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Author Topic: LED indicator bulbs - WAS "Clear rear indicator lenses for X8/Xevo??"  (Read 24897 times)
loonymoon
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« on: April 09, 2010, 16:34:22 »

As Smurph noted today when following me (and I've thought this for a long time) the red rear indicator lenses on the X8 and XEvo make the indicators look pinkish which is really not easy to define in daylight though they do look more amber at night.

I wondered if it's possible to get clear lenses for the X8/XEvo rear lights indicator but haven't seen them anywhere. Does anyone have any ideas? Either where I could get them from or for possible alternatives??
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 18:14:53 by loonymoon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 17:45:03 »

Try red bulbs rather than clear.
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 20:07:34 »

The indicator bulbs are amber - wouldn't red bulbs make it fail an MOT? Perhaps I wasn't very clear - I meant changing the lenses over the indicators to clear not the rear lights I meant rear Indicator light lenses, I've edited my original post.

The indicators are currently two amber bulbs on each side shining through a red lens. So on a bright day they look kind of pinkish and they're not all that obvious. They show up amber OK at night though. I'd rather the lenses were clear as I'm not overly keen on the look of all the red lenses on the rear anyway!

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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 22:32:35 »

Right I thought you meant the lenses were just a little pink rather than red. If the indicators are already amber lamps there's not a lot that can be done unless brighter amber bulbs could be used.
What type are they on the Xevo?
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 11:27:38 »

They're just glass bulbs 12V 5W bayonet type. Presumably they could be replaced with LED ones - but I'd prefer LED's that are multidirectional as I beleive it's harder to see uni-directional ones from the sides. I'm going to have a quick look now but if you have any suggestions, I'd gratefully hear them!

I can't find clear indicator lenses anywhere, though the early X8 promo pictures do show an X8 with clear rear indicator lenses.
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loonymoon
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 11:36:28 »

Just found these amber  LED bulbs:

from THIS
 SITE


I can't find any multi-directional ones, but as there's two bulbs on either side which are staggered with presumably some kind of reflector on the bike side this might be OK?? The bumf on the site says "Far brighter and with a far wider light span than standard indicator bulbs."
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 12:22:37 »

I would have thought this tower type would be better as it radiates the light all round.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 12:36:25 »

I looked but didn't find them. That's the sort of thing I was looking for. Just having a look on that site now, bit confusing where did you find that one? Do they do them in amber??

EDIT: Ah ha, found this one:



http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/u38218a-wide-angle-indicator-bulb-pair-p-1843.html

Ouch £15.31 a pair and I need two pairs.... hmmmm. Might try the other type first and then come back to these if I don't think the spread is good enough. the others are £11.95 for two pairs!!
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 15:40:04 »

You get what you pay for though with LEDS. Cheap isn't always best value, but it's a gamble as to whether it'll make much difference so...
You could just get one pair and do a back to back comparison before ordering another pair, plus you need ballast resistors too, one for each side.
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 16:13:38 »

Ahh ok thanks I'll have a look for the resistors. From the sites it looks like you just plug them in but I see now (on an ebay guide of all places) that if I did that then the relay will probably think the bulb has blown because it takes less power and flash fast... ah.

It looks more complicated than I first thought then.

Are these any good? They don't look too difficult to fit.

Actually the same shop has the all round LED indicator bulbs at a better price - £8.99 for a pair. Might go for that, plus the resistors are these bulbs the right type to replace the standard bulbs? my manual doesn't give a bulb type!!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 16:48:39 by loonymoon » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2010, 17:43:09 »

All you do with the resistors is wire them across the two wires behind either front or rear of the indicators, wherever is easiest to get at. One is required even if all you are changing is one bulb per side, although once fitted you can go completely LED without needing any further ones. They get a bit warm when the indicators are on for a while but tywrap fasteners are OK to clip them up somewhere.
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2010, 13:03:01 »

Thanks Dave for all your help (yet again). I've ordered a two pairs of LED indicator lamps from ebay (the ones with 37 LEDs at top and sides) and two of the resistors.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2010, 13:09:10 »

Bummer... I just thought of something. The Xevo uses a normal flasher relay not a digidash controller so you could simply have replaced the relay for ones that use LEDS. Simpler than messing with resistors. Motrax make them for many different bikes with 2 pin 3 or 4 pins so whatever matches yours would do, they are generally a standard design and most bike dealers sell them.
Might be worth picking one up locally and keeping the resistors. Someone with an X9 may need them sometime and you could sell them on the forum.
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2010, 13:13:17 »

I did actually see replacement LED indicator relays on a site somewhere as well!! Ah well.

