Instrument Cluster lights Repair

Nizar

Original poster
Member
Dec 7, 2011
65
hello
what are the best led bulbs for the Instrument Cluster ? i was looking for part number but nothing here and should i install resistor with the leds ??

thank you all
 

Shdwdrgn

Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
I can't offer any part number, but if you wish to switch to LED, you absolutely must use resistors with them. You must also pay attention to the polarity as LEDs will only work in one direction. You don't need to have the brightest bulbs you can find, but something in the 10,000 to 20,000mcd range would be quite acceptable (and you may find you need to tone down the brightness of the higher mcd bulbs).

Since you're not familiar with LEDs, I would suggest scanning through the various LED threads here to get an idea of how they work and what it takes to replace them. When you buy your LEDs, you need to write down the specs for that particular type -- forward voltage and current draw. Then you use those numbers to plug into an online calculator, along with if you are using the LEDs individually or in pairs, and that will give you the correct resistor to use so you don't blow up your LED. Once you have that, you may find you want to use an even larger resistor to dim the LEDs if they are too bright.
 

Nizar

Original poster
Member
Dec 7, 2011
65
Shdwdrgn said:
I can't offer any part number, but if you wish to switch to LED, you absolutely must use resistors with them. You must also pay attention to the polarity as LEDs will only work in one direction. You don't need to have the brightest bulbs you can find, but something in the 10,000 to 20,000mcd range would be quite acceptable (and you may find you need to tone down the brightness of the higher mcd bulbs).

Since you're not familiar with LEDs, I would suggest scanning through the various LED threads here to get an idea of how they work and what it takes to replace them. When you buy your LEDs, you need to write down the specs for that particular type -- forward voltage and current draw. Then you use those numbers to plug into an online calculator, along with if you are using the LEDs individually or in pairs, and that will give you the correct resistor to use so you don't blow up your LED. Once you have that, you may find you want to use an even larger resistor to dim the LEDs if they are too bright.

Thank you i think its not the time to switch to leds :biggrin: maybe next time
 

Shdwdrgn

Member
Dec 4, 2011
568
Nizar said:
Thank you i think its not the time to switch to leds :biggrin: maybe next time

Oh its actually a fairly simple process, if you are comfortable with a soldering iron. I've used the calculator at LED Series Resistor Calculator which gives a nice visual if you're uncertain how this works. What you are doing is taking the horizontal portion of the diagram (the LED and resistor), and connecting either end back into the same place that the original light bulb was soldered.

As an example of using the calculator... for vehicle use, you want to enter 14.4V. The LEDs I used have a current of 20mA, and a voltage drop (forward voltage) of 3.6V. In most cases you will only be able to connect a single LED at a time, and 5% resistors are the most common (you can get these at any Radio Shack). Click on the 'Calculate' button, and it will give you a whole chart of info. What you really care about is the "Nearest higher 5% resistor" (don't use the lower value!) which in this case is 560 ohms, and the "Recommended resistor Wattage" which is 1/2 watt.

Now in my case, my LEDs are 18,000mcd, and using the values above for the best output, these were actually way too bright in my dash! The next higher resistor value in 620 ohms, and the output from the LEDs with this value almost perfectly matched my other dash lights. This also dropped the required resistor wattage , allowing me to use 1/4 watt resistors which are much more common, and about half the price of the 1/2 watt versions.

Play around with the calculator, and hopefully this will start to make more sense. Once you get the idea, its actually pretty simple to make adjustments as you go.
 

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