StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking to save watts for other stuff. I want to change headlights to brighter/wider as I commute 23 miles one way through Louisiana country (lots of deer). So , 3 questions-
1) what's the difference between LED with that driver thing and without?

2) Anyone in here have real life experience with either one care to share their experience?

3) What brand is recommended?

I tried- the search function is not working on my tablet.
Thanks- Mike
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,142 Posts

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,145 Posts
I have run both HID and LED on my bikes. I found HID to be unreliable and more apt to blast out an poor light pattern. LED seem to be MUCH more reliable. LED is much easier to mount up. Most have a small power converter box that is easy to hide.

The biggest reason LED is far superior is that the emitters are typically in the same place as the filaments in an incandescent bulb. Which is what the headlight housings were designed to use. LED lights in these housings tend to give a similar light pattern to the OEM bulbs. Just a LOT more light and a whiter light which is really a difference maker at night in the rain!

After testing several bulbs on the RT, I found the ones with fans had some issues. There are bulbs with copper braiding for heat sinks that have worked much better. Easy to package these, lighter, and no fan to fail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
HID or LED

Either choice will be much better than stock.
My strongest recommendation is to resit shopping by price. If you choose the cheapest that is exactly what you will get. But even the expensive ones are not that much if you ride after dark. I get mine from www.ddmtuning.com/ (they sell both)
As for choosing between HID or LED you can find strong opinions favoring each. RealShelby goes for the LEDs and I always respect his opinion on things. He does his research with a hands-on approach.

Me, I use LEDs for my auxiliary lights and in my cars (non-fan style). For my motorcycle headlights I use the HIDs. I've never had any "aiming" issues because the bulbs use the stock bayonet system as OEM bulbs. Mine have lasted 4 years so far (SV650 & V-2).

As for being able to see farther down the road, my opinion is that the HIDs go farther. My testing has been riding side by side with the GS guys that I ride with on straight, flat roads. When we alternate between high and low beams mine will light up an additional 4-5 roadside reflectors downstream. *Keep in mind that the Suzukis might just have better reflectors in the headlights.

As mentioned, the color choice of 3000 to 3500 (of whiteness) gives much, much better depth perception at speed. The larger round halo of the LED aux lights ads to the depth perception by lighting up the roadside and tree canopy closer to the bike.

Either choice will make you happy.
 

·
Farkle Purchasing System
Joined
·
1,462 Posts
I installed LED H4 replacements a few months ago. Specifically, these by Beamtech:

https://www.amazon.com/BEAMTECH-Headlight-8000Lumens-Extremely-Conversion/dp/B06XHD78DQ

FWIW, exactly the same LED units seem to be sold under a few different names. If you want to pay more and have a different logo, they're also sold by SuperbrightLEDs.com:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-headlight-bulbs-conversion-kits/h4-led-fanless-headlight-conversion-kit-with-internal-drivers-4000-lumensset/5321/11896/

Here's why I didn't go with HID H4 replacements:

-Vee's headlamp housings aren't designed for HIDs. Likely results included: improper focus, beam formation, and blinding other drivers.
-additional wiring required for the ballast/power supply.
-lower efficiency vs LED = lower power savings and more heat
-possibly lower reliability (most sources seem to indicate fewer hours between failures for HIDs, where LEDs basically last forever)
-faster decline of output w/age vs. LED.

I have a 2007 Vee, but I believe the 2012-2016 DL650 also uses H4 bulbs. So the Beamtech H4 LEDs should work for you as well. I installed mine a few months ago, and have been very happy. Power savings are one benefit of course. I can now run heated jacket liner + heated gloves at full blast & still not discharge the battery at idle.

Not sure whether it's an actual increase in brightness, change in color temp, or combination of factors, but I found that nighttime visibility was also improved. I could see farther ahead, and more to the sides, vs. halogens. I compared by taking photos with both stock halogens & LEDs, under the same lighting conditions in the same place.

One small drawback: The beam pattern is not quite as sharp with the LEDs vs. halogens. In particular, upper beam cutoff is less crisp. But, this hasn't caused a problem yet.

The Beamtech LEDs have neither a fan nor strip-type heat sink. Rather, the heat sink is built into the base (that's the grooves/fins you see). I've touched them in operation, but they don't get more than "warm."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
My FZ6 cam stock with one side high and one side low, so already off the bat much worse than the first and second gen Wee’s. I did HID retrofits and they were amazing. Not a bulb replacement, but where you separate the headlight housing and install projector lenses. Not incredibly difficult, more so than just swapping a bulb though. I’ll post a pic later.

