led headlights

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by ludger, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. ludger

    ludger Adventurer

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    do they make led bulbs that will fit into the headlight housing on the 1200 gs.the stock headlight sucks.it would save me the chore of installing lights on the crash bars.is it true that the new 1200 gs has led headlights and would they work in my 2010 gs.thanks for any info.
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  2. bighopper

    bighopper Been here awhile

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    Do a search for HID installs. I think you'll find that it would be a less expensive option even if you could find a LED to fit.

    I did an upgrade to my low beam to HID and it was worth the $50, as I don't ride at night I didn't do the high beam.
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  3. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    Actually, a low-beam-only HID kit is now about $20 + shipping! It's amazing, considering that my first HID kits, purchased just several years ago, were $200 each - on an ADV group buy! DDM Tuning is a good source.

    There are no LED lamps yet (AFAIK) that offer the performance needed to replace your stock setup. The H7 LEDs currently on the market do not have the power (required for brightness) and the point-source dimensions (required for pattern). Only specifically-designed housings and reflectors would work with LEDs.

    HID lamps, actually, also suffer from beam washout, but they are much closer to the point-source characteristics of the original halogen. The beam is wider, but close enough. The illumination from an HID setup is so great that it compensates for beam dispersion.



    I went through a comparison exercise recently and took pictures of beam patterns of halogen, HID and LED setups in headlights and in auxiliary lights. When I have some time, I'll post a pictorial thread here; be on a lookout.


    In the meantime, my advice is: LEDs are good for conspicuity lights (that is, increasing your visibility in traffic) - used in auxiliary lamps. HIDs, though not perfect, work well for auxiliary driving/fog lights and for low beams.

    High beam is a matter of taste: I kept halogen there because I use high beam to flash oncoming traffic; HIDs take a few seconds to warm up and cannot be used that way.

    HTH, Robert.
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  4. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    rdwalker is right. The headlamp design on our GSes is not suitable for LED lamps. A HID conversion saves heat, saves power and provides about 2X the lumens of the OE bulb.

    HID, you'll like it.

    Remember though, use the 4300K lamp color. Anything other than 4300K will render fewer lumens and be hard on your eyes.
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  5. onesaintsfan

    onesaintsfan BigJohnHart

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    I bought the $39 China made HIDs that Jimmy V. did a thread about. They have been in my 08 GSA for over 3 years now without ANY issues. Best cheapest mod I ever made. Go HID, and you will never look back.
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  6. ElMartillo

    ElMartillo I See Faces...

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    I believe LEDs will eventually replace all current lighting options, but for the time being I'm very happy with my DDM Tuning 35-watt 4300K HIDs high/low that I installed over 2 years ago on my Y2K 1150GS.

    Huge improvement in visibility and conspicuity.

    :thumbup
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  7. Dan Cãta

    Dan Cãta Long timer

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    +1 on that, but it is still a ~ new technology and a high lumen output system still costs a lot of money, to be fitted to the automotive industry.

    Dan.
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  8. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    That is quite true.

    However, it will not happen as a retrofit into existing housings. There are many reasons for a need for a dedicated lamp housing design, foremost being a very different thermal management (LEDs generate a lot of heat on the back side of the assembly) and very different source characteristic (requiring specialized projector, or rather multiple projector lenses).

    Some car manufacturers, notably Audi (here is their self-promo LED site), offer LED headlights: note how different is their construction from the halogen or HID units.

    LED technology certainly appears poised to take over, but I do not see it becoming available as a plug-and-play retrofit for our existing bikes. There are 1156/1157 and 5008-type LED bulbs on the market, for brake/turn or parking light duty: these do not have any beam pattern requirements and can get away by being designed as a big blob covered by a multitude of LED chips.

    As a matter of fact, there are H7 LEDs for reflector housings on the market as well (H7 is the low beam on many BMW bikes) - these are so piss-poor that they are marketed as "Daylight-Running"; at 0.4W they equal perhaps a 2W incandescent and are good only for conspicuity/marker application - the pretty look that car customizers desire. There are CREE H7 LEDs rated 5W (possibly equivalent to 15W incandescent) - these have a small projector lens for unobstructed daylight-running-light housing and cannot be utilized in reflector housings even if one was to accept the reduced power output.

    For us, who already have the bikes in our hands, I only see headlight choices to be between halogen and HID.
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  9. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

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    These threads always intrigue me. I have full stock headlights and two sets of axillary lights. one set are bright the other set are BRIGHT!

