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1986-88 Pontiac Fiero GT Tail Light LED Upgrades - Suggestions Welcome

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  • 1986-88 Pontiac Fiero GT Tail Light LED Upgrades - Suggestions Welcome

    I've been hesitant over the years to try an do any upgrades to the incandescent lights due to the fact that the LED have generally looked worse during the day verses the incandescent. And have had poor viewing angles other than from directly from the rear. But it seems that they are getting better and may be at a point they can perform better without any of the negatives.

    If I can find suitable replacements then I do know the whole community around this car will appreciate it. To get this bit out of the way, there has been a few companies selling LED replacements for this car, but none of it was more then finding bulbs that would fit and make most people reasonably happy. Furthermore they marked up the price way too much and have recently went out of business.

    I would first like to focus on the rear tail lights, mainly to improve safety from visibility. This is a small car that people seem have a hard time seeing sometimes and brighter lights I'm sure will help.

    Without further to do, here are the rear tail lights. I should mention, I am looking at a PNP type solution at this time. More people can benefit from this then a full custom job. I do have a design in mind for a custom made LED tail light that has a completely different look/design from OEM but its a big project that I won't be getting into anytime soon.

    (not my pictures)

    They consist of three parts, the rear reflector, a middle diffuser/colour lens and finally an outer clear lens.




    The blue box is where the "pontiac" red plastic piece sits to make those letters red with lights on or off. The white box in the reverse light, I have fdriller9 bulbs in there. Yellow box is turn signal, and red box is the brake lights.

    Bulb types are
    "pontiac" = 194
    Reverse = 1156
    Turn = 2057
    Brake = 2057

    So far the only thing I've found that look good are for the reverse lights

    Reverse 1156 , look a lot like the Auxito that people like.

    I can't seem to find any amber/red LEDs in a 2057 (ba15) that are like the Auxito/Alla where they have their own socket and a wire with the bulb base on it. I'm kind of assuming with no evidence that they would be brighter than the plug in type. Even if they aren't brighter, I like the fact they at least have a heatsink. Though I'm not sure how much extra room I have behind the lights. Either way I don't see any glowing reviews for anything specific.

    I should also mention I really do not want any "spotlight" effect and want the light to fill out the coloured section completely, or as much as possible. I also don't want an ugly colour if it can be avoided, just a nice deep red. And as bright as possibly without getting into overheat or burning issues. These lenses are current not replaceable and extremely valuable. Thankfully there is some working being done to make reproductions but they aren't available yet and still won't be "cheap"

    This video shows some PNP LEDs installed. For the most part it shows everything I don't like with using LEDs. The turn signals are the exception as they do look as if they are nice and uniform but it's hard to tell and of course the video was done in low light and shining directly at the camera. Otherwise, the red brake lights have that bright hotspot/spotlight and are a ugly almost orange colour. The hotspot gets even worse with brakes on. The reverse light looks ok but I'm less concerned about it. Finally the bulbs for "pontiac" look terrible, sure they are brighter the colour is all over the place, kind of white and has random hotspots.


    From reading around here it sounds like I need an LED that will flood the large reflector. And I'll want to avoid LEDs that have the projector optics or LEDs that are firing straight back. While looking at LED lights for my other car, I came across these: Amber or Red**, which look good and will be placing an order and trying them out on that car. They look like right design that would work in this application but I can't seem to find any for this bulb type. They are actually what prompted me to revisiting the idea of LED bulbs for this car. Can anyone else find something suitable or nudge me in the right direction? Is it possible to convert these somehow to work in the 2057 socket? Though realistically I don't have these in had so I don't "really" know how they perform.

    **The red ones aren't designed for brake lights and are not to be used in that application so they technically aren't really right for this. Furthermore the red ones even from the pictures look to perform much worse than the amber.

    Figured I would through in a picture how they look stock when on.
    Last edited by bnevets27; January 22nd, 2019, 09:47 PM.

