Author Topic: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.  (Read 7388 times)

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Offline mattchewn

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NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« on: October 31, 2014, 08:19:00 pm »
All,
Somewhere on here there was a link to a LED headlamp retrofit for a C 14 from Procycle.com. I posted in that thread that I was going to get one to try simply out of curiosity.
Well; I Did. I ordered it and had it delivered in 3 days. FAST!
Here is the good news. The lamp looks like a well made piece and it is BRIGHT! I mean B R I T E ! ! !   I pulled one of my 3000+ lumen HID bulbs out in order to install the new LED unit. I left the other one in and connected for comparison purposes, (thinking ahead!). I do not know how long this will last but it is almost as bright on low beam as my HID was. I am very impressed. It uses 2 COB for low beam and adds a third when you trip the high beam switch. It is very visible even in bright daylight. 59$ is a great price as well. Total including priority shipping 67.10. My guess is two bulbs would ship for the same shipping cost since they come in a very small box.
The not so good;
due to the size and shape of the housing it is an easy install with one small not so small issue. The bulb comes with different mounting bases to fit multiple bulb sizes/arrangements for different bikes. These bases are attached to the bulb by way of a screw after the base has been installed into the headlight housing, (on a C-14 at least), the retainer clip will not fit past the bulb if it is still in the metal base. The base is an easy install, however getting the screw into the bulb after installing it is going to take a significant effort way more effort than I, or most people will be willing to invest given that it will take that much effort to replace if it burns out, and probably a little drilling or Dremel modding of the headlamp housing itself for access. The screw will need to be installed from the bottom side of the housing as well.  Also it will be a PITA to remove at nite in the dark on the side of the road in middle lower nowhere, for sure. And the screw is tiny small as well, making losing it a real possibility. I did not take the time to mod the housing in order to make the unit fit since I am not ready to change over to LED just yet.
If anyone wants to try this out and make the mod I will sell you this almost brand new light for 50.00 shipped to you. It is a direct fir for a KLR though.
Matt
'12 C14
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 02:01:14 pm by mattchewn »
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Offline CW

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 09:09:29 pm »
Matt:
Very interesting indeed. An LED light is something I have been mulling over for a bit regarding my KLR, whose charging system is not as robust as on the C14. Seems like I am always searching for a few more watts when on the KLR, especially in cold weather, what with heated grips, heated gloves, heated vest, etc.

Did you happen to take any pics of the bulb or mounting base? Wonder if it would work in a KLR? Wonder what power saving are versus OEM light? Hmmm.....
2010 Neptune blue C-14
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2014, 02:02:19 am »
CW,
It is an H4 base but comes with a couple other options for mounting. I have it here still. I am still debating on returning it or waiting to see if someone here will take it at a discounted price. I know it will make someone happy. This light is actually a direct fir for the KLR. Draws only 20 watts on low and 30 watts on high beam.  Power saving is above 50% versus halogen (low beam), but with 5X the light output! 3600 lumens on high beam!
Here is the link to the bulb I got. 
https://www.procycle.us/bikepages/klr650.html
You will have to scroll down to the electrical section towards the bottom of the page.
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 12:18:21 pm »
All,
Due to the responses I am getting I will go a bit further today and determine just how big a PITA it is going to be to install this unit in my C14. I will take some pics as well and try to keep track of all the colorful language required during this process. Look for an update tonight.
Matt
This light is supposed to fit a KLR directly. And for all you legal eagles the box does say "FOR OFF ROAD USE ONLY"
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Offline Scubadoguk

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2014, 01:23:52 pm »
I did the led headlight led upgrade on my C10 a few weeks ago all I can say is its a lot better than my older OEM set up even with the Murph head light relay kit
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2014, 01:30:06 pm »
Matt,
I'm very interested in the outcome, especially the light pattern you get.  :popcorn:
Silver 2011 C-14 and 2019 Versys 1000 SE LT+.  Previous rides: KZ-400, KZ-750, KZ-1000.  Keep the rubber side down.  Ride Fast......Live Slow......

