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Discussion Starter #1
Back years ago when lightbulbs were specific to their watt, socket and CP(know what that is?) A guy always had to use the right bulb, no matter what anyone told you.
Today, some bulbs make your system completely non-functional and others save you hunreds a month..(well maybe not hundreds).

My goal with these new fangled SMC(know what that is?) bulbs, is to lower the amperage use, so that my fancy taillight addition to my machine doesn't tax the generator so much... The way she is now, whe bears about 24 amps of draw, and the generator building a whopping 20 amps at 5000rpm, would mean I would have to be full race all the way to the chinese food shop to be able to restart the machine once I got there. I have heard very scary stories about needing large power converters, and special blinker units to power them.
 

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Gone.
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I'm not familiar with SMC, but the LED replacement bulbs and units for motorcycles specifically, sometimes will need an added load equalizer, or resistance, in order for the turn signal module to work. If you have the older style mechanical flasher unit, that won't need a load equalizer.
 

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You get the best results with the bulbs that are always on, of course, meaning tail/brake lamp(s), license lamp (if separate), dash lamps, and others. The turn signals can be an issue, because the stock flasher will need to be replaced for an electronic one; you're only saving about 1A with the two running lights, anyway. Also, many bikes connect the flash indicator between the signals on each side, so the off side becomes a ground for it. With LEDs, you just get all four lights flashing, and no indicator; there are ways to deal with that, too, that involve cutting the harness and adding diodes.

On my bikes, I left the turns alone, and replaced the tail/brake, license plate (separate on one bike), and dash bulbs.
 

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American Legion Rider
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And not all LEDS are really bright when installed. I added some on my VTX and they was so bad I put the regular bulbs back in. The amperage saved wasn't worth the safety I lost. Now I admit I got some cheap Chinese LEDS. Just be careful of what you get.
 

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Pale Rider
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SMC appears to be a company's name; "SMD", on the other hand, is short for "Surface Mounted Device", which means the electronic device (diode, resistor, transistor, IC chip, etc.) mounts to the surface of the circuit board, rather than having a wire leg poke through the circuit board (SMD's are much, much smaller, more advanced, and nearly impossible to replace on a circuit board... they're thrown away, rather than being repaired).

LED's pump out many times more Lumens of light, per watt of power used. They are amazing. The problem is that older bike's electrical systems were designed for higher wattage, incandescent bulbs, so when you plug in an LED, which uses 1/5 to 1/10 the wattage, the circuit thinks it is failing, so it shuts itself off -- not all circuits have failure devices, but some do, and they shut down thinking the circuit is failing.

The load balancers are parallel resistors, which draw more power, closer to what the circuit expects, so the fail-safe's don't engage. Using a load balancer also burns those watts you were trying to save, so they defeat the purpose of using LED's unless you just want a bulb that will last 30,000-50,000 hours (typical LED life expectancy), as opposed to 1,500-5,000 hours (typical incandescent bulb life expectancy).

Lots of LED's out there. Some are not bright enough, some have too narrow of a beam pattern, so they can't be seen from the sides. Really need to be careful looking at the specifications, and be certain they fit your application, before you buy. Try looking up the Lumen output of the bulb you want to replace, and compare that to the LED you want to use: it should be equal to, or higher, than the bulb, but don't go too bright in the dash!

Use the correct color LED: use yellow LED's behind a yellow cover lens, red LED's behind a red cover lens. If you use a white LED, behind a colored lens, most of its light will be blocked, and it will be quite dim, and a waste of money. Best of luck. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Smc

Surface Mount Contact.

The guys at the electronics schools got sick of having to stick little wires through the PC(printed circuit) board, and decided to fill all the little holes with solder, then just put a little box thing where it goes and heat it.

It was great for the robotics industry, made the modern phone possible.

almost all electronics today are SMC. The SMD is dead. I know this because I made the mistake of trying to correct one of these young upstarts...

:coffeescreen:
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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Interesting. I am using a white 30 led strip in my tail light. The lens is red. It looks pink or orange at certain times, but I can assure you none of the light is being blocked. The strip came with an automotive socket and a terminal to connect the wires from the strip to. My headlight bulb is 60 LEDs, automotive socket (ba15d aka 1142). My headlight draws 5w and puts out 420 lumens. My tail light draws 2w and puts out 130 lumens. Both are plenty bright. (Little background, my bike is home-built and I customized my lighting system myself). I built parallel circuits for both lights, one side of the circuit has a diode and set of resistors. When I activate the switch that controls this side of the circuit, I have my low beam up front or my tail light on in the rear (separate switches for each light). When I activate the switch that controls the side of the circuit with just the diode, the light goes to full brightness, which gives me high beam in front or brake light in the rear. Also it looks like smd stands for surface mount diode, which my headlight bulb is and I believe also my tail light is. Yes, my tail light is also smd. So maybe smd is not quite as dead as some people seem to think. My headlight bulb was on another bike before this one, its worked fine in the past and I'm not expecting any problems with it in the future. My headlight bulb has a life expectancy of 35,000 hours and my tail light, 40,000.
 