  • #2
    Function should follow form in this case. The most important thing when replacing the incan with LED is to retain the original beam shape which is in compliance to the US lighting standard for stop lamps. Preferring a particular "look" is not a good idea as this will alter the performance of your stop lamps which are safety devices.

    I say this because if you find a compatible LED bulb that is ridiculously bright but does not have proper optical focus, you will get a washed out reflector (with uniform light fill as you want) however the intensity that is required by the US lighting standard will be LESS than the original incandescent. And remember, it may *appear* to be better to the eye but the only way to validate improvements is by measuring the light with a light meter. The naked eye is the WORST for determining lighting improvements.

    Isn't the 2057 really just a 1157 bulb?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by evo77 View Post
      Function should follow form in this case. The most important thing when replacing the incan with LED is to retain the original beam shape which is in compliance to the US lighting standard for stop lamps. Preferring a particular "look" is not a good idea as this will alter the performance of your stop lamps which are safety devices.

      I say this because if you find a compatible LED bulb that is ridiculously bright but does not have proper optical focus, you will get a washed out reflector (with uniform light fill as you want) however the intensity that is required by the US lighting standard will be LESS than the original incandescent. And remember, it may *appear* to be better to the eye but the only way to validate improvements is by measuring the light with a light meter. The naked eye is the WORST for determining lighting improvements.

      Isn't the 2057 really just a 1157 bulb?
      I guess what I wanted maybe came off a bit wrong. What I was thinking and trying to portray was that it seems like a lot of LED bulbs put out a bright beam straight out the lens without really using the reflector and all the additional eminters are there to give the illusion that they are filling the whole reflector with light. This makes the almost useless from any angle other than from directly behind. I want to avoid this, and by avoid I mean I won't use any bulbs that are at least as bright as incandescents.

      So when I say I want to fill the lens I was more referring to not wanting two hotspot dots. And if possible further remove the separation between the two bulbs that is there in OEM form (its slight in the pictures and a bit more obvious in person).

      I'm thinking if the optical focus can be correct and with enough "power" behind them it should fill out the lens due to shear brightness. That would be the hope at least.

      Currently I haven't seen an LED in any of these cars that are an improvement over the incandescent, at least not in person. I was following a fellow owner after a meet one time and not only were the lights brutally dim but the difference in intensity between brake and running light was almost non existent. I have no idea he was braking. I told him about it but I unfortunately have nothing to suggest to him and most usually don't want to go back to incandescents.

      I agree that it's hard to "see" brightness but given the right testing and removing the "I just spent a bunch of money, they have to be better" bias I think it possible to see a marked improvement. During the day, comparing stock vs LED and doing so at different angles and distances should give you a pretty good idea of what other drives will see.

      But like I said I have been hesitant to even look into LEDs and been tell most people to stay away as they are generally worse. But many don't listen and as time goes on them should be and are getting better so at some point I hope that the LEDs will actually be better. I'm curious if that's now or if I'll still need to wait.

      As far as is 2057 just a 1157. Yeah I think so. As I've just started into looking buy LEDs I never knew there was so many bulb part numbers that are all just basically the same. So I listed what the OEM listed as the correct bulb.

      Found some decent bulb guides here and here

      Side note, I would argue OEMs can be out to lunch sometimes, recently did a retrofit on my Dad's trunk, installed a new generation headlight which incorporated the turn signal, (can be seen here) into the headlight housing It looks like its a nice big turn signal and should work great. But unfortunately during the day the sun hits the reflector and washes out the bulb entirely, you can't see it at all. We compared it to a 100% stock OEM truck and they are identically, can't see them at all. So I have no idea how that past lighting standards tests. I mean I'm sure they are bright enough inside in a controlled environment but it seems as if they forgot to factor in the sun. /rant

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bnevets27 View Post
        I guess what I wanted maybe came off a bit wrong. What I was thinking and trying to portray was that it seems like a lot of LED bulbs put out a bright beam straight out the lens without really using the reflector and all the additional eminters are there to give the illusion that they are filling the whole reflector with light. This makes the almost useless from any angle other than from directly behind. I want to avoid this, and by avoid I mean I won't use any bulbs that are at least as bright as incandescents.

