LED trailer lights

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  #1  
Old 06-19-08, 06:15 PM
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LED trailer lights

I have hooked up LED lights on my utility trailer. I used 2 red round lights and 2 oval amber lights.

Both sets have three prong connections. The connections are labeled Tail, Ground and Stop/Turn. They are quality lights and are brand new.

I have the trailer wired with a standard 4-way wire connector. I wired with the following color code. White - Ground, Brown - Taillights, Yellow - Left Turn & Stop, Green - Right Turn & Stop.

I grounded the trailer at the hitch and continued with the white wire and grounded it again at the back of the trailer. Each light is grounded to the trailer also.

I also soldered all my connections as I just rebuilt this trailer from the ground up and wanted a clean install.

Well, I hooked the trailer up to the hitch on my '98 Durango and plugged it in. The turn signals on all the lights, red and amber work. The brake lights on all the lights work also. So everything is working so far like it is supposed to work.

Though as soon as I turn on my headlights, ALL the LED lights come on like they are supposed to but it cancels out the brakes lights and turn signal functions.

I can have the left turn signal blinking on both red and amber lights, then turn on the headlights and all four lights come on and it stops blinking. Without my headlights on, all the functions of the lights work like I said.

It is just when I turn on my headlights that they all light up properly but cancel out the brake lights and turn signal functions.

The trucks lights, turn signals and brake lights are not affected by this at all and continue to function properly.

I have also hooked to the trailer up to my wifes Nissan Xterra and it does the same thing. I did this because I know that Durango electrical systems can be screwy.

Both sets are labeled this way


Red


Amber
 
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Old 06-19-08, 08:46 PM
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Haven't had any experience w/ the LED's yet. You say you grounded the tlr. at the hitch and and at the back. Is the white wire on the towing vehicle also grounded to the vehicle frame?
Mike
 
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Old 06-19-08, 09:48 PM
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sounds like the towing vehicle doesn't have a dedicated ground to the trailer light connector. try running a dedicated ground from the engine or battery to the veh connector.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 10:00 PM
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I'll look into the ground on the vehicle.

Though it came wired up from the factory and is the kind with the round plug in connector that converts over to the 4-way trailer plug in.

I can run a dedicated ground wire from the frame of the vehicle to the white ground wire of the trailer wire to see if that works.
 
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Old 06-19-08, 10:08 PM
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grounding from the frame to the trailer only works if you wire brush or use sandpaper on the mounting point. most of the time there is enough corrosion on older cars to keep that from being a good ground. if all of the lights work until the head lights come on then you are feeding back through the light wireing harness for ground.

are you going to cowboy up or just lay there and bleed?
 
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Old 06-20-08, 12:28 AM
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Almost all of my trucks and trailer in my fleet are LED allready

Did you use the black wire [ from LED ] to brown wire ? if so then it should work right.

The red wire from the LED useally are for turn/brake set up.

I will suggest to run full ground wires for all the LED's.

Take a test light and verify the connector at the vechile to make sure it work properly

If you have a 7 way connector this part you will have to pay attetion very carefull some of them don't have ground wire connected at right spot so watch out on that one.

{ belive me I did see it all the time and with my service truck I have two diffrent 7 way connectors on it and both are not same format connection at all }

Most of the newer veichles do have optinal factor trailer wiring harness that is the best way to use it. { double check with their connection to verify it }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-20-08, 06:08 AM
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Assuming you have a 7 way round to flat 4 adapter plugged in the vehicle,attach the alligator clip of a test lite to the ground(white) post and touch the probe to the brown socket next to it w/ the tail lites on. It should lite up. I doubt this is the problem because you've tried it on two vehicles. As already stated, you need to make sure lites and ground wires on tlr. are getting good connections.
Hope this helps,
Mike
 
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Old 06-20-08, 08:08 AM
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I just took my fluke meter and checked the at the connector on the truck. it checked out fine. I also went from the connector on the trailer side to frame and it checked out fine.

I then grounded all lights straight to the main ground wire on the trailer and it does the same thing.

I then went straight to the ground on the battery and it does the same thing.

I'm beginning to wonder if these lights are only for commercial use. Maybe they have to have some sort of modulator box to control them properly? Something a commercial truck and trailer would have.

I just talked to my neighbor whose company sells them. He said they sell them to Semi trucks and trailers which leads to me believe the modular setup might be true.

I think I will go down to Lowes in a few and buy a set of LED lights they have in the trailer section. Pop the red ones into the grommets and see if that works.

If I get the same thing, I can just take them back.

I did notice the other day a bus with LED lights on the back had four red ones, two ambers and two white ones.

Two of the red ones never came on, but the other two red ones were being used for stop/turn. So if i want to use these lights, I think I would have to dedicate two of each to lights only and the other two sets to stop/turn only, like the bus. Would be kinda overkill though.

So if the ones from Lowes work I will just stick with them and round up two more amber ones from online.

I'll keep updating my progress and thanks for all the replies.
 
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Old 06-23-08, 08:47 AM
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Ok, I figured out the LED lights. These lights can only be used in one mode so to speak.

They can be used either as taillights or brake/turn lights. That is why on the back of big rigs, dump trucks and such, you see 4 red round lights and sometimes two amber round lights.

Two are set up for brake/turn and the other two are set up for taillights. When you see the amber ones with them, they are setup for turn signals while two of the red ones are for brakes only.

So what I did was get two red ones that are setup for what I need. I will simply replace the two red ones I have on there now. these are also 62 LEDs per light, so I will not lose any brightness.

They are wired so that they will act as all three functions. When I pull my headlight switch they will come on, then get brighter as I either apply the brakes or use the turn signal.

I could have just added two more red ones to my trailer, but thought that would be overkill. So going with these new ones will simplify everything.

Here is the setup I have. I'm about to secure all the wiring nice and neat. Also build the new tail gate, then take it down for new tires and rims.


I'm adding two more of these small red LED marker lights to the back down below the amber ones.


Since I just rebuilt it from the ground up, it should last me another ten years!
 
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Old 06-23-08, 01:06 PM
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Glad it is solved. Wish more folks would post back on results.
Thanks for posting.
 
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