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Username Post: brighter dash lights        (Topic#278119)
Senior Member
Posts: 530

Loc: Coburg,Oregon,U.S.A.
Reg: 11-07-01
03-16-12 05:11 PM - Post#2203576    

I would like to increase the brightness of my dash lights. The stock bulb is a 57 what number would I need to go to? This is a 12 volt system.

Posts: 26145
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
03-17-12 05:09 AM - Post#2203700    
    In response to smithd7

This is a reference put together by some pinball nuts but I find it pretty useful for some automotive things:

An 1864 or 1873 should be brighter but it has a slightly different shape, sort of cylindrical instead of a globe. If it will fit without being too long then it would likely be a noticeable improvement.

Of course the variety of 6 volt bulbs in the BA9 base would be really, really bright...for a very short while.

94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects

Senior Member
Posts: 530

Loc: Coburg,Oregon,U.S.A.
Reg: 11-07-01
03-17-12 08:43 AM - Post#2203762    
    In response to someotherguy

Thanks I give it a try. I only want to replace these once !!

Very Senior Member
Posts: 2550

Reg: 12-29-02
03-17-12 11:14 AM - Post#2203804    
    In response to someotherguy

I doubt 28V light bulbs would be brighter running at 14V.

The only one that seems suitable in that list is the 431 and it's not that much brighter.

Go to and search for the BA9S base bulbs. e_BA9...

You're looking for bulbs with more than 2 MSCP. Try the 1816, 1414 or Q5T3/CS/12V bulbs. The 1414 would be bright but is low hours. The halogen would also be bright but might be shorter lived if you ran it at full voltage without some dimming. All the brigher bulbs will produce more heat and could melt dash components. The higher current draw might also affect the dimmer - it might get hotter and/or not dim as linearly.

Posts: 26145
Age: 44
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
03-17-12 03:46 PM - Post#2203891    
    In response to 65_Impala

Crap, sorry, I ran up and down the list and paid attention to the different voltages but missed that those were 28's. Regardless, poke around that list and see what you find in a 12V bulb.

Not enough sleep...

94 C2500LD / 97 Suburban LS1 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects

"13th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 16010

Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Reg: 08-08-04
03-26-12 09:32 AM - Post#2207673    
    In response to someotherguy ashlight...

Posts: 248
Age: 46
Loc: Near Cincinnati, OH
Reg: 12-01-11
04-08-12 09:25 AM - Post#2212762    
    In response to Vaughn

just passing on my solution, FWIW...

since I had to pull the cluster out I decided to clean it up a bit, all the years of dust...

I ended up pulling it completely apart. I masked off the connection points for the bulbs and instruments and repainted the inside of the cluster housing and the back side of the cover (everything that was light blue) with silver plastic paint (fusion)

It provided a better reflective surface for the dash lights to shine against.

IMHO, it brightened up the dash an additional 50-60% and those areas that always seemed dim (shadowy) are lit very well.

It only took about a couple of hours, after the cluster was pulled, 15 minutes to pull it apart, 10 minutes to mask both pieces with painters tape, 10 minutes to paint, about another 45 minutes for it to dry, and about 15 minutes to re-assemble with new bulbs...

Words are a lot like toothpaste... Once its out of the tube,
there's no getting it back in...

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