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Thread: E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

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    Obi Wan AUSMHLY's Avatar
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    E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

    The smith gauges in our Healeys had E10 2.2watt incandescent bulbs. Why was the 2.2 watt bulb used when it really doesn't provide enough lumens? An E10 5 watt will also fit and and lights up the gauge much better. Is it the amount of heat generated by the bulbs an issue, why was the 2.2 was used?

    I spent some time on this issue a while back and experimented with E10 bulbs in both incandescent and LED. I found the LED kalvin a bit too white/blue for my vintage taste. So I drilled one then two more holes in the bottom of the speed and tach gauges, and added 2.2w bulbs. I found the stock bulb placement at the top center and the two bulbs at the bottom across from the high beam and generator light bulbs spread the light evenly. In the gas and oil/water gauge I installed a 5w bulb. My concern was how hot that bulb gets. Seems to be ok, for over the years, no problem with those two gauges.

    I'm now helping a friend restore his 66 BJ8 and he'd like me to modify his gauges so they are brighter.
    So I'm revisiting the LED vs incandescent issue. I like the warm light (vintage look) the incandescent bulbs provide, but I'm concerned about the heat. LED's don't have that issue, so here I go again.

    LED have come a long way since I played around with this back in the day. Now they can provide 180 degrees or more dispersion, vs the focused beam when they first came out. I've played with a few "warm white" led's recently and find they are a bit too blue/white vs incandescent. I believe warm white should be in the 2700-3000 Kelvin. I'd prefer to install LED for non heat issue and the bonus of the bulb may out last the car.

    Moss and a bunch of other vintage sellers sell E10 LEDs but they don't publish the kelvin. I'm concerned they are over 3000 kalvin, blue/white light.

    As much fun as buying and testing bunches of E10 LED's is, any one know of a "warm white"- Vintage lumens ... that disperses 180 degrees or more, has the vintage shade of yellow/white and provides more lumens then the 2.2 filament? Where is that glass slipper LED I'm searching for?

    I'm not going to spend as much time on this bulb issue as I did years ago. Three 2.2w incandescent in the speed/tach and one 5w in the gas, water/oil is a hugh improvement over stock set up.
    Sometimes it is better to travel than to arrive.
    64BJ8 ph2

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    Yoda
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    Re: E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

    I have LEDs in my BJ8. I have no idea how many Kelvins they have, but they are definitely blue/white. On the rare occasions I find myself driving a 60-year-old death trap--compared to modern cars--at night I am only concerned about being able to read the gauges.

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    Yoda glemon's Avatar
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    Re: E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

    LBCarco.com has a nice selection of upgraded dash bulbs, though they are not cheap. I used some higher watt incandescents on my Triumph and it is much better at night. I think there was a little meltage on one of the plastic pieces near the bulb but would sacrifice it to be able to see the gauges at night. Interesting how most all old British sports cars have gauge light rheostats when they are absent most any other fancy controls and the stock lighting is awfully dim at it's brightest.

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

    I painted the inside of my speedometer case white and left the original bulb alone. Makes a huge difference in the visibility.
    John, BN4

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: E10 Light bulb, 2.2w vs 5w vs warm white LED

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    I painted the inside of my speedometer case white and left the original bulb alone. Makes a huge difference in the visibility.
    I lined mine with self adhesive metal foil - the type that is used on air duct insulation, gosh did that make a difference with the light bouncing every where.



    Bob

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