Presumaby there's just one relay controlling all the indicators (front and back)? So if I replace the rears with all LED's but don't replace the fronts might that mean that if I replace the relay and a front indicator bulb blows I won't get the fast flashing?
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2010, 13:27:16 »

Not sure. I think they will still respond as per normal as long as there is at least 1 LED per side. I know they do not like having all the bulbs changed back to standard.
There is just the one relay normally and the switch both completes the circuit and determines which side circuit is connected. The hazard switch overrides it and connects both together.
To avoid interfering with the loom on the X9 I have added both the resistors and bleepers inside the mirror stems so they can easily be got at.
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2010, 13:33:03 »

Hmm. I'm not planning to replace the front indicator bulbs with LED's as I think they're fine as they are (standard amber lenses) and they show up fine against the blue.

Is the relay easy to get to? I have no clue about bike wiring!!

Perhaps I'll just use the resistors anyway as I'll have them, they look easy enough for an electrical numpty like me to fit (with the help of my technically savvy other half!).
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2010, 12:00:32 »

The LED lights and resistors turned up today. I might have a go at fitting them tonight, I'll try to get some before and after pics/video to compare and see if they're any good.

I'm going to fit the bulbs and see what they look like before fitting the resistors.

If i do fit the resistors and then sometime in the future decide to go back to normal bulbs is it just a case of unclipping the connectors and taping the wire where they were connected with electrical tape or will the wire be too damaged for that??
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2010, 12:44:41 »

Just bare and splay/flatten the ends of the resistor wires and nip them in the spade connectors at the back of the bulb holders then it's non-destructive. All you do then is 'unplug' them when not required without leaving any damaged wiring to repair. Not the purist method but it has it's advantages and better than scotch-lok connectors.
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2010, 13:12:54 »

Thanks Dave I'll see how it looks when I get to it. Hopefully it'll be easy to do as you suggest... slight problem may be that there will be two bulb holders each side as there's two bulbs under each indicator lens, but I only bought 2 resistors (one for each side) so I may not be able to do it that way.
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2010, 14:32:09 »

1 resistor each side will do for any number of LED bulbs so if you fitted the resistor to the easiest lamp to access it will be fine. Try both the bulbs in the same side then you can see the comparison by using the hazards.
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2010, 14:38:43 »

Ok that sounds easier then!

Yes I was going to do one side, take some pics/video with the standard bulbs first, then put the LED's in try without the resistors and then with. when I'm happy I'll do the other side.

One of 3 mods I want to do to the scoot- already got the heated grips, the next thing is the horn but I'm going to get the mechanic to do that at the first service, just because i can't be bothered to remove the tupperware!
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2010, 18:41:32 »

AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHH!!! 

Flippin' Piaggio crappy manual.... it's the wrong type of bulbs!!!!!! All that was written in the manual was "ALL GLASS 12V 5W" which to me and going by the fact that they looked like normal indicator bulbs suggested they WERE standard indicator bulbs.

I got the rear indicator pods out no problem, but it looked like this (i.e. no spade connectors).



It was then that I had a better look... no way the bulbs I bought were going to fit. Tellingly on the back of the indicator pods was written W5W..... ARRRGGGH So why the ..... didn't Piaggio put that in the flippin' manual then!!  

Actually what they are is a white W5W on the rubber bung thing which then shines through an amber glass globe and then the red lenses.... no wonder the indicator illumination is pathetic. From the outside the amber globe looked like a normal indicator bulb.

Just to illustrate that point here's a video and a couple of photos of the indicator on the XEvo (it's the same on the X8 though I'd never investigated it this far). So as you can see on a bright day with reflections etc, the already pathetic indicators are rendered virtually un-noticible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY7_3e-1q2Y









Hmm now I have two packs of LED indicator bulbs going spare.... I'll have to contact the ebay seller and see if they have any W5W LED equivalents!!

