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Questions regarding LED light conversion?

Discussion in 'VT - VX Holden Commodore (1997 - 2002)' started by scrano, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Hi guys, I know that similar questions to this, have been asked, and answered, on numerous occasions, and I've ready many different threads, and pieced together a lot of the information that I needed, but still haven't really found the specific answers that I need, so I'm hoping that someone here can tell me exactly what I'll need too know.

    I'm wanting too convert all of my dash, head unit, instrument cluster, and interior lighting (the domes, and footwells), to LED lights, but I wanted too clarify what I've already learnt, and get the answers for the questions, that I don't have answers for at the moment.

    My car is a VX Berlina, so I'm wanting too know exactly how many LED's I'll need, in order too convert everything, and what types of LED's I'll need? From what I've read so far, it looks as though I'll need SMD LED's for most of the things like the dash cluster, and I need too make sure that the LED's that I use, have a 180° degree beam, so I don't get hotspots, and achieve a nice even glow. I also know that I'll need too remove the green film off of the back of the dash cluster, and that no matter what LED I use on the climate control buttons, that they'll have a slightly green tinge too them (because it's actually part of the buttons themselves).

    I've read that I'll need too wire in a load resistor, because the LED's draw a different amperage to the standard halogen globes, and this can cause problems with things like the dimming switch, and other things of that nature, so you need too wire in that load, so the car thinks that everything is drawing the right amperage, so I'm wanting clarification on this, what exactly sort of load resistor do I need too wire in? Do I need just 1 of them, or o I need multiple ones?

    Also with the dash cluster, is it possible too put in white LED's for the speedo/tacho, and all of those things, but have the indicators, LCD's, and warning lights show up in a different color?

    Can anyone provide a list of exactly how many, and what type of LED's that I'll need in order too convert everything, including all of the factory head unit, and footwells, and interior dome lighting, and all of that stuff? And what, if any, sort of load resistor/resistors, that I'll need too wire in at all?

    Is there a complete kit out there, with everything that I'll need in it, or do I need too buy all of the parts individually?

    Like I said earlier, I know that a lot of questions have been asked and answered about LED lighting conversions for a VX, but I can't find the specific answers that I need, so I'm trying too piece it all together, by reading as many threads as I can.

    I'd really appreciate it, if someone could tell me how many LED's I'm gonna need all up, and how many of each type, for each section of the dash cluster, head unit, interior illumination, and all of that, and what type too get that is both compatible, and gives that full 180° degree illumination, so I don't get hotspots, and I get a nice even glow, and also whether I'll need load resistors in place, and how many I'll need?

    Like I said, I'm trying too gather as much info as possible, so I don't have to go back over and do it all again, and I'd really appreciate any assistance or advice.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. auzzie_bradd

    auzzie_bradd Member

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    I was hoping to get a similar answer, i have a vx series II executive (i think its exec), and i want to change all of the lights to bright blue LED ( everything in behind the speedo including indicators), A/C controls and gear shifter. So yeah... any help? :)

    and im not sure about you scrano, but something like this?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. vx_commodore

    vx_commodore Member

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    If you want something as above, You will need to venture off from what everyone else does.
    It's not just as simple as put in T5's, You will need to use SMD's.
    You will need to know how to solder, And a basic understanding of electronic's.

    If you go the T5's, You will be left with a dull boring hot spot mess.

    I went white with blue needle's.
    2012-02-28 19.57.30.jpg

    I originally did have all blue, But got boring, So i mixed it up a bit.
    Im starting to get bored with white and blue now, So im comming up with a new recipe.

    As for the rest, I used Blue light in the roof, Soon to make centre light all little white LED's.
    2012-05-19 20.17.03.jpg

    I have a Cool white SMD for the glove box light & centre console light.
    Blue SMD's for headlight switch, And HVAC control's
    SMD's are far brighter than LED's, And the light is better distributed.

    I would always recommend SMD's over LED's.
     
