ARE LED RUNNING LIGHTS NECESSARY, DO WE NEED THEM??

 
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject: ARE LED RUNNING LIGHTS NECESSARY, DO WE NEED THEM?? Reply with quote

After five years playing with external LEDs on my Misubishi Horse Float Truck and now my Mack Dual Cab 4x4, I have a final judgment call for 2007 on external LED running lights on Bushtracker vans….

Yes they are nice, but what is wrong with the normal festoon globe running lights we use? I have not changed a half dozen bulbs in my own vans in ten years. A repair kit is some festoon globes in tissue in a matchbox and a screw driver, where the LED lights are non-repairable disposable units. The LEDs do pull far less current, but who cares as when your running lights are on at night your engine is running and it carries the load.

??So, why are all trucks going to LEDs?? Well there are three areas they shine into, (yes intended pun)… One is for the decorative touch when people are able to add on 50 or 100 lights to their rigs, without loading up their alternator as the LEDs pull next to nothing in current. Fancy and looks good on the highway, as the Big Rigs get decorated like Christmas Floats… Another reason is the LEDs are now multivoltage, and the Road Trains loss of voltage on trailer to trailer hookup does not affect the LEDs performance.. Actually this is the main reason they are changing over.. The last of the three main reasons is for pulling alongside the road, and with LED running lights you could leave your parking lights on while you had a bit of a sleep, without draining your batteries. All three of these advantages have little to do with owning a Bushtracker.

And my new Mack is not LED on the truck lights. It has all the latest technology, from ISRI memory air seats, Disc Maxi Brakes, Cruise control, power heated remote mirrors, remote adjusting headlamps, and 50 more things you don’t even want to know about. But does it have LED parking lights from the factory? No.

??But don’t the LEDs last longer?? A running light costs about $20 and up, and the big stop/ tail/ turning light modules cost hundreds of dollars each side. The total for us to upgrade a van to full external LED is $600. I would have replaced a half dozen of the LED running lights on my truck in the last couple of years. The diodes burn out, and there is a leaking problem in some. They either leak from the sealed unit base, or wick water up through where the wiring comes in, or capillary action draws water up the wiring itself. They are a disposable sealed unit, that is sometimes not sealed all that well… The old standard festoon lights on a Bushtracker last a long time, bulbs are cheap and replaceable. Then there is another Irony, and they seem to all say the diodes last 10,000 hours, but they change models every year or so… OK, you have one that water leaks into, get a new one… But guess what, it is a new model and they do not match…

How about a $500 Stop Tail Indicator Module, and one goes out? Or you backed intoa tree? How about a mismatched ugly duck, or having to change out both sides with the current model? So far they are changing the models and look of them every year or two so you have to update.. I don’t know, but a festoon globe is still looking OK to me…

??Are the LED running lights visually better??? Well, they are a smaller, but a higher intensity running light. Our normal running lights are a lower intensity, but a larger light. Net practical affect? Up close the LED is a needle like darkness piercing light, but at 50 or 100 metres? Not enough to make the switch I would say. There is a difference, but it is worth the hassle and money? Even if they cost the same, it is a disposable replacement type of light that is non-repairable, and may not even have a replacement to match the ones you have available?

Much of technology is geared toward commercialism, and getting a bite out of your pocket, with a “fad” that becomes popular and then later they try and push to become the new standard. On the interior when you are sitting, running off storage batteries, yes it makes very good sense and that is why we switched over to LED in the reading lights. But the exterior running lights in expensive and sealed disposable units out in the rain, whose power savings is of little value as your engine is running supporting them? I don’t think I would bother. Unless you really want to spend the money, I am not sure that is the place to do it. You can have them if you want, but some new technology is just geared for extraction from your pocketbook.

??Don’t I have them on my own van??? Well I had to make sure there was no other hidden benefit, by living with them myself, as with all things to give you the proper advice..... Also my van is a bit of a Showpiece, and at the Shows People that are herded by Fads and Trends tend to expect to see them… But would I suggest you go to LED running lights? You can, if you have the money you want to spend, but I personally would say it is not necessary.

I do like showing it off, leaving the lights running when I am in for a meal in a truck stop at night, with horses in the truck, looks sharp! But probably a waste of money for most. So if you do not have them, I would not feel that I was missing out on anything. And for those in planning, my judgment is they are definitely not necessary, more of just a fad for caravans.

Sometimes technology in application is all about the pocketbook and selling the Public, digging money out of them, and not necessarily real net progress… Image, and making you think you are missing out if you don’t have the current trendy gimmick, motivated by induced economic spending… Those of you that disagree about the LEDs are welcome to spend your money here. But as always, I am giving the “Fair Dinkum” coaching on the subjects. And I am not sure I would bother, trendy, but frivolous…..

Ranger sitting by the fire….. And my saddles are still leather, refuse to go synthetic or trendy….

Semper Fidelis…


Last edited by Bushtracker on Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Troopytracker



Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 21
Location: Australia
State:: WA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

I meet someone afew days ago who is definately against the LED's, nowhere near as good for scratching your nose was her theory... Very Happy

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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the piccie.... That horse has found a very good use.... Thanks for the picture Troopytracker....

In saying all that about LEDs:
There is one really good case for LEDs on the exterior....


We have a Customer that has just ordered them, so he can tow with his 24volt Isuzu truck as well as his Landcruiser... As he lives on the land and will tow with both on various trips as needs be...

He is getting the variable volts, from memory 6-42 volt LEDs all around. He will have both 12 and 24 volt exterior lights....

Good case for LEDs, can't argue with that one for sure..!!!
He needs them!!
Wink

Regards, Bushtracker
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 5038
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new 200 Series Landcruiser is having problems with the black box computer drive relays to run the towing system lights...

In all fairness, I have heard of a number of failures and replacements, and talk of a re-design from within Toyota. And, they have just issued a Bulletin where they lower the towing wattage the system can carry.

This adds up to a valid reason for LEDs... My new van also has LEDs, and my case the why has a valid engineering reason. I have variable 6-42v LEDs, so I can tow with 12v and the 24v power system of my Mack Horsetruck..



My mid sized tow vehicle... Laughing
Eco friendly as it carries horses Laughing

Regards, Ranger
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Bushtucker man



Joined: 26 Aug 2007
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Location: South CARINGBAH
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: ECU & harness- 200series Reply with quote

Hi Steve & Boggers,

I have just returned from having the ECU/Black box changed, under warrenty, in the Turbo diesel. We had the problem, like others, with the lights turning off after about 2mins, TMCA have a recall if everyone checks with their supplying dealer, the part # I was given is "PZQ6100030M".

All I need now is to get the BT back from the Dometic people at Minchenbury to hook up and try it.

Cheers,
Stan
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Retired & making the most of the rest of our lives in a BT!!!
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