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Rover SD1 Rear Light conversion to LED


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So, I'm just in the process of getting the rear lights fitted to my S2, converted to LED (Rover SD1; in case you're not aware, are fitted to S2, S3 and Turbo models).

This is quite involved, requiring the cups on the rear of the light unit removing and PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) making up for each (massive) individually lit area. Overall, each unit (side) will have between 250-300 CREE LEDs.

I don't have any photos of the finished article because they are currently being made up.

I mention this now, as a bulk order (any more than one) reduces the cost (as the PCBs can be printed in a single run, bringing the cost down considerably).

So, if anyone is potentially interested, please PM direct and I'll outline the plan, costs etc.

I very much suspect that it won't be of particular interest, but I seemed sensible to make the offer, before the designs are sent off for printing.

Of course, the option exists to get these done after I have mine (and I'd be happy to share who I used etc), but the cost will be up at the single order level.

Awe. Some.

(pic for something to look at only)

IMG_4136.jpeg

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Sudders and Dany

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So here they are, and I'm very pleased with them. Note that the tail/brake lights are merged to operate as a single bank of lights (shown here is tail (brake is so bright it forces the camera into dar

Impressive. Did you replace the actual lenses (outer red/amber coloured things)? @Lotusfab did this on his Bond Turbo under @stephenwhyte advice. I believe they resulted in a noticeable increase

You're all right, of course, which are the issues that I am trying to solve. I first replaced the industrial revolution bulbs with LEDs all round and the difference (while better) was still a sin

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Intriguing idea, Mark, should have real impact. I went to the trouble of adapting LED bulbs via a less drastic manner and the difference is notable.

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  • Gold FFM

I also have LED bulbs in mine - usefully brighter I think. Would be interested to see how this looks - do you have any images etc. of what you are aiming for roughly? (other cars with a similar conversion etc.)?

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Just replacing with led bulbs with no modification is definitely better but still results in a point of light behind a large lens. The nighttime running lights are also quite small. Whole lens lit would be interesting to see.

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"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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It is always intriguing. For me LED bulbs are for lower power drain, greater reliability and enhanced brightness - the rear SD1 derived lights on the S2 and S3 Esprits / Elite / Eclat and Excel are not known for their brightness - perhaps less of a challenge on the later cars I would think. 

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Does the metal reflective coating not flake off, making the light less bright?

I drove my Excel in to my Elise and broke the lens on the Rover light. I was surprised how expensive a replacement was - luckily a friendly Excel owner sold me a spare for not much. Fitting it was a challenge but we did remember to drill a new drainage hole as the SD1 lights are mounted upside down on Excel. 

The reflective coating appeared quite worn on the one I removed.

Justin

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Very smart appearance from the outside, rather different inside though your intent to create circuit boards will sort that out nicely I'm sure. Can't fault the arguments presented in support of this project and, given the attention deficiencies on show in traffic these days, I think a high impact from the rear lamps is a positive. Nice thing about the Esprit is it remains aesthetically a supercar, affording latitude for modern enhancements which would be less tolerable on cars of a more vintage character.

Cheers

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Yes, the reality is that while these cars are all classic and of their time and stuff, they drive on modern roads in amongst modern and massive SUVs, and people who are looking for light produced to their expectations. And I’d rather give them that than find them in my boot getting to know my engine. 

And, I agree; I think the car can be modernised in a way that an Elan or E Type couldn’t be.

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Sudders and Dany

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204 per side. Which is better than five per side.

20201020_151214.jpeg

Sudders and Dany

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David - The lenses themselves are unchanged. They were in pretty good nick to begin with and if I need to improve the outside (because of scratches) I'd polish them out (easier now it's just three strips). The inside the the lenses are fine.

Clive - I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about 😁 Hopefully the answers are obvious to you from the pictures.

The PCBs are professionally made and sealed boards and the LEDs are all good quality CREE. The load is likely less than the original bulbs and the brightness (in the flesh) is extraordinary. However, I don't pretend that that isn't anything other than an amateur attempt to improve the rear lights which are currently dangerously rubbish. Plus, they better match my high rear brake light, LED headlamps (PNM) and LED front side/turn light units (mini clubman).

Next - fitting.

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Sudders and Dany

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4 hours ago, Suddabym said:

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about

Mark, did you do the circuit yourself? I can see the red and white ones have some resistors, and diodes on the boards, so presumably some current limiting there, but orange ones do not? LED's don't like overcurrent, and life will be significantly shortened if over-driven. As the voltage will vary quite a bit, say 12.6-14.7 at least during normal operating conditions, much wider if say hazard lights on in emergency and you really want them to keep working till battery essentially goes flat. So, if you drive them with a constant current source, it will ensure illumination is same for all voltages, and ensure LEDS don't get cooked so maximising their life, which should be much better than 20,000 hours typically. This adds to complexity of course, and most if not all modern auto LEDS would be designed like this. Efficiency also higher, minimal heat losses etc...

Just asking, so you don't suddenly find unexplained failures in the future.

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On 26/11/2020 at 13:03, Clive59 said:

Great project. Looks like you are using Through Hole parts? Any reason for not making them SMT and easing manufacturing cost? How are you driving the LED's? Constant current is probably preferable. Keep us posted on progress.

@Clive59, looks like @Suddabym's final boards have SMT LEDs. Looks neat.

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Not rocket science @Suddabym - sounds like the maker knows what they are doIng - and the result looks damn smart.

It’s not like they are using something that isn’t fit for purpose 👍

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Only here once

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2 hours ago, Suddabym said:

the boards are professionally made by an expert in making LED lights for classic cars

That sounds good Mark. Good luck with it, hope it works well. Can you let us know roughly what the units would cost if you got a batch made?

 

 

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