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DAP 07-23-2014 11:00 PM

JDM ASTAR vs VLEDs 7443 red LED bulbs
I recently had a brake light burn out, and decided to replace all my bulbs with LEDs

I first bought JDM ASTAR 800 7443 equivalents (JDM ASTAR-7443-2835-33R), and while they function, there is no way they are 7443 equivalents. They claim they are 800 lumen lamps.
The 7443 is a 440 lumen lamp, and these are dim in comparison (both through the red tail light lens). At 14 inches behind the tail light, I measured 320 lux for an old incandescent, and 500 lux for a new incandescent (if you are looking for it, you can see the difference in brightness). The LED lamp in the same position measured at most 80 lux (i tried all six that I bought). The LED lamp was obviously dimmer than even the old incandescent bulb.
I was unable to try the yellow lamps I bought, I found my car has CK style connectors in the front, and the ones I bought are not CK style.

After this disaster, I bought a pair of VLED 7443_21_R-C bulbs (I was gun shy after the last purchase and these were much more expensive, so I did not buy a whole set). The LEDs on this bulb look exactly like the ones on the JDM ASTAR bulbs when they are off, and these bulbs only had 21 LEDs instead of the ASTARs 33, so it was making me nervous. These bulbs are also significantly longer than the ASTARs, so it was much more difficult to install them given the very short wires on the socket. I had to partially insert the bulb into the fixture before plugging it in to the socket, running the risk of dropping the bulb into the light fixture, but I managed to do it, and I should never have to remove these bulbs for the life of the car.
Using the same method of a light meter 14" from the bulb, I measured 650 lux with these bulbs. with an new incandescent that measured 500 lux in the left brake light, and the VLED bulb in the right brake light, the apparent brightness of the VLED was the same as or very slightly brighter than the incandescent. The biggest difference is that the VLED seemed to light up the lens more uniformly than the incandescent.
So unlike the ASTAR bulbs, the VLED meets my criteria of "at least as bright as the incandescent it is replacing"
I'm now going to order the rest of the bulbs I need for my car.
(Note: I installed a TapTurn blinker to avoid the hyper blink issue. It would annoy me to no end to use a load resistor, wasting all the power I would otherwise save with LEDs)

DAP 07-26-2014 05:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I got the rest of the bulbs today. I was able to install the rear blinkers with no trouble, much longer cable connected to the socket, and the trunk liner was not in the way.
The centre brake light was a bit more trouble to access, but once I figured out that it was made of 3 pieces, not two, it was fairly straight forward.

The big disappointment came when I tried to install the front blinkers. I bought 3157_42_WA2_CK_5K bulbs, and they are too big to fit. They fit in the socket fine, and fit through the hole into the fixture, but they run into the lens, and I can't engage the catches that hold the socket in place.

This is currently the biggest problem buying LED replacement lamps today, there is no fitment guide. At best, they point you at the Sylvania web site which tells you which kind of incandescent bulbs go where in your car, but the LEDs come in CK style wiring and standard wiring (Incandescent bulbs work with both wirings), and the LED bulbs are often bigger than the incandescent bulbs they are replacing, so they don't always fit.

edit: I have attached a photo of the incandescent blinker I was trying to replace, the replacement LED blinker, and the bulb I used for the rear brake lights.

DAP 07-30-2014 09:13 PM

I got the replacements for the blinkers I ordered: VLED 3157_21_A_CK.
You can tell the CK version because it only has 3 wires instead of the 4 wires that the standard version has. Otherwise, it looks identical to the red lamps (far right in the picture above).
Although these bulbs are big enough that they are touching the lens, they do fit, and appear brighter than the incandescent bulbs they replaced. I didn't try measuring these since my only options are off and blinking. It is difficult to measure the brightness of a blinking light.
I went in behind the bumper cover for the right lamp, but since subaru stuffed a filter in the left fender, I had to remove the battery to get at the left lamp.
All the bulbs are in place. The only shoe left to drop is if I get credited for the two bulbs I sent back that did not fit.

DAP 08-07-2014 10:43 PM

The other shoe has dropped.
VLED has refunded my credit card for the blinkers I returned that were too big.
I wish VLED had a better fitment guide, but otherwise I'm happy with them.

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