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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Just got my H4 LED headlight bulb from Cyclops and as promised, here are the before and after photos... this is the product installed:

http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/3800-Lumen-H4-LED-Headlight-bulb-_p_83.html



Some thoughts:

The LED illumination difference is much more dramatic in person... unfortunately with all the snow I can only do this in the garage, but with the LED, it lights up the entire laundry area like it was daylight. The low-beam LED is about the same strength as the high-beam halogen. I should also mention this is not a stock Halogen, I am running a 55w $100 high output Halogen PIAA Super Plasma H4 Bulb so the difference would be MASSIVE with a regular Halogen.

The high beam is much wider and brighter, you can see the difference in the photos... the laundry in the dryer is light up, the black shirts on the rack, the floor and the central vac unit is all much more lit up with the LED.

I do have a couple of concerns... I had to modify the rubber boot to fit around the heat sync of the LED. Now that it's not completely sealed, will moisture get in the housing and start corroding the inside of the lens? When you start getting condensation inside a light, it starts eating at the inside lens.

Second issue is the fan.. the housing gets super hot because of how much power the driver runs so it must be fan cooled. Google around and you will see there are no fanless LEDs that hit 3800 lumens. Will the fan last? I will be ordering a spare rubber boot just in case this gives me problems and I have to go back to the regular halogen.

Passing lamps were not on during the tests.

Anyhow at first glance, this is a big difference :)

Dan
 

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Thanks for posting those before-and-after shots Dan! I definitely need to upgrade the headlight on my Raider this year, and that exact bulb you bought is on my short list of things to-buy this year!

It's been hard to find decent before/after shots of one those bulbs light patterns, and that's important to me because I don't want to be blinding oncoming cars with a poorly designed bulb. I'm sick enough to be blinded by so many of those "fast n furious kids" driving their riced out Hondas equipped with stupid-bright HID headlights that are clearly "offroad only" intended.

Does the box say what the lamp life/hours is rated for?

My only hesitation getting that bulb is, apparently at least on my bike that bulb can cause the alternator to make growling/whining noises. Surprisingly it's not because that bulb uses more power than stock, actually that bulb uses way LESS power than the stock bulb. And the Raider alternator growls because it's not doing enough work.. Hard to believe but I've heard that story a few times. Apparently my alternator will make the same noise if the factory bulb burns out & is off.. Go figure.
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for posting those before-and-after shots Dan! I definitely need to upgrade the headlight on my Raider this year, and that exact bulb you bought is on my short list of things to-buy this year!

It's been hard to find decent before/after shots of one those bulbs light patterns, and that's important to me because I don't want to be blinding oncoming cars with a poorly designed bulb. I'm sick enough to be blinded by so many of those "fast n furious kids" driving their riced out Hondas equipped with stupid-bright HID headlights that are clearly "offroad only" intended.

Does the box say what the lamp life/hours is rated for?

My only hesitation getting that bulb is, apparently at least on my bike that bulb can cause the alternator to make growling/whining noises. Surprisingly it's not because that bulb uses more power than stock, actually that bulb uses way LESS power than the stock bulb. And the Raider alternator growls because it's not doing enough work.. Hard to believe but I've heard that story a few times. Apparently my alternator will make the same noise if the factory bulb burns out & is off.. Go figure.
Hey bud, the lamp is rated for 30,000 hours but my gut tells me the fan will die long before the LED emitters will. I think I will keep an extra bulb and boot in the locked tool compartment under the seat as a "just in case". I am also wondering how hot this will get and if it could potentially melt the lens.

Very weird to hear the alternator starts making a growling sound if underworked, I wonder what would cause that, seems really weird.

Anyhow, we'll see how this goes but there's no question the low-beam light it much better on this. So now my concerns are moisture and condensation from the modified boot, and melting of the lens. I may pick up a used headlight to keep in my spare parts inventory as a "just in case".

Dan
 

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Troublemaker
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2,517 Posts
The bulb itself uses less electricity, but in order to get the amount of electricity down for the bulb it has to have a ballast or resister before it to step it down. That is where the extra electricity is burned off. The alternator will not notice that because it is still supplying the full amount to the headlight.

My HID has a ballast and a fan, 17,000 miles and it still works fine.
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #5
The bulb itself uses less electricity, but in order to get the amount of electricity down for the bulb it has to have a ballast or resister before it to step it down. That is where the extra electricity is burned off. The alternator will not notice that because it is still supplying the full amount to the headlight.

My HID has a ballast and a fan, 17,000 miles and it still works fine.
Are we talking about the Cyclops bulb? The pulled voltage by the ballast driver is in fact lower than stock bulb wattage. Many LEDs don't even have a ballast. I know that you need resistors as you described for the LED signal lights to blink properly, but the overall electrical system load is decreased by the LED.

By the way, just found this video... certainly quiets my concerns about heat affecting the lens:

http://youtu.be/GC8Df0sC4rI

Dan
 

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Troublemaker
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Voltage is 12 volts from the battery no matter what you have there at the other end. The ballast or resistor has to drop the voltage and amperage to what is required by the accessory. In order to do that, it must diffuse the heat to keep from damaging the accessory.
 

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Well on another "Raider specific" forum they've been testing this bulb for a while. It works great, but causes alternator whine due to the reduced power load. Cyclops is assisting by providing some additional resistors to add to the setup just to increase the total load and shut the alternator up.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Keep us updated on the mod please
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #10
just a quick comment ...

I've got a PILE of dirty laundry here.
mind if I swing by your garage??

Hahahahahaha!!
dT
Hahaha come on down, just make sure you have a 12 case of beer under your arm along with your baskets. :D

It's actually quite a contrast... I made a nice laundry area in the garage last year, but if you turn around it row after row of tool boxes, bins with parts, a cement floor and dingy walls. My wife keeps telling me I need to wall off the laundry part lol!
 

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I need some real distance shots at 100 yd to be convinced. LEDs are good but I don't think they are ready to replace halogen headlamps (in lamps designed for halogens).
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #12
I need some real distance shots at 100 yd to be convinced. LEDs are good but I don't think they are ready to replace halogen headlamps (in lamps designed for halogens).
I agree, it's hard to say whether this is an improvement distance-wise from inside my garage. I'll get some better shots at night once the snow is off the ground. BUT Cyclops does have before and after videos on youtube on roads and the difference is indeed dramatic.

Dan
 
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