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 Post subject: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:24 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 5000
Location: southern Germany
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
I've been thinking about this a long time now and have finally decided to follow the guys who have already done this.

The last time I thought about converting a dashboard to LEDs is more than 10 years ago and back then the choice was limited. It certainly required some soldering and the LEDs had a very directional and not the brightest light output.
There has been quite a development since then :) The choice is big from LEDs in different sizes and qualities, round, square, concave to SMD LEDs with one, two or three dies ... there are 1210, 5050, 1206 etc LEDs and it is confusing.

While standard bulbs are marked in watts the brightness of an LED is specified in lumen or sometimes even candela which makes it difficult to compare.

According to an online conversion calculator 1,2W corresponds to 11lm, 3W to 27lm, 5W to 45lm.

A simple standard LED would have about 2lm which converts to only ca 0,3W.

I`ve decided to go with 5050 SMD LEDs which seem to be the largest type SMD LED. With 20lm one single 5050 SMD LED is a lot brighter than a standard LED and also brighter than a 1,2W bulb.
I got single LEDs for the warning lights and lamps with five 5050 LEDs for the dashboard illumination. (These have around 40lm output. If I`m not mistaking the original bulbs are 2W)
I`ve got LEDs with B8.5d sockets for the warning lights which are not the correct socket as you can see on the pictures below. The correct socket must be B8.7d. :?

Image
Image

I only find LEDs with B8.7d sockets in very few colours so I`ll be returning the purchased ones and get 5050 SMD LEDs (type T5) to fit in the original sockets.

Image

There`s a larger colour choice here and I`d like the LEDs to be in the same colour as the warning lights instead of replacing them all with white ones which would be a little cheaper and work as well. (The colour might be a little more intense if getting the LEDs matching the warning light colour, that`s about it)
The LEDs to fit in the original dashboard illumination bulb sockets are type T10. I`ve got them in white, red and blue just for testing.

Image

Specs like 5000-6000K only describe the colour temperature and not the brightness. i.e. a white 6000K LED would have a cold white/blueish light while one with 3000K would have a more orange/yellowish light. This is not really that relevant for small LEDs.

The dashboard needs to be stripped carefully as the clips of the clear dashboard cover are brittle and break easily.
Removing the rpm dial is just the two screws of the angle drive. To get the speedometer out the cable of the milage resetter needs to be removed. There`s a miniature screw where it connects to the speedometer.
Better do this work inhouse on a clean table and on a soft towel just to prevent anything to fall down bounce off the table and disappear forever on the garage floor.

Below the dials there`s a white cover on each side which should create an indirect illumination.

Image
Image

On one side it`s held by a screw, the other side is glued. :banghead:
Below it there`s a red plastic dome which gives the dashboard illumination its colour. The plastic is rather thick and I guess this reduces the brightness of whatever lamp is below it.

Image
Image

I decided to remove the red domes but keep the white covers to prevent to get a large bright spot on the upper part of the dials.

First testing

Left side standard bulb (W4W/W5W - can´t say if it`s the original 2W bulb) with red dome, right side LED with red dome removed.

darkened room (no flash used)

bulb left - white LED right
Image

only bulb
Image

only white LED (left bulb removed)
Image

Also with the white plastic covers in place the upper part is still brighter than the rest.

now both red domes removed, white covers still on. LEDs on both sides
Image

white LEDs
Image

red LEDs
Image

blue LEDs
Image

in the dark

white LEDs
Image

red LEDs
Image

blue LEDs
Image

from a distance

white
Image

red
Image

blue
Image

Image

To even the illumination I've got myself 2 sample sheets of self adhesive chrome foil which I will lay out inside the dashboard to see if it makes a difference. The foil is actually to wrap cars or car parts and being a sample I got them for 1 Euro ea. Pictures will follow.
Spraying the instrument panel with chrome paint is imo not reasonable as you`ll have to primer the white plastic first. That`s not worth the effort and afterall I`m just playing around. :truck:

I`ve been discussing this with Derek and Nick offline who I thank for their input.
Nick is probably trying something different and I`m looking forward to see his results.

This is a long text for such a simple topic :mrgreen:

G.


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:05 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 5000
Location: southern Germany
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
to add something. Replacing the original 2W bulbs with 5W is no option as this could melt the plastic around over time.
The LEDs chosen shouldn`t be too bright as you wouldn`t want the dashboard to blind you or distract you from the road. :)
At last, if an LED doesn`t light up rotate it by 180°.


