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Thread: Upgraded reverse lights

  1. #1
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    Default Upgraded reverse lights

    I need some extra light when I back up. My truck takes a standard 1156 bulb. My plan is to break the glass off a stock bulb and replace the glass with 2-pin bulb holder and probably a 50W bulb. Does anybody know where I can get 2 cheap holders and some cheap replacement bulbs? There are some on DX but I don't know what bulbs they take. The cheaper the better here because this is going to be hidden and I'll make sure its good enough to be reliable.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    That would not be a wise thing to do; you'd be throwing a 100% overload on the circuit (designed for two 27w bulbs). Instead, replace your 32-candlepower 1156s with 64-candlepower 796s, which have the filament in the right place and orientation and take only 35w, which is not an unsafe increase on your circuit.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic irsa76's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Another idea, and one that I personally prefer, is add a set of proper flood lights/aux backup lights on a fused and relayed circuit swithed off your OE backup lights.
    Yes I'm night blind!
    Can't you see?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    ...or what I am currently working on, which is an LED built onto the stock halogen base

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    I've had the 50 watt halogen bulbs on standard backup light bases, bayonet type base as I recall.

    But I agree that the best choice is a pair of adequately wired auxiliary floods. If you include a nice ON-OFF-AUTO switch, you can always switch them on manually when you need work lights to hitch a trailer or something. And most of the time you can let them be controlled by the stock backup lights.

    If you have a set of cheap driving or fog lights that just didn't cut it up front, here's a place to put them to work.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  6. #6

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by irsa76 View Post
    Another idea, and one that I personally prefer, is add a set of proper flood lights/aux backup lights on a fused and relayed circuit swithed off your OE backup lights.
    I ended up mounting a pair of Truck Lite 4" LED flood lamps, wired them directly into the backup lights. Due to the low amp draw, no need for a relay. They are excellent for backing up at night, espcially if you are backing up to a trailer. They have been on my F-150 for 2 years and no problems.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by grizz660 View Post
    I ended up mounting a pair of Truck Lite 4" LED flood lamps, wired them directly into the backup lights. Due to the low amp draw, no need for a relay. They are excellent for backing up at night, espcially if you are backing up to a trailer. They have been on my F-150 for 2 years and no problems.

    I did the same thing using this: http://www.soundoffsignal.com/white_..._Rock-Spot.htm

    I wired it directly into my reverse lamp circuit. They can be very useful, since your reverse lights will come without the motor running (set parking brake, turn ignition to 'on' position, put in reverse gear). These only take approx 9 watts of power and are very bright.

    Beam shots of the LED's only, not including the truck's reverse lights:

  8. #8
    Flashaholic JonN06's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    That sure looks handy. I need to do that to my truck.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    In Texas, you can put very dark tint on your rear window. The tint helps keep out some of the heat, but it makes reversing at night much more difficult. The extra candlepower really helps. Plus, we like to camp. Frequently, we'll back up to the campsite to unload the truck. This will be very helpful (though, really, it's not that big a deal to turn the vehicle around to light the area also).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Any brighter light bulb replacement for 921 bulbs?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by rushnrockt View Post
    Any brighter light bulb replacement for 921 bulbs?
    As of a few months ago:
    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Nope.

    Not sure if anything's changed.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Not sure if anything's changed.
    Nope.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    These 921 bulbs have favorable reviews, although highly expensive. Anyone try these? They use IC controllers instead of resistors. I have been looking for a while too for a better backup light, as my eyes are getting weaker with age.

    http://www.v-leds.com/Exterior-LED/P...26829-1-2.html

  14. #14

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by mikered30 View Post
    These 921 bulbs have favorable reviews, although highly expensive. Anyone try these? They use IC controllers instead of resistors. I have been looking for a while too for a better backup light, as my eyes are getting weaker with age.

    http://www.v-leds.com/Exterior-LED/P...26829-1-2.html
    As an EE I can tell you that the light output is highly unlikely to be similar to the stock bulbs. The lumen rating from V-Leds is 250 which is around the same as a 921. With ~26 lumen/watt rating on the LEDs, I would hope to see a bit more heat sinking, as any temperature increase, self-heating or external, will lead to decreased output. And that's all on top of the fact that the bulb does not replicate 921 in any acceptable form, reducing its usability in the reflector built for 921, but Scheinwerfermann can provide his as usual warm opinion on that if he wants.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    The v-led 8w 921 LED replacement are just as bright as the Nitehawk or Silverstar replacements, which are both lame and available usually at your local autopart or dept store. The only reason to use an LED 921 is to use the power saved for other reverse bulbs like the vled license plate frame:
    http://www.v-leds.com/Exterior-LED/L...16915-1-2.html

    921 LED upgrades are not worth it unless you make your own. The 5w and 8w 921's are NOT made for non-stop usage. After a minute, they'll overheat. So, only use them to back-up and don't leave vehicle in reverse while doing whatever.

    Upgraded 1156's for reverse lighting are plentiful in most autopart stores, and are usually 35-50w. Check your reverse light fuse, usually 10amp which will tolerate 120w. So, two 50w 1156 replacement bulbs would work without burning down your vehicle.

    I found the license plate frame to be the best choice for someone that doesn't want to ruin the lines of their vehicle. I've had reverse spot/fog lights bolted to hitches, bumpers, under frame..... and didn't care for going that route again. Upgraded bulbs is my 1st choice. If that doesn't work, something somewhat hidden, like the license plate frame, is a great choice. And, if you have a hitch, plenty of 'hitch lights' available too.