While I had the light cluster off I took the opportunity to note down the type that the other bulbs were. The brake bulbs were R10W and the tail lights were W3W.
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2010, 18:53:02 »

You could splice in the resistors where that white connector is.
So the bulbs are wedge type then? Like the X9 front sidelights. In that case you want these babies...
http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/501194t10-mini-light-tower-leds-amber-p-1549.html
Getting amber LEDS in this style is harder. You can get ones twice as bright in white, but they may not fit inside the little coloured caps.
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2010, 19:03:11 »

Sorry just still annoyed that Piaggio don't think it's a good idea to put what type of bulb is needed in the manual... hmmmmm. The actual job of fitting the resistors (if needed) looked quite easy once I'd opened it up!

I've just contacted the seller of the LED's I bought to see if they have any W5W equivalents (doesn't look like they do) and to take the others back.

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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2010, 22:54:44 »

or you could concider taking a customising route?

search for '12v amber led lights' or '12v Yellow led lights' on Ebay, to see the various options.

perhaps use the 15 led flexible strips and fashon them around the corners of the 'tuperware' just under the original lens, or use additional marker lights.

very simple to wire in as you simply connect them across existing lamp, current drain is minimal so won't noticeably affect existing flasher relay operation.

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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2010, 07:21:18 »

I did think of that Alan, but the indicator is a sealed unit (I can't remove the lens from the back) so any LED strips have to go outside somewhere. I'm not too keen on sticking them outside as they'd look a bit odd!
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2010, 08:16:26 »

appreciated you can't get inside, from what i could see it's not viable to drill through the 'cup' from the rear to poke some addional LEDS into it.

so i was just suggesting a more radical alternative approach to beefing up what is the stock illumination by adding lights to overcome the visibility problem in an easier way, you don't have a top box fitted in the photo or you could add lights to that area.

the 15 LED strips for instance come housed in a very flexible waterproof polythene type material, looks like dried clear bath sealant and appears clear when not lit, having a flat back makes them ideal for using with some thin double sided tape as a fixture.

it's one way i was considering for my Swing, using the neon blue versions is to buy some chrome 'C' or 'U' shaped car body trim. if you can imagine i'm going to use the chrome strip simply as a pretty holder, it will be actually be mounted upside down exposing the 'U', then i'm slotting the LED strip into that, having 1st attached the chrome stripe (via some small bolts or nylon tree's), by drilling through the chrome strip and the plastics. these fixings will be hidden from view by the LED strip being inserted, and in turn it is held by the pressure so still accessible.

for my Sinclair C5 i have bought a pair of custom indicators that have a curved angled back, could be ideal to mount near the corner of the plastics on you scooter so there ar many options available and imo with a bit of time, care are and planning a really functional and cool minor customised effect could then be had.

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loonymoon
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2010, 08:34:09 »

appreciated you can't get inside, from what i could see it's not viable to drill through the 'cup' from the rear to poke some addional LEDS into it.

Maybe though there doesn't look to be huge amounts of space in there and the two existing bulbholders are stepped so the back of the indicator housing isn't flat which might make getting any LED strip in a bit more difficult.

I'll see what replacing the original bulbs looks like before I decide if it needs anything else. Having a top box would make life easier for this sort of thing. I was thinking of fitting a second brake light strip to the X8 when I had it as I nearly had 2 people crash into the back of me, but there's not an easy place to fit them without cutting plastics etc which I'm reluctant todo.

I wasn't intending to get a top box as I had one on the X8 and I very rarely used it, but did feel that it effected the handling somewhat and adds a lot of extra weight, plus it's an expensive item to buy if I only use it  twice a year like I did the one on the X8.
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2010, 10:06:19 »

know totally what you mean about cutting any plastics, when working as a trainee alarm engineer i had the philosophy drummed (aka beaten) into me 'think twice before you dice' and twice again.

no client wants hole in their walls they don't need, even less want you to drill through a pipe, electrics or knock a clock of the wall. so i took nearly 3 hours over mounting my top box onto the virgin 'wing', 2 1/2 of that was spent measuring and chin scratching for a less impacting option - and then working up the courage to drill .

bit the bullet as i need the box to carry kit for servicing work and small installations, so it tends to stay on. and tbh, imho to me scoots simply seem to look naked without one.

from looking back at you pictures, if it were me i'd likely mount a high viz led brake light strip or 1/2 oval shaped lamp just under and along that top lip 'wing' at the back. you can see one before you buy them, many ready housed in most auto accessory shops or search on ebay for them.

