Direct LED replacement headlight

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john in kzoo
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Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by john in kzoo » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:50 am

Just wondering, for those of you that have converted to LED headlights, is there a direct replacement bulb?

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Bill Robinson » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:51 am

Here is a tip- Go to Google. Copy exactly & Enter the following----> site:mtfca.com led light
Lots of good info will show up.

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by john in kzoo » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:10 am

Thanks Bill

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:14 pm

john in kzoo wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:50 am
Just wondering, for those of you that have converted to LED headlights, is there a direct replacement bulb?
As I used to tell my kids, "Maybe" and when they asked what that meant I said "mostly No"
The answer question all depends on your intended power source 6v, 12v magneto. Do you have a single (BA15S) or double contact (BA15d) bulb base? The BA15 base (1156) (Model T socket) has its contacts on the bottom and 2 parallel lugs on opposing sides of the base 180 degrees apart. Sometimes these get confused with the BAY15 style base (1157) which has its contacts on the bottom but its lugs, while parallel, has one higher than the other.
Now for the technical part - the concave reflector is expecting a near pin point light source a short distance from the socket called a focal point, (picture the incandescent bulb) to project light. If you look into a good reflector you can see almost tell where that is - a clear ring towards the back of the reflector. Most LED bulbs have an array of led chips in various configurations - with few if any that are located near the focal point. Some have some chips projecting outward that give the appearance of a brighter headlight when looking at it but do little to light up the road ahead (these are good for daytime driving lights). The other factor that make LED lights look "brighter" is their color temperature. Conventional bulbs are warm yellowish about 3200K with LEDs (most are white light) at about 6000K. So whiter light makes things look brighter. Lots of discussion in this posting about incandescent bulbs that is directly applicable to LEDs http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/82 ... 1544665848
The attachment can be viewed larger by clicking on it or browsing the link
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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Allan » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:38 pm

Frank, I agree totally. Leds may give the appearance of more and brighter light, but there is no way to focus this with a parabolic reflector like that in a T. The array of LEDS is an attempt to get light further down the road, by creating multiple light points, but the reflector design is not able to focus these. I am guessing that the modern car lights with multiple angled faces are created to direct LED light points in a more controlled way.

If one most have ultra bright LED lights in a T, do other drivers a favour by arranging to drive into them first.

Allan from down under.

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by GrandpaFord » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:31 pm

So, after all that precise focusing the beam is passed through a lens to spread it out, at least on the later cars. In my experience, if the LED's elements are tightly grouped and at the original location of the filament, then the LED bulbs work just fine.

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:05 pm

GrandpaFord wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:31 pm
So, after all that precise focusing the beam is passed through a lens to spread it out, at least on the later cars. In my experience, if the LED's elements are tightly grouped and at the original location of the filament, then the LED bulbs work just fine.
The intent of using LED bulbs should be to reduce the wattage requirements needed and secondly the light output. AND as you pointed out the design of the T lens was to spread the light out and not to concentrate it to a specific area. The adjustment screw on the T headlight is to move the filament of the incandescent bulb into the focal point of the reflector, a bit or challenging with an LED array to find that sweet spot.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Luke » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:05 am

Over the past year I went to some trouble to locate an [inexpensive] LED replacement for the tungsten filament bulbs in my T. I wanted to use LED's for the low(er) current requirements, which meant I could reduce the generator charge current and save the battery from cooking, amongst other things.

While there were several LED recommendations from various people on this site, the cost by the time they arrived in my country made them more pricey than they should be, and I was convinced there was a better way.

To that end I purchased a number of LED headlamp bulbs via suppliers in China (which is probably where they mostly come from anyway). The difference in what I bought, and what is supplied specifically for the task, was mostly around the base type.

I had decided that I could likely use LED's originally intended for motorbike headlamps, with a suitable modification. The P15D base has the same diameter as that required for the Model T, but it uses a flange rather than two locking pins to locate it in the headlamp proper. I thought it should have been possible to remove the flange and solder a couple of pins in the correct place so that it could be installed into the T.

As it turned out this little exercised worked even better than I hoped. It took just a couple of minutes to cut off the flange with a pair of sidecutters, and solder a couple of short pins in the correct place on the base.

