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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone has had any problems with changing their rear tail lights to LED's. I found a replacement with about 12 LED's that is bright and a direct fit. I put it in last night and they worked great but the brake lights didnt work. Looked at the fuse and blew the fuse. Changed that and now the rear night (driving?) lights are out but the brake lights work. I couldnt find another blown fuse. I was wondering if anyone else has tried this, had similar problems, or just has any advice.

My only thought is that because the impedance on these lights is so low that the current draw is shooting through the roof (good old Ohm's law V=IR. The voltage should remain constant and the impedance changes I could see the amperage going up) I figured if the voltage was 12V and the normal impedance of the light was 30ohms it would have a current of 0.4amps but if the impedance of the LED was 1-2ohms it would be more like 6-12amps and I think it has a 10 amp fuse. Does this make sense or does anyone have any different ideas?
 

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if it is an led bulb then thats your problem. LED bulbs are only for running lights. i had them in my sentra se-r until i realized they dont work as brake lights. i eventually ended up buying a black housed 27 LED tail lamp assembly for my ride. give it a few more months and you frontier owners and hopefully me a future frontier owner will have nice LED tail options
 

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Longing4MyFrontier said:
if it is an led bulb then thats your problem. LED bulbs are only for running lights. i had them in my sentra se-r until i realized they dont work as brake lights. i eventually ended up buying a black housed 27 LED tail lamp assembly for my ride. give it a few more months and you frontier owners and hopefully me a future frontier owner will have nice LED tail options
:huh: :huh: Why wouldn't LED's work as brake light?:thatswck:
I'm not an expert in LED's, but I know enough to make my own LED tail lights. You can do anything with those fuggers.
 

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I'd like to see a picture of a Fronty with LED brake lights... that would look cool....
 

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My only thought is that because the impedance on these lights is so low that the current draw is shooting through the roof (good old Ohm's law V=IR. The voltage should remain constant and the impedance changes I could see the amperage going up) I figured if the voltage was 12V and the normal impedance of the light was 30ohms it would have a current of 0.4amps but if the impedance of the LED was 1-2ohms it would be more like 6-12amps and I think it has a 10 amp fuse. Does this make sense or does anyone have any different ideas?

Sorry, not to be derogitory or anything but I'm and electronics tech and just wanted to let you know that impedance is the force opposing an AC signal. In this case you have a DC voltage coming from the truck battery so you have a resistance problem. In V=IR you have voltage equals current times resistance. Impedance is abbreviated by Z and is found with Z=V/I where the Impedance is found by the ratio of the phasor voltage across the element to the phasor current through the element.

I agree that there has to be some sort of flasher for the LEDs to be used as turnsignals or hazzerd lights. On a normal truck the brake lights are illuminated by activating a second fillament in the bulb to make it brighter than the running lights. LED's only have one fillament so LED's are not going to work as both running lights and brake lights unless only half of the LED's are activated in the running light state and then the other half are powered durring braking. Hope this helps.
 

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i have LEDs in mine. you have to put a resistor in the wire. the company i got mine from called it a "load equalizer". iv got some fancy ones that are all enclosed in a case if youd like to buy them. i had them installed on my ranger, but pulled them out when i sold it. i believe they are 6 ohm. i dont know what impedence you would need for yours, but they worked for me. im not sure if this would solve your problem or not.
 

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shift_this said:
i have LEDs in mine. you have to put a resistor in the wire. the company i got mine from called it a "load equalizer". iv got some fancy ones that are all enclosed in a case if youd like to buy them. i had them installed on my ranger, but pulled them out when i sold it. i believe they are 6 ohm. i dont know what impedence you would need for yours, but they worked for me. im not sure if this would solve your problem or not.
When I installed Kuryakyn LED running/turn signal lights in my Harley Sportster I had to splice in a couple of load balancers, one for the front signals, one for the rears. Here is a copy of the instructions that came with the LEDs. Follwing them was a few warnings about how hot the equalizers get, so don't run them too long or install them too close to other wiring, etc. Obviously things will be different (harness locations, wire colors) on the Frontier, but you get the idea.

Step 5 If the turn signals light but do not flash, or flash normally for four or five times then go into a rapid flash mode, or if the security system warning light in the dash is lit, an additional load equalizer (included) is needed. For easiest installation, splice it into the main lighting wire harness under the seat using the included clip type splices. The equalizer will have two purple wires, and one black wire. The purple wires are turn signal positive wires; they are not side specific. The black wire is ground. Connect one each of the equalizers violet wires to the violet and brown wires on the bikes lighting harness. Connect the black wire from the equalizer to a black wire on the bikes harness. If the bike is equipped with a Panacea taillight system, or a Run-Turn-Brake controller, splice the additional load equalizer on to the similar colored wires of the equalizer already in use.
 

