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Author Topic:   Trailer Lighting: LED Replacements for 1157
frontier posted 10-27-2006 01:33 AM ET (US)   Profile for frontier   Send Email to frontier  
[Seeks reports of installation of] LED units that [replace] a standard 1157 trailer [light].
kingfish posted 10-27-2006 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Maybe - I have all LEDs (a bunch of them) on my trailer that I replaced the older incandescent lights with [but they replaced the whole lamp fixture, not just the light bulb.] Here is a link to a company that sells 1157 LEDs and says their 1157 LEDs fit any standard [bayonet] socket:
jimh posted 10-27-2006 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The nomenclature 1157 refers to a miniature incandescent lamp. The socket into which an 1157 minature electric lamp installs is a bayonet socket.
jimh posted 10-27-2006 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At $27 a pop, you have to really like those LED replacement lamps.
kingfish posted 10-27-2006 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
No kidding! An entire LED run/stop/turn fixture can be purchased for less than that.
davej14 posted 10-27-2006 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
There are a few other things I would be worried about with this replacement bulb:

1. Intensity may not be adequate. You will notice that most LED assemblies have a direct view of the LED chips. This makes them very visible because you are looking directly at the point source of the light. Incandescent designs utilize reflected light within the housing which must be brighter on average to achieve the same visual impact. While there is an attempt to achieve this by the unusual placement of the LED chips, I seriously doubt that 15 mA of current can do the job. Most of the taillights with direct view are going to be running at 25-30mA. Notice there is no claim that DOT requirements will be met with the replacement bulbs.

2. Because emissions from an LED are monochromatic, any mismatch between the lens color and the wavelength of the emissions could seriously degrade the intensity of the tail light.

3. These high intensity LED chips run HOT. The tight cluster is probably why they are running at only about 15mA.

4. It s hard to tell from the photo, but the surface mount LEDs seem to have their solder attachment points exposed. This would be a bad thing unless the tail light assembly is completely sealed.

In this case, I see no benefit to using an LED replacement bulb. Even if the cost were the same I would stay with incandescent lamps as replacements in a conventional fixture.

jimh posted 10-27-2006 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is the opinion of SHORELAND'R on the use of LED trailer lighting:

Full text at:


"ShoreLand'r, a leading manufacturer of boat trailers, has researched the advantages and disadvantages of both [LED and conventional incandescent lamp] technologies and offers consumers these insights and suggestions when purchasing a new trailer or replacement lights for an existing trailer.

"All vehicle and trailer lights have to meet minimum standards for light intensity, direction and reflectivity as outlined by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 and administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). They also must have the ability to withstand environmental elements such as dust, moisture, corrosion and vibration. Most of the leading light manufacturers have had years to develop incandescent lights that meet these standards. However, this does not apply to LED lights and not all the new LED trailer lights offered today meet the DOT standard."

Chuck Tribolet posted 10-28-2006 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
FWIW, about a year ago I replaced the incandescent lights on
my Shoreland'r trailer with LED units from West Marine. The
original lights were similar to West p/n 6861660 and I'd
probably replaced four assemblies in nine years and about
every six months I'd have to fix something, usually a bad
connection inside the assembly due to corrosion, or a couple
of times a burned out bulb. The replacements were West p/n
6862106 and I haven't had to touch them.

The incandescents never flashed well when signaling turns
because of the delay for the filiment to heat up. The LEDs
flash just great.


gorji posted 10-28-2006 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
In my opinion, LEDs are the way to go.
Harbor freight sells the whole LED trailer kit for about $39.

BW is sending their new trailers with LED lights (at least the smaller trailers).

frontier posted 10-28-2006 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
A search on EBAY with " 1157 LED " brings quite a few choices. Some for $7.50 each. Maybe worth a try!
kingfish posted 10-28-2006 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
$7.50 is still steep, but a lot more palatable than $27.00.