        So when I say I want to fill the lens I was more referring to not wanting two hotspot dots. And if possible further remove the separation between the two bulbs that is there in OEM form (its slight in the pictures and a bit more obvious in person).
        Very few LED bulbs are designed with any sort of thought behind the optical design. Most Chinese manufacturers just cram as many high powered LEDs around a tower like shape and fool people with clever marketing images and bogus technical info.

        Some are designed with a front facing LED array with a tiny projector lens, which is probably what your referring to when you talk about seeing two dots.


        I'm thinking if the optical focus can be correct and with enough "power" behind them it should fill out the lens due to shear brightness. That would be the hope at least.
        Not necessarily. Due to the optical design of the reflector, perhaps, in order to conform to the regulatory lighting standard the end result is the outer appearance of more intensity in the center with less at the sides. Think of it like this -- lets say you had a dial that you could crank up the intensity to your original incan bulbs. Crank the dial up about 100%. Would the the entire lamp now be filled up or would there still be a contrast with the center being brighter than the sides? Or maybe you wouldn't be able to really tell since there would be a intense hotspot covering that entire area.


        Currently I haven't seen an LED in any of these cars that are an improvement over the incandescent, at least not in person. I was following a fellow owner after a meet one time and not only were the lights brutally dim but the difference in intensity between brake and running light was almost non existent. I have no idea he was braking. I told him about it but I unfortunately have nothing to suggest to him and most usually don't want to go back to incandescents.
        What are all the different LED bulbs that these people have tried? Maybe they have all been those cheap amazon/ebay crap bulbs.


        I agree that it's hard to "see" brightness but given the right testing and removing the "I just spent a bunch of money, they have to be better" bias I think it possible to see a marked improvement. During the day, comparing stock vs LED and doing so at different angles and distances should give you a pretty good idea of what other drives will see.
        The *naked eye* test is the least reliable way to determine bulb performance. Sure we can use it as a gauge however it is by no means a best way to figure out if its better. The lighting standard requires specific intensity levels at specific angles. These angles fall into zones. The outer zones require less intensity than the center zones but still require a minimum intensity. If your eyes were located in a zone, for example, that doesn't require the intensity at a certain brightness then you could mistakenly assume that the bulb is not brighter. Or your eyes may be located in the central zone, which requires the highest intensity and assume that the LED is brighter but in fact it is not. See this thread HERE for a perfect example.

        All I'm saying is that your eyes can and will deceive you because they are subjective impressions. Only testing with equipment can truly say whether or not a bulb is performing better with objective results. I can assure you there are thousands of people who buy these LED bulbs and swear on their life that they are truly brighter than stock because they can *see* the difference with their own eyes but in fact they are NOT actually better.


        But like I said I have been hesitant to even look into LEDs and been tell most people to stay away as they are generally worse. But many don't listen and as time goes on them should be and are getting better so at some point I hope that the LEDs will actually be better. I'm curious if that's now or if I'll still need to wait.
        Every lamp responds differently to certain LED bulbs. There is no one bulb that works best in all cases. Sometimes you just have to try and test out a bunch to see which works best. That is the only real method to finding the *best* for your specific application.


