LED headlights - talk to me please

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  • LED headlights - talk to me please

    Today a friend of mine told me that his new car came with LED headlights from the factory. His other vehicles are running HID headlights. He indicated the LEDs lit up the road better than the HIDs

    Does anyone have any experience with LED replacements for the H7 bulbs in our gl1800s? How well do they work? Do they light up the road further out in front of you? Does the entire reflector inside the headlight need to be modified or replaced as some have done with HIDs? TIA.
    Richard
    Darksider #390
    Murgie's FAQ

  • #2
    I tried the ones from BikeMP3, they are a whiter light but are very poor at lighting up the road. Direct replacement for H7 no modifications needed.

    I just looked on their site and don't see them anymore.

    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


    • #3
      Any change in the type of light source (led, hid) needs to be done with an accompanying change in the lens, otherwise they will not focus the beam correctly. A large and expensive undertaking that probably no company wants to invest in.
      __________________________________________________ ___________
      "The worst of all fears is the fear of living", Theodore Roosevelt

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      • #4
        Hey, it's a 50-50 crapshoot, as one of the previous posters got the right answer, and the other one got it all wrong. :tongueout;

        I can tell you from experience, that the HID headlights that a lot of us bought from SoCalMotorGear are great. I originally used them in all four headlights...low and high...but found that they do not work as well in the high beam location, because of the switching on, then off quickly. Eventually I kept the low beam HIDs , and switched my highs over to the PIAA Super White bulbs, and that is what I am currently using.

        LOVE them this way. I have NOT changed the reflectors at all, and I can swear to you that the low beam HIDs throw light much further down the road than the OEM bulbs did, and the light is much brighter.

        Now, with LEDs, you need to have the LED unit shining towards the reflector...pointing backwards...so that the LEDs reflect....off the reflector. If you install a LED unit so that the LEDs are pointing forward, they do NOT reflect off the reflector enough, and the result is the light being thrown forward is LESS than the OEM bulbs. It "looks" like a brighter light, a whiter light, but in reality it does NOT light up the road as well as the OEM bulb did, or as well as HIDs do.

        The best, and least expensive way to improve the forward facing light on your bike, to light up the road better, with brighter light, is to go with the HIDs, preferably from SoCalMotoGear, one of our sponsors.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MMR View Post
          Hey, it's a 50-50 crapshoot, as one of the previous posters got the right answer, and the other one got it all wrong. :tongueout;

          I can tell you from experience, that the HID headlights that a lot of us bought from SoCalMotorGear are great. I originally used them in all four headlights...low and high...but found that they do not work as well in the high beam location, because of the switching on, then off quickly. Eventually I kept the low beam HIDs , and switched my highs over to the PIAA Super White bulbs, and that is what I am currently using.

          LOVE them this way. I have NOT changed the reflectors at all, and I can swear to you that the low beam HIDs throw light much further down the road than the OEM bulbs did, and the light is much brighter.

          Now, with LEDs, you need to have the LED unit shining towards the reflector...pointing backwards...so that the LEDs reflect....off the reflector. If you install a LED unit so that the LEDs are pointing forward, they do NOT reflect off the reflector enough, and the result is the light being thrown forward is LESS than the OEM bulbs. It "looks" like a brighter light, a whiter light, but in reality it does NOT light up the road as well as the OEM bulb did, or as well as HIDs do.

          The best, and least expensive way to improve the forward facing light on your bike, to light up the road better, with brighter light, is to go with the HIDs, preferably from SoCalMotoGear, one of our sponsors.
          My experiences exactly......

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TravelinLite View Post
            Today a friend of mine told me that his new car came with LED headlights from the factory. His other vehicles are running HID headlights. He indicated the LEDs lit up the road better than the HIDs

            Does anyone have any experience with LED replacements for the H7 bulbs in our gl1800s? How well do they work? Do they light up the road further out in front of you? Does the entire reflector inside the headlight need to be modified or replaced as some have done with HIDs? TIA.
            First, a disclaimer. This is only my experience on my 2012. I strongly suspect my bike has some minor power issue that causes bulbs to fail early. Others may have entirely different experiences.

            I had my 2012 less than a year, and had already gone through 3 regular H7 bulbs. They were a pain to change out, and I found it irritating that they were burning out so fast. When one of the high beams went out (the previous three were all low beams) and I saw how difficult those were to replace, I started looking for a replacement option.

