sense, purely from a function point of view rather then compliance, to fit a seperate amber turn signal. This is a common practice on US import passenger cars here.
 

-Virgil-

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Ford actually did it with the AU market F series in the 1980s-1990s

Which is weird, considering they could've just used the E-marked 3-color (red/amber/white) tail lamp assemblies already on the shelf for those trucks, see
picture
and another picture.

But I do wish I could get hold of the headlamp components Ford Australia used on those trucks, which puts a standard 142 x 200 mm rectangular headlamp in a bezel, as seen here.
(to say nothing of the 4x round headlamp setup on the GMC C/K pickups as seen here)
 

opposite locker

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Received & installed today...these lights are awesome! CELIS strip have great visibility from all angles without being obnoxiously bright, and LED brake lights are so bright that they are impossible to ignore! I now feel bad for those behind me in a drive-thru, and try to use the ebrake so as not to microwave them.

Though a rear fog light would be a nice addition, these brake lights are a very welcome addition for the fog/rainy season.

Now just need to find some brighter replacement backup bulbs...trying to avoid having to install auxiliary back up lights. Any recommendations?

Pics to follow shortly...
 

opposite locker

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Couldnt get a good pic of the LED brake lights with my iPhone, but here's the CELIS running lights...

4_original.jpg
 

dleeallen

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I've got these on my Ram also. I love them. The fit is very good and they are a nice shape vs the 'torpedo' look of the OEM taillights.
 
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