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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel dumb asking this question.

I inadvertently picked up 3 watt bulbs instead of the called-for 5 watt bulbs, for my rear license plate illumination lenses. Not only do I not want to hassle with taking them back, but.. I actually like the dimmer light that results from this.. dare I say it.. lite mod. :tsk:

Presumably they're all 12v. Not sure actually. The print is white on clear glass, so it's impossible to read.

If I go with a lower wattage, this should be ok right? Like.. goin' with a lower wattage bulb for a light fixture in your house..??

They pulse a little bit. dimmer, then come back, etc... But, I confess I've never studied my license plate lights before. I presume its just normal small fluctuations from the voltage regulator.

But.. better safe than sorry. I don't want to cause a fire situation, so I thought I'd ask. It seems silly, but then... that one good 5 watt light.. it was interesting how it would get very very hot. No way could you touch your fingers to it, or even get within a quarter inch of it. Prolly normal, but it got my alerts up when I saw / felt that.
 

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My other car is a Datsun!
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It shouldn't be a problem since your 3W bulb will pull less current than the 5W version (.25A vs. .42A). Amps=Watts/Voltage.

The only question in my mind would be if they illuminate the license plate sufficiently. With the modern reflective plates though, this is probably a moot point.

The heat the bulb puts out is just the result of incandecent bulb technology and is normal. Try to touch any of your household bulbs after they've been on for a while and you'll burn your hands.

The flickering you are seeing is likely a voltage fluctuation since just a 1V voltage swing can have a dramatic effect on the lumens output. Larger/higher wattage bulbs are less prone to this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Catfish !
 
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