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The last "Blue" brighter headlight I bought for my bike was short-lived. Does anyone know of a brighter than stock headlight that should last as long as a stock one for my Harley Road King? Thanks!
 

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There have been a lot of improvements with LED headlights. They last about 20 times longer than incandescent lights and are usually brighter.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Be aware that LED's are very directional. Not a problem at night but at even a slight angle in daylight they become near invisible to oncoming traffic.
 

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Sylvania makes some good and bright bulbs. Silver Star lit my way well.

We bought some LED for the house. They didn't last at all. Not longer than cfl. Only a little longer than incans. Maybe a bad batch. I dunno.
 

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Had problems with my driving lights after I first bought them. Went through several (being a newbie I went back to the dealer) within a year. Bought one elsewhere and have had it for twelve years now. (Not related but the dealer is no longer in business)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'll do some shopping around on the net and check 'em out.:71baldboy:
 

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Challenged Mechanic
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I switched to a LED headlight "bulb" on my Bonnie and am more than happy with it. The OEM headlight was pretty aenemic but man the LED is really bright. Nice thing, too, is it is a direct replacement for an H4 bulb. No mods required. Plugs right in. Only requirement is the headlight bucket must be deep enough (there is a heat sink behind the bulb). ADVMonster.com has them for about $45. I got mine from them.

Yesterday I was hosting a couple guys on the way round the world on two Urals (with sidecars!) and they were saying they needed more light for the South American continent coming up next. The ADVMonster guy lives nearby and we ran out there and he fitted them both with the H4 replacements on the spot. I led the way back to town and there was a huge difference in my mirrors even in daylight.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Lead Astronaut
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The last "Blue" brighter headlight I bought for my bike was short-lived. Does anyone know of a brighter than stock headlight that should last as long as a stock one for my Harley Road King? Thanks!
Kuryakyn Phase 7 LED headlight. Amazing difference and half the price of the Harley LED light, check out the video reviews on Youtube.

Dan
 

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By the way guys, I just posted in the review section the new LED taillight/brake light for my V-Star, really impressive difference. I am going to try and avoid playing with a new expensive LED headlight like the Phase 7 and I just ordered a 3800 Lumen LED H4 bulb. This is pretty much the latest generation of LED H4 bulbs but at 3800 Lumens and 40 watts on high beams, that's lower power consumption and double what the stock headlight bulb puts out. I will post a review and before and after pics. If this performs well, this would be way cheaper than replacing the entire headlight. My only concern is the cooling fan... the LED has a 1 year warranty, and can even run completely submerged in a glass of water and is rated for 30,000 hours of running time, but I wonder how long he fan will work before it starts making weird noises. Hopefully it's as solid as a CPU fan... if it is, then it should last years without any issues.

This is the H4 I got and will be testing:

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

I also have some cheap LED lights coming for my speedo and passing lamps I grabbed off eBay, so we'll see how those work out as well.

I'll let you know :)

Dan
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Which HID kit are you using? Was it just a bulb replacement or a whole headlight swap? Price??

It's not "too bright" is it? I don't want to be irritating oncoming cars, or cops!
From what I've read about HID lights, you absolutely need to change the reflector housing and add the HID projector or whatever it's called... the round housing inside the main housing. That will focus the HID properly. If you simply swap out the bulb for an HID, it will throw out too much unfocused light and blind other drivers.

Again, not an expert, but I was reading all about HID conversions on a board dedicated to HID installs and such, and the consensus was the projector piece was essential and you should never just do straight bulb swaps.

Dan
 

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Pale Rider
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Avoid anything with a fan -- they collect dust, clog up, slow down, and finally stop spinning, which causes the device to overheat, and fail...

I've been a PC technician for 25 years. The number one failure item, is a cooling fan. You will not hear the fan when it buzzes from dust accumulation in the bearings (too much ambient noise from the bike's engine, even when idling), and then it will go silent, when it stops spinning -- the LED will burn out within a minute, or two.

LED's are great, but not when they need a fan.

Some LED's create a lot of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference), which will disrupt both music radios, and radio/Bluetooth Intercoms and GPS's. Just an FYI. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Avoid anything with a fan -- they collect dust, clog up, slow down, and finally stop spinning, which causes the device to overheat, and fail...

I've been a PC technician for 25 years. The number one failure item, is a cooling fan. You will not hear the fan when it buzzes from dust accumulation in the bearings (too much ambient noise from the bike's engine, even when idling), and then it will go silent, when it stops spinning -- the LED will burn out within a minute, or two.

