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The great LED revolution

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by jdp1962, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I confess I was a sceptic for a long time. Plenty of people will recall my withering comments about LEDs, and what the point of them was, particularly at the back of the car, where the driver is rarely to be found. But, as one of the few policiticians I've ever respected, Denis Healey, once said, "When I come to realise I'm wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?".

    I've now got white LEDS all over the interior (courtesy of T8ups, of course), and he has just today posted me a kit for the glovebox and boot. Meanwhile, I have fitted the white LED number plate lights that Tiffy recommended (Click).

    I'm very reluctant to start changing things in the headlights - watching RMH1A4Cab's trial and tribulations make me think it's way too complicated for a technical chump like me to mess with. So that just leaves the rear lights to do, which I shall probably change next month. I have a question about those though. Forgive me if it's daft one, but it matters to me. Presently, if one of the bulbs blows in the standard cluster, I fit a new bulb, and it costs couple of quid from Halfords. If an LED interior light fails, it's a couple of quid for a new one from T8ups.

    But if an LED blows in one of those replacment rear light fittings like these, can the LED itself just be replaced, or does the whole fitting have to be replaced? Cos if it does, they're £265!!!!
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  2. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    Glad to see you've finally come around LOL. I was very close to getting one of those LED light units fitted but someone (may have been you) convinced me they look sh**! So I stuck with my OEM ones in the end. I'm still not a fan of them to be honest.

    To answer your question, YES it is possible to replace the LED but very time consuming and alot of effort trying to get the correct rating LED, resealing the light lens etc. You'd be better off getting the unit replaced. HOWEVER, LEDs last a very long time and will more than likely outlast the life of the vehicle (so long as they aren't unregulated cheap Chinese ones). The light units generally come with a good amount of warranty anyway, so if they were to fail they'd be covered. As long they are a good brand, I wouldn't be too worried about them.

    Az.
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  3. ajax1976
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    ajax1976 Active Member

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    Big fan of LEDS, Same as Jeff my interior has had the T8ups treatment and very happy with, love the crisp brightness but do miss the fade affect of a normal bulb. Tail lights are a different story though, there are bits I think should be left OEM and tail lights for me fall into that category. I just can't help but cringe when I see cars that have them fitted and are obviously aftermarket especially B7s. I realise that's probably just me tho and I am a firm believer of each to their own but they'll never be on my car:)
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  4. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The reason I'm a bit hesitant is that I remember the failure rate of LEDs in the DIS on B5 A4s.
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  5. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    I totally agree with you on this one pal! :icon_thumright:
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  6. steamship
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    steamship Member

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    My A4 B6 has also had the T8ups treatment at the weekend with the interior LEDs and they look class, and they do have the fade effect. I don't know if it's a shorter period of time, but definitely there.

    BTW My brother drove the car a few weeks back at night and said it was rather bright inside with all the lights. He's going to need sunglasses now.
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  7. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The interior lights shouldn't be on when you're driving, to preserve night vision.
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  8. ajax1976
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    ajax1976 Active Member

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    Fade affect is much shorter due to the way a LED works, when it reaches a certain voltage a LED just stops working where as a filament bulb will fade away gradually to practically nothing. This obviously makes the fade last much longer and more pleasant.
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  9. ESD1711
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    ESD1711 Active Member

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    Agree on this.

    I like the idea of LED tail lights, and even updated headlights which incorporate DRL's and such like..... but I dont htink i've come across anything that really keeps the 'OEM' look that i'd be after.

    THink my standard tail lights will be here to stay, and if i'm changing the headlights - it'll most likely just be to a standard projector headlamp, a la S4 / RS4.

    Personally think you have to be pretty careful when it comes to lights - its a small change that can make a huuuuuuge difference to how a car looks.
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  10. steamship
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    steamship Member

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    Sorry, the lights weren't on whilst driving. It was when he first got in and then when he took the key out, but I know what you mean about the night vision.
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  11. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh, well, the LED revolution isn't quite complete. I installed the glovebox one ok, but something went horribly wrong with the boot one. I somehow managed to break the wires off the LED circuit board, and then when I tried to put the old bulb back in, it didn't light up. So now I have a useless LED and no illumination in the boot at all.

    Much more like my mormal standard of workmanship!
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  12. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    You probably somehow shorted the power across. Don't worry, all the circuits in your car are protected with a fuse for protection. The LED may need the wires re-soldering. I have managed to this a few times too, especially with the glove box LED units.
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  13. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Any idea which fuse I should be checking?
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  14. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    Can't tell you for sure but it's more than likely going to be shared with something else rather than on an independent circuit.
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  15. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    OK, thanks. As far as I can tell, nowt else is dead, though.
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  16. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've fixed it!!!!!

    When I got home from work this afternon, I had fiddle with the bulb holder in the boot, and after a bit of jiggling, it lit up. I think with all the bending of the contacts to fit the LED board, they'd got out of alignment with the original bulb. Emboldened by the knowledge that I still had power, I found my old soldering iron in the shed and had a go at soldering the wires back onto the LED. Untidy and ham-fisted I might be, but I got them to stay on. Of course, I then had to bend the contacts on the holder all out of shape again to pop the LED back in, but miracle of miracles, it lit up! So my boot is now ice-white bright inside.

    I know I making an awful lot out of something very simple, but when you are as untechnical as I am, even a tiny victory like this is worth of celebration.
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  17. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    Nice one buddy, glad you got it sorted. It certainly is a good feeling when you accomplish something all by yourself.
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  18. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sure is; and isn't it strange how much greater the sense of satisfaction you get from un-doing your own ****-up than you get from just doing it right first time?
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  19. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    HAHA so true! :beerchug:
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  20. Chr1sch
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    Chr1sch Member

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  21. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I got some of those too. Not the same supplier, but the same basic idea, that is, a replacement bulb holder with the LED and resistors built in. Emboldened by my extraordinary skills with a soldering iron, I am going to have a crack at making up a ambient light fitting for the back of the car. I picked up the LED unit from Bexley Audi today (part no. 8E0919063A), and then bought this interior light fitting off Ebay. Just waiting for it to arrive.

    Stand by for reports next week on horribly I c0ck it up!
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  22. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    It's not too bad of a job to do. Just take your time and I'm sure you've read through the thread regarding this already.
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  23. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup. The roof light from Ebay is being delivered today. I'll probably have a tinker this evening, with Quattrojames' "how-to" guide on the laptop beside me.
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