LED lights for Instrument Cluster | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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LED lights for Instrument Cluster

mafloc78

Active Member
Joined
November 9, 2014
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City, State
Sosua / Puerto Plata
Year, Model & Trim Level
Explorer Sport Trac 2001
Hi, I want new lights for my Instrument clusters, but I want it in LED. Sport Trac 2001. But I have no idea where I can buy this for my model. The best is a complete kit (Instrument Cluster and Air-condition)
Maybe somebody here have some good links for me.

Thank you

I found 2 fotos that looks really good. 1 is with white and 1 is with black background.
 

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autolimination.com sells many LED bulbs. There are 2 issues with LED bulbs. First is that they are polarity sensitive. If you don't install them correctly they wont work This can be a pain for the instrument cluster as you may end up having to remove it multiple times to get all 6 bulbs to work. Second, some LED bulbs are very focused/directional and do not illuminated something like a gauge cluster very well. Find someone on the forum that has had success with LED's or contact autolumination and ask their advice based on your application.
 






I've replaced the black faced gauges in my 99 sport with the white that is used in the next gen - specifically got mine from an 01 or 03 sport. I also installed mostly blue LEDs for accent lights (the backing lights that light up the full cluster are still the stock ones, haven't got the time or money to mess with them right now.

To get that blue color to shine through you're going to have to take your gauges out and sand off the green color from the back of the gauge itself, otherwise if you put blue LEDs it will be green and not blue. I also recommend doing something that other people on this forum have done, and do a LIGHT coat of blue nail polish in place of the green.. I left mine transparent and at night they are VERY bright and distracting.

Also, as mentioned above by [MENTION=186147]koda2000[/MENTION] the lights themselves bring problems. I would take your entire cluster out if you plan on doing it, hook it up to an external power source and do it that way - leaving the cluster in your vehicle and having to turn it on every time to see if the lights are working is a PITA.
Finally, I had my air bag light on prior to switching (something to do with wiring under a seat, I'm guessing). However, now that I've switched the bulb from the stock to a blue LED, it sends an error and will cause the light to flash and 5 loud "BEEBS" to come from my explorer every so often.
 






One last issue is that sometimes LED's can flicker.
 






I just purchased a kit off fleabay for my 1998 in green, it did all the instruments and the heater controls.
Installation was easy, left the lights on and swapped them to make sure they lit and polarity was correct.
Looks great. downside is dimmer doesn't effect brightness much and the red portion of the temperature control shows poorly at night, looks green too.
I have never noticed flicker.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201338628354?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
 






I've had mine for about 3 months now, and like [MENTION=289827]elevatorguy925[/MENTION] I haven't experienced flickering but I know it can happen. He also brought up a good point that the dimmer will no longer effect the LEDs and they will always be super bright (like i mentioned with my blue LEDs being distracting at night). I'll take a picture at night and show you what mine look like.
 






I put LEDs in the climate control panel and they dim but only about 50%- the instrument cluster doesn't do the same?
 






I put LEDs in the climate control panel and they dim but only about 50%- the instrument cluster doesn't do the same?
It should. Mine did the last time I tried.
 






I put LEDs in the climate control panel and they dim but only about 50%- the instrument cluster doesn't do the same?

They dim a bit in the cluster and the climate controls, but not like the original bulbs. I'm not sure it is due to LEDs putting more light out or resistive dimming not having enough draw. I have turned mine all the way down and it is ok due to color choice and I like it a bit bright.
 






They dim a bit in the cluster and the climate controls, but not like the original bulbs. I'm not sure it is due to LEDs putting more light out or resistive dimming not having enough draw. I have turned mine all the way down and it is ok due to color choice and I like it a bit bright.

You might get them to dim if you added a resistor to the wire that goes to the dash cluster lights from the dimmer sw. I recently installed some LED tail lights on my '54 F100 street rod and thought I might need some resistors to get the flasher to work right (I think they were 25 watt). Turned out I didn't need them with my updated electrical system. They were pretty inexpensive, around $8-$9.
 






What are the bulb types (link would be awesome!) to replace the lights behind the climate control, 4wd knob, etc.? I've got a 2001 Sport Trac.
 






autolimination.com
Hello, I'm getting ready to replace rhe instrument cluster bulbs in my 1998 Ford Explorer, For two reason, one, some are dimming and second I'd like to use colored bulbs. Having a degree in electronics I understand the polarity issue of Diodes. Does anyone have experience/knowledge of the actual polarity of the instrument panel circuit board in the dash? How how to know which way the LED bulbs are installed
 






Thank you, my
One last issue is that sometimes LED's can flicker.
electronic background leads me to believe the the bulbs that flicker are inthe socket backwards. It doesn't damage the LED (light emitting DIODE) but the polarity is backwards causing the flickering
 






LED flickering, in my experience, was earlier technology LED products. And it was annoying. Be sure to get the best bulbs you can find.

If you reverse the polarity, you will get nothing.

As far as I could figure out the polarity, without trial and error, is as follows: get a nine volt battery and wire/connect up the LED’s one at a time. When the positive wire is connected to the positive terminal on the LED, and the negative wire is hooked to the negative terminal, the LED will function. This will allow you will be able to determine positive and negative on the “bulbs”.

There are six (6) LED’s in the instrument panel. The LED’s are in three vertical rows, with an upper and a lower bulb in each row. The positive/negative terminals have to be in the same direction/sequence. As I recall, if one of the lights in the vertical row has incorrect polarity, neither bulb in the row will function. I am sure this does not entirely solve your question as well as a schematic, but you are not likely to find a schematic as this was not an issue for the OEM incandescent bulbs.

You will really enjoy the result here… the LED light is much easier on the eyes, and does not generate all of the heat of an incandescent bulb. You are likely to find some signs of overheating plastic from the years of incandescent bulbs. Every time you turn your lights on, you will smile.

Good luck with this.
 






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