Hi-Beam (H7) LED Conversion/ the truth, rev8... - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Hi-Beam (H7) LED Conversion/ the truth, rev8...

First off; yes, I'm fargen crazy!. Now that this issue is settled...

In my vast amount of power toyz, for the last 10 years, I have been outfitting my toyz to HID. Dang, it was that Caddy CTS I bought that started my craze on this expensive hobby!

So I naturally have been (trying) to migrate over to LED. It's been a tough, long road people. I'm now on my 8th pair of LED's that I'm currently testing (in my different toyz, from snowmobiles to this K16 project).

Here's the bottom line for retrofitting 3rd party LED capsules with a reflector not designed for it, and this IS wrote in stone....

1st up
, yes, they look bright looking at them. But it's funny. Take them out on the road and this so called brightness is magically gone! yep, disappears.
2 reasons
, the reflector housing is built for a halogen where the light source is much closer to the reflector. With LED, the diodes are much further out and away from the reflector. Next and this is very strange to someone without the LED experience that I have with these, but the light type (not just the Kelvin scale color either) is "absorbed" differently. Signs and reflective stuff will stick-out way more with LED's (or HIDs) BUT!... with LED's other objects like trees, grass etc somehow "absorb" some or a lot of the LED luminance light wave.

Solution, You have to "way" overpower (luminance wise) to make up for the two problems above^. So equal lumens for halogen vs. LED? Halogen wins hand down as far as USEABLE light goes. The second issue of placement within the reflector is a Mfgr' issue and not really at that. These reflector housings are built for what they are intended to use. So no fault of the Mfgr., there housing works as intended.

Solution Part 8, Well, save yourself the money, and "let me do the testing". That pretty much is the theory on my snowmobile, atv and FJR forums. I'm Okay with it and I'm known as the lighting guru lol. I do own a Sound & Stage Lighting Co., certified in both Argon and Diode Lasers, so yes, this is in my field of expertise. So, here is my No.8 test. This set boasts 3600lm and a draw of 40watts (each). No canbus error.

Halogen on left, LED on right (of course!)




Now as far as this application goes. Look at how much father out the actual cree diodes are from the reflector.




This changes 2 things dramatically. 1; beam is wider, not nearly as narrow as the halogen was. I myself however always thought that this bikes HB was to be way too narrow. I would like a more disbursed light as well, but don't eally wanna give up the spot (long distance spot beam) either. Now if you're following along w this, I mentioned^ how LED's luminance get absorbed (or do not illuminate as much on certain objects/things, but do better on reflective surfaces?) you need fire-power! Lots of it! well, if you wanna make up for the reflector's offset to the light source anyways.

Conclusion, In the garage, it's like a carbon arc Super Trooper spot light. Okay, you probably have no idea what I'm yapping about, but it's very super intense. On-the-road tests (so far) have only included me pointing the bike outwards and to the neighbors yard. Looks really good so far, I don't wanna jinx it though, as I said this is my 8th set I've tried so far. Things change once the 100% outside tests begin (when the sand and salt get washed off the roads here). This HB only application has an advantage over some of my other T&E dual beam applications. So maybe, just maybe... this 8th time will be a charm! (TBC)


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On my other Forums ...remember, I'm the lighting guru , I've had plenty of excitement from peeps buying the cheap Chinese junk on eBay, looking at the color temps in the housing (fool!) and thinking they just bought the world. hehe.

Checkout one of my FJR friends video who did a lower powered LED outfit. Do yourself a favor (if you have any inkling of doing this) and watch the video. Yes, the whole video. His excitement and what happens next is worth the price of admission. Enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=-TpR2wK_OA4




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post #2 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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<edit in> I just got some PM's on this, let's keep it public [here, this thread] so I don't have to answer all the redundant q's

So I should of added... These capsules have fan units on the back side. It's tricky getting a model to fit inside our canisters (so the lid closes)... or you will have to drill a hole in the dust lid. I did not wanna do this, so my T&E included one's that would "fit" (barely) inside our dust lids without modification.

And... the installation was about 5 minutes,and another 5 mins to take off the speakers for access. So 10 minutes maybe total. On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being a tough farkle install), this is a 1 at best.

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post #3 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 10:46 AM
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The video really shows what you're talking about in regards to the LED (at least the ones used) not doing a very good job of illuminating the road. Very interesting and I look forward to your road test.
My son-in-law has a DJ side job. He bought some Cree LED stage lights for his business. They produce 5 watts of power and are like a search light when directed out of his garage and pointed at a neighbors garage about 200 feet away. Unbelievable at how much light is put out with so little power (watts). My first thought was to mount a couple of these bad boy computer controlled swivel lights on my bike but their size and finding a handy spot to mount a laptop was too much of a challenge

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post #4 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 10:57 AM
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Do keep us posted when you get the bike out for a real ride.

LED high beams are on my farkle list, but I can wait until some other expert does all the costly R&D, like I've done with seats, windshields, HID lighting, etc. . . .

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post #5 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 11:37 AM
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Both my Harley and KLR are full LED bikes. The results are completely opposite.
The KLR has a set of Cree double sided aftermarket LEDs and they work great. The Harley has a factory Harley LED head light and it is marginable at best. Now the rest of the Whelen LED lighting on the Harley is very bright.
Currently on the Exclusive I have stock lighting and a set of Ericas.

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post #6 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 12:33 PM
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Thank you for sharing your results. The video was very surprising.
I'll be interested in hearing how your getting on.

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post #7 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meese View Post
Do keep us posted when you get the bike out for a real ride.

LED high beams are on my farkle list, but I can wait until some other expert does all the costly R&D, like I've done with seats, windshields, HID lighting, etc. . . .

+1
Thanks for doing the r+d for us!
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post #8 of 643 Old 03-28-2015, 03:36 PM
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The company I work for makes equipment that uses LEDs for illumination. LEDs can do a great job, but they need different focusing optics than conventional light bulbs. The headlight reflector needs to be designed to match the light source that is being used. You can't put any other bulb in there, be it an LED or a bulb with a filament and get the intended result, unless the new source is positioned in the same place as the original, and also disburses light around the reflector in the same way as the bulb for which the reflector was designed. That means that it is unlikely that a drop-in LED replacement bulb will yield the same results as the original bulb, unless the LED manufacturer can simulate the optical characteristics of the original bulb precisely, which due to the heat sinking requirements of high power LEDs, and the fact that LEDs emit light out of only one side, as opposed to all around like a light bulb filament, will be very difficult.

The various cars and motorcycles that are now available with LED headlights are only sucessful because they are using optics designed to work with LEDs. The same is true of after-market auxiliary LED lights from places such as Clearwater. Those reflectors you see surrounding each individual LED in a Clearwater light are each designed to work with the specific LEDs being used, because that's what they have to do to get the great results they are getting.

Cree makes excellent high power LEDs, but I suspect they expect the bulbs they are selling to be used in new installations with optics designed specifically for them, not to retrofit existing headlight bulbs.
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post #9 of 643 Old 03-29-2015, 09:43 AM
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Topspeed,
Are you going to leave one side halogen and the othe led for testing?
That way you can do what the eye doctors do, cover one side, see how it looks.
Cover the other side see how it looks. Best way to get a side by side comparison?
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post #10 of 643 Old 03-31-2015, 01:36 PM
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Yes, please keep us posted. I'm very interested as well..
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