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I've been idly searching for an LED-based replacement for the Insight's taillights, but I haven't seen anything other than incomprehensible generic or extremely model-specific (and not, of course, for the Insight) replacements. Has anyone attempted to replace their taillights with LEDs?
 

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Those replacment clusters do not work. I tried them. APC (of all companies) makes almost a complete led replacment set for the Insight. I bought them and had to return them. Reason 1: They put out a uni-directional light made to be behind a diffuser like in an alteza type replacment fixture. This would have created a big hazard on the road as you would not have been able to see the brake lights unless you were looking straight on, plus the illumination was greatly reduced.

http://members.aol.com/evracr/led.jpg

The led is in the left fixture, a regular bulb being in the right. I was looking to get that led bar light intensity across the entire rear. I was wrong.

Reason 2: If the led clusters are right as they claim to meet oem specifications then the Insight does not have standard wireing. The led's had the positive ends both on one side of the cluster, the insight criss crosses the polarity across the bulbs. This is not a problem for a bulb, but on the led clusters you could say get the brake lights working, but it would short out the system and blow the fuse once the running lights were turned on.

I also got the clusters for the turn signals. They had the same problem as the brake lights, the uni-directional light did not fill the reflector at all. While the light was instantaneously on, it was only bright enough to notice looking straight in to it, which a truck or SUV will never see.

So that was my experience, if you come up with something different I'm open for suggestions. I think the only way to make it work properly would be to use a lot of LED's. You'd hollow out the rear of the tail lights and make a clear plastic insert that would fit in the housing. You'd then drill as many holes in this as you could fit and glue the led's in to that so you'd have a grid of led's, then wire. The only problem with this is a new set of tail lights is roughly $300, which is a lot of you screw it up. If I can come across a set for about $100 I'd probably have to give it a try. The encouraging thing though was with those clusters barely working, I was looking to save roughtly 3 amps per bulb!
 

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I wonder if anyone is making a high-intensity white LED replacement for the regular bulb - is it an 1157?

If you're just looking to save a bit of electricity, the regular taillight would be the big one to replace. Unless you drive way different than I do, the brake lights don't get used all that often :)

Maybe grab the LED cluster out of one of those LED flashlights you see around, and solder it to an 1157 socket?
 

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I haven't tried them, but here is another LED replacement bulb maker: http://www.led.net/datasheets/auto_index/auto_index.htm
Their tail lights have 24 LEDs (appears to be twice as many as the APC bulb), some of which point out to the side.

The manual shows a wedge-shaped connector rather than the round 1157 type. Maybe the same as the 3157 listed on the site above?
 

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While that looks like a much better option there'd have to be some modification to the cars wiring to make them work.

http://www.netdisty.net/ds/aut3157/

Look at the schematic of the bulb. See how the positive and negatives are both on their own ends of the bulb. The Insight criss crosses these across the bulb so you wouldn't be able to use these as a direct drop in unfortunately. I suppose you could just cut and reconnect the wires so they would work in the proper way. Good find though, these look a lot better than the apc ones I tried. My only issue, geez ~$50 each!
 
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LED's

I replaced my interior lights with LED's recently. Got them from http://www.superbrightleds.com. They had drop-in replacements for the incandescent bulbs. I went with red LED's, which weren't quite bright enough, so I added to them with ordinary non-socketed red LED's, and just soldered them to the pins on the socket. I also added one red LED on either side, under the dash, which illuminate the floor. I now have a nice red glow when I open my door at night. Red does not screw with your night vision nearly as badly as white light does.

One of these days I'll get around to taking some pictures, which I'll make available if anyone is interested.

I am also interested in replacing some of the exterior lights with LED arrays. I figured probably I would have to build custom arrays to get it the way I wanted. superbrightleds.com does hae some larger arrays for taillights and the like, but I haven't looked into this much.
 

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The tail/brake lights are actually more like a 3157, flat push-in connector not the round ones. www.trucknvans.com has a drop-in replacement for the 3157 that has 19 LEDs and is only $30 for a pair compared to the $50 each of the last one I posted.

What I would be worried about is that these LED "bulbs" have a larger diameter than the holes that they need to fit thru. The 1.85 inch lights on www.customdynamics.com look like they would provide enough light, but I garantee they won't fit into the tail light assembly without cutting something. That and you would have to get the hardwire version and figure out a way to mount the cluster and connect the wires.
 

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I'm searching for a decently priced pair of tail lights. If I find them I'm planning on carving out the back side and making my own. What I'll do is either take a piece of clear acrylic and drill a bunch of 10mm holes and glue the led's in or I might just make a printed circuit board for them.
 

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Why would you want to replace the rear lights with LED's? What advantage could you possibly get by doing this?
 

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Plus LEDs will probrably use less energy and "in theory" never burn out. (Though in reality they eventually start to fail.)
 

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Plus LED's are instantly on, there isn't that part of a second of warm up of a filament. In theory it could mean the difference of being rear ended or not.
 

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Think regeneration! 3 amps times 2 times 13.6 volts equals 80 watts. That power is drawn through the DC-DC converter @ approx. 80 percent efficiency. That is roughly 100 watts that is being diverted from your 144 volt battery. At the end of the day that could mean the difference between a fully charged battery pack and a partially drained one.

To demonstrate this, observe the charge indicator on a slight downhill run with your foot off the gas. With a couple of bars showing lightly touch the brake to activate the brake lights. The regen will disappear. I tested this on a private road with no traffic. Please don't try this when there is any chance of causing an accident.
 

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I thought the power for the tail lights came from the cars alternator and battery and not the hybrid battery pack. I thought the battery pack was only for the electric motor.
 

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Ok, go take a good look at what runs off of the belt at the end of the engine. You'll see a water pump and is applicable an AC compressor. There is no alternator. 12 Volt power comes from the IMA pack thorugh a DC/DC converter. Basically the motor is the equivelent to an alternator as it supplies high voltage back to feed the DC/DC for running 12 Volt stuff and to charge the 12 volt battery. Any energy that comes out of this car boils down to it comming from the gas tank sooner or later.
 

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Happened to run across this today:
http://clearcorners.com/products/

They are doing pretty much what I would like to do. They use oem housings and they look very very nice. Expensive, but nice. My recent Satellite Radio install has set me back, but the search for decent priced tail lights continues.
 

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Well, I haven't totally given up. It took a while but I was able to get 100 of these led's cheap from Hond Kong.

http://photos.yahoo.com/ricksuiter

10,000 mcd I think should deffinitely be bright enough for a reverse light array. I'm still needing a set of extra brake lights worse than anything. In the mean time I think I'm going to order up the rest of the led's I'd need. I think I'll probably need at least 200 red ones (these are 5mm) and 100 amber ones. The clear corner web site really gave me a good idea where to go with this. If anyone knows of an Insight in a wrecking yard where I could get a set of tail lights without spending an arm and a leg please let me know. I've got it all planned out in my head, I know exactly how I am going to go about it. I have the equipment needed to etch my own little circuit boards to mount these to.
 
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