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I have seen a few mods and am wondering what the brightest mod for the tail lights would be. You would think people would see a giant box stopped in front of them but I have had a few close calls. My wife just got her Civic hit from behind as she was stopped so I will try and find a mod for her car too. A unit that flashes might me nice.
 

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I have seen a few mods and am wondering what the brightest mod for the tail lights would be. You would think people would see a giant box stopped in front of them but I have had a few close calls. My wife just got her Civic hit from behind as she was stopped so I will try and find a mod for her car too. A unit that flashes might be nice.
You mean brightest as in smartest, or most CP?

You can change the bulbs to anything you want, but if you change the lenses to aftermarket ones, be certain they have "SAE DOT FMVSS 108" or similar certification codes engraved on them. Flashing or pulsation brake lights are illegal on non-emergency vehicles in every US state except when stationary during an emergency.

I've seen a lot of nice LED supplementary brake lights, one set that is surface mounted and a 13" long, 28 LED type - you could mounted one on each side of the original center brake light.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370243571694&category=33713&_trksid=p4340.m183&_trkparms=algo=SI&its=I%2BC%2BS%2BIA&itu=SI%2BUS-BWR%2BUCI%2BUCC%2BPSS%2BCRS%2BRTQ%2BIT%2BUA&otn=3&ps=33

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/28-LED-Brake-Stop-Beam-Rear-Warning-Car-Light-Lamp-New_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem53dc481378QQitemZ360177996664QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
 

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How about flashing on the 3rd brake light only?

I seen a late model 4runner with flashing 3rd brake light only another day here in North CA. It work pretty well since it caught my attention.
 

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How about flashing on the 3rd brake light only?

I seen a late model 4runner with flashing 3rd brake light only another day here in North CA. It work pretty well since it caught my attention.
in California, flashing is OK, if it's limited to 4 flashes or 2 seconds, whichever comes first, or something like that. if the brake light continues to flash while the pedal is depressed, it's not legal. but just for the initial press, it's OK.
 

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flashing brake light

hi, i am thinking of these for my next project. i really am not sure if these are illegal to think Bicycles has them. Im thinking of connectin it to the 3rd brake light and install them at each corners levelling to the 3rd brake.

Lights can wig wag back and forth or all 16 leds stay on with the halogen strobe flashing on top (if you do not want the halogen bulb strobing, then snip the wire and remove that bulb)

what do you think of these? i can get them in red.
 

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hi, i am thinking of these for my next project. i really am not sure if these are illegal to think Bicycles has them. Im thinking of connecting it to the 3rd brake light and install them at each corners levelling to the 3rd brake.

Lights can wig wag back and forth or all 16 leds stay on with the halogen strobe flashing on top (if you do not want the halogen bulb strobing, then snip the wire and remove that bulb)

what do you think of these? i can get them in red.
I've started to add/modify lighting for my Element, and because I'm planning to visit most of the states in the US during the next couple years, I spent a great deal of time checking out what can and can't be done legally in each state.

Federal law, which takes precedence over state law if there is a conflict, permits the addition of more brake, maker or turn signal lamps - however -

1. The original lamps can't be modified and must use DOT/SAE approved components.
2. Additional lamps must match the originals in color and function.
3. Placement must comply with the original Federal requirements.
4. States and municipalities can and frequently do put additional restrictions on auxiliary lighting. For example, some require all auxiliary lights to bear SAE/DOT numbers for their on-road applications.

Basically, you can add red brake/stop lights, but their flashing has to be in sync with the originals and they can't be mounted higher than the 3rd brake lamp. Wig-wagging is not permitted because it is considered to obscure the operation of the original lamps. Red or blue lamps that flash faster than standard turn signals are reserved by all states for emergency vehicles.

Your local municipality or state may not enforce the Federal laws, but if you drive or sell a vehicle that doesn't comply with the Federal laws into another state the fines can be pretty hefty. It isn't unusual for a vehicle pulled over for non-compliant lamps to be inspected for other violations, and the inconvenience in returning to that area to prove compliance (all states cooperate in enforcing this) can be considerable.