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:00 am
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Location: Chicago-NW Suburb
model: 750 Paso
year: 1988
Excellent!

Did you try a green/red theme simulating the flags colors?


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:18 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 5000
Location: southern Germany
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
why would I want to imitate the mexican flag ? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:54 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Location: Hilltown,Pennsylvania
model: 906 Paso
year: 1990
recently just did they same including stop and turnsignals. Looks good in the garage can't wait for spring to give them a roadtest

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:48 am
Posts: 258
Location: Perth, West. Australia
model: 906 Paso
year: 1989
Looks mint, I might do the same in blue :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:14 pm
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Location: Melbourne Australia
model: other
year: 1995
Nice work! :thumbup:
The blue looks modern and sharp, but the red and orange look classic. Which one do you prefer?

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:12 am
Posts: 68
Location: DePere, WI USA
model: 750 Paso
year: 1988
Very cool! I like the blue!


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:42 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Location: southern Germany
model: 750 Paso
year: 1987
koko, I prefer the result with the white and red LEDs to the blue ones. The red is intense and I have red instruments in my Audi which I like but the white LEDs make a better contrast just look at the milage counter on the pictures on top.

white LED left vs. red LED on the right
Image

That clear dasboard cover on the pictures is old and dirty and with light scratches which is what causes the spots and some of the glare. So in reality things look a little better.

Lane, I`d send you my blue ones but they are so cheap ...
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2x-T10-5050- ... 3a858c020c
(you could try the pink ones :))

Got the chrome foil today so now I will strip the new dashboard which is on the bike.

higgy, are LEDs for lights and turn signals legal in the US ? In most countries around here they aren`t.


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:49 pm 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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model: 907 I.E.
year: 1994
paso750 wrote:
higgy, are LEDs for lights and turn signals legal in the US ? In most countries around here they aren`t.

That's a strange one. Many cars in the UK now have LED lights and indicators as standard, and the front indicators on my MTS1200 are LEDs (so are the rear ones one now :wink: ) As far as I know that is the situation EU wide.

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:03 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Location: Hilltown,Pennsylvania
model: 906 Paso
year: 1990
standard DOT approved truck lights are mostly leds these days and have been for years

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:42 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Location: southern Germany
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year: 1987
Derek, there was a misunderstanding. Of course LED lights from original manufacturers are legal as LEDs, reflectors and lenses were designed and engineered to work together at best performance and then the whole light is tested and officially approved.

It`s a different story if you put LED bulbs from China in your lights which were made for filament lamps.
Light range, scattering angle & light dispersion will not be the same which is why doing this in Germany and also the UK is not legal. Don`t know about the US or other countries.

Just look how complex an Audi R8 headlight is


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:28 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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Location: Hilltown,Pennsylvania
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The only difference I can see as far as turn signals go is the light is brighter and the pulse is cleaner. They are after all still behind the lense cover. The truck lights that are legal have a clear lens as in no diffuser of different colors and you can see each individual led. Whose going to know ?

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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:38 am 
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Location: Gympie Qld Australia
model: 900 SS
year: 1989
Good timing, I just purchased a group of LED's last night for my Supersport. Same format of T5 for the warnings but I went for the ones with a solid panel bottom rather than the ones with the filament wire sticking out.

I went all white 5050's because I was once told that a coloured LED behind a coloured panel might not be that bright and I couldn't be bothered getting the various colours to try. I am concerned the brighter white might actually wash out the colour of the original warning panels so the coloured ones could be better. I'd be interested to see what the colours compare to the whites in the warning lights.

The Sport/Supersport instruments use the small bayonet bulbs for illumination so I've got a couple of blue ones coming for that which should hopefully look good on the white gauges.


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 Post subject: Re: LED dashboard conversion
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:01 am 
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paso grand pooh-bah
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paso750 wrote:
Derek, there was a misunderstanding. Of course LED lights from original manufacturers are legal as LEDs, reflectors and lenses were designed and engineered to work together at best performance and then the whole light is tested and officially approved.

It`s a different story if you put LED bulbs from China in your lights which were made for filament lamps.
Light range, scattering angle & light dispersion will not be the same which is why doing this in Germany and also the UK is not legal. Don`t know about the US or other countries.

Just look how complex an Audi R8 headlight is

I see what you mean Higgy. Non approved LED bulbs are certainly not going to perform in the same way in a reflector designed for a filament bulb although it's not going to make much difference in a turn signal or stop/tail light and in most instances even improves them. They would however, be technically illegal under Construction and Use regulations as a non-type approved fitting.

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