LED's are great, but not when they need a fan.

Some LED's create a lot of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference), which will disrupt both music radios, and radio/Bluetooth Intercoms and GPS's. Just an FYI. Cheers!
:coffee:
Sorry SgtSlag, but I have to disagree with you a bit. I too have been building and servicing PCs and servers pretty much since i286 PCs have been around, so sounds like the same as you, 25 years or more and you can't compare the environment. PC and server cases blow in cool air and blow out warm air, thus pumping dust right in to the case, and usually from the floor. Most PCs are sitting on the floor under the desk... the floor is full of dust, hair etc and you sit, kick up that dust and gets sucked right in to the case. This is why you need to clean out your cases from time to time. The housings on bikes are just not exposed to the same kind of cumulative dust. Open up a PC case that has been running for a solid year vs a headlight housing on a bike after 10 years and you will find that it's not even close, there will be MUCH more dust bunnies and clumped up dust in the PC case, where a properly closed housing will have next to none. So dust isn't a concern on the fan, it's more along the lines of the bearings or the fan motor type having a failure. I have no problems opening up the headlight and blowing out the fan as part of my storage routine either way.

I'm actually really surprised to hear you say that's a #1 failure item for you. I am literally looking at my hardware failure log for 2014 at work (we keep track of all hardware failures for dealing with our vendors) for our DC with about 1000 servers, and CPU cooling fans is a tiny fraction of logged failures. 89% are drive failure and power supplies. CPU cooling fans are less than 1%.

The fan does make a certain amount of noise, and when I turn on my key, the headlight is on and the fan will spin, so I will know if it's working. Granted, if it fails during operation of the bike, you're right in that you will never know, and depending on the ambient temperature, your LED could get cooked. However fans typically start making some funky noises before they fail so you should be able to detect it in advance.

If your H4 has no cooling fan, AVOID IT. All reviews I've seen of high power H4 LED bulbs with no fan and simply a heat sync indicate early failure... they just can't keep cool enough without the fan and are considered "cheapos". There are LED H4s with much less power that are fine, but not 3000+ lumens from what I can tell.

And let's face it... there's a big difference between a case fan and a CPU fan. I've replaced many case fans, but very rarely CPU or GPU fans, and when I did they were neglected, full of gunk and basically the fan was working harder than it should and burned out. Unless a CPU fan is DOA, it will rarely die if cleaned every 6 - 12 months and will last YEARS. Heck my home file server has been on 24/7 for 12 years now and has never had a fan failure. It has something like 8 case fans + the PS, 2x GPU and CPU fans lol!

So it really depends on the quality of the fan. There's no way to know until I try it :)

Now, let's say the fan dies after 5 years and the LED dies. Honestly, I'm fine paying $25 more than a high output Halogen for something that is MUCH brighter and provides me additional safety for 5 years, than less light and safety for 10 on a halogen. My bike is for the commute, and in the fall I drive home daily at night, so lighting is important for my application.

I'm not sure why an LED would interfere with a GPS... the frequency of a GPS is well over 1000 Mhz... something like 1500 I think. The LED frequency is much less, 300Mhz, and that is only for cheaper built LED housings that don't have RFI suppression. I am not sure on this, but my understanding is that it's the ballast or the emitter that causes that interference. This light has no external ballast and it's using the Cree XML2 emitters, so it should not cause interference. I'll try to test it when I get it and see. I am pretty sure it's a "you get what you pay for" situation. There's some useful info about LED interference here:

http://www.ledbenchmark.com/faq/LED-interference-issues.html

Either way, I'm stoked to try out this light, but I am worried about the fan's quality on the longterm. Time will tell ;) I have also seen some people state that LED bulbs in a reflector housing made for halogen is a no no and will not provide better light, in fact the opposite with shorter range. We shall see!!

Dan
 

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Challenged Mechanic
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Both the ADVMosnter and the Cyclops LED lights use the same Cree XLM2 LEDs. I wonder how they each came up with different lumen numbers. By the way, my ADVMonster light is fan-less. Monster's draw is 20 watts while Cyclops's is 30/40.

I've also been using ADVMonster's Model 30 (a pair) for a couple years. Super bright (and they are no where close to the highest output lights they have) and I have never turned them off. Probably ridden 25-20,000 miles with them on the bike and on.

Cheers,

Mike
 
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