After installing fender flares with LED marker lights, LED accessory spotlights, and LED headlights, there was no other conclusion to reach but the more LED the better. After all, what is better than seeing better and other drivers seeing you better?
I was glad that the guys at Sylvania Automotive Lighting shared my vision and offered to send me a goody box with even more LED lights for the Rightline Gear Jeep Wrangler. Strangely enough, I had my rear brake/turn signal light go out at precisely the same time. There is good timing for you!
I went after the problem rear light first since it was a top priority. I used the Sylvania 3157R ZEVO LED lights in both the brake/turn signal light position and the back up light position.
Pop in the bulb, screw the socket into the light housing and attach the light housing back to the vehicle-right? Well, not quite. It turns out that LED bulbs are a lower resistance than standard bulbs, therefore, they use less power. Many vehicle’s monitoring systems use power draw as a measure of detecting whether a bulb is good or burnt out. The bottom line is that LED bulbs low power consumption can register as burnt out and may produce dashboard error messages or in the case of turn signals, double fast blinking (another type of error message). Sure enough, when I put the first bulb in place, I got the double fast blinking. I did not have any issue with the brake light or the back up light.
To combat this problem, Sylvania manufactures a Load Equalizer which is essentially just a 6 ohm resistor. Installing the resistor in parallel (rather than in series) with the bulb will increase the effective resistance of the bulb, along with its power consumption, therefore no more error message and no more fast blinking turn signal.
The Load Equalizer will get very hot while driving so it needs to be mounted on one of the vehicle’s flat metal surfaces to dissipate its heat. I got self taping screws that went into pilot holes that I drilled on the Jeep’s body. I had to use an awl to get each hole started for the drill bit. One screw held each Load Equalizer sufficiently in place.
I had to attach extension wires (16 guage) to the Load Equalizer’s leads in order to reach the back of the light housing. One lead attaches to the black wire (ground) and one lead attaches to the white wire with a yellow stripe (power) coming out of the rear brake/turn signal light socket. There is a white wire with a purple stripe coming out of the same socket, but it provides power for the brake light. The leads from the Load Equalizer are connected to the wires to the socket by the included red connectors.
One last word of advice; LED lights will only shine if power goes through them the correct way. If your LED fails to light, pull it out and put it back into the socket going the other way.
While at the rear of the vehicle, I replaced the license plate light with Sylvania’s 194 ZEVO LED license plate light.
Now we were ready to move to the front of the Jeep and try the new Sylvania 3157A ZEVO LED lights in the front turn signals.These bulbs feature metal splines that reflect the light from (2) small LEDs throughout the light housing.
The front turn signals proved to be a much greater challenge because of the lack of flat metal surfaces in the area for the Load Equilizers. We also desired to keep the Load Equalizers and their wires hidden. We decided that the resistors could be placed in the pocket just behind the turn signal housings themselves. We used one bolt with a small nut to hold it in place.
All finished with an all LED Jeep and a great feeling to complete the last project for the Rightline Gear Jeep Build. If you are attending the SEMA Show, come see the results at booth 37172 in the Upper South Hall.