Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
Weekend Warrior
 
Mr.Sovereign's Avatar
 
2000 34' Excella
1987 29' Sovereign
Pace , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Images: 32
Brighter taillights without converting to LED

There has been a lot of discussion around taillight converstion to LED. LED's are brighter, more reliable, use a lot less energy and look really cool. The only real downside is the cost of conversion. Of course, the newer Airstreams have a direct replacement option at about $25 per taillight. Past that, older AS units have to "create" some sort of retrofit, and there are some fantastic examples of what people have done. Still, cost of retrofit is going to be somewhere in the $20+ range per taillight.

I actually "stole" an old hot-rodder trick. Many of the 30's and 40's hot-rod conversions fight the same problems we do with not having a bright enough taillight. Most of them are using taillights that are very small (approx 2" x 5"). What most all of them do is this:

(1) Paint the inside of the can gloss white, and
(2) Replace the 1157 dual filament bulb with a 2357LL dual filament bulb.

Here's why:

(1) Contrary to popular belief, a good clean white is a better reflector than a silver paint. A mirrored finished is perfect if all the angles are designed to reflect the light backwards. Today's reflectors are parabolic and direct a lot of light energy to the right place. The cans that we have in our older units are not shaped to do so. Painting them gloss white will make a tremendous difference (especially from the glavanized coating that they currently are). Be sure to use a high grade paint (industrial is best) that can withstand the heat associated with the bulb. White reflects all wavelengths, so you'll get a nice bright, even light from the taillight.

(2) The long time standard 1157 bulb seems to leave something to be desired. A good replacement is the 2357LL (NOT the std 2357). Not only does the 2357LL extend the life, but it is a higher candlepower (cp) bulb. See the comparison

1157 taillight power = 3
brakelight power = 32

2357 taillight power = 3
brakelight power = 32

2357LL taillight power = 3
brakelight power = 40

You get 25% more light for a simple bulb swap. Power consumption only increases from 26.9W to 28.9W, so not a major increase in current requirements. Wiring size will not be a factor in this improvement.

The picture doesn't do it justice. I was amazed when I did the "conversion". I'm still using the original lens, which I plan to replace in the near future.

Hopefully this will help some who don't want to spend the money to upgrade to LED!

Happy Monday,
Warren
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	how_to_paint_canister_without_removing_them.jpg
Views:	104
Size:	56.2 KB
ID:	78864   Click image for larger version

Name:	freshly_painted_canisters_-_gloss_white.jpg
Views:	111
Size:	72.9 KB
ID:	78865  

Click image for larger version

Name:	new_taillights.jpg
Views:	133
Size:	64.9 KB
ID:	78866  
__________________

__________________
________________________
W. Warren Whitfield
Pace, Florida (near Pensacola)
2000 Excella 34'
2003 Suburban 1500 tow vehicle
Mr.Sovereign is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
INSANITY CENTRAL
 
doorgunner's Avatar
 
1986 32' Excella
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Citrus Heights , California
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,105
Images: 35
I'll give it a try on my 86.
Nice diamondplate with cleats!
Thanks
__________________

__________________


www.popasmoke.com




Proud Appellation American





Vine View Heights is now closed.

YETI ( 65 Quart )

IGLOO (Ice Cube, 50 Quart )
doorgunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,603
Images: 1
Did you do a voltage reading? That's the other half of the equation (the important one, IMO).

Nicely done write-up and photos, thanks.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,272
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Good idea.

Hi, I like the white idea. In the 70's I painted the reflectors silver and cleaned the lenses really good on some cars and it made a big difference. Also I either cleaned the bulbs or replaced them.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
Weekend Warrior
 
Mr.Sovereign's Avatar
 
2000 34' Excella
1987 29' Sovereign
Pace , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Images: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Did you do a voltage reading? That's the other half of the equation (the important one, IMO).

Nicely done write-up and photos, thanks.
No, I did not take a voltage reading (before or after). However, I would not expect it to change very much. The amperage only went up slightly....not enough to where I would expect it to create voltage decay.

I should have taken a "before" picture for comparison. I saw a pretty significant improvement with the changes, though.

Thanks for the questions.

Happy Monday,
Warren
__________________
________________________
W. Warren Whitfield
Pace, Florida (near Pensacola)
2000 Excella 34'
2003 Suburban 1500 tow vehicle
Mr.Sovereign is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
1972 27' Overlander
Saline , Michigan
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 178
Great suggestion Warren,

I just finished cleaning my lenses, painting the cans white, and did the bulb swap.

Big difference.

Steve
__________________
loechli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
ryan3326's Avatar
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 47
thanks for the tip - I just replaced all of my lenses and will give it a try.
__________________
In Search of "Hill Country"
www.doublesanddogs.com
ryan3326 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Melody Ranch's Avatar
 
1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,960
Images: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Melody Ranch
How about single contact bulbs?

Warren....great idea! Do you happen to know of a similar bulb replacement for single contact bulbs? I want more put out for my side marker lites. I did paint the base plates white as suggested.
__________________
Melody Ranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
I did it on my 71. It works. Why on earth did they paint the cans black anyway?

Don't forget to mask off the fiber optics in the tail/brake/stop light.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Dan@LED4RV's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Denton , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 695
one point of failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sovereign View Post
There has been a lot of discussion around taillight converstion to LED. LED's are brighter, more reliable, use a lot less energy and look really cool. The only real downside is the cost of conversion. Of course, the newer Airstreams have a direct replacement option at about $25 per taillight. Past that, older AS units have to "create" some sort of retrofit, and there are some fantastic examples of what people have done. Still, cost of retrofit is going to be somewhere in the $20+ range per taillight.

Warren
Warren,


Good job on the painting. I think there is a product has come down in $ and has a lot of pop.

And they are in that $ range

Click here to see their video.

And they have it in a kit for all 6 lights


Has anyone tried them??? Looks pretty good.


Fixer
__________________
Dan@LED4RV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 05:24 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
down south , South Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 100
MR. SOVEREIGN!!! DON'T BACK INTO THAT BASKETBALL POLE!!!!!!
__________________
Dieselgrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 08:08 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Thanks! I know now what the next "project" is. Wanting brighter lights back there but not wanting to give up the fiber optic indicators. (that I think are the coolest thing on the trailer) This will fit into my super tight budget and accomplish what I want! Wish I could send KARMA, thanks just is not enough.
__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
Weekend Warrior
 
Mr.Sovereign's Avatar
 
2000 34' Excella
1987 29' Sovereign
Pace , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Images: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
Warren....great idea! Do you happen to know of a similar bulb replacement for single contact bulbs? I want more put out for my side marker lites. I did paint the base plates white as suggested.
I've not had any luck finding brighter replacements for the single contact bulbs. Specifically on the side marker lights (Grote markers with tiny bulb), I'm fairly certain there is not a replacement. I searched all of the catalogs with that base number and they all have the same power ratings. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Happy Sunday,
Warren
__________________

__________________
________________________
W. Warren Whitfield
Pace, Florida (near Pensacola)
2000 Excella 34'
2003 Suburban 1500 tow vehicle
Mr.Sovereign is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'07 Safari Taillights marta5 Lights - Interior & Exterior 1 03-24-2008 10:48 AM
Glass in, taillights on. Petethefeet Cleaning, Stripping & Polishing 3 03-20-2008 12:52 PM
4" by 4" LED Taillights for Vintage Trailers. startrekker2001 Lights - Interior & Exterior 7 09-05-2007 03:27 PM
LED Taillights scf31 Lights - Interior & Exterior 7 04-25-2005 08:47 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.