LED Headlight Blubs - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 105 Old Jul 18th, 2014, 11:40 am Thread Starter
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LED Headlight Blubs

Seeing that there are now recent new H7 options for alternative blubs for "Tubby" I was wondering if anyone has tried them yet?

I know there are respected distributors of some very reliable blubs for other bikes, H3 being the most common, but now there are some nice H7's out there.

My thought for going LED was to stay away from the common "ballast" issue many on other bikes struggle with...

Thanx
M


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post #2 of 105 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 2:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Well since no one has yet tried these out, and the fact that 2 different distributors suggest leaving the back cover off to keep the back side of the LED unit cool, I'll just install a HID H7 5000k.

Cheers,
M


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post #3 of 105 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 3:51 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

This is the first I have heard that LED H7s were available. Been pretty happy with the HID for the last 10 years.

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post #4 of 105 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 4:02 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

In my headlight, an 00, the high beam bulb is within a BMW designed housing. As a result, one cannot easily replace the bulb. to use a brighter halogen bulb I bought the assembly parts from a bmw dealer and after experimenting used a small hose clamp to ground the bulb to the metal housing.

If you are looking for a LED high beam, consider pre made units which look small enough to be mounted under the mirrors. If you use a separate switch and relay if necessary, you can aim them differently and switch off the high beam that interferes with traffic in the opposite lane on interstates. Or aim them both the same way and then if a needed relay ceases functioning, you don't loose both high beams.

bob
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post #5 of 105 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 8:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Bob, yeah it is nice that companies are producing them.
But you're right, while a new idea, I'll go towards installing just a HID low beam assembly as leaving in 5 weeks for my cross country trip on the K1200LT I really do not want to mess with an unknown, presently.
Thanks!
M

Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa View Post
In my headlight, an 00, the high beam bulb is within a BMW designed housing. As a result, one cannot easily replace the bulb. to use a brighter halogen bulb I bought the assembly parts from a bmw dealer and after experimenting used a small hose clamp to ground the bulb to the metal housing.

If you are looking for a LED high beam, consider pre made units which look small enough to be mounted under the mirrors. If you use a separate switch and relay if necessary, you can aim them differently and switch off the high beam that interferes with traffic in the opposite lane on interstates. Or aim them both the same way and then if a needed relay ceases functioning, you don't loose both high beams.

bob


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post #6 of 105 Old Sep 23rd, 2015, 10:48 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

I realize this is an old thread, but now there are "good" LED H7 blubs available from reputable suppliers.

I put the HID in last year, but have never been happy with the blast of light because the housing is not built for an HID. The beam broadcasts too high and at night I get flashed by other drivers too often. I suspect it's not safe for drivers coming towards me, which makes it unsafe for me.

Has anyone tried the LED headlight yet? If not, I may purchase one and try it. If I do this does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations?

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post #7 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 9:31 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
I realize this is an old thread, but now there are "good" LED H7 blubs available from reputable suppliers.

I put the HID in last year, but have never been happy with the blast of light because the housing is not built for an HID. The beam broadcasts too high and at night I get flashed by other drivers too often. I suspect it's not safe for drivers coming towards me, which makes it unsafe for me.

Has anyone tried the LED headlight yet? If not, I may purchase one and try it. If I do this does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations?
I am in the same boat as you... I think the HID is even worse than the stock halogen, and that's saying something!

I've been researching the LEDs, and one consistent thing I seem to hear about them is to not purchase the ones with fans, but rather with the ribbon cable heat syncs. Apparently the fans are prone to failure, and obviously the light would fail without proper cooling.

Please update us on how it goes... I for one am very curious!

Thanks, Adam.
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post #8 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 9:39 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Agree on the fan, Adam. Here's what I am considering:
H7 LED Motorcycle Headlight Kit | H7 Motorcycle LED Upgrade

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post #9 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 9:44 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
Agree on the fan, Adam. Here's what I am considering:
H7 LED Motorcycle Headlight Kit | H7 Motorcycle LED Upgrade
Similar to what I'm considering here, but because the ones I'm looking at aren't specifically for motorcycles, it's a pair. Figured it would make an excellent spare... Same price as yours :-)

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post #10 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 9:52 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

It's LED! Unless I crash I shouldn't need another one. Then again, if I have a crash, I may not need the second one

Maybe we can split a pair.

