Do it yourself LED Auxillary "Riding" Lights

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 606XXZIP, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
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    228
    Materials
    $24.95, 1 pair 55w Halogen driving lights
    $24.95, 1 pair Memphis Shades Windshield Brackets
    $10.00, 1 pair 4watt LED MR16 12v Bulb Brightness = approx 50W Halogen incandescent Light

    Total investment about $70 including freight

    I removed the 55w Halogen bulbs from the housings and replaced with the LED MR16 bulbs I bought from Ebay.

    Modifications - Remove socket that was used for the Halogen bulbs, drill out the back of the housing, and soldered the wires directly to the pins on the LED bulbs. I had to do this because the LED MR16 bulbs from China did not plug into the sockets. They should have been a direct plug in but were not. Probably because they were from a China wholesaler and pretty cheap. You may not have to do this if the MR16 bulb you buy fits properly like it should. Also, I sealed the glass lens on the lamp to the inside of the chrome trim ring with a hot glue gun. If I need to replace the lamp I can just break off the glue.

    IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO PURCHASE THE EBAY LAMPS ABOVE THEN JUST MAKE SURE YOU PURCHASE AN LED MR16 w/GX 5.3 Base WITH A SOLID GLASS LENS (SOME ARE OPEN IN FRONT AND DON'T HAVE A SOLID LENS)

    Ebay also had 6 and 8 watt LED bulbs - If you hate Ebay then Oh well ! These lamps are extremely cheap and work well for this application.

    I used the 4 watt (4 x 1watt LED) which are about 360 lumen each.

    The whole setup is drawing only about 0.66 amps from my electrical system compared to 8 amps using the 55w Halogen lamps

    I own Moto Lumination LED lighting but I don't sell these. I just made them for my own use and posted this to help others.

    You can make them too !

    NOTE - LUMEN OUTPUT IS MISLEADING. THE RATING TO BE CONCERNED WITH IS DELIVERED LUMENS. DELIVERED LUMEN IS THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT THAT ACTUALLY GETS DELIVERED TO A GIVEN POINT. IT IS HUGELY DEPENDANT ON AVAILABLE LUMENS AND HOW IT IS FOCUSED (BEAM ANGLE) EXITING THE LIGHT FIXTURE. LUMEN OUTPUT IS AN OVERALL OUTPUT RATING AND DEPENDING ON THE LIGHT SOURCE, MUCH OF THE LIGHT IS SCATTERED AND USELESS. BASICALLY YOU NEED TO GET THOSE PHOTONS FLYING FORWARD TOWARDS YOUR INTENDED AREA OF LUMINATION.

    ** SINCE WE ALL DON'T HAVE A METHOD TO MEASURE THE LIGHT ON OUR MOTORCYCLES JUST GO BY HOW THEY LOOK AND WHAT YOU WANT. THESE LIGHTS I MADE FOR MYSELF WORK FINE FOR ME AND MY RIDING STYLE **



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    #1
  2. Boingo

    Boingo Comfortably road numb

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    Outstanding!
    #2
  3. dfwscotty

    dfwscotty Long timer

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    I love the fork brackets! Nice work.
    #3
  4. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    cool project ! ....
    +1 for the fork brackets !
    #4
  5. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    EXCELLENT! How's the light pattern?
    #5
  6. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    The lights pattern is surprisingly very smooth and spread out. These are spot lights but still are fairly wide patterned. I will post night time pics once the weather gets better.

    The fork brackets make the project very affordable. Notice the machined fork bracket that I used for the steering damper. Those brackets cost around $50 each. The Memphis Shade Windshield bracket works great and comes with SS hardware that will not rust.

    ** ALL THE PARTS THAT I USED CAME IN THE KITS THAT I LISTED ABOVE.
    EXCEPT: I DID ALSO BUY RUBBER GROMMETS FOR THE BACK OF THE HOUSING WHERE THE WIRE EXITS ($1.25/LOWE'S)**


    #6
  7. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    WOW I'm gonna try this...looks like a great cheap mod for conspicuity and gobs of light for nightriding.

    Did you just wire this to a switched source, high beams, or to a seperate switch?

    I'll probably run them off of a switched source since they draw such low power, but it would be nice to turn them off if needed.

    Also, can you tell me how big the hole is in the back and how big the power cable is to the lights?

    I live in Germany and finding specific hardware can be a pain (no lowe's or home depot). The other day I went to "praktiker" and they had a hard time figuring our what weatherstripping was. They didn't have it. (weatherproofing an action packer).

    Anyways, I was gonna order the grommets online, but I want to make sure I get the right size.

    Thanks again for posting this! great idea!
    #7
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    Just ordered the bulbs. Going to try a project like this for the Tiger.
    #8
  9. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    I'm also wondering how these will hold up without any way for the LED's to radiate heat...being 4 x 1 watt, it's probably not a big deal huh? I see the LED lights that are 5 watts and beyond with all kinds of heatsinks built in.

    What would the benifits be of using one of the mr16 bulns with 48 small LED's instead of one of the cree LED's with 1-4 large LED's?

    besides being cheaper...I wonder if they emit less heat.
    #9
  10. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    It depends on how efficient the LED is at converting electricity to useable light.
    More wattage = more heat.
    Less efficiency = more heat.
    It is all related.

    My lights are warm to the touch but not scalding hot.
    The original 55w Halogens get so hot they will burn your skin off.
    #10
  11. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    The 55w halogen kit will come with all wiring, a toggle switch, and a fuse.
    Again - IF your MR16 lamp plugs in correctly into the socket then you have no modifications to do.

    If you need to remove the socket and drill out the back of the housing. I suggest using 18ga wire to power the LED lamp and drill the hole to about 3/8" dia.

    Insert a 3/8" rubber grommet so the wires don't rub and cut on the metal edge of the housing.
    #11
  12. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    thanx for the help 606xzip this should work nicely...I've been eyeing the Denali lighting kit on twisted throttle but it's just too much.

    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    #12
  13. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    I just wanted a little more light so I made these.

    Depends on what you are aiming for.

    I didn't want to spend $299.00 for LED auxillary lights either.

    Nor do I want the hassle of HID lights with their ballasts and all that wiring.

    LEDs run straight off the 12vdc

    PLEASE POST PICTURES IF YOU MAKE THESE LIGHTS.
    #13
  14. MK96xj

    MK96xj 100% Seat Time

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    I am going to give this a try. I ordered the LEDs today for $1/ea. 4 light and shipping for $20.

    I already have the light housings that I used with the halogens. I would recommend putting a set screw in the front twist ring of the housing as I have lost 2.

    I will post up some pics once I get this done.

    I have been considering other LED lighting but this is so cheap it is worth the trial.
    #14
  15. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    I see your point about the set screw but I actually glued the lamp to the chrome trim ring so if it comes loose it can't fall off the bike.

    I would suggest using a small dab of clear silicone on the trim ring. Strong enough to keep it from falling off but you can still break the seal and twist off later if need be to change the lamp.

    All good ideas.
    #15
  16. jazzdrum69

    jazzdrum69 Adventurer

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    I ordered these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110668293465

    Mine might be a few mm deeper than the one's 606 got.

    Could you elaborate on why the bulbs didn't fit? were they too short, was the stalk square vs angled or vise versa...were the pins too close or far?

    will most def post pics but I have an APO addy so it may be a few weeks before everything arrives.

    still pondering mounting options...:norton
    #16
  17. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    All MR16 GX5.3 base lamps should be the same size.
    That is a standardized size but when I got my LED MR16's they were a little taller from the pins to the front of the glass lens and also the pins wouldn't go into the socket. I think they were a little bit too wide apart. This is what you get with a $1 LED MR16 from China. That doesn't mean the LEDs are junk it just means they don't adhere well to the standardized size of an MR16 lamp. This is not unusual in lighting.

    If you go and buy a 4ft 32 watt T8 fluorescent lamp from GE and one from Philips and another from Sylvania - they will all have a little different overall length even though all 4ft T8 fluorescents "should" meet an ANSI standard for dimensions. So they fit in a 4ft fluorescent light fixture equally well and are interchangeable. Hope that answers your question.

    I can tell by the picture and spec info that the lamp you ordered is the same as the one I used. They should work fine

    JUST UPLOADED NEW PIX ON FIRST POST - PAGE 1
    #17
  18. flatfender

    flatfender Been here awhile

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    Thanks for posting this and adding the links and pictures and everything else. How far out do these reach? Did you have to aim these down so people don't flash their brights?

    I'm looking to fill the gap between the front wheel and where the headlight starts, up to about 20 feet out, with a similar brightness as the single headlight. TIA for any replies.
    #18
  19. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    This is a nice hack. However those lights are not as bright as 55W halogens. I have them in pendant lights replacing 12V 20W halogens, and their brightness in the center of the beam is approximately the same, but the halogen bulb has a wider spread.
    #19
  20. 606XXZIP

    606XXZIP NAVVET

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    I said that the pair is similar to 50w halogen. That means the 4w LED MR16 is about the same light output as 1 - 25w halogen lamp. Again that is from the Ebay ad. I don't think that is too far off.

    These lights fill in the area I wanted to so they work for me.

    The purpose of this project is not to create LED auxillary lights that equal 55w Halogen driving lights.
    #20