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arcticscythe 01-07-2014 01:34 PM

LED Switchback Turn Signals
So this week I decided that every incandescent bulb in my car needs to be switched out for a brighter, whiter LED. With the exception of headlights for brightness reasons. I ordered a handful of bulbs on ebay and I came across something a little different. They are called switchback LEDs, essentially they are a cylinder of SMD LEDs mounted side by side where one set is amber and the other is 5000k white. The concept is that the 1157 socket has 3 points of contact 1 is a ground, one is a constant and the last is a temporary for blinking. the LED system just routs the constant signal to the white LEDs and the temporary to the amber LEDs.

I’m not sure quite what Subaru was thinking but in the manual it says to take your car into the dealership to change the turn signals. I found that they are accessible if you pop off the side ventilation panel on your bumper and snake your arm up into the cavity behind the headlight. otherwise you would need to remove your bumper or remove the fender lining both of which are rather more complicated than most are willing to do in the case that they need to change a lamp. it took me about 10 minutes per side, sitting on the ground with my arm twisted up in the bumper is not fun but it was better than taking off the bumper.

When I had them both installed I tested the turn signal and I got hyper flash. with the LED rear blinkers installed and the new low resistance front bulbs they flashed super fast, while a big part of me enjoys the extra visibility of a faster blinking lamp, I do not like the sound of the rapid ticking when you are sitting in the cabin. with the LEDs I ordered a relay designed for LED use and installed it, all you have to do is put your head under the dash and find the thing that's ticking like crazy, when you find it you just unplug it and put in the new relay.

With the new bulbs installed it definitly has a different style, the only part im not totally a fan of is how dim the amber LEDs are compared to the White LEDs. It almost looks like the signals are blinking white rather than alternating between white and amber. Im not sure if I like them yet but I figured i could do a write up and follow up later if I decide to keep them

arewmors 01-07-2014 01:41 PM

are you talking about a knock off of these?

[url=]Color-Changing LED Turn Signal Bulbs - Lighting[/url]

arcticscythe 01-07-2014 01:54 PM

Those look the same. Im not sure if they are the same bulbs because I grabbed mine on ebay, I had some paypal money from the holidays that I didnt have allocated to bills : )

I am using the same LED turn signal relay though, same model/markings and everything. Out the door I think it was something like $40 for the front signals and the relay

arcticscythe 01-07-2014 01:56 PM

Sorry guys,

Totally forgot to add photos

[IMG]<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_20140104_175205.jpg"/></a>[/IMG]

[IMG]<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_20140104_175213.jpg"/></a>[/IMG]

Jkas 01-07-2014 07:50 PM

Those are awesome! My wife even likes them. I've been looking into new head lights for the wagon. Black housing projectors. These lights would look great in them!

arcticscythe 01-08-2014 12:24 AM

They would look amazing in black housings, they kinda remind me of the "batteries" fron the matrix, like cool glowing bee hives. I didnt think to take a picture of them glowing white but they switch from amber to white to match my headlights when im driving without using the turn signals.

the only downside is they are not as bright as the factory halogen ambers, If your blacking out the housings that might not reflect enough light to make them safe. Ive only driven with them for 2 nights and Im questioning if they are bright enough in OEM housings. Im contemplating ordering those MEGA-BRIGHT ones that arewmors linked to, they seem really bright.

anyway, glad you think they look cool, id love to see photos of them in blacked housings

arewmors 01-08-2014 05:50 AM

I have black housings as I didn't like the chrome from the 2012s so I ordered the housings for the 2011s because they were black. When I install them I will be sure to post pictures, maybe a video. It's been too cold here to do anything outside.

arcticscythe 01-14-2014 11:38 PM


So Ive been running these for about a week and there are 3 things I noticed.

1. when Im driving around in LA at night I get ALOT of spillover light from the sides of the lamp housing, I feel like the curbs are super illuminated which I love. and they look super clean with my H9 - H11 conversion headlights, almost the same color...

2. They DO NOT go dark before signaling, this i am NOT a fan of, when im using the DRL they are lit white and they switch from white to amber and back to white again. The difference is very noticeable when unlocking the car, they turn white, then quickly amber and back to white before turning off, almost a sstrobe like effect.

3. The turn signal is harder to make out in the reflection of other cars, I have grown accustomed to seeing the reflection of my turn signal in other cars and i find myself double checking that my signal is on even with the clicking of the relay. I feel like they leave alot to be desired compared to AMBER ONLY LEDs and Halogens.

TRDL, they look great if you are showing you car but I wouldn't personally recommend them for your daily driver.

I will be removing them and going back to stock next time I have a free moment

arewmors 01-15-2014 05:20 AM

I recently installed mine. I ran into a little snag at the moment, but once I get it straightened out, (assuming everything goes smooth) I will try and post a video. The bulbs I have do not do what yours do. When my headlights are on they are supposed to blink amber with no white until you turn the signal off then it goes back to the white light. Somethings aren't meant to be bought off ebay I guess, FOL. Hope you didn't spend a lot on them or attempt to get a refund if you are unhappy.

arewmors 01-20-2014 06:01 AM

I made a quick video of the bulbs. Just the parking lights are on. I figured that would show the true look without head lights on. The right side is the bulb when the lights are on and the left side is when the signal is on. During the day with no lights on the white isn't there and they just flash amber when the signal is on. Sorry for the poor quality and wind in the background.


Andy - 12 WRB WRX
Tuned by Innovative Tuning
294 AWHP / 311 TQ

arcticscythe 01-20-2014 03:50 PM


I love the way you'rs work, I wasn't super pleased with mine but for the $40 out the door I guess I got what I paid for, didn't cost me any out of pocket so I'll take it as a lesson learned.

arewmors 01-20-2014 05:25 PM

They're currently on sale on website I posted the link to earlier in this thread, $50 I think I seen

Andy - 12 WRB WRX
Tuned by Innovative Tuning
294 AWHP / 311 TQ

arcticscythe 02-27-2015 12:06 PM

Sorry about resurrecting a dead thread but I have a small update.

Apparently amazon knows exactly the types of things I am interested in and in their regular email they sent me updates about automotive LEDs. The part that was important to this thread are "Gen 2" switchback modules. Someone figured out how to make the lamp run white until you activate the turn signal then it goes from white to amber, then OFF, the amber again until the signal is turned off shortly after with goes back to white. Much like audi led lamps operate.

I ordered a set and they work great, The color of the LED is pretty close to 5,000k and it illuminates reflective signs quite a bit further than expected. I still get the curb lighting and vehicles next to me look very bright. Whith the White>Amber>Off>Amber function I can see the reflection of my turn signal on walls and in bumpers of other vehicles which I like. The front of the lamp has a small lens on it Im assuming to give it more throw but IOm not sure how much the lens on the lamp does behind the headlamp cover. also worth noting that they are brighter than my previous set but they are not so bright as to be a distraction to other drivers when not flashing. Paired with the same LED flasher unit that I was running before they work great.

Link if your interested : [ame=""][/ame]

I think I will keep them. Photos to come next time I am home during the evening and can take some dusk photos.

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