I got everything from www.theretrofitsource.com. They usually have fantastic Black Friday weekend sales up to 25% off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
If I was posting this 1 or 2 years ago I would suggest HID. LED advancement is happening so fast that they are now more efficient and heat is no longer an issue. The only drawback for LED for some is that you can't legally modulate them in Arizona. When connected to a modulator they won't dim to 20% they shut 100% off at the low. This is not legal but I don't think you would get cited if you want to modulate an LED.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone! It looks like it's going to be led's
I installed the Eager Beaver (Eastern, I know) low beam cut off for one light today. My Kawasaki Versys 1000 had a similar looking headlight config but only lit up one light unless on bright. I will run 1 light during the day and two at night.
Once I get some driving lights , they will be on for daytime conspicuous-ness....

Thanks again! Lots of good info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I ordered the Beamteach's, so this will be interesting. I've added quite a bit of electronic goodies on the bike, so looking forward to the lowered draw from these bulbs.
I installed the Eastern Beaver switchable single headlight option wiring harness, so most of my daylight riding is done with a solo headlight. I don't ride much at night (white tail deer) but with a flick of the switch everything works as OEM.

That system frees up 50W to run heated grips and/or Gerbing jacket liner / gloves during the riding season's 'shoulder months'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I installed the Eastern Beaver switchable single headlight option wiring harness, so most of my daylight riding is done with a solo headlight. I don't ride much at night (white tail deer) but with a flick of the switch everything works as OEM.

That system frees up 50W to run heated grips and/or Gerbing jacket liner / gloves during the riding season's 'shoulder months'.
My bike came with this already installed as well as the headlight/starter switch mod, and the addition of the LED lights made quite a difference as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
149 Posts
Check out Headlight Revolution www.headlightrevolution.com to learn about differences in LED lighting for automotive/motorcycle applications (heavily slanted to automotive since it's a much large market). They have a youtube channel and are very good at communicating via email for any questions you might have. They are currently big on Supernova 4.0 and this video shows how they compare to HID's in actual light output and beam pattern in both reflector lenses and projector lenses. (fyi - reflectors put out significantly more light in this test) The Supernova 4.0 was within 1% of output of a 35W HID with an almost identical beam pattern. All were woefully short of the output from a 55W HID. I've worked with Anthony and he was great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
OK, really happy with the Beamtech's. Light pattern is great, and now have a brighter light output with less power. Win win.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
OK, really happy with the Beamtech's. Light pattern is great, and now have a brighter light output with less power. Win win.
I've installed the same bulbs this past weekend. Very happy with the results. I don't feel I have lost anything against my Phillips Extreme Vision H4 bulbs, and gained some serious high beam action.

The biggest benefit is the lower power consumption, to the tune of 60-80 watts. With that type of savings I don't want to cut out one low beam :grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
I wasn't happy with the Beamtech lights. Life wasn't much, beam pattern was sloppy, and throw left a lot to be desired when compared to any car. Hikari 9600, however... damn. Great focus, lovely long distance punch on high-beam, cooling fans, and you can twist them to perfect beam pattern. $10 more than the Beamtech.

https://www.amazon.com/HIKARI-Headlight-Conversion-H8-H9/dp/B07GKKJ9M4/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
I wasn't happy with the Beamtech lights. Life wasn't much, beam pattern was sloppy, and throw left a lot to be desired when compared to any car. Hikari 9600, however... damn. Great focus, lovely long distance punch on high-beam, cooling fans, and you can twist them to perfect beam pattern. $10 more than the Beamtech.

https://www.amazon.com/HIKARI-Headlight-Conversion-H8-H9/dp/B07GKKJ9M4/
Excellent. Glad to hear of another option with a good review!

What wattage do they pull?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Excellent. Glad to hear of another option with a good review!

What wattage do they pull?
23w per bulb, or 48ish for the pair. About half the halogen draw and with far, far better light all around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
The Supernova 4.0 was within 1% of output of a 35W HID with an almost identical beam pattern. All were woefully short of the output from a 55W HID. I've worked with Anthony and he was great.
Informative links, Thanks.
It should be pointed out that with the newer "Stacked" headlight bikes (or bikes with the EB sub-harness) you don't have to have the same type of bulbs in both high and low.

I use a 35W in the low beam and a 55W in the high (HIDs). Better yet is that they are independently adjustable. On low beam I'm the good citizen. On high beam I can bleach out the darkness.

The high beam is also handy during daylight to help car drivers be aware that you are behind them.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top