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Old 01-11-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
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LED Tail/Brake lights

I have 3157 bulbs in the rear. I was wanting to change them out with the LED equivelant. From what I read, I should get the 63 bulb version so I have the light output. But I also read that some of these need a diode to prevent "rapid flash". Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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Can you post a link to the LED bulb that you are considering?

From what research I have done on the subject for my old car; as long as you have an electronic flasher unit, you will not have any issues. However, I did not do this research for a trailer use.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:52 AM   #3
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I have never really considered the need to upgrade the RV trailer safety lights. Your LED lights Assembly will have to be DOT approved type as well to pass inspections.

In my case I am only converting to LED lights to reduce the power consumption in my RV Trailer and since the trailer running and stop lights are all powered by the truck battery then this is not on the top of my list to replace. I have seen some very bright LED installs however on the RV Trailers which is always good to have for the folks behind you being able to see you better...

Being a Ham Radio guy I am very conscious of the RFI hazards associated with LED fixtures using regulated circuits to maintain certain led components. There has been occasions pulling up behind tractor trailers and my Ham Radio receptions has gone to pot big time. I suspect this is due to their installed LED lights as when they pull away from me the radio noise disappears.

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:01 AM   #4
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ROY,
Do they know what frequency spectrum the LED's rfi covers?
Just curious
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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MUSTANG 65 - I am super critical here and others may not notice what I am experiencing. I first ended up with COMMAND ELECTRONICs PN 170-111 which are 510 LUMEN Boards that stick up inside the DUAL and SINGLE Ceiling light fixtures - They put off excellent light. For my other sockets Porch Light- a couple of Bed Area lights I used the LEDTRAILER ROUND LEDs PN 921-380 which are 380 LUMENS. They are excellant lights as well.

All was going great for me until I did go camping way-back-in-the-woods and found that all of these regulated type of LEDs lights put off a small amount of RFI which in my case interfered with my weak radio and tv reception. With any LED light "ON" my OVER-THE-AIR HDTV reception would totally BLANK OUT. My NOAH WEATHER RADIO reception would not work as well. My Amateur Radio reception was very reduced. All of these Radio/TV units were on OUTSIDE ANTENNAS. When I turned OFF the LED light everything started working as before... It didnt seem to affect the FM radio setup at least on the Country Music stations I usually listen to.

That would be in the 146-450MHz bands I am guessing. Its probably in bands of interference like the INVERTERS produce. This is a well documented problem with the LED Industry BUCK REGULATOR circuits allowing their LEDs to operate from 8-30VDC power sources.

My fix was to modify my two lamp ceiling fixtures to use a selector switch for one side - off - both sides. This way I could run LED boards from ebay/china SMD BOARD 36-1210 (252 lumens) on one side or both sides to include my more expensive Command Electronics PN170-111 (510 lumens). When I am at regualr camp sites where cable TV is available I am not bothered by the TV interference. Only when i was using the OTA antenna picking up digital high def TV signals.

When I finally use up all of my Command Electronic boards i will replace with the $4.99 ebay/china boards.

AS mentioned i am not the only way experiencing this problem but being more critical because of my Ham Radio operations I probably look for the problem harder than the average camper. Some have stated they dont see the same problem using the same Command Electronic LEDs so go figure....

One company Starlights, INC Jason Weaver was working on fix for this with their LED lights and I never really followed up on any of that since it isn't much of problem for me now since I am aware of the problem and have a somewhat work-around fix to support my camping off the power grid. A few of us at the time (3-4 years agao) was working with Mr Weaver about the problem. He was working on a different way to regulate the LED boards using PWM regulators with an EMI bridge verses the "BUCK BOOST" method which is based on very RF noisy square wave technology..

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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It is cheaper and easier to just get a flasher that is designed for LED's.. By the time you buy the resistors and wire them into each socket you will be better off the the flasher.. (cheaper too) Now if you want to wait till I get home in April I can send you the resistors.... still in the package.. LOL
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Not trying to be contrary, but I just don't understand why a person would want to change marker or tail lights from incandescent to LED's. The only benefit I see other than longer lamp life (at a great cost) is a lessened load on the vehicle alternator. What am I missing?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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SmokerBill, the marker lights on the TT and TV use electric that you engine makes through your alternator. The greater the load on your alternator requires more engine power to produce the required electric. So if you reduce the power load on the alternator, you in theory you would increase your fuel economy. I just wonder how much the fuel economy would increase.

Personally I have been thinking about changing my exterior lights, reason being I think LEDs are more noticeable when drive at night.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyBraddy View Post
Your LED lights Assembly will have to be DOT approved type as well to pass inspections.

