The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know, I know... not much of a "mod" but I literally just got the car about a week ago {grin}.

Lotus uses LED's for a lot of their other interior lights, but for some reason not in the dome and boot fixtures. I mildly burned myself on the boot bulb while removing the black plastic trim piece (to investigate how the latch is set up), and I really hate the 90% waste heat from incandescents - particularly on a vehicle where battery current consumption is already an issue.

Turns out there are many sizes of the "festoon" style factory bulbs. The good news is there are LED equivalents for them, you just have to dig around a bit to find the length and diameter that match your particular fixture. Then there are color options (I only wanted white, I'm not driving a disco!), various intensities, etc.

I finally settled on the "Festoon Super Flux 2 LED Light 1-3-4-Inch 42mm 12 Volt DC" bulb (their product code 56329) from LEDLight.com. Click here for the webpage. The original incandescents were rated for around 100 lumens (brightness) and these are rated for around 200. It's been my experience that LED bulbs are often, shall we say, "generous" in their intensity ratings so I favored greater intensity when making my selection since I didn't want to lose illumination. A pair were right at $10 shipped to my door and arrived in a few days.

Here is a top and bottom view of the LED bulbs:

1267797


LED's are polarized devices. Despite that, these bulbs do not mention that fact nor are they marked in any way. So I determined their polarity and marked the positive end with a fine Sharpie on the bottom of the PCB as shown.

New electrical devices must always get checked out on the bench. Here is a factory bulb on one of my lab power supplies:

1267794


The top portion of the display shows that I'm running the bulb at 12.6VDC. At that voltage it's consuming 729mA, which means it's dissipating (12.6 * 0.729 =) 9.2 watts. That may not sound like much wattage but in a small package like that, and especially when it's in a small airspace (like above the roof liner or behind a boot panel), the heat builds up fast. And again, three quarters of an amp? In 2020? No thanks.

Here's the same setup running one of the LED bulbs:

1267795


Now we're pulling just 42mA and dissipating (12.6 * 0.042 =) 0.53 watts, a 94% reduction in power consumption. Per bulb. And we won't have the heat buildup nor battery consumption. Again, everything we're dealing with here are small amounts but a few hundred milliamps to an electronics guy is not all that different from a few pounds out of 3000 (hello, carbon fiber front access hatch). :)

I waited for installation until midnight so I could compare and photograph intensities with minimal exterior light. We'll start with the cockpit illumination. Using a tripod mounted DSLR for stability (long exposures) and repeatability, here is the effect of the factory incandescent bulb:

1267796


Decent illumination with a definite "warm white" spectrum.

First step is to pull the dome light from the liner. There's no delicate way to do this, even the service manual says to just get hold of one edge and work it out. Once removed and hanging from its (very short) wires, it looks like this:

1267798


One of the fixture contacts is suited for flexing so you can remove the bulb. I've indicated which in the photo. Gently bend that away from the bulb and the bulb will fall right out.

Next, insert the new LED bulb with its positive terminal on the side AWAY from the wires:

1267799


In the dome fixture, the contact furthest from the wiring is the positive connection. You can see my Sharpie "+" on the bulb's PCB toward that end of the fixture. Remember to rotate the bulb so the two LED's are facing toward the lens, as shown.

Then carefully snap the fixture back into the liner. When you turn on the switch, this is what you see:

1267800


The higher color temperature ("cool white") is immediately obvious. And while at first I thought the overall intensity was lower, I realized that it's actually more directional. The incandescent bulb throws a wider "cone" of illumination; one place this is obvious is the door handles. Compare the earlier photo to this one and you'll see that the door handles are brighter before. Yet the seats in this later LED photo are brighter - I want to say "sharper" - and in my opinion the red+black contrast in the seats is much more defined with the whiter light.

On to the boot. Here's what the factory gives you:

1267801


(For reference, those are blue hand towels on the bottom of the boot. The oval white object just below the Fix-a-Flat can is the emergency hatch release cable handle, not the light fixture.)

Note how the supercharger and some of the body panels are slightly illuminated. That is stray light from the boot fixture, as we'll see in a moment.

The boot fixture has a definite method of removal: Get a fingernail or other object under the notch on its left side and lift until it "clicks" out of the plastic panel. The wires come in from its right side, so then pivot the fixture clockwise (top view) and the right side will release. Lotus uses quick-connect clips but they have remarkably aggressive retention locks so I left them connected and just let the fixture dangle while I worked with it.

The contact furthest from the wires is, again, the positive terminal. In this case it's also the flexible contact meant to enable installation and removal of the bulb. Once the old bulb is out and the new one is in, this is what you see:

1267802


Then it's just a matter of snapping the fixture back into place by reversing the steps used to remove it.

