Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Incandescent tail light (1157) to LED conversion

  1. #1
    TheRock58 TheRock58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    56

    Incandescent tail light (1157) to LED conversion

    2007 R1200 GSA

    Is there a plug and play conversion from an incandescent tail light to a LED? The GSA has a CANBUS electrical system, would it confuse the CANBUS?

    Thanks,
    TheRock58
    BMW MOA #152445
    2007 BMW R1200-GS Adventure (His)
    2008 American Saddlebred (Hers)

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    CENTEX USA
    Posts
    10,787
    Be careful, an 1157 fits but is a bit different from the German equivalent with pin placement. So I’ve heard here



    There was an optional OEM upgrade in 2008
    Kinda BMW pricey and I thought it was NLA on parts fiche
    I have the optional LED on my 07 R12 S, a different model but no effect to Canbus
    Have tried some of the LED bulbs in sockets. Looks like a small red circle in middle of lens... worse lighting of whole lens.

    802AA466-303D-4E55-9FE2-42BC130584A7.jpeg

    Easier, for me, to add Skenes or Hyperlites alongside license plate... added bonus of increasing visibility.
    Maybe cheaper alternative as well!
    Last edited by henzilla; 01-04-2021 at 12:45 AM. Reason: added a L
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and past prez SABMWRA

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    south of Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,879
    If your stock bulb is an 1157, then a "plug'n'play" LED (as available at any auto parts store these days) would draw much less current. That would probably throw an error code on the computer, thinking that the bulb is out.

    The "fix" (and I use the term loosely) is to put a resistor in parallel with the bulb, so the circuit goes back to drawing the higher current again (which is wasted as heat). So you gain Nothing except the faster "On" time of the LED.

    And I agree whole-heartedly that these plug-in LED replacements do NOT fill up the lens... Don't bother.

  4. #4
    TheRock58 TheRock58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    56
    Thanks, good information. Wow, BMW is really proud of that tail light assembly!

    I do have Hyperlights, but I've never been impressed with the stock tail/brake light set-up.

    Does anyone know if there is a difference in the bulb pins? The BMW bulb, 07 11 9 905 511 LONGLIFE BULB - 12V 21/5W, retails for $8.87. I'm not sure about the 1157; however, it's a little hotter at 12V 27/8W.

    I guess I'll leave well enough alone, thanks again.
    Last edited by TheRock58; 01-04-2021 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Bulb info added.
    TheRock58
    BMW MOA #152445
    2007 BMW R1200-GS Adventure (His)
    2008 American Saddlebred (Hers)

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    6,469
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRock58 View Post
    Does anyone know if there is a difference in the bulb pins? The BMW bulb, 07 11 9 905 511 LONGLIFE BULB - 12V 21/5W, retails for $8.87.
    There's not.

    The bulbs with 120 degree pins are the amber single filament bulbs PY21W ... to prevent you putting clear bulbs behind clear lenses, yellow bulbs behind yellow lenses.

    German bulbs are always higher quality than 'merikun FLAPS bulbs and are worth the higher price since you will replace the cheapo bulbs more often.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  6. #6
    TheRock58 TheRock58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    56
    Kent, thanks for the information on those bulb pins.

    If I recall correctly, I had a problem with the OEM bulb. For some reason it was vibrating in the light socket. So I replaced it with the 1157. I'll put that on my list for Spring maintenance.....

    Thanks again,
    TheRock58
    BMW MOA #152445
    2007 BMW R1200-GS Adventure (His)
    2008 American Saddlebred (Hers)

  7. #7
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Posts
    6,925
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRock58 View Post
    2007 R1200 GSA

    Is there a plug and play conversion from an incandescent tail light to a LED? The GSA has a CANBUS electrical system, would it confuse the CANBUS?

    Thanks,
    1157 bulb has two filaments and two pins to align it in the socket correctly, the pins are offset. 1156 is single and can be changed to amber. Hope this helps.
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

  8. #8
    Registered User bicyclenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Sugar Grove, IL
    Posts
    62
    I tried to put LED's in my 2010 RT, not sure if same bulbs, but mine were basically a US 1156 bulb, single filament. Bulb is both tail lamp and brake light. Seems like what BMW does is increase the voltage or current from lower to higher when putting on brakes so light gets brighter. When you use an equivalent LED my understanding is the frequency or flashing of the bulb gets faster so the bulb appears brighter. I think the CANBUS does not see a change of resistance in the bulb and circuit and so as a tail lamp the LED bulbs seem to work fine, but as soon as you hit the brakes you get a CANBUS light error as if the lamp is out. If you shut off the ignition, it gets reset and the error goes away on key on and running, but as soon as you activate brakes you get error again.

    I've tried several LED bulbs including those that listed as CANBUS compatible but no luck. It seems the way BMW uses these single filament bulbs as dual purpose bulbs there is no way to trick the CANBUS and make it work. I resorted to finding the best quality high contrast regular bulbs I could find to put in housing and adding some SKENE LED lights to supplement these.

    Otherwise I have been able to replace all lights on my bike with LED bulbs as others are either on or off, so as long as the resistance of bulbs mimics the OEM bulbs you don't get a CANBUS error.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheRock58 View Post
    2007 R1200 GSA

    Is there a plug and play conversion from an incandescent tail light to a LED? The GSA has a CANBUS electrical system, would it confuse the CANBUS?

    Thanks,
    2010 BMW R1200RT
    2014 BMW C650GT (sold)
    MOA # 208387

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-02-2019, 11:05 PM
  2. '95 K75 ABS Secondary and Tail-Light Dash Idiot Light
    By stagewex in forum Flying Brick K-bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-26-2016, 04:10 AM
  3. Adding LED light to Brake/Tail light on 2011 R1200r
    By tonyd48 in forum Hexheads/Camheads
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-31-2014, 01:59 AM
  4. tail light doesn't work/parking light does
    By ranbush in forum Oilheads
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-15-2011, 02:25 AM
  5. Tail light warning light
    By PineGreen in forum Gear
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-01-2006, 09:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •