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Adding an extra brake light on an early model, need some help

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    #31
    Originally posted by Mo Brighta View Post
    If I might ask, which LED Light bulbs are you employing?

    Using some cheap "KATUR" LED bulbs from Amazon at the moment.
    Specs from the description: 0.30A, 3.6W, 900Lums.


    They are working well so far, and are brighter then the original brake lights.


    Still using traditional incandescent bulbs for the second set (in rear fog spot), so if the LEDs die I still have functional brake lights.
    If I find these LEDs prone to failure I'll explore higher quality LED bulbs.

    '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
    '90 Mazda Miata NA
    '04 Jeep TJ
    '05 Yamaha R6 (trackbike)

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      #32
      LED second brake lights

      I have heard folks say that "this thread is worthless without pictures" ... but you do have pictures - earlier on.

      How about a picture of the appearance from behind (say 25 feet back) with the brake lights ON - I am very curious to see the effect of the LED brake light side by side with the incandescent or standard brake.

      Reason is, some LEDs point the light sideways at the reflector, some of them shoot it straight up, through the lens without utilizing the parabolic reflector dish, so the 'bright spot' is smaller, and the beam is narrower.

      Thanks!

      Now if you think an extra brake is good (which it is), then think what an extra brake AND an extra tail light will do for visibility and safety. Ask me how I know... and have a look.

      First picture- early style rear lights with an extra 'tail light' outboard; original tail is inboard.




      Second picture- same car, extra 'brake light' inboard, original brake light is outboard.





      Last picture- same car, tails and brakes both on, and ain't that bright?




      And yes, I am still doing these upgrades.

      Andy
      Last edited by Mo Brighta; 07-25-2019, 01:45 PM. Reason: clarity
      "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
      Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
      Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
      Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

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        #33
        I'm interested... Do you get an error code with the LED's? I would consider using regular incandescents, or maybe a combo incandescent in the original brake light, LED in the additional brake light, but I don't want to overload my wiring

        Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
        (OO=[][]=OO) For Life

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          #34
          Originally posted by Mo Brighta View Post
          I have heard folks say that "this thread is worthless without pictures" ... but you do have pictures - earlier on.

          How about a picture of the appearance from behind (say 25 feet back) with the brake lights ON - I am very curious to see the effect of the LED brake light side by side with the incandescent or standard brake.

          Reason is, some LEDs point the light sideways at the reflector, some of them shoot it straight up, through the lens without utilizing the parabolic reflector dish, so the 'bright spot' is smaller, and the beam is narrower.

          Thanks!

          Now if you think an extra brake is good (which it is), then think what an extra brake AND an extra tail light will do for visibility and safety. Ask me how I know... and have a look.

          First picture- early style rear lights with an extra 'tail light' outboard; original tail is inboard.






          And yes, I am still doing these upgrades.

          Andy

          My only qualm with this is the tail lights aren't uniform. I know that's stupid. I did the dual brake light thing a few years ago w/ LEDs and love it. Definitely much more light.
          1984 325e m50nv/G260
          1991 325i Mortdecai the pickup project
          1991 Trans Am turboLSx/t56
          1984 Husqvarna Abomination

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            #35
            Originally posted by 15Michaeljoseph View Post
            I'm interested... Do you get an error code with the LED's? I would consider using regular incandescents, or maybe a combo incandescent in the original brake light, LED in the additional brake light, but I don't want to overload my wiring
            MJ- I have not tried it with full LED bulbs, so no comment. I expect the lower amps will throw a false negative (warning light) unless you keep one tungsten lamp in place on each side.

            You have a good instinct, I normally suggest a relay tapping a separate fuse / circuit for the secondary brake lights. In my E24/E23/E28 kits, this is simple due to the power antenna connector being right there with 12V from another 8 Amp fuse. It drives the antenna occasionally, plus a few other things, but since new lamps only draw around 5 amps, it works well for this.

            Trouble with the E30 is the different style connector to the antenna. If you run a second fused lead to the trunk along the stock harness, you got it solved... or use LED lamps for the added lights.

            ==============================
            Originally posted by iansane View Post
            My only qualm with this is the tail lights aren't uniform. I know that's stupid. I did the dual brake light thing a few years ago w/ LEDs and love it. Definitely much more light.
            Yes, the housing and optics are quite different - the Brake light uses a parabolic dish and standard bubble diffuser in the lens; the Tail light also has a retro-reflector and a Fresnel lens, but no reflector.

            I'd like to see your current brake lights in use- original and LED, side by side- to see how they compare for appearance and brightness. Pictures?


            Since I do 99% of my driving without my foot on the brakes, I consider the tails to be critical - just as important as the brakes. That is why 99% of my kits go out with a dual tail lights upgrade. My E28 has triple tail lights, and relays for tail and brake light 'excess lighting'.


            ====================================


            Bottom line- replace tail light and headlight bulbs every 5-6 years, as they do dim over time- very gradually, so you wouldn't notice it...like oil and rubber tires, everything has a best by date.
            Last edited by Mo Brighta; 07-31-2019, 08:07 PM.
            "Be Seen, and Not Hurt!"
            Lighting Upgrades front and back for 2002, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39, and others.
            Tail Light Improvements keep them off your tail.
            Headlight protection saves headlights from breakage.

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