LED bulbs vs Regular bulbs Tail and Brake lights GL1500 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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LED bulbs vs Regular bulbs Tail and Brake lights GL1500

I put LED bulbs 1157 in the tail light housings. The Top light bar is bright and look great but the lower light bars the LED lights look dimmer? Whats everyones thoughts? The regular bulbs look brighter. Any benefit to leaving the regular bulbs in vs putting the LEDs in the lower light assemblies?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 12:55 AM
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I see that a lot. People put LEDs in because they've been led to believe they are brighter, and save power, when in fact, if the housing isn't designed to reflect that kind of light, you will loose brightness/visibility. And the electrical system can easily handle the load of the stock lights.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 09:02 AM
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Did you put red or white bulbs in? [s]It's counter-intuitive to me (but the science backs it up), but red bulbs will be dimmer than white.[/s]

You also need to make sure to use all-around bulbs that have LEDs facing both to the top of the bulb (rear of the bike) and the sides, so they catch the reflector in the assembly.

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Last edited by cmhbob; 08-17-2018 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Had the color thing backwards.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmhbob View Post
Did you put red or white bulbs in? It's counter-intuitive to me (but the science backs it up), but red bulbs will be dimmer than white.

You also need to make sure to use all-around bulbs that have LEDs facing both to the top of the bulb (rear of the bike) and the sides, so they catch the reflector in the assembly.

I'm not sure what he means by red is dimmer than white but you need to have the red leds to shine through the red lens of the brake light. If you put the white leds behind a colored lens they will be dimmer. LED bulbs put out a pure light of whatever color they are. So a red needs to be behind a red lens, amber behind an amber lens, green for a green, etc.
Also, as was stated above, you should get the tower bulbs which have the leds all around the bulb so they will bounce off the reflector and shine out the back.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellboy40 View Post
I'm not sure what he means by red is dimmer than white but you need to have the red leds to shine through the red lens of the brake light. If you put the white leds behind a colored lens they will be dimmer. LED bulbs put out a pure light of whatever color they are. So a red needs to be behind a red lens, amber behind an amber lens, green for a green, etc.
Also, as was stated above, you should get the tower bulbs which have the leds all around the bulb so they will bounce off the reflector and shine out the back.
You're right - I had it backwards. Thanks for catching it.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 01:09 PM
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I tried LEDS, a friend told me that in some light, he noticed brake lights were washing out, so I did some of my own testing and decided to stick with oem type bulbs which the housings, lenses, reflectors, etc were designed with in mind.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I di use the all around LED's in the back but did put white ones in it as I was thinking that the stock ones were white. I will try red ones in a couple of weeks and see if that helps.
Thanks for everyones input

Currently own / ride an '89 GL1500
Owned 2014 Harley Ultra Classic
2008 GL1800
1977 GL1000
1986 VFR Intercepter
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 09:12 PM
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I bought the brightest LED bulbs from superbrightleds.com in the factory style (glass encased) and was very happy with them. Fit perfect, very bright, never burnt out in almost 130k.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 01:36 PM
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If you are trying LEDs for " Brightness" be sure to see if the bulbs are correct colour, right tower configuration, and that LED's will actually work with your ( older) light reflector fixture. Most LED's won't.

If , as many 1200 owners do, you have a compromised charging system, then proceed with biggest draw lights first .

I replaced my headlight with an HID unit(30 watts ), my driving lights with LED's (10 watt )
and all my running and marker lights with LED's. and added two 50 light LED bars ......IMHO, turn and brake signal lights are not on long enough to be a significant drain on my battery.

and I found 1157 LEDs to be a lot dimmer( and pricey) so I left those OEM incandescent bulbs in place .

With all the other changes, my 300watt stator charging system thanks me, and all the other lights are nice and bright.

SilverDave
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:47 PM
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get a high output alternator and forget about leds
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