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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to Cap'n Kirk for giving me ideas when he installed LEDs in his Givi box

In my case I have Happy Trail Teton panniers but felt the signals were too hidden, even with the relocation kit they provide. So I decided to buy some red LED strips and wrap them around the rear corners of the panniers and connect them to my brake and signal lights to provide better visibility to other drivers. I used red for brakes and signals since I couldn't find yellow ones I liked.

One of my requirements was the ability to disconnect the lights when removing the panniers so I used Molex hard drive power extension cables that I got from Amazon and cut as needed and also sealed with RTV silicone to make more weather resistant. I wrapped the LED strips around the corners of the panniers and they work fine (some LED strips reviews say they can break on 90 degree turns)

I also kept things simple, no two stage brakes or relays or resistors. Just on/off brake and signal lights spliced directly into stock wiring. It's a pretty rough installation and a pretty atrocious solder job (the wires that came with the LED strips were probably 24 gauge... tiny...) because I didn't plan well enough and was doing this at 3am, but they work.

I also found that the 3M double sided tape that came with the strips isn't strong enough and I wouldn't trust it on the highway. In fact, some spots had come loose when I came back in the morning, so I used super glue which seems to be working well, even on the pannier powder coating.

Here are some photo highlights and a quick vid of the hazards on. More pics and DIY details are on my website at http://www.filtsai.com/motorcycle/Versys/leds/

Routing of the cables for the signals (with HT signal relocation kit)


Where the connectors are when the panniers are removed. This spot appears to be safe from debris/water from the rear tire.


Splicing into the signal wires.


Testing the wiring.


Splicing into the brake wires.


The completed wires (yeah, messy, due to poor planning)


LED's attached to the panniers and wired.


The LEDs installed and working



In daylight. They are not very bright in the picture but they are pretty visible in real life.


Vid of them working.
 

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Great Work. In the pic where you soldiered the wired togeather. Before you only wrap them with electrical tape, Paint them with clear nail polish. The clear enamel is not conductive and will keep the elements out. Once dry wrap with electrical tape.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great Work. In the pic where you soldiered the wired togeather. Before you only wrap them with electrical tape, Paint them with clear nail polish. The clear enamel is not conductive and will keep the elements out. Once dry wrap with electrical tape.
That's a great tip! Thanks!
 

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Great! I've got HT Panniers too... and have been brainstorming about adding more visible turn/tail lights. Thanks!
 

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I installed a GIVI light kit for my E470 topcase but it only has 2 wires, + and -. That means I can connect them only as a running light or brake light right? Is there a way to work without resistors and make them both running and brake lights?
 

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Nice job!
I love LEDs !!

Little trick I used to do in my car audio shop, was twist wires together with the drill, heat them up with a heat gun so they stay and then shrink wrap them. That way they look a lot more uniform and don't tend to twist as much.



Or braid them if there is a three wire conductor

 

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i had them 24-gauge wires that came with the LED strip breaking off on its own after a year, on my moped.

i would suggest replacing them with 16- or 14-gauge wires since you have soldering iron ready for use.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the additional tips everyone!

Mikej, i have picked up some cheap clear nail polish for jobs such as these.

vvlatko, since you don't want to mess with resistors, you could try (at your own risk, i'm not an electrical expert) to connect your + lead to the source of both a running light and your brake light. I would think the voltage of the running light would keep it on and the additional voltage of the brakes would make them brighter, but I don't know the exact effect of the voltage on your LED (not sure if it will overload it or what) and I'm not sure if there's a concern about voltage bleeding backwards to the sources that would require a diode or something... maybe someone with more electrical experience can chime in.

andrewwhtf, I had the same issue and used some 18 gauge wire to patch the break. I had a slight problem soldering directly to the strips and I suspect I might have damaged something, either melting some of the plastic or causing a short b/c one of the 3-LED sections now flicker and is kind of dim. :(
 

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I didn't want to mess with resistors because I thought that it would be complicated to do, but I'll go with the solution from the video I posted. It would cost me 0.3 euro to get one resistor and 2 diodes and I will do the soldering myself so it all worked out great :)
 

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andrewwhtf, I had the same issue and used some 18 gauge wire to patch the break. I had a slight problem soldering directly to the strips and I suspect I might have damaged something, either melting some of the plastic or causing a short b/c one of the 3-LED sections now flicker and is kind of dim. :(
instead of patching up the broken wires i would replace off the whole wire. those thin wires has a tendency to break off on its own over time so sooner or later some other part of the wire will break, since it is used on our bike that vibrates alot. these foot-long strips are pretty cheap, so when the time comes, just get a new strip, and make sure to change out the wires.
 
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