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LED OBC backlights

Posted by John Yust 
February 27, 2010 03:00PM
Have any of you all done the LED conversion like this?

[www.iprimus.ca]

I'm wondering how this would look with white LED's. The instructions say to use orange, but I don't see why plain white wouldn't be more like original. The original bulbs were just plain white. I replaced my bulbs once with white bulbs and they looked fine, but died already. Is a white LED too bright maybe?

BTW, that's a good one to add to the tech links collection.

Thanks,
John
February 27, 2010 03:57PM
I did this conversion with white LEDs, and it was fine. Perhaps White is too bright in some situations, but personally I thought it was perfect.
My one disclaimer is that I have an aftermarket stereo with a red backlight. The stereo is a couple notches brighter than the rest of the dash lights in the car, so that is what my OBC is competing with. I suppose white LEDs could appear overly bright if you had a stock stereo.

The biggest hassle for me was just getting the lightbar out smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2010 04:01PM by Earendil.
February 27, 2010 08:55PM
Quote
John Yust
Have any of you all done the LED conversion like this?

[www.iprimus.ca]

I'm wondering how this would look with white LED's. The instructions say to use orange, but I don't see why plain white wouldn't be more like original. The original bulbs were just plain white. I replaced my bulbs once with white bulbs and they looked fine, but died already. Is a white LED too bright maybe?

BTW, that's a good one to add to the tech links collection.

Thanks,
John

Hi John,

You can use the white/clear LEDs. I did and it works perfectly. The reason is that there is an orenge/amber filter that goes between the LED and the display.

I have to tell you this is not only an excellent and permanent fix to the baacklighting issue but the LEDs also produce much improved contrast over the original incandescent bulbs smiling smiley

Go for it thumbs up
February 28, 2010 07:06AM
The OBC display in my '91 died a couple weeks ago, so I went and ordered the LEDs and resistors to do the conversion. The day after the parts arrived, the OBC display started working again.smiling smiley Is my car trying to tell me something? Oh well, at least I have the parts now for when it dies again.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
March 01, 2010 10:01PM
Quote
Dave_G
The OBC display in my '91 died a couple weeks ago, so I went and ordered the LEDs and resistors to do the conversion. The day after the parts arrived, the OBC display started working again.smiling smiley Is my car trying to tell me something? Oh well, at least I have the parts now for when it dies again.

Yes Dave, your car just gave you a warning of things to come, they'll do that sometimes thumbs up I love these cars smileys with beer
March 01, 2010 10:09PM
Quote
rkj
Quote
Dave_G
The OBC display in my '91 died a couple weeks ago, so I went and ordered the LEDs and resistors to do the conversion. The day after the parts arrived, the OBC display started working again.smiling smiley Is my car trying to tell me something? Oh well, at least I have the parts now for when it dies again.

Yes Dave, your car just gave you a warning of things to come, they'll do that sometimes thumbs up I love these cars smileys with beer

Of course the trick is to know what she is trying to warn you of, so that you aren't on the side of the road saying "So that's what that means!".
I believe this applies to more than just cars...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

March 07, 2010 06:21PM
I got my LED's in today and they look good. Of course, when I went to buy the parts listed in the article I found that you can't buy 390 ohm resistors at Radio Shack any more, so I bought 330 ohm instead. If I've done my calculating right, that means I'm sending 3.75 volts to each LED. The LED package listed them as 3.3v nominal, 3.6v max., so I guess we'll see how long they last with a little extra voltage. I'm sure I could have ordered 390 ohm resistors somewhere, but I just couldn't stand the thought of paying $5.00 shipping to get a resistor that would probably cost 25 cents.

John
March 07, 2010 07:23PM
Quote
John Yust
I got my LED's in today and they look good. Of course, when I went to buy the parts listed in the article I found that you can't buy 390 ohm resistors at Radio Shack any more, so I bought 330 ohm instead. If I've done my calculating right, that means I'm sending 3.75 volts to each LED. The LED package listed them as 3.3v nominal, 3.6v max., so I guess we'll see how long they last with a little extra voltage. I'm sure I could have ordered 390 ohm resistors somewhere, but I just couldn't stand the thought of paying $5.00 shipping to get a resistor that would probably cost 25 cents.

John

I used 330 ohm resistors as well since I didn't have the 390s available in my junk parts box. I did have a pair of slightly higher rated LEDs given to me but I suspect yours will last a long time just the same smiling smiley
April 19, 2012 12:26AM
Quote
John Yust
Have any of you all done the LED conversion like this?



I'm wondering how this would look with white LED's. The instructions say to use orange, led strip lighting
led strip lighting outdoor
12v led light bars
but I don't see why plain white wouldn't be more like original. The original bulbs were just plain white. I replaced my bulbs once with white bulbs and they looked fine, but died already. Is a white LED too bright maybe?

BTW, that's a good one to add to the tech links collection.

Thanks,
John
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