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Thread: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Update to my update: Both BN2 brake light and modified reflector light work very well together now but with driving lights on the modified reflector LED light flashes very very little when compared to original brake light/turn signal. There is no change or little when applying brakes with driving lights on. So at night with lights on no one will know when I put on the brakes. Any idea why? New LED reflector light is wired in parallel with existing brake/turn signal light. Thanks Marty



    Update: Just installed front and rear LED lights, one resistor for each side, and LED flasher from Moss Motors. Very bright from all angles but now my existing Reflector LEDS light very little when brakes are applied, but before with the front and back incandescent you could see them but now just very slight glow with brakes on. Remodeled reflectors to LED lights three years ago but believe they came from Motorcycle or car catalog. Maybe too old a style to work in parallel with new style?




    On my Healey 1956, BN2 I reworked existing reflectors to install LEDs and then tied them to lower brake lights and turn signals. They work okay but not great and even less so if head lights are on. So maybe I will replace lower lights with LEDs? Do I need a resister? I also tried turning reflector lights into just brake lights but did not work well using just #41 red wire and ground. Too many things happen with just three wires 14, 15, 41, and a ground, lol. My reworked reflectors turned out great looking just like original but need to get them to work better. Any ideas? Thanks Marty
    Last edited by Martinld123; 09-25-2017 at 02:32 PM.

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    You would need resistors if you change the lower lights to LEDs. I'm not familiar with wire numbers for 100s, but I converted my reflectors to brake/turn signals using these LEDs:
    Jtech 2x 1156 BA15S 7W Cree Q5 LED Pure Red Light Lamp Bulb.jpg

    With these LEDs, the brake lights look like this:
    SAM_2936 (640x480).jpg
    John, BN4

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    You would need resistors if you change the lower lights to LEDs. I'm not familiar with wire numbers for 100s, but I converted my reflectors to brake/turn signals using these LEDs:
    Jtech 2x 1156 BA15S 7W Cree Q5 LED Pure Red Light Lamp Bulb.jpg

    With these LEDs, the brake lights look like this:
    SAM_2936 (640x480).jpg

    John, #14 wire is left turn signal and #15 wire is right turn signal with 41 being the brake light as I see it but 41 also goes to the number plate lamp. How can that be? Ground is common to all three, #14, #15, and #41. BN2 cars only have reflectors so I had to make changes behind reflector to install LED lights. So to do this I will replace both front and back turn signal lights with LEDs. #18 and #41 wires plus ground go to left front turn signal while #21 and #41 wires plus ground go to right turn signal. Can you give me an idea how many resistors (resistor value) I need and do I need an electronic flasher? Moss motors sells some of this. Thanks Marty

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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Hi Martin,

    I am not familiar with the BN2 electrical system so a better response should come from one that is. Have you converted your BN to negative ground?

    As I understand, resistors are necessary to provide sufficient draw to activate the original flasher and become unnecessary if an electronic flasher is used. If you keep incandescent brake and turn signal main lights, resistors for the extended LED reflector lights are not necessary and you can keep your original flasher as well. The needed resistance for the flasher is supplied by the incandescent main bulbs. Keep in mind that the LEDs I have tried to illuminate my reflectors provide a focused light and diminish in apparent luminosity the further you view from that focused point. I have always been aware that my reflector lights are best viewed from directly behind each and at the height of the reflector. It is my experience that you can not expect to observe the brightness of a modern car's LED tail lights when viewing your LED reflectors ... especially from an SUV directly behind at a stop light.

