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Last nite, installed one LED in my 68. Pitch dark outside, the contrast was sharp and it was really bright. Maybe it's the curvature of the lenses in contrast to the LED piece, but each lens featured a smallish almost square image of light. The 66 lenses look good, but the housing is smaller and the lenses are not curved like the 68. Took it out.
 

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Don't stand behind the car and look at them. Sit in another car behind them and you will see a WORLD of difference. When we are on cruises, a blind man can pick out the cars with the Mustang Project LED lights.

No, they don't do real well for a person standing behind the car, but you're not real worried about a person standing behind your car running into it when you brake ;)
 

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I can't seem to search for LED's, but has anyone made their own by buying a circuit board, a (few?) resistors and a bunch of LED's? Seems it would be straight forward enough.
 

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I looked into it a few years ago and came to the conclusion it wasn't worth it. Brighter LED's are expensive. If you can buy 1000's of them they are much cheaper so the guys that build a lot of these can sell you them for a little more then the cost to build them yourself. And then you don't have to do the work. Look into it again and see if this is still accurate, prices on electronic components are always coming down.
 

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I used the Scott Drake LED's on my '67 and I think they looked great. They fill up the lens and are extremely bright. I didn't feel that they looked too small or that they looked like little squares. I originally bought the Northwest Mustang LED's through Mustang Plus but was disappointed with the speed of the sequential flasher and I had problems with the flasher module. Customer Service at Northwest Mustang was great in trying to fix my problems but ultimately I just went with the non-sequential Scott Drake ones. It took too long for the sequential to start flashing and here in L.A.......every second counts. :p
 

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You can get 50 bright LEDs on eBay for $10. That doesnt sound like much $ to me. They also come with resistors to work on 12V.
You can also get a board and etching compounds at Radio Shack.
So It shouldnt be hard at all to make your own LED taillights. I would like to find some more info.
I would make 3 piece boards to fit the curve in late 60s Mustang' taillights.

Personally I get annoyed with all MustangProject posts. Thats only my opinion.
 

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I am working on building a set for my '66. I bought a pair of oval semi trailer Led lights with something like 56 VERY BRIGHT LEDs in each one. With a little bit of trimming they fit inside the stock 66 tail light bucket. They work as tail lights, turn signals and brake lights. It kind of hurts your eyes to look at one lit up! I will only have about $30 invested and they really light up the whole lens. I need to take some pics, even though they are not finished.

Here is a link to the lights I am using:
http://grote.com/product.php?product_number=G6002
 

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pony66 said:
You can get 50 bright LEDs on eBay for $10. That doesnt sound like much $ to me. They also come with resistors to work on 12V.
You can also get a board and etching compounds at Radio Shack.
So It shouldnt be hard at all to make your own LED taillights. I would like to find some more info.
I would make 3 piece boards to fit the curve in late 60s Mustang' taillights.

Personally I get annoyed with all MustangProject posts. Thats only my opinion.
here is an easy calculator for the leds calculator

I don't know which LED's you found on EBay, i imagine there are some good deals but I just looked in my Digikey catalog and the bright LED's are still almost over $1 a piece. Remember with LED's there is an intensity and a viewing angle. The brightest LED's have the largest viewing angle and highest intensity.
 

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sparky65 said:
pony66 said:
Remember with LED's there is an intensity and a viewing angle. The brightest LED's have the largest viewing angle and highest intensity.
Exactly. When they measure the intensity it is only the center spot, which can be misleading. A 10 degree viewing angle is equal to a spot light, what you want is a flood light to eliminate the "dot" effect.
When they advertise super bright LED's on Ebay they usually have a very narrow viewing angle.
The widest viewing angle available in a 5MM LED is about 60 degrees. All the commercial LED tail lights that I have seen use 5MM lED's

I have designed a board that uses surface mount LED's. They have 120 degree viewing angle. I will have the boards made in a couple of weeks. It should have a "softer" look and still be very bright.

As a side note. I have made dash board LED lights with 1 watt surface mount LED's and they are amazingly bright.
 

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Let's not forget that the lenses are also diffusers. It's probably not all that important that one search out the widest angle LEDS. Putting them as close together as possible, along with the diffusing characteristics of the lenses will result in a pretty uniform look.

Mine have like 78 LEDs in each element and the whole lens is illuminated. It does not look like a bunch of dots. Those with only nine or twelve LEDs in the middle will look like a little rectangle in the middle of each element, no matter what kind of LED you use.
 

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Bashed68 said:
Let's not forget that the lenses are also diffusers. It's probably not all that important that one search out the widest angle LEDS. Putting them as close together as possible, along with the diffusing characteristics of the lenses will result in a pretty uniform look.

Mine have like 78 LEDs in each element and the whole lens is illuminated. It does not look like a bunch of dots. Those with only nine or twelve LEDs in the middle will look like a little rectangle in the middle of each element, no matter what kind of LED you use.
Very true you just have to figure your distance from the lens and with the viewing angle you can calculate how many you need and how closely the need to be spaced to eliminate the "spotting".

Surface mount LED's are an interesting idea don't know if i have ever seen in person any way really bright surface mount ones. I am sure there out there. They are also probably a little more difficult to use especially if your making your own board. How much do they run a piece?
 

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IMO the cheapest and easiest way to make tail lights , other than modifying something like BOSS351C, would be to go to Radio Shack and get a perfboard and solder/wire the lights up.
You could do that in 2 hours. If you did a good job they would last for years and no one would know they were home made.
Use the LED calculator above except wire them in series, not individually. Use 5 per series.

I have commercially made PC boards all the time and I use mostly surface mount, that is why I am going that route.
I'm not all that convinced they really need to be "superbright" anyway. If you drove 78 LEDs at maximum current, that would be several Amps.
Even the ones BOSS351C has are only .43 Amp.
I don't know what the others pull for current since they never tell the actual specs, that I have seen anyway.

Here is the 1 watt blue LED I made for my dash.
The LED is the white ceramic square, cost 4 bucks each.
Note the copper heatsink soldered to the brass case. It does heat up after a while but I can see praradise by the dash board light!

http://home.att.net/~lightingcontrols/dashblue.jpg

All the really bright LEDs. 1 watt and up are surface mount or screw mount. The reason is that you can only dissipate so much heat in a plastic package that the standard 5MM leaded LED use.
Ceramic substrates conduct heat very well.
 

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I like those dash lights cool idea. :thumbup: I guess some one could sit down and figure out the output of a standered bulb and how many of what brightness you really need. I had installed yellow LED's in my mirrors on my daily driver with individual diffusers. They looked bright at night but during the day you hardly notice them. I cant remember which ones i got or but i put 8 in each mirror.
 
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