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post #11 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 11:12 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreksbrother View Post
Similar to what I'm considering here, but because the ones I'm looking at aren't specifically for motorcycles, it's a pair. Figured it would make an excellent spare... Same price as yours :-)
Here is another one on Amazon but using the same Phillips LED's rather than the Cree similar to the link to Xenon Depot and it is also less expensive.


http://www.amazon.com/PartsSquare-LE...BVN4HW42GRB2GV


Just ordered it to see what it will do and how hard it is to install.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #12 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 11:57 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

If you did the HID, it will be easier than that. If you didn't do the HID, it's not that difficult. There's a metal bar that holds the back cover on. It pops down and then the cover comes off and you can work with it just like a car. You'll have to remove the ballast for the HID when you replace it. Should take 15-30min.

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post #13 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 12:38 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Hey guys ; i've been using low beam led all summer on my 2005
love it, got it from cycle gear
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post #14 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 2:18 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Please let me know how this works out for you. Very interested!
Thanks
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post #15 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 2:26 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
If you did the HID, it will be easier than that. If you didn't do the HID, it's not that difficult. There's a metal bar that holds the back cover on. It pops down and then the cover comes off and you can work with it just like a car. You'll have to remove the ballast for the HID when you replace it. Should take 15-30min.
I figure it should be pretty easy. Lights are currently stock as far as I know but I haven't been inside the headlight area yet. I have seen pictures of the bar and the back cover so I know what to look for.

Since it is a 2 pack, I figure it comes with a spare ahead of time should it decide to fail Small enough to drag along for safety reasons and no extra cost.

Gordon
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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #16 of 105 Old Sep 24th, 2015, 5:41 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

I bought a LED low beam bulb at Billings. It has a small ballast that is not a problem and it also has a small fan behind the bulb. It is very bright and so far no problems.
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post #17 of 105 Old Sep 25th, 2015, 12:20 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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I bought a LED low beam bulb at Billings. It has a small ballast that is not a problem and it also has a small fan behind the bulb. It is very bright and so far no problems.
I looked at those also with the fan and there are a myriad of them. Both Cree and Phillips make one with a flexible copper band heat sink rather than a fan so nothing to break causing the bulb to overheat if the spinning fan stops.

I chose the Phillips over the Cree as there were a few problem reviews with the Cree. Should have them by Saturday.
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post #18 of 105 Old Sep 26th, 2015, 4:03 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

OK, I got my LED bulbs today and since it is raining, it was a good day to go ahead and install it. They came 2 H7's to a pack so since my original Halogen was still good, I have that and one additional H7 LED as spares.

Installation was fairly easy but the bulb clips were a bugger seeing the normal power plug comes off the Halogen bulb and the clips are then easy to spring open to remove the bulb. The LED has a large square block on the back where the heat sink band connects so that is in the way and getting the lower clip on takes some acrobatics with the bulb in pulling out the lower side so the clip can be worked in under the block and into the slot to secure the bulb in place.

It can be done with a little patience and a good bright light so you can see what you are doing up there. No Tupperware removal required.

Even with the ballast and the heat sink band, it all fit up in the housing and the cover went back on with little difficulty.

After looking at the pictures side by side, this is definitely an upgrade and hopefully longer or as long lasting as the HID alternative.

The light is much whiter than the Halogen as you can see in the attached pictures and no warm up time as with the HID.

I did a side by side comparrison to see where the LED element lined up with the Halogen and they look equally positioned. I don't expect to need any headlight adjustment and the disbursement pattern on the wall looks about equal as expected.
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post #19 of 105 Old Sep 26th, 2015, 6:07 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Looks great. On the final picture with the three light patterns, is one with the high beam and the LED? Also, is the LED broadcasting right and left enough? The Hal photo looks a little broader.

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post #20 of 105 Old Sep 26th, 2015, 10:38 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
Looks great. On the final picture with the three light patterns, is one with the high beam and the LED? Also, is the LED broadcasting right and left enough? The Hal photo looks a little broader.
The final picture is from top to bottom. Original Halogen, new LED and new LED with original High beam. You can tell as it is the yellow spot in the center. I realize I didn't get the scale the same on my cut and paste but the disbursement pattern is pretty close from old to new. I am posting the original photos unedited so you can compare. I didn't do a great job of taking the pics from the same point so there is some difference but you should be able to get some reference points to see and compare the side to side.
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post #21 of 105 Old Sep 27th, 2015, 12:48 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Anyone here that can help me out on adjustment of the Headlight on my 91 750 RT? I've looked throught the entire Clymer shop manual and can't find a thing on it.. I tried adjusting with the Grey plastic screw and it doesn't seem to change a thing..I used to be an instructor and can't figure this one.. Probably very simple... Another thing is what if I'm out there and my headlight burns out.. Will I still have a headlight or Ive heard a few stories about the relay going.. : (
Thanks..
Les
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post #22 of 105 Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 1:22 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Recently tried one of the H7 70 watt Xenon Gas blue-intensity white light bulbs from brite-lites in my 2001 k1200LT. I am impressed. A big improvement over the OEM halogen bulb. For under $20 and no ballistic or fans just a bulb replacement. Seems good to me.

