Author Topic: Trunk light: brake or tail?  (Read 3264 times)

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Offline Tour1

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Trunk light: brake or tail?
« on: July 30, 2016, 10:53:24 am »
I am putting a used trunk on my C10 and pondering whether the light should be wired as a tail light for better visibility all the time or as a brake light for better safety while braking.  The trunk will obscure some of my reflective clothing but an always-on light would make the brake light less significant when it comes on.  The trunk is a Givi monkey and has only 2 small wires so the light isn't very high power.
1 tail light is out, both brake bulbs working.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 11:38:36 am by Tour1 »
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Offline Bruce_Reafsnider_TN

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2016, 01:23:02 pm »
Check into Admore Lighting for your model of Givi.  I have tail, brake, turn signals all wired into my Givi and it was a piece of cake.  THey supply vampire taps so you don't have to hack up your wiring harness.  :great:

Offline Tour1

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2016, 01:56:32 pm »
Right now Plan A is to wire the trunk through an accessory relay and use it as a tail light.  It doesn't look really bright compared to the brake light and I replaced the brake bulbs with LED 1157 bulbs which look nicely bright with the brakes on.  I'm leaving the turn signals old-fashioned until I become familiar with the flasher location.
My bike has an extra signal-stat red clearance light below the brake light.  It was out but I found a wire disconnected inside it and now it works.  If nothing on the bike burns out it should make a nice vertical line from the trunk to the tail light to the signal-stat and those lights will lean when I lean to get attention, hint that it's a bike, and indicate where I am going when I swerve, all good things IMHO.
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2016, 02:23:42 pm »
My case isn't a Givi, but I wired my brake light to it.  Letting people know I'm stopping is a top priority.
Having the extra brake light up high is more in 'line of sight', and might 'pop' more if it's behind the cage driver's
cell phone.  Riding mostly during the day, the full on marker light would serve less purpose for me,
at night, that light might be mistaken for a brake light, and when it doesn't go on, might cause a problem.

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Offline beaucephus

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2016, 03:54:24 pm »
Anything you can do to increase the difference between running lights and braking is a good idea. 

Offline Jorge

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2016, 07:45:14 pm »
I wired my Givi to the brake lights and even added some LEDs behind the red lens on the trunk... like Marty, I want to make sure people know I'm braking.
It took a little work,but I'm happy with the results and I think it works well. Here's a not-so-great photo of the result.
Either way you go, you'll make an improvement.
Jorge

Offline Tour1

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 03:36:19 pm »
I like big LED brake light idea and I have a handful of red ones that I'll put to good use some day.  I need to experiment with the brightness a little bit.  As I recall they each took a brown-black-red resistor at 5 volts to get decent desk top brightness.  That's 5 volts / 1000 ohms = 5 milliamps each (doing the math as much for me as for you, it's been a long time).  Daylight brightness needs more current therefore less resistance.  There's an upper limit to the brightness I'm sure.
A current limiting circuit kit is cheap and likely adjustable but I'll have to consider the options when the time comes.  I don't want to build anything that catches fire either!
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Offline ManWorkingHere

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 05:21:03 pm »
Check into Admore Lighting for your model of Givi. 

I have tail, brake, turn signals all wired into my Givi and it was a piece of cake. 

They supply vampire taps so you don't have to hack up your wiring harness.  :great:

+1

1.  I have a Givi 46L trunk and bought an Admore kit to use with it.

2.  Took a bit of work to interpret their wiring colors to my C-10 harness. 

3.  Also, the supplied Admore wires are thinner than my wiring harness so I chose to buy larger 'vampire' plugs to cope with stabbing into the heavier gauge wires of my harness wires.



I do to appreciate having a 'head high' brake light and turn signal at the height of most car drivers.  Turn signals in trunk blink when the bike does and brake lights show up when the bike slows too.
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Offline Tour1

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 07:37:43 am »
Looks like $139 for the lighting kit, compared to stuff I already bought for the total DIY, and a lot more effort.
Hmmm...
Looking at Jorge's trunk lights makes me wonder if I could create a scary evil-eye pattern.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 03:05:52 pm by Tour1, Reason: added a thought, not worth a full post :-) »
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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 12:06:58 am »
When I first got my Givi E460 trunk, I set up the light as a brake light.  Since then, (and after the pic below was taken) I found some LED light strips that fit into the center red trim strip.  There is a space under that red strip that is about 1/2 x 3/8 inch as I recall, just dying to have LED's in it.  I set those up as all-the-time running lights.  I also hav a "STOPPER" LEd light on the license plate (from Aerostitch), and some-home-made LED lights just inboard of the turn signals.  You can't have too much light.

Also installed the old Gizmomill brake light that replaces the OEM bulbs, but you can't get them anymore.

The 3M reflective tape is a real plus, too.  You can get the tape a lot of places or from Larry Buck.  Black in daylight to blend with the bags, but bright white at night when headlights hit it.

pic below

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Offline Jorge

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 06:33:45 pm »
I took the easy way to connecting the LEDs...
I purchased a 1M long LED strip from Superbrightleds.com. I then cut them into the shorter strips to fit the Givi sections. Each section has solder pads for wires. I ended up with 7 strips, each with the wires, and connected them all in parallel. The strips bring their own resistors, so it was a snap. The 1M long strip cost me about $24. They seem well made, and they are bright enough to be seen in the daylight.
Jorge

Offline GKreamer

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 02:37:29 pm »
I wired my Givi to the brake lights and even added some LEDs behind the red lens on the trunk... like Marty, I want to make sure people know I'm braking.
It took a little work,but I'm happy with the results and I think it works well. Here's a not-so-great photo of the result.
Either way you go, you'll make an improvement.
Jorge
Maybe a dumb question, but did your GIVI come with lighting options or did you add this yourself?

Offline Jorge

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 10:16:54 am »
I got a great deal... it came with the mounting kit, backrest, rack, and the light kit. Didn't realize how great a deal it was until some time after it had it. Bought it form a former C10 owner who had moved to a wing for increased safety and comfort for his wife. Really nice guy from Cinci area.
Jorge

Offline Cal

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 03:10:12 am »
an answer to the original question - brake or running light setup...

- when in motion the observational abilities of the rider are the best safety factor beyond conspicuity of rider or bike

- when slowing or stopping your ability to avoid a situation is greatly restricted due to lower speed and concentration of traffic around you

so my recommendation would be to increase your ability to be seen while slowing (flash several times before going to constant STOP!) or at a stop (continuously on) - because that is when your greater risk of not being noticed and not being able to get away occurs.

my preference is to have you add both running and STOP abilities.

Cal (CSC - or MSF equivalent trainer in Canada)

Offline Yamahawk

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Re: Trunk light: brake or tail?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2016, 11:17:36 am »
You can actually hook both tail AND brake lights up, if you be creative and use a diode and resistor on the tail light  voltage, then splice the brake light  wire AHEAD of the tail light diode and resistor. This means the voltage from the tail light wire is reduced, to give the lower illumination as per the tail light, and then full voltage is applied through the brake light wire. I have done this with LED strips to good effect on a cafe racer bike I built, and used one LED strip for the tail/brake light. -p0=olm,Make sure you hook the brake light wire between the diode/300ohm resistor and the light on the trunk. The brake wire will supply full 13.8 volts, and the tail light wire will supply reduced voltage to 'dim' the trunk light. The diode will not allow the brake voltage to back-feed into your tail light supply either. Hope this helps!
Charlie
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