Although I can't, unfortunately, use my T any more (because the motor has packed up) I have installed these bulbs in my Model A and find that they work very well - the light output is good, and they focus reasonably. I would expect the same in the T.

Here's a photograph of a converted bulb, apologies for the poor image:

LED_conversion_bulb.jpg

A couple of things to note:

(1) I have converted my T (and A) to 12V (and the A to negative earth!), the bulbs I used have an 8-30V rating so they may work on a 6V car, or they may not. (similar 6V LED bulbs are available however).

(2) The photo above is of a bulb type that I ultimately rejected for a better one (which is currently in the vehicle). I show it simply to demonstrate how I did the modification. Below an image of the one I presently use, the cost was $1.82USD each:



LED_conversion_bulb2.jpg
LED_conversion_bulb2.jpg (29.99 KiB) Viewed 1612 times


Finally, I have of course put LED bulbs in the tail-lights of the T and the A. They work well without need for modification.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Allan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:02 am

The H lens introduced on the later T's served to spread the light into a flat beam across the road to reduce the intensity of the beam for oncoming drivers. The lamp is still focused for distance but the beam is flattened out. The dipping of the headlights onto low beam is achieved by activating a second filament, which is positioned differently to have the reflector reflect this light downwards and less brightly due to a lower wattage. This has been a problem with some reproduction bulbs because the filaments are differently oriented, and the lights no longer work as intended.

No matter how LED's are arrayed, they cannot be made to replicate the pinpoint light source of an incandescent fillament. At best, multiple LED's can approximate this, but it is still a scattergun approach, made worse for oncoming vehicles by the intensity of the light. As for low beam, how does that work? Driving LED's at lower rates will not alter the spread or lack of focus, but it will reduce the intensity of the light.

If the fitment of LED bulbs is NECESSARY, be it to reduce the load on the generator, to prevent battery 'cooking' or whatever, there is a problem with the electrical system. If these are the prime reason for fitting LED's, they are being used as a band aid rather than addressing the real problem.

End of rant.
Allan from down under.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:22 am

For me, the question is, ... is there an LED produced that doesn't alter the look
of the headlight when not lit ? All the LED's I have see so far look like a miniature
beer can stuck behind the lens .... unacceptable.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Chris Barker » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:28 am

All this theory about parabolic lenses and pinpoint light sources versus multiple LEDs is all very well and correct.

BUT

If you have driven behind 6v tungstens and then fitted LED bulbs, the difference is night and day.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Allan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:30 am

I don't see anyone disputing that LED's give much more and much brighter lights, and driving behind them may be fine. But, driving into them may be a different story.
New cars now have self adjusting headlights, which compensate for varying loads on the vehicle and when towing. This feature is becoming more necessary when brighter lights are being utilised. A model T does not have this capability, nor the design to make the lights work in a manner safe for oncoming drivers.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Luke » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:52 am

Allan wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:02 am
No matter how LED's are arrayed, they cannot be made to replicate the pinpoint light source of an incandescent fillament. At best, multiple LED's can approximate this, but it is still a scattergun approach, made worse for oncoming vehicles by the intensity of the light. As for low beam, how does that work? Driving LED's at lower rates will not alter the spread or lack of focus, but it will reduce the intensity of the light.

If the fitment of LED bulbs is NECESSARY, be it to reduce the load on the generator, to prevent battery 'cooking' or whatever, there is a problem with the electrical system. If these are the prime reason for fitting LED's, they are being used as a band aid rather than addressing the real problem.

End of rant.
Allan from down under.
I'm not sure it's necessary to rant about this, and I've no wish to go off-track from the OP's question, but I think a courteous reply is called for.

With regard to low beam on the LED bulbs I have in operation; this is achieved in the same way as it is with the tungsten filament bulbs - through displacement of the light source. In operation the beam is cast similarly on dip and high between the two bulb types.

There is no problem with the electrical system in either of the two vehicles I've discussed. I have an original three-brush generator with cutout on both of them, there is no regulator. I prefer to run the charge current at the minimum required in the interest of extending battery life (and that of the generator to some extent).

The difference between supplying sufficient current for daily running/battery charging and that for night-time running is quite significant if using tungsten-filament bulbs, whereas it's negligible in the case of LED's. Thus with LED's I can afford to reduce the generator current to a minimum, yet still use the vehicle at night without fear of flattening the battery (which will also shorten its life).

