Simple Brake Light Upgrade - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep CJ Forum > Simple Brake Light Upgrade

Rough Country Jeep Suspension Deals at Rockridge 4WD!Engo winches available at www.rockridge4wd.com! Free shippRoad Race Motorsports Stage 2 Power Pack

Reply
Unread 04-29-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
Coiz
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern, IL
Posts: 4,169
Simple Brake Light Upgrade

I was tossing around the idea of trying to add LED's inside my tail lights to brighten them up a bit and keep the stock CJ look. The stock looking LED lights available are a little pricey so I figured I might as well try a cheaper solution. I figured I would share my results with all of you. So rather than buying LED lights to fit inside my stock CJ brake light housings or buying the full LED replacements, I decided to do a little test with a couple brands of reflective tape.

Here is a picture of the inside of my tail lights. The metal backing plates are a little rusty but I cleaned them up a bit with some sand paper. Notice the extra green wire with the bolt attaching it to the backing plate, that will be my dedicated ground to the lights once they are mounted on the Jeep. I also taped off the license plate opening to keep the lighting as consistent as possible.


Here are the lights with the brake light portion of the bulb illuminated. Notice that the left side is just a little bit brighter so I will keep that as my base lighting and make my modifications to the right side for comparison. You can also see a small sample of the two types of reflective tape I used.


In this picture I used that high temperature foil tape you use on interior home heating duct work. It is fairly reflective and you can see how much brighter the light is with the reflective tape installed. This is fairly similar to aluminum foil.


In this photo I lined the inside of the housing with white reflective tape that you would use on car trailers or to mark your mailbox, ect.,. This particular brand was Avery. You can see how the reflective tape outshines the aluminum tape. Pretty much what I expected to see.


Here is a picture of the reverse lights. Not quite as drastic of a difference as the brake light but brighter none-the-less.


The strips of reflective tape cost me $4.50 for a 2" x 144" worth shipped to my door off of eBay by a seller named graystone101. They are basically scrap pieces to him. It took less than half the tape to line the insides of both fixtures. Not a bad $2.50 upgrade to give my lights a little extra oomph!


Here's one with the flash.


This final picture is with the lens covers installed, stock on the left, reflective tape on the right with the brake light bulbs illuminated.


What do you think?


__________________
Mike
My build thread
1979 CJ7, FI 5.0L Ford, NP435, D300, Full floated D44 Detroit, D30 Detroit EZ Locker.

Last edited by Coiz; 04-29-2010 at 04:53 PM.. Reason: Add reflective tape info
Coiz is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-29-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
jeepsarecool
Registered User
1982 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,138
Great idea! Why didn't I think of that?
__________________
Check out my Art


CJ7 - God's gift to the masochist.
jeepsarecool is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-29-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
turbogus
Registered User
1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albany~town, Oregon, Oregon my home and for 200 billion slugs
Posts: 1,460
Far out! What a great idea! ....you get a cookie
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-29-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
kickingprop
Registered User
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2,041
Thats a great idea! And a cheap no-brainer upgrade for those of us not wanting to shell out the $$ for LED's... Does that white tape have a specific trade name I should google?
__________________
1985 CJ7 Project
Phase One : 5.3L Vortec/4L60E, Moser axles for AMC20, Twin Stick'd Dana300 - Completed
Phase Two: Bedliner, Rollcage, Seats, BESRK Rear Bumper w/ tire swing, Soft Top, and a few other goodies - Mostly Complete
Phase Three: Waggy 44 front, Scout D44 Rear, 4.56's, ARB's (F/R) SOA with YJ Springs, 35x12.50x15 BFG MT - Not Even Close to beginning

Also a mostly rust-free 1970 Scout 800A That I'll get to start working on someday...

Quote:
Chrome won't get you home...BUT Rattle Can Black may just get you back"
kickingprop is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
Coiz
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern, IL
Posts: 4,169
I edited my post with that info but the brand I ended up with was Avery. I got 8 strips 2"x18" long for $4.50 shipped to my door off of eBay by a seller named graystone101. I think any white reflective tape would work well. There are a lot of different brands. The 2" wide was perfect.

Thanks for the "Thumbs Up's" guys, I'm now up to 10.
__________________
Mike
My build thread
1979 CJ7, FI 5.0L Ford, NP435, D300, Full floated D44 Detroit, D30 Detroit EZ Locker.

