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Old 11-08-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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Help with aftermarket LED turn signal lights.

After installing the new Recon (Bacon) smoked turn signal lights, the turn signals work but fast. I asked the guy at 4W parts if this was normal and he said that because the Recons are LED's as opposed to the stock incandescent bulbs, they require less electricity to operate them. This in turn causes the the stock system to send the rapid turn signal in order to warn the driver that they are malfunctioning. He says that I have to get some sort of resister to install between the new lights and the stock wiring. Does anyone know where I can get these resistors?

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Old 11-08-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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Radio Shack sells them. You'll have to do a quick calc to find out what resistance (ohms) you'd need.

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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I once got involved with LED taillights as well... here is the thread.. The JK flasher module will not handle it.. even with additional resistors...
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:06 AM   #4
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My warning was too subtle I suppose. I held back pretty long and pretty well though.

LED replacement lights haven't really come into their own yet. Adding resistors to them defeats the entire purpose of having LED lighting in the first place. Not to mention the possible side effects.

Smoked lenses are silly to me. Safety lighting is designed to protect not only you but me; when you tamper with it you affect every other motorist you encounter.
I find it childish to do something like that to a street vehicle for the mere purpose of cosmetic enhancement.

Those headlight "guards" you've installed are just as illegal as they are ineffective. The law states that you can't put anything at all in front of your headlights except a wiper and the wiper must come to rest below the light when powered off.

Sorry.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:12 AM   #5
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Hey HillDweller. I'm actually surprised that the additional resistors didn't work on the LED tail lights. I've been wiring these into all of my motorcycles with no problems. The additional resistance to the system doesn't make it unsafe so long as you take precautions to heat wrap them.

I'm with you on smoked lenses. It's like the guys who tint their front windows. Sigh.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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Your motorcycles probably didn't have a CANBUS like the JK has though.

I just don't like to wire in things that are designed to store electricity as heat. The bulbs do a very satisfactory job as it is. If there was a measurable improvement of some sort...
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:41 PM   #7
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I emailed Recon asking them why they don't mention the rapid flashing issue in their advertisement for the lights. The Recon rep emailed me back with a link to their site for resistor modules. He said I should buy 2 of them and that will take care of the issue. For what I paid for those lights, the resistors should be included with the lights! They charge 10 dollars for each resistor module. I bought them from Superbrightleds.com for 5 bucks each instead.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #8
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There is an advantage to LED indicator and tail lights: they last the life of the vehicle. If you've ever been pulled over for a burnt out bulb "while driving black", you'd know what I mean.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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Honestly, I like the blacked out look. The amber LEDs under the smoked lenses are actually brighter than the stock lights.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #10
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Also if you do the calculations, the amount of heat (and power) dissipated across those current limiting resistors is not enough to really worry about. Most LED circuits require a resistor because an LED looks pretty much like a dead short.

Having said that I still don't see the point of smoked lenses. Not to mention for the price of an LED kit you can buy a whole grunch of replacement bulbs. Pretty soon LED's will be the standard for all auto lighting except headlamps - and maybe even that someday. Until then, I'll wait until there are direct replacement kits for incandescent bulbs.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bflank View Post
Also if you do the calculations, the amount of heat (and power) dissipated across those current limiting resistors is not enough to really worry about. Most LED circuits require a resistor because an LED looks pretty much like a dead short.
Two different resistors here. LEDs at full brightness drop approximately 1.4 volts (if memory serves me correctly) and would burn out with 12 volts across them so they either put them in series if there are multiples or put a current limiting resistor in series with it. The resistor they are talking about here is to increase the current flow to cause the blinker to blink at the proper rate. Most blinkers are made of a bi-metalic strip that sets up the blinking on and off switching due to the current drawn through the strip causing it to heat up and bend (the mechanism is similar to a clicker that you push with your finger to make a clicking noise). Without the right amount of current that the stock bulbs draw, no..or improper blinking will result.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:56 PM   #12
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I believe Hilldweller nailed it.(as usual). The JK's CANBUS system is NOT designed for LED turn signals..Tweaking the system might in the long run create other "devils" in the JK's electrical system..
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bombero37A View Post
He said I should buy 2 of them and that will take care of the issue.
"takes care of" is a subjective statement...


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Originally Posted by willywaxer View Post
There is an advantage to LED indicator and tail lights: they last the life of the vehicle. If you've ever been pulled over for a burnt out bulb "while driving black", you'd know what I mean.
A rail of 1157 bulbs is still just about $9 from a good auto supply store. I carry a pair of bulbs with me all the time; I've replaced two of them on the fly during the past 2.5 years and 70,000 miles; it's honestly not a hassle. The system gives you the fast-blink to know you have a bulb out, you pull over, you swap a bulb. If you don't have a bulb with you, borrow one from your reverse lights ---- it's conveniently the same size.
Since this is so easy, if you get a ticket, you deserve one.