  4. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Yeah auzzie_brad mate, I was thinking along the same lines, just with a few tweaks, like maybe the speedo and tacho lights in white, instead of blue, but yeah mate, basically the same sort of thing. There are a few threads on the board already, about guys that have done LED conversions, and you can buy LED kits of a lot sites, where you just replace the existing globe, with an LED, but I've also heard/read, that because the LED's draw a different amperage, that you need too wire in load resistors so everything works properly, so I wanted too find out specifically what, and how many LED's that I'll need to do a conversion, and what sort of load resistor I'd need to wire in, in order too make sure everything works ok.

    I know that you have too get a specific type of LED, in order too replace the existing globes, and then you may have too file the ends of them, so they don't have bright spots, or hot spots, or whatever you wanna call them, so they shine nice and evenly, and that you've also gotta strip the green layer on the back of the dash cluster, as well as some other things, like changing the color of the needles if you need, or want too, but I'd be grateful if someone can tell me roughly how how LED's, and what sizes and types I'm gonna need in order too do the full conversion, and what sort of load resistor, as well as anything that I'd need too do while I'm at it.

    Anyone that's done this conversion on a Berlina, I'd appreciate your advice and assistance.

    Thanks in advance guys
     
  5. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Thanks vx_commodore, that's the sort of info that I was after, I didn't initially realize the SMD's were actually a different type of diode to LED's, because I initially thought that they were just a different type of LED, but after reading your reply, I realized that there is an actual difference. I really like your dash mate, that's sort of what I was thinking of doing too mine. Did you have too wire anything else in, too handle the difference in the amount of amperage the SMD's drew? Thanks for the reply mate
     
  6. vx_commodore

    vx_commodore Member

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    6x t5's in the cluster.
    1x t10 in the gear selector.
    6x t5's in the HVAC, (inc x2 more LED's for AC and demist button (have to be solderd.)
    1x T5 in hazard button.
    3x led's in headlight switch.
    2x 32mm festoon for map light's.
    1x 40mm? festoon for main int light.
    2x 40mm for glove/centre console.

    But, For the east stuff, Like interior light, Just pull it out and messure before you buy.
    That way you know for sure.

    As for LED's and filing them down, You will still get hot spot's. <use smd's.
    Green film come's off using fine sand papaer.
    You don't have to change the colour of the actual needle's if you use smd's under the needle.

    Each LED/SMD will require a 480-560Ω 1/2w resistor so they can run off the standard 12-14V

    But yeh there really are 2 way's to complete the conversion.
    Use standard LED's.
    Or go all out and install SMD's all over, As i have done.
    Look's far better than LED's ever would.
    Nice even light spread.

    SMD's/LED's draw far less current than standard bulb's.
     
  7. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Thanks mate, that's exactly the sort of info that I need, I really appreciate it, and that should set me on the right track. I'm not all that worried about soldering and stuff, so I'll probably go down the SMD path, cause I don't want hot spots at all. I really appreciate the info, and the advice mate, thanks
     
  8. auzzie_bradd

    auzzie_bradd Member

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    i was originally gonna go white but i saw that pic i uploaded and was blown away, but yeah ive heard its a lot of work to get it done properly, so no hotspots etc. them kits off ebay are usually a generic pic, and are S*** in real life ( seen a mates one, terrible)

    and vx_commodore that dash is even better again, the white outside sets it off amazingly!! :love:
    so with the smd's, they just replace the old globes or? coz my interior lights are starting to go -.-

    cheers.
     
  9. vx_commodore

    vx_commodore Member

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    Yeah if you know how to solder, Then completly rule out using standard LED's.
    You will get far better light with PLCC6 5050 SMD led's. < same as what i used.
    They are very cheap on ebay, Like $3.00Aud for 10.(hong kong)

    I used 14 cool white smd's, And 4 blue smd's for the cluster alone.

    I tapped into where the main plug plug's into the cluster, On the inside where it is solderd onto the circut board.
    Where the 12v dial light power come's in.
    So all wiring is inside the cluster, And no cutting/tapping into wires.

    I found jaycar was cheaper for resistor's than ebay, i had to buy 50 resistor's for my roof lining so i looked pretty damn hard for the best deal!
    Ebay is cheaper for the SMD's.

