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Dick Steinkamp
04-01-2007, 03:22 PM
Here's a trick I learned from Mr. Biggs.

Painted the area behind the lens in the front parking lights/turn signals white. Makes them brighter and more visible...

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/198/442420025_a58945fefd.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/188/442420035_89557fc11a.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/177/442420047_21baf791fe.jpg



http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

R2GTHAWK
04-01-2007, 05:00 PM
Great tip, Dick!! One more little project for me to do on my R2 Hawk.
Terry Stinehelfer
Bucyrus, OH

GTtim
04-01-2007, 07:00 PM
I use tinfoil, shiny side out, form it to fit.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

stude freak
04-02-2007, 05:07 PM
Painted white is still brighter, been doing that for years on restored vehicles.

David Baggett Mantachie,Ms.

lstude
04-02-2007, 05:23 PM
Drivers around here are all on their cell phones and don't bother to use turn signals anymore!:(

Leonard Shepherd, editor, The Commanding Leader, Central Virginia Chapter, http://centralvirginiachapter.org/
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l288/lstude/Mein64Daytonasm.jpghttp://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l288/lstude/52inyardsm-1.jpg

Frank Starr
04-02-2007, 07:00 PM
On my 55 C, the reflectors on the front parking lights, and the interior dome light, were white when I took them apart. I wonder if that was factory. Can't see anyone painting a dome light reflector.

Frank Starr
Seattle

rockne10
04-02-2007, 09:16 PM
quote:I use tinfoil, shiny side out, form it to fit.

Tim, Even a mirror won't reflect as much light as a white surface and won't diffuse it at all.

bradnree
04-02-2007, 09:33 PM
Just finished painting white on tail lights and park/turn lights on a '47 and a '52 a month ago. I've had it in on our Lark for several years. I started doing it in the 60's. L E D conversion works great too........................Brad

curt
04-03-2007, 10:36 AM
Auto Zone has LED bulbs for 12 volt, Only color is red, they use way less energy and are bright.

John Kirchhoff
04-03-2007, 11:54 AM
Sorry guys, but I have a hard time believing a white surface will reflect more light than a shiny mirror type surface. If so, I'd think headlights would have white reflectors instead of being chromed. Sure, a white surface will diffuse the light which is great for something like photography but sunlight reflected on a white surface won't put your eye out like a mirror will. Maybe some factory reflectors are white because the direction or taillight isn't supposed to project light like a headlight does but instead is supposed to let you see where something is rather than where it's going.

bradnree
04-03-2007, 04:16 PM
time for a light meter......[8D]..........Brad

Swifster
04-03-2007, 06:02 PM
Other than headlamps, the reflectors on most (all?) seem to be painted silver. I would this that over time, the white may keep it's intensity longer. I will say this, Eastwoods paint to restore lamp reflectors is silver, same as OEM.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom - Valrico, FL

1964 Studebaker Daytona

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/1965_Studebaker_Commander_front198x.jpg

Chucks Stude
04-03-2007, 06:05 PM
I am all for a side by side test. I have read this here, and at other collector car web sites, and I think the gauntlet has been thrown down. Time to get the light meters out and settle this once and for all. Personally, I don't have one. I was thinking of trying out the light reflectivity computer at Sherwin-Williams, but the guy down the street is not interested. Any other ideas?

GTtim
04-03-2007, 08:43 PM
quote:Originally posted by rockne10


quote:I use tinfoil, shiny side out, form it to fit.

Tim, Even a mirror won't reflect as much light as a white surface and won't diffuse it at all.


My major thought here was I don't have to buy the paint, find the masking tape, tear up the newspaper, wait for it to dry. I just go to the kitchen, grab the tinfoil and in 5 minutes it's back together and brighter than it was. Thanks anyway.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

Dick Steinkamp
04-03-2007, 09:26 PM
quote:Originally posted by Chucks Stude

I am all for a side by side test.


