Lighting Upgrades - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting Upgrades

I'm looking to upgrade all my outside lights. Dont know much about electrical work, though. My headlights I'm going to stick with plain halogen H4's but is there a plug and play system that anyone can recommend? As far as side marker/reverse/break lights, is it worth the extra coin for LED? Would I need any additional wiring to support the LED bulbs? Not looking to do sequential tail lights, just going to keep things the same, just keep things simple. Thank you in advance for any info.

-Bing

My dog's name is Pickles. I'm pretty sure he enjoys it because whenever I call him he wags his tail.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 07:27 AM
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I personally think it's worth the money for the LED tail lights and turn signals. Our lights are pretty dim and pretty small compared to the blinding brake lights on modern cars so anything that can make them more visible is a good thing.
@gtonavy here on the board makes some of the best LED lights anywhere. His web site's over here: Mustang LEDs

The only thing you need to change wiring wise to switch to LEDs is the flasher relays, and those are simple to swap out. Aside from that the LED lights are plug and play.

For the headlights, even if you're keeping the halogens you should add some relays. It really does make them a lot brighter.

Every time this comes up people are always recommending getting stuff from Daniel Stern Lighting, and he's got H4 bulbs and relay kits so while I don't personally have his Cibie H4 bulbs (yet) I'll go ahead and put the link here. Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply

Lights are a nice easy upgrade, they're just not necessarily cheap. But they do make for a more enjoyable drive if you go out after dark.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 07:36 AM
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I think it's worth the extra coin for the brake lights. LED bulbs are plug and play. LED bulbs are polarity sensitive, So if you have a straight pin bulb it may not work the first time you install it you may have to spin it 180 degrees. I have seen this on dash lights.
If you change your parking and brake lights you will have to change your flasher to a electronic flasher ( I think that's what they call it ) I just change the brake lights on my cars and keep the OEM style flasher, But that's up to you.
I went with LED headlights, They are a little flatter then I hoped. Have not used them at night yet so I don't know if they are better or not.
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Last edited by BW66; 07-04-2019 at 07:43 AM. Reason: more info
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 08:04 AM
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I put dual relays in for my headlights, one for the low and one for the high beam and it made a great difference, but then I went with DOT approved LED headlights and it is like night and day. There are two kinds each about $150 each. One is from Grote, and the other, which I have is Truck-Lite 27270C 7” round LED H4 headlights.

You can Google each one and find them on eBay, Amazon and most times they will be under the $150 each price range. The Truck-Lite ones come with a 3 year warranty, and since they are DOT approved won't blind anyone like the conversions where the housing isn't setup correctly.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:12 AM
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I put dual relays in for my headlights, one for the low and one for the high beam and it made a great difference, but then I went with DOT approved LED headlights and it is like night and day. There are two kinds each about $150 each. One is from Grote, and the other, which I have is Truck-Lite 27270C 7 round LED H4 headlights.

You can Google each one and find them on eBay, Amazon and most times they will be under the $150 each price range. The Truck-Lite ones come with a 3 year warranty, and since they are DOT approved won't blind anyone like the conversions where the housing isn't setup correctly.
Hey, thanks for posting this. I was curious about LED headlights and when I search online, all I get are stupid HALOs.

I agree about the LED kits from GTO Navy. I have his full kit installed on my 1970 Mach 1; amazing! The backup lights are now brighter than the headlights. People can actually see my side marker lights and tail lights. And they can REALLY see the brake lights! Can't wrong with those kits.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeJosephDredd View Post
I'm looking to upgrade all my outside lights. Dont know much about electrical work, though. My headlights I'm going to stick with plain halogen H4's but is there a plug and play system that anyone can recommend? As far as side marker/reverse/break lights, is it worth the extra coin for LED? Would I need any additional wiring to support the LED bulbs? Not looking to do sequential tail lights, just going to keep things the same, just keep things simple. Thank you in advance for any info.

-Bing
LED/HID headlights and tailights blind other drivers on the road. Have some consideration and dont be "that" guy. Its roughly the same as driving around with your highbeams on. Halogens are fine...upgrade your headlights to run off of a relay and they will put out more light than the factory...as for tailights, if you want brighter tailights consider using a 3-bulb conversion like scott drake sells...also run off of a relay...both will give more light without blinding other drivers late at night.

P.S. It doesnt matter if they are "DOT approved" Factory Lexus HID and LED headlights blind oncoming traffic too and they are "DOT approved". LED tailights are just as bad at 2am when you pull up behind someone who thinks they are "cool" at a stoplight. You may not notice until you are right up on them so you dont always have the choice to sit further back.

Last edited by wicked93gs; 07-04-2019 at 01:26 PM.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 02:35 PM
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Effective low beam lights are about brightness (lumens), and even more critically, pattern of light distribution. Bright lights, including LED's, are an absolute irritation and hazard if aimed improperly, or as is more common designed with not much attention to pattern. Ideally, low beams should have a sharp cutoff to prevent glare to oncoming drivers, and an even dispersal of light to the sides for illuminating the idiot squirrel who's about to run across the road as well as distance to illuminate the idiot deer with the same idea.
As a testmonial, the Cibie H4 lights (like Daniel Stern sells) go 500-700 feat down the road on low beam, illuminate roughly to the sidewalk or more sideways, and are sharply cut-off.
Here's the isocandela scan of a Cibie 7 inch H4 on low beam. Note the relative concentration of light below the horizontal median line, and the relative lack of high candela light above it, with a slight upwards tilt to the right to see signs and so forth, and a corresponding down angle on the left side to limit glare. That equals less glare to oncoming drivers, and more light where you wish it to be -- on the road. They are relatively cheap to get on Amazon.com, and doubly great if you get the relay as suggested above. Also, go over your connectors in the headlight circuit, including the ground. I soldered each wire into the connectors, and polished off each male connector and the ground eyelet (grounds at the voltage regulator screw) to a shine. The headlights look a white almost blueish tinge with an excellent pattern now, but I've never been flashed by other drivers at night.
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File Type: jpg Cibie_7_Iso.jpg (94.7 KB, 14 views)
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 05:02 PM
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I do not have access to my wiring redo data currently, out of town.
But on our 65, 66 & 72 we did the following.

