Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
1989 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I wanted to know if anyone has seen or know where to get LED tail lights for a 420 SEL. That is if someone one even makes them. I think that it would be nice to have them. I have seen the LED tail lights on some of the 80's 300e and some of the 190's. I would love to have a set as long as it didn't cost me an arm and a leg like the gas prices are doing to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I've tried several different incandescent plug-in replacements in other cars, and IMO, they just can't work given the inherent very directional design of LED light output. They don't have any use for the reflector, which is how a bulb fills the lens with light, as seen from the outside.

You wind up with a quarter-sized spot in the middle of the lens. It looks retarded, IMNSHO.

I'd love to have LED's in every position, and for a while, I even considered taking the time to solder up 30 of them to get just a brake light done, but after about .2 of a second, I realized how ridiculous an idea that was.

Mine has the OEM bulbs in the OEM brake light bulb positions, and I put 1156's, like half the price, in the inboard (fog-lamp, normally) lens position, and honestly, I can't see a difference, once I subtract the difference in lens diffraction between the normal brake/tail bulbs and the rear fog-lamp. I'm going to see which ones last longest. It might be a while, my 126 hasn't moved in a week. The Lexus gets 4 MPG more, typically, and a navigation system is like cheating when you're in a new town.
 

·
Registered
1984 Euro 500 SEC & 1987 190E 2.6
Joined
·
201 Posts
As mckellyb said....the plug n play bulbs, are useless. AS far as real led style tails, like I think is what you want.....no one makes them for the w126. I myself have a new set of tails on the way, and in the very near future, they will be getting leds. Which will be completely custom done for the brake, marker, turn, and reverse sections.
 

·
CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Joined
·
45,137 Posts
Hi all, I wanted to know if anyone has seen or know where to get LED tail lights for a 420 SEL. That is if someone one even makes them. I think that it would be nice to have them. I have seen the LED tail lights on some of the 80's 300e and some of the 190's. I would love to have a set as long as it didn't cost me an arm and a leg like the gas prices are doing to me.
Have you tried a forum search? Plenty of write up's in the archive.
 

·
Registered
1982 380SE AMG euro(parted out),1983 300SD "Good Girl", 1984 500SEL AMG euro "Bad Girl"
Joined
·
3,256 Posts
I've tried several different incandescent plug-in replacements in other cars, and IMO, they just can't work given the inherent very directional design of LED light output. They don't have any use for the reflector, which is how a bulb fills the lens with light, as seen from the outside.

You wind up with a quarter-sized spot in the middle of the lens. It looks retarded, IMNSHO.

I'd love to have LED's in every position, and for a while, I even considered taking the time to solder up 30 of them to get just a brake light done, but after about .2 of a second, I realized how ridiculous an idea that was.
Mine has the OEM bulbs in the OEM brake light bulb positions, and I put 1156's, like half the price, in the inboard (fog-lamp, normally) lens position, and honestly, I can't see a difference, once I subtract the difference in lens diffraction between the normal brake/tail bulbs and the rear fog-lamp. I'm going to see which ones last longest. It might be a while, my 126 hasn't moved in a week. The Lexus gets 4 MPG more, typically, and a navigation system is like cheating when you're in a new town.
Heheheh! It doesn't sound like fun does it :) I'm looking at doing smt led's on a pc board. I'll etch the board using photo resist after drawing the circuit on the computer and printing it on clear acetate on the laser printer. Then I'll use "hot plate reflow soldering" using solder paste ( Electric Griddle Reflow Soldering -- Small Pitch SMT ). I've still got connections in the electronic's production arena and can get a portion of a roll of led's on the cheap :)
 

·
Registered
1983 Euro 500SEC AMG, 83 SEC custom convertible, 2x 84 500SEC, 02 w203coupe, euro 1985 300d
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
i made my own 90 degree high output led's before they made them, it was quite a project and looks like the dot in the middle, not utilizing the reflectors much, it looks good on mine but would look better if a board was in place instead of a bulb
 

·
Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
You can purchase 24 LED color coded LED 1156's that have rear mounted LED bulbs into each lamp. They light up the reflector and produce light outward. It closely matches stock lightling, except it looks 100% times better and is safer. You WILL need to wire in a tail light load resistor (to each tail lamp and/or turn signal) to avoid tripping the bulb-out idiot light on the dash board.

