How to Install LED's Into your Dash
jasonlitka Mar 31 2006 - 5:37pm
LED - Light Emitting Diode is a semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through it. Most LED's produce light at a single wavelength. The output from an LED can range from red (at a wavelength of approximately 700 nanometers) to blue-violet (about 400 nanometers).
MCD - A measurement of how bright a LED is. I recommend 3000 or above for a dash.
Resistor - A resistor is an electrical component that limits or regulates the flow of electrical current in an electronic circuit. (has to be used to lower the voltage)
Ohm - The ohm is the standard unit of electrical resistance in the International System of Units
Polarity - Polarity is a term used in electricity, magnetism, and electronic signaling. Suppose there is a constant voltage, also called an electric potential or electromotive force (EMF), between two objects or points. In such a situation, one of the objects or points (poles) has more electrons than the other. The pole with relatively more electrons is said to have negative polarity; the other is assigned positive polarity. If the two poles are connected by a conductive path such as a wire, electrons flow from the negative pole toward the positive pole. This flow of charge carriers constitutes an electric current. In physics, the theoretical direction of current flow is considered to be from positive to negative by convention, opposite to the flow of electrons.
Q and A's:
Q) How much does high output LED's cost?
Q) Will this work on a 90-92 Camaro?
Q) Is there any benefit of having white LED's over "white" stock bulbs?
Q) Will the stock dash lamp dimmer work with LED's?
Q) How bright LED's should I buy?
Q) Which lead is the positive lead on a LED
Tools and Skills needed:
- A Few hours
Buying the electronics you need:
1) You are going to need 11 LED's for a Camaro (I recommend buying more)
I have assembled a list of a few LED's that would work good:
When you see something that says "15 deg" or "30 deg" that is the viewing angle. The wider the better because it will spread the light better.
## These are the LED's I used. They are borderline bright enough. Some areas of the dash are not fully lit. If you choose this LED you may want to put 2 per socket.
** I recommend using 2 LED's per bulb socket on LED's below 3000 MCD
3) Once you selected the LED's you want you must figure out how much resistance you need in order to run each LED. Use the following equation to find the correct ohm value:
For 1 LED per socket or 2 LED's wired in parallel:
Rs = The ohms of resistance needed (the resistance value of the resistor)
13.45 - 5
For 2 LED's per socket wired in series:
13.45 - 5
4) All you need is 1/8 watt resistors. I used 1/4 watt because that's what I had laying around. If they do not make a resistor in the value you need you can put 2 resistors in series and add the values to get the correct resistance (can be off by up to 15 ohms). For example I made 423 ohms of resistance by wiring a 390 ohm resistor and a 33 ohm resistor in series.
How it's done:
NOTE: I only used one 3000MCD LED per socket. If two were used it would be much brighter. I highly recommend using more then 3000 MCD per socket.
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