Replaced alternator with 1 wire 140amp unit
Relocated battery & solenoid to trunk.
Run 0 gauge wire from solenoid to starter.
Installed buss block at original firewall location.
Ran 8 gauge positive wire from trunk solenoid to EB solenoid buss block.
Installed 4 20amp relays at EB battery location.
Rerouted headlight switch to headlights directly to relay #1 Lb, #2 high beam.
All connections were soldered, not voltage drop.

14.4 volts at all terminals vs 10.8 to 11.5 with original wiring.
0 gauge wire only energized when cranking motor over.

I will forward parts lists and pics weekend after next.

Voltage improvements make stock and or led bulb lights operate at maximum efficiency.
Dash HL switch only need .5 volts to function.
Relays carry the bulk of the voltage load rather then the dash circuit and headlight switch.

I should have parts and vendor list for you if interested.






At
solinold
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
"........Every time this comes up people are always recommending getting stuff from Daniel Stern Lighting, and he's got H4 bulbs and relay kits so while I don't personally have his Cibie H4 bulbs (yet) I'll go ahead and put the link here. Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply. ...".


Thanks for mentioning my go-to guy for all lighting questions.

A small point, the Cibie's are lenses, not bulbs. The bulbs are separate, i.e. Not a "sealed beam" like the original equipment. The Cibie lens have a very pleasing convex curvature, unlike many of the other lenses that come with H-4 conversion kits. My first H-4 was purchased from a well known Mustang vendor, and the headlight lens was as flat as a pancake. Very unappealing on a vintage car, especially a Mustang. Despite the improved light, the flat lens put me off of the H-4 conversion until I happened upon Stern's website and discovered the wonderful Cibie lenses.

Z

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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Here is another vote for GTO Navy's LED tail lights from Mustang LEDs and Cibie H4s with relays and Philips Xtreme Vison bulbs as recommended by Daniel Stern. Have both and am happy with the results. I agree about the convex lens which looks much better than the flat offerings from Hella etc. Here are a couple threads on the headlights.


https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/v...eadlights.html


https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/v...-h4-bulbs.html


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked93gs View Post
LED/HID headlights and tailights blind other drivers on the road. Have some consideration and dont be "that" guy. Its roughly the same as driving around with your highbeams on. Halogens are fine...upgrade your headlights to run off of a relay and they will put out more light than the factory...as for tailights, if you want brighter tailights consider using a 3-bulb conversion like scott drake sells...also run off of a relay...both will give more light without blinding other drivers late at night.

P.S. It doesnt matter if they are "DOT approved" Factory Lexus HID and LED headlights blind oncoming traffic too and they are "DOT approved". LED tailights are just as bad at 2am when you pull up behind someone who thinks they are "cool" at a stoplight. You may not notice until you are right up on them so you dont always have the choice to sit further back.



I actually had the 3 bulb conversion from Scott Drake. It places the 2 additional bulbs directly behind the vertical bars on the tail light bezel. They were acceptable at night, but during the day I was always told that they were dim and very hard to see.


I am inclined to agree for the most part about HID/LED headlights. There are a few acceptions I see but around 80% do seem to cause excessive glare to oncoming traffic. As for LED tail lights I have seen some that are worse than the standard bulbs and some that work great. I think if done right these are great for added safety and do not see an issue with them especially on vehicles with out a third brake light. This is probably primarily because they are red in color which is easier on the eyeball at night.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I just got back from a cruise and there is a hot rod shop right down the street from me. Saw it when I first moved in a couple months ago and completely forgot about it. I'll see what they say and add this info as well and go from there.

My dog's name is Pickles. I'm pretty sure he enjoys it because whenever I call him he wags his tail.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:03 PM
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I'm looking to brighten up my tail lights. I feel they are not bright enough and always worried about getting rear ended.

I believe each tail light has 1 single 1157 bulb. Can I simply go to my local store and buy 1157 LED bulbs and put them in?

That should brighten things up I think. Will I need to change the flasher?

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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I'm looking to brighten up my tail lights. I feel they are not bright enough and always worried about getting rear ended.

I believe each tail light has 1 single 1157 bulb. Can I simply go to my local store and buy 1157 LED bulbs and put them in?

That should brighten things up I think. Will I need to change the flasher?
I'm using 1157 style LEDs in mine currently and they are quite a lot brighter than the incandescent bulbs. Sometime I'd like to upgrade to the ones that gtonavy sells but for now they're good enough.

I think that as long as you keep the front ones incandescent, you shouldn't need a different flasher unit. I only did the rears and I don't remember needing a different one.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:46 AM
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I'm using 1157 style LEDs in mine currently and they are quite a lot brighter than the incandescent bulbs. Sometime I'd like to upgrade to the ones that gtonavy sells but for now they're good enough.

I think that as long as you keep the front ones incandescent, you shouldn't need a different flasher unit. I only did the rears and I don't remember needing a different one.
Thanks. I'll look for some good quality 1157 LED's for the rear tail lights. Eventually I'll replace all the bulbs but for now I just want the brake lights a little brighter. I rarely drive the car at night.

Hopefully the flash rate will remain the same.

I have upgraded all the instrument cluster bulbs to LED and that was a huge upgrade!
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