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Author Topic: How many LED lights should I use in the rear?  (Read 3259 times)
belfert
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« on: May 18, 2009, 08:56:36 PM »

If I switched to LED lights how many brake lights would I need at the rear if the lights are rectangular about 4"x5"?  Do I really need two brake lights on each side?  I'm wondering if I could get by with one red brake/tail light on each side along with an amber turn signal?

I currently have two brake light bulbs on each side with one acting also as a tail light and a seperate amber turn signal.  I also have a third brake light in the center.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 09:03:25 PM »

Brian when it comes to items like this spend the extra $ and be seen and safe! I'd rather to have 2 brake lights over one on a bus any day! Legally you are only required 1, but for safety and piece of mind I'd do 2! JMHOFWIW! YMMV!  Grin  BK  ;
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 09:32:41 PM »

Brian, get yourself some lights like these and mount them in a piece of sheet metal that fits around your corner after you remove your existing lights.
Your new lights don't have to be on the side of the corner like they are now. Just mount them on the rear! The more you have the better and safer it will be for everyone!
The amount of lights you see here on my bus is the same amount that came stock. Only thing I did was make the polished SS panels that they are mounted in and then the whole assy. on each side is mounted to the bus!

Ace
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gumpy
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 05:34:27 AM »

Read through the state statutes (online). Somewhere in there they define how many square inches of lighting are required. I'm sure one of the described lights meets their criteria, but for safety, I'd do something more like what Ace has done.  Like BK, if figure the more easily you can be seen, the better off you will be in an emergency.



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Craig Shepard
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 06:19:04 AM »

I am planning to install any LED lights on the flat engine door like Ace's installation.  I'm pretty well convinced I need to have at least 2 brake lights on each side.  I am not going to go quite as overboard as Prevost does on the H3.

I have some pretty good reversing lights in the rear bumper that I am not planning to replace.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 07:01:08 AM »

Ace,

That is one nice looking bus. I have forgotten to mention that I have really like your articles in the BCM's. You guys did a good job on your conversion. I have always like Prevosts best, but we ended up with a MCI Grin.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
JackConrad
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 07:04:20 AM »

Brian,
   We went with 3 brake lights on each side. 2 are brake light only and the 3rd is a combination brake/tail light. Actuallay, all 3 are combination brake/tail, but on the brake only, we combined the leads so that both the brake LEDs and the tail LEDs come on when the brakes are applied.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 07:06:06 AM »

Oh yes, we had the old MCI banana lights on ours. It had two lights, on each side, at eye level, and another one on each side, up towards the top. When we redid the outside of the bus, we installed new LED lights to replace the banana lights, and we also replaced the turn signals with the new LED lights from IBP. We have loved the new lights. At night they are almost too bright. When we step on the brakes the whole back of the bus lights up. Only the blind drivers will miss us at night Grin Grin Grin.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
belfert
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 09:00:40 AM »

I noticed some folks are using red turn signals at the rear.  It seems most buses have amber as OEM.  I am assuming it would be best to stick with amber?

I'm planning to order some LED lights by Bargman today.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2009, 09:17:07 AM »

Keep in mind that if and when you order Bargman lights it is pronounced BargEman as in Barge and not Barg. I was corrected many times when talking directly to the mfgr!

Ace
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Sean
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2009, 09:48:03 AM »

Here's the standard, which will tell you exactly what lights are needed:
http://204.68.195.250/cars/rules/standards/conspicuity/TBMpstr.html
(pardon the strange numeric-IP URL;  it's what you get to from the NHTSA site:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/standards/)

You are only required to have 2 stop, 2 tail, and 2 turn indicators.  Stop, tail, and even turn can be integrated into one lamp, so you can actually get away with only two lamp assemblies in the rear (not counting ID and clearance, five total, which are required to be separate).  Note you also need two reflex reflectors, which may or may not be integrated into whatever lamp you buy.

We have four of each -- two stop/tail lamps at normal height (above the bumper) and two more at the top of the coach, and two amber turn at normal height and two more at the top.  We also installed an SAE oval as a center-mounted stop lamp at the top of the engine door -- not required on coaches, but a good idea, IMO.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 09:51:07 AM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2009, 05:29:41 PM »

Whatever the original equipment specification was, must be maintained.

There are lots of LED bulb units available, I'd try testing a few for brightness (the only important quality of a light bulb). If you're replacing all the turn signals with LEDs you may suddenly discover the flasher doesn't work properly, or at all, because the bulb load
is now too small. You can get flashers specifically designed for flashing LEDs, or a load resistor that simulates the load of a string of incandescent lights (but this negates the benefits of having LEDs in the first place which is lower current draw).

If a trooper or DOT decides to pull you over (and they can, even if its' a private coach) and decide that the lighting you have does not
meet the original equipment specifications (and some of these troopers are quite crafty) you'll be cited, private vehicle or not. Its' the same as if you drive your car with a lamp burned out.

Now you can, as someone suggested, remove the wraparound lamps and build your own custom arrangement, but they must, in the case of the Dina, or any other bus built after 1994, offer a 135-degree field of view (or more specifically be seen from the side as well as the rear)

The wraparound lenses aren't so bad, they fit in well with the overall shape of the coach, and you can add to the lighting if you wish...you just cannot eliminate or reduce the 135-degree field of view.

I fully expect that eventually someone will come out with an LED panel that fits into these wraparound lamps like the ones used on
Ford vans, MCI E and G coaches, Dinas, and numerous makes of motorhomes - even MCI itself might eventually develop such a lamp module.
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 06:08:22 PM »

Thanks for the good news.  Sad

I'm hoping I can cancel my orders for the LED lights since nothing I ordered was in stock.  I'll have to order new light sockets from MCI I guess.  I also went and ordered a bunch of Weather Pack connectors and crimpers that are now going to go to waste.

Obama will become a staunch republican and cut taxes and spending before MCI will develop LED lighting for the Dina.  There are more MC9s still on the road than Dina Viaggios and the MC9s are much older.

Damn, damn, and triple damn.  I was figuring on the LED lighting fixing my lighting issues for years to come.  The Dina light sockets are crap.  New ones will fix the corrosion problems, but they use flat spade connectors that constantly come loose.  There is no wire lead to put a better connector on.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 06:18:15 PM »

How does Prevost meet the 135 degree lighting requirement on the H3?  Even the H3 from recent years still has flat lights on the back like Ace has on his H3.

I'm so disgusted with the problems with my tail lights that I would replace the existing fixtures with new incandescent models that fit if they used a different connector on the light sockets.  I'm 99% sure that never in my life would I find a complete light assembly that fit the existing hole although I have to believe that Dina didn't have a custom light assembly made.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Sean
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 08:06:25 PM »

Whatever the original equipment specification was, must be maintained.

Please cite the code section for this.  I can't find such a requirement listed anywhere.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
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