High-power LED lights brightening up car interiors

Los Angeles (CA) - Car modders - people who hate anything slow, quiet and dim - have begun banishing their anemic incandescent dome lights with newer and much brighter LED lights. At the recent Hot Import Nights car show in Los Angeles we got a first impression on a new technology trend that not only provides much more light than your traditional lights, but last longer and uses far less energy as well.

LEDs are known for their brightness and energy efficiency and the company claims the bulbs last 1000 times longer while using 1/10 the energy. Lowering energy use is important for modders as they like to cram GPS units, LCD screens and radios into their cars.

Under Pressure Fabrication and Distribution (UPFD), a small Westminster, Calif.-based company, showed off several LED dome lights in a small, but amazingly bright booth. Modders packed into the booth and were bathed in eerie blue and white light from the demonstration "Luxer 1" LED units.

Mathew Hunt, owner of UPFD, told TG Daily that he imports the LEDs from Japan and then manufactures both customized and generic kits. The custom kits contain a drop-in LED panel for many car makes and models, but buyers can also choose a universal 6 or 12-LED panel. Blue or white LEDs are available.

Our pictures can't accurately depict how bright the panels really are and we had to turn down the exposure just to take the picture. They are certainly bright enough to temporarily kill your night vision, something we found out as we staggered out of the booth back to the show floor.

The LED panels may be overkill for reading a map or finding that pesky quarter that's lodged under the seat, but that probably won't deter car modders from installing them.