regs
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2010, 10:17:11 »

Quote from: creamcrackered
from looking back at you pictures, if it were me i'd likely mount a high viz led brake light strip or 1/2 oval shaped lamp just under and along that top lip 'wing' at the back. you can see one before you buy them, many ready housed in most auto accessory shops or search on ebay for them.

regs
alan

Yes that is the obvious place to fit one - can you get ones that stick on? It' still require drilling a hole for the electrical connection but it may be worth it. I think you can get a rubber grommet to waterproof the hole the wires go through, can't you? Routing it so it doesn't interfere with the hinge for the boot lid would be a bit of a challenge but I'm sure surmountable to anyone with a bit of electrical savvy who's used to fitting these things. I however am not. My other half is quite good with electronics etc but I think he'd be reluctant to start drilling holes etc.
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« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2010, 10:55:15 »

you can buy various types of grommet and also sizes, from simple 'o' ring type. blind to ones and others with a 'tail' lead strain reliefs (like on electric irons) from Maplins etc

tbh as to which light to use, do the searches on Ebay for idea's, your taste's may differ to mine (or my lack of it more like ).

the wires can be sheathed in some plastic/rubber tubing or better split composite hose, it is used in cars. again sold in accessory shops to have a look at it. likely you will need a hole for the wires, the grommets 1st job is really to stop any chaffing, plastic bodywork won't rust but you need to think about water ingress to whatever is below it.

cable ties to bind wires to the frame etc. are very useful to control wires against interfering with any other facilities on the bike like the hing, forward planning and patience is of vital value for top results in any job, and while priceless, it can't be bought or read up on.

regs
Alan
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creamcrackered
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« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2010, 10:58:53 »

just an idean of my tast's -:

http://stores.customizedchoppers.com/Items/WW19233?&caSKU=WW19233&caTitle=REPLICA%20MILLER%20%27STOP%27%20REAR%20TAIL%20LIGHT%20CLASSIC%20CUSTOM%20LIGHTING

regs
alan
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2010, 18:08:39 »

New LED indicator W5W's turned up and they're fitted.

Briefly- didn't need the ballast resistors as the indicators behaved perfectly normally.

The angle that you put these LED tower bulbs in makes a big difference to how much reflection you see off the reflectors. I played with it for a while until I was happy with the amount of diffusion of the light by the reflectors. From the directly at the sides you can't see reflections off the reflectors as I'd angled them to be more visible from behind and slightly to either side but you can still see the light from the individual diodes which is still OK.

Much happier with it now, though it was tried in the shade it'll be interesting to see how much difference it makes in bright light. Certainly the LED's are much more noticible under those conditions. Pics and vid to follow.
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2010, 20:51:33 »

No resistors?
I wonder if that is because there are 2 LEDS and still a normal bulb in the front. Or the relay is already LED compliant.
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2010, 22:24:06 »

Don't know but it seems fine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LE-NWkGZC8
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2010, 23:14:07 »

If it's an external indicator relay like the Mp3s and fuoco - make sure the connector is well filled with dielectric (e.g. silcone) grease.  Or else you will have this trouble:
http://www.x9gallery.co.uk/home/thumbnails.php?album=32
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2010, 09:56:09 »

Jim, what grease do you use, my 2 tubes I was given have just about been used up and I can't find anything similar in the shops and am reluctant to order on-line before being able to read the 'small print' about electrical properties?
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Anderton 2004, Pen-y-cae 2005, Matlock 2006, Hay on Wye 2007, Minehead 2008, St Florence 2010, Newent 2011, North Kyme 2012, Betsw-y-coed 2013, Hardraw 2014, Parkend 2015, Whitby 2016, Mundesley 2017, Derby 2018, Telford 2019, Loch Doon 2020, Cumbria 2021.
jimc
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2010, 12:25:52 »

Maplins sell it: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=029006&TabID=1&QV=Y

Quote
Product Features

Lubricates, waterproofs, insulates and preserves electrical and electronic equipment
High surface resistivity
Ideal for switch contacts, ignition systems and EHT connections
Operational from -5 C to +200 C
Available in 200ml (RE81C) aerosol and 50g tube (RE90X)
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Jim Crowther
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Dave Milnes
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 17:00:16 »