Offline gpd323

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2014, 02:07:33 pm »
Matt:
Very interesting indeed. An LED light is something I have been mulling over for a bit regarding my KLR, whose charging system is not as robust as on the C14. Seems like I am always searching for a few more watts when on the KLR, especially in cold weather, what with heated grips, heated gloves, heated vest, etc.

Did you happen to take any pics of the bulb or mounting base? Wonder if it would work in a KLR? Wonder what power saving are versus OEM light? Hmmm.....

I tried a LED setup on my KLR. Both lights. The base mounted on the lamp housing and then you stick the LED lamp assembly (with cooling fan) into the socket and twist the bulb and it seats, which was a very easy install. Unfortunately the units I bought (CREE LEDs) were not in a good position to reflect the super bright light effectively. Light scatter all over, no focused beam. Light temp was 5K. I went back to HID's on my KLR. Light and low/high beam pattern is very good.
On the C14, I run 2 sets of the Procycle (Bikemaster brand) H4 HID's with a magnetic base that allows for low and high beam function.
Hoping in the near future a LED kit comes out that is correctly designed for PnP in multiple housings.

PS on the KLR, I can run both HID's, heated grips and Gerbing jacket and voltage is still a good 13+ volts when on the move. I also run radar detector, and GPS so even though the KLR has a 18 amp genny it has just enough to power those accessories.
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 02:24:09 pm »
4Bikes,
The pattern and light output is great. For a C14 it is just not really a viable option due to the construction of the bulb and mounting. The mounting needs to be a twist lock style instead of a screw retained version. In the pic you can clearly see the hole for the retainer screw in the bottom part of the base. The base is installed in the housing but the bottom of the housing prevents access to install the screw. Also the Air duct for the Ram Air is in the way underneath that. Basically this will in all likelihood require removal of the entire headlamp assembly to install the bulbs and then reinstall the headlight assembly as one unit. You will have to drill an access hole for the screw to be installed through as well breaking the weather seal on the housing.  As you can see in the pic the screw hole is obscured by both the reflector housing on the inside, and the outer hpousing, (black plastic), requiring a bit of work. Add in the extremely limited space to work in and you can see that complete removal would probably be the easier way.
Matt
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 04:05:26 pm »
I'm sure if there was a way to improvise, you would be one to figure it out. It's a shame it's a no go, but the future looks good since I'm sure an LED H4 solution will come along. Thanks for being on the bleeding edge.  :beerchug:
Silver 2011 C-14 and 2019 Versys 1000 SE LT+.  Previous rides: KZ-400, KZ-750, KZ-1000.  Keep the rubber side down.  Ride Fast......Live Slow......

Offline gPink

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 04:34:42 pm »

Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 04:44:29 pm »
gPink,
I have tried the single chip LED bulbs in my truck. They work but not all that well. Also many of them do not index correctly in the housing and when you switch to high beam you actually lose the ability to see as far or as well. The bulb I just reviewed has two COB led's separated by 60 degrees or so and a 3rd one comes on as the high beam in conjunction with the other two. This provides the proper light pattern, cutoff, and dispersion.  In my experience a single chip will not get the job done.
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
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Offline gPink

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 05:03:00 pm »
Thanks Matt.

Offline JimH_PA

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 06:00:27 pm »
how about using a thumb screw? 
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Offline gPink

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2014, 06:31:29 pm »
I don't know if torture is the way to go here but if that's what it takes to get Matt to put the headlight in.......

Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 01:53:41 am »
Well,
My Gerbings heated gear and controller came today so now I have to tear into Beast again. Maybe I will pull her nose off and fit this little LED. AHHHHH, maybe not!
I really like the LED idea though.
Matt
2018 H2 SXSE.  (FAT SXSE)
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Offline Scup

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 05:55:37 pm »
Matt,

Where do the fans pull the air from ? ? ?   