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I attempted this last night as well....popped my tail light fuse (under hood) and my brake light fuse (glove compartment). Sucks that you have to do so much modding just to get LEDs to work on this vehicle. I suppose it's the same deal if I want amber LED blinkers in front?
 

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How did you overcome the lack of brightness difference between brake / tail on the LED?

From Jon, a technical support rep at CustomLED.com

This does NOT sound like a load issue. Our load equalizers would add
even more load to the system. Your problem sounds very very strange. I
assume you are using some LED replacement lamps that simply plug into the stock bulb sockets? I would bet that there is a problem with the LED
replacement lamps you bought. They are probably not reverse voltage protected (diode isolated) to prevent back-feeding of current from the running light circuit to the brake light circuit and so on. I would find another (better) manufacturer for the LED replacement lamps.

If your turn signals are blinking faster than stock and you want to
slow them down, that's where our Stage II Load Equalizers would be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I think I figured it out.

I think I figured out the issue. Our Frontiers use similar light setups to GM vehicles. They have a certain polarity configuration that will only allow for a certian type of bulb to be used. The first one I used was a generic 3157 LED bulb. The new one I ordered is the same as the GM ones (SRCK/SACK Compliant.) The ones I ordered should be nice since they have both 19 LED pointing out the end but also 6 around the sides to fill the light housing).

Here is a link for anyone who is interested:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/commerce.cgi?product=CAR


Just to clarify some earlier posts. LED's CAN be used as brake light and running lights. My G35 has stock lights used in this application. You just need to buy the right ones. They have two diodes and you can either light one or two based on the input. The turn signals are another story. Because LED have a low resistance, the car thinks that it is not supplying enough current and the blinker will blink really fast. If you put a resistor on there (as someone in a previous post did) it will blink normally.


I will post picks once the new ones arrive. One interesting note: The old ones only blew with the running lights. The brake lights worked fine!

06NISMOCrew said:
Sorry, not to be derogitory or anything but I'm and electronics tech and just wanted to let you know that impedance is the force opposing an AC signal. In this case you have a DC voltage coming from the truck battery so you have a resistance problem. In V=IR you have voltage equals current times resistance. Impedance is abbreviated by Z and is found with Z=V/I where the Impedance is found by the ratio of the phasor voltage across the element to the phasor current through the element.

I agree that there has to be some sort of flasher for the LEDs to be used as turnsignals or hazzerd lights. On a normal truck the brake lights are illuminated by activating a second fillament in the bulb to make it brighter than the running lights. LED's only have one fillament so LED's are not going to work as both running lights and brake lights unless only half of the LED's are activated in the running light state and then the other half are powered durring braking. Hope this helps.
Thanks..but your formula is simply symantics and a mathmatical isolation for impedance. Voltage=Current X Impedance is the same a Impedance =Voltage/Current. What abreviation you use makes no difference in the calculation. Also, LED's do not use a filament. They have a diode that emits light as current is passed though it. A filament produces light when current passes through it which gets hot and causes it to glow.

I feel like I am being a smarta** and dont mean to be. I am a biomedical engineer and electronics is certainly not my specialty so I will take all the input you have. I know in my EE classes that if you mentioned the term "resistance" rather than "impedance" the professor would tear you a new one. Thanks for the comments and help.
 

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So you're able to confirm that the GM spec'd lights will work on our trucks? I planned to do the load equalizer modification to make the blinkers work, but first I must work the bugs out of the taillight portion.
Could you post your results after you've installed the GM lights?

Thanks
 

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what the guy told you about the diode protection is true. if my electronics memory serves me correctly, it you put them in backwards, you are creating a dead short. it would be like taking a short wire and jumping it across the 2 terminals of the bulb socket. mine, however, are diode protected. you can even see the diodes in them. they are mostly black with a white ring around one side. only about 1/8th inch in length.
 

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Well, I guess I'd be a fool for not asking...where did you get your LED brake / tail bulbs? I just ordered a set of SRCK/SACK Compliant 25-led bulbs from SuperbrightLEDs.com in hopes of having better luck. Are these not going to work either?
 

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i got all my stuff auto indulgence http://shop.autoi.com/osb/showitem.cfm?Category=0
all the stuff comes from a company called jam strait. www.jamstrait.com however, you need to go though a distributor because they do not sell to individuals, just companys. if you have an autozone in your area, i think you can order jam strait products from them too.

if you do order from them, get the brightest ones. the cheepies are no good. very hard to see in daylight
 

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Ahh, yes...I was on the phone with Jamstrait several times yesterday. They'd never heard of my issue and only suggested I use the load equalizer, even though that's used to fix blinker problems, which I don't have. (yet). I want to get the taillight issue fixed before I tackle blinkers.

Thanks for replying with info. So, you're using Jamstrait bulbs...are you using the load equalizer on the taillights, or blinkers?
 
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