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How Do You Change The License Plate Lights?


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Hello all. I see some 400h cars with bright white lights in the license plate? How do you change the lights? I looked and it doesn't seem that easy; and where would I buy white lights/bulbs? Thanks.

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You need to remove the interior panel(s) on the back of the tailgate itself (just held on with clips). Then you'll see the bulbs which twist in from the inside tailgate area.

The lights cannot be removed from outside of the car, only from the inside. Just pry the panels off with a flathead screwdriver. <_<

And you can get LED bulbs from ebay etc. Just make sure they have built in voltage regulators (not just resistors) as the real voltage to those bulbs is upwards of 14.5V.

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You need to remove the interior panel(s) on the back of the tailgate itself (just held on with clips). Then you'll see the bulbs which twist in from the inside tailgate area.

The lights cannot be removed from outside of the car, only from the inside. Just pry the panels off with a flathead screwdriver. <_<

And you can get LED bulbs from ebay etc. Just make sure they have built in voltage regulators (not just resistors) as the real voltage to those bulbs is upwards of 14.5V.

Thankyou very much... I will check ebay... would the seller say if they have built in volt regs?!

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There aren't many LED bulbs out there that have the regulators you'd need. I've gone through TONS of different brands of LED bulbs just to have them overheat and burn out within months of installing them. I have only found ONE LED bulb that hasn't burned out for me. I currently have them in my headlights, replacing the parking light bulbs in the high beam reflector housings. It's been 2 years and they're still functioning 100%. NIGHT and DAY difference from the other junks i've used. They have voltage regulators built in which limit the voltage going to the LED's no matter what the input, so they never overheat.

Here they are:

http://hidconcept.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=69

They're in size 194 (or T10) which is the same thing as 2825 (which is the type in both the headlight parking reflector and in the rear license place housings).

But i don't think these would work for the license plate lights- actually, i know it (because i've tried). These LED bulbs have a single white LED facing directly outwards. The license plate bulbs are facing directly out the back of the tailgate, therefore the white LED wouldn't be shining on the license plate.

I converted mine to LED's, but i had to make my own circuits with the proper resistors. Turns out the hole for the bulb is literally only as wide as the bulb itself- so that limited the number of LED's i could get "in" the little reflector housings from inside the tailgate. I took the housings off of the car and opened them up, and installed i think about 3 or 4 LED's facing directly downward... and had two wires sticking out the back into the tailgate area (through the bulb hole). Then i hooked them up.

Really hard to explain- i'll try to take some pics later today and post them here. It was a lot of work though.

Unless you're pretty good with soldering, i'd just get these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/LEXUS-IS200-IS300-RX330-LED-license-plate-lamp-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem3f077099b3QQitemZ270707759539QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

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Well I've seen your projects and they're amazing!! I'm not that talented. I was hoping that there would be direct replacement bulbs to just pop in and that will last. I did have the headlight ones changed by a store.. note really sure what they used but they've been there for about 1 yr with no probs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You need to remove the interior panel(s) on the back of the tailgate itself (just held on with clips). Then you'll see the bulbs which twist in from the inside tailgate area.

The lights cannot be removed from outside of the car, only from the inside. Just pry the panels off with a flathead screwdriver. <_<

And you can get LED bulbs from ebay etc. Just make sure they have built in voltage regulators (not just resistors) as the real voltage to those bulbs is upwards of 14.5V.

So I ordered the ones from ebay and this is the wknd to change them.. do you happen to have any pics of how to take the panel off or do you know about where the clips are located?!? Thanks.

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I don't have any pics, but it's very easy to remove the interior panels. Just pry them off with a flathead screwdriver. They'll pop off and pop back in when you're ready to re-install. Start with the lower panel first then the one above that (adjacent to the window).

When you have the panels removed, take some pics of the interior tailgate area (where the bulbs are located) and post them here. I'll mark off which nuts you need to remove to pull out the trim piece (that's half chrome and half painted)...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok... So I got these: http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories

and finally installed them!!! What an ordeal... For some reason I missed that CDULUK mentioned that I had to take off the interior AND exterior chrome plate... So when I openned the itnerior I kept thinking how the hell do I get these out through these little holes!?!?! So I finally realized what eneded to be done.. I started taking the bolts off and 2 of them just wouldn't budge! Well they were broken on the chrome plate side.. So I needed someone else to hold the plate while I stretched inside to unscrew while he kept tension on the plate... A few scratches later (on my hands) and it was off and easy to pop-in and to replace all of the moldings back, glue the broken screws, etc... BTW, as you see in the pics, there's the little while nub (in middle pic)that also has to be maneuvered (or pushed out!)... There are 5 or 6 bolts that need undoing and 1 white pin as seen in middle pic to push out. The end result looks great! very clean and white and bright. Thanks cduluk!

