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Last Post 25 Dec 2009 11:55 AM by  glenn@traileroutlet.com
LED trailer lights
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CDS
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19 Nov 2009 10:24 AM

    Are there any issues with mixing LED tail lights and regular incandesent marker lights on the same wiring harness? I want to replace the tail light/brake light/turn signal units with new LED units on my 18' open trailer, but I don't want to change all the side marker lights (3 each side) if I don't have to. Will this present any problems?

    Joe_914
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    19 Nov 2009 10:33 AM
    Shouldn't be an issue.
    Jim G
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    19 Nov 2009 10:37 AM

    I've done exactly what you are proposing to do and have had no problems. It's just electricity going to each individual unit. Go for it. The LEDs are much brighter and last longer.

    CDS
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    19 Nov 2009 12:25 PM
    Thanks guys, that's what I was hoping. I sure don't feel like re-wiring the whole thing.
    Bullitt2954
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    19 Nov 2009 06:19 PM

    The only issue I can think of might be in regards to turn-signals if you change the tail-lights: you might have to change the flasher. But markers? No problem.

    atcovan
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    20 Nov 2009 11:19 AM
    Bullitt2954 wrote:

    The only issue I can think of might be in regards to turn-signals if you change the tail-lights: you might have to change the flasher. But markers? No problem.

    Flasher's require a resistive load, and LED's almost draw nothing. But, if the tow vehicle has standard incandescent turn signals, you'll have no issues at all. Matter of fact, if you convert your trailer, it prevents ever over-loading your circuits. I've seen trailers with so many running and brake lights, it's a wonder the fuses don't blow all the time!
    JBrettHowell
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    20 Nov 2009 11:41 AM

    Keep in mind though that some tow vehicles don't work well with LED brake lights/turn signals. Used to tow with a 2004 Cayenne S and it did not like LEDs - only incadescents.

    CDS
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    20 Nov 2009 12:20 PM
    JBrettHowell wrote:

    Keep in mind though that some tow vehicles don't work well with LED brake lights/turn signals. Used to tow with a 2004 Cayenne S and it did not like LEDs - only incadescents.

    That's interesting, did the Cayenne have any LEDs itself?. My tow vehicle is a 2002 Chevy Tahoe. I've towed a number of different trailers with it without a problem, including a couple of U-Hauls, but I can't remember if any of them had LEDs.

    JBrettHowell
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    20 Nov 2009 12:42 PM
    CDS wrote:
    JBrettHowell wrote:

    Keep in mind though that some tow vehicles don't work well with LED brake lights/turn signals. Used to tow with a 2004 Cayenne S and it did not like LEDs - only incadescents.

    That's interesting, did the Cayenne have any LEDs itself?. My tow vehicle is a 2002 Chevy Tahoe. I've towed a number of different trailers with it without a problem, including a couple of U-Hauls, but I can't remember if any of them had LEDs.

    The Cayenne did not have LEDs, but I think the issue was that it had a separate circuit for the trailer lights and the consumption of the LEDs was so low that the German engineering assumed the lights must have been out. The result was an incessant warning message to "check trailer lights" accompanied by a ping. The trailer lights actually worked just fine, but the warning got annoying real quick.

    Bullitt2954
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    20 Nov 2009 02:20 PM
    atcovan wrote:
    Bullitt2954 wrote:

    The only issue I can think of might be in regards to turn-signals if you change the tail-lights: you might have to change the flasher. But markers? No problem.

    Flasher's require a resistive load, and LED's almost draw nothing. But, if the tow vehicle has standard incandescent turn signals, you'll have no issues at all. Matter of fact, if you convert your trailer, it prevents ever over-loading your circuits. I've seen trailers with so many running and brake lights, it's a wonder the fuses don't blow all the time!

    Exactly. They make a few aftermarket flashers that will compensate for this.

    Or, you can "ballast" it with a few resistors. Resistors are likely the only recourse if you've got a small microprocessor controlling everything that is "expecting" a greater load on the circuit - as someone noted with their Cayenne.

    Ah, technology: what would we ever do without it?

    glenn@traileroutlet.com
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    25 Dec 2009 11:55 AM
    Porsche has a special LED trailer light adapter available just for this type of issue, I am sure it just creates enough resistive load for the on board computer to recognize a minimum resistance load it wants to see in those circuits. I have run into this issue with other vehicles as well. LEDs are great, they use less electricity and last much longer than bulbs with fragile filaments , especially on a trailer with stiff suspension, but LED lights may require adding a resistance load, or changing the flasher unit to an electronic type instead of the old mechanical resistance variety. Glenn
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