            I decided to go with LEDs since they last so long. I ordered a set from BikeMP3. They were definitely not as bright in casting light (though I think they provide higher visibility), but they were adequate for what I was doing. Then, they started going out on me!! First one of the inside low beams went out. BikeMP3 quickly replaced that one. Then another went out, and they also replaced that one, but they told me it was odd for me to have had two go out. They said that the bulbs were typically pretty reliable, and usually if they went out, they did so within the first couple of days (this was not the case with either of mine). They sent another replacement. Then, a few weeks later, one of the high beams went out. That was when I decided that I probably had some electrical issue.

            I then decided to try a LED kit offered by Eelctrical Connection (I don't see this on their web site any more, so I don't know if they still offer it). These use a different LED bulb, and include an electronic module that stabilizes the power. They were more expensive (about $150 for two lights), but I was tired of messing with stuff. I replaced the low beams first, and they lasted several weeks with no problem (while I was waiting for them to come in, and other high beam went out, so I put two of the working LEDs in the high beam slots). After a few weeks of the lows working without a problem, I bought a set for the high beams, and both sets have done great. They were a pain to install, as they rubber covers of the light housing are in the way when trying to install the fans that screw in the back; but I finally got them all worked in.

            The added bonus is that these LEDs are much brighter than the simple replacement bulbs I got from BikeMP3.

            Like I said, I don't see these on ECs web site any more, but if you look on eBay for "Cree H7 LEDs" you'll find kits like what I'm talking about for about $50 per light (or less).
            2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper



            Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

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            • #7
              LED bulbs are for being seen in the daytime. Chris did a test of the LED's bulbs about 6 months ago.
              The LED bulbs were brighter in the daytime, but you could see further with the halogens at night.


              HID bulb kits are for being seen in the daytime. they are totally useless for seeing further down the road because of the OEM headlight reflectors.
              The HID bulbs lit up the trees, not the road where I needed to see where I was going. A good Flood light they are.

              The only way to use HID bulbs is in Projectors.

              This is what you see with Projectors.
              Low Beam.


              Hi Beam


              I learned than the hard way through my quest for seeing further down the road.

              The Beauty of Mini HID Projectors is they are both Low & Hi Beams in the same unit. I have an extra switch for the Cut off line solenoid.


              My First HID Projector try.




              Current HID Projector look below.

              Notice the hi beam projectors gone?
              I run modulators and the Projectors with "Halogen" bulbs in them didn't project the same beam pattern as the OEM halogen light did. (HID's don't like modulators)

              I been at this light thing for years of trial and error with testing different combinations to get the right set up that isn't just for looks, But actually works at night.



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              • MMR
                MMR commented
                Editing a comment
                Rocky, my experience with HID has been different than yours. I am 100 % certain that my low beam HIDs give me lighting that is farther down the road, and brighter lighting, than the OEM halogens did. And I am using original reflectors. Maybe it is a Southern Calif. versus Pacific Northwest thing...eh?

                BTW, I like your lighting setup, (really like it), but will choose to keep what I am using.

            • #8
              hparsons, there has to be something wrong with your bike to go through so many lights in a very short period of time. Over the course of the last 18 years of owning 1500 Wings and 1800 Wings, I have not replaced as many bulbs as you did...in less than 2 years. And in that 18 years, I think I rode all those bikes about 750,000 miles. I know a lot of GL1800 riders, and no one else has gone through that many bulbs.

              If you bike is still under warranty, someone needs to check out all the grounds on that bike, and power circuits.

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              • hparsons
                hparsons commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree there's a problem, but it only seems to affect the headlights. I've not had any other problem with any other lights. Also, the current LEDs are doing fine as well. I really suspect there's some surge or something, but don't want to be without the bike to have it checked, as it's my daily ride.

            • #9
              Thank you all for the great information. It really is helpful and you have given me a lot to think about.

              Rocky, that scooter of yours sure looks nice. If you don't want to post it, that is o.k., but how much do you have tied up in those lights. They sure look sharp.
              Richard
              Darksider #390
              Murgie's FAQ

              Comment: (For off-topic replies)


              • #10
                Originally posted by TravelinLite View Post
                Thank you all for the great information. It really is helpful and you have given me a lot to think about.

                Rocky, that scooter of yours sure looks nice. If you don't want to post it, that is o.k., but how much do you have tied up in those lights. They sure look sharp.
                Richard. I have $350-$400 invested when I ran the 4 projectors.

                You can get plug n play 2.5 projectors on ebay now for $50 a set. you'll need the HID bulb kit as well. Under $100 for just the low beams.

                I have 3.0 projectors in my bike now ,with custom shrouds

                Mine are back lit too.



