Brighter tail/brake lights
On bikes that use a 1157 tail/brake combination bulb, a simple and inexpensive upgrade
in the brake light illumination is readily available.
A 2357 tail/brake combination bulb, available at any auto parts store, will produce the
same brightness for the tail light (3 lumens), but will produce 25% greater brightness for
the brake light (40 lumens vs. 32 lumens).
The volts required to power the 2357 bulb are the same as the 1157, but there is a
slight increase in the amps required (2.1 for the 1157, 2.2 for the 2357). The resulting
increase in watts used is only 1.28 watts, or a 4.76% increase over the standard 1157
The only draw back to using the 2357 bulb is the rated hours of service for the brake
light element is much less (400 hours for the 2357 brake light element vs. 1,200 hours for
the 1157 brake light element). The tail light element in both the 1157 and the 2357 are
rated at 5,000 hours. Assuming one rides 4 hours per day, 365 days per year and uses
his/her brake 25% of the time, if the brighter 2357 bulb is replaced annually, there
should be little chance of in-service failure.
Cost for a 2357 bulb is about 97 cents.
In an effort to provide information on brighter tail/brake lights, the 1157 (standard),
the H1157 (halogen) and the 2357(newer version of standard), the following chart has been
|Tail/brake lights: A comparison
The H1157 (halogen) is manufactured by
You can order the H1157 for $10.95 from Nichols Distributing, (800) 323-4488.
The biggest concern is the increase in amps and watts (heat) when switching to a
halogen bulb. The H1157 brake light element produces 86% greater watts (heat) than the
standard 1157 brake light element, the 2357 brake light element only produces 4.8% more
watts (heat). [What this means is that if you're not careful, you could easily melt
your taillight by using the halogen bulb.]
Note: "Heat" is measured in "watts", hence, they are the same.
The other concern with using the H1157 or the 2357 is the shorter service life. The
H1157 is rated to last only 400 hours on low (tail) and high (brake) elements. This is
drastically down from the standard 1157 and less than the 2357 low (tail) element.
Depending on your riding, this problem can be avoided by scheduled replacement.
Hope this info helps for safer riding.