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2011 OB 2.5i w/CVT, Steel Silver
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I remember seeing some older posts of some guys who purchased some cree LED reverse lights for their Gen 4 Outbacks. I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i base with the CVT. I ordered some of the lights on Ebay, more specifically the 2pcs 921 912 906 T15/T10 Wedge CREE Q5 Emitter 5W Led Reverse Back up Light

I shaved a bit off in the socket itself since they don't fit very well, and I hooked the first one up and tested it, it worked great. I installed the second one and the second one worked, but the first one didn't. I checked all connections and tested each bulb. I'm thinking that for some reason, the car can't power both lights at the same time? Has anyone else had this problem? I know these two bulbs work, they just won't work together. I would love to get some ideas, as I really would like to have brighter lights when backing up. It seems everyone else who bought these bulbs did not have the problem. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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LED bulbs can generate a ton of heat especially the cheap bulb replacements. They take less power unless there is something very wrong with the bulb wiring its self.

LED's are funny animals and cheap bulbs can cause lots of issues for a system set up for old school bulbs.

If you want more light - install some after market drivers lights in the rear bumper or hang them on the hitch bar and tie them to the trailer wiring harness.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i w/CVT, Steel Silver
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank's Subie, unfortunately, I was looking for a cheap $20.00 fix to get brighter light when reversing. I don't have the funds these days to purchase a hitch/and or larger lights just yet. I do love that look though.
 

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Unfortunately you won't like the look when a bulb that is too bright melts the housing of your OE tailight, or god forbid ruins your wiring harness!

With reverse lights they aren't on long so that's not as much of an issue, it's tail lights/brake lights that get bad.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i w/CVT, Steel Silver
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I hear you there. Definitely don't want either of those things to happen. I thought the heat problem with LED bulbs wasn't a factor?

Anyway, I guess the bulb was the problem, I decided to try and hook them back up and they are both working, now. I guess it ended up being a fluke thing. They might be considered on the cheap side, so I'll try and keep my standards in-check!
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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LEDs are polarized, incandescent bulbs aren't. You have to put the an LED bulb in the right way for it to work, when it has a wedge base. If it doesn't go, pull it out, rotate 180 and reinsert. You probably did this without realizing it.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i w/CVT, Steel Silver
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Discussion Starter #7
Well now one won't work again. I had the gate open so I could see what was going on. I would throw it in reverse and both lights would be lit, then one of them would go out. I'd turn the car off, go to the bad bulb, take it out of the socket and rotate it. I would again throw it in reverse, and they would both light up. Not sure I've ever seen this before. They might just be cheap bulbs. I'm very disappointed, as I really wanted brighter reverse lights. Are there any that have a different set that they would recommend?
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Could also be lousy base shape. Lots of automotive LEDs are poorly made- I'd try another 2 or 3 before giving up. You can't trust brand names- if you find a good one, don't assume the same brand will be good in other sizes or colors.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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I followed what another forum member did. I too had a little issue with the bulb bases not fitting tightly. Bending the mounting tabs out some solved that problem but if you are not careful a bulb can fall into the light housing which is not a lot of fun to fish out. Cree technology is great I have a number of flash lights that have Cree. They do get really hot but I don't know if they get hot enough to melt a housing. How many of us have backup lights on for more than 10secs?
 

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2012 2.5i Premium CVT
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921 Posts
I have those same bulbs purchased from a different store, but same price. The solutions to getting them to fit and work properly have already been posted.

They're pretty bright at night, but in the sun it would be difficult for somebody to know you are about to back up judging by lights alone. The lights look like tiny dots. Since lighting is 50% *to see* and 50% *to be seen*, I pulled them out and went back to stock. I also thought they were too blue. I'm all for LED lighting, but the selection of 921 retrofits is just not great at this time. There are some great 7440/7443 bulbs out there (see v-leds) for our other lights.

There are similar 921 bulbs with 3 radially firing LEDs in addition to the projector that look a little more promising, but they're loooong.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6 Limited
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Yeah watch-out for the bulb fitting. It is a nightmare to fish-out the bulbs, if they pop-out of the socket. I had to go through hoops, but once you get them to fit, they are insanely bright. I find all that extra light useful for backing up at night.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,526 Posts
LED bulbs can generate a ton of heat especially the cheap bulb replacements. They take less power unless there is something very wrong with the bulb wiring its self.

LED's are funny animals and cheap bulbs can cause lots of issues for a system set up for old school bulbs.

If you want more light - install some after market drivers lights in the rear bumper or hang them on the hitch bar and tie them to the trailer wiring harness.
?????
Incandescent bulbs create light by use of a filament. When power is applied, the filament glows, generating heat, in turn, producing light. LEDs are the opposite. LEDs create light though a "cold process", when power is applied to semiconductors (usually gallium, arsenic and phosphorus) they're stimulated by the movement of electrons; thus creating photons, the light that is visibly seen by humans. Therefore, generally speaking, led lights/bulbs do NOT generate heat!
 

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2012 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5
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I have LED reverse lights in mine too. I picked them up from superbrightleds.com
$6 for each backup light. However like someone said, I added driving lights as another set of backup lights under the rear bumper. I changed the bulbs the driving lights came with to LED. I think I put this in the driving lights. Its easier for me to see backing up now, I have all tinted windows and couldnt see with out the LEDs.
 

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2011 OB 3.6R Limited
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?????
Incandescent bulbs create light by use of a filament. When power is applied, the filament glows, generating heat, in turn, producing light. LEDs are the opposite. LEDs create light though a "cold process", when power is applied to semiconductors (usually gallium, arsenic and phosphorus) they're stimulated by the movement of electrons; thus creating photons, the light that is visibly seen by humans. Therefore, generally speaking, led lights/bulbs do NOT generate heat!
Actually, LED bulbs do generate heat in the die. That's why most high-powered LED lamps have a heat sink that the LED's are mounted in...



Historically LED's were low power devices and didn't consume enough power for heat to be a huge issue. As the multi-watt, high power LED's have become common, heat dissipation is a larger issue.

The difference between LED's and incandescent lighting is that LED's are more efficient and thus waste less power creating heat at the emitter/bulb, and LED's produce almost no infra-red light, meaning the produced light doesn't heat up the lens the way an incandescent/halogen bulb will.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Oh yeah...that would be correct. That is why I deliberately said "generally speaking" ... The heat generated in the heat sink may not melt the socket, in my humble opinion anyway....I have bypassed similar issue (when installing high Wattage bulbs in my Subie) by using a ceramic heavy duty harness/socket that will prevent melting of bulb sockets. I've learned a lesson on my 05 Forester, where I just put 100W bulbs in lo and hi beams ... one socket "melted" and not even blowing the fuse. Ever since, anytime I upgrade bulbs I use heavy duty harness (about 5" long) with ceramic socket. Been there - done it!
 

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2011 OB 2.5i w/CVT, Steel Silver
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Discussion Starter #19
I have LED reverse lights in mine too. I picked them up from superbrightleds.com
$6 for each backup light. However like someone said, I added driving lights as another set of backup lights under the rear bumper. I changed the bulbs the driving lights came with to LED. I think I put this in the driving lights. Its easier for me to see backing up now, I have all tinted windows and couldnt see with out the LEDs.
I went ahead and placed an order with these folks. I hope to get them in sometime this week. I'll be sure and take some pictures once installed to help anyone else out that has been thinking about going this route. I can also provide an opinion on the light output difference from the Cree and regular LED backup lights. Thank you all for the help and advice!
 
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