1500 LED Conversions    Last updated 3/20/2011

Side Box Interior lights mod   Box shown upside down for clarity.

THIS IS NOT A SIMPLE PLUG-IN REPLACEMENT LAMP CONVERSION, IT IS A PROJECT.  (A really simple one though.)


This is a new installation project to add interior lighting to the side box of most any bike.  It does not replace any existing lighting.  It uses a flexible waterproof strip of LED's encapsulated in a clear rubber like material and the parts are attached to a flexible mylar circuit board iniside.  The project uses adhesives to mount the LED strip.  THIS PROJECT REQUIRES ONLY ONE PART (and some glue), THAT'S ALL!

You should have NO problems completing this project in an afternoon and an overnight adhesive curing time.

In this design, the led array draws little power, and since the side box is needed much less than the top box at night, I decided to simply wire it into the running lights even though it would be on all the time including when it was not needed.  The LED assembly won't burn out and draws so little current, who really cares if it stays on except when the key switch and running lights are off.

If I need light from the side boxes at night, I just switch the key over to aux and on they are.  No problem.
This saves a lot of mounting of a door switch which could get knocked off and saves the cost of the switch alltogether.  It is your option to add a door switch if you wish.
I chose not to.

Total cost for this addition is  $10.95 not including shipping  (1 ea per side box @ $10.95, 24  led strip plus supples).  Supplies being adhesive and crimp connectors.
Current draw for the strip lamp is about 40ma @ 12v.
The parts I used are shown below and as I said the LED strip came from superbrightLEDs.com, but any supplier is fine.:
They are waterproof but that is just a bonus since we will be inside the box..  I got and love the Warm White.   It's color is  VERY much like incandescent.
The Cool white looks like a shop lite flourescent to me.

As an update... these babies have really gone up in price in the US.
The exact same strips can be had directly from China via ebay for about $3 delivered if you don't mind the 3 week delivery time. Contact me for details if you wish.
            



Other supply items are: 
  This stuff:
     

Got it at Lowes for $3.99 and it's pretty amazing stuff.  It is what we will bond the LED strip to the inside top of the ABS Honda box lid with.

Revised 3/20/2011: Lowes no longer carrys this adhesive and it is getting hard to find.
Try using GOOP instead. It is very similar.


Getting ready for the install

There is no prep work required other than removing the side box, removing the side door and inverting the box on a carpet or towel.

I found it was helpful to use a small 1x4 with a towel on top to slide under the inverted opening to keep the box level and to prevent the box from rolling forward.

    

First and always TEST THE LED ARRAY.  You don't want to find out you can't return a defect as shown below.
      


Notice that the strip is a little long here but the 4 extra leds can just sit under the bracket.  
DO NOT CUT THE STRIP.  Leave it sealed.
      


Since the box is upside down, all we have to do is lay down a thick glue strip the whole length of the led inside the rim of the box where you want and simply set the array into it.  I chose this ideal spot for protection, being hidden and best illumination of the box below.
You will want the wire going off toward the rear of the box so you can exit into the rear cover area for splicing into the system wiring.
Make sure the strip is in the right place and just leave it there overnight.
    



Next day, carefully spread the box rim away from the catch with a small blade screwdriver so the wire can get past that point.  Do not shove the wire in with the edge of the screwdriver.
     

After you get the wire in place and the inital gluing dried, run another bead of the glue all along the side edge of the LED array to the box to ensure solid mounting.
This will get tacky and not drip in about an hour or so.
 
     



After that, just fish the wire out the hole used by the side running light to get to the splicing area in the lower rear cover on the back of the box.
Splice the silver wire to the green honda wire and the copper colored wire to the brown honda wire with whatever you want
to splice it with.
Be sure to leave plenty of spare wire so you have room to tuck the wire neatly along the back of the box inside.
I would use masking tape to hold the wire in place and then use the glue to tack it to the box and allow it to dry.

          


Test it with the key on aux.
Put it all back together and do the other side.


Remember it will be on all the time that the side lights are.  No problem.
 
Cheap, quick and dirty, won't burn out and waterproof.  Can't beat that.  And no one ever sees the leds when the door is open.

Rudy





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