    I brought all my SMD's from ebay seller 'hongkongsuperseller', He was the cheapest.
    Although he is located in hong kong, So postage take's a wile.
     
  10. SookyTurner

    SookyTurner New Member

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    Your roof is awesome man!!!!!! Lol
     
  11. Awesome AG

    Awesome AG New Member

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    Hi vx_commodore.
    I've just bought my first car a few months ago, It happens to be a year 2000 VT.
    Just wondering is there a kit available for the Dashboard like the one you have pictured.
    It looks awesome compared to the default green.

    Thanks
     
  12. scrano

    scrano Member

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    Not a kit as such mate. You can buy T5 LED's, and even T5 SMD's, that will replace the standard cluster globes, but if you wanna avoid LED hotspots, then you'll need too actually open things up, and solder in some SMD's in order too spread the light glow evenly. There really is a lot that goes into it, if you wanna do it really nicely like vx_commodore has. He's certainly helped me out with all of the information that I needed in order to do everything myself. So I've got all my bits and pieces on order at the moment, and I'm waiting for it all too arrive, before I can get too work.
     
  13. 97VTSS

    97VTSS Guest

  14. vx_commodore

    vx_commodore Member

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    Holy **** I'm back guys. Who ended up attempting this? Pics?
     
  15. moriati

    moriati Member

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    Hi guys i have done a blue led conversion on my vx i used 5050 smd non waterproof led strips in my cluster and the same in my heater unit for the strips to get power i connected the positive and negative wires to a globe socket i used the temperature guage socket for one side and the fuel guage socket for the other side just connect all your strips together using small pieces of wire soldered to connect each strip like it shows in the photo after you have stuck them on the cluster curcit board i used good quality double sided tape to stick them to the board... this way there are no hot spots anywhere and i used t5 5050 smd for the aircon and dimister buttons that i removed from the holder and soldered them to the curcuit board and used t5 5050 smd for the indicators cruise and cruise active and power light no soldering just insert them in your globe holder . and by using led strips you do not have to scrape the green film away from the face dials the blue overpowers the green and i still used the normal incandescent factory globes to illuminate the needles this way you can use any coloured needles to illuminate what ever coulor they are.. here are some photo of my cluster blue with red needles and a cluster showing led strips inside. and some other photos sorry not a very clear ones of the blue cluster .so if your in melbourne and you want your car done all in blue or if you have any more questions about installation PM me. .
     

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  16. oska

    oska Active Member

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    this is how you convert a cluster to LED and my HVAC goes from blue to green to red looks like factory fitted

    marvel at its beauty notice the reverse LCD's

    DSC_0065.JPG
     
  17. moriati

    moriati Member

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    Looks good but your needles are very dull why is that .
     
  18. oska

    oska Active Member

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    it's perfect that's a daylight pic (the cluster is always on) with a DLSR camera

    you can also use the dim switch just like OEM
     
  19. Yande

    Yande Member

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    Nice pics!!
    Moriati! Anyone? Hi, what did you use for your Traction and Power Buttons?
    I have all my stock cluster lights and HVAC lights working (VXAcclaim) apart from these two. Today I finally managed to get to the two switches, and what a task that is. Fortunately I was doing an amp install so had most of the car apart so swapped them out by taking the mount out of the switch and then the globe out of the mount, then installing two LED lights that I got from Jaycar. Not much choice here in the country so I had to make do with something roughly the same size and with long tails as I had to rewire the globes into the original mount that twists into the switch. I'm aware that there is a polarity issue, but to no avail, they just fizzed when I turned them on. The correct globes are as rare as hens teeth. Every unit I have found at wreckers etc, all globes are blown.
    These are not the exact same lights that I used.. more so showing the type and tail.. You get the idea though. Too bloody cold to go down stairs now..

    [​IMG]
     
  20. ephect

    ephect Donating Member

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    They fizzled because U need resistors to drop 12v down to roughly 2-3v.
    And in such a small space as the neo wegde fitting, u'll need smd LEDs and smd resistors
     

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