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Old 12-16-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
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Vdo led upgrade

Has anyone replaced the original incandescent bulbs in their VDO gauges with the VDO upgrade LEDs? If so I'd like to see some pics (in the dark of course). I am thinking either HD white, red or blue. They are kind of spendy and usually not returnable so I'm hoping to avoid buying one of each just to compare.

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Old 12-18-2018, 01:56 PM   #2
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Go with the blue lights. White is much too bright and the red just is obscene.
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:28 AM   #3
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Go with the blue lights. White is much too bright and the red just is obscene.
I was thinking that red would be good for not interfering with night vision but it would take away from the effectivrness of warning lights. If the white is too bright I think it could be dimmed. The blue would be nice as long as the gauges could be easily seen without being too bright.

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Old 12-19-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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I was thinking that red would be good for not interfering with night vision but it would take away from the effectivrness of warning lights. If the white is too bright I think it could be dimmed. The blue would be nice as long as the gauges could be easily seen without being too bright.

Ted
I find red to be the least fatiguing to my eyes at night.
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:24 PM   #5
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Go with the blue lights. White is much too bright and the red just is obscene.
You're obscene... kidding of course...


FWIW, not VDO but...


Also FWIW, the gauges (from Speedhut) came with their own dimmer, but I did just install one of these dimmers for my switches
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:38 PM   #6
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Dimmer will be nice when setup for sure.


Do you think they will effect your vision in that left rearview mirror, creating glare in other words I guess? Time for the dark test, lol


Looks great, nice installation!


John
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:49 PM   #7
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Dimmer will be nice when setup for sure.

Do you think they will effect your vision in that left rearview mirror, creating glare in other words I guess? Time for the dark test, lol
That's a valid concern; not sure, I will provide feedback on my dash thread (eventually...). One of my primary goals was to get the gauges out from under the steering wheel. I did not appreciate the amount of time I had to take my eyes off the road to scan them. There may end up being some unintended consequences moving them up from under that wheel.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:03 PM   #8
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You're obscene... kidding of course...


FWIW, not VDO but...


Also FWIW, the gauges (from Speedhut) came with their own dimmer, but I did just install one of these dimmers for my switches
Those gauges are easy on the eyes! Thanks for the pictures.

Ted
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:24 AM   #9
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Red light at night = MilSpec.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:42 AM   #10
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Red light at night = MilSpec.
Milspec... just like me.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:45 AM   #11
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Those gauges are easy on the eyes! Thanks for the pictures.
Of course I vote for red LEDs, although I have read that LEDS can be somewhat "directional". See the "Should I get white lamp switches or LEDs?" on this FAQ.

And while not free ($29), the dimmer I got for my switches is usable on incandescent or LEDs (not at the same time). Being able to control those LEDs could be really nice.

In fact, that particular dimmer even comes with a diode for wiring to a fan, so I may buy two more to replace the high/low switches for the two 12V chrome fans in my bus, making them variable speed...

I sure wish my dashboard had been in good enough shape where just upgrading the lighting could have been an option...
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:12 PM   #12
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I vote for red too, led's all the way.
Blue is for Bluebirds!

Test the dimmer out on your fans and see if you like it, great idea to have speed control, noise control too.


I think you'll like red lighting. Tried it in my boat but lit the helm a low red glow like Rudolph on his coffee break. Instruments were mostly white but easily readable, maybe even more readable in low light conditions.

You are going to like what you have done, the whole dash rebuild the way it should be done. Very nice work.



John
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:59 PM   #13
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Definitely LEDs, but as a trucker, I found blue lights much less tiring on the eyes. As a GI, I found that red lights really burned into the retinas.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:19 PM   #14
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I found a video comparing the incandescent bulb to a HD white. My gauges are like these and the face is illuminated instead of being backlit.This might make more of a difference in how color effects how well the gauge can be seen. I may just buy the bulbs to see what looks the best with my gauges.

https://youtu.be/vNKV1sg9Bqg

Ted
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:04 AM   #15
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Of course I vote for red LEDs, although I have read that LEDS can be somewhat "directional". See the "Should I get white lamp switches or LEDs?" on this FAQ.
Yup, you're right about LEDs being more directional, or at least less omnidirectional, than incandescent lamps. When I foolishly put LEDs in my gauges and indicators I got less actual illumination than good ol' incan lamps, even after using the "wide" beam LEDs. My blue Retarder light for the Jake brake now only says Tard when I put the Jakes on. It's a good thing I kept all my original incan lamps, because I'm putting them all back - well over a hundred bucks of LEDs will end up in the trash.

New isn't always better. Look before you leap.

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Old 12-21-2018, 05:46 AM   #16
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Yup, you're right about LEDs being more directional, or at least less omnidirectional, than incandescent lamps. When I foolishly put LEDs in my gauges and indicators I got less actual illumination than good ol' incan lamps, even after using the "wide" beam LEDs. My blue Retarder light for the Jake brake now only says Tard when I put the Jakes on. It's a good thing I kept all my original incan lamps, because I'm putting them all back - well over a hundred bucks of LEDs will end up in the trash.

New isn't always better. Look before you leap.

John
Maybe its my eyes, but I still prefer the warm glow of incandescent.
I filled a closet with bulbs when they were phasing em out.
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:53 AM   #17
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Has anyone got any idea what happens when an led light is aimed through a prism? I have neither but wonder if it might diffuse the led and help with a wider illumination area.

If so maybe a deflector could be made over the switch panel for a unique affect.


Thanks


John
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:09 PM   #18
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I filled a closet with bulbs when they were phasing em out.
I'll bet that's not the only "closet filled with light bulbs" at your house...
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:23 PM   #19
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I'll bet that's not the only "closet filled with light bulbs" at your house...
Good one...that makes me smile.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:38 PM   #20
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Has anyone got any idea what happens when an led light is aimed through a prism? I have neither but wonder if it might diffuse the led and help with a wider illumination area.

If so maybe a deflector could be made over the switch panel for a unique affect.


Thanks


John
The VDO LEDs appear to have reflectors/diffusers built into the top of the bulb.

Ted
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