        Side note, I would argue OEMs can be out to lunch sometimes, recently did a retrofit on my Dad's trunk, installed a new generation headlight which incorporated the turn signal, (can be seen here) into the headlight housing It looks like its a nice big turn signal and should work great. But unfortunately during the day the sun hits the reflector and washes out the bulb entirely, you can't see it at all. We compared it to a 100% stock OEM truck and they are identically, can't see them at all. So I have no idea how that past lighting standards tests. I mean I'm sure they are bright enough inside in a controlled environment but it seems as if they forgot to factor in the sun. /rant
        Are those replacements genuine factory OEM lamps or aftermarket? Aftermarkets typically never have the same photometric performance as the original. All they do is copy a mold and make it appear to be the same. But the reflector segments require particular care to the optical design to ensure that it meets all the photometric requirements. Shine each headlamp turn signal against a wall at close proximity (maybe 6 feet) and compare both light patterns. Which one looks better and more intense in the middle zone?

        Comment


        • #5
          Start off with these two first. See what kind of performance you get.


          Comment


          • #6
            Those194 reflectors look pretty large, you might want to try a incandescent 921 bulb first, 21 candlepower vs a 194 @ 2 candlepower. Same wedge base and appears the socket openings look large enough to clear the 921's larger body.
            Originally posted by HK45
            I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

            Comment


            • #7
              The thing about this particular type of tail light design is that the lens ultimately determines the output pattern, diffusing the light from the incandescent filament. Those dull, frosted silver reflector bowls probably don't do much more than provide some "fill" light to make the output more uniform towards the outer edges of the lenses. Unfortunately, that means that any rear-firing LED bulbs (like the Sylvania ZEVO or Philips Vision) will not be bright enough to make use of those dull reflectors, and forward-firing bulbs would create hot spots on the lens while leaving the surrounding areas dark or very dim.

              Something like the VLEDS V6 Triton MAY work in this type of housing since it fires light in all directions, forward and rearward. However, you would need 4 sets for just the brake lights and turn signals alone which would cost quite a lot. I still feel that they would create the hot spot effect though, because even in modern housings where the reflector bowl is solely responsible for forming the output pattern, the Triton's large bulb globe tends to overpower the light filling the reflector. That said, since the Triton's bulb globe is so much larger than an incandescent filament, the diffuser may be able to spread the light enough that the hot spot effect isn't too severe.

              For the inner 'Pontiac' lights, I would honestly just leave those bulbs stock since LED bulbs would provide no real benefit. If you just want them to be brighter, you can always install a more powerful incandescent bulb. I doubt a 921 would fit through the bulb opening, but there does exist a more powerful version of 194/W5W bulb. It's called a 175 and it's typically an OEM bulb used for dome lights and such (and occasionally in high-mount stop lights in older cars). My Accord uses them in the interior from the factory, and they're 8W while your typical 194 is only 5W. They'll give you a bit of a brightness boost, but they're definitely not cheap at $5 each.

              https://www.hondapartsunlimited.com/...dXRvbWF0aWM%3D

              Like evo77 said, there's really no way to know for sure how any bulb will work in a particular housing without using trial and error. I believe that this is definitely one of the cases where a custom LED retrofit may be the only way to go. These older-style housings with diffusers and/or fluted lenses just aren't compatible with anything other than the incandescent light sources they were designed around.

              Comment


              • #8
                Iíve fit 921 incans and 921-spec PnP LEDs in originally 194 equipped lamps without modifications
                Originally posted by HK45
                I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post

                  Very few LED bulbs are designed with any sort of thought behind the optical design. Most Chinese manufacturers just cram as many high powered LEDs around a tower like shape and fool people with clever marketing images and bogus technical info.

                  Some are designed with a front facing LED array with a tiny projector lens, which is probably what your referring to when you talk about seeing two dots.
                  Yeah exactly this. It looks like there are a few that attempt to align the emitters with the filament or at least try to use the reflector.

                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  Not necessarily. Due to the optical design of the reflector, perhaps, in order to conform to the regulatory lighting standard the end result is the outer appearance of more intensity in the center with less at the sides. Think of it like this -- lets say you had a dial that you could crank up the intensity to your original incan bulbs. Crank the dial up about 100%. Would the the entire lamp now be filled up or would there still be a contrast with the center being brighter than the sides? Or maybe you wouldn't be able to really tell since there would be a intense hotspot covering that entire area.
                  Yeah I get what your saying, its more of a hope that this would be true:
                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  wouldn't be able to really tell since there would be a intense hotspot covering that entire area.

