I wrote a thesis paper for my BS in Electronics on the LED. Very interesting story. There was a an article in the Scientific American about the colored LED discovery and manufacturing process a couple years ago. Pretty much details why, who and what. Even for a lay person it would be interesting. I think I'll see if I can find the link to post here.
I can't get there from here at work, I'm not sure as the Server software at work does not support Acrobat 8 or 9 (they block it for some reason)... :doh:
Those dashboard gauge lighting set ups look beautiful. You are definitely an electronics artiste JPark!. :thumb: The second photo down has an interesting effect, but my favourite is the first photo. The lighting configuration for dash gauges, in first picture has that eye candy allure. It is not over bearing and has a harmonious balance.
I'll post a thread of the cluster conversion I did for my Edge, which is very similar to the 2008+ Escape's cluster. It's also completely different from the cluster in earlier E/M/Ts.
Here's part of it:
There's another difference: the factory LEDs are all controlled by a low-side and high-side FET on the cluster board, and they're not rated for a lot of power. The five factory LEDs draw a total of about 65mA, although the board has spaces for two more LEDs that aren't used by the Edge. So I had to design a system to use less than 80mA. The three boards use 39 white 1206-size LEDs in series-connected groups of three, for 13 groups. Each group draws only 5mA, for a total of 65mA, so the current draw isn't any higher, and the FETs don't even get warm. It's funny how much brighter the cluster is now, though.
My guess is that the cluster board and the white cavity (shown above) are either similar or identical. My Edge board has the turn signals in the lower group of ten LEDs, while the Escape has them near the top. Those top areas have pads for LEDs on my Edge board, but they're just empty.
But even if they're slightly different, I can get them to work in any color.
Weren't you replacing everything in the interior with red lighting?
The red paint would be for the gauge cluster (unless I used red LEDs, which aren't as bright as white LEDs), and the clear red plastic is for the odometer/message center display window below the warning lights.