Author Topic: LED Replacement Headlight  (Read 5468 times)

Northpilot

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LED Replacement Headlight
« on: February 24, 2016, 12:57:43 AM »
Looking for a brighter headlight, I first tried two HID kits.  They were both good and bright - an improvement, but both had a flaw: Unless the battery was absolutely topped up, the drain on the battery on start up reduced the voltage to the point where the HID bulbs would not trigger and come on reliably.  I found myself toggling the ignition switch off and on rapidly sometimes before starting, to get the bulb to trigger, and once was stranded out at night, unable to turn on the headlight.  Not good...

A few weeks ago, I ordered an LED replacement bulb from AliExpress.com (AliBaba's retail online ordering site).  For Product Search, enter "M3S LED Motorcycle Headlight", and look for a product description like:

"M3S LED Motorcycle Headlight H4 H6 High Low Beam 3000 Lm With Fan High Quality For Motorbike Headlamp."

It was $18.50, including free China Post shipping -- arrived in about 1 1/2 weeks.

[Edit: See reply #7 (hsympson) below for alternate ordering info w/Amazon]
 
The LED bulb's operation is somewhat different than the HID bulb, which toggles in and out to focus the light for High or Low beam.  The LED bulb does not move in or out, rather is a stationary triangular shaped post with the apex of the triangle UP.  When switched to the Low Beam position, the two upper LEDs come on, shining light on the upper part of the headlight reflector, and down close on the road.  When switched to the "High" position, the bottom LED element comes on, too, shining off the lower part of the reflector, and upwards, further out down the road.  Nice design.  No instructions were included.  H4, H6 and H7 adaptor plates were included, and only the H4 size fits into the HD200 reflector, so installation was a simple 'plug-and-play'.

Observations:
1.The light is quite bright, and you will need to fully depress the headlight's aim.  (The adjuster wheel is easily accessed by turning scooter steering fully to the right, and from below, looking up into the headlight bucket for the white nylon knob.)  Despite being quite bright, oncoming traffic is not blinded with the aim fully adjusted down and beams on "Low".  The "High" beam is quite bright and does seem to gain the attention of oncoming drivers in daylight.  Rapidly toggling the Hi-Lo Switch on the handlebars seems to get even more attention.
2. I have put a few hundred high vibration miles on the machine in the last few weeks, and there has been no early failure of the LED light.  It appears to be good quality.  As you know, LED's are typically pretty vibration resistant.  These LED lights have a small cooling fan built in to unit, which I suspect will wear out before the LED elements fail.
3. They deliver quite a bit more light at about half the power draw (3000 Lm @ 32 watts), enabling the HD200's somewhat weak charging system to power more accessories.  They are a worthwhile improvement over stock.  So far, I recommend this upgrade.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 11:17:06 AM by Northpilot »
2009 SYM HD200

scosgt

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 12:22:04 PM »
I have this one in my BV 250, which did not like HID at all:

http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/led-headlight-bulbs.html

It is the most powerful kit on the market at this time.
The light output rivals HID, and yes, there is a high and low. In this kit, the low is always on and the high adds to it. Highly recommend.

This one:

http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/3800-Lumen-H4-LED-Headlight-bulb-_p_83.html
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 12:39:56 PM by scosgt »

scosgt

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 12:36:21 PM »
Here is a comparison, HID SYM HD on the left, Cyclops LED BV 250 on the right.
To the eye, the LED does NOT appear as blue as it show in the pic, in fact it looks pure white. The camera lies. But you can see the light output is very similar.
http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic142835?highlight=led+headlight

Scroll down around 7 messages for the comparison pic

hsympson

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 02:13:56 PM »
Thanks for the LED information.  I ordered one that looks just like it on Amazon and look forward to giving it a try.

Tromper

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 02:28:13 PM »
Thanks for the LED information.  I ordered one that looks just like it on Amazon and look forward to giving it a try.
Excellent please post back with your results and a pic :)
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

Northpilot

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 04:02:15 PM »
How do we post pics?  I have always wondered (like from my iPhone, for instance...)
2009 SYM HD200

scosgt

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 08:15:26 PM »
Thanks for the LED information.  I ordered one that looks just like it on Amazon and look forward to giving it a try.

The Cyclops seems to be the brightest one out there.
Highly recommended
I tried the one with the copper heat sink instead of a fan.
Not that great.

hsympson

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 09:35:36 PM »
this is the one I ordered, it seems to have good reviews

http://www.amazon.com/Factory-Wholesale-Bright-Motorcycle-Headlight/dp/B00UX5WRBM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1456457547&sr=8-4&keywords=motorcycle+led+headlight

I'm not sure about image insertion, maybe it requires a hosting site like photobucket.

