Upgrade headlight for more daytime visibility

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by DeeBee, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    Here are a couple pics of the light pattern the phones camera dims the light to make for a balanced picture ,so you don't see the almost ridiculous brightness of the reflected light at such close range. For reference the light around the main beam, that is almost completely dimmed out in the photo, is somewhat brighter than a normal halogen bulb.
    View attachment 38996
    Bike at less than 10feet away from door.
    View attachment 38997
    In reality the dark areas around the main beam are lit normally , the light bar is still extremely bright at 20+ feet.

    I will try to find a larger wall where I can park the bike on its center stand 30 or so feet away. Then back up far enough that the picture shows the main beam, all of the fringe light as well as the darkness outside of the fringe area. I will experiment and try to get a picture that actually looks like what is seen by our eyes.

    I also want to hook my multimeter up online and get actual voltage and amperage readings to see how many watts both the light and adapter package draw, as well as the power draw of the bulb alone. This way we can get a good idea how much power is used by the adapter box
    I also want to test the second bulb to see if the brightness, power draw ,and pattern are consistent.

    I ordered these from China because I really cannot afford to buy from local shops. This comes with certain risks. If there is a problem I would have to pay to ship it back to China and wait up to a month for it to get there and a replacement to make it back. Also Quality Assurance isn't as good.
    A local company that buys 500 or 50,000 lights and converter boxes in bulk , is much more likely to test each one ,throw out any with weak/ uneven light or other ladies that make it past less stringent testing. They often will match sets for pattern and brightness. When buying local warranty replacement is quick and easy, often the vendor will pay for return shipping or even send the new one out immediately.
    There is a whole list of things I do to reduce the pains of buying overseas, that make it worthwhile for me. That's not what this thread is about though. I prefer to buy more locally and watch for closeout deals, holiday sales, etc.

    Later db
     
  2. lvumlow

    lvumlow New Member

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    I am curious to hear how this works out for you. I would like to upgrade my light in some fashion so please post updates when you can....
     
  3. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    Light is still doing well , I have yet to have anyone high beam me, or swerve from being blinded. I do notice some people, often small and low cars,h that I come up behind in the mornings when it's dark , speeding up or getting over, so it must be quite bright if you are directly in front of it.
    Road signs and road reflectors both light up nicely even if it's only starting to get dark. In the daytime with the high beam on i feel like more people see me sooner.

    I haven't had a chance to get an amperage /wattage draw reading yet but just by looking at the voltage on then head light circuit I can tell not only that it draws less power than a halogen bulb, but that I need to check / clean the connectors feeding the headlight.

    Before I actually posted I though I had blown a fuse, turns out the apparently 32 year old fuse had such a poor connection inside the 32 year old factory fuse block that it wouldn't transfer any amperage. I was getting a varied 8-10v multimeter reading with the light unhooked, but even the known good stock light wouldn't burn. The light came on when I probed the left side of the fuse. Cleaned it up first with steel wool then with 600 grit wetted with 90% isopropal (rubbing) alcohol. All is well now. I plan to take one of my small stainless steel or brass bristled brushes dipped in 90% alcohol ,which is basically a form of contact cleaner, and scrub all the connection points in my harness.

    Nothing really negative to report at the moment. If you go this route, be sure and take caution when aiming your light as it is bright enough to cause problems such as getting pulled over blinding other drivers and causing an accident, reflected light could be very distracting to the rider as well.
     
  4. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    After living with my super bright LED for a while I ran into one small annoyance.
    When riding rural backroads at night things up close are so bright that it is a bit hard to see far enough on low beam, going much over the posted speed limit at all requires running high beam which absolutely will blind drivers.
    The solution of course is to aim the light slightly higher, I am not sure how much higher I can go without beginning to blind small low cars. Right now I am not blinding anyone on low beam even with a pillion.
    Basically it is going to need a bit more tweaking. Seems lime it is gonna be hard to get the most out of my super bright LED, without causing issues for oncoming traffic.

    Other than that the light has been quite reliable. Comes on at full brightness and stays there. It doesn't get dimmer and brighter when sitting at or leaving a red-light. Love the ice blue color. If I had it to do over again I would definitely go to a led headlight, might choose a 25/35 watt bulb rather than 30/40 watt.
    Probably the last time I revisit this thread unless I find that it is not possible to get it adjusted for a quick blast down twisty backroads at night w/o having to run high beam.
     
  5. Wands434

    Wands434 New Member

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    Thanks for the update


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I've been running LED H4 bulbs in my VFR800, VTR1000 and ST1100. The newer bulbs now have a shroud around the low beam emitter that mimics what is there on a halogen bulb, so the pattern and cutoff is very similar to a halogen bulb. However even with that, the LEDs are so much brighter than a halogen (AFAIK a typical 55W H4 puts out around 1000 lumens, the LED's are 3 or 4 times that) that the "incidental" light (i.e. what is emitted outside of the regular low beam bar pattern) is very noticeable to other drivers. I haven't had any oncoming traffic flash me assuming I'm on high beam at night, but drivers that I'm following certainly find it bright and one or two have adjusted their mirrors, and last night I had one who put his lights onto high as soon as I passed.

    As I generally don't stick behind other drivers for long, and love the output of the LEDs, I consider them a worthwhile upgrade. You tend to notice how dim and orange conventional headlights are by comparison.
     
  7. JasonWW

    JasonWW New Member

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  8. JasonWW

    JasonWW New Member

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