IMHO, if you wire the added lamps in parallel with the 3rd brake lamp, and so they don't strobe, you should be ok installing them in the upper corners of the rear window.
 

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Has anyone had trouble with the cruise control after adding LED tail lamps. Honda has released a service news on the cruise control being inop due to feedback from aftermarket LED taillamps. The first step in checking cruise problems is to make sure the taillamps are standard OEM bulbs. I just wanted to know if anyone has had the cruise problem, and if so is a work around fix out to keep the cruise working.
 

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My Solution

I picked up a used light bar with two red H1 halogen lights surrounding a white one. The white is wired to my reverse lights, and I now have twin "third" brake lights, both much brighter than the original. Including a couple of metal straps and bolts to attach it, the whole things cost me about $12.00. Granted, the fixture was used, but a little ingenuity goes a long way.


 

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I think there is good advice in this thread! I like OTG's LED mod, and I doubt he'll ever face an issue with the authorities, but psschmied makes very good points about placement. Hownowcb has a fantastic design too.

For me, it was all about keeping the mindless locals from rear-ending me. This seems to be the number one accident here because they all follow too close or tailgate. My goal was to have more LED's that are not on at all other than brake lights. IMO, LED response speed catches peoples eye faster and a narrow degree focus on an LED is generally brighter than any incandescent tail light. With this many lights that come on only when braking, it makes a lot of light, and keeps people off your a$$ when coming to a stop at night. Here are two pics of the difference between rolling and braking.

One last thing... I take issue with the plastic 3rd brake light housing that Honda insists on using. It's too big, and blocks my rear view mirror in certain cases. So I found an old GM LED strip at the wrecking yard and removed the plastic housing completely and replaced with a single thin strip. I like!
 

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I think there is good advice in this thread! I like OTG's LED mod, and I doubt he'll ever face an issue with the authorities, but psschmied makes very good points about placement. Hownowcb has a fantastic design too.

For me, it was all about keeping the mindless locals from rear-ending me. This seems to be the number one accident here because they all follow too close or tailgate. My goal was to have more LED's that are not on at all other than brake lights. IMO, LED response speed catches peoples eye faster and a narrow degree focus on an LED is generally brighter than any incandescent tail light. With this many lights that come on only when braking, it makes a lot of light, and keeps people off your a$$ when coming to a stop at night. Here are two pics of the difference between rolling and braking.

One last thing... I take issue with the plastic 3rd brake light housing that Honda insists on using. It's too big, and blocks my rear view mirror in certain cases. So I found an old GM LED strip at the wrecking yard and removed the plastic housing completely and replaced with a single thin strip. I like!
Do you have pix of just the third brake light mod?? I really like how that looks. I would like to see how it looks without the OEM plastic and how the GM LEDs look. Its a shame you need that many brake lights for people to see you!!!
 

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. . . I take issue with the plastic 3rd brake light housing that Honda insists on using. It's too big, and blocks my rear view mirror in certain cases. So I found an old GM LED strip at the wrecking yard and removed the plastic housing completely and replaced with a single thin strip. I like!
I like the GM solution, because it functions better than the original (and it's unlikely to be tagged).

I agree about the placement/bulk of the Honda 3rd brake light - and the placement/bulk of the rear wiper motor. I could see some rationale for the brake light since it was pre-LED and needed to be accessible for service, but putting the wiper motor farther down in the gate would have allowed a longer arm, a stock wiper blade that could clean more of the rear window. I guess the placement of the big "H" was more important to the designers than functionality.
 

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Do you have pix of just the third brake light mod?? I really like how that looks. I would like to see how it looks without the OEM plastic and how the GM LEDs look. Its a shame you need that many brake lights for people to see you!!!
I don't have pics of that particular mod. From outside it looks great, but under the hatch it still looks unfinished. Not really sure how to polish it off!?

Seems ridiculous to me too, but so many close calls prior to these, and now people stay away! I think they don't like to look at them.
 

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