Northpilot

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 10:44:10 PM »
This kit from Amazon looks exactly like what I got from aliexpress.com.  At this point, if it were me, I would far prefer to order it from Amazon, and pay the extra dollar, than thru the mail from China.  Faster delivery, easier return, more user reports, better description.

Good find, hsympson!
2009 SYM HD200

scosgt

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 11:11:21 PM »
That on is 3000 lumens, the Cyclops is 3800, which is almost 1/3 more. But it also depends a lot on the reflector, and I have the LED in a different bike.
The Cyclops is expensive, but the first one I bought started blowing fuses and they immediately replaced it no questions asked. Sent me a replacement and a return label. Great company, stands behind the product.

The problem with most of them is they use a really cheap computer type of fan which will fail. that is the weak point. If you use the cheaper LED, carry a screwdriver and a regular bulb so you don't get stranded. If the fan fails the entire light fails, unlike the bulb which will only lose one element. Or the HID with the halogen Hi beam which will at least get you home if the HID or ballast goes bad.

Tromper

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 01:44:37 AM »
How do we post pics?  I have always wondered (like from my iPhone, for instance...)


Far as I can tell this board doesn't support image storage so you need to pull it from an external source, like a google drive or something.
You can use the little yellow/tan icon next to the world/url icon or just type the html for the link.  I've done this with a third party pic from essentially a random site.
The HTML is square bracketed like this but using the [] brackets{img}http://yourimageurlhere{/img}
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 01:46:57 AM by Tromper »
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

hsympson

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2016, 05:11:37 PM »
Thanks much for this LED headlight thread.  I got mine yesterday and installed it today.  I don't have direct comparison photos but the LED light is very white and bright.  It is a rainy day so it will have to wait for a night test drive.  Like Northpilot said it is plug and play but for those without mechanical ability like me -  take a close look at the headlight retainer clip before removing the old bulb, I promptly forgot the installation orientation and it took me a while to figure it out with the LED, the LED is a little more difficult to install because of the fan at the back of the bulb.  The LED doesn't come with instructions but the right H4 adapter is apparent by comparing with the original bulb base.  There is a coil spring which I figure must belong between the front face of the bulb and the adapter to help keep the adapter in place although the adapter twists on pretty securely to the bulb tabs. 

I don't see a way to replace the rubber boot so hopefully that isn't necessary.

Lastly, I took Northpilots advice to lower the beam to the lowest setting at least until I can check out the nighttime performance, it is a lot easier to turn the adjustment wheel when the headlight bucket is removed than waiting until it has been re-installed.


So this bulb frees up about 2+ amps of output vs the original, right?  Nice reduction in power draw since the bulb is on full time.

Thanks again Northpilot for bringing the LED bulb upgrade to my attention!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 05:18:20 PM by hsympson »

hsympson

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 11:25:54 PM »
I tried the HD out tonight, what a difference!  Great upgrade to lighting and it doesn't seem like it would be blinding at all to oncoming traffic but like Northpilot suggested the light needs to be adjusted down as far as possible. 

I don't know if because of the lower power draw or coincidence but the voltmeter that I had installed used to read mid to high 13v, now it is low 14v range.

Thanks again for starting this topic thread Northpilot.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 11:28:22 PM by hsympson »

Northpilot

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 01:13:32 PM »
Good to hear that the LED upgrade meets your expectations.  Hopefully, we've located a robust unit that will last as long as most of the later Chinese LED products seem to.

I have trained my left thumb to locate the bottom of the Hi-Lo headlight switch without looking down at it, and toggle the Hi Beam off and on rapidly whenever approaching a situation where another vehicle pulling out would spell disaster.  (And I've started wearing an orange highway-worker vest -- anything to attract attention ;-).

I, too, have noticed an improved voltage level in the battery, even with the additional draw of an add-on voltmeter/coolant temp gauge and a GPS unit.

In addition to the headlight, I replaced the tail/brake bulb with an LED bulb, but have left the turn signals stock, since they are transient loads and do not significantly add to overall current draw. The HD200 alternator is only rated @ 114 watts, so these LED replacements do help.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 01:21:28 PM by Northpilot »
2009 SYM HD200

scosgt

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Re: LED Replacement Headlight
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 07:09:31 PM »
I think a headlight modulator should work with an LED high beam although I have not tried it.