Check them out below. I have purchased bulbs from them. I just completed converting one of my other classic cars over to all LED.

Superbrightleds.com
 

·
Registered
1989 Mercedes Benz 420 SEL
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mr.Xpowerseller,

Can you take a picture of them in your car working? I would like to see how they look.
 

·
Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
Mr.Xpowerseller,

Can you take a picture of them in your car working? I would like to see how they look.
I don't have them in the 300SE yet. That will be part of the next upgrade phase on that car. I have them installed in another car. If I took a picture, it wouldn't look any different than it did with the factory set up (well a little bit brighter). Now a video showing the instant-on reaction time might help but I don't have a decent video camera near by.
 

·
Registered
1982 380SE AMG euro(parted out),1983 300SD "Good Girl", 1984 500SEL AMG euro "Bad Girl"
Joined
·
3,256 Posts
I don't have them in the 300SE yet. That will be part of the next upgrade phase on that car. I have them installed in another car. If I took a picture, it wouldn't look any different than it did with the factory set up (well a little bit brighter). Now a video showing the instant-on reaction time might help but I don't have a decent video camera near by.
The response time difference is huge between an LED and incandescent bulb. It takes a good fraction of a second for the filiment to heat up and it slowly begins to glow towards full brightness vs. the LED with an almost instantaneous response time to full brightness. It can be annoying following a car (and it seem like a good number of tractor trailer rigs run them too) at the speed they come on. That's a good thing! I've seen where thay have led brake lights that flash on and off and where they are considered illegal in many areas. The frame rate of human vision of bright to dark and dark to bright are different. I wonder what effect in "noticeability" there would be if you turned on the LED's for say 10msec then off for 50msec, and repeated this twice before you applied a constant on. Kind of like the old subliminal movie frames and an additional mind [email protected]#$ that the car in front is applying brakes.

Every now and then the engineer reappears in the pilot. Someone give me another beer and make him go away. Life's much easier when you're just concerned with keeping the greasy side down and "rack checks" when the peeps board the aircraft :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I just wish the brake light which was sold for motorcycles back in the early-'80's, which indicated how much braking pressure was being exerted, caught on.

Those flashing CHMSL's are ultra-common in Vegas, and they're damned annoying...at least to me.

You can see the difference in LED vs. incandescent, and LED CHMSL's are pretty common in comparison to the regular brake lamps. The 3rd brake light comes on much more quickly than the regular bulbs.

Mr.xpowerseller, I'm intrigued by your use of the 24 LED bulbs, as I gave up before those appeared, but they seemed to have addressed, at least partially, the difference in the behavior of the LED's. The 126's housings don't have a huge reflector area, which makes me think the LED's are at even more of a disadvantage....

I'm also quite interested in seeing them, even though it may not be obvious to most, I've been through working with the first couple of generations of LED's as direct replacements for incandescents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Not LED but I added a light to each side on my 83 300SD and the difference it makes when braking is significant. The kit was less than $20 on-line.
 

·
Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
See here

Product Listing - CAR

Scroll down the page until you see 1156-x24 LED. They have 6 rear mounted LED's that light up the reflector.

You can get 30 LED bulbs too, but they don't have rear mounted LED's.

And if you scroll all the way down the page, you will see RL-650 Tail Light Load Resistor kit. Install one of these for each turn signal to make them flash correctly. On a Mercedes, you need to install one of these for every single exterior light that you convert to LED to avoid tripping the darn 'bulb out' idiot light on the dash board.

You can also change out the tag lights, reverse and front turn to LED too if you wish (as I just did in my other weekend classic).
 

·
Registered
1987 300SDL
Joined
·
17 Posts
I bought LEDs replacements to replace the third brake light and the 2 front turn signals from www.autolumination.com Tail Light Brake Light Turn Signal LED Bulbs . I mainly wanted to replace third brake light , the stock light melts the red lense. The LED replacement has LEDs mounted on the front and sides, to mimic a stock lamp.
The turn signal lights work, the flasher rate is much higher. The lights are very bright.
The third brake light doesn't work, the socket has the metal lamp base as +, whereas, usually its -. This I will rewire when I have time.
There are some flasher relays that don't rely on current draw to determine flash rate. but it seems that on my 300sdl, the flasher relay is combined with other functions, so modifications would be needed to reduce the flasher rate back to normal.
 

