Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bright and Shiny

The bitter cold of the last two weeks finally broke last night. While walking to/from the bus stop yesterday afternoon, it was still below -40°F and since I was walking on the flats below the university, breathing the air with the ice fog felt unhealthy. In case you missed yesterdays post, below is the photo from yesterday and if you compare it with today's photo to the left taken at roughly the same time of day, today it almost feels bright and welcoming at -18°F. Well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch.

I finally received the after market motorcycle turn signals today from an Amazon vendor, and they are very nicely made (very shiny) and look perfect except the LED lights are white instead of amber. So I can't really use them as a turn signal. But I think that I can still use them. Since I wasn't really looking for forward facing lights that would actually illuminate the road, just something that would make me more visible to oncoming traffic, these would work fine for that. Plus, they have a high and low setting and don't draw very much power. And it wasn't an error on the vendor or Amazon but I didn't read the item description very carefully.

Since the right front turn signal on the motorcycle is easily visible from the side, I may not bother with a front turn signal but will probably still search for a rear as the normal right turn signal blinking in the middle of the rig may confuse some driver sometime. Maybe I should consider the little electronic module normally sold for use with trailers where the trailer uses the brake light for both turn and brake while the tow vehicle has separate lights. Hmmmm...

12 comments:

Unknown said...

Richard:

can you mix LED's with incandescent, maybe if you put them in parallel with each side ? or maybe change them all out and get the new low-draw flasher

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

No problem mixing LED with incandescent as long as you deal with the lower power draw by changing out the old style flasher. I was planning on leaving the original front turn signal (incandescent) and just adding a new rear turn signal (preferably LED). I will leave the blinking red LEDs that I installed in the existing rear turn signal housings that is attached to the brake light. But will simply remove the bulb in the right rear turn signal housing once I get a light on the sidecar.

Trobairitz said...

Damn, damn, double damn. You've sure had it cold lately. That -18 must feel positively balmy to you.

RichardM said...

The -18°F really did feel balmy and warm. No need to bundle up. And the ice fog going away is literally a breath of fresh air. Lots of people walking around campus today too just happy not being trapped indoors.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I keep thinking that I'll try some LED lights but so far haven't.

Always concerned about just a single tail light, many of my rides have additional rear lights to help followers get at least a somewhat better sense of distance;seems more is better in the rear especially.

RichardM said...

I had the same concern and installed Lite Buddys. These are auxiliary red LEDs that fit into the rear turn signal housings next to the turn signal bulb. They are on at a lower intensity to supplement the tail lights and flash five times before staying on solid much brighter when the brake light comes on. Others have told me that they are really visible especially when the brakes are applied. The flash five times then solid on is supposedly required by some state laws.

With the sidecar, I was going to just remove the right turn signal bulb but leave the LED module.

redlegsrides said...

Back when I had my other Ural and it was running on the total loss electrical system, I tried several LED white lights to act as side markers....they all failed me. Of course, never really put a lot of money into them, being the cheap guy that I am.

Hope the lights work out for you.

RichardM said...

Not sure of the pedigree of these LED lights but I'll try them out. They have two brightness settings and I'll run them on the lower setting initially. I just think that the little amber marker light on top of the fender was a little inadequate. I won't get an opportunity to work on the rig again until the weekend. I hope to be on the road by Sunday....

Conchscooter said...

I don't think they will see you if you aren't riding. What's all this talk of a bus stop when it was a spring like minus 18?


I want a gadget that emanates a cell phone killing death ray in all directions to three hundred yards. These people wouldn't see a Christmas tree barreling down on them as they text while driving.

BeemerGirl said...

Could you possibly fashion an amber lense cover for these, then turn them into a turn signal easily?

RichardM said...

Wimping out. Yes, I should be out and about since it was a very balmy -18°F.

That would be a great gadget. I think they do make something like that for use in theaters and concert halls but I heard that someone got sued because they missed a call or something like that....

RichardM said...

They are legal for front turn signals just not rear. There are a lot of other lights available even at the local auto parts store. I was just lazy and looked on Amazon for something that had free shipping. Since the LEDs extend beyond the front of the metal housing, it would be more work than it's worth to retrofit an amber lens.