An alternative would be to fit a regulator (I'd make my own electronic unit*) or adjust the generator third brush for a higher supply current each time I wanted to use it at night, then back when using it during the day. Whilst I did do the latter for a while it was a little inconvenient and as the third brush holder was dodgy, and I wanted to trial some LED's, I chose to go that way, it was not 'necessary' to address any other issue.

So to return to the OP's question; in my view there are replacement LED's that work reasonably well in providing suitable light intensity and cast, and which also give a side benefit with regard to charging requirements. In my example I've shown an inexpensive means by which someone could trial LED headlamps for themselves, others have previously given references to suppliers of more expensive but ready-to-fit LED's that they have had good experience with.

* I have come up with a design for a PWM style shunt regulator that utilises mostly 'junk box' parts and so shouldn't cost much more than $5 to make. After I finalise the prototype I may put up the detail for others to use, much as I did with a coil tester that some have benefited from. I mention this only in passing as it's really peripheral to the focus of this thread, but is perhaps worth acknowledging that there are modern ways to deal with the crudeness of the original charging system of the T (and A).


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Jim Eubanks » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:02 pm

So, the bottom line to all this is that there is no off the shelf LEd bulb that will fit a T with 6v system?


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:48 pm

I tried them but went back to conventional bulbs. When your lenses are fluted like the Ford H style it throws a strange pattern. They are much better with clear glass lenses.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Jahn_Wright » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:53 pm

Take a look at https://www.ledlight.com/6-volt-negativ ... spx?Page=3. Specifically look at product numbers 87455 ($7.49) and 74475 ($17.47). I have the 87455 installed on my T, but can't make an assessment of effectiveness at night on the road as I haven't yet driven it. They do fit perfectly in the original sockets and the high-low beam function works fine. In the manufacturer's description, particularly 74475, they claim the LEDs are positioned at the same location as would be a conventional filament. Sounds good but whether true or not, I don't know.
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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by NU2theT » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:39 pm

Jim Eubanks wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:02 pm
So, the bottom line to all this is that there is no off the shelf LEd bulb that will fit a T with 6v system?
LogoLites, installed them the other day and test drove the T that night. On my T @ night it WAS a big difference, night and day :D

No pun intended fellas but those vender available crappy, hot amp drawing china bulbs are no match for the LogoLites 1amp LED's. I can now actually see a difference between ON and DIM. Just my findings and result for my T. Good luck and don't over think "the light".

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Novice » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:13 am

I have used this direct replacement 6 volt bulb made for a model T with elevated elements. The amp meter used to run about 10 amps on bright now You can barley see the needle move. Another LED bulb that looks promising for head lights has four tee pee pole type elements. It looks more like a regular headlight bulb. would replicate a 12 volt model T headlight and focus but would need small 12 volt battery for power.
I like the barrel type bulb. works fine made for 6 volts no focus problems that I have found. use a pair on My 6 volt open express. Then there is the wedge bulb very very bright. too bright for on comming traffic. The Tee pee led 12 volt only and not made with parallel pin base needed for the headlights. comes in 1156 & 1157 base. but You could grind one pin off and improvise base mounting. I use the barrel type bulb in My open express and have tried the wedge which has a funny c or U pattern and way too bright. but not the tee pee which I think would be the best one if made with parallel pins but still great for tail lights,turn signals and cowl lights
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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by NU2theT » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Some pictures of the middle rectangle bulb reflecting off a pad to show the reflection, the first is DIM and the last is ON
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IMG_0272.JPG
IMG_0273.JPG


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:28 am

Scott, I have a similar headlight bulb in our 26. What are your steps for proper focus with these bulbs?.... Rather what is your experience with focusing these bulbs. No intention of negativity, but I've had a problem as far as going with the focusing procedure in the green book, and I find myself adjusting so that the socket is pulled back in the headlight as far as it will go and then adjusting the headlight buckets at night using a predetermined spot on the road where I would like to have the headlights give the most brightness. That's brightness on the road, not in the environment. I don't know maybe that'll help you, I'm looking for your experience. Thanks


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:30 am

Scott, I have a similar headlight bulb in our 26. What are your steps for proper focus with these bulbs?.... Rather what is your experience with focusing these bulbs. No intention of negativity, but I've had a problem as far as going with the focusing procedure in the green book, and I find myself adjusting so that the socket is pulled back in the headlight as far as it will go and then adjusting the headlight buckets at night using a predetermined spot on the road where I would like to have the headlights give the most brightness. That's brightness on the road, not in the environment. I don't know maybe that'll help you, I'm looking for your experience. Thanks


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by ModelTWoods » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:58 pm

Snyder lists LED replacement headlight bulbs for MODEL A's in their catalog. Are the locating pins the same as a Model T? Would they work?


