Thursday, November 15, 2018

More LED Madness - Rear Lamp LEDs, Part 3

OK OK so my OCD got to me...despite the Phillips LEDs being significantly brighter as well as instantaneous in lighting up, their design - with those wide fins - results in dark vertical shadows that of course bother me.

So, it was back to searching Rakuten for alternatives.  Unfortunately,  I could not find another well known brand name manufacturer that sold an LED of the right size and spec, and equal or greater brightness.  I did, however, find an online store called "Pika-Q" that specializes in automotive LEDs.

Despite the silly name, not only did they have an S25/1157 (P21/5W) product claiming 200 lumens of brightness, they offer an 18 month warranty as well.
Just in case someone at Nissan asks me for LED advice, I got these which fit the NV200 Nissan van.
As the design shows, not only are these fin-less, but also shoot a red beam directly backwards through a lens, using Chip on Board (COB) format, with the underlying circuit board white colored (thus Pika-Q calls them "White COB").


Here are the specs:
200 lumens when braking, 30 lumens tail light. Power consumption of 6.0W and 0.8W respectively. 
So I went ahead and ordered one pair to test out. My thinking was, while there might be other LED bulbs that claim to be even brighter, I would be happy if these worked out by being just as bright as the Phillips, so long as the dark spots were gone.

A few days later, they sent me a pair of these LEDs in a nice flat box with some other goodies (free black rubber work gloves... I'll post a photo later) and so I went out and immediately fitted them.

Immediately, I could see that the dreaded black vertical lines were gone (left lamp below):
Philips bulb on the right... and does it look slightly more orange?
And taking a close look, the colors seemed a bit different.  In order to confirm this, I took this next photo:
Pika-Q is definitely redder, whilst the Philips has a bit of an orangish tinge
I took some video too. This first one, I wanted to make sure both the Philips and the Pika-Q lit up at the same time.  Unfortunately it's not very well focused, but check out the two Philips LED bulbs on the left, and the Pika-Q LED bulbs on the right...

Actually, the fuzziness helps make the vertical lines on the left side stand out more...

This one is better:

And further, maybe you can tell the color is different?

Here are two photos to show the differences:

Philips:

Pika-Q.

Anyway, based on this result, I went ahead and ordered another pair of these red LEDs from Pika-Q, to complete the other side.  But, I took advantage of this timing and ordered a couple of extra items, which I will feature in my next post.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More LED Madness - Rear Lamp LEDs, Part 2

With my mind made up to order the Phillips red LED bulbs for the rear parking/brake lamps, I went ahead and placed my order with Rakuten, and then a few days later:
Because I wasn't sure if this was going to work, given the cost (around 6000 yen),
I only ordered one box containing one pair.  If this works, I will order another pair.

First thing I did was to measure the width to ensure it would fit.


Then it was off to the garage to install on the car.
So after installing, the increase in brightness was immediately apparent. I was definitely going to switch to these!
Right side has the LED bulb.
You can see that the left lamp, which is the standard incandescent, looks a bit dimmer, and a bit more reddish, than the the brighter LED on the right lamp. Although - is it my imagination - the LED side actually appears more orange than red??

Here are some videos to demonstrate the difference between the LED bulbs (on the left) vs the incandescent bulbs (on the right).

First, brake lights only - note how the LED on the left lights up a few milliseconds before the standard incandescent bulb on the right.

More interesting actually is how the right side lamp "fades out" - which I actually think is very cool! (Should I keep the standard incandescent bulb??)

But, with the brake lamps coming on a few milliseconds faster, that means a quicker reaction by the car behind me, thus resulting in a lowered chance of being rear ended, right?
At 100km/h, the car behind will react 0.3 seconds slower, for a 9 meter difference, if you brake with incandescent bulbs compared to the LED bulbs (because your car will have moved 9 meters between your stepping on the brake pedal and the rear lamps lighting up)
Second, the parking lights only. Again see how the LEDs light up faster.



Third, the parking lights on - then braking - so this is how it would look like running at night.


Putting aside the coolness factor of the standard bulb fading out, and of course the safety factor due to the LEDs coming on more quickly - I noticed upon close inspection that the "fins" of the LED bulbs were causing shadows.
With LEDs 
Without LEDs
As you can see above,  it looks like the standard incandescent bulb side also has some vertical lines but they are not as obvious as the LED side... what to do...love the brightness but not so sure about these lines... (and yeah the orangish color bothers me a bit too...)