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Using external LED's for extra light?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Teamsherman, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Hi folks,

    Im wanting to make my rear end look all nice and bright by using some red waterproof LED strips I've bought off ebay (I've used the white strip ones from there for all different applications like a cabin light for my Patrol, a strip for extra light on my workbench where I build and fix things and they are fantastic) so with these red ones I want to connect them to my brake lights so when the brakes are applied, the LED's come on also which will be in different styles around the number plate and cowl ect.

    But, as we all know, when the key is turned and the bike is running the rear tail light is constantly luminated, and when the brakes are applied another element inside the globe gets powered hence the brake light getting brighter. How do I go about connecting the external LED's that I'll be installing to the brake light power so they only come on when the brake light is luminated. The LED's themselves have one setting, and thats on. So the LED's are'nt going to be dim then bright like a normal brake light globe would.

    If by chance (im not even sure yet) that under the brake light housing there are 2 different circuits of LED's already, then the job will be easy as pie as I'll just wire the extra LED's to the brake light circuit and voila, job done.

    But yeah, if it is the old globe setup then how would you guys suggest doing it?
  2. Usually the rear lamp is a 5w/21w (or similar)

    The NC circuit is 5w
    The NO circuit is the 21w

    Connect the LEDS to the NO circuit.
  3. Sorry man, whats NC and NO mean?
  4. normal closed/open.

    basically, there will be 3 lines going to your tail light bulb.
    Earth (-ve) this will go to the outside of the bulb.
    park/running light (+12v)
    brake (+12v)

    you will just need to find out which one is which (using a multimeter or a test light) and tap into the brake wire
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  5. Ah yep, got it now, cheers!
  6. Pics when you're done
  7. #7 Teamsherman, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2014
    Will do!

    I've checked the tail light out and it turns out that they are all LEDs and run on 6v then as the brake switch is activated they get a dose of 12v. So I may have to just splice them into the negative and 12v line so they only come on when the brakes are activated. So they will sit in the off position until the relay pushes the 12v into them. I'll do some dry fit runs before I make anything permanent to be sure anyway.
  8. #8 VazRider, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I've done a bit of research on this, and the law says that its pretty much illegal to have any other lights under the fairings or anywhere else to make your bike more visible in dim conditions.

    I'm just wondering if there are other like me that reckon that this law needs a major update as we head into the future due to the increasing number of muppets encroaching our survival space in night conditions. I don't think we should have strobes under our fairings and look like a "mobile nightclub for one" as we drive around at night, but a soothing white LED or two under the tank that shows entire space occupied by the bike on the would be a really good idea and help avoid getting T-Boned. What we do is risky, and having these backups will remind people that we also share the road...

    Is this a viable idea? lighting technology has increased to a significant level where it is possible to have back lighting on a motorcycle which enhances its presence on the road without blinding other road users. Sticking with a legal restriction that was made during the time of filament lights seem a little too shortsighted in the current day and age.

    Hope to hear more thoughts on this,
    cheers :)

    This is the quote from vicroads, under vehicle design standards and accessories.

    "However, the merits of daytime running lights are yet to be quantified in Australia. As Australia has not followed Europe in mandating daytime running lights, not all new vehicles are equipped with daytime running lights. "


    Apparently when someone get pulled over for under fairing lights, this statement is quoted and the LED lights are treated like running lights and unquantified merits therefore causing fines.

    I havnt done anything to the bike yet, but... sure as hell wont till im sure i can without getting pulled over!
  9. it does seem a little dim...
  10. well i did say i only did a bit of research.. i figured someone here would know more than me and id get their opinion.. :S
  11. I have fitted some white, forward pointing LEDs to my R850R.

    Now, as far as I know, they are perfectly legal so long as you don't try and claim them to be fog lights, which are only legal to be switched on in bad weather conditions.

    Almost forgot, don't claim them to be clearance lights, 'cos there are legal definitions of clearance lights which may or may not coincide with the LEDs.

    So long as you claim them to be running lights, they seem to be legal here in NSW.

    But, I have been wrong before.....

    Also, a silly old fart riding an classic BMW boxer can get away with stuff that younger folk on faster bikes, might not. :]
  12. I've been wondering about hooking up a couple of white LED forward-pointing lights to my BMW too..
    Actually came here for a different reason (looking for clamps to attach them with) but saw this thread.
    Annoyed to hear that they're potentially illegal though! Gah.. Happy to hear someone is doing it with no problems though. I'll give it a try anyway..