    For a 1156, the JCwhitney back-up bulbs are a great choice. Autozone/advanceauto/napa/pepboys around here have equivalents:
    http://www.jcwhitney.com/back-up-bul...x?filterid=j1#

  16. #16

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    thanks for the input guys

  17. #17

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Gonna bump this. I came across these, any one know if they are good for back up or just junk like the v led 921? 68 1210-size SMDs with 476 lumens.


    http://www.diodedynamics.com/store/i...r/category/15/

  18. #18

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    LED bulb retrofits do not work safely or effectively, and for that reason are illegal.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    If I may ask a quick question while on the topic of reverse lights... Can anybody recommend a good upgrade from a stock 194 bulb? Not looking for auxillary lights just an improvement when the stockers burn out.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    I would be interested to learn what kind of car you have that takes 194 bulbs in its reversing lamps. The 194 doesn't produce anywhere near enough light to meet the reverse light function's minimum intensity requirements, unless perhaps there are eight or ten of them in the lamp.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Hmm... if a 194 was somehow installed in place of a reverse lamp bulb with similar base ("oops, it's out, oh here's something that fits"), that would certainly explain a crappy backup light.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  22. #22

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    That's exactly what I'm wondering. The 900-series bulbs (906, 912, 916, 921, 922) have the same glass wedge base as the 194/168/W3W/W5W etc, but the two groups have very different focal lengths and most of the latter group put out less light than most of the former group.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    On the topic of swapping a 1156 with a 796 bulb, would this be dangerous or inadvisable when used as a DRL; specifically for a '12 Mitsubishi Outlander? Also, I think I read in one of Stern's articles (or a Scheinwerfermann posting) stating that amber light is more effective than other colors as a DRL. Is this true? If so, does any reputable manufacturer make an amber-colored 796? All I've seen is the hacked 796's on Ebay.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    The life of the 796 is 1/4 of a 1156. Its great for reverse lighting since you probably won't run hundreds of hours in reverse. Stick with the stock bulbs for DRL.
    795 is another 1156 option for reverse lighting. I've used both the 795 and 796 for my lawn tractor headlights. They've put the 1156 to shame.

    For anyone wanting an incan option for the 921, Raybrig R118 is an 18w(stock wattage) 921 with twice the output. You're sacrificing life for output which shouldn't be a problem with a temporarily used reverse light.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
    The life of the 796 is 1/4 of a 1156
    Yeah, and moreover...why would we need to double the intensity of the DRL? (Answer: we wouldn't!).

    795 is another 1156 option for reverse lighting.
    Not a wise one -- 795 is 55w, which is double the stock power. The wiring and switch are put at risk if you do this. The 796 is 35w, which is over stock power but not so much so that it creates a risk in most applications.

    For anyone wanting an incan option for the 921, Raybrig R118 is an 18w(stock wattage) 921 with twice the output.
    I donno about that. "Citation needed", etc. Raybrig is one of those brands aimed at the "tuner" crowd -- lots of blue bulbs, etc. -- and many of their claims seem to be made without substantiation or documentation.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    10 amp fuse on my reverse lighting which is good for 120w. Not too worried about the 55w bulbs when reversed is used for 2min backing up increments.

    I didn't say to use 795/796 as a DRL. If you do any amount of driving, they'd burn out in a few months as a DRL. What I said was to "stick with the stock bulbs for DRL".

    Raybrig 921 bulb that I was given isn't blue. And, I'd say 'one bulb' in reverse put out more light than 'both stock' 921 bulbs.

    Another option is the 921x bulbs which are a little brighter.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
    10 amp fuse on my reverse lighting which is good for 120w.
    Sure, that's the fuse. Take a hard look at the wiring (gauge) and the switch rating. They are almost certainly not up to the task of handling 120w.

    Not too worried about the 55w bulbs when reversed is used for 2min backing up increments.
    You might be more worried about it if you had seen some of the hair-raisingly extensive damage I've seen as a result of exactly this application of exactly that bulb. Keep in mind many newer cars don't have a reverse light switch in the sense most of us are used to considering; rather, in reverse gear the body computer activates the reverse lamps. The output channels of the body computer aren't going to happily tolerate a severe overload.

    I didn't say to use 795/796 as a DRL.
    I know you didn't. Phatty McPatty asked about it.

    Raybrig 921 bulb that I was given isn't blue. And, I'd say 'one bulb' in reverse put out more light than 'both stock' 921 bulbs.
    Oh? What intensities did you measure?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
    10 amp fuse on my reverse lighting which is good for 120w. Not too worried about the 55w bulbs when reversed is used for 2min backing up increments
    110W of an incandescent load may blow the fuse from inrush current. The wiring and sockets will probably suffer, too.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Measure intensities? Why, I looked out my WINDOW. Didn't need to use any fancy equipment. Maybe if the lighting engineers actually looked out their rearview mirror while driving at night, we'd get better reverse lighting.

    I haven't blown any fuses or wires. But, the same warning should be given to the 35w bulbs too. And, with the push to relay/update wiring of the headlights, anyone who has an issue can simply do the same with their reverse wiring.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Upgraded reverse lights

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
    Measure intensities? Why, I looked out my WINDOW.
    Ah. So, it's a subjective impression. Juuuuuuust checking!
    :-)

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