Instrument lighting

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peterc
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Instrument lighting

Post by peterc » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:22 pm

Following the success of the LED rear lights and the significantly brighter / safer light output got me thinking about my rather poor instrument lighting. I appreciate that they are old design gauges but they ought to be able to be read with some ease.
Let's face it the speedo is rather an important dial to be able to read at a brief glance.

A recent advert in my motor mag was offering Classic Car lighting upgrades.
Bettercarlighting.co.uk covers all manner of bulb types but of immediate interest is their page 5 with the LED equivalent of the type 501 bulb that is the wedge push in variety that fits my instruments.

Has anyone tried any improved light source for other lights e.g. the instruments. If the LED's are significantly brighter inside the gauges then of course they might even need a dimmer!
Peter C

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clive
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by clive » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:39 pm

Bill T has upgraded his instruments with LEDs. I haven't seen them at night but he certainly seemed impressed.
Cheers, Clive.

(If I'm not here I'm in my workshop or on the golf course!)

monster7
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by monster7 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:45 pm

Hy Peter,
I just finished my new dash and i changed all bulps to led's. I went with the "white" ones. The instruments are now much better readable.
Kind regards, Ronald

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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by Paul Blore » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:24 pm

Hi Ronald,

Welcome to the forum.

Paul

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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by IainS » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:57 am

I noticed I had differ colour temperatures across my Smiths instruments which upsets my ocd. My car is now in the paint shop and the dash is my winter project. I planned to at least get consistent colour temperature across all gauges and will certainly research LED's

Iain

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Roger King
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by Roger King » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:35 am

Why stop at LEDs? I'd go the full digital:

https://www.aimshop.com/products/aim-mx ... 7QodptcCyw

IainS
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by IainS » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:52 pm

Roger presumably you're suggesting we should use incandescent bulbs as per original...? No problem with this providing they look the same, or is a mishmash of lighting effects originality too? :wink:

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Roger King
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by Roger King » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:18 pm

I think we should each use whatever we want to use! The beauty of this club is that we all come from different directions.
I've tried LEDs in my Hawk, and personally didn't like them - the light was too harsh and, to my mind, detracted from the nice 'warm' appearance of the traditional dash lighting. I also found that the far more directional light from LEDs did not work well with old Lucas instruments, as the light couldn't radiate to where it was really needed. This was worst with the ammeter which takes its light from the external bulbholder attached to the fuel gauge.

And yes, a wide variation in how well each instrument was illuminated would be typical of the time, especially in a Cobra, for the reason implied above with the ammeter. Speaking very personally I find that part of the charm.

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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by peterc » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:46 pm

Thanks for the comments guys.
Whilst I do want the dash to maintain its period look ( certainly not digital) I would like the illumination to be a tad better.

I had up till last night assumed that all the bulbs were 5w. Wrong!!
The first three I have pulled out are only 2.2w.
I have now fitted two 5w items I had in stock and indeed they are better but I may well buy a single LED as a tester bearing in mind Roger's comment of the lighting being too stark. All my instruments are internally lit and the LED's omit their light sideways which should help.

Another thought is to go for green which might not be so intense. I used green lighting in a rally car a few decades ago and found it easy on the eyes but still easily read. I think older aircraft used green cockpit lighting.

Peter C

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clive
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Re: Instrument lighting

Post by clive » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:50 pm

All older aircraft I have flown didn't have instrument lighting, but a red cockpit light which illuminated the instruments. Red light doesn't affect night vision as much as white light and doesn't reflect on windscrenns.
Cheers, Clive.

(If I'm not here I'm in my workshop or on the golf course!)

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