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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Selecting a LED replacement for an incandescent bulb is much more complicated than a car with red lenses. Most LEDs are dimmer than an incandescent. Although LEDs save current (amp draw), brightness is important.

Indeed all LEDs are not equal in brightness. I find the LED tail light with very common surface mount LEDs as shown below in picture on left much dimmer than the round enclosed LED type shown in picture below on right. I am not stating all surface mount LEDs are dim, just that very common surface mount type as shown on left that is sold everywhere is dim.

Order warm white (2400-4000K wavelength) as the license plate needs white illumination plus the red lens needs warm white, not standard white (6000K wavelength). Do not use red LEDs that may get you a ticket from police with dimmer red on the license plate. Also be careful that the LED taillight has LEDs around the perimeter that shines directly on license plate for proper illumination that is bright enough. Most LED taillights have only front facing LEDs directed at the motorcycle lens as viewed from the rear. Finally, the warm white (2400 to 4000K) converts the red lens to red much brighter than standard white that is 6000K wave length. Almost all white LEDs are 6000K wavelength that is a blue-white light that does not contain much red color spectrum.

Also note- ebay search using 6v in title will bring up 6 volt LED replacements. That is also number 1154 for 6 volts. Use either for search one at a time to find 6 volt LEDs.

So, there you have it, LEDs for a motorcycle taillight is much more complicated than one would initially believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Look closely at pictures. The LED on right has a group of LED clear 'bulbs' that is not surface mount and reasonably bright. The LED of left has surface mount LEDs and no 'bulb' over the individual square LEDs. Here are closer up pictures.
 

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I've use both and the one on the right with the encased LED is brighter for my CL350. I used the left one on my XR400 and the difference in the running and bright is very subtle. I will change it out the next time I work on that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)

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If you noticed, the SMD LED bulb Oldgeezer referenced is actually a red LED. Red LEDs will never be as bright as white ones.

If you are going to use LED for the taillight/brake light make sure you are using a white bulb.

This is what I have and it's very bright (day and night) I would say twice as bright as the incandescent bulbs easily. Been using it for quite a while now and have not had any issues with it

2x Super Bright 80SMD BAY15D 1157 Xenon White Tail Stop Brake Light LED Bulb 12v | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If you noticed, the SMD LED bulb Oldgeezer referenced is actually a red LED. Red LEDs will never be as bright as white ones.

If you are going to use LED for the taillight/brake light make sure you are using a white bulb.

This is what I have and it's very bright (day and night) I would say twice as bright as the incandescent bulbs easily. Been using it for quite a while now and have not had any issues with it

2x Super Bright 80SMD BAY15D 1157 Xenon White Tail Stop Brake Light LED Bulb 12v | eBay
My links specify warm white, not red LEDs and my article states warm white, not red. If the links I provided somehow are red although stating warm white, that is not what you want. As for the one picture of a red LED, it is for a closer look at the type and configuration of surface mount LED you do not want, not a link to a specific LED for sale. That specific surface mount configuration only produces about 120 lumens- very dim.

Your link specifies 6000K- 6500K LED frequency. That is not warm white and it will not pass bright red thru the motorcycle lens as 6000K does not produce much red spectrum. It also does not specify lumens output. I recommend a minimum of 280 lumens. LEDs are way more specific to a limited color frequency range unlike an incandescent lamp. All incandescent lamps produce infrared to about 4000K frequency.

No offense taken, I just want to be very specific to what performs well as a motorcycle tail lamp. I never specified red as you stated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here is an example of warm white LED in my MG Midget. These LEDs have a lot of rear facing 'punch' light wise. Not a lot of difference 200 feet away either. Incandescent are less brilliant and fade at 200 feet away. These are running lights, brake light is much brighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
This a picture of taillights with on left has the LED surface mount design I do not like as mentioned vs the right side with design I do like. The left is lacking 'punch'. During the day braking brightness would be uneventful on the left. You can also see with the greater distance the right side brightness does not fade either compared to picture above.
 

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Thanks for the information so far oldgeezer.
My problem with the LED bulbs I have bought (1157 stop and tail) is that there is almost no discernible difference between the tail light being on and the addition of the brake light.

So much so that I am considering a separate brake light somewhere, but as my little CD175 is a tiny bike, it could look a bit rubbish.

Do you have experience with this issue?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is true the LED on low is brighter than incandescent on low. And, the incandescent has a large differential from running to braking light lumens. The LED is not necessary brighter than the LED on brake lights either. The LED is a little more punchy (directional). I use a strobe 3rd brake light on my motorcycle to make sure others understand what I am doing. See picture below.
 

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Reviving an old thread, but wanted to share, as I used the similiar bulb type as 76twin, and wanted to recommend it to others.

I installed this bulb in the tail of my CB160. 1157-WW3W-G Warm 2900K from superbrightleds.com. I chose it because of the sealed glass.

At idle through high revs the running light is much brighter (visual, not measured) than the incandescent, and the brake light is significantly brighter than the running light when engaged.

I do need to say that I replaced the selenium rectifier with a aftermarket solid state rectifier/regulator, and swapped rotors a couple of times until I got one with a good magnetic field. I put a battery tender on the bike between rides, so the battery is normally always near full charge, and regulated. But that was all done prior to installing the LED lights. So that didn't impact my observation to brightness.

When installing the bulb, I had some difficulty getting the rubber ring around the socket entry (stock Honda) to flex enough, as the LED bulb has a raised section where the glass is attached. But even 50 year old rubber will flex if enough pressure is applied, LOL. But be aware of the raised area at the top of the LED base, as this could cause difficulty in some installations.

Overall I was very pleased with the bulb.
 

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Bought some led bulbs for my 'wing a while back. What a joke, the tail light was actually dimmer than stock and the head light was totally useless. Totally unfocussed on high beam or low beam, light going everywhere blinding the oncoming traffic.
 

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If you noticed, the SMD LED bulb Oldgeezer referenced is actually a red LED. Red LEDs will never be as bright as white ones. If you are going to use LED for the taillight/brake light make sure you are using a white bulb.
Well crap, the guy I chatted with at superbrightleds.com told me to pick the red LED for my taillight, not the white one. I hope it's not going to be too dim... :-( but they have a note on there that explains that you can't really compare the lumens output of a red LED to a white LED and conclude the red one is dimmer - which would make sense since the frequency range is more limited, right?
 

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Well crap, the guy I chatted with at superbrightleds.com told me to pick the red LED for my taillight, not the white one. I hope it's not going to be too dim... :-( but they have a note on there that explains that you can't really compare the lumens output of a red LED to a white LED and conclude the red one is dimmer - which would make sense since the frequency range is more limited, right?
I picked up a red LED off of Amazon (don't recall which one, just had a 4+ star rating), and I noticed it was a little brighter.

Edited to add: It was the type that is usually sold as a "1157" bulb replacement. Cost about $15 - $20 for a pair.
 
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