Roy Ken
That's a good point. Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:47 AM   #10
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It is cheaper and easier to just get a flasher that is designed for LED's..
The one thing that confuses me when I read that you need a flasher designed for LEDs is I had LEDs on my utility trailer and never had an issue with "fast flash" so I'm wondering if this refers to older tow vehicles? Just curious.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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The one thing that confuses me when I read that you need a flasher designed for LEDs is I had LEDs on my utility trailer and never had an issue with "fast flash" so I'm wondering if this refers to older tow vehicles? Just curious.
Type-A, good point! I have LEDs brake lights on my canoe trailer and I have no issues at all. I have pulled it with both my vehicles. And it has been loaned out many times too, with no issues. I wonder if the primary vehicle needs the right minimum load on the flasher and the trailer just adds to it. Not sure!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:07 AM   #12
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The one thing that confuses me when I read that you need a flasher designed for LEDs is I had LEDs on my utility trailer and never had an issue with "fast flash" so I'm wondering if this refers to older tow vehicles? Just curious.
That is because you still have some incandescent lights providing resistance.. I switched 100% of my lights over to LED.. they dont burn out so you never have to worry about that and they are brighter.. (if you buy the good ones)
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:14 PM   #13
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SmokerBill, the marker lights on the TT and TV use electric that you engine makes through your alternator. The greater the load on your alternator requires more engine power to produce the required electric. So if you reduce the power load on the alternator, you in theory you would increase your fuel economy. I just wonder how much the fuel economy would increase.

Personally I have been thinking about changing my exterior lights, reason being I think LEDs are more noticeable when drive at night.
I don't understand how load on the alternator circuitry will decrease mileage. I wouldn't think the alternator armature, and bearings are going to put anymore strain on the engine if you call for more current to run the extra running lights and brake lights. It is just going to spin at what ever rate the pulley turns and the diodes pass all the DC current. The diodes under load probably heat up, but I don't understand how that would put strain in the engine. An AC compressor, I can see straining the engine, and you can hear a difference in the engine when it turns on, but I never heard the engine stain from turning on my TT lights, or even when I transmit on my ham radio, which probably draws almost 10 amps at times. I may be missing something regarding alternator operation, and if anyone can help me better understand that would be good info to have.
I do agree that the LED's seem brighter then the standard bulbs, especially in rain and fog.
I did replace all my interior bulbs with LED's and I really like them.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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I purchased the running/brake lights from SuperBrightLEDS and installed them today. I'll have to upload the photos later on. All the running lights are on order too.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:59 PM   #15
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I don't understand how load on the alternator circuitry will decrease mileage. I wouldn't think the alternator armature, and bearings are going to put anymore strain on the engine if you call for more current to run the extra running lights and brake lights. It is just going to spin at what ever rate the pulley turns and the diodes pass all the DC current. The diodes under load probably heat up, but I don't understand how that would put strain in the engine. An AC compressor, I can see straining the engine, and you can hear a difference in the engine when it turns on, but I never heard the engine stain from turning on my TT lights, or even when I transmit on my ham radio, which probably draws almost 10 amps at times. I may be missing something regarding alternator operation, and if anyone can help me better understand that would be good info to have.
I do agree that the LED's seem brighter then the standard bulbs, especially in rain and fog.
I did replace all my interior bulbs with LED's and I really like them.
Energy is not free. It takes some power source to create electric. The more electric you need the more power you have to use to make the electric. In an ideal world without friction, and a perfect electrical design, what you put in (engine power) would equal what you receive (electrical power). However you need to add an efficiency factor, to account for loses.

If electricity was free, we would have no need to build such large power plants utilizing such large turbines.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:44 PM   #16
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For my running lights, I purchased some China LEDs from Ebay. I found out that they are a bit too long. Now I'm doing some "creative engineering" to see if I can trim up the base on the LEDs to make them fit. Grrr!!!!! LOL
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:12 PM   #17
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I am replacing my clearance light bulbs with LEDs. The bulbs on the sides of the trailer came right out, but I cannot get the bulbs out of the lights on the front and rear. I even broke a bulb trying to get it out. Any ideas on how to remove the bulbs?
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:45 PM   #18
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Bargman makes several styles of replacement LED light assemblies.....I replaced my stock lights with these....



Hers a link to their website...

http://www.bargman.com/content/default.aspx
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:31 PM   #19
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Bargman makes several styles of replacement LED light assemblies.....I replaced my stock lights with these....



Hers a link to their website...

http://www.bargman.com/content/default.aspx
Very nice lights

Upgraded my utility trailer with LEDs for safety. Might get this for the TT...
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #20
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I replaced my tail/brake lights with a kit from command electronics. It was a little high price wise, but simplicity of converting over was worth the extra. The kit fit in the base so I did not need to remove more than the lens and old bulb socket. The lights are more noticeable at night, and brake/turn lights are more noticeable during the day, which is what I wanted. Anything to try and prevent getting hit from behind.
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