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1999 ML320
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have anyone replaced tail lights, brake lights or trun signal bulbs with LED light bulbs?

One of my brake light bulb burned out a while back, replaced brake lights and yellow turn signal light bulbs bought from EBay, but they seemed to be not as bright as regular incandescent bulbs.

If you have good experience with replacing any of these with LED bulbs, please share the info with model numbers, brands and where were they purchased from.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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I have never had much luck with LED bulbs. I’ve bought cheap ones , expensive ones with no joy.
The only way I do it now is buy 3w Cree LEDs on a heat sink and put a small variable voltage driver with them. I generally adjust the voltage to the lower side that the LEDs like. Heat is the killer for LEDs.


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1999 ML320
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Looks like they're RED lights, right?
I'm also interested in turn signal and tail lights as well. Right now, yellow turn signal LED lights on my ML are the worst. Also, your LED lights are a bit too expensive . . . they should be comprable or maybe a little bit higher . . .
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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I have never had much luck with LED bulbs. I’ve bought cheap ones , expensive ones with no joy.
The only way I do it now is buy 3w Cree LEDs on a heat sink and put a small variable voltage driver with them. I generally adjust the voltage to the lower side that the LEDs like. Heat is the killer for LEDs.


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I concur. Have a bag full of resistored LEDs for turn signals, door lights, etc that Ive tried on the SUV and the E50, some replacements work, most don't.
Have a handful of heatsinks that should have worked. Now they all take up space in the light box spares for a future use. These benz electrical systems are so temper"mental".
 

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1999 ML320
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Have you thought about these Sparky.
I’ve had them for about 6 years and still going strong.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/321023980364


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Well . . . great find, Matt. But at $360+ USD including shipping to US, I don't think I'll jump into it.


The only LED bulb I had luck with are the so called "high powered" ones, similar to these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2X-1157-High-Power-80W-Red-LED-Brake-Stop-Tail-Light-Bulbs-Projcector-Lens/262337561380?epid=1261479296&hash=item3d14898324:g:5t8AAOSwZQxW6Np5&vxp=mtr

I have LEDs for the brake lights and they work great.

I can snap a pic if anyone is interested.
Do you feel and can you tell your replacement LED brake lights are much brighter than the stock incandescent bulbs? If so, what brand and where did you get them?
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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I have a C215 CL500, LED brake light keeps playing up. Where can the bulb board be bought ? Thanks
Most likely be genuine part only if it’s the original one.


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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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I love LEDS for my for my house, I just don't get it on cars especially for indicator bulbs. Unlike a house you are not really saving any energy, your alternator is running when ever the engine is, it is not on a clutch. If you are just on your battery, well your battery may drain slower but how often is that. As to if they are any brighter then a standard bulb I have no idea, But I do know auto incandescent bulbs last a long time, a very long time, I have owned my 04 GMC from day one and can count on one hand the times I changed bulbs including headlight bulbs.

So personally I don't see why there is any reason to use them, unless you want a bulb to be a different color.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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I love LEDS for my for my house, I just don't get it on cars especially for indicator bulbs. Unlike a house you are not really saving any energy, your alternator is running when ever the engine is, it is not on a clutch. If you are just on your battery, well your battery may drain slower but how often is that. As to if they are any brighter then a standard bulb I have no idea, But I do know auto incandescent bulbs last a long time, a very long time, I have owned my 04 GMC from day one and can count on one hand the times I changed bulbs including headlight bulbs.

So personally I don't see why there is any reason to use them, unless you want a bulb to be a different color.
Wallyo,

For what's it worth. In our minivan, we switched over to interior LEDS. Why?
My boys at an earlier age, use to play in the MV and always forgot to turn off the interior lights. Overnight, the battery would drain (when it had incandescent interior lights). We swapped to LED and when they/we forgot to turn them off the next day, no battery drain issues. Also, improved interior lighting.
For the ML (leds only for dome lights), the footwell, leds would never cooperate. Didnt bother looking further into it and stuck to incandescent. Would have liked to have the brighter, whiter leds vs the dimmer incandescent. oh well.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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For what's it worth. In our minivan, we switched over to interior LEDS. Why?
Your example is exactly along the lines of my thinking of where and when LED's are useful.
Just to add the only LEDs on an ML are the mirror indicators, if you have them. I think this was done based on space and access.
 

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2000 E 320 Wagon + 2002 ML 500 SUV
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x2 What Khomer said.

I have switched over the ML to LED's, mostly.

The footwell lights didn't work (they blinked or just didn't light up, can't remember) but everything else did.

Interior is brighter and no worries if the hatch gets left ajar too.

Headlamps are H7 Led too. I go the "New" type that are fanless but with heat sinks, just barely fit in housing with dust cover on.

Quite happy but you have to play with the aim as these LED's don't always have alignment that matches the housing / lens alignment.

But in terms of pure white light they're great.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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I love LEDS for my for my house, I just don't get it on cars especially for indicator bulbs. Unlike a house you are not really saving any energy, your alternator is running when ever the engine is, it is not on a clutch. If you are just on your battery, well your battery may drain slower but how often is that. As to if they are any brighter then a standard bulb I have no idea, But I do know auto incandescent bulbs last a long time, a very long time, I have owned my 04 GMC from day one and can count on one hand the times I changed bulbs including headlight bulbs.

So personally I don't see why there is any reason to use them, unless you want a bulb to be a different color.
With the constant electrifying of cars it makes good sense to use LED’s as they can be put in places that incandescent bulbs can’t and the power draw is less. You couldn’t have the intelligent light systems that we have without them.
My wife’s C250 actually puts a blacked out square around the on coming car and also the car your following. It moves with the car it’s quite incredible.


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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Mercedes are saying it has to be complete Lamp!
That would be correct. You could try the wreckers for one maybe.


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1998 ML320
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I love LEDS for my for my house, I just don't get it on cars especially for indicator bulbs. Unlike a house you are not really saving any energy, your alternator is running when ever the engine is, it is not on a clutch. If you are just on your battery, well your battery may drain slower but how often is that. As to if they are any brighter then a standard bulb I have no idea, But I do know auto incandescent bulbs last a long time, a very long time, I have owned my 04 GMC from day one and can count on one hand the times I changed bulbs including headlight bulbs.

So personally I don't see why there is any reason to use them, unless you want a bulb to be a different color.
Heat. LEDs generally run much cooler, which avoids damage to housings, reflectors, and lenses. Almost every junkyard ML I’ve seen has melted dome light parts, and about 1/3-1/2 have heat damage to the center tail light housing/lens.

I outfitted my ML’s taillights with all LED bulbs from Amazon. They’re as bright or brighter than the old incandescents. After that, I did my 2010 GMC, too.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Heat. LEDs generally run much cooler, which avoids damage to housings, reflectors, and lenses. Almost every junkyard ML I’ve seen has melted dome light parts, and about 1/3-1/2 have heat damage to the center tail light housing/lens.
I agree leds = lower temp.

But:

I my self have not encountered this on either of our mls but it probably goes with how long you leave your dome light on. Ours usually long enough to get in and start it, we don’t sit in it reading war and peace cover to cover.

As to tail lights I have never seen one deformed due to heat. Saw an ml fog light melted in the yard but they had modified it to a higher wattage bulb.

I did have on my GMC A.R.E cap a poorly designed switched dome light. Went through 3 under warranty they kept melting with the bulb they were designed for if left on for more then ten minutes. I just removed it though I would like to find an led switched strip light.

I do think LEDs have there place, just don’t think they are needed in tail lights and turn signals.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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The ml’s turn off the interior lights automatically after about 5 or 10 minutes if left On.


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