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Old 03-21-2007, 06:20 PM   #21
David 93 SL2m
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Happy Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

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To me, red would be distracting. We're sorta conditioned to be distracted by red. Stop lights, stop signs, all the dash lights that indicate _failure_ are red. I wouldn't want anything in my field of view glowing red that didn't say "hey, pay attention to me".

Who knows, there may be something psychological at work here, something about how we perceive color. Maybe it's because (or _why_) blood is red. Any psych (or art) majors here?....
Don't most Pontiac instrument panels have red lighting?

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Old 03-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

I rented a Pontiac years ago, and IIRC, the lighting was kinda orange-ish-red. And in retrospect, it was a bit jarring to look at.

Years (okay, decades) ago, I knew a guy who installed a red margarine tub as his dome light "lens". He thought it looked cool. To me, it shouted "bordello". (And no, it wasn't a van with shag carpeting up the walls.)

'Course, we all perceive color a bit differently. One man's garish is another man's smoove. I'd say if you go with anything other than white, you probably won't know what you like 'til you try it.

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Old 05-21-2007, 06:34 PM   #23
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Let me tell you, this is not for the faint of heart!
I ain't gonna lie to you, if you don't know how to solder or don't really feel comfortable with taking anything apart and KNOWING that you can put it back together, leave it alone!

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Old 10-26-2007, 02:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Eerily similar to my old blog post here. (Not that this is a bad thing.)

I've since discovered that Superbright LED's sell the correct type of LED replacement that doesn't require any soldering. The cross reference page given (from Sylvania) on Superbright's page lists the wrong bulb type for the Saturn S series...

The correct bulbs for the instrument cluster are their #74 bulbs, found here. I eventually ordered some for mine and they're simple drop-in replacements - though you have to be sure to get them the right way 'round with the positive and negative terminals, or else they won't light.

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Old 11-12-2007, 07:58 AM   #25
Jim Dunlop
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Those #74 bulbs, while correct in terms of fitment, have only a single LED and therefore may result in a "blotchy" appearance of the cluster illumination -- that's why I went through the rigamaroll of soldering the 5-LEDs.

Have you tried the 74's? Was the result decent? It's worth a shot since you can easily pop them in and out (temporary). Thanks!

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Old 11-14-2007, 03:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

I tried #74s and had them replaced with 5-led bulbs a week later. the one-led bulbs simply sucked. the 5 led ones are the way to go! i didn't solder anything, just wired them all independently and hooked them up to the headlight switch. so the dimmer don't work, oh well

the red ones look awesome!

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Old 11-18-2007, 10:35 PM   #27
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

I dunno if there's a big difference between the years of our cars, but I installed all drop-in #74's in mine. All are blue, and the result is quite bright enough and not "splotchy" at all. The only nitpick is that the pure blue light doesn't illuminate the red areas of the cluster - redline on the tach, and the E mark on the fuel gauge.

Picture, from my crapola phone camera.

I replaced all of the illumination bulbs in the cluster, leaving the indicator bulbs alone. I think there were five or six, plus two that shine down on the front of the cluster from the top. The results are quite satisfactory in my opinion, and with the dimmer all the way up the dash is quite bright enough to get the point across. I usually run it at half brightness or minimum when out on back country roads.

Next: LED-ifying the bulbs in the climate control cluster! There is one for every icon and tick mark in the entire pigging thing and they're all soldered directly to the board inside. I'm thinking chains of 4 or 5 blue 360 degree LED's in series with a current limiting resistor on each chain, a bunch of wire, and some dexterity...

Or maybe just blue nail polish.

I hear the gear selector lamp in the automatics is another #74 bulb, but I haven't cracked my center console open to have a look yet.

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Old 04-16-2008, 11:56 AM   #28
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Is it permanent once you solder it?

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Old 04-16-2008, 05:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

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Is it permanent once you solder it?
no its only soldered to the bulb BASE, not the cluster.

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Old 03-24-2009, 12:00 AM   #30
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

i was just actually think about this the other day. The factory lights are that yellow-white color, and it has gotten old fast. I want something that spruces up my interior and the blue lights behind it would match perfectly with my other blue lights in the car. I just feel a little hesitant on ripping all that apart to install those. Although i know i can remember how it all goes together and I will be ever so careful putting it back together.

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #31
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

As far as light is concerned, red or green (the armed forces use it) would be your best option for night driving. I wouldn't really recommend blue though or white (which for leds is really just a blue led with a phosphor coating to make it white). Blue and white tend to destroy night vision while red and green tend to maintain it. And just for your information, the human eye is most sensitive to the color green, however blue transmits the best in the atmosphere on this planet (which is why the sky is blue).
Also note that blue light will make anything red show up as black. In red light, anything red will disappear (this is why it's difficult to read maps with red light). Your best option is pretty much going to be green. However, it's really your decision and what you like.
I just happen to be an art major with plenty of color theory knowledge.

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:24 PM   #32
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

i wish I could do this type of stuff to my car lol

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Old 08-16-2009, 09:17 PM   #33
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

would it be the same thing with a 99 SC1 =... im pretty sure that the dash is different, but is that the only thing different?

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Old 07-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #34
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
To me, red would be distracting. We're sorta conditioned to be distracted by red. Stop lights, stop signs, all the dash lights that indicate _failure_ are red. I wouldn't want anything in my field of view glowing red that didn't say "hey, pay attention to me".

Who knows, there may be something psychological at work here, something about how we perceive color. Maybe it's because (or _why_) blood is red. Any psych (or art) majors here?....
red is used in a lot of cars for the same reason that it is used in photographic dark rooms. red has the strange quality of a. not messing with silver compounds in film, and b. it does not dilate your pupils NEARLY as much as say green or blue or god forbid white.
That is the purpose, but it really is up to personal preference.

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:04 AM   #35
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

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Originally Posted by Zero_DgZ View Post
The correct bulbs for the instrument cluster are their #74 bulbs, found here. I eventually ordered some for mine and they're simple drop-in replacements - though you have to be sure to get them the right way 'round with the positive and negative terminals, or else they won't light.
Would I be better off ordering the Standard 5mm LED or the High Power SMD LED?

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Old 03-27-2011, 11:05 PM   #36
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

are there any bulbs that you can get that are basically plug-and-play. So you can just pop them in and they'll work without soldering or anything like that?

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:57 AM   #37
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

Wow thanks for the instructions with pictures. I understood it very well because of the pics.

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:44 AM   #38
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

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are there any bulbs that you can get that are basically plug-and-play. So you can just pop them in and they'll work without soldering or anything like that?
order b8.5d bulbs from superbrightleds.com

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Old 04-27-2013, 12:27 AM   #39
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

I have a 2000 and all the bulbs are out. I have the smaller twist lock in which this review the bulbs have to modified to fit as in trimming and soldering.

BUT you guys mentioned that #74 and b8.5d bulbs will work with out soldering. In the pics on SBLEDS.com bulbs look different. Which ones will work?

Have to order 6...2 Up Top and the 4 Across?

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:30 AM   #40
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Default Re: Changing Color of Late-Model S-Series Stock Gauge Cluster

In the photo for step 6, there is what looks like a tiny battery sticking out. What is that called and what does it do? I broke it off attempting this kind of project and now half my dash doesn't light up. (Oops!)

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