    Hope this helped,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Yoda GregW's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Martinld123 View Post
    John, #14 wire is left turn signal and #15 wire is right turn signal with 41 being the brake light as I see it but 41 also goes to the number plate lamp. How can that be?
    I'm also not familiar with the early wiring diagrams however it sounds like #41 is for the running lights not the brake. That is why that wire goes to the number plate and the front. There are no brake lights in the front.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martinld123 View Post
    #18 and #41 wires plus ground go to left front turn signal while #21 and #41 wires plus ground go to right turn signal. Can you give me an idea how many resistors (resistor value) I need and do I need an electronic flasher? Moss motors sells some of this. Thanks Marty

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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    We just spent money and bought kits (rather than DIY): converted the reflectors on our BJ7 to signal lights (AH Spares), and the tail/brake lights to LEDs (currently available from BMCAutos). Douig
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
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    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Sorry - forgot to mention that we're still positive ground. If you're thinking of going negative at some point, do it first as the LEDs (at least the kits I'd purchased) are either neg or pos, and you'd have to replace the kit if you later switched polarity. Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by GregW View Post
    I'm also not familiar with the early wiring diagrams however it sounds like #41 is for the running lights not the brake. That is why that wire goes to the number plate and the front. There are no brake lights in the front.

    Thanks. How could I not see that? Marty

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Because of the combined brake & turn signal function of the rear lights on early cars, I opted for an isolated circuit to operate an additional 3rd brake light. Doing your car would be much the same as how I did mine (BN6).

    I replaced the 3-way union at the rear axle with a 4-way, added a 2nd hydraulic brake light switch and used the fuel pump circuit (only hot in run & start) for power. Run a wire from the new b/l switch to your grounded lights and that's a wrap.



    Now there is no conflict between the 3rd brake light (or 3rd & 4th in your case) and the original brake light / prioritized turn signal functions.
    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
    Because of the combined brake & turn signal function of the rear lights on early cars, I opted for an isolated circuit to operate an additional 3rd brake light. Doing your car would be much the same as how I did mine (BN6).

    I replaced the 3-way union at the rear axle with a 4-way, added a 2nd hydraulic brake light switch and used the fuel pump circuit (only hot in run & start) for power. Run a wire from the new b/l switch to your grounded lights and that's a wrap.



    Now there is no conflict between the 3rd brake light (or 3rd & 4th in your case) and the original brake light / prioritized turn signal functions.
    So with my BN2 there is no other way to make a third brake light work except with separate pressure switch? I converted my two reflectors lights into brake and I guess turn signals now that I know there is no easy way to isolate for third brake light. I ordered two new 1157 LEDs lights, two resistors, and one electronic flasher so should be good. Pressure switch is not very sensitive to foot pressure so was thinking a weather proof switch on foot pedal arm under car to run in parallel so pressure switch would act as backup. Have to find small weatherproof switch. Just a thought

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Oh, there's ALWAYS another way! I have made a career out of doing things the simple/effective and fast ways.

    For me, I see the redundancy as a plus; if the original circuit fails (be it the lamp/fixture, hydraulic switch or turn signal relay) the secondary circuit provides a backup.
    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    John I just installed front and rear LED lights, one resistor for each side, and LED flasher from Moss Motors. Very bright from all angles but now my existing Reflector LEDS light very little when brakes are applied, but before with the front and back incandescent you could see them but now just very slight glow with brakes on. Tail light and reflector work very well and bright when turn signals are on. Remodeled reflectors to LED lights three years ago but believe they came from Motorcycle or car catalog. Maybe too old a style to work in parallel with new style? Do you have any photos of how you reworked reflector bases? My LEDs in reflectors are the flat disc type with many LEDs flat on flat disc. I would be interested in how you mounted socket and new lens. New non-reflector lens? Thanks Marty


    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    You would need resistors if you change the lower lights to LEDs. I'm not familiar with wire numbers for 100s, but I converted my reflectors to brake/turn signals using these LEDs:
    Jtech 2x 1156 BA15S 7W Cree Q5 LED Pure Red Light Lamp Bulb.jpg

    With these LEDs, the brake lights look like this:
    SAM_2936 (640x480).jpg

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Marty,

    Look at Post #11 in this thread. It shows the assemblies. I have the conical reflectors, but when you pull them apart, the cones are just an added piece in front of the flat reflector.
    John, BN4

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    John I am lost as to what to try next after installing all new LED replacement bulbs with two new resistors and electronic flasher. Both BN2 brake light and modified reflector light work very well together now but with driving lights on the modified reflector LED light flashes very very little when compared to original brake light/turn signal. There is no change if any when applying brakes with driving lights on. So at night with lights on no one will know when I put on the brakes. Any idea why? New LED reflector light is wired in parallel with existing brake/turn signal light.

