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Wiring a modern trailer with LED lights


Colin Lindsay
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After my rear lights died on my trusty 6 x 4 trailer I decided to replace them with modern LEDs and bought two small light units from a local Autofactors, fully road legal and E-marked for the UK.

They worked in the shop, they work off a battery when connected directly to the terminals in the socket, but will not work from the car.

The old wiring used a Logicon bypass (a ZR2500 universal smart relay) for the trailer lights with bulbs, but this will not register the LEDs at all. The car electrics power other trailer lights - I've tested them - but the trailer LEDS do not work on my Mondeo or her Freelander.

Anyone know what I'm missing here? I've had to fork out on a set of magnetic trailer lights to keep the thing on the road but really want to run the LEDs.

 

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50 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

After my rear lights died on my trusty 6 x 4 trailer I decided to replace them with modern LEDs and bought two small light units from a local Autofactors, fully road legal and E-marked for the UK.

They worked in the shop, they work off a battery when connected directly to the terminals in the socket, but will not work from the car.

The old wiring used a Logicon bypass (a ZR2500 universal smart relay) for the trailer lights with bulbs, but this will not register the LEDs at all. The car electrics power other trailer lights - I've tested them - but the trailer LEDS do not work on my Mondeo or her Freelander.

Anyone know what I'm missing here? I've had to fork out on a set of magnetic trailer lights to keep the thing on the road but really want to run the LEDs.

 

Hello Colin

                    I think you will find the ZR2500 bit can not see them because they do not draw enough power!

The way people cheat the system is to fit a resistor to increase the current draw!

To my way of thinking that defeats the use of LEDs (low power requirement) but you still get the reliability side but using the same power as the filament lamps

Roger

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It's the reliability I'm after; when I had bulbs the trailer would sit unused for months and they were always blown when I needed it. I miss the days of just connecting wire to wire and things worked straightaway; now it's all sorts of sensors and bypasses none of which will speak to the other. 

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You can certainly fit a resistor and, as Roger says, it does somewhat defeat the object of the lower power requirement.  But that aside, I have heard that the resistors get very hot in use, so it will need some consideration as to where to mount them.

Tom

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I've had to resort to a set of magnetic lights and cable (actually quite good value on eBay, and the seller lived only a few miles from me) but this means I can haul tubs and chassis about with lights on the extremities. (Theirs, not mine!)

I can actually get the fixed LED lights to work by wiring both sets into the same socket; the car detects the bulbs and sends power to both, but it's a bit of a waste having two sets fitted, although I can hang the magnetic ones off the cross bar and have hi-viz lights too.

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