LED light bulbs

The water gauge has a modern LED screw in light, Nice but not overly bright light. Forgot to check the other 3. It wasn´t worrking, but needed a bit of a push into the holder. Works now.
The one of the classic bulbs in the speedo is all black in the glass, BUT it is very strong. Noticeable stronger than the second light and both lights in the rev counter. Strange…
But I think I read that the large instruments can´t take these LED bulbs as they are too long (much longer than the classic bulbs. I have read about LED strips for the 2 large instruments… Might look into that, the next time I remove the large instruments.

Dear Peder,
If you are handy with a soldering iron and have some spare bulbs, just crush the glass and solder in an LED on a stalk made from an appropriate resistor. You can thus control the brightness and colour to your satisfaction for all of the small gauges.

For the two large gauges, you’ll need several LEDs back to back with each other to get the brightness up as one LED per bulb is not enough for the big gauges.

kind regards

THanks Marek, but the screw in LED, rectangular lightbulb works fine in the small instruments…Why the soldering of a LED into the base of the classic bulb?

Because I make LED lights for our cars and I buy them by the 1000, so the cost of replacing all of the filament bulbs for the entire dash is probably less than what you spent on one bulb.

kind regards

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How do you get at the bulbs on the lower strip???

So you can sell me bulbs for the lower strip? The LED kit I bought from XKS did have bulbs that worked with that strip. I found other bulbs for the gauges, but I need the 3 or 4 bulbs in green.

Did you take out the gauges and remove the colored plastic filter? If not, the LED’s won’t be bright. Someone on this board pointed that out to me, and now we can see our gauges very well. You have to buy colored LEDs when you remove the filter though.

Just as an FYI, I installed white LEDs in my instruments. Speedo and rev counter. I installed a strip around the edge and covered them with a green electrician’s tape to get the green color. Here’s what they look like:

Since I didn’t use bulbs, I left the green filters in there.
I also tried blue tape just for giggles.

LED bulbs are pretty straight forward to instal and I’ve found that they give the best light without being too bright (SMD type). Running a strip around the outer edge of the speedo and rev counter is way too bright in my opinion.

Do you use the small stud like led lamps, about 3/4" high?

Yes, the strip lights tend to be too bright as I discovered after reassembling the tach and speedo. Rather than starting over, I installed an in line dimmer (inexpensive on ebay) for those two gages. Lots of extra wires, but the dimmer did the trick.

This is a link to an old thread on the UK site, which has a lot of good info. Unfortunately many of the photos were lost when Photobucket changed their policies.


I used EL tape in Tweety: other than the very slightly inconvenient bit of an external transformer, the light they made was pleasant, really simple to install, and not too bright.

It’s in the archives, somewhere!

Just swapped out my incandescent tail light bulbs for red LEDs: WOW!!!

Even in the day, the difference is remarkable.

I’m also in the process of swapping out to LEDs on my Series 1. Big improvement with the tail and brake lights and turn signals (much brighter!), and the center dash instruments were easy to do. But how are you folks getting access to replace the main illumination on the tach and speedo? I could get to the ignition, fuel, and headlight indicator lights at the bottom of the speedo but cannot get my hands up from underneath to the other bulbs. Any good ideas I haven’t thought of? Or do I need to just bite the bullet and pull off the top of the dash?

It’s easiest to pull the dash. You have to be really careful getting those spring clippy lamp housings fully seated in the gauge because if one falls out the hot pin on the back can short out and take your fuse…and your brake lights with it.


Thanks[quote=“Erica_Moss, post:15, topic:358337, full:true”]
It’s easiest to pull the dash. You have to be really careful getting those spring clippy lamp housings fully seated in the gauge because if one falls out the hot pin on the back can short out and take your fuse…and your brake lights with it.

Thanks again for the advice. I pulled the top which was much easier than expected, and in addition to the lights took the opportunity to redo the heater control pivot bolt assembly. Putting the dash back together was also easier than expected. I pulled off all the lower fascia and didn’t bother with the demister hoses until after the top was on, and then just pushed them in reaching up from below.

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Yup that’s how to do it. I usually do the outer hoses from below and the inner 3 hoses I find a bit easier to do from inside the electric panel. Dash removal is not a major job.

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I had a hard time removing the top of my dash to do my heater tube replacement in my S1 FHC with the windshield in. I got it out, but it was a struggle. Then came the reverse, putting it back in. What I discovered is that if I grabbed each end and pushed inward, bowing the dash upward (very carefully), I was then able to slide right in because I wasn’t fighting with the corners of the dash at the outer edges of the windshield.

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