                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  What are all the different LED bulbs that these people have tried? Maybe they have all been those cheap amazon/ebay crap bulbs.
                  No idea really but I would be really shocked if they weren't cheap crap bulbs.


                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  The *naked eye* test is the least reliable way to determine bulb performance. Sure we can use it as a gauge however it is by no means a best way to figure out if its better. The lighting standard requires specific intensity levels at specific angles. These angles fall into zones. The outer zones require less intensity than the center zones but still require a minimum intensity. If your eyes were located in a zone, for example, that doesn't require the intensity at a certain brightness then you could mistakenly assume that the bulb is not brighter. Or your eyes may be located in the central zone, which requires the highest intensity and assume that the LED is brighter but in fact it is not. See this thread HERE for a perfect example.

                  All I'm saying is that your eyes can and will deceive you because they are subjective impressions. Only testing with equipment can truly say whether or not a bulb is performing better with objective results. I can assure you there are thousands of people who buy these LED bulbs and swear on their life that they are truly brighter than stock because they can *see* the difference with their own eyes but in fact they are NOT actually better.
                  I think what I considered an eye test was anything other then using a lux meter. I do agree staring at the bulb/lens or taking pictures facing it isn't a good test. I mean it helps to know if it's not just a narrow beam like a lot of the junk LEDs have been over the year but it barely proves that. Honestly I'm not sure where the idea of looking at the bulb was a good idea. We don't do that with headlights so why would it work with signal lights?

                  Like the link you provided and in a few other places I've see, looking at the beam pattern on the wall gives a much better idea. Now I understand it's hard/impossible to measure intensity properly with your eye it does help to know when and if you are being fooled. A good example is that thread. To me it's obvious why the ZEVO seems brighter, it's a "whiter" light. Just like we know the whiter HID/LED/halogen headlight bulbs that are whiter look brighter but aren't necessary, and often not, brighter.

                  Thanks for the link, another good read. Everything I've learned is from this site and I'm so glad to actually learn properly.

                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  Every lamp responds differently to certain LED bulbs. There is no one bulb that works best in all cases. Sometimes you just have to try and test out a bunch to see which works best. That is the only real method to finding the *best* for your specific application.
                  Yeah it looks like that is true unfortunately. Would be nice to not have to buy a bunch of bulbs to try and find an acceptable one. It would also be nice to be able to suggest a LED to friends and know it will have a good result. But the hope here was to give me a good starting point and rule out what is known to not work at all. That will help narrow it down to which ones to buy and test.

                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  Are those replacements genuine factory OEM lamps or aftermarket? Aftermarkets typically never have the same photometric performance as the original. All they do is copy a mold and make it appear to be the same. But the reflector segments require particular care to the optical design to ensure that it meets all the photometric requirements. Shine each headlamp turn signal against a wall at close proximity (maybe 6 feet) and compare both light patterns. Which one looks better and more intense in the middle zone?
                  The replacements are aftermarket. But I looked at a 100% stock OEM truck with the same lights (just happened to know someone with one) and the signal lights are basically invisible during the day. I would be willing to bet not only would both look the same against a wall but they both would look just fine output wise and completely pass photometric requirements. That's not the point though, the design flaw is with a clear lense and such a huge reflector, any reasonable amount of sunlight that hits that reflector blows out the bulb. And with the reflector being that large and that clear lens, it catches the sunlight very easily.

                  Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                  Start off with these two first. See what kind of performance you get.
                  Surprisingly the Sylvania ZEVO are actually available locally for me. (There is a lot less stuff available easily and reasonably priced in Canada, amazon is basically a waste of time up here) So that will make them easy to pick up. The Philips not so much.

