Issues with LED or SMD bulbs
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Issues with LED or SMD bulbs in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Has anyone had issues with replacing stock bulbs with SMD or LED bulbs. For some reason this has become a ...
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    FRANKIE FINGERS's Avatar
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    Issues with LED or SMD bulbs

    Has anyone had issues with replacing stock bulbs with SMD or LED bulbs. For some reason this has become a big problem for me. The 2 areas that are an issue is the license plate bulbs and the lil corner bulbs that go into the heap lamps. I had an issue before with them working when i first installed them. Then a coupke days later they would either stop working of would flicker on and off. So I replaced em once again and the samr thing happened. Any suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIE FINGERS
    Has anyone had issues with replacing stock bulbs with SMD or LED bulbs. For some reason this has become a big problem for me. The 2 areas that are an issue is the license plate bulbs and the lil corner bulbs that go into the heap lamps. I had an issue before with them working when i first installed them. Then a coupke days later they would either stop working of would flicker on and off. So I replaced em once again and the samr thing happened. Any suggestions.
    Make sure they are 12v LEDs with a resistor installed. The car runs at 14.4 approx and can burn it out i guess. The heat from the headlights may affect it.

    Fwiw, I have LEDs in my sidemarker, brake light, license plate, and DRL. The only resistor i installed was for the DRL. They all work fine.

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    cabletech is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Issues with LED or SMD bulbs

    My local PD notified me that my license plate lights were strobing. He said it annoyed him. I went back in with the stock bulbs.

    All my other lights (interior & reverse) are fine. Just the license plate lights went bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehaze07 View Post

    Make sure they are 12v LEDs with a resistor installed. The car runs at 14.4 approx and can burn it out i guess. The heat from the headlights may affect it.

    Fwiw, I have LEDs in my sidemarker, brake light, license plate, and DRL. The only resistor i installed was for the DRL. They all work fine.
    Iam a lil confused about the resistor part. Is that on the bulb or something i would have to wire in

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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIE FINGERS

    Iam a lil confused about the resistor part. Is that on the bulb or something i would have to wire in
    I installled a resistor to stop the hyperflash on the DRLs. You would have to wire a resistor in to help drop the amount of voltage going to the bulb. I wouldn't know where you would place the resistor in the headlight wiring either. Check these out. They *may* be what you need.

    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewi...id=48146457688

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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIE FINGERS
    Has anyone had issues with replacing stock bulbs with SMD or LED bulbs. For some reason this has become a big problem for me. The 2 areas that are an issue is the license plate bulbs and the lil corner bulbs that go into the heap lamps. I had an issue before with them working when i first installed them. Then a coupke days later they would either stop working of would flicker on and off. So I replaced em once again and the samr thing happened. Any suggestions.
    I replaced all interior, reverse, corner headlamps, and license plate bulbs with LEDs and haven't had any issues or requiring a resistor. I'd say try and flip the bulb around and see if that helps with the issue. What type bulb did you use for the problem bulbs?

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    TomV is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Issues with LED or SMD bulbs

    I think LEDs fit in only one way. Based on my knoweldge of an LED, reverse voltage on it will result in no current flow and thus no light.

    A resistor in series with an LED is there to reduce the current into it. Unless they have built-in resistors they will overheat and die since the junction voltage across them is typically less than 2 volts.

    A properly designed LED bulb assembly will certainly take into account the higher running voltage of the car power system.

    What is the pulse rate of the LED strobing ?

    LEDs are quick to respond to voltage changes when compared to incandescent lamps. Normal bulbs will filter out very quick pulses because of the slower time constant of the filament. A properly designed LED bulb assembly will filter out the higer frequency pulsing similar to the incandescent.
    CTSjones and CTSjones like this.

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    The flash is really fast or it will stay off. I put my stock ones back in and they work fine. I think the resistors will solve it. Ill try it when I get some time. Thanks for the help guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKIE FINGERS
    The flash is really fast or it will stay off. I put my stock ones back in and they work fine. I think the resistors will solve it. Ill try it when I get some time. Thanks for the help guys
    I think you installed LEDS that were not 12v LEDs. The hyper flash will happen because the computer thinks you have a bulb out.

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    The packages on the bulbs say 12v

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    Re: Issues with LED or SMD bulbs

    I have a transit connect here in the UK, and I put cheap led's in, and they only lasted a week or two before they started flickering or burning out.
    However, on my CTS I put all "no error" canbus, better quality led's in, and they work perfect.

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    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    The LEDs cause problems because they draw such a small amount of power. Sometimes a turn signal flasher will fail to flash or flash too fast for lack of sufficient load. Other issues can arise too. Apparently the computer can think the bulb is out and cut power making a hyperflash?
    The resistor just makes the led bulb use more power. In a circuit with several bulbs like the marker lights it could work to switch some bulbs to led and leave standard bulbs in other places, that way the circuit still has reasonable load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete(UK)
    I have a transit connect here in the UK, and I put cheap led's in, and they only lasted a week or two before they started flickering or burning out.
    However, on my CTS I put all "no error" canbus, better quality led's in, and they work perfect.
    I thought the CTS didn't use a CANBUS system so I didn't pick them up. I was thinking about it too. Are they brighter than your old LEDs?

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.electric
    The LEDs cause problems because they draw such a small amount of power. Sometimes a turn signal flasher will fail to flash or flash too fast for lack of sufficient load. Other issues can arise too. Apparently the computer can think the bulb is out and cut power making a hyperflash?
    The resistor just makes the led bulb use more power. In a circuit with several bulbs like the marker lights it could work to switch some bulbs to led and leave standard bulbs in other places, that way the circuit still has reasonable load.
    Ok....so you are saying that the LEDs will draw more power with resistors. Possibly more than what it is rated for? I used resistors in my LED DRL bulb to stop hyper flash and work with the switchback bulbs that I haven't finished working on. Lol.

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    Mr.electric is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Power draw depends on the resistor value. Led plus resistor is probably still significantly less than the old filament style bulb.
    The resistor turns a bit of electricity into heat and makes the total circuit load enough to get the flasher/ computer to recognize that a bulb is connected.
    Notice how your turn signals either flash fast or not at all when a front or rear bulb is out?
    That is because the flasher relay is not seeing enough load to work correctly.
    Old cars will start flashing left and right together for left or right turns if you use all led bulbs with no resistors.

    I'm curious what is a no error CAN. I know about the CAN bus I've never heard of a product called no error. What does it do?

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    Re: Issues with LED or SMD bulbs

    No issues with mine, installed leds in the triangle sections and been in there for some time now
    I got the can error free type smd bulbs, the error free type trick the can system into thinking its a normal filament bulb installed with the same resistance in the loop as though a filament was in place.

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