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Originally Posted by Bombero37A View Post
The amber LEDs under the smoked lenses are actually brighter than the stock lights.
They might be brighter, might not. They're not DOT-compliant, not tested, so we don't know, do we? LEDs are not as good for conspicuity lighting in general because they are intrinsically deficient from off-axis angles.
Since we're discussing safety lighting here, I think this should be a primary concern.


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Originally Posted by bflank View Post
Also if you do the calculations, the amount of heat (and power) dissipated across those current limiting resistors is not enough to really worry about. Most LED circuits require a resistor because an LED looks pretty much like a dead short.
Actually they look like an open circuit to the CANBUS, not a short. The system is sniffing for EOL resistance. Go ahead and short it out and see what happens.
The heat, per se, isn't the bugaboo that might cause you trouble. It's the combined pile of dubious points.


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Having said that I still don't see the point of smoked lenses.
Because there is no valid point....


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Originally Posted by jk'n View Post
Most blinkers are made of a bi-metalic strip that sets up the blinking on and off switching due to the current drawn through the strip causing it to heat up and bend (the mechanism is similar to a clicker that you push with your finger to make a clicking noise).
Not on the JK.


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Originally Posted by USAntigoon View Post
I believe Hilldweller nailed it.(as usual). The JK's CANBUS system is NOT designed for LED turn signals..Tweaking the system might in the long run create other "devils" in the JK's electrical system..
Thanks, Frank. That's the bugaboo we should be concerned about.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:55 AM   #14
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Good summary of this thread... who can argue with that..
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:29 AM   #15
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So Bill, how is the clicking noise of the blinker made then? Do they do it with a relay or is it just an audio noise generated by a speaker? Hmmmm. Being a computer geek, it doesn't surprise me that they have computerized this function in today's mostly computer controlled vehicles.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:08 AM   #16
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So Bill, how is the clicking noise of the blinker made then? Do they do it with a relay or is it just an audio noise generated by a speaker? Hmmmm. Being a computer geek, it doesn't surprise me that they have computerized this function in today's mostly computer controlled vehicles.
It's faked so that you know you're blinking.

The company I do services for used to have a semiconductor division and I have a few big boxes of LEDs and related "stuff" in cold storage; I haven't had the heart to toss it all.
A couple of years ago I toyed with the idea of building something that would fit for the JK ---- but found the cost to exceed the return. There are places that will machine you a proper reflector/housing that doubles as a heat sink. But, for one-offs, it's a bit pricey.
But a 1w Cree in a proper housing with the stock reflector, sinked and wired with a capacitor, , that would actually work.

Since building something that actually works involves one-offs and variables like that, the aftermarket doesn't do a thorough job.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #17
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did adding the resistor correct your hyperflash and bulb out indicator issue? It has not resolved mine. If you were successful, I am curious how you attached the resistor. I am not 100% confident I have it correct.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #18
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My head hurts after reading this thread... Have the same problem. I have no idea (technically) what I'm talking about but I remember hearing something about a "Voltage Rectifier". I'm in the process of rewiring everything and adding 2 bus switches. My LED tailights worked for 2 weeks then started the rapid blinking for no apparant reason. Had issues with my HID headlights but thats a bit off topic.

So.... Anyone know anything about a voltage rectifier?
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #19
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My head hurts after reading this thread... Have the same problem. I have no idea (technically) what I'm talking about but I remember hearing something about a "Voltage Rectifier". I'm in the process of rewiring everything and adding 2 bus switches. My LED tailights worked for 2 weeks then started the rapid blinking for no apparant reason. Had issues with my HID headlights but thats a bit off topic.

So.... Anyone know anything about a voltage rectifier?
BTW-When I wired my fenders that have LED running lights I discovered there are reverse polarity issues. Would this be a factor?
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #20
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I'm not sure if this mod is compatible with your vehicle, but it will stop the rapid flash of using LED's or 1157 bulbs.

Stop Rapid Flash Mod
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #21
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My warning was too subtle I suppose. I held back pretty long and pretty well though.

LED replacement lights haven't really come into their own yet. Adding resistors to them defeats the entire purpose of having LED lighting in the first place. Not to mention the possible side effects.

Smoked lenses are silly to me. Safety lighting is designed to protect not only you but me; when you tamper with it you affect every other motorist you encounter.
I find it childish to do something like that to a street vehicle for the mere purpose of cosmetic enhancement.

Those headlight "guards" you've installed are just as illegal as they are ineffective. The law states that you can't put anything at all in front of your headlights except a wiper and the wiper must come to rest below the light when powered off.

