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Discussion Starter #1
So question-- I've been looking at replacing my 3157 bulbs on my sedan with LEDs as a cost effective solution to replacing the entire tail light assembly (us sedan owners hardly have any options!).

I've come across superbrightleds.com and I found another brand called the Putco Plasma LED which seems somewhat decent.

Originally, I was interested in these.

I see that they are dual intensity. What does that mean exactly? If I wanted to replace the standard tail light (for brakes), does that mean that the LEDs would fluctuate from regular light (no brake applied) to high light (with brake applied)? I see that the red LED has a high rating of 80 lumens and a low rating of 15 lumens. The white LED is low 25 lumens and high 165 lumens. Does that mean that if I apply the brakes, and I put the white LED in the tail lights, that it will be brighter than if I were to have used the red LED?

Now if we look at this model it says that the white LED is 550lm and the red is much less at 96 lumen. Does it make sense to put the white LED behind the red colored tail light or still use the red LED behind the red lens ("For best results the LED color should be the same as the lens color"). I would prefer this unit since it's apparently significantly brighter (however, it's also much larger, so I'm not sure if it will fit).

With respect to Putco LEDs, they claim to the "brightest" in the market, but don't give any technical specifications. I don't know their lumen count, for example. Does anyone have any experience with either of those two brands? I know superbrightleds is a forum sponsor, so I'm more inclined to go with them, but their board is also a bit inactive. I'll post there as well, but ideally, I would like to get the superior product.

EDIT: Yes, I am aware that I may need resistors. The plan was to get the LEDs first, see if they trigger a fast flash in the dash, and if so, then buy the resistor and figure out mounting location at that point (I hear they get very hot).
 

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You will get hyper flash for the signals without resistors. I know because I tried and just received them the other day to try again.
 

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I have the previous gen of these... 170 lumens in high mode. I have a SVT (with the tails in my face) and they would burn my retinas when I locked the door with the fob.
http://www.vleds.com/shop-bulb-numbers/3157-3156-led/3157-red.html

You want the color of the LED to match the lens, white bulbs in a red lens would look pinkish. You wont need resistors for parking/brake lights unless the MK3s have a "bulb out warning" system. I wouldn't know since I don't own one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have the previous gen of these... 170 lumens in high mode. I have a SVT (with the tails in my face) and they would burn my retinas when I locked the door with the fob.
http://www.vleds.com/shop-bulb-numbers/3157-3156-led/3157-red.html

You want the color of the LED to match the lens, white bulbs in a red lens would look pinkish. You wont need resistors for parking/brake lights unless the MK3s have a "bulb out warning" system. I wouldn't know since I don't own one.
Thanks for the lead! I have never heard of these guys, but they are advertising that their amber/red is at 170 lumens which is double what superbrightleds has on their highest offering.

However, I don't see any mention of this being a "dual stage" or "dual intensity" light. In your experience, have you noticed that if you hit the brake pedal that the lights get brighter or are they at a constant brightness regardless the brake being applied (which would defeat the purpose of brake lights)?

In other words, what exactly are the dual intensity LEDs if not what I think they are above?

Also, I'm pretty sure I will need resistors on the MK3. I think I read somewhere else that they were necessary for someone else's build :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You will get hyper flash for the signals without resistors. I know because I tried and just received them the other day to try again.
Good to know, thanks! I hope that it's only the blinkers that need them and not the regular lights.

Which LEDs did you pick?
 

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Thanks for the lead! I have never heard of these guys, but they are advertising that their amber/red is at 170 lumens which is double what superbrightleds has on their highest offering.

However, I don't see any mention of this being a "dual stage" or "dual intensity" light. In your experience, have you noticed that if you hit the brake pedal that the lights get brighter or are they at a constant brightness regardless the brake being applied (which would defeat the purpose of brake lights)?

In other words, what exactly are the dual intensity LEDs if not what I think they are above?

Also, I'm pretty sure I will need resistors on the MK3. I think I read somewhere else that they were necessary for someone else's build :(
All 3157 bulbs are dual stage / dual intensity for parking and brake modes. 3156 is the common single brightness bulb. I didn't have a hiccup out of those bulbs for the two years I used them, I've since replaced the stock tails with aftermarket LED assemblies.

I've never heard of the other two companies until this forum. Back in 05-06 when all you could get were those APC LEDs that were no brighter than a candle, Vleds had some that were actually useable. My buddy had one of the first cars with clear taillights that didn't look like crap when lit up.

