Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 15, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens

Does anyone know the approximate lumens of factory bulbs for back up lights? I'm going to replace them with LED's, but there is a wide range in the aftermarket, from 3 to 500+ lumens. I don't need lights so bright that they'll wash out my rear window, and I don't need to spend $100. Something about twice as bright as stock would work just fine.

As far as size I'm not sure which aftermarket 1156 bulbs would fit a '69 Chevelle. I'm going to take apart the assembly to measure, but if anyone has direct fit recommendations, that would be very helpful.

Speaking of 1156 bulbs, are they interchangeable with the 1157's? Some vendors list 1156 for back up lights and 1157 for tail lights, and some list one or both for either application.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 15, 12:09 AM
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Re: Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens

1156 bulbs are not interchangeable with 1157 bulbs. 1156 contains a single filament, the 1157 has dual filaments.

The back-up lamp would be an 1156, rated at 32 candlepower. That's roughly 400 lumens.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 15, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens

Thank you for the quick and succinct reply. Much appreciated.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 15, 8:18 AM
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Re: Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens

Quote:
Originally Posted by 658Chevy View Post
Speaking of 1156 bulbs, are they interchangeable with the 1157's? Some vendors list 1156 for back up lights and 1157 for tail lights, and some list one or both for either application.

Don't trust "vendors" for bulb recommendations. Look at your Owner's Manual in the glove box. All the right information is there. People selling replacement bulbs today often don't have any idea what bulb fits what.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 26th, 15, 7:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Brightness of factory backup lights in lumens

My buddy had some high-end LED back up bulbs in his Olds and he let me try them out. These were $25+ a piece and highly regarded.

Very disappointing. Although looking at them directly they were somewhat brighter than the $0.90 incandescent 1156 bulbs, they projected just a tiny bit more, maybe a 5% larger field of light. Not any significant increase in practicality and in no way worth the huge premium. My friend likes them, though, and guess that's what counts for him.

I went instead with Halogens from NAPA, part number R5012BH. HUGE improvement over the stock incandescent and far better than the LED. They're 50 watts, and at least twice as bright as the stock bulbs. The high wattage at first concerned me regarding the heat and the plastic housing lenses, but since they're for backing up only, it shouldn't be a problem. I did a 6 point exit from a tight parking spot and checked the lenses after I was done and they were cool to the touch. It was about $15 for the pair. Highly recommended.
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