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:40 pm

I believe the Model A headlight bulbs have a different base than what would go into a Model T headlight


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:03 pm

I WAS WRONG. Thought there was a flange in the bulb base.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Allan » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:30 pm

Scott, your photos of the light beams produced by the rectangular bulb illustrate a problem with LED bulbs. I presume you are holding the board and someone else is operating the switch. The only difference in the two beams is the amount of light generated. Both beams have the same orientation.
With a twin filament incandescent bulb, the low beam filament uses less current to dim the light, AND, it is differently oriented to the high beam, so it is reflected downwards also.
The parabolic reflector used in conventional lights relies on pinpoint light sources to accurately reflect the light as required. Light from LEDs is directional. Multiple LEDs facing forward and arrayed around the bulb to get light pointed at the reflector can only approximate a pinpoint source.
Hence the light reflected only approximates a beam. Rather, it is more like a floodlight, the intensity of which can be most disconcerting to oncoming drivers.
Personally, I do not like the appearance of the bulbs when not lit, nor the colour of the light produced when they are lit. Nothing looks more out of place in a lamplight parade than a brass T with LEDs among actylene lit lights.They just don't sit well with the character of the vehicle, much like chrome plating rather than nickel, and metllic paintwork. Others will have differing opinions o these.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Luke » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:45 am

ModelTWoods wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:58 pm
Snyder lists LED replacement headlight bulbs for MODEL A's in their catalog. Are the locating pins the same as a Model T? Would they work?
Terry, as far as the base is concerned they are the same.

In terms of the business end, the Model A has a 50/32 CP (Candle Power) bulb, the Model T manual "Answer 116" states the headlamp bulb (for a vehicle with a starter) is a 17 C.P. bulb.

In practice the more modern bulb will work (whether it's a good idea or not); I'm looking at the tungsten filament bulbs from my Model A and Model T right now and they're both the same (50/32). However that's the way they came to me, 90 and 94 years from new, so they've probably had the odd bulb replacement in that time!

Interestingly, early treatises on headlamp bulbs discuss 16-25 C.P. lamps as being the standard of the time. Heat was consideration for them, especially with "large candle-powers (25 or 30) ... ". Later documents, with input from Ford, talk of 21/32 "candlepower sizes".

Personally, with the LED's I'm far less concerned about heat, wiring and charging issues, so the question as to whether one should use a 50/32 in a T isn't one that's exercised my mind. What did concern me was the placement of the (LED) light source so that it would ensure the most correct light output possible.

To that end, and given my background, when testing the LED's I considered the standard stating that "The light center [sic] length for all incandescent lamps for in head lamps for either electric of gasoline propelled vehicles shall be 1-1/4 +/- 3/64 inches, as measured from the center of the filament field to the bulb side of the lock pins in the base. The longitudinal axis of the lamp filament as the focal point shall not deviate more than 3/64 inch from the axis of the lamp base". Although they provided a reasonable light output in terms of ability to drive, the LED's I rejected had a light centre length of just 1"...


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by G.ARMS86 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:01 am

Yes there is i purchased 6v led lights for my 22. I have attached the website and part number i used
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Screenshot_20201020-070110_Chrome.jpg

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by john in kzoo » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:14 am

I ordered the same ones. Should be here in the next day or so. I'll let you know how they work

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:22 am

john in kzoo wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:14 am
I ordered the same ones. Should be here in the next day or so. I'll let you know how they work
We you get them add a picture so we know what they look like
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Screenshot_20201020-070110_Chrome.jpg


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Chris Haynes » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:58 pm

Are LED's available for non electric start cars where the headlights run directly from the magneto?


