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Thread: My new LED license plate light Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-08-2010 06:59 PM
InvisiBill
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
If you buy the LED and base I linked above, it should be a 10 minute plug 'n' play job for anyone who can change a lightbulb. Two screws to take the housing off, twist the bulb out, and pull the guard off. Plug the LED board into the base, twist the base in, aim the LEDs down, put the housing back on and screw it in.
Just in case anyone else is following these instructions, the base I linked above isn't the same plug as what's on the LED board I ordered. The base has a 3-wire plug, with + on one side, - on the opposite, and the middle pin not connected. The 2-wire plug on my LED will fit over two adjacent pins on the base, but the contacts are wired up to the far pins so that doesn't really help. I'm not sure if I have any of those 3-pin plugs around that I could put on the end of the LED's wires, or if I want to just bridge one pin over to the middle and stick the LED's 2-wire plug on adjacent pins of the 3-wire base.

Ah well, just another thing to tinker with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrack650 View Post
This is what I did:
http://cgi.ebay.com/2-White-1156-36-...ht_3319wt_1141
WAY less work for a very bright light...
DT
Yup, this is essentially the same as what I'll end up with. The only difference would really be the size of the LED board and possibly the quality of the LEDs. I wasn't sure if a bigger one like that would fit in the housing. The LED board I got has SMD LEDs, whereas this one seems to have regular LEDs mounted on the board, which would add some thickness. Same concept, I'm just making things more complicated. =)
11-07-2010 10:34 PM
ksmnet
Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
Unless you're trying to run from the cops without them getting a look at your plate, it seems to me that making it more visible can only make things easier (by letting them run the plate and choose to let it slide).
Not trying to run from the cops whatsoever, nor do I have warrants or anything. I'm just fine with the stock license plate light. Don't care to make it brighter.
11-05-2010 03:56 PM
dirtrack650 This is what I did:
http://cgi.ebay.com/2-White-1156-36-...ht_3319wt_1141
WAY less work for a very bright light...
DT
11-05-2010 03:48 PM
InvisiBill
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris and Shim View Post
I would very much do this conversion. This is, what, maybe a half hour of diddling for a novice? Since I'm not a novice, maybe an hour for me (LOL).
I just wouldn't want the brightness of the plate light to overpower the other lights.
Most of my time was spent trying to figure out which size LED board to get and how to adapt it to the socket. If you buy the LED and base I linked above, it should be a 10 minute plug 'n' play job for anyone who can change a lightbulb. Two screws to take the housing off, twist the bulb out, and pull the guard off. Plug the LED board into the base, twist the base in, aim the LEDs down, put the housing back on and screw it in.

You may be able to fit a 4x4 LED board in there with the guard removed. I didn't realize it just pulled off at first, so I specifically went for a small one. The screw posts are one of the biggest hindrances in there, and that's obviously not something that you can easily change. I don't think you could easily fit the 24- or 36-LED boards in there (and that might be a bit excessive for the plate light anyway).
11-05-2010 03:27 PM
InvisiBill Honestly, I don't think the LED makes a huge difference in the visibility of the plate. Maybe I'll throw the old bulb back in and get some pics for comparison. I really did it mainly because I got the LED for free, and just the general mentality of replacing old crappy bulbs with new LED hotness.

I get what you guys are saying about making your plate more noticeable, but it may not work exactly as you imagine it. I'm basing this on my own experience with Michigan police, based on my driving experiences and my time working for a two-way radio dealer who did radios for pretty much every emergency service in several counties.

Scenario 1 - I have my nice bright LED plate light and am speeding a little.
  1. The cop runs my plate, sees that I have a perfectly clean record except for one minor speeding ticket years ago, I'm a local, and maybe even recognizes my name from when I worked at the radio place. He ignores me and my day proceeds as usual.
  2. The cop runs my plate and sees that I have a speeding ticket on my record. He pulls me over and possibly gives me a ticket.
Best case scenario, he completely ignores me and I just keep driving. Worst case scenario, I get pulled over and get a ticket.

Scenario 2 - I have a poor/dead plate light and am speeding a little.
  1. The cop can't run my plate, so he pulls me over. He runs my info, sees that I have a perfectly clean record except for one minor speeding ticket years ago, I'm a local, and maybe even recognizes me from when I worked at the radio place. He lets me go and my day proceeds as usual after the stop.
  2. The cop can't run my plate, so he pulls me over. He runs my info, sees that I have a speeding ticket on my record. He gives me a ticket for speeding and/or faulty equipment.
Best case scenario, I still get pulled over, but I don't get a ticket. Worst case scenario, I get tickets for speeding and for having a bad plate light.

Unless you're trying to run from the cops without them getting a look at your plate, it seems to me that making it more visible can only make things easier (by letting them run the plate and choose to let it slide). In all my dealings with police, nothing has ever made me think that if they were trying to run a plate but couldn't see it, they'd choose to just let it go rather than pulling you over for it.

Perhaps if you were riding next to another bike, and the cop was behind you just randomly running plates, he might choose yours over the other guy's because it was easier to read. However, other than being the easiest target in a group that's already been selected, I don't think having a slightly better plate light is going to affect whether or not he runs your plate. If he really wants to run your plate, he's going to pull you over anyway (and that gives him some ammo for faulty equipment already).

Maybe it's different elsewhere and depending on your past traffic record, but in my eyes, having the plate be fully visible is just making it easier for him to run his check and decide to ignore me, without having to pull me over. I may still get pulled over and get a ticket, but if he can't read the plate, he's going to pull me over just to get the info even if he does end up letting me off.

I'm all for keeping power in check for the police and government in general. However, I'm also a "path of least resistance" kind of guy too. If they want to see your plate and you're at least generally a law-abiding citizen (i.e. you're going to pull over when they turn their lights on), they're going to see it one way or another. One way, I don't even have to slow down for them to do so. The other way, I'm getting pulled over whether or not I get a ticket. If I'm not going to get a ticket, I'd rather not even get pulled over.

If you have outstanding warrants or don't plan to pull over when you see the red and blue lights come on, this may not be the mod for you. =)
11-05-2010 08:13 AM
ksmnet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris and Shim View Post
All efforts on being seen better.
I understand the desire to be seen better by other drivers, but still you don't have to make the license plate more visible by doing it. That's all I'm saying.
11-05-2010 02:32 AM
Chris and Shim In addition to the LEDs I've got in the turn signals making them brighter and also running and brake lights, I also have an LED license plate holder. All efforts on being seen better. But my plate light itself wasn't even hooked up from the factory. I rewired it so as to work and now it's just plain out for whatever other reasons, so my plate can't be seen at all.
I would very much do this conversion. This is, what, maybe a half hour of diddling for a novice? Since I'm not a novice, maybe an hour for me (LOL).
I just wouldn't want the brightness of the plate light to overpower the other lights.
11-05-2010 01:04 AM
Ccspinner I have one just like that on my Nomad, works great.
11-05-2010 12:58 AM
denny6006
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksmnet View Post
Why in the heck would you want to light up your license plate brighter? If the cops want to read your plate, make them work for it. I'm not an out and out lawbreaker, but I do ride above the speed limit sometimes. I'd rather the plate not be so easily read. I'm just saying...
I'm with you on this one^



11-05-2010 12:18 AM
ksmnet Why in the heck would you want to light up your license plate brighter? If the cops want to read your plate, make them work for it. I'm not an out and out lawbreaker, but I do ride above the speed limit sometimes. I'd rather the plate not be so easily read. I'm just saying...
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