Submitted by Larry
of C&L Enterprise
When I was fixing up Colleen’s ‘56
Chevy, one of the things I wanted to do was make the stop/tail
lights brighter. First I washed the lens and cut out reflective
rings for the housing. I used a 3m diamond grade sign reflective
sheet scrap which really helped. (This is available at Highway
Second, I ordered #1157 “Brite Light” from one of
the speed shops. These ‘babies’ are bright! (50/8
watt). Unfortunately, when all the lights were on and you hit
the brakes, the thermo-breaker in the light switch would go off
and all the lights would flicker.
So we returned the old 1157 bulbs to the housing and went to
the local auto parts for some 1157 LED’s. These were ok
for tail lights if you were exactly behind the tail light and
at eye level. Otherwise, the light was marginal. (cost $7.98
I got on the internet and came across www.superbrightleds.com.
They have a lot of helpful hints about LED lights and admit that
it’s hard to make LED’s as bright as incandescent
bulbs. Anyway, I ordered some 24 LED wide view lights ( $7.29
each) and some 1157-LX3 Luxeon bulbs ($19.95 each). The 24 LED
are about as bright as a standard 1157 bulb which was very disappoint.
But wait...the 1157-LX3 Luxeon bulb is great! It is only 3 watt
and has 120º of viewing. The tail light part is as bright
as my old stop light. The stop light is really bright!
I think the regular LED lights would be great for courtesy lights
and dome lights because of their low power draw. The LED would
probably not work in instrument lighting because of their directional
light characteristics. If you want to try some 1157 LED bulbs
in your housings, let me know. I have 3 different types you can
Also when you get your LED lights, make sure the bulb is the
same color as the lens going over it. The LED red for stop/tail
lights and white or yellow for parking lamps.