Ok, I took my 2011 apart. What I thought to be an LED was actually a crappy little soldered in incandescent bulb:
Notice how dim the thing is, and that's WITHOUT the white plastic diffuser installed! It has a blue silicone filter stuck on it to make it glow with an "LED Look" which just further reduces the light output and makes it even less efficient:
I took it apart to measure the current:
(It's not that bright, the camera just overexposed it... See 2 pics back.) Over 1 watt consumption and it's really all but useless anyway! Is my bench meter really that dirty? (I guess it's time to clean it! =)
I've come this far, so I might as well convert it to LED. After removing the crappy little bulb, I soldered in two 5mm bright white LEDs into the housing along with a 390 ohm 1/4 watt resistor:
Here it is ready to test:
Now it only draws less than 20% of the original bulb's power, and is many times brighter even after the plastic diffuser is re-installed:
By the way, here's the wiring harness on my 2011 that this connects to. It's a little white 2-pin connector coming out of the same bundle that feeds the VSP (Upper box with "A" on it). It's got a grey foam covering so it won't rattle on top the glovebox:
Here it is all back together, lighting up everything:
Night and day! I'd guess it also gives me a few more feet of mileage each month!
Still, just on principle, I'm annoyed that Nissan skimped on so many things. I know it's most likely to leverage the existing supply chain, etc. Maybe they ran out of them now, and they decided rather than do another whole production run of crappy incandescent bulbs, they'd just omit it on the 2012's.
I though I had converted (almost) all of the incandescent bulbs in my Leaf already! I wonder how many many I've still overlooked?!?
(P.S. If you reply to this post, please avoid quoting all the pictures, as it will make a big mess in the thread!)