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Reverse light upgrade

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by gixxer600k4, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2009
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  3. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    I would go for a slightly higher power normal gas bulb before trying LEDs mate. To be honest I can't see them making much of a difference to your rear vision though.
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  4. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    LEDs will output LESS light than the standard bulb. They'll look brighter in colour, but that's all.
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  5. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    I think that depends on the LED though doesn't it Lee? These have 3 LEDs in total so they could be brighter. Your DRL LEDs look brighter than standard! :drool:
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  6. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    They look it, but they're not. Like I said, it's just the colour. You can see SFA with them in the dark.
    #5
  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Okie dokie!
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  8. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    BTW, mine have 30 LEDs.
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  9. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Aha that's that theory blown out of the water! lol
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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  10. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Whoooah there neddy.

    -That's just as inaccurate a statement as declaring that a petrol engine will always make less torque than a diesel; It's an apples-to-oranges comparison, and actually quite wrong.

    Coloured incandescent bulbs are the only bulbs which meet your description. (see the Daniel Stern Lighting site for a more detailed explanation) but it is absolutely inapplicable to LEDs.

    Here's what I THINK you may have meant:

    White LEDs are equivalent to a higher colour temperature, and a higher colour temperature gives the IMPRESSION of being 'brighter' because as a light bulb increases in brightness, so too does its colour temperature.

    The correct way to measure brightness is in luminous intensisty, specified using the unit 'candela' (or often 'millicandelas which is a 1/000th of a candela).

    HOWEVER...

    It is perfectly possible to have LEDs which are much brighter than normal incandescent bulbs. Not only that, but they consume less power to create even MORE light than their 'hot-wire' counterparts.

    What makes them a poor-swap in terms of luminous intensity is the discrepancy between angular light dispersion. MOST incandescent bulbs radiate light equally in all directions (an exception is the PAR series which stands for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector). LEDs are 'lensed' to concentrate their light and -like the PAR bulbs- concentrate most of their light in a nominally 'forward' direction.

    Many vehicle lights ignore much of the 'forward' light of the bulb, and instead gather the 'side' light ejection (like a lighthouse light collector) and direct it in a single direction. The A3 sportback tail light is a perfect example of this -I can't speak for the hatch light arrangement as I've not examined one in person.

    Unfortunately there are several other variables which make comparison difficult, but the underlying fact is that if you get enough LEDs of sufficient power correctly lensed, their output will be VASTLY brighter than an equally-powered incandescent light. ALWAYS, AND WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    Keith
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  11. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Drive in forwards to the place you were going to reverse into and use your headlights as reversing lights :faint:
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  12. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    :keule::keule::keule:
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  13. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Oh FFS.

    Yes you are technically accurate, however, you find me a replacement LED unit suitable for plug and play use in the reverse light of an 8P A3/S3, which has both a similar luminous intensity to that of an OEM incandescent bulb AND correctly oriented LEDs to make similar use of the light output via the OEM reflector. It might technically produce more light, but if none of it is focussed in the right direction he'll see less than he does now, and as his desired outcome is to see more, that's pretty pointless "upgrade".

    So as I said, in layman's terms, the LED replacement will NOT be as bright as his OEM bulb.
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  14. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    but still, would that bulb fit?

    it is stating that it has 50 lumens which is pretty bright, i know LEDs may not work as well as a filament bulb due to the light being dispersed more, but nowadays, LED technology is pretty good at the moment. take for example the new CREE Q5 type LED which is much bright than any bulb will ever be, but unfortunately, it is not available for the automotive world. with my work (retained firefighter) when we get called out we all drive round back of station and then reverse down a long, unlit drive/road and my reverse light is shocking, can barely see behind me or to my side! just looking for a better alternative.

    STAZ- what are these higher powered bulbs like and where can i find them?

    thanks
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  15. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    The base would fit, but I'm not sure the bulb would fit through the hole in the reflector.
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  16. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    good point, hey ho. no doubt it will throw up stupid warning lights too!
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  17. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    ...Except that's NOT what you said. What you said was technically inaccurate. Hence my correction.

    Most people don't understand LEDs, I'm trying to help that.

    You didn't frame your comment as being set out in 'layman's terms'; you introduced the notion of 'apparent brightness' and thus took it AWAY from bare facts...

    So I'm sorry it of qualifies as deserving an 'FFS' comment, perhaps I'll just try and be vague and inaccurate in future.

    :tapedshut:

    Keith
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  18. devonmikeyboy
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    devonmikeyboy As far from JBS as possible !

