Nighthawk Quick Safety Upgrade: LED Tail Lights

Upgrading the lighting on your bike is one of the ways to help yourself be more visible to other traffic. Doing a brake light / tail light upgrade doesn’t require anything special like it would if I was going to do LED blinkers (that’s for another time). You could even do this in the parking lot of the auto parts store and be done before anyone was out to tell you to do repairs at home!

This only took me about ten minutes to do. I’m sure it can be done quicker, but I took pictures for you all and such. 🙂

You’ll need just a few things:

  1. Ignition key (to get the seat off)
  2. Two LED bulbs. Mine cost about $20. You want the 1157 size.
  3. Bulb grease — the package you get, you’ll be able to use for the next year or so. It’s just a couple bucks.

Here’s how to do it:

  • First, just take off the seat.
  • You’ll be able to easily “unscrew” the bulb casings one by one inside the “trunk” area of the bike. Do just one at a time.
  • Carefully remove the old bulb
  • Add bulb grease to the metal parts of the new bulb, note where the high pin and low pin are.
  • Put the new bulb in, making note of the pin placement (it’s easy to screw it up on these 1157 bulbs)
  • “Screw” the bulb case back in.
  • Test the light.
  • Repeat these steps on the other bulb.
  • Bask in the glow of your new, brighter, more visible bike. 🙂

And as always, here’s pictures. Lots of pictures.

4 thoughts on “Nighthawk Quick Safety Upgrade: LED Tail Lights

  1. Mom

    Nice work getting brighter lights. It makes all moms happier knowing your bike will be glowing, especially this one! I like your pictures and step by step instructions.

    • I am planning on adding LED blinker pods as an upgrade to the mediocre ones I have as the next lighting upgrade. 🙂 I love being visible!

  2. Hawk

    Your new box of LEDs says “red” but you’re supposed to use white since the lens is red.

    • Huh, I didn’t know that. I figured extra red is extra good, hahaha. Still working great for me though!

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