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Discussion Starter #1
I had a spare LED bulb that I used to swap out the OEM brake bulb. Here's a comparison showing the OEM on the left and the LED on the right. The top images are the running light mode and the lower images are with the brake applied. I kept the camera settings the same and shot about 7 feet from a garage door as the canvas.



I got this LED bulb from superbrightleds.com

https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...ed-bulb-dual-intensity-45-smd-led-tower-/814/

I was hoping for a bit more brightness out of the LED but am ok with this for now. I will eventually try a brighter LED and will add images from that bulb to this comparison.
 

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Did this to mine as well, except I got the one that flashes 3 times when you hit the brake before it goes solid.
 

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Nice comparison!
 

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I replaced the brake light on my 06 VN900.
I used the Phillips 1157 bulb.


Stock bulb running mode


Stock bulb brake mode


Phillips bulb running mode


Phillips bulb brake mode


Here is the bulb in the tail light housing.



The color is much more red compared to the stock bulb. The brightness, intensity and spread of the light is also improved with the Phillips bulb.
 

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Did this to mine as well, except I got the one that flashes 3 times when you hit the brake before it goes solid.
+1 very happy with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Update to add comparison to brighter bulb

Here's the comparison showing the brighter LED. The top images are the running light mode and the lower images are with the brake applied. I kept the camera settings the same and shot about 7 feet from a garage door as the canvas.
The last one (#1157-xHP28-T) is rated at 550 lumens output compared to middle one (#1157-x45-T) at 220 lumens. This sucker is bright. No mistaking the running light being on even in the daytime. At night the running light is looks to be almost as bright as the OEM incandescent with the brake on. Hitting the brake really lights this puppy up.

Now I need to install a Signal Dynamics Back Off Brake Hold module that will detect deceleration and provide a flashing pattern.

 

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Would you happen to have a cob LED for comparison? I like your side-by-sides and would love to see a 15w cob in there.


[cob = Chip On Board, more uniform lighting and more lumens per area. Also called "plasma" LED bulbs (for some reason). Example.]
 

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Here's the comparison showing the brighter LED. The top images are the running light mode and the lower images are with the brake applied. I kept the camera settings the same and shot about 7 feet from a garage door as the canvas.
The last one (#1157-xHP28-T) is rated at 550 lumens output compared to middle one (#1157-x45-T) at 220 lumens. This sucker is bright. No mistaking the running light being on even in the daytime. At night the running light is looks to be almost as bright as the OEM incandescent with the brake on. Hitting the brake really lights this puppy up.
The #1157-xHP28-T is listed as an OVER-SIZED bulb. Did you have any problems with it being too close to the taillight lens?

I'm thinking of a complete LED replacement. It seems to me that someone from a past post stated that they had a problem with the LED turn signal bulbs were too long. What have others used in the turn signals? I have a neighbor that replaced the OEM bulbs on his Honda and the tail and turn signal lights were noticable dim compared to the OEM bulbs. I'm thinking about trying the 1156-x45-T bulbs with 220 Lumens. Any opinions??
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@rogereh -

No problems with the oversized bulb fitting the housing. I think there is still about 1/4 inch or more between the seated bulb and the seated lens cover.

If you are going for the rear tail light just make sure you get an 1157 and not 1156. I believe the rear running light / turn signals are 1156 and the fronts are 1157 (as is the tail/brake). The 1157-x45-T bulbs worked well for me too. A little brighter than the OEM incandescents. IIRC, the 1157-x45-T pull a bit fewer milliamps than the high power oversized bulbs. The light output of the red 1157-x45-T is about 85 lumens vs. 154 lumens for the 1157-xHP28-T. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Would you happen to have a cob LED for comparison? I like your side-by-sides and would love to see a 15w cob in there.
Sorry Seawolf. I don't have any COB bulbs for comparison.
 

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Great photo comparisons.

One of the notes on these bulbs recommends: "For best results the LED color should be the same as the lens color."

Did you purchase the white or the red LED bulbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did you purchase the white or the red LED bulbs?
Thanks Redfish. I use the red bulbs with the OEM red lens. Lotsa red. :)
 

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There are VERY FEW LEDs that are actually Street Legal! The Phillips 1157 bulb in red are one of the few that are street legal. They are slightly brighter than stock, give a truer red color and also save power compared to the stock bulb. The reason the Phillips bulbs are street legal is because they utilize the brake light reflector to project the light.

This is a quote regarding the Phillips bulbs.
Philips Vision 1157 LED Replacement bulbs provide more light than a standard 1157 incandescent bulb and light up instantly - instant-on response can reduce braking distance by up to 20ft. at a speed of 75 mph. Other 1157 LED bulbs on the market boast having many LEDs, and inflated lumens specs, but these 1157 LED bulbs by Philips are the ONLY ones that get the light where it actually needs to go – The only street legal 1157 LED bulb in the market.

