LED Brake Light - 2 Of 8 Bulbs Don't Work. Mechanic Says "No Problem"

Topic 26498 | Page 1

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Vern H.'s Comment
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Newbie here...I asked mechanic to repair a flatbed trailer brake light that has 2 of the 8 LED bulbs not working (you can actually see the water level inside the red lens). He said they don't repair LED brake lights until they are only 50% functional because the light is still legal at 50%. I took that to mean that if 4 of 8 bulbs were working, the brake light is still legal, but that "just to be safe" they will repair the light because if one more bulb burns out and only 3 of 8 were functional, that the light would then fail an inspection.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Is there a citation anywhere that says either that all the bulbs must be working, or that at some percent of failure, the the light is out of compliance?

I don't really want to argue with the inspection mechanic, but OTOH, I don't want to get a citation or put out of service for a couple of LED bulbs.


PJ's Comment
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I can’t locate the exact section right now,It is buried in 395 somewhere. led lights have diodes. Your describing a taillight. There is a measurement of how bright the light must be to be legal. It is measured in milliamps I have had a few that had a couple bad diodes and never had a problem. The light is still brighter than a regular bulb. I’m guessing your mechanics have determined the required brightness is good with half the diodes working.

Joseph I.'s Comment
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He is probably right about the actual bulbs but is that not a sealed lens and if so if you actually have water in it I would have it replaced.

Rick S.'s Comment
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A call to safety would likely resolve this.

If there's water in the assembly, then the likelihood of more LED's going out is pretty high. It's not like these are that difficult or expensive to replace. Pry it out of the gasket and pop a new one in.

I'd write it up on your DVIR, just to CYA. It probably is still bright enough to pass an inspection, but id the inspector is a hardazz you may still take a hit on it.

This is one of those things that "new tech" complicates. Interestingly, I couldn't find anything in 393.24 that specifically states requirements for LED's themselves (arrays), other than the brightness requirement (which is measure in LUX/Lumens).

I'd think if one light is much dimmer than the others (due to non-functioning diodes), it's going to catch someones eye. Whether or not it is "citiable" or an OOS issue - is pretty much up the the DOT guy - which can be kind of subjective depending on how his day is going.



Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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