    Whats the point of changing the factory lights to HID... IF you run axillary lights? I understand the reasoning if you don't want to expand your lighting.

    Running at night I turn on my bug burners and I can see the earth curve.
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  10. madpuma13

    madpuma13 Been here awhile

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    Please keep in mind that despite a hid conversion being cheap and easy it is illegal to do it in the US.

    A lot of talk on here on how our housings aren't made for leds, everyone always over looks the fact that the same goes for hids. They ignore it because it's a cheap option.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
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  11. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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  12. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    After viewing the Audi video, I'm going to reduce my carbon footprint by adding some LEDs to my GS.

    Who says that LED headlamps are expensive? I've got these and they are bright and cheap.

    http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-Fin...8&qid=1359649798&sr=8-1&keywords=headlamp+led
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  13. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Installing HIDs in your GS headlamp(s) is not DOT approved however, we see many youngsters on sportbikes with the blue-purple HIDs scooting around at breakneck speeds and the LEOs don't cite them for illegal headlights.

    A properly done HID conversion while illegal, is a way to improve lighting on the GS as well as other motorcycles. Typically, you get 2X the light output at 70% of the consumed power of the OE incandescent with reduced heat. But, use care when aiming the HID headlamp so as to minimize the objectionable glare for oncoming drivers as well as back-scatter when you are driving through rain, smoke, fog, etc. Also, choose the 4300K lamp color to insure minimized eyestrain from UV.

    Most LEOs don't know what headlamps came OE on your motorcycle so, you'll likely not be cited if your headlights are not offensively bright or you use them carefully.

    However, there could be hell to pay if some kook testifies, "The illegal HID headlights on that oncoming motorcycle that that gangster was driving caused me to crash into the house and kill those nice folks that were watching TV in their living room". And while it may not have happened yet, you see all the advertisements for lawyers who say they'll get you $1,000,000.00 from that truck driver who ran into you.

    The same could be true for a poor HID installation.

    First, your guns....next? :deal

    Your HIDs and last? :cry

    Your motorcycle. :eek1
    #13
  14. kimokk

    kimokk Been here awhile

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  15. krellheat

    krellheat Milk Crate Challenged

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  16. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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  17. krellheat

    krellheat Milk Crate Challenged

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  18. madpuma13

    madpuma13 Been here awhile

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    There is no properly done hid conversion in a halogen headlight. Doesn't matter how you aim a converted headlight. Halogens were designed to reflect a certain amount of light upward for traffic and highway sign reflection, but not so much that it blinds traffic.

    Putting hids in a halogen housing and trying to aim it doesn't fix the problem as that is the way halogens are made to be. They are designed to work with the limited amount of light that is there. The excess light from hids creates glare and can be binding to incoming traffic as well as those directly in front of you.

    As I said before everyone overlooks the fact that it hurts everyone else on the road if you do this because from your own perspective all you can see are the positives. More light in front of you, less energy being taxed on your bike, less money to have them installed.

    There is a reason why they don't come from the factory with hids installed.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
    #18
  19. VozProto

    VozProto Type A ADD w/ OCD

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    For the HID conversion, did you guys go for the 35W or the 55W?

    Can the GS1200 housing handle 55W?
    #19
  20. chewnaut

    chewnaut Rob

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    I've had my DDM Tuning 55W bulb for about 3500 miles now with no problems. IT IS BRIGHTER THAN ANY CAR HEADLIGHTS! Its definitely illegal, I try to avoid hanging out behind cops :) But i love it. Also the spread of light (angle) is very wide coming out of my '12 R12GSA housing. When i was riding this summer between Moab and Monticello, Utah, I was able to see ~100 feet off each side of the road. Most of it is two lane. Damn deer and coyotes couldn't sneak up on me then. Super easy to install. requires that you drill a one inch hole in the headlight housing cover, I used my pocket knife to do it, the plastic is soft. The 6000K color I have is described as "diamond white" and i like it, there is a very slight shade of blue to it but, again, it's slight. For reference the light color resembles my '04 530i xenons. The 55W bulbs are so bright they wash out the color a little, meaning my 55W @ 6000 K looks more like a 35W @ 5000K. Also, I haven't noticed any excessive heat or burning smells coming from the housing. I just looked into the housing and everything looks great.
    #20