Converting to LED warning lamps

The original warning lamps in the instrument binnacle are very hard to see, especially the main-beam lamp. I have already tried fitting 5w bulbs, but this doesn't help that much and melts the housing!
The next step was to convert to Light Emitting Diode (LED) as they are now available in several colours, can be very bright and also produce virtually no heat. I have made replacement "bulbs" that fit into the standard holders using the following;

A piece of stripboard (veroboard) 12 holes by 3 strips
2 x High-brightness LEDs in an appropriate colour
2 x 1K resistors

I used "water clear" LEDs but these tend to produce bright spots due to their natural focusing. I lightly sanded the ends with emery paper to create a diffuser, but it would make sense to use diffuse LEDs to start with!
Bending the leads at a right-angle 4 or 5mm from the base of the LED, I fitted them to the strip board as shown, with both cathode (negative) leads in the centre hole. The cathode can usually be identified as the shorter lead and/or a flat section on the LED base.

Fit LEDs to stripboard. Locate resistors and links.
Having soldered the two LEDs in place, I fitted the 2 resistors as shown and used the wire trimmings to make the 2 links. Once soldered and trimmed, I used a sharpened jeweler's screwdriver to remove the tracks from the veroboard where indicated.
Cut tracks as shown.
Having checked for shorts from solder or swarf, the LED assembly just pushes in to the original holder.
The LED unit has polarity, unlike a bulb, and has to be fitted the right way round.
When viewed from the component side, the positive terminal is on the left. No harm will result from reverse fitting, it just won't work.
Fit LED "bulb" to holder.

The first thing is to dismantle the binnacle and remove the centre strip (with the warning legends). Under this
strip are filters that give the lamps their colour. I think the aging of these is the main cause of the visibility
problems & suspect that the ordinary bulbs would be fine if fitted with new coloured covers.
Either way, the filters have to go.

You get no diffusing effect without the filters and, even with diffusing LEDs, you tend to get a bright spot of light, so I put some "magic tape" (the opaque sellotape that you can write on) on the legend strip - it works really well and gives a nice even brightness. You can see the mat finish effect in the picture as I haven't yet covered the indicator lamps.

Now for the LED lamps:

Dismantled binnacle.

This is the result, which I think works well - it's hard to photograph lamps, and it looks better "in the flesh".

I'm sure there are better ways of achieving the same result; a single 8mm, high brightness, diffuse LED would probably be the best bet - I just used what I had around.

LED lamps work great.