Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Oh Shit! DeLorean LED Lights

LED lights are lighter and more aerodynamic, making the car 10% faster.

I think every DeLorean owner has had that "Oh Shit" moment. Where you've left your doors open at a car show and realize you forgot to disconnect your battery. Well, if you're running original 12v bulbs in your doors, there's a good chance it's dead. Good thing you've got your DeLorean friends around to give you a boost.

But wait! They left their doors open too. Now you're ALL going to need a jump from some guy in a Bricklin. Oh the humanity!

Fear not. The solution is LED bulbs, which consume the tiniest fraction of what the 12v bulbs do. And yes, I realize I'm probably the last person to do this, so my posting is rather pointless. Again.

I used a flathead screwdriver and a lot of finger-power to pop out my rubber light casings. The plastic lens was easy to remove from the rubber. I installed two red LEDs and four orange ones. With the plastic lenses back on, the colour was better.

Despite this being one of the easiest jobs on a DeLorean, it took me a long, painful time with this due to my nerve damage. About an hour if I recall.

The LED kit is available from the DeLorean Motor Company for $20. And yes, these LEDs have typical LED problems - a very small compromise I'm willing to make. (I've also saved my original bulbs in case I want to change them back one day.)

What are the problems? Aside from minor colour differences, the big issue is that they are directional. Incandescent bulbs glow in almost 360 degrees. These LEDs point outward, and therefore don't illuminate the plastic plate evenly. There's a bright spot in the middle instead of a warm even glow. See my comparison photo here. The LED is the photo on the right.

But this is a small price to pay for peace of mind. You can now leave your doors open at car shows and have nothing to worry about. Oh, except those sticky, snot-covered kids who climb right into your driver's seat and goo everything up. There's a limit to what LED bulbs can do.

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Blogger Michael Manning said...

Martini: This was a very interesting post. I would have never thought abut it, had I displayed a DMC at an auto show either. A smart move! There is a lighting difference, but I'll bet only you will notice it. It does the job nicely!

2:40:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put a sign "Police your child please-sticky fingers may not enter". It's amazing how ignorant parents are at car shows. They think it's a play ground for their kids.

Glad you found a solution to that problem! I know all to well about dead batteries at car shows! I'm on a first name basis with AAA!

1:55:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Michael - Before the LED bulbs existed, owners installed a battery shut off switch. If you were cheap (IE: me) you unplugged your door/light switches to prevent the lights from coming on.

5:52:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Ryoko - it's not just the kids either. Adults will jump right in, thinking an open door is an open invitation.

Hahaha, sorry to hear about your AAA relationship. I just bought CAA (the Cdn version) this year!

5:57:00 PM

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8:51:00 PM

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5:54:00 AM


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