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Would you paint your Turn Signal Reflectors? People ask me How Much for custom work like this all the time. Grab my guide to get the full breakdown for free: https://www.FlyRyde.com/howmuch
I've never taken the time to compare light output on a meter, between painted turn signal reflectors and stock "chrome" reflectors.
I was pretty shocked, not only at the different readings we took from the different bulbs, but just how different each scenario was.
After watching this, what's your opinion? Would you paint your reflectors?


Does painting your chrome reflectors lose you light output inside of these gtr headlights. We have a black reflector right here and a chrome reflector right here for the turn signals now from the factory you can see, the halogen bulb inside or incandescent bulb is orange, and so you see it reflecting all around inside of the chrome reflector, this chrome reflector Was painted black and it has a black colored led bulb inside, which looks way cooler when the lights are off, but if that loses all of your light output, is it actually even worth it? So we're going to use this light meter right here and we're gon na take readings with the stock bulbs and with aftermarket bulbs using chrome, reflectors and black reflectors. Okay, we're gon na test the stock one. Second, first we're gon na put this on the bench.

A little bit further away, so we can get a good reading from across the garage and see what the factory bulbs look like inside of the black housing. Let's see what our meter says so looks like the highest reading. We're getting is 0.85 okay, so we've got .85 foot candles. That's the reading that we have on that light meter and we're at about 14, actually right exactly 14 feet away from the meter to the bulb.

Now that was the stock reading, i'm gon na change them to some of the fly ride led bulbs like i showed you at the beginning and we'll take the next reading. When i make these videos - and i show these customized blacked out lights - people ask me all the time how much? How much does it cost to black out those lights to take all those chrome pieces and make them black on the inside, because every car is different and because every different job has a different price? I put together a guide and it's for the question, how much so i put a link for you below sign up for free and you're, going to get a nice little download that breaks down all the questions you should be asking if you want to know how Much so we got .52, we just tested the fly ride, bulbs they're, actually not reading as bright the highest that we saw was .56. So while they do look, super cool and crispy they're on instantly and off instantly, they don't actually push as much light forward as the factory bulb is because the incandescent bulb is shining light equally in all directions, and the leds just can't do that exactly the same Way so looks like the factory bulbs are outperforming the leds. With that black coating on the inside of the reflector, this one is performing a lot stronger than the fly ride bulb.

This is a triton v6 bulb and we're seeing 1.03 1.08 1.10. So the triton kicked. The butt of the fly ride bulbs and it's even brighter than the factory bulb. The interesting thing is that the roof is completely flashing with that turn signal bulb, even though the inside has been painted black.

So now, let's go and test all these same bulbs with the factory chrome, reflectors super interesting, so the stock chrome doesn't seem like it reflects as much up and around, but it definitely looks like it's stronger pointed forward and it definitely is i'm seeing 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. 4.6 4.8 way brighter all right, let's swap it out with the led, bulb and see how that does.


I don't know if that's just to my eyeballs, it seems way brighter. Though and again, it's super bright on the reflection with the leds, which tells me somehow that those little reflectors are pumping it in different directions: weird not even close to the factory output. I don't even understand how all this works it. It makes me squint when i look at it from this direction.

It feels brighter it's reflecting bright everywhere else. The meter does not see it that way. Okay, i know i'm not wrong on this. I'm going to put some little pieces of tape on the ground right where the tripod sits and then we're going to move the tripod to see what different angles are brighter all right.

Let's move this thing, one thing that i saw a second ago: it's freaking bright right here like hurts my eyes. So let's look at the meter right here: 45., okay and now, let's move this full right here - 1.7, which just tells me if you're an oncoming driver. It's not going to be as bright as if you were to the side or something like that which, to be honest, this is who would be. This is the direction that you'd actually be looking at that car.

If it was going to be turning in front of you anyway, because it's on the other side of the road all right to be fair, let's do this again try to hold this at the same angle and no from the angle that i'm at now. This thing is not nearly as bright as if we set it back down right here, crazy. So the question is: do you need your brights to be perfectly in front of you, the brightest or at the angle that the oncoming drivers are actually at weird all right? Now this is the brightest one. Yet as far as the ceiling goes, it looks like, but let's see what it says on the meter both directly forward and at that angle i see 1.94 1.94.