post-81427-0-52550700-1302699067_thumb.j

post-81427-0-46844100-1302699079_thumb.j

post-81427-0-64246100-1302699095_thumb.j

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Glad it worked out! But you must also post pictures of the lights! :cheers:

Ahhh... you make a good point.. :) Plus the advantage of the lights is that it makes it MUCH easier to see in reverse on the screen since it lights it up nicely! :cheers:

post-81427-0-34661100-1302884754_thumb.j

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Woah, those look AWESOME! Definitely much brighter than the ones i retrofitted into mine. I think i might have to get me a pair of these! <_<

I'm not 100% sure, but they are so bright that I wonder if they would overexpose photocameras!??!? Is a $50 ticket worth that info?!?! lol...

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I have never quite understood the desire to have brighter license plate lights. I see no purpose other than to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket me whether it be by direct sight from a cop or photo-radar.

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I don't think it's "bright" we're after, it's more of "color".

The factory halogen bulbs produce an ugly yellow shade, while the white LED's produce more of a crisp white, similar to HID headlights.

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I have never quite understood the desire to have brighter license plate lights. I see no purpose other than to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket me whether it be by direct sight from a cop or photo-radar.

Luckily, there's no need for you to understand. To each his own!

Paul

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Emim,

Great looking lights, I'm now tempted to change mine too.

Do you mind finding a current posting of the light you bought on ebay?

The link you provided has either been sold or was removed.

Thanks,

Ok... So I got these: http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories

and finally installed them!!! What an ordeal... For some reason I missed that CDULUK mentioned that I had to take off the interior AND exterior chrome plate... So when I openned the itnerior I kept thinking how the hell do I get these out through these little holes!?!?! So I finally realized what eneded to be done.. I started taking the bolts off and 2 of them just wouldn't budge! Well they were broken on the chrome plate side.. So I needed someone else to hold the plate while I stretched inside to unscrew while he kept tension on the plate... A few scratches later (on my hands) and it was off and easy to pop-in and to replace all of the moldings back, glue the broken screws, etc... BTW, as you see in the pics, there's the little while nub (in middle pic)that also has to be maneuvered (or pushed out!)... There are 5 or 6 bolts that need undoing and 1 white pin as seen in middle pic to push out. The end result looks great! very clean and white and bright. Thanks cduluk!

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Emim,

Great looking lights, I'm now tempted to change mine too.

Do you mind finding a current posting of the light you bought on ebay?

The link you provided has either been sold or was removed.

Thanks,

Thanks Tigger.. here's an updated link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270707759539&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:MOTORS:1123

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have never quite understood the desire to have brighter license plate lights. I see no purpose other than to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket me whether it be by direct sight from a cop or photo-radar.

Luckily, there's no need for you to understand. To each his own!

Paul

Paul, I have neglected to properly thank you for stepping up as emim's spokesman, just in case he is unable to speak for himself.

Tom

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I have never quite understood the desire to have brighter license plate lights. I see no purpose other than to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket me whether it be by direct sight from a cop or photo-radar.

Luckily, there's no need for you to understand. To each his own!

Paul

Paul, I have neglected to properly thank you for stepping up as emim's spokesman, just in case he is unable to speak for himself.

Tom

No malice intended.

Paul

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I have never quite understood the desire to have brighter license plate lights. I see no purpose other than to make it easier for law enforcement to ticket me whether it be by direct sight from a cop or photo-radar.

Luckily, there's no need for you to understand. To each his own!

Paul

Paul, I have neglected to properly thank you for stepping up as emim's spokesman, just in case he is unable to speak for himself.

Tom

No malice intended.

Paul

PEACE. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

Tom

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  • 8 months later...

You need to remove the interior panel(s) on the back of the tailgate itself (just held on with clips). Then you'll see the bulbs which twist in from the inside tailgate area.

The lights cannot be removed from outside of the car, only from the inside. Just pry the panels off with a flathead screwdriver. <_<

And you can get LED bulbs from ebay etc. Just make sure they have built in voltage regulators (not just resistors) as the real voltage to those bulbs is upwards of 14.5V.

Can this be done on a IS250?? I've been trying to find pics or instructions and can't. Can anyone help??

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