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Old 10-28-2006, 02:47 PM   #11
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Put a bunch of LEDs in the headlight when on the parking light setting and have them go on with the parking lights and stay on all the time the headlights are on also. If a headlight goes out you still have the LEDs as a backup for safety.
Having LEDs in the same lens assembly as a headlight, is supposed to be a bad idea from what I've read. Supposedly, the heat from the headlights will warm up the LEDs, greatly lowering the LEDs normally long life span.

OTOH if your car has a separate (ideally white) front pointing secondary light lens, there is no reason you couldn't replace the bulb(s) in that secondary lens with LEDs. For example, my CRX has two white "running lights" in separate lens assemblies next to the main headlights, that come on both when the headlights are on and when I just switch to the 1st light position (what is the "parking lights" on many cars). And since these secondary lights appear to just be there to make it easier for you to be seen, I have converted those secondary lights (and for that matter, virtually all my exterior lights except for the headlights and the almost never used fog lights) over to LEDs. But the key point there, is that it's a separate lens (next to the headlight lens) that I put the LEDs into, instead of trying to share a lens between headlights and LEDs.

FWIW: I have started using the first position on my lights (which with my CRX, turns on all exterior lights that normally come on with the headlights, but not the headlights themselves) a fair amount since I've converted them over to LEDs. The reason is safety. Those secondary lights really do make the car very easy to see, and with them now coverted to LEDs they don't draw an unreasonable amount of power (and they will draw even less, when I finally get around to switching the dash lights to LEDs). And especially when it is "overcast", I find that there are many times when I'm not legally required to have my headlights on, and furthermore the headlights don't help me to see any better, but when it would be easy for another driver to overlook my car's presence if I didn't have some lighting turned on. During such time, turning on "all my lights" (except for the headlights), makes a lot of sense...
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:31 PM   #12
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That is illegal in some states, as those are considered parking lamps.

Headlights aren't always meant for you to see with, sometimes they're for other people to see you with. A 5w bulb doesn't help much and I can imagine a bunch of 5mm LEDs helping less. Unless you used Luxeons you're putting out considerably less light than stock.
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:58 PM   #13
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DracoFelis -

I plan to leave all but my headlights on this winter with my CRX.

Seeing as how my car is tiny compared to all of the trucks and SUVs in this area AND on top of that it is white. I really don't feel like getting rolled over by some big logging truck or having some huge Ford or Dodge truck hit me about shoulder height with their bumper.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:44 PM   #14
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I plan to leave all but my headlights on this winter with my CRX.
In Finland we must have all lights on all year round , and all cars must have the headlights come on automatically when the engine starts.
You can not turn them off. (unless you switch them to park with the key off .,.then they go to park lights only.)
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:45 AM   #15
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I know on my BMW motorcycle I used a 5 watt halogen bulb for a parking light in the headlight because I didn't want the ONLY headlight bulb on all the time burning itself out during the freeking daytime. The Halogen gave enough light to seem like the headlight was on and didn't take 65 watts like the headlight (also Halogen).

Good point about the heat killing the LED but that would depend upon the lamp and if it got hot - I would think that most bulbs would get hot - except in the winter or when moving at a pretty good speed you would have air cooling. Hey if you are stopped behind someone it doesn't matter right?
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:59 AM   #16
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I agree with Compaq888. Replace the things you're legally allowed to with LEDs to minimize the draw when the lights are on. Too many bad things can happen when the headlights are off at night, the least of which is a ticket.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:20 PM   #17
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I agree with Compaq888. Replace the things you're legally allowed to with LEDs to minimize the draw when the lights are on. Too many bad things can happen when the headlights are off at night, the least of which is a ticket.
I second that suggestion.

And FWIW that's my theory as well. Replace those things you can easily (and legally) replace with upgrades that are cost effective and more energy efficient. And for the other stuff, just "live with it", knowing that you have improved those things that are reasonably under your control.

For example: I don't try replacing the headlights, but I do replace the secondary lights with LEDs to lower the draw. As to the headlights, I generally only use them when I have to. Which means I'll turn the secondary lights, which are now LEDs, on during the day (because those LEDs don't draw a lot of power, and they do make the car MUCH easier to see), but the headlights are only on when either I need their light OR the law requires my headlights to be on.

NOTE: Don't forget to get as many lights converted over as you can easily do. It's amazing how much current draw the small lights add up to. For example, converting the dash over to LEDs (which can be a PITA on some cars) could easily save you an amp or two of power. And just converting the license plate lights over to LEDs, can easily be over 1/2 of an amp savings all by itself...
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