Sorry.
Amen, Bill. Smoked or blacked out lights look ghetto!
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:02 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bombero37A View Post
After installing the new Recon (Bacon) smoked turn signal lights, the turn signals work but fast. I asked the guy at 4W parts if this was normal and he said that because the Recons are LED's as opposed to the stock incandescent bulbs, they require less electricity to operate them. This in turn causes the the stock system to send the rapid turn signal in order to warn the driver that they are malfunctioning. He says that I have to get some sort of resister to install between the new lights and the stock wiring. Does anyone know where I can get these resistors?
I have changed all my bulbs for LEDs. They are brighter and last much, much longer. I really like them for those two reasons.
However, my turn signals do flash fast and that doesn't bother me. The onboard computer tells me that my turn signals are out and need replacing.
I just press the Menu button and go on.
If I had access to a shop computer and knew how to use it, I'd reset the threshold to just above zero.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:39 AM   #23
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I have changed all my bulbs for LEDs. They are brighter and last much, much longer. I really like them for those two reasons.
However, my turn signals do flash fast and that doesn't bother me. The onboard computer tells me that my turn signals are out and need replacing.
I just press the Menu button and go on.
If I had access to a shop computer and knew how to use it, I'd reset the threshold to just above zero.
What type of shop pc would allow that? Is the shop software floating around for the JKs like audi/vw/porsche's VAGCOM for example?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:22 AM   #24
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I'm in the process of replacing the RECON turn signals in my wife's 07 JK. I removed the grill for other work and the cheap plastic "bulb connector" on one of the RECON lenses broke. The guy who installed them, put the 6-ohm power resistor *in series* with the yellow wire (as opposed to from the yellow wire to the black wire, as the instructions state).

We had no problems with flash rate or burned bulb warning, but the signals, behind the smoked lenses, were what I would call "dim". Now I know why.

Instead of the RECON units, I'm replacing the turn signals with stock bulb units. I plan to use LED 3157 bulb replacements from SuperBrightLEDs, if I can get them to work. Will post results here, of course.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:03 PM   #25
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Just finished. They worked perfectly, and are WAY brighter than the RECON units.

Details:
I was wrong about the series resistor, it's 8 ohms, 25W and wired between two of the wires leading to the lamp connector. He used those stupid crimp connectors, but I wasn't going to mess with it. I'll wait till they break and then do the job right. Wrapped his mess with self vulcanizing electrical tape to do a better waterproofing job and left it.

First, I replaced the RECONs with these:
Crown Automotive 55077884AD - Passenger Side Front Parking & Turn Signal Lamp for 07-14 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec (there's a different one for the driver's side - $20 each)

Then, I dropped two of these in place of the bulbs ($13 each):
3157 LED Bulb - Dual Intensity 1 x 3 Watt High Power LED w/ Reflector Lens | LED Brake Light, Turn Light and Tail Light Bulbs | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs

If you have a stock 07 JK, you can upgrade to LED front turn signals for the cost of two LED 3157 replacements and two 8-ohm 25W aluminum body power resistors ($4 each):
RH0258R000FE02 - VISHAY DALE RH0258R000FE02 - RESISTOR, WIREWOUND, 8 OHM, 25W, 1% | Newark element14 US )

Make sure you bolt the power resistors to something metal so they don't burn up.
I recommend soldering and heat shrink instead of the crimp connectors for tying the resistors into the lamp connector harness.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:13 AM   #26
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I am trying to add LED bulbs to an 08 wrangler that I just bought for my wife. I installed 6ohm 50 watt resistors to the front and back driver side turn signals. All I got in return was correct flash rate however I also got the side markers and passenger side signals dimly flashing. Would the 8ohm 25watt resistors solve this problem? Install on each turn signal (ie driver side front & back, passenger side front & back).
Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
Newbie to Jeeps and to the forum
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:17 AM   #27
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Just to add to the discussion of safety, the increased speed of an LED turning on compared to an incandescent lamp turning on can be about about 200ms which at a speed of 65 mph translates to an extra 19 feet of stopping distance. http://chemistry.beloit.edu/blueligh...p/an1155-3.pdf
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:46 AM   #28
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I am trying to add LED bulbs to an 08 wrangler that I just bought for my wife. I installed 6ohm 50 watt resistors to the front and back driver side turn signals. All I got in return was correct flash rate however I also got the side markers and passenger side signals dimly flashing. Would the 8ohm 25watt resistors solve this problem?
6 or 8 ohms, I've heard of both being used. 50 watts is better than 25 watts. I wouldn't change them if you have the correct flash rate. The side marker/passenger side dim flash is strange. Are you sure you wired correctly? Sounds like you might have wired the resistor between the left turn wire and maybe the parking light wire somehow? Worth checking that carefully...maybe even pull the resistor out, one at a time, to see if the "parasitic" flashing goes away.

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