    Also sometimes my center turn signal indicator light continues to flash a few times after turned off but actual turn signals do not flash. Maybe need to replace that bulb with LED also? Thanks Marty

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Marty,
    To clarify, when you say "driving lights" do you mean just the driving lights or the headlights, tail lights and front marker lights? Do you have the original turn signal flasher unit (the round can) with three connections, or one for LEDs?

    I was looking for a BN2 wiring diagram and came up with the following link: http://www.healey6.com/Technical/100...%2012%2016.pdf . This is a >500 page document with numerous articles mostly applying to 100s. Starting on page 373 are descriptions of how to wire LEDs. You will want to read that section to the end, as there ar a couple of updates.

    Hope it helps.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    "... after installing all new LED replacement bulbs with two new resistors and electronic flasher."

    Well, I'm not John but I think I see your problem: this is an either/or setup; i.e. use the resistors with a bimetal flasher, or use a solid state flasher (not both). Ray mentioned this earlier in the thread.

    I got a lead on pos. gnd. LED bulbs from the email list:

    http://tinyurl.com/yat7h529

    The owner(s) were off to Triumphfest (sp?) last week--a good sign, IMO--so shipping was delayed; I'll report back after I check them out (just got the nav/brake lights to start).

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Thanks. I think I bought too much then, lol. I think you are right so what you say makes sense. I am wonder if there really is any real difference when lights are on for brightness when brakes are applied. Need to rethink this. Thanks Marty



    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    "... after installing all new LED replacement bulbs with two new resistors and electronic flasher."

    Well, I'm not John but I think I see your problem: this is an either/or setup; i.e. use the resistors with a bimetal flasher, or use a solid state flasher (not both). Ray mentioned this earlier in the thread.

    I got a lead on pos. gnd. LED bulbs from the email list:

    http://tinyurl.com/yat7h529

    The owner(s) were off to Triumphfest (sp?) last week--a good sign, IMO--so shipping was delayed; I'll report back after I check them out (just got the nav/brake lights to start).

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    Senior Member Martinld123's Avatar
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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    John, there seems to be no difference when headlights are on when I apply the brakes. I think this is how it was before I went with LEDS. Brake lights don't get brighter when I put on brakes with headlights on. I will look up information you gave me. I bought electronic flasher and resistors. Bob thinks I should use just one or the other. Makes sense. I will do some reading. Marty

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Marty,
    To clarify, when you say "driving lights" do you mean just the driving lights or the headlights, tail lights and front marker lights? Do you have the original turn signal flasher unit (the round can) with three connections, or one for LEDs?

    I was looking for a BN2 wiring diagram and came up with the following link: http://www.healey6.com/Technical/100...%2012%2016.pdf . This is a >500 page document with numerous articles mostly applying to 100s. Starting on page 373 are descriptions of how to wire LEDs. You will want to read that section to the end, as there ar a couple of updates.

    Hope it helps.

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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Ah, thanks for reminding me. I got the LEDs and installed them; here's a shot with the running lights only--no brakes--with just the left LED installed (with brakes on, the LEDs are commensurately brighter):

    LEDs.JPG

    What surprised me is how small the LEDs are; no more than 1mm square, if that, not like the 'dome-shaped' common LEDs. There are only 4 of them, 2 light up with the headlights, and all 4 do with the brakes.

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    Re: Problem Using LED lights with Existing Brake Lamps

    Are the LEDs red, or did you use white? Maybe it's because of the light, but the tail light does not look very red.

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