Generally you only need resistors for turn signals, unless the car is luxury or hi-tec and tells you when any bulb is out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Generally you only need resistors for turn signals, unless the car is luxury or hi-tec and tells you when any bulb is out.
Nice, thanks for the info (hopefully the FoFo is not super hi-tech)! I sent them an email to see if they have a promo code floating around. A straight $50 seems a bit high (plus shipping), and I hear that they have discounted their lights for other forums. They have their new v3 Triton lights at $90, but I don't think I need those (although seeing a comparison between the two models would be nice).

Do you happen to know if I need the CK or standard model?

In the two years that you used them, you did notice a definite improvement over the incan bulbs, right?
 

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Nice, thanks for the info (hopefully the FoFo is not super hi-tech)! I sent them an email to see if they have a promo code floating around. A straight $50 seems a bit high (plus shipping), and I hear that they have discounted their lights for other forums. They have their new v3 Triton lights at $90, but I don't think I need those (although seeing a comparison between the two models would be nice).

Do you happen to know if I need the CK or standard model?

In the two years that you used them, you did notice a definite improvement over the incan bulbs, right?
It looked like the other places were $25 each, these are a set. I always waited for a coupon code on Facebook, but they already had all their big holiday sales so it might be awhile.

CK is GM trucks, like the Chevy Silverados that you always see driving down the road with one burnt out DRL. Get the standards.

They were much brighter, they filled out the "fang" shape in the ZX3 tails, and in brake mode I could see peoples faces behind me at a stop. Plus since they're LEDs they respond faster when you brake, so it's a safety feature.
 

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I replaced my taillights with plasma LEDs on my focus and they work great. I made a how to on installing them which is in the how to section. I did it on my hatch but I'm sure the sedan harness is the same
 

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Well it seems you have found your answer! We will consider my post a free bump haha. Good luck!
 

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These look promising. I think I've tried 3 different sets of LED bulbs in my sedan for the tail/brake and wasn't happy with any of them. (Including the plasma LED ones used in the LED light HOW-TO). Since I have a sedan, I have one bulb for both brake and tail. They were either super bright and looked like my brakes were pressed all the time, or the difference between the parking light intensity and brake light intensity was so small, you couldn't even tell I was putting my brakes on. Might have to give these a look.
 

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Check out the Philips Vision LED bulb - it's even approved for the Mk3 Focus!

http://www.usa.philips.com/content/...r/pdf/VisionLED_Applications_Street-legal.pdf

$25
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P2D41LE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Philips even have 921s for the reverse lights
http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?slg=en&scy=us&ctn=12841B2

I'm going to get them in a few weeks after my car arrives back on the east coast!
I have these exact reverse lights in my focus hatch. best ones i've had by far. Also have Philips in my dome lights. I'm thinking about getting the brake and tail lights done with philips leds
 

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Those Phillips bulbs look good, I almost wish I had a reason to try them. I've kinda been building my own bulbs lately, I want to make my own LED boards for tails one day. I might do it on my Mustang tails for fun since I don't own that car anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your input, everyone!

I kept doing some digging and found out that some people have said that almost anything but the v3 Tritons make it difficult for the car behind you to see you clearly in direct sunlight.

If that's the case, it looks like choice is now limited to the v3 Triton instead of the Philips LEDs, no?
 

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Thanks for your input, everyone!

I kept doing some digging and found out that some people have said that almost anything but the v3 Tritons make it difficult for the car behind you to see you clearly in direct sunlight.

If that's the case, it looks like choice is now limited to the v3 Triton instead of the Philips LEDs, no?
The Philips bulbs just came out ~3 months ago, probably would be hard to find a lot of reviews of them already.

http://www.technologytell.com/in-ca...ut-bulbs-in-your-car-get-philips-vision-leds/
 

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There were a few that I read (Amazon, HIDP) that said the lights were of OEM light output quality, for example.
That's what I would be looking for, OEM output via LED lights. Every LED bulb I have tried has been super bright and looks like I'm driving with my brakes depressed the whole time. I don't want super bright lights, I just want the clean LED look.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's what I would be looking for, OEM output via LED lights. Every LED bulb I have tried has been super bright and looks like I'm driving with my brakes depressed the whole time. I don't want super bright lights, I just want the clean LED look.
True, however, on HIDP, they think that the Philips is outperformed in daytime conditions vs incan bulbs. If that's the case, I'd be worried about the "upgrade." Unfortunately, it's all speculation until a true side by side comparison video is taken (or I just do a test run with it, lol).
 
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