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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've taken the plunge and have ordered LED replacements for most of the exterior lights on my '11 OB. I currently have installed, LEDs for the backup lights, rear turn signals, and license plate lamps. I will be installing LEDs for the tail lamps, brake lamps, and front "position" lamps.

I have not replaced the front turn signal bulbs yet but probably will sooner or later; I need to add resistors to the circuit to fool the flasher into thinking no bulbs are burned out so it flashes the lamps at the normal speed.

I'll post back after the install and let everyone know how the LEDs work out.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #2
The LED lamps have arrived and have been installed. My OB is now about 90% LED for exterior lighting! All LEDs do a great job and seem to put out plenty of light in comparison to the stock incandescent bulbs they replaced. One minor exception was the 18 element high-power red 7440/7443 LEDs which replaced the 7440 incandescent bulbs for the brake lights. These were just not quite bright enough, so I have ordered 45 element LEDs for this application. Here is a breakdown of the replacements:

Turn signals:
Rear: 18 element amber high-power LEDs - 7440 / 7443
Front: 18 element amber high-power LEDs - 7440 / 7443

Back-up lamps:
6K white high-output LEDs - 921

Tail lamps:
6K white high output 15 element LEDs - 194 / 168

Brake lamps:
45 element high output (red) LEDs - 7440 / 7443

License plate lamps:
6K white 4 element wide angle LEDs - 194 / 168

Front position lamps:
6k white single element high output LEDs - 194 /168

I have also replaced the festoon bulbs and cargo lamp inside the car. The result is a soft, fluorescent light kind of overhead lighting inside the car.

Three (3) 6K white 3022, 4 element LED festoon bulbs
One (1) 6K white medium output LED replacement for 921

I am very happy with the results of the changeover to LED and probably will never have to replace any of these lamps throughout the lifetime of the car.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #4
Care to share the total cost ?
All told, I believe I've invested about $150.00. I realize that's a bit much for "esthetics", but the lamps look and function well and they will probably last as long as the car does.

With the exception of two LED lamps, all were ordered from http://superbrightleds.com. The other two (front turn signal lamps - 7440 / 7443) came from http://v-leds.com.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Limited Graphite Gray
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Did this my self as well. Spent about $60 in-between SBLED's.com and Ebay. All LED's replace were replaced with SMD LED's. Did the 45 SMD LED for the brake lights and they were not bright enough. Have not changed changed turn signal bulbs yet due to research on the the blinker relay....
 

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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #6
Did this my self as well. Spent about $60 in-between SBLED's.com and Ebay. All LED's replace were replaced with SMD LED's. Did the 45 SMD LED for the brake lights and they were not bright enough. Have not changed changed turn signal bulbs yet due to research on the the blinker relay....
The 45 SMD LED for the brake lights (red LEDs) worked fine in my application - - they were about the same brightness as the stock bulbs when viewed in direct sunlight. As for the turn signals, the easiest way to rectify the fast flashing is to use a pair of the 6 ohm 50 watt load resistors, one connected to each side's turn signals. This will "fool" the flasher into thinking that an incandescent load current has been applied to the turn signal circuit. The resistors are available from SBLEDs.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #8
Care to share some video of the bulbs in action?
I'd love to however I am multimedia challenged when it come to posting to forums. I'll see what I can do though.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i w/CVT
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here is a video clip filmed in bright, sunny conditions with my 2011 Outback parked in the shade. This helps to show how well the LEDs actually work in place of the incandescent bulbs, where direct sunlight would wash out and distort what the camera recorded. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/HlGJYp6lE_M

As for the fast flashing speed of the turn signals, I went to install the load resistors and found that even at 6 ohms (2 amp current draw) they do not load the circuit enough to slow down the flashing rate. Looks like I'll have to see if a 4-way flasher will work in place of the stock turn signal flasher.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5i, 2010 MB R350 Diesel, 1991 Toyota MR2 | suspension & braking enthusiast
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For the brake lights, I think this one might work best:
3 Watt Luxeon 7440/7443 Bulb Specifications

A single 3watt luxeon driver rather than 45 little ones aimed in different directions. I don't think the reflector in the subaru housing is aligned to work well with the 45-led unit, so if you use a single high-power LED with 120° beam pattern, it might appear brighter.

Either way, using LEDs for the brake lamp is a great idea since LEDs reach maximum intensity in about 1 millisecond as opposed to incandescent which takes up to 300 millieceonds. At 60mph, you travel 25 feet in 300 milliseconds, so you're giving folks behind you an additional 25 feet to stop their car before hitting you.


For the older subarus that use 4 brake bulbs instead of two, replace two of them with LED and leave the other two incandescent. That way you have the best of both worlds. bright and quicker to light up.

:29:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thank you for the suggestion of using a three watt 120 degree Luxeon. I contemplated using one, but didn't think it would be as bright as either a 20 LED or 45 LED tower lamp. I'm still exploring alternatives, though the 45s seem to work really well in my application. I guess I need to get my helper (wife) to make some brake applications during bright sunlight and compare these with the stock 7440/7443 in one of the sockets.

