SMD/LED replacements for 1157 bulbs

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SMD/LED replacements for 1157 bulbs

Post by cgrey8 »

A while back, I replaced my Ranger's stock red plastic brake light enclosures with clear-plastic translucent plastic enclosures. They originally came with plastic red glued-in inserts that most people bust out so they can run them perfectly clear. I left those in place until one side came unglued and was rolling around in the bottom of the enclosure. So I took some needle nose pliers and started crunching it up to get it out. And I purposely knocked the other side out and did the same.

But it's a legal requirement to have red brake lights. So I went to AutoZone and found these rubber covers to go over the 1157 clear bulb. The rubber, surprisingly, is up for the task. But the rubber requires some "help" getting onto the bulb so I put a coat of grease on the bulb so the cover would go on. Over time, the heat of the bulb burned the grease and turned the inside of the rubber black so the bulb looked burned out.

I went back up to AutoZone and they don't appear to sell those rubber red covers anymore, nor do they sell the red-glass incandescent 1157 bulbs either (they do sell the amber and blue glass).

So instead I bought some overpriced red LED (standard package) replacements for $ absolute ripoff price compared to what you can get them for off eBay.
They work, but they don't shine hardly any light backwards to reflect against the backside of the enclosure the way a traditional incandescent bulb would. So I got to looking on eBay and there are LOTS of options ranging from incandescent red glass to red SMDs.

Here's an interesting one I found:
This one shines forward as well as out to the sides to get some backlight reflection.

And a 5-star spider:
This one will give an obvious 5-star view from the face, but each tine also has SMDs on the backside to shine light directly backwards into the case so you'll get light all around.

I'm just curious if anybody else have used these. If you don't mind waiting 3 weeks for these to get delivered from China, the price is right on these to even just try them. I'm just curious if anybody's used these to say whether they are worth trying or not.
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89 Ranger Supercab, 331, ported GT40p heads w/1.6RRs, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, ported Explorer lower, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, A9L w/Moates QuarterHorse, Innovate LC-1, James Duff traction bars, iDelta DC Fan controller

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Re: SMD/LED replacements for 1157 bulbs

Post by Chris »

While I haven't "used" them, I do have the second ones installed on all four corners. The truck still isn't running so I can't comment on their appearance. As im sure you already know, don't forget about your blinker. Since LEDs draw less current than incandessant bulb, the stock blinker might not function. You'll either need to use a resister in your blinder circuit or, I believe, there's an aftermarket blinker that'll allow them to function correctly.
1990 Ranger 302- E303 cam, Comp Gold RR, GT40 Intake, MSD 6AL, Hooker SuperComp long tubes; 4R70W- shift kit, other internal mods; 8.8" 3.73 Posi-Trac, 31 spline axles.

Early production 1965 Coupe- June 16, 1964, Guardsman Blue, D code 289 4V, T-10 4 Speed-- All original.

1965 Coupe, A code 289, T10 4 Speed, Originally Rangoon Red...Will be again someday-- currently undergoing restoration.
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