LEDs are brighter in the daytime than incandescents, brighter in the night time, and they blink quicker and more crisply than incandescents, which all adds up to greater ease of being seen and I like that. I don't want the person behind me to have any doubt whatsoever about my plans when I'm trailering. I changed to LEDs (as I said earlier, a lot of them) 3 or 4 years ago and I am convinced it's a better way to go.

contender posted 10-29-2006 12:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I do not care what lights you have/buy, but if they go in the water when you lanuch the boat they will break/burn out/crack/rust. You need to set your lights either on the boat itself and make them removable, or placed them on top of the poles (trailer guides) of your trailer. Then you will not be replacing them and you can have anything you want. good luck
frontier posted 10-29-2006 01:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
I've been using the "Dry Launch" brand tail lights for some time. They are open on the bottom, and when backed in the water, air is trapped and keeps the bulb from getting wet. They may be a good application for the new LED bulbs.
Chuck Tribolet posted 10-29-2006 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The incandescent lights on my trailer WERE Dry Launch maybe
they are OK in fresh water, or calm salt water, but in
rock and roll salt water, they got wet in there.


kingfish posted 10-29-2006 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I have LEDs (which are marketed as being hermetically sealed), both on the trailer frame and on the top of trailer guides. I don't even unplug the trailer lights from the rear of the tow vehicle when I launch and retrieve, and after 3 or 4 years I don't have any more trouble with the lower lights than I do with the upper lights. Fresh water most of the time but not all of the time.
davej14 posted 10-30-2006 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Replacing incandescent fixtures with LED fixtures is a good idea. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED "bulbs" is a BAD idea.
kingfish posted 10-30-2006 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Ah so...I've got it now. And point on to the original question asked. Thanks for the clarification, davej14.
Chuck Tribolet posted 09-18-2007 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I just replaced one of the two West LED units I reported on
above. This after two trouble-free years, and a month's
warning (The bottom LEDs went out first, and a few LEDS were
still working this past weekend). There was about a
quarter of a cup of salt water inside. I cut it open and
found the water, which wasn't obvious from the outside. Next
time I'd put the unit in the sun, face down, and see where
the salt crystals form as expension forces the water out.

I replaced it with an identical unit.


simonmeridew posted 09-27-2007 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
I have LEDs on my montauk trailer. My experience with them is that as long as the plastic enclosures are totally intact the LEDs will work as has been described above. But if you bump or otherwise physically damage the case of the fixture, you will get water in side and LEDs are very INtolerant of any water presumably because of electronic circuits and circuitboards. They will fail one by one, and there's no fix to them. You'll need to get a whole new assembly, no question about it. Get them at Champion Thailers. Cabela's also has them.
Chuck Tribolet posted 09-28-2007 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
When incandescent assembly get wet inside, they corrode, and
suddenly quit working. I really like the month's warning that LED
unit gave me.


where2 posted 10-07-2007 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I had some of the early "Road Warrior" brand LED lights one one of my trailers. They NEVER get dunked, because I never dunk the trailer. (it has rollers, I just roll the boat off and winch it up the trailer which is 22 years old and going strong for a galvanized trailer in South Florida).

Anyway, upon finding a half cup of obviously fresh water in one of my two LED fixtures, I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a replacement at no charge. Funny thing about it was the replacement was slightly different in appearance than the original, so I contacted them and they sent me a second replacement to match the first replacement. That's what I call customer service!!

If you wire the new LED lights with a wired ground from the tongue to the light fixture, you will eliminate the typical grounding problems you have with trailer lights.

My only problem in recent years has been corrosion on the flat connector plug. I need to get some grease and a rubber boot for storage...

Chuck Tribolet posted 11-30-2007 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Back in September, I reported replacing a West Marine unit.

In yesterday's mail, I got a letter from West saying that
they had had reports of problems, and if
I had problems I can return them for a full refund. I still
have both receipts (original purchase and replacement, but
I've tossed the dead light. Now I get to see how good West's
Customer Service is.


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