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Instrument Lights (2012)

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by swooshdave, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Jean had a great idea for lighting the instruments. Not being as gifted as him I looked elsewhere. I found some lights that are for... instruments! Now I just need to see if they will fit. I think they will.

    [​IMG]

    These are T10 bulb and bulb holders. I believe they are commonly used on instrument panels. Not typically LEDs but you can get T10 LEDs. These have 4 LEDS (surface mount style) and should be reasonably bright. These shouldn't need any resistors or any fancy calculations on how to make the electrons go from here to there. Just wire and go.

    And as I often say... that's the theory.

    [​IMG]
    I also picked up these 1157 LEDs. They should just replace the tail light bulb. I'll have to see if it's as bright. The stock bulb isn't impressive so the bar is low.
     
  2. Parker

    Parker

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Don't forget that LEDs are polarity sensitive. The tail-light LEDs for cars will work if you ave converted the bike to negative ground.
     
  3. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    I am just curious, as I am too lazy to go find my volt meter, are the tail light housings on most Commandos (fiberglass fairing) isolated from the frame? They very well might be, or might easily be made so. If that is the case then all you need to do to reverse the polarity is reverse the wires that feed the bulb! Rather than grounding to the frame run I wire back to the battery.

    Of course if you have already wired the bike negative ground then it isn't an issue.
    Russ
     
  4. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Since I built the wiring harness from scratch I don't have to worry about polarity as it's already neg ground.

    But you knew that already.
     
  5. illf8ed

    illf8ed

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Those of you that enjoy fiddling with LEDs....enjoy. Can't see a good reason to rewire to negative ground just to use them. Also follow the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." :)
     
  6. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Two reasons.

    1. They don't break filaments with a vibrating bike.
    2. They draw so much less power it's comical. On a pre-3 phase system that can be a concern.
     
  7. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    [​IMG]

    So I took the T10 socket and fitted it to the instruments.

    So the good news is that the socket fit in the hole. But there are a couple issues. This socket is intended to be screwed into a circuit board. So some modifications will need to be made. And it's not a snug fit. I'm contemplating options.
     
  8. bluto

    bluto

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    not all...some LED bulbs have a bridge rectifier input so they are not polarity sensitive and will work with positive or negative ground and some others are positive ground only

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/commerce.cgi?product=OTHER&cart_id=3908811
     
  9. gtsun

    gtsun VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Well do tell Swoosh, are they brighter? Pictures of course please.
     
  10. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I have some work to do before I can tell. Stay tuned.
     
  11. T95

    T95

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Dave,
    I am sure this is way to easy but I would run a bead of silicone around it. Fast & easy, you'll have yourself a waterproof connection and if you don't like it or want to remove it just run a blade around it and start over! Besides, I want to hear the "brightness" report.
     
  12. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm going to try a grommet and see if that works.
     
  13. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Dredging up one of my old posts so I don’t get accused of spamming the board <looks at post count list, that ship may have left port>.

    [​IMG]

    Got some lights from SuperBrightLEDS.com. I’ve bought from them many times.

    [​IMG]

    Since the Interstate has all the proper wiring in place (although with a non-standard tach) but no bulbs I decided to try so polarity-insensitive LEDs.

    They are quite bright but once installed the struggle, at least with the non-standard tach, to show much light.

    [​IMG]

    I guess the tach is the lessor important gauge at night.
     
  14. Chuck_Wagon

    Chuck_Wagon

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    My instruments take the wedge base type bulbs.
    I use LEDs from superbrightleds.com too.
    Right now I have blue ones in, they are bright enough.
    I also have the cool 6000k & natural 4100k bulbs, they are more than bright enough.
    They are not polarity sensitive and only $3.50 a bulb.
    I have bulbs from superbrights installed in all the interior lights for both my trucks too, I have no issues with the bulbs at all.

    194 LED Bulb - 5 LED - Miniature Wedge Base
    Part Number: 194-x5-CAR
    [​IMG]

    my headlight and tail light LED bulbs are from classicbritishspares.com
     
  15. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    What instruments do you have that use a wedge bulb?

    I put the speedo bulb in and it’s much better. The Triumph tach has the face too close to the glass and there’s not enough gap to let enough light around. The face might be in the wrong place.
     
  16. Chuck_Wagon

    Chuck_Wagon

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    The instrument bulb connectors that are on my harness use a plastic bulb holder that uses a wedge bulb and are a push fit into the bottom of the instruments.
    I have these smiths gauges.
    [​IMG]

    Its more than possible in years past that I changed the instrument bulb wiring harness piece to whats in there now.
    Something I got from Old Britts or who knows where?
     
  17. blaisestation

    blaisestation

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    I don´t think so, my june 74 build also has the wedge tail bulbs (original)
     
  18. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
  19. 850commando

    850commando

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    i think the ba9 was in the pilot light, and the inst lights were ba7? on my 73
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  20. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I can only tell you what I have.
     

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