https://www.bluhmenterprises.com/pro..._category_id=1
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post #23 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 1:08 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by oldbmwrdr View Post
Recently tried one of the H7 70 watt Xenon Gas blue-intensity white light bulbs from brite-lites in my 2001 k1200LT. I am impressed. A big improvement over the OEM halogen bulb. For under $20 and no ballistic or fans just a bulb replacement. Seems good to me.

https://www.bluhmenterprises.com/pro..._category_id=1
I am sure it is very bright and an improvement over the standard halogen but it is not DOT street approved. Be careful what you point that thing at

Gordon
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2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #24 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 9:39 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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I am sure it is very bright and an improvement over the standard halogen but it is not DOT street approved. Be careful what you point that thing at
As far as I know the HID is also not DOT legal. Only the halogen blub is DOT approved.

I suppose if you're going to swap out to HID or LED, you should pick the lesser of two evils for your style of riding. If you ride at night, you'll be better off with the LED. If you don't ride at night, the HID might be better.

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post #25 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 10:06 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
As far as I know the HID is also not DOT legal. Only the halogen blub is DOT approved.

I suppose if you're going to swap out to HID or LED, you should pick the lesser of two evils for your style of riding. If you ride at night, you'll be better off with the LED. If you don't ride at night, the HID might be better.
You are probably right on that for riding stile but HID is showing up on more and more cars as standard equipment. LED is also making OE headway on cars I have heard. I would suspect, just as Halogen, some form of them are DOT approved, just not all of them like the 70W bulbs. I want to see and be seen without blinding the oncoming traffic

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #26 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 9:21 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
You are probably right on that for riding stile but HID is showing up on more and more cars as standard equipment. LED is also making OE headway on cars I have heard. I would suspect, just as Halogen, some form of them are DOT approved, just not all of them like the 70W bulbs. I want to see and be seen without blinding the oncoming traffic
Not sure I understand you. Are you saying the HID is better because it let's you be seen without blinding oncoming traffic? If so, I disagree completely when driving at night. There is no "beam" per se and I get flashed all the time because on coming traffic is blinded. The only value for night riding that I've seen is that because of the broad light I can see signs better. But I don't see the road any better, especially right in front of me. During the day, the HID is great because everybody does see it. But at night, I'm unimpressed.

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1982 Goldwing Aspencade
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxxim
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post #27 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 10:28 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
Not sure I understand you. Are you saying the HID is better because it let's you be seen without blinding oncoming traffic? If so, I disagree completely when driving at night. There is no "beam" per se and I get flashed all the time because on coming traffic is blinded. The only value for night riding that I've seen is that because of the broad light I can see signs better. But I don't see the road any better, especially right in front of me. During the day, the HID is great because everybody does see it. But at night, I'm unimpressed.
No, I was simply agreeing with you on picking the lesser of two evils based on riding style. I don't ride at night unless it is absolutely necessary so being seen is more important to me than seeing. I have never used the HID bulbs, only just put in my LED this week so I really don't have an opinion on one being better over the other. I know that the LED I installed is very white and looks brighter than the halogen so it should be more visible in the day time and hopefully will not " burn out" at an inopportune time if I do find myself on the road at night.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #28 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 10:45 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
Not sure I understand you. Are you saying the HID is better because it let's you be seen without blinding oncoming traffic? If so, I disagree completely when driving at night. There is no "beam" per se and I get flashed all the time because on coming traffic is blinded. The only value for night riding that I've seen is that because of the broad light I can see signs better. But I don't see the road any better, especially right in front of me. During the day, the HID is great because everybody does see it. But at night, I'm unimpressed.
I have had HID for 7 years now & never get flashed by oncoming traffic. I also can see the road much better at night than I could with the stock OEM bulb. Have you ever checked to make sure your low beam is adjusted correctly ?.
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post #29 of 105 Old Oct 3rd, 2015, 11:06 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

I figured I wasn't understanding you. I'm looking forward to replacing my HID with an LED. I'm sure it can't be worse.

