LED instrument lights - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2008, 10:28 am Thread Starter
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LED instrument lights

I had an instrument bulb go out early this year, but pretty much ignored it, despite the fact that I couldn't read the speedometer at night. The combination of decreasing daylight and getting a couple tickets in August have raised the importance of this gauge, and thus I decided to get the bulb repaired.

I always liked the red glow of the instrument cluster from our old 325Ci, and so I decided that I would replace all the bulbs with red LEDs. The effort required to just change one or all is the same, the cost of the LEDs is quite reasonable, and the reliability of the lights much improved.

The original instrument cluster illumination, taken in October 2005, prior to the bulb burning out:


After the replacement:


The replacement bulbs:


Accessing the bulbs during the swap:



Details and photos of the bulb swap are available at:
http://rhhall.smugmug.com/gallery/61...88400507_rD3JN

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2008, 9:59 pm
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Nice job with the post. Looks much better than stock. It's not too bright is it?

Ray
04 GT
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2008, 10:36 pm Thread Starter
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I don't find these too bright, but if its a concern, they make a LED bulb that is lower power than the model I used. They also make one that's even brighter than the ones I installed, and I'm glad I didn't buy them. I wouldn't want them any brighter than this.

The red color also minimizes night blindness. If you chose to go another color (blue, green, amber, or white), you might want the lower power LED's.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2008, 1:57 pm
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Here's the index for those project-minded folks.
Mine ordered...



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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2008, 6:09 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhhall
I don't find these too bright, but if its a concern, they make a LED bulb that is lower power than the model I used. They also make one that's even brighter than the ones I installed, and I'm glad I didn't buy them. I wouldn't want them any brighter than this.

The red color also minimizes night blindness. If you chose to go another color (blue, green, amber, or white), you might want the lower power LED's.
What was the part number(using Ray's index, if you can) of the lamp that you ordered??

Bruce C
'04 K1200RS Capri Blue(totaled)
2008 Triumph Sprint ST
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2008, 3:25 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucecha
What was the part number(using Ray's index, if you can) of the lamp that you ordered??
The details are on the website:


I ordered the 74-RHP.

You only need 5. I ordered some spares.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2008, 1:17 pm
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Richard

Thanks for the added information.
Just ordered a set of 5.

Bruce C
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2008, 6:22 pm
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I bought some glass stain (choice of colors) at a local craft store and painted my bulbs. Looks really nice.

'04 GT...Orient Blue...Staintune...Ohlins...Power Commander
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2008, 8:37 pm
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LED's

WOW! This is very cool! Thanks for the idea and giving me another winter project.
BTW, the bright yellow "cruise" control and "low fuel" indicator lights are very bright for me at night and here's what I did. Cut, very meticulously, a neat littler square from 3M electrical tape to the exact square surrounding the indicator lights. Then take a rotary hole punch and punch the tape square dead center, size of hole depends on you. When the light comes on, especially at night, you only get the glare of whatever size hole you punched. This reduces the brightness and the reflection on the backside of the windscreen. If you like, then you can dim the other indicators as well. I can provide some pics if necessary.

[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen]Jim S.
[/COLOR] * Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 2008, 7:01 pm
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Got the leds, and started the replacement project Saturday. Timing couldn't have been better. Three of the existing bulbs, all original equipment (5 years, 130k miles), failed just from being pulled out of the dash panel. Replaced one to check, and naturally, it didn't light. Rotated it 180 and voila! Red light. So, with that little check out of the way, took the rest of the originals out (all were slightly back inside the glass), tossed 'em, and put in the LEDs in the other four light holders. You'd figure with 4 more, at least half would light up. Nope. Had to rotate every last one of them.

It's enough light to read the gauges in normal traffic, so they're not too dim in traffic with all the head lights and tail lights your vision has to deal with. Clock and gear indicator are real easy to see. You don't, though, get to see the red lines for the tach above 9 grand, or the red hot zone on the temperature gauge. Not that it's critical, as by now you probably have those parts memorized. Odometer and trip odometer are just as dim as before, so that's more the design than the amount of light.

Overall, I think it's a great improvement.

Don't expect your non-BMW riding buddies to notice anything different, though. None of mine did.



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2003 K1200GT Orient Blue (for sale)
2007 G650 X-Challenge

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Last edited by Razel; Nov 9th, 2008 at 3:14 pm. Reason: 180, not 90
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