Electrical puzzle...I'm stumped with LED replacement bulbs - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Electrical puzzle...I'm stumped with LED replacement bulbs

I am fairly educated in the ways of electronics, but I can't figure this one out and I feel pretty darn stupid about it. Someone please set me straight on this.

I added 2 LED bolts to the license plate, and a "third" brake light which is a few LED's as well. They are wired in parallel and tapped into the brake light circuit.

so basically all lights are in parallel:
Brake light with 2-1157 bulbs (internally in parallel in housing)
2 bolt LED's in parallel
LED brake light I installed

It all works fine nothing but the running lights in the tail light comes on until I hit the brakes....like it should!

scenario#1:
OK, so here is where I am stumped. I wanted to pull the incandescent brake bulbs (1157) and replace them with LED DUAL INTENSITY bulbs.

The dual intensity means they are not on separate filaments like a standard bulb, but switch from low to high with a second signal(BRAKE)

As soon as I replace both 1157 bulbs with LED's, the other brake light and bolt LEd's stay on dimly. I figured as much since there is some feedback through the LED 1157 bulbs (dual intensity).

If I left one standard bulb in the taillight housing and used one LED bulb, The LED bulb in the housing does not turn on at all without the brake signal, but works at half brightness with the brake signal...BUT...the other add on LED's work as they should. This leaves me with a half lit tail light until I hit the brakes.

I tried a diode inline with the add on lights that I installed(as suggested), but that did nothing (as I expected).

Please don't tell me I need to buy a conversion kit for the tail light...I refuse to go that route for my own reasons.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Scenario #2: if I replace the front turn signals with the LED dual intensity bulbs, the blinkers work...but the running lights don't.

Can someone PLEASE tell me how to make them all work in harmony??
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 10:15 PM
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I added 2 LED bolts to the license plate, and a "third" brake light which is a few LED's as well. They are wired in parallel and tapped into the brake light circuit.
Running them in parallel is tricky, because the current must be balanced on each branch circuit and the LED's forward voltage's must be nearly equal or else the light output will be uneven....
You will also need to replace the flasher unit...
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 10:31 PM
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Most likely, you wired it in a series or part of a series someplace, I don't feel like identifing it exactly right now. Led's are simple, They all have to be parrellel period, otherwise after each one the current drops, which is what you are experiencing. Remember black/yellow stripe wire is ground and then you got your 2 power wires. Start from scratch, make sure the tail lights all three are hooked up correct to start with to bulbs. Then splice the accesories to the running lights at the right poles and your done.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 10:38 PM
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Running them in parallel is tricky, because the current must be balanced on each branch circuit and the LED's forward voltage's must be nearly equal or else the light output will be uneven....
You will also need to replace the flasher unit...
No, there are 3 wires, ground, running light and brake light. They are all straight wired, no relay needed for anything. Only thing is the led's in general will run less amps then the stock incadesinds. Even all he has hooked up and probably 200+ more led's before getting near stock amp draw. Led's only work one way, they HAVE to run parallel! Series can work, but lose about 30% power per draw, so not many if any can be series.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:07 PM
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Most likely, you wired it in a series or part of a series someplace, I don't feel like identifing it exactly right now. Led's are simple, They all have to be parrellel period, otherwise after each one the current drops, which is what you are experiencing. Remember black/yellow stripe wire is ground and then you got your 2 power wires. Start from scratch, make sure the tail lights all three are hooked up correct to start with to bulbs. Then splice the accesories to the running lights at the right poles and your done.
umm, this is completely incorrect......
LED's can be wired series or parallel, each method has it's good and bad points.
And as for the current dropping after each LED in series.....again, wrong.
LED's in series all have the same current.... it's the voltage that drops after each one...
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebel13 View Post
No, there are 3 wires, ground, running light and brake light. They are all straight wired, no relay needed for anything. Only thing is the led's in general will run less amps then the stock incadesinds. Even all he has hooked up and probably 200+ more led's before getting near stock amp draw. Led's only work one way, they HAVE to run parallel! Series can work, but lose about 30% power per draw, so not many if any can be series.
ehh.... series LED's, amusing equal voltage drop per LED, would have the exact same power output each...
And who said anything about a relay???
The FLASHER needs to be changed from stock because there is not enough resistance in the turn signal circuit once you change over to LEDs for the stock flasher to work properly....

Last edited by dariv; 04-20-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:21 PM
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Think so? Watch how he fixes it and finds out what was wired wrong! You think a 100 led replacement has a relay and run in series? No, they are ALL parrallel. You forget most led's are backed with resistors also. Try hooking ten in a series and see how that works for ya~try it!!!
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dariv View Post
ehh.... series LED's, amusing equal voltage drop per LED, would have the exact same power output each...
And who said anything about a relay???
The FLASHER needs to be changed from stock because there is not enough resistance in the turn signal circuit once you change over to LEDs for the stock flasher to work properly....
relay, flasher is the same thing. This is tail lights, hard wired not signals!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:33 PM
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Think so? Watch how he fixes it and finds out what was wired wrong! You think a 100 led replacement has a relay and run in series? No, they are ALL parrallel. You forget most led's are backed with resistors also. Try hooking ten in a series and see how that works for ya~try it!!!
Let me clarify, I am not suggesting that all the LED's be put in series. BUT that each parallel branch be balanced... as in same resistance in each branch so that each branch can produce equal power.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:33 PM
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ehh.... series LED's, amusing equal voltage drop per LED, would have the exact same power output each...
And who said anything about a relay???
The FLASHER needs to be changed from stock because there is not enough resistance in the turn signal circuit once you change over to LEDs for the stock flasher to work properly....
I don't think he changed the blinkers.. it was only the tail light. Plus if you only do the front or rear only with led's you don;t need a load resister.. You already have a load (the other light bulb) it might blink a little faster but it will work,,

I never played with the 1157 LED light so I don't want to get you bad information.. I don't know how they set them up on the inside.. It is possible you have a bad 1157 led? or it may not run right in line with the regular bulb but I can't see why..

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