I would guess the outside and if that's true is it not going to suck in dust/dirt/humidity/water?  Maybe the fans are very low flow, but they will still suck in dust & humidity = IF they get the air from outside.  This would not be good for the long term.  Hard to clean the inside of the headlight.

Hope my guess is wrong.

Josh

Offline Scup

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 08:17:50 pm »
After more thought, I'm now wondering if there is a transformer on the outside and its being cooled and not the LEDs, which I've always read & heard that LEDs run cool.

Is this correct?

Josh

Offline mattchewn

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2014, 01:59:20 am »
Scup,
The fans move air over a heatsink. They will not let dust and dirt into the headlight housing. Led's like anything else generate heat. However; smaller less generate much much less heat than a comparably sized incandescent bulb. High output LED's generate a fair amount of heat. ALL ELECTRONICS are susceptible to damage/failure due to excessive heat. Hence, the fans on these units. The cooler you can keep them typically the longer they will last.

The fans are strictly to MOVE air across the heatsink. they do not pull or push air into or out of anywhere.

Matt
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2014, 12:25:45 pm »
Scup,
The fans move air over a heatsink. They will not let dust and dirt into the headlight housing. Led's like anything else generate heat. However; smaller less generate much much less heat than a comparably sized incandescent bulb. High output LED's generate a fair amount of heat. ALL ELECTRONICS are susceptible to damage/failure due to excessive heat. Hence, the fans on these units. The cooler you can keep them typically the longer they will last.

The fans are strictly to MOVE air across the heatsink. they do not pull or push air into or out of anywhere.

Matt

The fan is blowing air over the electronics heatsink in the pod that attaches to the back of the main "bulb". They've done a great job of miniaturizing that, btw. I imagine the unit is sealed.

There is no need to cool the LED element itself. It never gets that hot. Heck, I have LED bulbs in my table lamps and desk lamp and after they have been on an hour I can grab hold of them and hold on. They are not a little warm, but hardly could be called hot.
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Offline JimBob

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2014, 02:23:17 pm »
Scup,
The fans move air over a heatsink. They will not let dust and dirt into the headlight housing. Led's like anything else generate heat. However; smaller less generate much much less heat than a comparably sized incandescent bulb. High output LED's generate a fair amount of heat. ALL ELECTRONICS are susceptible to damage/failure due to excessive heat. Hence, the fans on these units. The cooler you can keep them typically the longer they will last.

The fans are strictly to MOVE air across the heatsink. they do not pull or push air into or out of anywhere.

Matt

The fan is blowing air over the electronics heatsink in the pod that attaches to the back of the main "bulb". They've done a great job of miniaturizing that, btw. I imagine the unit is sealed.

There is no need to cool the LED element itself. It never gets that hot. Heck, I have LED bulbs in my table lamps and desk lamp and after they have been on an hour I can grab hold of them and hold on. They are not a little warm, but hardly could be called hot.


Yep - LED's don't heat up, for the same reason they're more efficient than incandescent bulbs - they emit (pretty much) only in the visible spectrum*, while incandescents (and gas-discharge like HID) emit a lot of infrared (heat, which the nerves in your hands can sense but your eyes can't use).



*LED's are designed to emit specific wavelengths, and only those wavelengths. There are LED's that emit other than visible light - i.e. infrared.

Offline JS_racer

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2014, 11:37:55 pm »
Any update?
Thanks  :beerchug:

Offline Anthony

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2014, 07:45:51 am »
Do you have pictures of the set up? Interested to see if it looks any different than stock headlights. Other than the light output obviously.

Offline KnoxSwift

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2014, 08:30:02 pm »
 :popcorn:

Offline PriapismSD

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2014, 01:39:02 am »
I've been down that road a bit..

My last bike of a ST1100 had horrible headlights (45/45w).  After dicking with regular bulbs, I converted the headlights to 55w HID, and they worked the best. I also installed PIAA driving lights and converted those to 35w HIDs, which were, shall we say, bright.  But, the hassle is laying all the wires and the aux fuse block to power it, and I have had ballasts die, bulbs die, and ignitors die, so I went through a couple kits.