Last edited by Coiz; 04-29-2010 at 06:22 PM..
Coiz is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
Pog
Registered User
1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: In A Van, Down By The River!
Posts: 211
Great idea. My other hobby outside of blowing money on my CJ is blowing money on my aquarium. One of the oldest tricks in the book to increasing light in an aquarium is a simple reflector in your light strip. A reflector can effectively increase your light output by as much as 50% with no extra power consumption. Your tests are living proof.
Pog is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 03:09 AM   #7
RobsCrawlin7
no balls
 
RobsCrawlin7's Avatar
2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Triangle, VA
Posts: 3,256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pog View Post
Great idea. My other hobby outside of blowing money on my CJ is blowing money on my aquarium. One of the oldest tricks in the book to increasing light in an aquarium is a simple reflector in your light strip. A reflector can effectively increase your light output by as much as 50% with no extra power consumption. Your tests are living proof.
im the same way, sucks having expensive hobbies...
__________________
'01 TJ 4.7/NV3550, 2" lift, 35's, locked.
'79 CJ7 stock, 304
'98 XJ sold
'79 CJ7 sold
'82 CJ7 parted
'89 MJ sold

SSG David Mejias, SSG Eric Vick, SGT William Bowling, SGT Robert McDowell
1 April 2007
Rest In Peace Brothers
RobsCrawlin7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 10:54 AM   #8
turbogus
Registered User
1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albany~town, Oregon, Oregon my home and for 200 billion slugs
Posts: 1,460
I've checked with Reflectix in with regard to their easily locally available product FT210 (a lower end tape) and they tell me it's safe to 260 degrees. There are some concerns posted by others from other sites that they're concerned with temperatures within the tail light housing. As for me, I run lights on during darkness and temperatures are cooler here in Oregon so potential danger may well be minimalized. Not to mention the brake and backup lights are used only momentarily. Going to find out what temperature they burn at.
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
turbogus
Registered User
1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albany~town, Oregon, Oregon my home and for 200 billion slugs
Posts: 1,460
Still trying, bought an oven thermometer going to check later
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #10
JonB-CJ7
Registered User
1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 91
Thats a heck of an idea....thanks.
__________________
Jon B
1984 CJ-7, Howell fuel injection, D-44 front 4:11 Detroit Electrac,D-44 rear Detroit 4:11, T-19 trans, D-300/4:1 Lo-max gears, 33x12.5 SSRs, Full cage, Warn XDi 9000

2006 Jeep Rubicon (stock, but not for long)
JonB-CJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
VACJ7
Hockey Rules!
 
VACJ7's Avatar
1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,782
You sir are a genius!
VACJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 04:02 PM   #12
Coiz
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern, IL
Posts: 4,169
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbogus View Post
There are some concerns posted by others from other sites that they're concerned with temperatures within the tail light housing.
Sharing my idea on other sites? I've wondered why some of my photobucket bandwidth is used on "unknown" sites. I guess that is from people direct linking to my photos, not that I care or that it matters.

I also thought about that but I believe heat is a non-issue. I just had the brake and tail light filaments powered for 10 minutes straight with the cover on the brake light housing and quickly removed it to check the temperatures with my thermal gun. The bulb, or the filament inside of it, gets to about 350-400 degrees but the tape behind it was only around 125 degrees at the hottest point and was only luke warm to the touch, nowhere near being "hot". If the tape was only 125 degrees after 10 minutes I don't think it would ever get hot enough to melt it. I have just the tail light going now and will update with what I find after 30 minutes. I'd be curious to know your results.
__________________
Mike
My build thread
1979 CJ7, FI 5.0L Ford, NP435, D300, Full floated D44 Detroit, D30 Detroit EZ Locker.

Last edited by Coiz; 04-30-2010 at 11:51 PM..
Coiz is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-30-2010, 11:51 PM   #13
Coiz
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern, IL
Posts: 4,169
So I just just tested this again and found that the outside lens temp was about 215 degrees after 35 minutes with both the tail and brake filaments illuminated. After 45 minutes it was 220 degrees. I removed the lens cover and quickly measured the temps. The bulb filament measured close to 500 degrees but all of the tape around it was maxed around 145 degrees. I could easily touch it with my fingers and it was not hot enough to make me pull away.
__________________
Mike
My build thread
1979 CJ7, FI 5.0L Ford, NP435, D300, Full floated D44 Detroit, D30 Detroit EZ Locker.
Coiz is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-01-2010, 09:27 AM   #14
turbogus
Registered User
1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Albany~town, Oregon, Oregon my home and for 200 billion slugs
Posts: 1,460
Okay, I ran lights on for over an hour (steady state) and the maximum temperature inside the tail lights with the lens on and sealed gets no higher than 150 degrees. Since this Reflectix tape is rated to 260 I think this'll work out fine. I picked this tape up at the local hardware store, and called the maker for its temp ratings.
__________________
The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
turbogus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 05-02-2010, 12:22 PM   #15
Dborns
Registered User
1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1,498
Great idea! I would have thought that local hardware stores would have had this stuff, but nothing at HD, Lowes, or Ace. I ended up searching for graystone101 and didn't find him on ebay, but a search of "Avery" came up with the tape. Thanks!!
Dborns is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.