A flashing LED brake light for your motorcycle is a great way of staying safe by letting drivers around you know that you are coming to a stop or slowing down. LED bulbs are typically brighter, longer lasting, and more efficient than the incandescent brake light your motorcycle most likely comes with from factory. Today I’ll show you the bulb that we use in all of our motorcycles here are the shop.
LED bulbs are typically the best you can use in your motorcycle as a brake light. They are brighter and longer lasting than standard bulbs, and they can even flash as you decelerate to help more drivers notice you sooner.
You typically only need one screwdriver to install it an LED light bulb in your motorcycle’s tail light. There are no ballasts or extra wires required. They may cost a few dollars more than a standard bulb, but the extra benefits you get make them well worth the price.
Check out this video to see how easy LED brake lights are to install, and how they can make you safer on your motorcycle.
The LED motorcycle brake light we’ll be using
I’ll be using a Syneticusa 1157 Flashing LED motorcycle brake light. I paid $14.99 for two of these, or about $7.50 each. I went with this specific tail light because the LEDs would be brighter than an incandescent bulb, longer lasting, and most importantly, because this bulb would flash a few times, every time I applied the brakes.
The idea of a brake light is to let other drivers on the road understand that you are slowing down. Most cars are wider and have two or even three brake lights, making it easier for the eyes to register the vehicle is slowing down. The idea behind having a flashing brake light on a motorcycle is to help make it easier for our single brake light to draw people’s attention, and help their brains understand that we are slowing down as quickly as possible.
The bulb itself uses a standard 1157 base and the size is comparable to most 1157 bulbs, meaning it’s a direct plug-and-play fit. You don’t have to worry about compatibility issues for most motorcycles. Luckily Amazon also offers free returns, however we’ve installed these on four motorcycles so far with no issues.
How to install your LED brake light
There are typically just two screws to remove to get to a motorcycle tail light. They are usually on either side of the motorcycle tail light cover.
Once you remove those two screws you typically just push down on the bulb and then twist to loosen.
In order to install the new LED bulb you push down on the bulb and then twist the opposite way to tighten.
On some motorcycles, such as this Vespa, you may need to take the bulb out from a brake light housing.
LED Motorcycle brake light performance
Overall the new LED bulb is a big step up from the original incandescent bulbs. You can check out the video above to see for yourself, but essentially the benefits are:
It’s brighter, but different. The brightness isn’t concentrated in one spot as is the case with an incandescent bulb. The LEDs blast light in all directions however, and overall they produce more lumens than the incandescent bulb can.
The LED brake lights are more efficient than LED. These LED brake lights take less power than an incandescent bulb, leaving more power for you to run additional accessories you might want to, like a USB charger for your phone, or some heated grips.
Longer lifespan. These LED bulbs are very efficient, meaning they also produce very little heat. One benefit of that, along with LED technology, is that they tend to last much longer than standard incandescent bulbs do.
The FLASHING is EXCELLENT. The flashing really gets drivers attention. It’s just enough to get you noticed right away, and subtle and quick enough not to be annoying or distracting to motorists around you.
I have no affiliation with Syneticusa and I paid full price for these flashing LED brake lights for our motorcycles. Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase. We’re still in our first season with them, but we’ve installed them on several motorcycles and enjoy drivers giving us more space when we’re coming to a stop sooner.
We can’t comment on longevity yet, but if you’re reading this in the future, feel free to leave me a comment and ask me how they are holding up!
Hey. I love this idea. However wouldn’t a flashing red light be illegal?
From what I’ve seen, some places have rules about what color of flashing lights are or aren’t allowed, often those that do have a time limit, usually 5 seconds, and these would fall under that. I can’t speak to what the laws are where you’re at, but feel free to show the video to a local cop in your area and let us know where you’re at and what they said!
Thanks for the info and the quick reply. I often tap my rear brake when stopping or slowing down, so these sound awesome! Just FYI, I’m located in London, On.
Anyway, I can’t see (actually, scratch that. I can) something that makes a motorcycle more visible, being illegal. If it is, my safety is more important! I was just thinking, I ride a sport bike and the last thing I need is to give the cops another reason (not that they need one) to pull a sport bike over!
Regarding the price of 14$ ish, I clicked on the Amazon link and they are listed as 41$!? Is that where you got them from?
Anyway, thanks again!
P.S. I’ve been subscribed to your newsletter for about 7 years or so and enjoy it. Always interesting and informative.
Not sure what you used to shoot the video of this, but on my computer the illumination difference doesn’t appear. I’m going to guess that your camera adjusted for the light level, basically making them the same. In order for this test to show a difference you would have to make sure the aperture on your camera is in manual, so you are using the same F-stop, or that the same amount of light is coming the camera for the scene.
I’ve seen LED’s and yes they are often brighter, but don’t always throw light farther.
Riding a motorcycle (48 years) is one of the few things I have done longer than video production (35 years).
I shot in manual with a fixed aperture, same lens, etc. I wouldn’t do this upgrade for any additional brightness, although it’s a more full, less centralized light, I would do it for the strobing effect drawing more attention to you slowing down.