While you're at it, check the LED replacement bulbs against the regular bulbs. My guess is that the LED's are not as bright. If you had enough LEDs to equal the brightness of a regular bulb, it might just melt a plastic lens [:0]

Also, the LEDs do draw less current. Your blinkers will flash super quick...like you have a bulb out (unless you opt for the $40 solid state flasher).

I've got LED's on my trailer. They are great...a whole bunch of LED's for brightness (and no plastic lens to burn)...plus they come on super quick compared to a regular bulb...but I don't think the LED replacement bulbs are all they are cracked up to be.

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

N8N
04-03-2007, 09:32 PM
IMHO the LED replacements aren't as good as bulbs. I did try them in my '55 and would rather just use a good ol' 1034. Now if someone were to make a "strip o' LED's" like are done for Avantis, that might be a different story, because LEDs really do have promise.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

bradnree
04-03-2007, 09:53 PM
Look in NSRA and Goodguys magazines for L E D suppliers. I bought a pair of strips for my '47 Mercury. I told the company in Nebraska what size I needed L X W and received same. $50. each.
The L E D bulbs are worthless, worthless, and no good too.
There are different size L E D's. Check out the Cadillac super extra large L E D's in their tail light.
A solid state flasher is not necessary in most cases. But, a cheap fix is to wire a regular bulb in line for the current before it reaches the L E D's. and then don't use a solid state flasher.
Street Rod L E D's are embedded in red plastic and light without damage. In fact the L E D's are brighter if they are embedded in the plastic. L E D's are very very cool in temp. (halogens will sometimes melt plastic)
L E D's offer a great safety factor for nighttime driving.
Google L E D tail lights. Google "Speedway Motors" for L E D. Google "Southern Street Rods" Google "RB's"................Brad

Lark289
04-03-2007, 10:43 PM
quote:Originally posted by Chucks Stude

I am all for a side by side test. I have read this here, and at other collector car web sites, and I think the gauntlet has been thrown down.

I vote for silver.

Ready for a trip to the beach!

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u36/Lark289/StudeRamblerPic.jpg

Flat Ernie
04-03-2007, 11:39 PM
I've heard this debate for years - when it was time to do the taillights on my '40 Ford, I painted one white & one metallic silver, put the lenses back on, turned on the lights, & looked - the white was visibly brighter.

I'll concede I could have used the wrong type of silver paint, but it sure convinced me...

Sorry, this was years ago & I didn't take any pics...

EDIT - I was thinking about this some more today. If you wanted more reflected light in your garage, ould you paint it white or silver? Or would you coat it with tinfoil? [:o)];):D

Daddy always said, if yer gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough & I'm one tough sumbitch!

BeeJay
04-04-2007, 08:31 AM
Auto Zone sells a solid state flasher in the $8-9 range. Works well.
I adapted a set of LED's designed for a '41 Chev for my '53K taillights. Really bright.
Bob

Own '53 Commander Starliner. Red w/beige top. 350 Chev/700R4. Tilt,cruise,A/C.http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j30/Bobphyl/StudeontheBeach.jpg

John Kirchhoff
04-04-2007, 03:01 PM
Hmmm, lining your garage with tinfoil....now that might be cool! It would certainly reflect light well but it would be harsh and create shadows, something you don't want. Compare a 100 watt clear lightbulb with a frosted one and you can see how much more harsh the light is from the former.

I'm betting a silver type surface reflects light better than does a white surface. If you think about it, high powered spotlights and lighthouses use mirrors for reflectors, not white surfaces. But then again, you don't want a soft, diffused beam of light if you're trying to keep a ocean liner from running aground, you want a clear, sharp beam that will travel long distances. That's the same characteristics you want in a headlight also. But for a brakelight or direction light, you don't want it projecting a long distance off into the weeds or someone's eyes, you want it to give off that warm fuzzy glow everyone talks about which helps one to determine its location. Something else to think about, it's easier to judge the distance of something that looks like a fuzzy blob in the distance rather than something projecting a sharp edged beam toward you.