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post #30 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 4:32 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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I figured I wasn't understanding you. I'm looking forward to replacing my HID with an LED. I'm sure it can't be worse.
I think I recall some people talking about the light source on HID bulbs not being properly aligned with the original Halogen filament position and there was some kind of spacer you could make or get to remedy that so the light source was at the proper position in relation to the reflector. It may have been just an installation issue also that I am recalling with cutting plastic for wires or the like. If the alignment issue is the case, then the beam pattern would be somewhat less than original optimal. Even if it generated more light over all, it might be " out of focus" so to speak, like those adjustable flashlights where as you twist them, it makes the beam wider or smaller.

Based on that recollection, I did check where the LED emitters were placed in relation to the original bulb and it looks properly aligned so I would expect a very close to original pattern with the LED. Never had a HID in my hand to compare though.

Gordon
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2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #31 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 5:56 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Look at this YouTube non bias headlight comparison link below. It is very in depth and well done. Don't discount it when you see the women in her living room as speaker. It compares HID (Xenon), Halogen and LED and I learned quite a bit that I was not aware of. The HID appears to be the better choice.

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post #32 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 6:58 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Not sure I understand you. Are you saying the HID is better because it let's you be seen without blinding oncoming traffic? If so, I disagree completely when driving at night. There is no "beam" per se and I get flashed all the time because on coming traffic is blinded. The only value for night riding that I've seen is that because of the broad light I can see signs better. But I don't see the road any better, especially right in front of me. During the day, the HID is great because everybody does see it. But at night, I'm unimpressed.
You must have had a horrible HID conversion. VERY MANY of us have had HID conversions for low beam, with absolutely great results. The cut off line on mine (2001 LT) was exactly the same as the Halogen, far better lighting, and I rode it all over the country for over 100,000 miles, much of it at night, with no problems or flashing by oncoming drivers.
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post #33 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 8:57 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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You must have had a horrible HID conversion. VERY MANY of us have had HID conversions for low beam, with absolutely great results. The cut off line on mine (2001 LT) was exactly the same as the Halogen, far better lighting, and I rode it all over the country for over 100,000 miles, much of it at night, with no problems or flashing by oncoming drivers.
I was expecting great things because so many talked so well about the conversion. I'm definitely willing to stay with the HID. I'm open to all and every suggestion to make it so I am one with the great results.

I thought maybe I was one of a few that rode at night and everyone with HID conversions only rode at night when they had no choice.

Suggestions?

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post #34 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 9:15 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by norton View Post
Look at this YouTube non bias headlight comparison link below...
Excellent video. PROJECTOR HOUSING. That's the issue with the K1200LT with the HID and possibly the LED, although it directs the light differently. Here's one on the light housing issue:


Did anyone do anything to their housing?

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post #35 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 10:15 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

When I installed HID lights in both of my Lt's I re adjusted the low beam height. I ride 30,000 plus miles every year & at least 30% is at night on two lane roads.

Dave Selvig
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post #36 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 2:12 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
Excellent video. PROJECTOR HOUSING. That's the issue with the K1200LT with the HID and possibly the LED, although it directs the light differently. Here's one on the light housing issue:

http://youtu.be/Y5n38wDe684

Did anyone do anything to their housing?
For my LED, I did nothing and by the looks of my non professional pictures, the LED focus pattern looks actually sharper than the Halogen. The LT or at least mine does not have a projection style light housing but, the high beam housing sits in front of the low beam bulb blocking top to bottom the entire center of the low reflector. Seeing the LED has 2 emitters facing left and right, I don't see a drawback in this particular application of not having light emitted from all sides of the bulb as top and bottom center in my case are totally blocked from any reflection forward.

As far as the fuzzing of the pattern that failed the inspection, if the emitter area was larger or out of position forward or back from the engineered focal point even by a small amount, it would cause altering or fuzzing of the pattern. Some of that may be attributable to proper filament placing within the particular housing and that may not be so important in a projector type housing.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #37 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 6:29 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

I found this LED which is 80w.

