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Good Morning All!
I have been poking around here for the better part of a month (having recently purchased a wonderful 2002 Escape XLT) and decided I might as well join. I have been researching switching out my instrument panel color from that God awful green, to a nice blue or crazy orange; along with switching from filament bulbs to L.E.D.s, I have seen quite a few posts on ways this can be done (thank you jpark), but was hoping there might be a simpler D.I.Y. solution for me. I know they make L.E.D. bulbs, but am hesitant to purchase any and install them as I'm pretty naive with resistance, and currents and all that. I was hoping someone might be able to answer the question of whether L.E.D.s are compatible with filament sockets and currents supplied, as well as what size and where I might find these types of lights. I look forward to being a part of this forum and making the most out of my new vehicle!!!!
 

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LED bulbs are becoming more and more available in many different configurations. Most LED's out there work over a range of voltages (most common 8v-30v). European LED technology tends to be better but as a whole LED has come a long way over the last year. Websites like http://www.superbrightleds.com show a good example of the styles available. Be weary though. Superbrightleds does not have the best success rate for the bulbs. A good quality bulb will meet the expectations of almost 50,000 hours. Marine supply places typically have good quality LED bulbs as most boaters are trying to conserve their battery life as much as possible. The power an LED bulb will consume will be rate in mA (miliamps). Basic LED bulbs will use about 2/3 less power than the incadescent they are replacing.

I sell a few different LED replacement bulbs at my place of business and you kind of get what you pay for. The average price per bulb for us is $20. Depending on the type and size of bulb you are looking for it can go up or down. There should be no problem just swapping out the incadescent bulbs for new LED's. One last thing to consider is that LED's do not dim the same way as traditional bulbs. A traditional but will dim as the voltage is restricted to it but because LED's will work over a wide variety of voltages you will not see a gradual dim. Instead the LED will jump to about half brightness as you try to dim them. The only way around this is to buy a digital dimmer to put inline between the switch and bulbs.

There tends to be a fairly good standard for the bases used in 12v application. Thats basically what you should be looking at. The base will determine what you bulb you need since watts and amps will be vastly different from the incadescent bulbs you are replacing. The best way to compare and see if you are getting close to the same brightness level is to compare lumens or candle power. Not all manufacturers label the lumens or candle power though so don't expect to be able to find them.

Hope this was somewhat helpful, if not I will keep my mouth shut.
 

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Although I haven't done this for a 2001-2004 Escape or Tribute, I have converted several 2005-2007 Escape clusters.

The best place to buy LEDs is Digi-Key. They carry more than 10,000 different LEDs, and those LEDs are stock items, not the kind of LEDs you buy on eBay one week and find that the "same" LEDs are actually different next week.

Read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1361

And read this particular post: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1361&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=30#p73924
 
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