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Discussion Starter #1
I am not too good with wiring. I can build anything, but wire it....no way. So, I moved my plate down to the side and tried to wire up 2 bolt lights off ebay. here is what I did:

Remove original plate light assembly
cut off bulb
ran original wires back through the fender to under the seat
connected red to red and black to black on the LED bolts with a wire crimp connector
connected one wire from original light to each side, red and black
crimped it all down
ensured NO bare wires at all, no crossing wires and so on

After I was done, I turned the bike on for a few minutes to adjust the throttle and one of the LED wires smoked off. It worked ok for a few minutes while I was testing it and when I was done, but then it gave up on me. It was cool, but not at the same time. It was very strange to see smoke billowing like that. I shut it off right away and there was obviously no harm to anything. So...what did I do wrong? Bad lights? Bad wiring (most likely)? I am positive 100% I did NOT cross wires or have any bare wires. I might be bad with electricity, but I'm not a complete idiot. Any help would be great. Thanks.
 

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Do you know how much current the new lights are using? Do you know what gauge wire you used to wire them up? For example, 18 awg wire can handle no more than 7 amps of current. If you used very thin wire, you may have overheated the insulation.
 

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one of the LED wires smoked off. ......... but then it gave up on me............ there was obviously no harm to anything.
If there was smoke, there obviously WAS harm to something!
What exactly smoked and what stopped working ??

Here's a guess: one of your new lights had an internal defect and shorted out.
If the remaining one continues to work OK and you are SURE you had the two of them wired the same, then that's probably the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok...her's what I know...one LED wire smoked off The wire int he LED lights that came stock was VERY small gauge. Like...ridiculously small. The extra wire I ran was the same gauge as the tail light wire. As for the parallel and series..no idea. Can you explain a little more how I would know what way I wired it? I know what series and parallel are...in theory from circuits class, but I'm not too sure what I did.

I know there was harm to the wires and the lights. There was no harm to the main wires or connectors though..that's what I meant.

I know it's kinda like talking to a wall with me, but you are all helping a lot. I appreciate it, even though I might be frustrating to talk to sometimes. Thanks again.
 

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Ok...her's what I know...one LED wire smoked off The wire int he LED lights that came stock was VERY small gauge.
The LEDs normally draw only a VERY small amount of current, thus the small wires. Series versus parallel doesn't apply here since you are replacing single bulbs with single LEDs......if I understand it correctly.

Unless you pinched a wire when you tightened up the bolt/nut on the new assembly, then the one that smoked the wire is just simply a defective light.
Get a replacement.

The small wires make a half-assed good fuse....except they smoke a bit....as you found out.

You're coming through fine; would be even better if you would proof-read just a bit.....and edit as necessary. :bluethum:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
would be even better if you would proof-read just a bit.....and edit as necessary. :bluethum:
Yea....I usually try to spell and punctuate the best I can so I don't sound like a tard. I guess that all went out the window this morning huh? Rushing never delivers good results. I'll get some more lights and give it another shot :) Thanks guys.
 

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The LEDs normally draw only a VERY small amount of current, thus the small wires. Series versus parallel doesn't apply here since you are replacing single bulbs with single LEDs......if I understand it correctly.

Unless you pinched a wire when you tightened up the bolt/nut on the new assembly, then the one that smoked the wire is just simply a defective light.
Get a replacement.

The small wires make a half-assed good fuse....except they smoke a bit....as you found out.
:plus1: It is a simple and straight forward install. If I had to make a geuss I agree with the defective light.
 

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LEDs

Depending on the type some have a seperate little resistor units, if those are wired in wrong (parallel vs series) you can get some whacked out resistance and release the magic smoke.
 

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Leg Humps The Snap On Tool Man
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To start off, an L.E.D uses .5 volts and almost no amperage. Thin wires are fine. LEDs are directional where bulbs are not. If you hook up an LED backwards you will let the smoke out of it and then you might roast the wires too.

Series vs. Parallel
This may be hard to describe w/o drawing so bear with me.
Series is one stream with two or more dams(electrical load) one after the other.
Parallel is one stream forked into two or more streams each having one dam.

What you want is going to be a parallel circuit. Good luck
 

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Leg Humps The Snap On Tool Man
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To start an LED takes .5v and almost no amperage. LEDs are directional where bulbs are not. If you hook up an LED backwards it will let the smoke out and possibly burn your wireing. Second you want a parallel circuit.

Series vs. Parallel.
It's a lot easier to draw than explain so please bear with me. A series circuit is one stream flowing over multiple dams (electrical load)

A parallel circuit is one stream forked into multiple streams each flowing over its' own dam. Good luck. NMc
 

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If you hook up an LED backwards you will let the smoke out of it and then you might roast the wires too.

What you want is going to be a parallel circuit. Good luck
Mmmmm....it's been a while but I seem to remember that an LED installed backwards has zero current flow and nothing happens.
Not true ??

Who wants a parallel circuit....for what?
 

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Mmmmm....it's been a while but I seem to remember that an LED installed backwards has zero current flow and nothing happens.
Not true ??

Who wants a parallel circuit....for what?
led backwards burned diode.
you'll fry it (usually)
it's a diode... so it unidirectional, but you can jump that gap with enough current.

why you'd want a parallel ckt? if you want to keep your bulbs and attach LED's on the same ckt...
 

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Mmmmm....it's been a while but I seem to remember that an LED installed back wards has zero current flow and nothing happens.
Not true ??

Who wants a parallel circuit....for what?
You are right. LEDs are Light Emitting Diodes. Diodes only allow current to flow in one direction. If it is connected back wards, then nothing will (should) happen. The exception is if the voltage is too high for the diodes in which case it would burn it up in forward bias also if the voltage burned it out in reverse bias. Typically a diode has a voltage drop of 0.7 volts (but varies a bit). If the lights were properly designed for a motorcycle, it should have been designed for the voltages expected on a motorcycle.

He should not be worried about series/parallel if he simply replaced the factory lights. If he added extra lights, then it would be a concern. If he added in resistors to reduce the voltage to the LEDs, the parallel/series would make a difference. In series the resistor values add together while in parallel they add algebraically. And so, in parallel, total resistance is smaller that the value of the smallest resistor.
 

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led backwards burned diode.
you'll fry it (usually)


OK, so that is NOT true.

LED makes light when biased in the FORWARD direction and current flows.
In the reverse direction, it is OPEN and nothing happens......unless the voltage is WAY too high for the diode you have.

Connecting an LED backwards will NOT burn it out.....assuming you have the proper diode for the voltage involved.

Now, connecting a BARE LED to a voltage source higher than .5V or so without a current limiting resistor WILL burn it out.....in the forward direction and, again, nothing will happen in the reverse direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow...lots of good info. I got the lights off ebay and they came from Taiwan... I will try to draw a pic in paint later when I get off work. I am home for lunch now. Check back later. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
why is it so small??? I've uploaded it 3 time now bigger every time and still....ugh

If it's unreadable, let me know and I can try to do better after work...thanks
 
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