It doesn’t matter how many LED diodes are on an LED bulb if the bulb is not designed properly. If you want the best 1157 LED bulb in the market to upgrade your stop and tail light, look no further then these bulbs – seriously.
I have tried many LED bulbs but, these Phillips bulbs are the only ones I will trust to be seen with!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They are slightly brighter than stock, give a truer red color and also save power compared to the stock bulb. The reason the Phillips bulbs are street legal is because they utilize the brake light reflector to project the light.
No offense intended @kingnba6, but I see that Phillips info more as marketing gibberish to give people pause. I'm not questioning what makes you feel more comfortable. I'd rather have a brighter bulb that attracts more attention over one that is "street legal". As long as I am not using the bulb in some overtly illegal manner (i.e., red in front, etc.) then I'll take my chances that a traffic cop is not going to be that interested to check out whether my bulb is legal or not. In the event that I do find myself talking to a traffic officer the topic will more than likely be about my speed. :D
 

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Well Brighter does not mean they are working well. You have to understand that brightness is not the only factor that makes a bulb better than another bulb. Think of the bulbs as prescription glasses. The ones that are prescribed for your eyes will work best but a different pair, might work, but not as well as the prescription pair.

You say the bulb is brighter but where is it brighter? In the pictures you posted earlier, how far are you from the wall? Have any shots of them under the sun light? The reason I ask this is not to prove you wrong but to help others. Your bulb might certainly be brighter from that distance but what about at angles? What about at 25 feet behind your bike?

Phillips bulb is actually Street Legal DOT approved. Your bulb, in most cases is not. Would you wear a non street legal helmet? I wouldnt.

Its only marketing gibberish if its not true, but in Phillips case, it is true. They are the only street legal bulb. You also have to remember that LED bulbs, like yours, might be well made as the Phillips. Yours could be brighter, but for how long? LEDs do get hot, and as they get hot, they get dimmer. So your bulbs might in fact be brighter now but, in 15 minutes, they might be dimmer than a regular bulb. Things like that make the Phillips bulb street legal. If it was only marketing gibberish then, all the other LED bulb makes will also start saying it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If it was only marketing gibberish then, all the other LED bulb makes will also start saying it too.
That, or there would be a disclaimer saying the bulbs were not DOT approved (similar to what you see with after-market pipes and California regulations).

Bottom line is that the bulb is brighter than stock. That's what I was going for and that's what I got. The point of my post was to give folks an idea of relative brightness. All shots were taken under very close to similar conditions so that an assessment could be made. I don't want to dilute that fact by having this devolve into a "what's legal" discussion. :rolleyes:
 

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Im fine with not caring about the legal issues, but all the other factors still play a big role in finding the proper LEDs.

Once again, your bulbs may be bright under those conditions but, LEDs do not work like a regular bulb. A regular bulb will utilize the reflector which essentially produces a light that can be seen 180 degrees around the bulb. Your LED bulb probably does not utilize the reflector and relies solely on the LEDs themselves. I can pretty much guarantee that 90% of all LEDs, even though they are brighter, will not spread the same 180 degrees like the stock bulb. This is where the design of the Phillips bulb comes into play. The design does not shoot any light outwards, but aims it all at the reflector, making it work the same as the stock bulb and producing the same 180 degree field of view.

Most LEDs in daytime have very poor visibility compared to the stock bulb, the Phillips bulb does in fact have more visibility in the daytime when compared to the stock bulb. Thats just simply looking at the bulb directly on the same level. When you start to change the eye level, you will notice that most LED bulbs do not seem as bright. The Phillips and stock bulbs both have the same amount of light from many different angles.

The brake light on our bikes is pretty low, if you are sitting at eye level, your bulbs might in fact be super bright but, once you move your eyes to the level of sitting in a sedan or an SUV, then your bulbs will be much dimmer. The Phillips bulb actually spread the light out evenly, just like the stock bulb, making it visible from many different angles.

Another factor of LEDs is their heat. Sure, your bulbs are bright but, how long will they stay bright? The Phillips and stock bulbs both give the same amount of light output for extended periods of time. Most of the LEDs I have seen start to get too hot and start to dim down, becoming darker. That is also something to look out for.

A few properly placed LEDs will work much better then LEDs that are just placed where ever. The LEDs on the Phillips bulbs are located at the same distance as the stock bulb, which is the only way to utilize the reflector.

Please remember that this post is not to make you mad but, it is to educate other readers.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Please remember that this post is not to make you mad but, it is to educate other readers.
Totally agree. We are all here to learn from each other.
 

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For those interested, I have checked all my 2013 900 LT bulbs and here's what is in my bike from stock. I did not include the headlight, light bar lights, or speedo light. I have two front turn signal bulbs listed. One was original and the second is what was in the OEM front lightbar assembly that replaced the original turn signals in front.:

Vulcan 900 LT Bulbs

Tail light (1157)
Koito RV21/5W, P21/5W [E4} 2 AW

Rear turn signal (1156)
Stanley P21W 12V, 37R [E6} 212

Front turn signal (1157)
SPORX, 1034 12V23/8W (lite bar)
Stanley P21/5W 12V, 37R [E6] 214, 2K 01 (original)

License light (sm bulb w/1156 type pins)
Stanley, 37R [E6} 208, R5W 12V
 
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