Show Chrome Accessories H7 LED Replacement Headlight Bulb (80Watt)- Honda GL1800 (01- Up) and Other Motorcycles Equipped With H7 Bulb

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post #38 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 8:58 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Would be curious to see how that one stacks up against HID and other LED that have fewer emitters and fans or copper band cable heat sinks. It has no heat sink or fan so what is its equivalent lumen output which isn't listed. With LED, 80W is not a valid comparison value.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #39 of 105 Old Oct 4th, 2015, 10:50 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

This is a great little excercise for me to learn.

Not watts but lumens... I found this brief article: energy.gov/energysaver/lumens-and-lighting-facts-label

It seems to give 100 lumens for each 5 watts (75 watts is 1100 lumens and 100 watts is 1600 lumens).

On Amazon, the 80w Cree H7 says 1200 (which matches the government). The photos show the heat sink is above and below the diodes.

The Kensun H7 HID I have says 35 watts, which provides as much light as 55 watt halogen. I see some claims that HID 35 watt are 3,000 to 3,500 lumens. Obviously, this is high compared to the LED at 1200, assuming that is correct. But then there's something about effecency.

So, I'm feeling like I'm running in circles. I know what I have (HID) and how it works. I think I will try the LED and see how that works.

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1982 Goldwing Aspencade
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post #40 of 105 Old Oct 5th, 2015, 12:01 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Leboyd View Post
This is a great little excercise for me to learn.

Not watts but lumens... I found this brief article: energy.gov/energysaver/lumens-and-lighting-facts-label

It seems to give 100 lumens for each 5 watts (75 watts is 1100 lumens and 100 watts is 1600 lumens).

On Amazon, the 80w Cree H7 says 1200 (which matches the government). The photos show the heat sink is above and below the diodes.

The Kensun H7 HID I have says 35 watts, which provides as much light as 55 watt halogen. I see some claims that HID 35 watt are 3,000 to 3,500 lumens. Obviously, this is high compared to the LED at 1200, assuming that is correct. But then there's something about effecency.

So, I'm feeling like I'm running in circles. I know what I have (HID) and how it works. I think I will try the LED and see how that works.


Efficiency is the thing. I believe the gas charge in the halogen bulbs helps keep the bulb cleaner and allowing the filament to reach higher temps and producing more light providing more lumens per watt output than a standard vacuum bulb and longer life.

HID is an arc in a bubble so you are looking at lightning in glass.

You have links to both the Cree and Phillips on Amazon for bulbs with the copper band ( no moving parts ) heat sink in this thread as well as the 16 emitter 80W bulb you posted ( and a myriad of available others. If you go that way, I would be interested in your opinions of how it compares in real life to your HID. Specs on my Phillips are 2500 lumens and around 6500K for color.

When you get your LED and if you go single diode per side, I would be interested to know how the emitters line up side by side. The LED lined up very well with my Halogen filament. If you go multi diode, then it may not be a true comparison of placement and beam pattern. I also read on the specs of several multi emitter like your mentioned 80W that they are for projector housings and that may make sense.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #41 of 105 Old Oct 5th, 2015, 12:10 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

The added benefit that the wide pattern of HID has is you get to see those big four legged animals at night before they jump out in front of you. Always helps to see them as early as possible.

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post #42 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 12:16 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Went out last night and rode around on some dark roads to adjust if necessary. There is a very clean cut off line with the Phillips LED and it lights the road well IMO. The high beam does light up stuff further out but now looks weak by comparison so I may have to upgrade my high beam to LED as well to be happy with it. Checking on H3 styles now.
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post #43 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 3:16 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Went out last night and rode around on some dark roads to adjust if necessary. There is a very clean cut off line with the Phillips LED and it lights the road well IMO. The high beam does light up stuff further out but now looks weak by comparison so I may have to upgrade my high beam to LED as well to be happy with it. Checking on H3 styles now.
That's encouraging! Looking forward to doing this on my bike.

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post #44 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 7:57 pm
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Cool Re: LED Headlight Blubs

The Phillips LEDs seem to have come down significantly in price. While I still haven't done the LT, I did swap out the HIDs in my Prius and the H4 on my Honda Hornet and like the results in both.
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post #45 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 10:34 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Apologies for the newb question, but does any of this apply to the later model bikes with the Xenon headlight and the separate high beam housing? The difference between the Xenon main and the halogen high beam are immediate and obvious (main is bluish, high is yellowish), but still, I wonder if an LED module would be an upgrade on the main light, and if there's an LED or HID upgrade for the high beam module.


TIA!