When I got the C14, I wanted more light but I did not want to rip all the tupperware off to run wires, another fuseblock, etc. 

So first I tried PIAA Night Tech bulbs which claim to be like 100w bulbs.  Twas OK, a bit more fill than the stock bulbs, but lasted less than a month before one burned out.

So I found some LEDs on eBay

http://imgur.com/a/JeNip

Unlike OP, these have a small fan on the base of the bulb, and a controller/ballast inline.   They are a COB LED, but they were not impressive.  While the bulb might not get hot from light, the base gets hot from the voltage, and the controller got too hot to touch after a few minutes of running.  And it wasn't even sealed, so I ended up putting tape where the wires went in to keep out some water, spiders, dead birds, etc.

The output was not that great.  I liked the slight bluish/white color, so the bike stand out in a sea of cars.  Good fill coverage, but just not enough sheer lumens.  A problem was one side of the bulb was Low and other side was High. So if you were off center of the path, it looked like the bulb wasn't even on. Basically the upper half of the reflector was used when in Low, and the bottom half was not getting any light to scatter.  Vice versa on High.  Not worse than stock, but no improvement. And within a month, one side would shut off when I came to an idle, then light back up when moving. No, not good.

So I yanked them out and put the "good" one into my KLR650. Yeah, when it was on it gave a better light (can see light on the front fender in pic), but it would not ignite at idle.  Seems like the KLR doesn't put out enough voltage at idle to the OEM headlight socket to keep it turned out.  I could run a hot lead with a relay, but I want that bike hammer-simple, so it got yanked and stock bulb back in.

So, no faith in LEDs at the moment.  I am sure they will improve, but I am not going to take the gamble.

Now I got a set of "plug n play" HIDs for the C14. These do not require a hot lead or wiring for the power, they plug right into the OEM sockets.  Stick the bulb base into the headlight housing, install the rubber doughnut, insert and twist the HID bulb into the base, then plug in the wires to the stock plug.  I bundled the excess wires under the black side covers to tuck them out of the way.

Much brighter.  Some people whine about "scatter" with a HID in a reflector designed for a halogen, but that fill outside the edges lights up reflective signs and paint waaaay farther than regular bulbs, and I really do not care if cagers don't like it.  The 4300k temp bulbs are brighter white than regular bulbs which seem an anemic pale yellow now.  The focal center between Low and High is wider apart than stock now, but I have High on all day anyway, so I set it for that.  Lights up great.

They take several seconds to fully brighten when you start the bike, but High/Low is NORMALLY instantaneous.  Problem with this bike is when on High, it cuts the power to the Low circuit. Going from Low to High is instant, but when going from High to Low, the power is interrupted momentarily as it switches circuits. Which mean the lights go dark for a second, then come back on.  Both sides, which are independent. I called the maker, who was very helpful, as it is apparently a problem on Dodge trucks too.  The fix is to posi-tap some hot leads to the Low circuit so it always has power.  But the reason I bought the plug n play version was to avoid more wiring work. Eventually, I tapped a lead from the little driving lights to the Low wire on their harness.  But it acted all weird and made my LEDs on my windscreen (pic) flicker, so I yanked the wire and am just living with it.

The best way will be to get a conventional 4300k, 55w kit, install a switched fuseblock, and run a hot wire. Again. It is a bit of a hassle doing the wiring, and then stuffing the ballasts out of the way, but the light output is so much better.  I love the $20 LED COB strips on my windscreen which make the bike stand out, and maybe some day if I find a nice mount I will add some driving lights.  But it works well as-is.

But still not a bad idea to keep spare regular bulbs in a saddlebag somewhere if something happens with aftermarket parts on a long road trip...

Offline PriapismSD

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Re: NEW LED HEADLIGHT.
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2014, 02:53:55 am »
OOOOLD write up from putting HIDs in the ST1100

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10661782