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#3441207 - 07/30/14 11:21 PM Improving reverse lights
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 695
Loc: West Michigan
The reverse lights on my '11 F150 are some of the worst I've ever seen- to the point I have to ride the brakes if I need rearward lighting. Looking at various options for improving the performance on a budget. Factory specs are a 912 bulb, which seems to have little to no good upgrade options.

I've seen some LED light strips and some halogen as well as LED work lights and really like the form factor of a LED strip mounted under the tailgate, except all the nice ones seem very pricey and all the affordable ones seem to last only weeks to months.

I've seen some pretty affordable LED strips on ebay, particularly one by Spyder with pn ACC-60-LED-C, but I doubt its any better than the others. Any suggestions?
_________________________
2011 F150 4x4 5.0L
1980 Yamaha XS850G

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#3441282 - 07/31/14 03:20 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
joaks Offline


Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 727
Loc: SC
Are you sure you need the strips? There are a few types of replacement bulbs for the backup lights which are brighter. There are some incandescent bulbs and some LEDs at superbrightleds.com.

My DRLs are cheap LEDs from ebay. I think $15 for the pair. I'm sure they expensive ones are better but the quality of mine is good. I think you might just need to shop around to get cheap/good ones.
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1997 Subaru Legacy 2.2 EJ

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#3441292 - 07/31/14 04:11 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
wirelessF Offline


Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 1357
Loc: Oahu, Hawaii
Tow hitch backup lights. Mounts around the receiver and connects to the 7 pin trailer hookup connector so it turns on when you throw it in reverse.

921 bulb sockets offer poor bulb choices and LED or incandescent options aren't that bright.
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Average age of fleet of 3 vehicles: 12.6 years

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#3441301 - 07/31/14 04:54 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 25406
Loc: ME
Is this a visibility thing? Is your angle of view over the tailgate so bad that you can only see 20 feet behind the bumper? Or do you look out a side window? Is the tail light many feet above ground?

I like the tow hitch light idea. Plow trucks around here use white "farm implement" lights on the edges of the rear bumper at about a 45 degree angle to paint sideways so they can see what the bumper corners are in danger of contacting.

Use a relay if you don't use LEDs to take some load off the tranny switch.

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#3441408 - 07/31/14 08:14 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 695
Loc: West Michigan
Rearward visibility is poor to begin with, and yes the angle looking out above the tailgate is very shallow so I use side mirrors and head-out-the-window.

I've thought about the hitch lights but don't want to shell out that much coin.

joaks, what DRL strips do you have- do you know the LED wattage? I've seen a bunch but don't want to end up spending money on some that do nothing.
_________________________
2011 F150 4x4 5.0L
1980 Yamaha XS850G

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#3441482 - 07/31/14 09:32 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
DBMaster Offline


Registered: 09/18/12
Posts: 2731
Loc: Greg Abbott Land
A pair of small halogen or LED driving lights wired to the backup light circuit and mounted under the back bumper? I put some 50W halogen backup bulbs in an old Honda Accord, but the reflector/lens arrangement limits what you can get out of that.

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#3442558 - 08/01/14 07:51 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 4535
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I have an 09 F150 with similarly poor back up lights.

I'd suggest an LED light bar, mounted at your location of choice. Wired into the backup lights. There really are some good ones available for reasonable cost. Look at the lumens output. I'd suggest something with 3000 lumens.
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Turbo's rule.

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#3443467 - 08/01/14 11:57 PM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
Greasymechtech Offline


Registered: 07/11/14
Posts: 582
Loc: Paradise of Florida
Ebay has some Cree XB-D T10 and T15 bulbs. I have the 921 50w xbd led bulbs and they are easily 2-3x brighter than the halogen 921's.
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At what point should a lurker start posting :-)

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#3444552 - 08/03/14 09:22 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: Greasymechtech]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 4535
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Ebay has some Cree XB-D T10 and T15 bulbs. I have the 921 50w xbd led bulbs and they are easily 2-3x brighter than the halogen 921's.


I'd love a link to what you purchased.
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Turbo's rule.

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#3445482 - 08/04/14 09:53 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
Vikas Online   content


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8602
Loc: NorthEast
Me too; extremely rarely I have come across an automotive LED equivalent bulb which provides more light than the replacement halogen bulb. True Cree based replacement can do it but most ebay manufacturer use nondescript chinese LED.

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#3445499 - 08/04/14 10:06 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 2230
Loc: Illinois
They have 15w HID reverse lights now. Some of the LEDs are very bright but it's hit and miss due to the way they compare. Picturs are a poor way to tell.

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#3445727 - 08/04/14 02:32 PM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
Vikas Online   content


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8602
Loc: NorthEast
HID reverse lights make very little sense; by the time they reach their full brightness, you will not be in the reverse any more!

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#3446161 - 08/04/14 09:09 PM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: Vikas]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1747
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Vikas
HID reverse lights make very little sense; by the time they reach their full brightness, you will not be in the reverse any more!
I definitely have to agree here. Get some LED backup lights.
_________________________
2004 Chev Silverado 4x4 using all Amsoil lubricants.
2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)


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#3446437 - 08/05/14 08:37 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
meep Offline


Registered: 02/20/07
Posts: 2586
Loc: Southeast
amazon sells a bunch of ~20w led "work lights". some round, some square, some flat. a 6-element led lamp runs $20. they work GREAT and pull very little power.
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2006 Tundra 2wd
2002 MDX (wifey!)
2003 town and country, in various state of repair

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#3448780 - 08/07/14 11:25 AM Re: Improving reverse lights [Re: buck91]
Bear Offline


Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 72
Loc: upstate NY
I have the same problem with my 2014 F150. Rear end pitched high and the backup light reflectors are very narrow. Bought Silver Star bulbs two days after buying the truck. Helped some but I intend to add lights to either below or behind the bumper. BTTW Tractor Supply sells what looks like a flashlight type backup light for about $15. Problem is it must be removed when towing.

I see the 2015 model has a much wider reflector.

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