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 09-04-2006, 20:41 Post: 133953
Peters

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I noticed the other day that JW Speaker makes a low profile LED turn and stop lamp for trailers. They claim to be robust and look like they would be less likely to damage than conventional lights.

Has anyone used a pair on a trailer? Do they hold up? I need to replace the ones on my old trailer.






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 09-05-2006, 08:11 Post: 133962
Murf

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Eric, while I have not used those particular ones, almost every trailer (and most truck) tailights in the fleet have been changed over to LED lights in those rubber boots.

If it's possible, I will never put another incadescent bulb on a (big) truck or trailer again.

IMHO, the big reason they are so durable is a two-fold things, first the rubber boot mounting gives it amazing isolation from both vibration and impact, a bump that would break a 'normal' light just moves this style in the rubber boot. Secondly the LED bulb itself is much less subject to the two things that kill bulbs, vibration and on/off cycles.

I don't think we've had to replace an LED light yet.

They also reduce the current draw dramatically, we can run several LED tailights and still only pull a fraction of the current the old bulbs did.

Best of luck.






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 09-05-2006, 10:47 Post: 133976
Peters

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Now comes to the big question. How much are they?






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 09-05-2006, 10:54 Post: 133979
Murf

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The lights we use are typicaly 3 times the cost of a 'regular' light.

However, as I mentioned the durability is unmatched.

An extra $20 for a light, $30 instead of $10, is a pitance to me if I spend $40 in parts & labour during the life of the 'normal' light in broken lenses and bulbs and changing same.

Not to mention the savings by not even getting stopped, let alone any tickets for having burned out tailights.

Best of luck.






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 09-05-2006, 11:25 Post: 133982
Peters

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I was going to start this post with Murf do you know? But I thought it might be a bit presumpous as EW and other have a lot of experience. You are always thinking about these things to save a dollar. I would think 40$ repairs and labour are likely light on the costs. I think you are saving way more than that.
You get a couple of workers pulled over for a ticket or just citation with a minumum of 30 minutes talk time the clock can easily rack up the money. Finding the right bulbs often takes me a few hours. With a lot of the bulbs coming from China they are more like flash bulbs these days.






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 09-05-2006, 11:33 Post: 133983
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L.E.D. Light Emitting Diode is a Excellent choice, for they have NO FILAMENT and will last indefinetely if the Voltage is correct and the Anode and Cathode isn't shorted. They may have a Dropping Resistor to ensure the voltage is where it should be. Automotive voltage will usually vary from 10 to 16 volts D.C. in this case the more expensive ones may also include a Voltage Regulator to keep the voltage constant. Ever wonder why you paid so much more for a Cell Phone cig adapter or Cam Corder Cig Adapter? They require constant voltage and not Variable voltage.
All L.E.D.s I worked with were less than 3vdc and I have not seen the ones in question, they very well may make 12vdc ones now.






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 09-05-2006, 14:43 Post: 133987
Peters

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All LED's run between 1 and 4 volts which is dictated by the n to p band gap in the semi conductors. They must have a transformer in the system to reduce the voltage from the line voltage down to the 3-4 volts from the 12-14.4. I am not sure how the voltage spikes caused by a bad ground on a trailer would effect them.






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 09-05-2006, 15:55 Post: 133988
Murf

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I think the confusion here is the electrical theory itself.

An LED does NOT need a specific voltage, it GIVES a specifc voltage drop, IE about 3.6 volts per LED, and unless you want a VERY short LED life cycle, you must not run them at much more than 20 or 25 ma (milliamps). You can run them much higher, but you won't get the long life that gives you the economy.

So, there is no need, nor do they put, a transformer on them, they have a CURRENT limiting circuit on each one though, to prevent them burning up.

They run several LED's together in series, or several series cicuits run in parallel with each other to create the circuit voltage and current draw that will work best.

For instance, with a voltage drop of 3.6 volts per LED, if you connected 4 together in series, you would have a 14.4 volt drop in the ciurcuit, in a vehicle the normal charging circuit voltage is 14.8 volts, so you would have an almost dead on setup.

Best of luck.






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 09-05-2006, 18:00 Post: 133990
Peters

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That makes sense Murf, but each colour, red, green, yellow and blue has a different voltage as the materials are different and the p to n band gap is different.






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 09-05-2006, 19:30 Post: 133995
earthwrks

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Peters: Funny you mention me, and getting pulled over. Having an oval, grommet-mounted tail/turn signal out is what caught the keen eye of the Alabama DOT and got me the 6 other tickets. Yeeehah!

Anywho, I replaced the right-hand side one numerous times in 3 years since it tends to hit washed out roads/shoulders/pot holes much more that the left. At $13-15 a pop for the incandescent ones, I went with the LED at less than $30 each. Excellent choice. They're instant on/off---high visability. And they're so bright, that they lite up the ground in the morning/nite so I can use them as backup lites with the brakes on---no kidding. And they look cool too.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Trailers Forum

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