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#1: 07-23-2014, 11:00 PM
JDM ASTAR vs VLEDs 7443 red LED bulbs
Title: Senior Member
Location: San Jose, CA
Car: White 2005 Legacy GT LTD sedan
Posts: 221
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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)
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legacyshawn (10-20-2014)
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