Vanagon – changing the colour of cool white LEDs

Last year I bought a set of LED festoon lights to replace the interior lights in the van and one for the glove compartment/map reading light. For some reason I bought cool whites for the interior lights and a warm white for the map light. I tried to convince myself that the cool white gave a clean and modern feel (ha!), but no, as friend Simon puts it “it’s like a morgue”. I have 4 door activated interior lights; driver’s door, passenger door, and one on each side at the back seat area. So the morgue effect is throughout the van. In contrast, the map light does give an acceptably warmish cast.

I suppose I could buy new LEDs, warm white, but no, I have to try another route. I was talking to the lighting guy at a local theatre and we got onto the subject of lighting gels. I explained the morgue situation and he gave me an old Lee 204 gel. The specs for this filter can be found here.

Here is the filter:

I cut a little strip and wrapped it around the festoon LED and secured it with O-rings. I thought that just putting a rectangular bit of filter in the light housing would allow some cold white to “leak” out of the ends.

Back into the light housing.

And the result? Well it is different, warmer. Will have to wait until dark to really be sure it works, but the comparison pics are promising.




Update: After dark test – still not as cozy as incandescent lights but much better than before.

  1. #1 by Simon on November 23, 2011 - 12:35 pm

    I look forward to seeing the result. Really bright AND really warm is the holy grail.

    • #2 by albell on November 23, 2011 - 12:58 pm

      yeah, well, I think it is going to be somewhat bright and somewhat warm šŸ™‚


  2. #3 by IdahoDoug on November 23, 2011 - 10:32 pm

    So, how was it at night. My view from 500 miles away was it would be too darkish, so curious how it is from 500mm?


    • #4 by albell on November 23, 2011 - 10:49 pm

      it is not bad, much better than unfiltered and not any dimmer really.

      but it is not log cabin cosy either šŸ™‚

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