Why LED tail lamps?
The light output of most incandescent lamps was adequate for earlier times when speeds were less and there were not so many distracted drivers with cell phones, text messaging, and other forms of distractions. Thus, it is important nowadays to be sure your classic car is seen, especially when braking or signaling a turn.
Happily, a solution is now available with the advent of LED lamps. These have been available for modern cars for quite a few years, but only recently has the classic car market been so served. They provide greater light output, yet demanding only a tiny fraction of the current load on the electrical system.
Brittrix has been designing and manufacturing LED lamp inserts for several years. Our initial product was the ST51 D lamp as used on the MG TA, TB, TC, and Y-type. More recently we have added inserts for the ST38 "Pork Pie" lamp as used on the MG PA, PB, NA, NB, and a large number of other British cars and trucks. Also available are inserts for the Lucas 288 (Number Plate Box) as found on the Triumph 1800 and 2000 Roadster, MG SA, WA, certain Jaguar, Morris, Allard, Daimler, Singer, and Wolseley, cars. Likewise, the L471, L549, L558, L647, and L813. Feel free to browse through all of our offerings as we cover most Classic Minis and MGs from 1934 to 1962.
The latest additions to the line are the insert for the Lucas L488 lamp as used on the late TD, TF, and MGA, and the Rotax 706 for the MG D and F types.
All lamps are available in either negative or positive earth (ground) and most with either red or amber turn signals. All lamps are manufactured in the USA from US sourced parts.
How much brighter are the Brittrix boards?
We have run comparison tests using the L488 lamp (the smallest one we make) in front of a lux meter. We set each different bulb type behind the red L488 lens and measured the light output of each on their highest intensity (brake or turn signal). The following are our findings:
|Standard 1157 incandescent bulb||159 lux|
|Typical LED bulb||92 lux|
|Brittrix L488 board||457 lux|
Note that even though the 1157 bulb draws over 16 times as much current as the Brittrix board (1.75 Amps versus 100 Milliamps), the Brittrix board produces almost three times as much light.
Do I need to change my flasher?
The answer depends upon what type of bulbs are used in the front turn signals. If normal incandescent bulbs are used, it is likely that you do not need to change to a different flasher. If, however, you have converted to LEDs in the front, you will almost certainly need to convert to an electronic flasher. The best advice is to convert your rear lamps to our LED inserts, then try the turn signals. If they come on but do not flash, then you will need to change the flasher. The LEDs draw so little current, the flasher simply doesn't sense their presence.
We have had good luck with the Tridon EL13 (not the ones made in Taiwan). Other fully electronic flashers, generally in a square can - not round, may also work fine, but the EL13 have generally given good success. These are able to be used in both positive and negative ground cars. A minor wiring change is necessary. There are three terminals on the flasher marked + - and L. Connect the L terminal to your car's turn signal feed (the same as your existing flasher). Also connect your dash panel turn signal indicator to this L terminal. Then connect a ground wire to whichever terminal corresponds to the polarity of your car's ground. The remaining terminal (+ or -) is connected to a convenient supply of power. That's it. You should now have fully functional turn signals.