LED Tech Tip: Reflector Removal

Upon converting to LED tail lights on my 1959 TR 3 A I found that the backside of the tail light lens reflector was blocking proper light emission by more than half of the lumens.

To offset this I removed the glued-in reflective lens (with a Dremel tool) and now the light is even in all the lens.

In view of the fact that in most jurisdictions you must have a reflector, I installed 2 two inch bicycle reflectors to be legal.

–Ben Mikkelsen

With the reflector removed.

With the reflector removed.

With the reflector in.

With the reflector still in place.

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'LED Tech Tip: Reflector Removal' have 7 comments

  1. March 5, 2015 @ 10:03 am Scott

    Well, it seems nice, BUT- you did away with the original “look”, and also changed the light configuration: The upper part is intentionally blocked: it was a REFLECTOR… The lower part has a Fresnel in front of the bulb, to concentrate and intensify the light. If you notice, the LED is now a bunch of dots around the lamp: one of the reasons I will be sticking with regular bulbs- LED screw up the intentional light patterns…(I also can’t stand the “snap-on/snap-off” operation- I like the rapid rise/fall of the glow of a turn signal, etc. I find LEDs harsh…

    But, if you are happy, enjoy!


    • December 14, 2016 @ 6:27 pm Jeff fink

      My biggest concern is that the person behind me doesn’t see my brake lights and drives over me. The harsher the light the better!


      • June 26, 2018 @ 7:30 pm Rick

        Totally agree with you !
        The harsher the better !
        I like the modern look it gives to the art deco styling of the car !
        Enjoy 😉


  2. August 13, 2018 @ 9:54 am Phil Bateman

    I would like to change out the rear parking/brake light on my 1974 TR6 to LED bulbs. I ordered two red LED bulbs from Moss but they do not work at all. Looking at the socket, there are two terminal nodes on the interior base of the socket and the bulb only has one central terminal node to make contact. The two configurations don’t match up so it appears the bulb isn’t getting current. Is there a remedy to this? Also, will the red LED bulb function as a brake light when the brakes are applied or will it stay the same brightness as a parking light? Thanks for your input!


    • August 18, 2018 @ 10:49 pm John

      The bulb with the two nodes on the interior base is an 1157 and the bulb with the one node is an 1156. In my 1969 MG Midget, the 1157 is used for the brake/tail lights (two functions, two nodes??) and the 1156 is used for the turn signals (one function, one node?). If you use a bulb with two nodes, you should get a bright tail light and a brighter brake light. Good luck.


  3. February 8, 2020 @ 10:39 pm Steve Livesley

    I started converting over to LEDs but came across this article about their legality in the UK.
    See https://mgb.tips/2020/02/08/are-aftermarket-led-bulbs-road-legal-will-they-pass-an-mot/


  4. May 24, 2020 @ 1:09 am Steve Livesley

    Modified my MGB to take led lighting with some impressive results ….see https://mgb.tips/category/projects/led-drl-lighting/


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