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LED Brake Lights

I'm trying to increase the amount of light for rear running lights and brakes so I came up with this LED circuit board to fit in the 911 brake enclosure. My goal was to dramatically increase light output and to make it plug-n-play.

Here's the board in my 930.



I did some light measurement comparisons with the LED board compared with the standard bulb. The brake LED is about 3 times as bright as the bulb. The LED light output is quite directional and this is observed as one moves away from the direct rear of the car.




The LED taillight is about 6 times as bright as the bulb.




A couple of questions:

Would anyone be interested in a set of these LED boards?

My 930 is 1986 vintage. What years use the same size opening for the brake light?

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Old 03-07-2015, 03:36 PM
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That looks great to me! I assume some of the leds are on for tail, and all on for stop? Or they all on but dimmer? How are you connected to the original socket? A double pole one/way bulb base? Something like this is readily available, but yours looks to fit the 911 reflector aperture exactly - very nice. How much for a set?
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Last edited by Algernon; 03-07-2015 at 03:57 PM..
Old 03-07-2015, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algernon View Post
That looks great to me! I assume some of the leds are on for tail, and all on for stop? Or they all on but dimmer? How are you connected to the original socket? A double pole one/way bulb base? Something like this is readily available, but yours looks to fit the 911 reflector aperture exactly - very nice. How much for a set?
When you say something is available, are you thinking about the LED bulb replacements that can be found on superbrightLEDs.com and other sites?

This is designed specifically to fit in the 911 brake enclosure. There are 48 LEDs on this board. They are all on dimly for taillights and bright for brake. Being that they fill the entire lens, they give off a uniform light intensity.

The boards look like these ones here that I'm doing for the 914. The pigtail has a bulb base that plugs right into the socket. Clips secure the board to the enclosure so there's no cutting, drilling, or anything. Takes a few minutes to install, can be taken out in less time.




The price will be $90 for a pair + $10 shipping (CONUS).
Old 03-07-2015, 05:03 PM
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I have seen some panels of 5050 surface mount arrays, thought they were legal.
Are yours really not for road use? Are they just too bright to be legal? Or is that just a disclaimer.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:23 PM
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I'm all up for anything that makes the brake lights more visible with so many distracted drivers out there. I'd be interested in a set, or more if they also fit 914s as well.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:56 PM
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I would take a set.....

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Old 03-07-2015, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algernon View Post
I have seen some panels of 5050 surface mount arrays, thought they were legal.
Are yours really not for road use? Are they just too bright to be legal? Or is that just a disclaimer.
Just a disclaimer. They're not any brighter than the LED tails on late model cars but a hell of a lot brighter than the original bulbs.
Old 03-07-2015, 09:18 PM
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I'm all up for anything that makes the brake lights more visible with so many distracted drivers out there. I'd be interested in a set, or more if they also fit 914s as well.
I have 914 LED boards for the front turnsignal buckets, rear brakes and rear turnsignals. Check out this thread:

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Old 03-07-2015, 09:20 PM
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My GF complained about the brake lights when she followed me home after I bought my '86. I've since added a LED third brake light, but would definitely be interested in LED standard brake lights.
Old 03-07-2015, 09:20 PM
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Are there any electrical modifications required? Not being an electrical engineer I am not sure if something needs to be done if the load is different on the system?

I put led dash lights in that work great but the dimmer does not really work too well?
Old 03-08-2015, 07:56 AM
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I'd be in for a plug and play! Keep us posted, mainly about pricing and fitting.
Old 03-08-2015, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoke View Post
Just a disclaimer. They're not any brighter than the LED tails on late model cars but a hell of a lot brighter than the original bulbs.
That's what I was thinking - better to stick a 'not for road use ' label on them than risk being sued!
Brilliant, looks easy to plug in to bulb socket and then just clip into the housing. IMO well worth the $100/set!
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:27 AM
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I would be interested as well! Maybe your first Canadian customer?? I will PM you...
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:00 AM
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BTW - what about the front turn signals for a 911 - '77 with the big bumpers...
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:02 AM
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Post video of this in action please, I've been asking a few LED shops like Mayday Garage/Car shop glow to make these for the 911
Old 03-08-2015, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karter18 View Post
Are there any electrical modifications required? Not being an electrical engineer I am not sure if something needs to be done if the load is different on the system?

I put led dash lights in that work great but the dimmer does not really work too well?
Understood with the dimmer issue. The old style dimmer is a variable resistor meant to lower the voltage/current in the dash bulbs. LEDs are much much less of an electrical load and likely don't dim at all with the dimmer.

These brake lights won't cause any issues with the electrical system. The brake light circuit is just the brake light and a switch on the brake pedal between battery and ground.

I've tried to make these so nothing changes in the vehicle and one can go back to the bulb in a couple of minutes. There are a couple of 914 concours guys who run these when on the road then switch back to bulbs for shows for originality.

To install the LED board, simply remove the lens and the bulb and plug in the bulb base with pigtail. I've even put a small handle on the base to make it easy to install. Electrically that's it. The handle is a piece of old circuit board from work so I can say "includes recycled material"



To secure the boards, I've come up with these plastic clips which will wedge against the top and bottom of the housing when tightened up. I'll even include the allen wrench to tighten the screws.


Last edited by spoke; 03-08-2015 at 03:47 PM..
Old 03-08-2015, 11:53 AM
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So if I'm reading the graphs correctly, at a 30 viewing angle the intensity is still about the same as an incandescent bulb? And much better as the angle decreases?
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:02 PM
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Here's a short video of my 930 with an LED board on the drivers side and standard bulb on the passenger side for comparison. Running lights are on then I hit the brakes. With sound on you can hear my 930 idling.




Here's some videos of my 914 with LED boards vs standard bulbs. The 911 and 914 brake boards are virtually identical.

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Old 03-08-2015, 12:13 PM
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So if I'm reading the graphs correctly, at a 30 viewing angle the intensity is still about the same as an incandescent bulb? And much better as the angle decreases?
Correct. These are Cree 5mm through hole LEDs and have a very tight 1/2 power angle of 15 degrees. So straight on (directly behind the car; the brakes are very bright). At a 30 degree angle, the light decreases significantly. Cree lists similar LEDs with 30 degree 1/2 power angle but are not generally available.

The good thing is those directly behind you will see the most intense light from these LEDs. These are the folks most likely to rear-end you like the young driver did to me in my 914 a few years back. This is when I decided to make these LEDs.

This is what my 914 looked like after a 1/2 mile trip from my house.

Old 03-08-2015, 12:23 PM
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I would be interested in purchasing a set. Let me know when available.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:32 PM
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