Where can I buy LED headlights for Brass era cars?
I'd like something that will fit inside the Brass headlight, similar to the way Halogens bulbs do.
Smart idea if it only repjaces the bulbs
I know it sounds simple but it isn't. Halogen bulb is still a Tungsten filament bulb which puts out light in all directions so a single bulb can work in a H/L conversion even though a Halogen is a poor choice for antique cars since they tend to be power hogs. LED is a whole different ball game since an LED is very directional inherently and must be used with diffusion devices and they have to be clustered and each pointed in a slightly different angle to cover the desired pattern. This is beyond the scope of an amateur setup although I am sure there were be many amateurs who will argue with that. Stop lights can be aimed straight back and thus work OK on the back end where you only need to be SEEN while H/L must light the road ahead and also not blind the oncoming driver. They will indeed be here soon but beware of what you are buying and make sure it is properly engineered by an LED company like CREE or someone who has the equipment and time to make a proper LED headlight. Being lit up enough to be seen is somewhat easy. Beaming light ahead in proper spectrum is a whole different ball game. It is for sure going to happen and it will be GREAT for the T hobby drivers since the T generator will have way more than enough power for the brightest LEDs clustered up front.
Sounds like the next "fun Projects" product of choice! You'd sell them as fast as you could produce them!
John - One of my "T's has a bad alternator and I just never seem to get around to taking it in to have it repaired, or rebuilt, or whatever it needs. I bought this very nice '27 depot hack, I don't know, maybe 6 or 8 years ago. Unfortunately, it was converted by the builder to 12 volts and equipped with an alternator that has not worked as long as I've owned the car. Every year, I think I should break down and take the darn thing off and have it fixed, but here's an admission I'm not too proud of,.....the fact that I think in reality, the more years that go by, the less likely I'll ever fix it. I never drive the car at night, so, never use headlights. Just because it's more fun, and people like it, I often hand crank start it, so don't use the electric starter excessively either. I've never had a problem with putting a battery maintainer on it once a month (or less) and frankly, I've never had a problem, which of course is the REAL reason why I never bother to mess with the bad alternator. And last year, I installed a new Optima battery, and that thing is fantastic! I do keep a battery maintainer on it a lot, but certainly not because I'm afraid of the battery leaving me stranded or anything, but just because it's the best way to take care of a battery,....KEEP IT CHARGED!
Now then, all this "blabbering" leads up to my "comment" or "question" or whatever. I took particular note of your comment John, that "proper" LED headlights are coming, and I can forsee the day when every light bulb on our "T's could be LED's. At that time, I'll have even less chance of ever bothering to fix the alternator. In fact, I've made up my mind that if I ever build a speedster, it'll be just as "bare-bones" as I can make it, like a lot of those young guys did during the depression, and it'll be especially "bare" of "things electrical! No generator, no electric starter, no big heavy lead acid battery (heck,...not that I'm suggesting it, but a 6 volt distributor ignition system will run a long time on just a lantern battery if ya' wanted to or, "had to"!)
Anyway, my whole point is that (for me) the less electric the better! And I think I can see that with more and more "LED" development, the more sense my "bare-bones" attitude about electricity on a Model T (especially a speedster) will make.
Does any of this make sense John? And I realize, this is a heck of a question to ask an electrical engineer, right? Sorry to be so "wordy",....as usual,........harold
I've had 100% LED lighting on my racer since 2010. As I've said many times, I use them for daytime running lights and not as actual night driving lights. Meaning they're on to help others see me since the racer is small and easily missed by other drivers. With everything on the car lit up the current draw is one measly amp which keeps my RP genny very happy. This includes taillights and turn signals.
Incandescent on the left, LED on the right as viewing.
You can see the difference in the shadows out front.
I read your post but I am not sure I understand what question you asked. I am not a speedster builder myself having done my racing in small block Chev's at the drag strip in my youth. I did that with my brother Pat. Distributor draws more juice than does a standard T coil box with 4 coils in it which draws only .65 amps total while running. That can come from the magneto so you don't need a battery at all in a T.
John, I though the coils are set up to draw 1.3 amps. Four would take about 5 amps.
Tony - there's only one coil in use at the time, and half of the time the engine's running no coil at all is connected by the timer, that's why the mean load by the coils would be only one half of 1.3 A
John and Roger, Brain fade, must engage brain before fingers.
I know I am not on a roll but when I looked at super bright LEDs I noticed two things.... The LEDs bulbs are expensive at $79-140 each and all seem to require 12 volts. If I am wrong, have at it, I have a thick skin.. These days I need it....
Coils don't draw battery current. They run on 1.3 amps AC, supplied by the magneto. No effect on battery or generator unless something is terribly wrong with your car.
Maybe I am just a highly discerning so-n-so (pronounced "picky SOB"), but things
like lights and wheels are the highest character points a car like this can have. Much
like removing all the gingerbread so you can put vinyl siding on a Queen Anne home,
changing out the lights or wheels takes so much away from the car that it destroys
the whole point in owning one. Can you say "small block Chevy" ?
When I read "brass era", my first thought turns to acetylene. And maybe that isn't
the case here at all. It isn't clearly stated. But much like I would suggest that a person
reconsider why they own a 1958 vintage car when they then want to change it all up
so it will drive more like an Acura, I would toss it out there that changing some things
on an old car make it into something completely different and take away more from
the experience than they give.
Agree with Burger.
I forgot, the coils draw 1.3 amps when run continuously on an HCCT if they are set properly. In the car there is a timer in the circuit which changes current significantly lower. Again no effect on the battery.