                  Originally posted by Eddie
                  Those 194 reflectors look pretty large, you might want to try a incandescent 921 bulb first, 21 candlepower vs a 194 @ 2 candlepower. Same wedge base and appears the socket openings look large enough to clear the 921's larger body.
                  Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure I like the idea of a higher powered incandescent, these are old and have a lot of plastic close to the bulbs. And I'm worried the brighter incandescent will wash out a bit and look less red, in this case I would like a deep rich red and since it's just vanity I don't have to worry about losing output to colour.


                  Originally posted by th23
                  The thing about this particular type of tail light design is that the lens ultimately determines the output pattern, diffusing the light from the incandescent filament. Those dull, frosted silver reflector bowls probably don't do much more than provide some "fill" light to make the output more uniform towards the outer edges of the lenses. Unfortunately, that means that any rear-firing LED bulbs (like the Sylvania ZEVO or Philips Vision) will not be bright enough to make use of those dull reflectors, and forward-firing bulbs would create hot spots on the lens while leaving the surrounding areas dark or very dim.
                  Well thankfully those aren't my reflectors, I think those might be "restored" reflectors. I don't remember how mine look but they are likely much better.

                  Originally posted by th23
                  Something like the VLEDS V6 Triton MAY work in this type of housing since it fires light in all directions, forward and rearward. However, you would need 4 sets for just the brake lights and turn signals alone which would cost quite a lot. I still feel that they would create the hot spot effect though, because even in modern housings where the reflector bowl is solely responsible for forming the output pattern, the Triton's large bulb globe tends to overpower the light filling the reflector. That said, since the Triton's bulb globe is so much larger than an incandescent filament, the diffuser may be able to spread the light enough that the hot spot effect isn't too severe.
                  Yeah unfortunately due to cost I can't even consider the triton's. I would be interesting to see how they would react purely for curiosity but even if they did perform well, I couldn't justify the $690CAD cost, that's kind of insane.

                  Originally posted by th23
                  For the inner 'Pontiac' lights, I would honestly just leave those bulbs stock since LED bulbs would provide no real benefit. If you just want them to be brighter, you can always install a more powerful incandescent bulb. I doubt a 921 would fit through the bulb opening, but there does exist a more powerful version of 194/W5W bulb. It's called a 175 and it's typically an OEM bulb used for dome lights and such (and occasionally in high-mount stop lights in older cars). My Accord uses them in the interior from the factory, and they're 8W while your typical 194 is only 5W. They'll give you a bit of a brightness boost, but they're definitely not cheap at $5 each.

                  https://www.hondapartsunlimited.com/...dXRvbWF0aWM%3D
                  These are likely what you are talking about, no idea though as he doesn't list what they are.

                  Originally posted by th23
                  Like evo77 said, there's really no way to know for sure how any bulb will work in a particular housing without using trial and error. I believe that this is definitely one of the cases where a custom LED retrofit may be the only way to go. These older-style housings with diffusers and/or fluted lenses just aren't compatible with anything other than the incandescent light sources they were designed around.
                  There are some people making LED panels, never seen one in person but either way I hate the look of al the dots off LED lights, I like a smooth even light. If no bulb exists then so be it and I'll stick with the incandescent. They've been in there for over 30 years now so I'm no rush in replacing them. And if the current LEDs aren't an improvement I'll wait a bit and try again in the future.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While browsing I found the following bulbs that look interesting or look similar to other known bulbs.