Mark

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post #46 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 10:42 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Apologies for the newb question, but does any of this apply to the later model bikes with the Xenon headlight and the separate high beam housing? The difference between the Xenon main and the halogen high beam are immediate and obvious (main is bluish, high is yellowish), but still, I wonder if an LED module would be an upgrade on the main light, and if there's an LED or HID upgrade for the high beam module.
I'm no expert, Mark, but I thought Xenon and HID headlights are the same thing.

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1982 Yamaha 650 Maxxim
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post #47 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 11:03 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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I'm no expert, Mark, but I thought Xenon and HID headlights are the same thing.

I actually did too, but my headlight is fully on the second I turn the key, whereas the aftermarket HID conversions that I've seen (admittedly on cars and trucks, not motorcycles) take a significant amount of time to warm up. That would lead to one of two conclusions:

1) The BMW ballast is vastly superior to aftermarket units; or

2) The stock Xenon unit is not exactly the same thing as an HID unit.

I'm fine with either scenario, as it means I don't really need to upgrade the main headlight on my bike, but that still doesn't address the separate high beam unit. Does anyone know of an HID or LED upgrade to that secondary unit?

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post #48 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 11:23 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Mark65 View Post
Apologies for the newb question, but does any of this apply to the later model bikes with the Xenon headlight and the separate high beam housing? The difference between the Xenon main and the halogen high beam are immediate and obvious (main is bluish, high is yellowish), but still, I wonder if an LED module would be an upgrade on the main light, and if there's an LED or HID upgrade for the high beam module.


TIA!



Mark

Mark, it isn't a newbe question. I have learned a ton just wanting to upgrade my main beam.

Yes, it applies if you are not happy with your current lighting arrangement. Upgrade is a relative term as you are looking for something possibly different than you have. In order to know if you should change something, you have to know what you have. I have seen many Xenon bulbs colored blue so that could be where the tint you see is coming from. Beyond that, it is measured in temperature Kelvin with numbers around 6k being mostly white and higher than 6k being towards blue and lower towards yellow. The bluer you go, the less usable light you will get out of it and really high are mostly for display purposes and effect.

To make a change, you need to know what you have to make an educated decision on what to buy unless you have money to burn and just buy some of each to play with. Lumens is how much light output the device is capable of producing so you need to know what the current bulb produces and then you can choose something different. Either another Xenon bulb or make a move to HID or LED. If you found the pictures I posted up in this thread, you can see the temp difference from the original and the LED side by side. I don't have any Xenon bulbs or HID to post shots of for comparison but you can make some assumptions if you want to try something. My Phillips LED bulbs are about 6K for color and 2500 lumens, far better than the original Halogen IMO. You can also see my yellow high beam just like yours in one of those pics and I plan on changing that soon.

If you want to make a change to your current lighting, find out what you have installed so you don't buy something inferior to that and waste your money and time. Another thing i have heard folks talk about is the can buss on newer bikes and changes causing issues. Since my LT doesn't have a can buss, I don't have those issues. Someone else will have to speak to what limitations the can buss has on adding farkles and upgrades.

The upgrade factor for you would be longer main bulb life with HID or LED over a filament bulb as long as you find some combination that works both with the bike and with your vision preferences and possibly greater light output depending on what you have now and choose to install. HID are generally not recommended for high beam as they take time to warm up to full brightness and flashing is really hard on the ballast with the high start up current. LED does not have that limitation so it might be a good high output choice for a high beam which i am currently exploring.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #49 of 105 Old Oct 6th, 2015, 11:40 pm
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

Thanks for the info, that helps for future decision making.

AFAIK, she's stock all the way, so I think I'm good, and I honestly can't believe I even entertained the notion that HID might be a viable high beam alternative. Boot to the head for ol' Miller here.


Thanks again!

Mark

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post #50 of 105 Old Oct 7th, 2015, 8:59 am
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Re: LED Headlight Blubs

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Originally Posted by Mark65 View Post
Thanks for the info, that helps for future decision making.

AFAIK, she's stock all the way, so I think I'm good, and I honestly can't believe I even entertained the notion that HID might be a viable high beam alternative. Boot to the head for ol' Miller here.


Thanks again!

Mark
The Xenon on the later LT's is a very good Phillips unit, The light output and wide pattern make night driving feel much safer. Mine comes on right away too and with my PIAA lighting the Halogen hi beam is almost useless. So if any thing needs changing it is the halogen high beam bulb. Caution though as you have to make sure heat output of an HID high beam won't melt lens as it will be closer to the plastic.

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