·
Registered
1984 Euro 500 SEC & 1987 190E 2.6
Joined
·
201 Posts
the socket has the metal lamp base as +, whereas, usually its -.
Don't know about places like Superbrightleds.com, but autolumination is pretty bad about their bulbs being that way. And in certain situations(such as the reading light in the dome light housing)rewiring isn't really an option, so the bulb cant be used
 

·
Registered
1987 300SDL
Joined
·
17 Posts
LED correct, socket backwards

Don't know about places like Superbrightleds.com, but autolumination is pretty bad about their bulbs being that way. And in certain situations(such as the reading light in the dome light housing)rewiring isn't really an option, so the bulb cant be used

Turns out my third brake light socket is wired oddly, with (+) connected to bulb base and (-) tied to center. The LED is correctly polarized.

I'm, thinking of adding an 8 Ohm 50 Watt resistor across each turn signal LED to reduce the flash rate, that yields about 1.5Amps or 18Watts at a nominal 12V. Its easier than trying to wire in a descrete soild state flasher to replace the stock mechanical flasher.
 

·
Registered
1984 Euro 500 SEC & 1987 190E 2.6
Joined
·
201 Posts
Turns out my third brake light socket is wired oddly, with (+) connected to bulb base and (-) tied to center. The LED is correctly polarized.
well, at least its in a 3rd brake light where rewiring is easily correctable.


I still stand by my statement about having bulbs wired in reverse from them.
 

·
Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
I bought LEDs replacements to replace the third brake light and the 2 front turn signals from www.autolumination.com Tail Light Brake Light Turn Signal LED Bulbs . I mainly wanted to replace third brake light , the stock light melts the red lense. The LED replacement has LEDs mounted on the front and sides, to mimic a stock lamp.
The turn signal lights work, the flasher rate is much higher. The lights are very bright.
The third brake light doesn't work, the socket has the metal lamp base as +, whereas, usually its -. This I will rewire when I have time.
There are some flasher relays that don't rely on current draw to determine flash rate. but it seems that on my 300sdl, the flasher relay is combined with other functions, so modifications would be needed to reduce the flasher rate back to normal.


Well yea! The turn signal is going to double flash. You CANNOT just stick LED's into the turn signal sockets on just about any semi-recent car and expect them to work. The car is trying to tell you that a bulb is out. That is the double flash. You MUST install in-line resistors to reduce the current to EACH LED bulb. Your turn signals will then correctly flash.
 

·
Banned
99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
Joined
·
4,583 Posts
well, at least its in a 3rd brake light where rewiring is easily correctable.


I still stand by my statement about having bulbs wired in reverse from them.
Superbrights quality is MUCH better. I know a bunch of people who have done conversions and I just ordered a whole bunch of bulbs from them myself. No problems with wiring at all.
 

·
Registered
1987 300SDL
Joined
·
17 Posts
Well yea! The turn signal is going to double flash. You CANNOT just stick LED's into the turn signal sockets on just about any semi-recent car and expect them to work. The car is trying to tell you that a bulb is out. That is the double flash. You MUST install in-line resistors to reduce the current to EACH LED bulb. Your turn signals will then correctly flash.
The problem is TOO little current being drawn by the LED lamps. An in-line resistor is already installed in the LED bulb assembly, installing another would leave the flash rate unchanged or make it faster, and will lower the current to the LEDs, which would reduce brightness.

You must install a parallel a resistor across the LED replacement in order to draw a current level that is very similiar to the incandescent lamp for the flasher to return to the normal flash rate.

A 1987 car had many semiconductors used throughout, and some might use transistors instead of bimetal strips to set the flash rate.

And, the third brake light socket on my 300sdl is using the metal base as + and the tip as -. The LED is wired correctly, the incandescent lamp used are non-polar, I doubt the designers, or builders foresaw LEDs as incandescent lamp replacements.

As far as which LED array is brighter, unless Lumens or steradian measure is specified at a particular voltage and current, or a direct A/B comparison is made its all speculation.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top