I bought a 1993 Triumph Tiger last August to run through Winter. As it happens, for one reason or another, I didn’t get it on the road until December. In the three months I ran it, I went through around six stop/tail bulbs of various types, including LED bulbs. I have no idea why the bulbs kept blowing but I decided that I could resolve this issue by designing my own LED circuit with some over voltage protection built in.
The main reasons for deciding to build my own circuit were as follows:
- Off-the-shelf LED bulbs are not efficient at putting the light where you want it – and because of this, are often not as bright as filament bulbs.
- My bike was blowing bulbs quicker than I was able to buy replacements.
- I wanted to incorporate a flashing brake light circuit
- I fancied doing something different
The initial design included two 12v regulators and two polarity protective diodes; one for each of the stop and tail light circuits.
When fitted to the bike, I found that the voltage drop across the regulators and various diodes was too much and the LEDs were not bright enough. I removed the voltage regulators from the circuit and this solved the problem – thought the LEDs were still not as bright as during testing. This was my fault as I only had an 18v source when testing.
Videos of the original breadboard test circuit:
I only have pictures of the installed circuit on the bike – no video. Since installation, whatever was killing the bulbs seems to have affected the brake flasher circuit and, although it still works, it no longer works the way it should.
Update: I replaced a capacitor on the circuit board and it is now working – shame about the rest of the bike 🙂
I am sorry there is no circuit diagram or more in depth detail about the circuitry. I didn’t keep the circuit diagrams as I was using unregistered software which wouldn’t let me save the diagrams. I am planning a version 2 of this circuit that will be based on 9v instead of 12v so that voltage drop shouldn’t be a problem (if anyone reads this, can you please recommend a decent circuit diagram package).