DilloCrafter
04-05-2007, 02:11 PM
I completely agree with John Kirchhoff's two posts on the topic of why white works better in the turn signal application than a mirrored surface. It just makes sense.

As for LED bulbs, they are destined to get better and cheaper in time. Eventually, people will wonder how we got along in the "old days" of incandescent bulbs. I'm already keeping my eye out for a hand crank flashlight that has plenty of bright LED bulbs. That way, I never have to replace the lamp or the batteries!

The big question is this: How long until we have suitable LED headlights?! [:0]

http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Avacar-hcsdc.gif[/img=left]DilloCrafter

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
[i]The Red-Headed Amazon
Deep in the heart of Texas

DEEPNHOCK
04-05-2007, 02:40 PM
BTDT...
Unless they get a lot better, LED's are sensitive to direction.
They lose a LOT of candlepower if viewed off center.
And there is little reflection off the back of the housing to help.
See some comparison pic's side by side at:
http://community.webshots.com/album/54792831KPkAjw?start=12

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j54/deepnhock/Jeff%20Rice%20Studebaker%20Pictures/LEDTailLight005.jpg
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j54/deepnhock/Jeff%20Rice%20Studebaker%20Pictures/LEDTailLight003.jpg
(running lights)
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j54/deepnhock/Jeff%20Rice%20Studebaker%20Pictures/LEDTailLight004.jpg
(Brake Lights)

Halogens were the brightest, if your lenses can handle the heat...
Jeff[8D]



quote:Originally posted by N8N

IMHO the LED replacements aren't as good as bulbs. I did try them in my '55 and would rather just use a good ol' 1034. Now if someone were to make a "strip o' LED's" like are done for Avantis, that might be a different story, because LEDs really do have promise.


http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j54/deepnhock/Jeff%20Rice%20Studebaker%20Pictures/1937StudebakerCoupeExpressJeffRicee.jpg

DEEPNHOCK at Gmail.com
Brooklet, Georgia
'37 Coupe Express (never ending project)
'37 Coupe Express Trailer (project)
'61 Hawk (project)
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

Dick Steinkamp
04-05-2007, 07:36 PM
I'm a little dense, Jeff, but what are those pictures of? What are you comparing?

http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

Swifster
04-05-2007, 08:36 PM
quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

I'm a little dense, Jeff, but what are those pictures of? What are you comparing?



Standard bulb vs LED bulb.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom - Valrico, FL

1964 Studebaker Daytona

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/1965_Studebaker_Commander_front198x.jpg

DEEPNHOCK
04-05-2007, 08:38 PM
Glass lensed bullet tail lights...
I was comparing an LED 1157 equivalent to an 1157 incandescent.
The lenses are glass, but the comparative brightness was what I was trying to compare.
I put LED tail lights in my CE (with Dictator tail lights) and no one could see the brake lights during the day. Put halogen 1157's in and they can be seen fine.
Still run the LED's on the front turn signals ('61 Hawk lights with clear glass lenses)..
The fronts are fine.
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

I'm a little dense, Jeff, but what are those pictures of? What are you comparing?

N8N
04-05-2007, 09:05 PM
This thread inspired me to poke around again, seems that the LED retro taillights being sold for Chevys, Fords, etc. are all made by a company called "Technostalgia" - I dropped them an email just out of curiosity and the guy replied and said that they had actually made taillights for 53 and 54 Studes. Their web site is http://www.cool-leds.com/

Depending on price, I may be tempted to try a set. I have halogens in there now, but the plastic lenses make me a little nervous.

Also check out the cool two-color conversions for the backup light lens. That would be a neat conversion in, say, a GT Hawk.