Also, phatvw, I love the time-distance analysis. Very accurate calculations for a little-explored issue surrounding rear-end traffic collisions (I am a retired law enforcement officer with collision reconstruction experience).
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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seems like a good dealer option to offer. Wonder if any dealers do? (might be a warranty/safety issue?)

anyway - good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
seems like a good dealer option to offer. Wonder if any dealers do? (might be a warranty/safety issue?)

anyway - good work!
I too feel it would be a great dealer option and I believe there'd be no safety or warranty issues with which to contend, since LEDs consume less power and are more reliable than incandescent bulbs.

Also, thank you for the kind words. I love these forums - - they ARE the place where the rubber meets the road and real automotive knowledge is gained.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I too feel it would be a great dealer option and I believe there'd be no safety or warranty issues with which to contend, since LEDs consume less power and are more reliable than incandescent bulbs.

Also, thank you for the kind words. I love these forums - - they ARE the place where the rubber meets the road and real automotive knowledge is gained.
have you checked into the lights/prices at dealextreme? I often wonder if it's the same products as on ebay or at superbright, etc.

I ask because I think I have a parking light getting intermittent and I see no reason not to replace with LED as lights go out. Also, where does the resister go when using LED turn signals?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
have you checked into the lights/prices at dealextreme? I often wonder if it's the same products as on ebay or at superbright, etc.

I ask because I think I have a parking light getting intermittent and I see no reason not to replace with LED as lights go out. Also, where does the resister go when using LED turn signals?
I havent checked at dealextrem.com yet. As for the resistor, it is wired in parallel directly across the individual right and left turn signal hot wire and ground. One only needs to connect the resistor across a rear or front turn signal for each side since both front and rear turn signal bulbs are on the same circuit.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I havent checked at dealextreme.com yet. As for the resistor, it is wired in parallel directly across the individual right and left turn signal hot wire and ground. One only needs to connect the resistor across a rear or front turn signal for each side since both front and rear turn signal bulbs are on the same circuit.
ah, OK - sounds like it would be easy with scotchloks - maybe some soldering of a pigtail onto the resistor. I could do that.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R - RIP totaled by idiot whom ran red light
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Thanks for posting the video & great write-up. I didn't realize how simple it was to pull that small plastic access piece off the hatch interior panel to gain access.

Don't want to fiddle with resistors, so just want to install bulbs that do not require any wiring modification. I tried the brake LED's but it made my dash blink so going to return them. So far the LED tail lights above the brake bulbs are fine as is without any wiring mod's.

I'm going to do the 921 back-up LED's & front position lights next. Had to read the Owners Manual to find the location of position lights.
 

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2014 Outback Limited, interior led, HID low beam, valentine one, clear bra- next is the torklift hitch
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Led replacements

I got the interior lights from precision led but the cargo and dome light were not bright enough. Went on to amazon and ordered the "Neewer T10 36 SMD LED light festoon dome bulb.". It fits perfectely in either spot and really is bright. Heat is a little higher but much less than the original. Only about $5.55 per light.

I am looking to replace the rear tail light bulb with a LED but want something that is at least as bright as the factory bulb. Anyone have any suggestions ?
 

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All told, I believe I've invested about $150.00. I realize that's a bit much for "esthetics", but the lamps look and function well and they will probably last as long as the car does.

With the exception of two LED lamps, all were ordered from http://superbrightleds.com. The other two (front turn signal lamps - 7440 / 7443) came from http://v-leds.com.
LED lighting is awesome, but there is a reason to go with a reputable place like these guys. V-leds is grossly overpriced, though. I made the mistake of buying some pretty pricey white/amber flashers from autolumination.com for my old SRT-4, which fried over and over. When I told them I was tired of dealing with their substandard products that kept literally frying after a month or two, and that I just wanted my money back and not a third replacement, they told me to go pound sand.

When you're buying auto LEDs, it pays to spend the extra money for quality units if you don't want to be stuck in warranty/RMA ****. Also, when I do my outback I'll be looking for units with the resistors built in for an easy swap, I know Pilot makes some but I'd like some brighter ones.

EDIT: Also, for the fast flashing, I remember on my old car I modified the flasher relay, I know some online stores sell replacement relays that will prevent the problem outright. You're also not adding the risk of melting something with a resistor, and conserving electricity by actually using less power instead of forcing LEDs to use more.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R - RIP totaled by idiot whom ran red light
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FYI - do not order the large 921's from Superbrightleds.com because they are way too big. They won't fit into the socket and one popped-out and I had to remove with tweezers. Real pain to get out if they pop-out of the socket.

Also does anyone know how to get the white front position lights to turn on? Not sure if I have to be in drive or have the parking lights on? These are the inner position lights. Not the ones on the corners near flashers.

The tail light LED's are working great at least. No issues and no need for wiring mod.
 
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