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                • #11
                  Thanks Rocky. It sure looks like a nice setup.
                  Richard
                  Darksider #390
                  Murgie's FAQ

                  Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                  • #12
                    Rocky, when you did the work to produce the final solution in the pic below, did you by chance do a write-up on it that covers what you did and the parts you used? It looks like in the pic that the original OEM reflctors are gone and if that is the case, where did you get the clear plastic lenses to cover the HIDs that are in there now? Questions, questions and more questions.

                    Richard
                    Darksider #390
                    Murgie's FAQ

                    Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by TravelinLite View Post
                      Rocky, when you did the work to produce the final solution in the pic below, did you by chance do a write-up on it that covers what you did and the parts you used? It looks like in the pic that the original OEM reflctors are gone and if that is the case, where did you get the clear plastic lenses to cover the HIDs that are in there now? Questions, questions and more questions.
                      Richard. Sorry. I never took the time to type out how I did mine.Because frankly I didn't think many would take on the challenge?.

                      It's not a hard task to do at all. just time consuming that's all.

                      Everything is basically plug n play.

                      Opening the headlights takes 6 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees. They are held together with Byutal tape that softens when heated to 200 degrees. You re-heat them to put the lens back on.

                      I painted my chrome reflectors to Pearl White. The Projectors make them null n void. My Hi-Beams are for daytime use anyways.

                      The Projectors are both Low/Hi beams via a switch.

                      Here are the projectors when I ran of them without the Clear Lens and it mounted reflector..




                      Here you can see the Painted Reflectors off the clear lens for painting.



                      This is what is involved to get the headlights out for the Projector Install.




                      I have many pictures that I can create a slideshow for you if you want.

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                      • #14
                        Thanks Rocky. I can't see the 2nd and 3rd pictures.
                        Richard
                        Darksider #390
                        Murgie's FAQ

                        Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by TravelinLite View Post
                          Thanks Rocky. I can't see the 2nd and 3rd pictures.
                          Try it again.
                          I moved some pictures to a different folder and reposted them.

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                          • #16
                            Originally posted by Rocky View Post

                            Try it again.
                            I moved some pictures to a different folder and reposted them.
                            That is super! Thanks. But you are right, that is a bunch of work.
                            Richard
                            Darksider #390
                            Murgie's FAQ

                            Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                            • #17
                              Originally posted by Rocky View Post

                              Notice the hi beam projectors gone?
                              I run modulators and the Projectors with "Halogen" bulbs in them didn't project the same beam pattern as the OEM halogen light did. (HID's don't like modulators)

                              I been at this light thing for years of trial and error with testing different combinations to get the right set up that isn't just for looks, But actually works at night.

                              Rocky,

                              Which highbeams worked better without a modulator, the hi beam Projectors or the stock halogen/HID setup.

                              Just curious.

                              Rick
                              2010 GL1800ADA (CDN eh!)
                              DS 1126
                              15 Tiger 800 XCX
                              14 WR250R
                              95 FLSTC Sold to a nice family.

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                              • #18
                                Rocky,
                                You continue to amaze me with your creative and mechanical accomplishments. Sure wish I lived closer so I could come hang out some. I love to watch a master craftsman at work.The look you've accomplished for the front of your bike is just amazing. I followed all of your continuous improvements with much envy. I'm now running the exact same suspension as you front and back and very happy thanks to your help. I can't think of any more mechanical improvements to make so I may think about working on the lighting improvements you have made. Sure wish our season for riding and working here in Michigan was longer, or that I had a heated garage.
                                Thank you for taking the time to share your projects with us.

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                                • Rocky
                                  Rocky commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Thank you for your kind words CJ.

                              • #19
                                I got a CTX1300 with LED lites they sure work great.

                                Comment: (For off-topic replies)


                                • #20
                                  Originally posted by RaConnol View Post

                                  Rocky,

                                  Which highbeams worked better without a modulator, the hi beam Projectors or the stock halogen/HID setup.

                                  Just curious.

                                  Rick
                                  Rick. The Hi beams become day time lights only with Low Beam Projectors. At night they are useless.

                                  I never tried HID bulbs in the hi beam projectors because I run a modulator, so I saw no sense in trying something I wasn't going to use anyways..lol


                                  Knowing what I know about HID bulbs in Projectors.

                                  The only sense I can see for HID Hi-beam projectors would be if you were a constant long distance rider (IBA)
                                  I bet you'd burn holes through Bambi with 4 HID projectors on in Hi beam mode.

                                  You see these projectors are dual Low/Hi beams. So technically you have 4 low beams and 4 hi beams (Via a wired switch or switches depending on what you want?.)

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