Thread Number: 38848  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby Tradition/Heritage/Legend LED Bulb upgrade
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Post# 412636   8/12/2019 at 12:41 (327 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd share my experience in trying to upgrade my Kirby Tradition, Heritage, and Legend vacuums to use brighter LED Bulbs.

The 12v ones I bought from the auto-store don't easily fit.
There's a collar of paxolin on the bulb which needs to be trimmed quite a bit. The Kirby Lens bracket also needs shaving a little before the bulb will seat fully.

They work, sort of, but flicker at a rapid rate.
As the motor's coils rotate, you're getting 12v, 0v, 12v, 0v... These LED bulbs need a Smoothing Capacitor to bridge that current gap and to provide smoother, more constant, DC.

Old-style incandescent bulbs take a while to cool down, so you don't notice that current gap. As with household AC Light Bulbs, they're going on & off fifty times a second but appear to be constantly on.

I think later Generation Kirbys have an LED Control Board doing that smoothing job?

Because these bulbs are intended for cars, the flickering isn't an issue there. Cars generate 12v to supply the Battery. Then the Battery provides true DC, constantly.

These are not cheap (16 for two) but I thought I'd give it a go.

You can save yourself the expense of trying, or investigate fitting, or making, your own Board/Capacitor solution.


Post# 412646 , Reply# 1   8/12/2019 at 21:58 (327 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Are you sure the socket is getting DC? Even if it's pulsating DC? The way they're wired to me looks like it would actually be AC. More than likely the bulk of the flickering you're seeing is actually because it's going
+12 > 0 > -12 > 0 > +12, etc.

Likely what you need is a bridge rectifier and then a smoothing capacitor. I would not try adding a capacitor until you are 100% certain you have DC and not AC.

I would be curious to see whether the bulb power supply is more like a transformer, or more like an alternator. Either way, highly doubt it's DC.

Post# 412647 , Reply# 2   8/12/2019 at 21:59 (327 days old) by aaron158 (Canada)

i bought one of these ones off amazon back in march $6. one thing to note is u have to use one that supports 12v ac power most of these leds out there do dc only

Post# 412648 , Reply# 3   8/12/2019 at 22:01 (327 days old) by aaron158 (Canada)        

@MadMan it is def ac power coming out. i know when i was buying builds i had first got one that was dc only it would come on super bright for half a second then flicker off and on. after i ordered a dif bulb that supported both ac and dc and it worked perfectly so its def 12V ac.

Post# 412651 , Reply# 4   8/12/2019 at 23:37 (327 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I think I post dual post and single post Les bulb links about every 3 months.
I didn't bother reading DC or the rest of your lifepost. I've posted links on what works and what doesn't. I have bulbs that work for cb1 through legend 2. I have led bulbs for all c models through cr1 and janitronic, American Lincoln, and comvac. I also have g3-g7 led bulbs. If you are interested in bulbs that work with links let me know or look up led bulb under my username. I posted 2 links for pre g series.
I am just tired long day.

Post# 412709 , Reply# 5   8/14/2019 at 01:29 (326 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
aaron158 - Of course. It just makes sense.

Post# 412735 , Reply# 6   8/14/2019 at 18:54 (325 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

Thank-you Madman, of course it must be AC. I was confusing myself, and wondering whether Kirby had taken/generated 12v DC for the bulb.

Les, I'll look again for your earlier links. Thanks!
I DID search before posting. Found nothing.
Sorry if my "lifepost" is tedious to read. Sometimes one-sentence questions and one-word answers just isn't adequate.😁 If you've already 'done a topic to death' and you're tired, skip it. Don't feel obliged to go over it all again.
But I do appreciate your help.
We all have different levels of knowledge & expertise.

I was further confused by the LED Bulb replacement for my Sewing Machine. Works perfectly. Thought I'd try one on a Kirby.

Post# 412758 , Reply# 7   8/14/2019 at 23:20 (325 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
If a led bulb flickers it's watts is too low or you have a faulty connection.
505 to classic
The single bulb from classic Omega to heritage 2 is stock 1156. Here is best example of led bulbs I have.
The links I posted before are no longer available.
The first bulb I mentioned is ba15d double bayoyonet dual polarity.
With led lights the bulb is silicone and you can easily shear bulb in half if not careful.

Post# 412786 , Reply# 8   8/15/2019 at 11:03 (324 days old) by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        

Are LED bulbs getting any cheaper?

Post# 412814 , Reply# 9   8/15/2019 at 23:43 (324 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
You have to find the right supplier. I found good ones for .50 but have to buy like 20. The thing is one good led bulb you won't buy another bulb again.

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