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If a white LED puts out 100 lumens, and a red LED also puts out 100 lumens (but only in red), the red LED will be a lot brighter than the white LED when behind a red filter (lens), because the red filter blocks the green and blue output of the white LED. A red filter does not convert the light of other colors to red, it just absorbs them. The same is true for a filament bulb - when behind a colored filter the total lumens that are output are less than that without any filter. Physics.
 

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Commute Racer
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If your LED is red, why bother putting it behind a red filter? It should already function well as a taillight/brake light with a clear lens.
 

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If your LED is red, why bother putting it behind a red filter? It should already function well as a taillight/brake light with a clear lens.
If you can find a proper clear lens, then that would be fine. Many lights don't have clear replacement lenses, and you don't want to run without one, so you put in a LED that matches the color of the lens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They don't work with the standard wiring and OEM harness on the 83 Venture Royale. They just stay lit and don't flash.
The Royale has a set of 1157 tail-turn in the front, but the rears are single 1156, I don't have any 1156 KED;s so I was trying to use the 1157 in the front, and a set of the same 1157 bulbs in the stop lamp. The resistors required for the LED1157s upped the draw to more than the standard bulbs, even though they would last longer in the torture of a motorcycle, I decided to stick with the bulbs. My laptop in the trunk is going to draw plenty of extra watts anyway.
 

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It's not uncommon for a standard flasher to behave like that; you can install load-equivalent resistors, or get a flasher designed to works with LEDs. Either way, I see no real benefit to LEDs in the flashers, so didn't change mine, just all the other lamps.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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If a white LED puts out 100 lumens, and a red LED also puts out 100 lumens (but only in red), the red LED will be a lot brighter than the white LED when behind a red filter (lens), because the red filter blocks the green and blue output of the white LED. A red filter does not convert the light of other colors to red, it just absorbs them. The same is true for a filament bulb - when behind a colored filter the total lumens that are output are less than that without any filter. Physics.
Well OK, but my tail light is still plenty bright. Couldn't find any red led strips in a good price range but even so, my light is plenty bright enough.
 

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Well OK, but my tail light is still plenty bright. Couldn't find any red led strips in a good price range but even so, my light is plenty bright enough.
Not sure what kind of strip you're looking for, but check on ebay china.. starting with 3 dollars incl shipping...cant go wrong to test some of that.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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Not sure what kind of strip you're looking for, but check on ebay china.. starting with 3 dollars incl shipping...cant go wrong to test some of that.
Not to be rude, but hell no! I never order from outside the US. Had a bad experience once when I ordered screen protectors from china, never got them, emailed the seller and they said they sent a replacement, still never got them. No siree Bob, no thank you. When I search eBay, I set the search parameters to buy it now only, us only, lowest price + shipping first. I absolutely will not buy outside the US. And I have only bid on one item in the entire 5 years I have been using eBay. I rarely even pay for shipping unless I can't avoid it. The led strip I got came with a connector and a socket plug, so I can use it in any light housing I choose as long as its got the same type of socket. And I'm happy with the one I've got, so really no need to go looking for more.
 

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Understandable mr.Shake.
I live in the Netherlands and we have no national manufacturers, all import from the uk, us, cn, de, etc.. anyway.
Meaning prices are real high.
I've build my latest bike with almost all from ebay china, surely it can take a couple of weeks before the mail comes in, but they aĺl did.
Ofcourse you have to avoid the chinese real crap, you get what you pay for. But leds are just cheap without a nice package and brand slapped on to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What a shopping mart! ebay makes it possible for you spend all your money without leaving the comfort of your favorite desk chair...
"I can get anything expedited too, meaning in a couple days I can have anything I want"
I bet that has been said before.
I do the same with the bikes I restore.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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If I can't get it at Walmart, I buy it on eBay. I don't pay for the expedited shipping, in fact most of the stuff I buy is free shipping. Most items get here within 5 business days and most times a lot less. The only way I will pay for shipping is if its an item I absolutely can't find for a better price elsewhere. There are times I have to buy elsewhere, I bought my rims and spokes from another website because eBay didn't have the rims I wanted for a reasonable price, and they didn't have the gauge of spokes I wanted I'm the length I needed. I also don't buy ejuice on eBay because they don't sell anything with nicotine in it. I could add my own nicotine, but I don't know where to get it and even if I did, the price would come out to about the same as it does for buying it with nicotine already in it. But I'm rambling. I do find eBay highly convenient for most things.
 
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