Subaru Forester License Plate LEDs! See Installed Comparisons! Plug & Play Install! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 133 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow Subaru Forester License Plate LEDs! See Installed Comparisons! Plug & Play Install!



Subaru Forester License Plate LEDs

Here's a great way to upgrade your Forester's appearance and safety at night for a very low price. Luxury cars such as BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, come with that nice white LED License Plate illumination. Upgrade and have that look today!

We carry the brightest, highest-quality bulbs at the lowest prices. Your order will ship same day, and we're here if you need us for support and service. These LED bulbs are designed by us here in St. Louis, and every bulb carries with it a 3-year limited warranty.

Our license plate LED bulbs are a direct replacement for your Subaru Forester's factory license plate bulbs. The HP3 and HP5 are available in warm white, 4000K, 5000K, 6000K Color temperatures.

Brightness:

Diode Dynamics offers several brightness options so you can choose what fits you best. These options are listed by the design and the lumen output of each bulb:

SMD2: (24 lumens) Slightly higher brightness than OEM bulbs.
HP3: (56 lumens) Much brighter than OEM bulbs. These are bright!
HP5: (92 lumens) Nearly triple the brightness of stock OEM bulbs!


Bulb Design

SMD2: Similarly compact design, with two 5050-size Epistar SMD chips, driven at high power for maximum effective brightness. Outputs at 180 degrees.

HP3: One high-power SMD under a diffusing lens for truly even output (no hotspots). Constant current design and air-cooled base for superior reliability. Features dual contact pins and nonpolar function for easy installation.

HP5: Four high-power SMDs, under a diffusing lens. Just like the HP3, but run at higher power, with integrated copper plating for superior heat dissipation, allowing maximum brightness.

These bulbs are made up of a quality plastic connector to slide right into the plug, as well as high durability terminals. A load resistor is embedded to prevent blowing the LEDs from voltage surge, and a diode is implanted to protect the LEDs from reverse polarity. The LED is wired for 12V operation, the kind found on all vehicles.

Included in your order is TWO BULBS (to fit your Subaru Forester).

All of our products come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a 3-year limited warranty.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Or, upgrade all of your interior bulbs:
Diode Dynamics 03-08 Forester LED Conversion Kits
Diode Dynamics 09-12 Forester LED Conversion Kits
Diode Dynamics 2014+ Forester LED Conversion Kit








CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Or, upgrade all of your interior bulbs:
Diode Dynamics 03-08 Forester LED Conversion Kits
Diode Dynamics 09-12 Forester LED Conversion Kits
Diode Dynamics 2014+ Forester LED Conversion Kit


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post, PM, or Email contact@diodedynamics.com

*PM us for the free-shipping code* (U.S. forum members only)

Thanks for looking!
Nick C.
Diode Dynamics


Customer Reviews

"Forester 2015 XT

Looks like stock. A very clean looking install. (Posted on October 15, 2014)" -Ken

"These lights I think are about the same brightness and throw as the stock lights but, the cool white makes them seem brighter. The clean colour really makes your plate pop and helps make the plate more visible. I have tried other brands of LED and these are much better, and brighter the other brands overheated and flickered, not with these. They are a perfect fit and the throw of the light is even and consistent, this is how the car should have come from the factory. Given the price I may try stage 3 which may match the brightness of the new luxury german cars license plate lights. (Posted on July 13, 2014)" -Terry






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post #2 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:19 PM
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There are size 168/194 bulbs, right? I use License plate LED's in my parking light bulb sockets and they worked great for a while but one of them just burnt out today so I'm looking for replacements. are the stage 3 still the same size as say the stage 1 or 2?


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post #3 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:10 PM
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Here's the report of my experience with the 2-LED ("Stage 2") versions of the Diode Dynamics license plate lights. It's a mixed bag, though ultimately successful. And it's far from plug and play.

We'll start with a picture of the final product, after all the sweat has been invested into the project.


And an A-B comparison between LEDs and incandescents.


The problem is that the sockets in my Forester (and presumably at least the rest of the SG series and perhaps even more) are both oriented toward the right at a very shallow angle. They count on the omnidirectional character of the stock incandescent bulbs to illuminate the license plate from the side of the bulb. The LEDs, however, are sharply directional in the straight ahead direction. So this is what you end up with when you first plug them in. (Ignore the different warmth of the white LEDs on one side vs. the other. We'll discuss that shortly.)