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
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  19. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    I'm sorry Keith, but most people would understand the two phrases I used to mean the same thing, whether technically accurate or not.

    And here is what I said:

    But ignoring that...

    Just to be technically accurate, the replacement wouldn't be a 21W LED, would it? So your statement is technically accurate, but VERY MISLEADING.

    :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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  20. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    People's understanding - whether correct or otherwise- in no way makes your statement accurate.

    In this instance yes. It would have to be for your statement to be in ANY way correct.

    And there's nothing misleading about my statement. It's precisely accurate and I'm being as scrupulously careful as I can be, so as to be in NO way misleading. (which I would point out stands in sharp contrast to your attempt to defend a casually-written point.) kindly don't accuse me of being misleading.

    Keith
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  21. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    :banghead:

    But it IS misleading, as you seem to be implying that the replacement bulb would be based on LEDs of equal power to the original bulb, which they simply are not, and as far as I'm aware, a 21W LED bulb to fit the reverse light of an A3 isn't available. I understand that that isn't what you're saying, but it could be read that way, and as such may mislead some.

    Anyway, have fun, I'm going out.
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  22. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Well, if you're going to resort to THAT line of reasoning, there's really no putting it right, is there?

    I'm NOT saying that, nor did I ever introduce hard numbers (that was your doing) I merely pointed out the -perfectly accurate- fact that your original statement was incorrect. Your original post included NO numbers nor any reference to relative power...

    The facts however, are that comparably powered LEDs output MORE light (and less heat) than their incandescent counterparts, which is quite at odds with your original assertion.

    In case you've forgotten, permit me to remind you:
    Now, tell me how your short (and distinctly oversimplified) post is somehow in any way LESS misleading than my carefully-reasoned comments aiming to show its inaccuracies. -And I mean WITHOUT resorting to tenuous "well... someone might, possibly, conceivably, take it the wrong way" sort of thing" lines of reasoning.

    Really. -I'd be fascinated.

    Keith
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  23. Slimbaldy
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    Slimbaldy Hammer it!

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    Doh! buy a decent maglight and when revering tell the wife to get out and illuminate your path! Maglights do have many other uses as well and would prove to be a good investment.

    :arco:
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  24. Slimbaldy
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    Slimbaldy Hammer it!

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    [Nov 27, 2009]
    :idea: VW Addict, is this an LED Bulb? or can we get one to fit?
    #23
  25. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    You honestly can't see how a technically accurate post could be misleading, can you?

    Anyway, thanks for reminding me of my original post, I had forgotten as it's proving to be quite a long night. :drag:

    Maybe I should expand for those unable to read a comment in context.

    The LEDs suitable for replacing an OEM reversing bulb on an 8P A3, while there is a possibility that they may be technically producing more light, will output LESS light which is of any use in illuminating the correct areas of the lamp's reflectors and is highly unlikely to be specifically focussed in a way which illuminates both the nearside kerb and objects behind the vehicle, therefore producing a far less practical illuminated area than the standard bulb. They'll look brighter in colour, but in practical terms that's all.
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  26. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    THERE you go.

    Now that's accurate and non-misleading.

    I've got a spare Sportback rear-light set here, and a bag of 1,000 white 1-Watt LEDs. Together with a CCS driver circuit, I reckon I can make something which draws about 21Watts per side, but produces about as muck light as the average dipped headlight ...only pointing backwards!

    Keith
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  27. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    :thumbsup:
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  28. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    Cool. -If I was still there, I'd share a beer with you... (-just flew back here this week).

    :thumbsup:

    -MY there were a lot of A3's over in Blighty... Compared to here, I mean. (I see one every 5 or 6 days, that's about all)

    If I do make a reversing light LED frenzy, I'll post pics.

    :photo:

    Keith
    #27
  29. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    its all about the lumen rating, if you could get LED's to emit the same amount or more lumens as the incandescent original then it would be useful, however the cost of these would be prohibitive.
    LED's are NOT normally an upgrade, just a gimmick at the moment, until their efficiency and cost go in opposite directions
    #28
  30. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    [Nov 28, 2009]
    im hoping they start fitting the CREE LED's into car bulbs, that would be really good, but pricey, the only issue i really have with LED's is that they always throw up warning lights.
    #29
  31. Scott
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    Scott Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 29, 2009]
    Have you tried using your rear fog to light it up a little more? I know it's red and it probably wouldn't really help, but I've never tried it and thought I'd put the idea out there. :)
    #30

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