Okay - let's see from the angle now - and this is the angle that i was at with the fly ride bulbs, but it looks like the v leds is much more like the oem, which is angled straight forward, all right now, the triton's on in white - and that Is why people buy the triton v6 because it's just insanely bright with white and it does the switchback function? I can't say it functions. Just like the factory bulb, where it's pumping that light straight forward. It's outperforming the other aftermarket led bulbs. It obviously looks way cooler than factory.

So what do you think? Would you keep your factory chrome reflectors with that orange bulb, or would you go with a nice black reflector that looks better and get a high quality led bulb?.

By Chris

11 thoughts on “Would You Paint Reflectors?”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Correy A. Lettsome says:

    For Tail, brake and signal the light only has to be visible from a specific distance.

    For me headlights and reverse lights need to project light so I can navigate in low light conditions.

    Many long Lasting leds like Sylvania zevo are not as bright as other led bulbs but they do produce light that is visible and compare to incandescent .

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tim Shields says:

    It’s crazy that just because the output is measured higher, the appearance to the naked eye doesn’t seem as bright. Thus proving that just because it has a statistic of output on the package doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! Da One TL says:

    As someone with a now 15 year old car, I elected to put high quality LEDs in every single light I could. I’m suffering in light output but relishing in the fact that my car looks a lil more modern

    Well, except the low beams. Those HAVE to be xenon

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Danyo says:

    Triton link? I prefer those and black reflector. I’ve always wondered how it would effect the brightness👍🏻

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr Beads aka Vor says:

    Doesn't matter if it's black or Chrome. As long your turning signals are orange everyone can see them, especially at night 🤔

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Drissel says:

    When filming blinking lights you need to turn off automatic exposure if you want the video to compare accurately. The incandescent bulb blinking is handled fairly well by ae because that is one of the things that ae systems were tuned for all the way back to film days. But blinking LEDs are different. They are up to full brightness in well under 1/1000 of a second. AE does not handle that well. I don't think the LED turn signal actually looses as much brightness during each blink as it appears in this video.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nigel Bassett says:

    Honestly I employ a “good enough” rule when it comes to turn signals. I live in a state where they’re treated as optional accessories, so as long as you can see they blink, I don’t care

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars PANTYEATR1 says:

    the black for sure. on a side note, my 96 mustang tail light project failed. i went back to an LED bulb. the OEM housings are too hard to open without warping or cracking the lens. I'll have to figure something out later

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 2SPerformance says:

    Reflectors is pretty accurate thing, designed to reflect bulb light forward with mathematical parabolic mirror, which directs light and usually simulated with raycasting software to work as expected.

    Common LED bulb tries to place leds as close as possible to ideal bulb coil, but still not close enough. That's why even if you see bright output from LED bulb – actual field measurements can be strange.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Drissel says:

    These lights are way cooler looking than factory, but I have thought for a long time that the parking lights, signals and brake lights could be completely invisible when not illuminated. My idea originally (circa 1990) was to drill tiny holes and use fiber optics, but these days aligning the holes with the pitch of a led strip seems a better option. I imagined putting whatever optic element in the hole, painting the panel, sanding it down flush and then clear coating it before epoxying the LEDs on the back. I don't think we can make a headlight (yet) that would actually work this way, but DRL's would probably be possible. Just imagine no $2k lump of fragile and sometimes tacky plastic on each corner of every car on the road. What styles could we make if we didn't have that constraint? Not to mention that the space you free up could have bigger and better headlights, fog lights, cornering lights, and maybe things that don't even exist yet, such as pedestrian detecting and illuminating lights, high beams that automatically light up street signs, lights that don't shine bright at oncoming vehicles…

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars FGmods says:

    I'd say that while the meter says the LED isn't as bright, especially with the blackout done, in actual use it would be better than the halogen because the perceived brightness is higher.
    The halogen isn't making anyone squint and take notice of the bright flashy light.
    But both LEDs were overpowering in how bright they FELT.

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