Finally, here is the result:

1267803


This confirms my earlier suspicion that the LED bulb throws a "narrower" illumination cone. Note how much less stray light is illuminating the supercharger and body panels. Yet everything in the boot is well illuminated.

So there you go. Less current, less heat, and better color temperature (IMHO) for about ten bucks.

As a side note: I'm tempted to install a switch for the boot light. There's plenty of times when that light does not need to be turned on. However, at 42mA it now doesn't really matter.

Hope this helps someone... thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Has anyone been able to find LED bulbs that match the color temp of the door panel and footwell LED lighting on the S1 Evoras? It's somewhere between halogen and your typical "cool white" aftermarket LEDs. Must be around 4300K if I had to guess.
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I didn't look for a specific target temperature, but there are a lot of options out there. My caution would be to make certain the bulb length is accurate. Note the caliper measurement I posted... much shorter or longer and at best you'll be modifying the fixtures. At worst the bulb won't work at all.

There seem to be a couple of very rough categories for bulb length. 1.5in and 1.75in are common, but within those categories there is a LOT of variation. Dig into the specs of any bulb you're considering and make certain of the length before you order.
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Again, got a link to buy the correct ones (the first time)?
Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic. {grin} The link is in the original post, the text that says "Click here for the webpage" is an active link. So is the quoted section in the last sentence, I cut and pasted it from the original post.

Hope this helps... thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic. {grin} The link is in the original post, the text that says "Click here for the webpage" is an active link. So is the quoted section in the last sentence, I cut and pasted it from the original post.

Hope this helps... thanks!
Nope, not sarcastic - just evidently blind! :)

Appreciate getting me on track - APPRECIATE your effort here - and the sincerest form of flatty I can off is I've ordered a few to replicate your process.

Kevin
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
No problem!

Disclaimer: I have no association with that particular vendor of LED's except as a one-time customer. There are lots of other sites out there, I checked quite a few, and this was the best combination of "proper size" and "highest lumens" that I found. That's not to say there aren't other, better choices and if you find one, please post it!
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
For fun, I've merged the two interior images into an animated GIF. The two views should alternate every second if your browser supports GIF animation. GIF is palette limited so the apparent resolution looks a bit grainy but it's actually the same resolution as the other (JPG) photos, what you're seeing is the limited color palette.

1267931


If I weren't lazy I'd take the time to fix the couple of pixel image shift (must have bumped the tripod in the dark)....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
I replaced my incandescent bulb with a LED today. Pug-n-play. Made a noticeable difference for the better IMO. And MUCH less heat generated from it in comparison!

IMG_1124.jpg
 

·
Registered
2018 Lotus Evora 400
Joined
·
13 Posts
I'm always worried about leaving the dome light on or the trunk light draining the battery. Did you also change the license plat bulbs as well?

Thanks for the great info and the pics!
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Not yet. I will change out the bulb in the glove compartment too. The glove compartment fixture looks to use the same bulb as the dome light and boot, but I know the license plate bulbs are different because they are 5 watts, not 10. I suspect they will be shorter. I'll report back once I dig into it!
 

·
Registered
2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
Joined
·
384 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
More: I believe the glove compartment and the license plate are the only other traditional incandescents. The foot well and door lights are LED strip lights so nothing required there.
 

·
Registered
2018 Lotus Evora 400
Joined
·
13 Posts
Great, thanks. I ordered bulbs for the trunk and dome light. Let me know if you replace the license plate light and which bulb fits that housing. I'd like to get all the lighting to match
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Yes, the world‘s simplest mod - but got the dome and trunk bulbs replaced today...

Baby heads to the body shop this week for more noticeable “improvement”! :)

Kevin
 

·
Registered
2008 Exige S240
Joined
·
3,041 Posts
- 2008 Exige S240: my experiences....

I tried LEDs in the license plate location and they eventually failed or dimmed significantly due to melting from the muffler which is located within inches of the housing. I tried it on my Elise and Exige, however both had 'naked' rear ends so the heat was greater than if the stock rear panel was in situ.
I ended up using the lowest wattage incandescent I could find and I like the look better than vivid/cool white.
Most cars I see with aftermarket license plate LEDs are way too bright and clearly are not stock. It's as if the license
plate is the star of the show.
 

·
Registered
2018 Lotus Evora 400
Joined
·
13 Posts
I found a youtube video on the license plate bulb:

It looks like these are the ones to get:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
I found a youtube video on the license plate bulb:

It looks like these are the ones to get:
Yasha.

That guys on the site here under the name "ostatem3" - he has several nice videos on YouTube and is a credit to the forum! :)

Kevin
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top