Cheers, CPC seem to have something comparable too and it's just up the road from work.
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2004 X9 500 Evo in YELLOW - 2016 Maxsym 600i Sport
Anderton 2004, Pen-y-cae 2005, Matlock 2006, Hay on Wye 2007, Minehead 2008, St Florence 2010, Newent 2011, North Kyme 2012, Betsw-y-coed 2013, Hardraw 2014, Parkend 2015, Whitby 2016, Mundesley 2017, Derby 2018, Telford 2019, Loch Doon 2020, Cumbria 2021.
loonymoon
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 18:13:07 »

When I rode to the bikesafe day my indicators were flashing fast! So I had to quickly change the bulbs back to the standard ones while I was there.
But here's the weird thing, they='re still flashing fast on single side indicator but flashing the correct speed when on Hazards (I think this was happening the whole time but I tested them on hazards)??



EDIT: AHem... Problem caused by me being wussy with the scotch connectors and not nipping the metal bit down across the wires properly,   Jason had a go at them and now it's all working fine....

OOPS!


So I learned 2 things - how to fit scotch connectors (never done it before), and that the indicator relay is a seperate one from the Hazards relay - Hazards relay seems to be LED compliant - normal direction indicator is not.. The Hazards relay is really loud clicking the direction one is not.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 18:42:55 by loonymoon » Logged

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loonymoon
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2010, 11:14:16 »

Hmm, I'm still not entirely happy with this indicator bulb set up I have.

On yesterdays rideout I was following the X8 125 for a little while which has the standard setup of bulbs and I was noticing how pink they are and not obvious in bright sunlight. However when we stopped some the chap who was behind both of us said he reckoned he could see the X8's indicators better than mine which were replaced with LED bulbs.

This was a disappointment as when I tested them (LED's one side, normal bulbs the other) I reckoned the LED's were both brighter and more amber...

HOWEVER I  think that the angle of view is very important with these LED bulbs. When I put them in I tried to angle them so that for a person sitting in a car behind would get the full benefit of the LED's reflecting off the reflectors in the indicator housing. However if you're positioned either higher up (on a bike) or to a side this may not be the case and you probably do just see small bright pinpricks of light which aren't that noticible in bright sunlight.

These are the LED bulbs I got on Dave Milne's recommendation:



I can't see any other LED's in the W5W configuration that would have more diodes at more angles. So is there any way I can diffuse the light a bit more to get it bouncing round the reflectors more?

Or perhaps I should angle one bulb in each housing at a different angle to the other (there's two each side) so that there's more chance of seeing at least one of them from different angles of view???

Other wise I may have to go back to the original bulbs which are not at all satisfactory either (removing the resistors I installed as I guess if I put the original bulbs back in the resistors may cause harm??).

I wish I could just replace the entire indicator housing with a more sensible one!!
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« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2010, 11:22:51 »

When Ed was driving buses he complained regularly about just how difficult it was to see LEDs, even on vehicles which have them fitted as standard.
As you say, unless one is exactly in the right place/level to see them, they are invisible.

 
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Mike.
Honda Forza 350 - Adso
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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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loonymoon
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« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2010, 11:27:44 »

It's a pain as the only reason I changed them was because the standard indicators on the XEvo are rubbish, so it was not just a pointless mod. I think for the time being I'm keeping the LED's as at least at some angles they are better. I'll keep investigating alternatives though.

I'm currently looking to see if there's alternative bulb types. Finding them in Amber is difficult and there's less choice, but the originals are white anyway, I don't know whether a brighter White LED might help - but then they'd still be Pink just perhaps brighter so not really a solution either!!

Perhaps a small amount of tissue paper round the LED head might diffuse the light enough to get it less directional???  Desperation here (though LED's shouldn't get hot so might actually be an idea??)

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loonymoon
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« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2010, 18:17:24 »

Well I got the new LED bulbs and they're absolute rubbish do I'm going to try to send them back, they're far worse than the ultraLED towers. So what I've actually done for the time being is replaced one of the LED towers each side with the standard white wedge bulb, and left one each side as the LED... I'm not happy with that arrangement but reckon perhaps it gives the best of both worlds??? I've got spare LED towers and normal W5W's now if any blow.

I'm wondering if normal capless W5W's but in amber would solve the "pink looking" indicator problem. If I do that though I guess I'll have to remove the resistors. I'm also not sure whether using the resistors in the current half LED and half normal bulb form might cause problems? Dave M or anyone care to comment?
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