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Thread: Bulbs in Smart Electric

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    South Warwickshire


    yes I know this thread has been dead for a few years but tolsen did say "Sadly that is true today but not in a few years."

    As I live out in the countryside, my objective was to get improved lighting so I can see where I'm going rather than saving energy. Actually the amount of energy used by the standard lighting is trivial compared to driving the car or using the heater or air con. Its probably comparable to playing loud rock music And I paid extra for the optional LED daytime running lamps. And the interior theatre lighting. And the sound system

    After a lot of experimentation, I have replaced the main beams with Nighteye 12000 LM H7 LED replacements. These have a separate box of electronics, but with a bit of jiggling it is possible to fit the box inside the smart's headlamp unit. They have a fan to cool them, so when turned on they make some noise. But as you only normally use main beam whilst moving it isn't really a problem. The fan noise is drowned out by tyre noise and, in my case, loud music on the sound system. I'm guessing that with a petrol or diesel it just wouldn't be an issue at all?

    If you are in a weak FM signal area, you might need to fit extra clip on ferrite noise suppressors to the wires at the lamp to reduce radio interference. Easily available from ebay and other good stores.

    To get the LED lamps to fit, I did have to pare a small amount of plastic from around the inside of the hole in the lamp unit. I also had to buy another set of the deeper rubber covers, as used on the dip beam, to cope with the extended depth of the lamps.

    The dip beam is a lot harder because there just isn't as much room to fit the extra size of a decent LED lamp. I tried several 'direct' H7 replacements that didn't have an external box of electronics or a fan, but they were all useless. They either had a terrible beam pattern and/or were far dimmer than the standard quartz halogen H7s. One set were so bad I managed to get my money back. In the end I've settled for Philips Racing Vision 150% quartz halogen H7s. They only have an expected life of 200 hours but I can see where I am going so I don't care! With my normal driving pattern they ought to last 2 or 3 years.

    I have also replaced the front sidelights with LEDs. No real energy benefit except they are a cool white colour. There are any number of these available. I chose ones that had a silver base so they blend in with the reflectors when they are turned off.

    Replacing the reversing lamp is also a really good thing to do. An LED replacement produces a clear white light that makes reversing much safer. Even in foul weather.

    I haven't bothered replacing the brake lights as, if you are a competent EV driver, all your braking is regenerative and so you never turn on the brake lights!
    Last edited by RatleyRambler; 03-11-2017 at 02:09 AM.

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