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
http://members.cox.net/njnagel

Roscomacaw
04-07-2007, 05:31 PM
Dick mentioned my name in the start of this thread. I've done side-by-side tests of white vs, nicely rechromed taillight bodies. The white wins hands down. And I prefer to use flat white paint at that!
When you have a mirrored surface, it's great for reflecting light - that's for sure. HOWEVER.... it's directional in it's reflectivity. And consequently, if this directional reflectiveness ISN'T optimally AIMED at the lenses (and they didn't even think about this in any Stude taillight body I've ever seen[8]), alot of light is lost amongst the flats and recesses of the light fixture. White reflects FULL spectrum light and reflects it in all directions instead of sidetracking or "derailing" it inside the body. I like the flat white because it's surface isn't, to a degree, directionally oriented as gloss would be.
Try it once, Tim. do one parking lite (or taillight) white and use foil on the other. Do your eyeball "test" at night and see which one is brighter. I'm betting you'll readily see the difference.[8D]

BTW, I was always worried that the taillight lenses on our 60 Lark were pretty inefficient in bright daylight. The way they stick out from the body makes them easily illuminated by ambient light and makes it that much harder for the feeble output of the 1157 bulbs to tell the guy behind you that you're on the binders.[:0]
What I did to help a bit (besides painting the surface of the metal body white) was paint the upper, inside surface (ONLY the flat surface that faces skyward) with red paint. After that dried (without removing the masking tape I'd carefully applied), I painted the same area again with flat white. Using the red first, it's hard to even TELL (from the outside) that it's painted inside. Then overcoating that red with the white enhances the overall reflectivity of the the light. With the sun blocked from above, when you step on the brakes, you can actually TELL that the brake lites are on! And it's easy to do!;)

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Roscomacaw
04-07-2007, 05:34 PM
BTW, I would readily agree that today's cars all use metallized reflectivity to get the most out of the taillight bulbs, BUT.... they've long ago engineered the reflective part to AIM their reflectiveness AT the colored portion of the lenses!;) Not the case with our oldies![8]

And another thing to consider....... I was an aircraft electrician for a number of years. Worked with LOTS of marker lights and instrument lighting in commercial and military aircraft. Never a metallically coated light body - always painted flat white inside.:D

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

Roscomacaw
04-08-2007, 11:49 AM
Taste's grate!

GTtim
04-08-2007, 03:36 PM
[
Try it once, Tim. do one parking lite (or taillight) white and use foil on the other. Do your eyeball "test" at night and see which one is brighter. I'm betting you'll readily see the difference.[8D]

Hey Bob, thanks for the encouragement. I'm a little paranoid about paint, I don't get along with it as well as I should. I'm going to the counselor to try to resolve some of these issues. [8D] Seriously, my hat is off to all of you that have found the best way to do a thing and are able to follow through on it. I usually try to do things the right way, not take short cuts, but my time is limited, I have a business to run and family things to take care of also, so somethings get put off until later. I never claimed that the tinfoil quick fix was better than painted white, I only claim that it is quicker and better than nothing and causes no harm in the doing. It was a tip that I remember from an old Popular Mechanics magazine. As soon as I can screw up my courage and find the time I'll paint the insides of the lights white, until then the tinfoil will do the job and make it a bit better than it would have been.:)

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

bige
04-08-2007, 08:01 PM
My guess is that while the white may be brighter, taking the second step and painting a silver metal housing to get a little more reflectivity wasn't in the manufacturer's budget. Also, white paint may flake off or turn less white with age whereas the material the part was cast in will not change much or require maintenance. IMHO.

Siver or white, just as critical is making sure the inside of the lens is clean and the grounds are good.

Regarding LED's, My El Camino has both type of lights in the rear. For reasons too long to explain here, I have to switch to all LED. But looking at the rear with all the lights turned on there doesn't seem to be a big difference in brightness between 4 1157's and the light bars under the tailgate. It's a different look and the LED's are very crisp, but they don't drown out the regular lamps. While researching the lights for the El Camino, I read that LED's are more effective if the lamp is the same color as the lens. I.E. red bulb through red lens is more effective than white bulb through red lens.

ErnieR



http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r241/AvantiR2/avnatiglamour007.jpg