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gmarsha2 05-02-2019 04:42 PM

Converting 1156 taillight bulbs to LED
I am not happy with how bright my rear signal and night/brake lights appear on my 04 Dutchstar. I have cleaned and polished the lens, checked voltage and even tried other bulbs. Has anyone tried using the LED replacement bulbs for the 1156 and what were the results? If so what bulbs did you use? Is there a LED that will service both night lights and brake lights together?
Looking for solutions so I can be seen better by traffic that is following.

wildmanbaker 05-03-2019 12:16 PM

We did this many years ago. Got the LEDs off Ebay, and they were direct replacements for either the single filament or dual filament bulbs. They have worked great, and the visibility in direct sunlight was greatly improved. Have since replaced the side marker lights with LEDs also. A worthwhile improvement.

Bobog 05-03-2019 12:59 PM

I felt the same way about the brake lights on my motorcycle and wanted to give cagers behind me more warning I was slowing. I bought 3 watt LED brake light bulbs. They are very bright during the day and almost painful at night. Very effective.

You may wish to try a couple of things to improve your existing lights. First clean and tighten the grounds. It doesn't take much of a voltage drop to make them dim. Secondly, consider adding reflective silver tape like metallic (not cloth) heating duct tape to the housing behind the bulb if they are just white plastic.

I learned that LED bulbs need to be the same colour as the lens - red for run/brake and amber for turns if so equipped.

wildmanbaker 05-03-2019 05:07 PM

What Bob said about color LEDs, been a while and I had forgotten.

1320Fastback 05-03-2019 09:31 PM

I bought these on Amazon a few weeks ago and LOVE them. They are so much brighter than the incandescent bulbs.

I also used the 1156 for the trailers step light and tongue light, again WAY brighter than incandescent.

Order the color of the lens for your vehicle. Clear for clear lens (reverse), red for red lens (brake/turn) or amber for (turn). Do not put a clear LED behind a colored lens thinking it will be brighter, it wont be and will look sub par.



daveandcarol 05-03-2019 09:48 PM

probably not a problem with modern vehicles but would the lower wattage requirements for LED bulbs affect the operation of the turn signal flashers?

1320Fastback 05-03-2019 10:12 PM

Didn't affect the flash rate in my '92 Dodge at all but it does have the Heavy Duty relays in it so maybe that's why.

spyderRV 05-03-2019 11:39 PM

I found a direct replacement for mine from Bargman.

cotton top 05-04-2019 10:06 AM

Look at wal-mart on line. Got mine there for inside coach lights. I think 10 for about $12. Ordered two times and happy with all -order - delivery -use. They came from a fulfillment center I think

mike brez 05-05-2019 05:30 AM


Originally Posted by spyderRV (Post 4757226)
I found a direct replacement for mine from Bargman.


Gary RVRoamer 05-05-2019 08:00 AM


Is there a LED that will service both night lights and brake lights together?

All 1156 bulbs are single contact, so they cannot serve two or more separate functions. You need a different type bulb (e.g. 1034 or 1157) and a socket that matches. Led vs incandescent has nothing to do with it.

gmarsha2 05-07-2019 05:19 AM

Thanks for all the feedback........again IRV2 has been a good source of information. All that is left now is to check out which supplier I will try and complete the task. Again thanks for the feed back,

Gerryl 05-07-2019 06:30 AM

Just last week, (after reading a lot of reviews) I replaced the 1156 bulbs in my lawn tractor. What a difference :dance:

I was so happy with how that worked, I replaced the wimpy backup bulbs, in my Escalade. Now it's like I have headlights in the rear when I back up. :thumb:

Considering also changing out the stop/turn signal lights and that might require replacing the blinker switch.

Gary RVRoamer 05-07-2019 07:00 AM

Just be aware that merely being LED doesn't automatically make the bulb brighter. The size and low power usage of individual Leds makes it possible to pack more light (lumens) into the available space, so LEDS are usually brighter than an incandescent of the same type (bulb number), but there is no guarantee. It may be the same or only a little brighter. Don't give up if the first one you try doesn't seem much brighter - try a different brand that has a higher lumen rating.

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