2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting


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waituntilthebeep
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting

Post by waituntilthebeep » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:22 am



I have been trying to get to adding some custom lighting to my 2012 Wing but so many other projects got in the way. Decided it was time to take on a FUN project today. I finally got to adding the amber lighting to my headlight buckets for running and turn. Here is what I did:

This is the bare bones bucket. Lots of room inside to add bling to.
This is the bare bones bucket. Lots of room inside to add bling to.

I took the mirror panel out and my initial intention was to back drill the plastic and clear the silver from the mirror and create a turn signal arrow like lots of SUV's have but with so much room behind the mirror, I had lots more options. I decided to backlight the mirror panel. That required some chrome paint.

Important Note: The screws that hold the mirror panel in the bucket are stainless. They are also made in a factory in hell. Because they are installed upside down, they put some insane locktite on them and the effort required to get them out stripped the heads out of the screws. I was beginning to think that I was done before I even got to start. I did the unthinkable and replaced them with regular steel screws, mostly because that was all I could get at Lowe's at 7 P.M. on a Saturday nght, so I am figuring that they will react with the brass inserts in the mirror and corrode themselves in permanently. Won't need further locktite but also won't come out ever again in the future. Guess I will burn that bridge down when I get there.

A little FrogTape...
A little FrogTape...


.... and some seriously poor planning later...
.... and some seriously poor planning later...


I am really impressed by the reflectiveness of the chrome paint
I am really impressed by the reflectiveness of the chrome paint

Once I unmasked the bucket, I came to a conclusion - I did not take into account where the mirror panel sits in the bucket. That meant that the chrome paint was 1/4" outside of mirror panel edge and it looked like CRAP! Luckily, a clean rag and some very careful Brakleen application removed the paint that was in error. I could finally exhale without profanity spewing forth. The original tape line had the paint within 1/4" of the lip of the bucket and it needed to be 3/4" back. Fixed it and it looked pretty good. I corrected my masking plan before doing this to the other side.

EPIC... could have been tragic... FAIL!
EPIC... could have been tragic... FAIL!


What it should have looked like
What it should have looked like

With the drama behind me and a restored sense of direction, it was time to reassemble the basics and do some placement testing. With the aid of a power supply and a dark shed to shut out the daylight, I had success!

I tried a number of placements with the LED strip...
I tried a number of placements with the LED strip...


... and I liked the way it came out!
... and I liked the way it came out!

Things looked good but then I added some difficulty to the mix - I wanted some marker type lighting to go on behind the mirror while running down the road as well as the turn signal... and they needed to be separate light strings. Another hour of screwing around and trying different combinations of stuff, I finalized my plan with 1 string of these lights looped through the middle of the fixture for running lights and 2 additional strings around the outside edge for the turn signals. This is where this part ends. Up next: Putting the final plan to work!



User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting... Part 2

Post by waituntilthebeep » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:18 am

This is a multi-part DIY because it is very picture heavy and the system will not let me stack 14 pictures into one post. Where we last left our shiny painted mirror buckets was in test mode. By this point, I had spent a big portion of the day getting this far and it was time for a nap. I highly suggest them. Felt like the thing to do and it was Saturday after all.

With my nap over and my belly full, soda in hand, I trudged along.

The left side mirror
The left side mirror

The left side was assembled and it needed to be permanently wired. I put my soldering station on my Ford crafted workbench (also known as a tailgate, since I have been a slob and many of my other projects have taken over my workbench where I would normally do my soldering) and after referring to some schematics graciously provided to me by fellow user Firefight100, I modified the mirror lighting harnesses to accommodate the new LED strips I had mounted in the buckets. The middle strip is wired to the running light circuit which is on while the key is on. The turn strips are connected to the turn signal circuit in the same harness. Everything is soldered and in shrink tube for waterproofing.

The right side mirror
The right side mirror

The right side is exactly like the left minus all the screw-ups I made. Here is a build lesson:

Once you have soldered it all together, it is a little too late to add shrink tube and stuff. Common sense, right? That is why prototyping exists... it is never perfect the first time. I noticed AFTER I soldered it all together that the factory shrink tube on the light strip is YELLOW and shows up big time when the mirror was put in place and that wouldn't do. I had to spray paint them black because there was no way that this was coming back apart to cover or replace the yellow shrink tube with black. Not an ideal fix but it worked. I added the appropriate colored shrinkydinks to the right side when I built it.

The next thing I would have changed...

Live and learn
Live and learn

Being as this was a semi-planned project and I knew I had limited time to complete it, I fudged a little bit. I used pre-wired, waterproof LED strips from XL Auto that I got on Amazon. These are great for this type of thing and they take very little work to make them function. In actuality, 100 other people take the exact same light strip from China and build the EXACT light strips I used. They work great for the turn signal part of the build but they are not ideal for the running light element inside the bucket. These are SMD chips on a flat, somewhat flexible strip and the light is pretty directional. If I were to do this again, I would use regular LED's and encase them in plastic tube so that they put out omnidirectional light and do a better job of filling the bucket with more intense light. It is okay and it does a nice job, better than my iPod camera could do justice. It just isn't exactly what I was shooting for.

Now that looks slick!
Now that looks slick!

This picture shows pretty decently the light pattern that radiates out of the bucket around the mirror when in running light mode. It doesn't blare you in the face when you are riding... it actually isn't really very obvious when you are looking at it from the drivers seat. The halo is best seen from a wider viewing angle. Where the whole thing really performs is in the turn indicator mode. I will link the YouTube videos that I made for this today below. I have lots more ideas and will add DIY's for them when I get to do the projects.

Here is my daylight test...




A night time close up...




And a night time visibility test...



User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Re: 2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting... Part 1

Post by waituntilthebeep » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Was going to edit this one and add a link to part 2 but guess you can't do that after a day has passed... Ahywho, part 2 -
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=34652

User avatar
wingpilot08
Posts: 526
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Location: Coatesville, PA
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800-HPNA - 27,000+ miles
1988 Bunkhouse camping trailer
Darkside #1720
bikes owned:
1975 CB550-4 final mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maximum 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles

Re: 2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting... Part 2

Post by wingpilot08 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:33 am

Were these standard LED strips or side emitting LED Strips? just curious! BTW...I like the look!
08' GL1800-HPNA - Red 32,000+ miles
1988 Bunkhouse Trailer/Camper
Darkside #1720
bikes owned:
1975 CB550-4 final mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maximum 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles

User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Re: 2012 Mirror Bucket Lighting... Part 2

Post by waituntilthebeep » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:45 am

Standard SMD. They actually have a pretty good view angle but the mirror reflection really cranks up the intensity.



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