12 November 2013

New LED Door Light Kit for the DeLorean

LED Door Light Kit by Tom Niemczewski
About a month ago, I got this cool LED Door Light Kit from Tom Niemczewski at deloreana.com.  I finally found time to install these lights.  Not that this took a lot of time.  But like all my DeLorean projects, I like to document the process whenever I can.  Here are my first impressions, quick review, and installation process.

Great packaging
The kit comes a custom foam box.  Just by looking at the box, you know these are going to be quality items.  I have to admit, I was hesitant at first to get these, but the box sold it.  Perfectly cut foam, with recessed pockets for the lights.  The cover has a (I would guess) laser gut logo.  Just beautiful...like a box of chocolates.

Close up of one of the LED assemblies
Remove the cover and you see all six lights laid out (see image at top of post).  Four surface mounted LED's make up each assembly, along with some techy-microchipy things.  In other words, these are really nicely made.  You can tell that Tom spent a lot of time and took at lot of care in making these.

LED bulbs from DMC
One of the reasons I hesitated in purchasing the kit was, I had already swapped out the original incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs from DMC.  This was one of the first modifications I did when I first got the car to make it 'more modern'.

DMC replacement LED rear (red) door light
Here we go, one of the easiest mods you can do to your car.  As easy as changing a light bulb.  For comparison, here is a shot of the rear DMC LED bulb in the light.  Notice the hot spot, not very good displacement of light.  Can you even 'displace' light?  You know what I mean.

Removing the lens
In order to get to the bulbs, you need to carefully remove the lens.  I used a flat head screwdriver to carefully pry out the lens.

New surface mounted LED bulb installed
The new LED's are directional, so make sure you have them in the right way.  There is only two ways, so it is just a matter of plugging it in and seeing if it lights up.  Oh, you will know when it lights up.

Nice grid pattern
With the lens placed back in, it creates a nice grid pattern.  I like this since it matches the grid like tail lights.  Tom sells the kit with a set of diffuser lenses to 'correct' the grid pattern.  I elected to keep the grid look.  I could always have some lenses cut if I ever decide to have a defused look.  This project should only take 10-15 minutes to do.

DMC replacement LED front (amber) lights
For comparison, photos of the rear lights show what they look like in bright daylight.  Above is photo of lights in semi light.  The hot spot is more apparent in these photos.

Sexy grid pattern is so eighties
I should note that I have my lenses in backwards.  The textured side faces in, smooth side out.  Not sure if it makes any difference, but I think the light gets dispersed better if the facets are closer to the light.  I could be totally wrong.

Bad photo of the new LED lights complete darkness
The LED's are very bright.  Above is a bad photo of the lights in complete darkness.  All photo here are taken with an iPod.  Not the best camera, but good enough.  You can still see the grid pattern at night, note the lens flare to the left of the main light.  The camera was not able to pick this up.

Comparing size and shape of the different LED bulbs
One of the design feature that I love about Tom's LED kit is the low profile design.  Having the light source further away from the lens give the light more time to spread.  The taller 'standard' LED bulb is right up against the lens, resulting in that hot spot.  Also, having four surface mounted LED's spread out in the corners help with better light distribution.  Even with the optional defusing lens, the standard LED bulbs would cause hot spots.

This is a great set.  Although a price a little high, I think it is well worth the price, even at $80.  They are really well made and they look great.  For an extra $20, you can get frosted lenses from Tom.  We must not forget about the packaging...just awesome.

If you have not upgraded to LED's, I highly recommend this set.  But you better hurry, there are only about 20 left.  The alternative is getting LED bulbs from your favourite DMC vendor or LED specialist. 

It is good to know that there are people like Tom out there...all the way out there in Poland.  He makes a great product.  Not only that, he makes sure that you get your item by providing tracking number and email updates.  I even got an email telling me that my package had arrived at the post office.  That is great customer service.  He is also working on a kit for the side marker lights.  Once he has those ready, you can bet that I will buy a set.

For technical information and specifications, and how to order, please visit Tom Niemczewski's site at deloreana.com.

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