This post was updated on .
Well it had to come - LED lights for trailers and they are as cheap as chips:
The key issue is are they bright enough to be legal? But knowing how bright LED lights are these days the odds are good or getting better.
Being slimline I could bolt them onto MilliBee's transom - I've given it some thought and time can be saved launching/recovering if you only have to clip on a licence plate and the trailer plug is part of the boat. Or fully waterproof would be nice to permanently mount on bottom rail of the trailer.
I've had LED sealed lights on my trailer for around 6 years or so now. Very reliable, as long as the wiring connections are very well sealed. I mentioned them in this thread from 2014: http://uk-hbbr-forum.967333.n3.nabble.com/Trailer-electrics-tp4027857p4027878.html
The back of the lights I have are potted with resin, so the lights will happily work completely underwater. There's a photo of the trailer with them fitted here somewhere, as it was designed to be the last trailer I'll ever need, with stainless fastenings everywhere, alloy construction and extra coats of bitumen-type paint on the suspension unit. The lights are fixed, as I've smashed up more trailer light boards than you can wave a stick at, and decided just letting the lights get immersed made things easier.
I found the photo of the trailer with them fitted: http://uk-hbbr-forum.967333.n3.nabble.com/New-trailer-in-progress-tp4027421p4027427.html You've may have seen it at Beale Park a few years ago (before I started building the house - which is, thankfully, nearly finished), as I know it's been there at least a once, may be twice.
LED trailer lights have been around for some years - Indespension have had them for a long time.
However you may need to be careful. I've just bought a 2015 Fiesta and noted that the handbook says - "The electrical system on your vehicle is not suitable for towing trailers with LED lamps".
It doesn't explain why, I suspect it may be because it's a multiplex wiring system, and may need extra relays or something to eliminate flicker. I do need to investigate further, like for example whether Ford's own wiring kit gets round that.
In reply to this post by Jeremy
What amazed me was how much prices have dropped.
Last time I looked prices were higher and there was less choice.
It will be interesting to compare light output. .think of the blinding bike lights recently as LED power and efficiencies have slowly improved.
If you are going to do that you might as well have the number plate, the red triangles and all permanently attached to the transom. But check the regulations first-I suspect the whole thing would be illegal.
I take it that you would also link the orange flashing lights to the tiller movement? Red lights on the stern sailing at night- that could puzzle people
In reply to this post by simplesimon
You can almost certainly overcome the "LED trailer lights can't be used with this car" problem. My old car had the same warning, and I discovered that it was just due to the way that the bulb failure system worked. When a trailer was connected the car expected to see well over an amp of current flowing whenever the trailer indicators flashed. The LEDs didn't draw anywhere near enough current, so the car flashed up a lighting fault. The solution was to add the big resistors that were supplied with the lights across the indicator wiring (from each trailer indicator wire to ground). This then drew enough current to fool the car into thinking all was well.
The car I have now has a different incompatibility, in that there are no switched power wires to the rear lights at all, each light cluster just has an always-on power connection, a ground connection and two CANbus wires. There are electronics inside the light cluster that switch power to the correct LED rear light depending on the CANbus command it receives. This reduces the amount of wire in the car by a kilometre or two, apparently.
The solution to get the trailer socket to work was to buy a CANbus adapter. This box has power from the battery (via an in-line fuse), a ground connection and two CANbus connections on the car side, and a length of 7 core cable coming out that connects to the trailer lights. The electronics in this box intercepts the CANbus signals and turns the trailer lights on whenever the same lights come on in the car.
From the warning in the new Fiesta manual I suspect that all you would need is the resistor modification, and this came with the LED lights I bought as a part of the kit.
The moment is passed of course
But I really do wonder and am quite prepared to quote my mantras again. A couple of kilometres of wire - why in the name of blue blooded Bertie are these simple things so atrociously complicated?
They're light bulbs - ask Edison, he'll explain it to you
The possibly apocryphal story of the space race and the Americans spending countless dollars on designing a pen that would write in zero gravity and the Russians.... using a pencil.
Our Albert's quote - "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a lot of courage and a touch of genius to go in the opposite direction."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery - "You have achieved perfection in design, not when there is nothing more you can add, but when there is nothing more you can take away."
Which brings me to my Transit - it has more fuse boxes than my first cars had fuses. I now spend my waking moments, as do you folk, mired in trial by trivia - it's all so complicated that nothing actually works and my days are spent finding ways to circumvent some idiot's dysfunctional, er, "lightbulb moments".
Heaven defend this world against the rising torrent of 'intelligent fools'
And the trail of abdicated chaos they excrete
On 4 Jul 2016 at 2:45, Chris Waite [via UK HBBR Forum] wrote:
> The possibly apocryphal story of the space race and the Americans
> spending countless dollars on designing a pen that would write in zero
> gravity and the Russians.... using a pencil.
Definitely apocryphal. Pencils are totally forbidden in the space
station. All that graphite dust floating around near lots of delicate
Sail when you can, row when you must, motor only
when you have to be at work in the morning.
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Chris Waite
Next time I pop down I'll help you out with the Van Blanc electrics, although we may need a glass of van blanc to get through the process.
The modern system adds a layer to warn/nag the driver that important bulbs have stopped working - it's a safety critical issue, no ifs or buts.
PS: I strongly suggested you buy a Haynes Workshop Manual for your Transit. They have a whole chapter on the electrical system.
In reply to this post by alopenboat
I'd actually heard it was a chinagraph pencil (wax based, no powder.)
But probably still apocryphal.
I'm Sick Of Safety
I always found Common Sense a better tool - much more flexible and a greatly increased range of options. So it's sad to have recently received the following from the USofA:
Subject: An Obituary printed in the London Times (??)
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing
....incidentally, he's buried alongside a close friend, Personal Initiative.
And about the Transit - initially I used my old lighting board which persistently blew a fuse somewhere nigh unattainable in the bowels of the gubbins under the dash. Was I warned by any of the myriad safety systems the Safety Sentries insist upon?
Nah, not a bit of it - the Minister of the Interior informed me that my left rear light was out (as was the left front side) after following me on a two car outing some time later.
Goodness, one fuse for two whole bulbs
How daring can you get?
Wish I'd written that!
So so true.
Even in France the litigious culture is insidiously eating into people's freedom to act intelligently, though their innate disdain for authority is performing a rearguard action!
Oh dear! I fear that once the French stop ignoring rules and regulations they don't like then we're all doomed!
I've always admired the way the French choose to pick and choose which rules, regulations and laws to enforce and which to ignore. It reminds me of a visit to Italy, many years ago. I'd never been there before and was staying in a hotel in the centre of Livorno. I had to drive out to the Italian Naval Academy first thing in the morning after arriving late the night before, and got caught up in a massive traffic jam.
At every red light I duly stopped, whereupon there was a cacophony of car and scooter horns, with scooters shooting past me and riding through the red light. Being a law abiding Brit (well, mainly) I decided that there was no way I was going to risk running a red light, so I put up with all the horn-blaring and waving and stayed stopped at each red light.
When I arrived at the Academy and was having coffee with my host, a Commander in the Italian Navy, I asked him what the law was in Italy regarding traffic lights, specifically stopping at a red light. He smiled, waved his free hand and said "here in Italy we consider traffic signals to be, advisory".
I sometimes wish we took a similar view about some of our dafter regulations.
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