                    The links below are primarily for amber but most are available in red also

                    Since the Sylvania ZEVO 1157R where suggested I looked for similar types (back firing)

                    These look like a Philips X-treme AFspec clone, using 4 XB-D Chips (looking for a link to T20)

                    These use 6 Cree XB-D, Red version


                    Since the Philips xtreme vision where suggested I looked for similar types (side firing)

                    Alla use Cree XB-D

                    Short no external heat sink side firing 8 Cree XBD Similar to the Alla, (need to find 1157 link)


                    Tower type, due to "triton killers"

                    Triton killers (Black PCB)

                    Similar to triton killers but more emitters on the side and square, 60 emitters

                    Square "triton killers" Newer 3030 apparently, iJDM 48 emitters

                    I haven't seethis one before. I like that it has an external heat sink.
                    60 Amber 3030 emitters


                    Other style

                    Haven't seen much talk about this style, Flying saucer style? Looks gimmicky but what they are trying to do seems like a good idea but not sure how effective reflecting off the center would work. They are also using 3030 emitters, 10 of them. (need 1157 link)
                    Last edited by bnevets27; January 26th, 2019, 05:36 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bnevets27 View Post

                      Well thankfully those aren't my reflectors, I think those might be "restored" reflectors. I don't remember how mine look but they are likely much better.
                      Well that's good haha. Those look pretty bad, and their light output is probably miserable. That said, housings that use diffusers and fluted lenses typically don't play nice with LED bulbs, especially those designed to fire directly into the reflector. They're nothing like the housings that you find on cars like my Accord that have complex reflector designs that can work well with most rear-firing LED bulbs (like the Red ZEVO's I tested in the thread that evo77 linked).

                      Here's the Amber version of the rear-firing ZEVO in a Volvo with a fluted-lens-style turn signal housing:

                      https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-r...SIN=B01A77TQ2S

                      It's not pretty. Ignoring the fact that the Amber ZEVO suffers from weak output to begin with, the light output pattern in that housing is downright terrible. In a modern reflector housing with a clear lens (like my Accord has), the output pattern is much closer to that of the stock incandescent bulbs, only much weaker (in the case of the Amber ZEVO).

                      Originally posted by bnevets27

                      Yeah unfortunately due to cost I can't even consider the triton's. I would be interesting to see how they would react purely for curiosity but even if they did perform well, I couldn't justify the $690CAD cost, that's kind of insane.
                      It is insane that they'd cost that much just to do the brake lights and turn signals. Yikes. I got lucky when I bought mine for $80/pair last year, but that's still not cheap (especially when you need 4 pairs!).

                      Originally posted by bnevets27

                      These are likely what you are talking about, no idea though as he doesn't list what they are.
                      It looks like he's selling the 921 bulbs that Eddie mentioned earlier. You can tell by their size, as they're much larger than a 194. The 175's I mentioned are the same exact size as a 194. I'm not sure I'd use the 921's as they're 16W and would make the 'PONTIAC' look like an always-on brake light. Not only that, but I'd worry about the extra heat causing issues. The 175's are only 8W, and my car uses them in the interior lighting in close proximity with plastic lenses (without any melting issues). I haven't compared their brightness directly with a 194/W5W, but they supposedly produce nearly double the lumens of the 194's. They should make the 'PONTIAC' somewhat brighter without washing out the color or creating hot spots (like those LED's in the video you linked earlier in the thread).


                      Originally posted by bnevets27

                      There are some people making LED panels, never seen one in person but either way I hate the look of al the dots off LED lights, I like a smooth even light. If no bulb exists then so be it and I'll stick with the incandescent. They've been in there for over 30 years now so I'm no rush in replacing them. And if the current LEDs aren't an improvement I'll wait a bit and try again in the future.
                      I understand not liking the whole "dot-matrix" aesthetic of LED panels. On the bright side, you can use a diffuser to smooth out the look. It just takes the right spacing between the LED panels and the lens+diffuser, and the "dots" should disappear.

                      Check out this thread:

                      https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...ight-make-over

                      I'm sure something like this could be done for the Fiero's tail lights, though it would be a ton of work!



                      Originally posted by bnevets27 View Post
                      While browsing I found the following bulbs that look interesting or look similar to other known bulbs.