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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Luke » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:18 am

Chris,

I can only speak from fundamentals, others may have actual experience, but my initial view is that the right LED lamp should cope with a magneto.

As LED's are a current device many headlamps will have proper drivers contained within the carapace of the unit, which themselves tend to have wide input voltage ranges (for example 8-30V as I mentioned above). Given the magneto output will vary significantly according to engine speed you'd first need to ensure that the lamps you chose were capable of handling the expected supply voltage.

A couple of possible issues to consider however (1) you would need to rectify the magneto output if the lamp required DC input (2) IIRC the magneto-driven bulbs were typically wired in series, you may find it necessary to alter this to 'standard' parallel wiring.

This is partly because I'd expect to find that LED's with drivers wouldn't vary in intensity as the motor revs changed, but if the voltage dropped below a certain point they'd simply stop working (and also - permanently - if voltage climbed above a particular limit!). Series connected lamps would be more likely to drop out if the mag voltage were low enough at idle whereas parallel connected may well be ok.

If it were me I'd be doing a fair amount of investigating first before actually connecting any lamps to a mag, but it'd be a project well worth doing - if for no reason other than to be able to report back to everyone how it worked out for you 8-)

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by john in kzoo » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:46 am

OK Guys,

I received my LED "bulbs" yesterday. Please find attached make and model. They are a direct replacement and fit exactly as a traditional bulb would. I installed them this morning before work, and they work great.... The picture shows the result, fyi, they are running off the 12V battery and are wired in parallel
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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by NU2theT » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:47 am

Moxie26 wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:28 am
Scott, I have a similar headlight bulb in our 26. What are your steps for proper focus with these bulbs?.... Rather what is your experience with focusing these bulbs. No intention of negativity, but I've had a problem as far as going with the focusing procedure in the green book, and I find myself adjusting so that the socket is pulled back in the headlight as far as it will go and then adjusting the headlight buckets at night using a predetermined spot on the road where I would like to have the headlights give the most brightness. That's brightness on the road, not in the environment. I don't know maybe that'll help you, I'm looking for your experience. Thanks
Hey Robert just got back after being away for work so....Experience focusing these bulbs, no sir. I have fresh strings or headlight lens door gaskets and clean H lenses. When I drove this in the evening I really did not look @ the direction or focus of the light as it related to the road.

What I did notice was a huge difference with what I could see versus those 6V double contacts available. The difference in temp is huge the LED's stayed cool and constant, glass bulbs heated up instantly. As I noted also can actually see the DIM and On increase and decrease.

Currently I have the headlight focus screw in the socket just protruding enough to get that cotter pin in, they seemed to be straight ahead and not glaring @ on coming traffic or shining into the woods. Will look again @ "proper focus and use the garage door as a reference.


Moxie26
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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:26 am

Thanks for sharing Scott... My latest experience in " focusing" and beam distance is now with the bulb holder position closest to reflector and the whole headlight housing positioned a bit lower than what is suggested in the Model T factory book. Brightness is improved...... even was helped with LED bulbs for both tail/stop lamps by a appreciated fellow MTFCA Life Member in my area. The power needed for these bulbs is only a mini-fraction of amps compared to the original filliments, saving on generator/alternator power strain and battery life during use on nighttime driving...... There was a show here in New Jersey a week after Hershey that was a 70 mile one way trip back home, half of which was in the dark, at home left car outside to cool down for a while, could not be started with electric starter..... all because the battery was not being charged due to standard lights...... Now no problem, same battery and generator. I'm happy. Bob J.


Moxie26
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:20 pm
First Name: Robert
Last Name: Jablonski
Location: New Jersey
MTFCA Number: 407
MTFCA Life Member: YES
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Moxie26 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:29 am

...... made reference to Hershey and NJ show..... from last year, not this year

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Re: Direct LED replacement headlight

Post by Novice » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:52 pm

These are the 6 volt Led Headlight bulbs I use in My open express. even 360 degree light. low and high beam/brightness elevated element for proper focus. Ledlight.com part # 87455W 6V dual filament 6000K You can barley see the amp meter needle move on high beam / on. They also make this bulb for 12 volts #67499W looks the same as #87455 6V with elevated element but they don't call it a headlight bulb ?
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