I’ve had this project on my to do list for quite a while and finally got around to doing it. I’m glad I did because now I have brighter hazard and taillights that use far less power.
After seeing several videos on the benefits of upgrading hazard and blinker blinker lights to LED bulbs (i.e. brighter and less power), I finally decided it was time to make this upgrade to my tractor.
The top hazard and blinker lights are type 1156 which is a very common automotive bulb. The LED replacement bulbs I chose are made by Alopee and sold as a 2 pack. Some of the specs are a 12 to 24V operating voltage. A brightness of 700 lumens. They use 3W of power. And they have a beam angle of 360 degrees. Also they are less than 2″ tall so I know they will fit in the space. They are available from Amazon for $15.89.
It so happens that the rear hazard light bulbs are also type 1156 so I bought another set of the Alopee bulbs for those.
The rear taillights are type 1157 which are dual filament, allowing for dim and bright modes, the bright mode being for braking. However, my tractor doesn’t make use of the dual brightness and instead has them bright all the time. The LED bulbs I chose for these are made by iBrightstar and are also sold as a 2 pack. They have a barrel design with LEDs all the way around and LEDs in the front, focused through a lens. Some of the specs include dual brightness. A 9 to 30V operating voltage. They use 3.8W on high brightness. Their color is Xenon White, or 6500K. They can last up to 30,000 hours. And they are Water Resistant with an IP65 rating. They are sold on Amazon for $15.99.
So, the total project cost includes 2 sets of the Alopee bulbs for $31.78. And one set of the iBrightstar bulbs for $15.99, bringing the total project cost to $47.77.
For the installation, the only tool you’ll need is a Phillips head screwdriver. Oh, and a magnetic tray is handy to hold screws. We’ll start with the top hazard light. Simply Remove the three screws that secure the lens, then remove the lens. As I mentioned, these lights will use the Alopee bulbs. Each bulb is protected by a small box. Remove the old bulb by pressing down and twisting counterclockwise about 30 degrees then lift it out. You can see the bulbs are roughly the same size. Line up the tabs and press the LED bulb into the socket and then twist clockwise by about 30 degrees. Then snap the lens back on but leave the screws out for testing.
With most of the shop lights off, I test and compare the new LED bulb on the left to the incandescent on the right. Lets freeze the video here. There isn’t a lot of difference in brightness between these two but you can see that the LED is more yellow than the amber glow of the incandescent bulb. The LED bulb consumes 3W of power compared to the 21W of the incandescent bulb. That’s 7 times less power. The LED Flashes sharply on and off whereas the incandescent bulb fades out. I think the sharp on and off is a bit more attention-getting.
Next, I’ll change the left rear hazard and blinker light, again leaving the right side bulbs incandescent for comparison. A simple quarter turn counterclockwise releases the bulb and socket from the fixture. Again, push the bulb in and turn counterclockwise to remove the bulb. In goes the LED bulb. And back goes the socket.
Here’s the comparison test with the top hazard light bulbs remove so we are just seeing the rear hazard lights. The LED bulb is obviously a lot brighter. Again, we have 3W vs 21W or 7 times less power.
Now for the red taillights. The socket is removed in the same way with a quarter turn counterclockwise. Push the bulb in and turn counterclockwise to remove the bulb.. Because these bulbs are dual brightness and have three electrical connections, they have offset tabs so that the bulb can only go in one way. So if it won’t go in and turn, remove it and turn it 180 degrees and try again.
So let’s compare. With the ignition key on, I turn on the headlights and taillights. Once again, the LED is noticeably brighter. The LED bulb uses 3.8W compared to the 30W the incandescent uses with both filaments burning, which is 7.9 times less power. Pretty impressive, IMO.
As a final comparison, let’s look at it with all the lights on. The left side having all LED bulbs and the right all incandescent. Except for the top hazard lights which appear equally bright, the LED bulbs are noticeably brighter. And the LEDs use 9.8W total compared to 72W of the incandescent bulbs. So they are brighter AND consume 7.3 times less power.
And in case you’re curious, here what it looks like with all LED bulbs.
Well worth it, in my opinion!
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