                      The links below are primarily for amber but most are available in red also

                      Since the Sylvania ZEVO 1157R where suggested I looked for similar types (back firing)

                      These look like a Philips X-treme AFspec clone, using 4 XB-D Chips (looking for a link to T20)

                      These use 6 Cree XB-D, Red version


                      Since the Philips xtreme vision where suggested I looked for similar types (side firing)

                      Alla use Cree XB-D

                      Short no external heat sink side firing 8 Cree XBD Similar to the Alla, (need to find 1157 link)


                      Tower type, due to "triton killers"

                      Triton killers (Black PCB)

                      Similar to triton killers but more emitters on the side and square, 60 emitters

                      Square "triton killers" Newer 3030 apparently, iJDM 48 emitters

                      I haven't seethis one before. I like that it has an external heat sink.
                      60 Amber 3030 emitters


                      Other style

                      Haven't seen much talk about this style, Flying saucer style? Looks gimmicky but what they are trying to do seems like a good idea but not sure how effective reflecting off the center would work. They are also using 3030 emitters, 10 of them. (need 1157 link)
                      Hmmm...well there's no real way of knowing if any of those would work well in your housings without testing them out yourself.

                      I hate to say it, but none of them look very promising. The ZEVO-style bulbs will create a dark spot in the lens right over where the bulb sits, as will the Philips-style bulbs that you linked. The tower bulbs might not fill the reflector well enough, and would probably end up looking like those GTR Lighting bulbs in that video you posted at the beginning of the thread. Same with the flying saucer-style bulbs, which also have the dreaded projector lens on the end like the GTR's.

                      You might be better off just keeping the stock bulbs for the turn signals and brake lights, and just skip straight to a custom retrofit in the future. The 'PONTIAC' lights are pretty weak though, even compared to just the tail lights. At the very least, I would try the brighter bulbs that I mentioned before. It's unfortunate that they're so hard to come by and that they aren't sold in stores (at least I don't think they are). If you have a Honda dealer nearby, you could get them from their parts department. Maybe just buy one and test it out, and if you like it, go back and buy the rest.

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                      • #12
                        Well thankfully the Alla lights I bought for my subaru also fit into these lights to bench test. They work surprisingly good. Unfortunately I didn't have any spare sockets to compare with stock bulbs and I haven't had a lot of experience with other bulbs to compare. I have some sockets and "triton" killers on their way so I can do some comparisons.







                        I had a hard time getting a good picture of the output on the wall as well as of the colour etc. These were also being power with a power supply that didn't have enough power so they were dimmer then they should be. I later realized that when hooking them up to a car battery. The ambers also worked shockingly well in the red brake light location also, but was really hard to get a picture of. I did take some lumen numbers with my phone but with nothing to compare to they didn't mean much.

                        As you can see I also have some cross hatching added that isn't there from stock. I personally like it. I'm impressed how well it filled out the lens. There was a bit of a hot spot on one of the two reflectors but it looks as if the corner reflector isn't designed well to actually through light. Again I'll have to see with a comparison to stock bulbs.

                        I also tested out these "Auxito" clones


                        They worked pretty good. And will definately be good enough. These do look to perform a better is a smaller reflector though.

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                        • #13
                          Nice to see more people testing these "weird" design bulbs. Did you play around with bulb rotation at all, might help with that dark area at the corner.
                          Originally posted by HK45
                          I don't even look to see what Eddie writes anymore. I'm too busy staring at his avatar.

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                          • #14
                            I did try a bit of bulb rotation. I set them both up straight up and down like this -> | Figuring that would match the filament the best. For the inner lens (not the corner) it looks like that's the best position, turning it flat --- makes a dark spots on the sides. The corner lense it seemed it didn't make as much of a difference but up and down | still gave the best results. I'll play a bit more when I get another pair, the trition killers and a socket for stock bulbs.

                            Would be nice if they tweak the design a bit. Allow the length to be adjustable. Remove the tip/dome as it doesn't really do anything, though I'm not sure if its blocking any light. If it doesn't block light, then its fine to keep to help with heat sinking. Make the separation between the two LED boards thinner.

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