The solution of course is to rotate the socket on the right side to point toward the left. But that's easier said than done. First, the wiring isn't long enough for you to simply turn the socket around. You have to put in a longer pair of wires. Secondly, the mounting holes aren't centered in the top-bottom direction. You have to drill new ones in the lens. Add to this the fact that the existing screws are very soft and tend to strip their Phillips heads very easily, and they're mounted at a bit of an inward facing angle so that a regular screwdriver can't line up perfectly and tends to pop out of the screw head, chewing it up even more. I used a right angle Phillips bit ratchet driver and replaced the stock screws with similar but slightly larger gauge ones from the hardware store that essentially carved their own threads in the existing holes. The gasket never did line up quite perfectly, but I think it's good enough.

Then there was the mismatched warmth of the white LEDs. Diode Dynamics took a long time to respond to my PMs, till they discovered that they hadn't set the automatic email notification option correctly here. I think that's now been taken care of. (Everybody should set it ON!) I explained my problem to them, asking that they replace the warm light with a cool one. They sent one right away, though by my viewpoint it ended up being of the warm variety. So I paired it up with the other "warm" one, and I'm happy with the result.

The really good news: If you drive an Impreza 2.5 RS like my wife's (and maybe other Imprezas as well), the sockets aim straight down and it is indeed a plug and play procedure. Here's the A-B comparison and the final result.




One other concern is that alignment of the contacts (mere wires) on both the stock bulbs and the LEDs is kind of fussy, and you might have to do a bit of adjustment on them and/or the contacts in the sockets to get a good connection.

After all was said and done, I'm happy with it. But do be aware of what you're getting yourself into. Looking at the pictures I now think the Stage 3 bulbs with the side-facing LEDs might be a better option. It would be nice to see a review from somebody who has installed them.

Me: 2003XS Premium MT ● She: 2016i Premium CVT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #4 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnorLug View Post
There are size 168/194 bulbs, right? I use License plate LED's in my parking light bulb sockets and they worked great for a while but one of them just burnt out today so I'm looking for replacements. are the stage 3 still the same size as say the stage 1 or 2?
That is correct. They are all the same size, just brighter as you go up in stage.

Bruce, thank you for your write-up. Looks great!


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post #5 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnorLug View Post
There are size 168/194 bulbs, right? I use License plate LED's in my parking light bulb sockets and they worked great for a while but one of them just burnt out today so I'm looking for replacements. are the stage 3 still the same size as say the stage 1 or 2?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diode Dynamics View Post
That is correct. They are all the same size, just brighter as you go up in stage.
See my post above. The Stage 3 are more than just brighter; they also illuminate from the side. That could be very useful in Forester applications.

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post #6 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbottomley View Post
they also illuminate from the side. That could be very useful in Forester applications.
Which is the key for the Forester license plate bulb direction.

When I first put in standard led replacements (not DD led's but similar to the stage 1 units) the light was shining in the wrong place.

When I changed to a 360 degree option (similar to the stage 3) it made a big difference. It put the light on the license plate.

I believe this is a pic after installing the 360 style leds (again not DD sorry)


My advice is go stage 3 (360 deg design).

dm

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post #7 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:54 PM
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Nice write-up Bruce. I had noticed the odd facing of the housings last time I replaced my stock bulbs. I think LED's are a wise investment just because of how fussy Subaru engineered the license plate lights. Way too difficult! I'm scared that in 3-4 more bulb replacements, there won't be any housing left because everything gets so torn up.

-Matt

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post #8 of 133 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 04:24 PM
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Feel free to post comments or questions!
How much power do the stage 3 LEDs consume, per bulb?
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post #9 of 133 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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1.2 watts per bulb. But please bear in mind that comparing this to stock bulbs, or even other LEDs, won't do much as LED designs will be more or less efficient based on the type of technology used. Really, this number shouldn't be very useful for anything. Thanks!


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post #10 of 133 (permalink) Old 03-18-2012, 01:57 PM
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LEDs

I purchased a set of these LEDs last week to replace my license plate bulbs after one burnt out. They arrived in 3 days (I think) and were easy to install. I bought the 360 ones after seeing what others have said and they work well. Nice white light and would do business with them again!

Thanks DD



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post #11 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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sorry, little confused.
i see people saying they got the "360" but i don't see anything on the site that says 360
1998-2012 Subaru Forester License Plate LEDs


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post #12 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I believe they mean the 194 5-5050 SMD model, which has 5 SMD chips which fire in all 360 degrees.

Thanks!


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post #13 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diode Dynamics View Post
I believe they mean the 194 5-5050 SMD model, which has 5 SMD chips which fire in all 360 degrees.

Thanks!
ah, makes sense now :)
thanks!


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post #14 of 133 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 11:39 AM
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Thinking of installing these as parking lights in my 2004 forester 2.5X.

Has anyone done this? if so... pics?

If not... would it work and would there be any benifit to using stage two or three vs. stage 1 in this application?

Thanks in advance.

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post #15 of 133 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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All of our bulb models will fit the Forester's license plate location

I personally prefer the newer HP3/HP5 for the most even light output

Nick C.


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