Led light vs filament bulbs

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by KLRUSERIOUS?, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Hey Adventure Riders and Farkle Hunters, I am conducting a test on LED vs Conventional Automotive 12V filament bulbs and I am pretty sure I know what the results are going to be but I wanted not only your opinion but also a way to quantify my data so I am planning on using the method outlined as follows in order to determine the brightest, low voltage application for motorcycles:

    I purchased two sets of LED bulbs, the first set off flea bay for a mere $9.99 with free shipping:
    This bulb is about the same size as a conventional 12V automotive filament bulb.

    120 LED 3528 SMD 1156 BA15S Pure White Fog Head Light Lamp Bulb DC 12V
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130592729021&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:CA:1123

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    The second set I bought for $25 each which came out to a whopping $58 bucks after tax and shipping from Superbrightleds.com

    1156 LED Bulb - Single Intensity 45 SMD LED Tower

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/search/led-products/1156-cw45-t/

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You can see the 45 SMD LED tower bulb is just over half the size of the 120 SMD LED tower bulb and at 10x the cost.

    [​IMG]

    My light meter finally came in yesterday, fresh off the boat from Hong Kong like a rub and tug worker in cheap heels.

    [​IMG]

    Purchased for $14 bucks off flea bay:
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/200-000-Lux-...ps=63&clkid=2084406605202034228#ht_4230wt_902

    It measures in both FC = Foot Canlde (From Wiki: The name "footcandle" conveys "the illuminance cast on a surface by a one-candel source one foot away" and LUX (also from Wiki: luminous flux or luminous power is the measure of the perceived power of light).

    Here it is measuring the light from my desk lamp:
    [​IMG]

    So my question is, how far away should I have the light meter? One foot away using FC measurement? or at multiple distances using LUX units? I am going to conduct the tests using my motorcycle signals which illuminate solid instead of blinking if I pull the bulb on the opposite side signal which should make capturing the peak luminosity easier than if the light was blinking. The readings will be taken in my garage which is pitch black with the door closed and I will be taking measurements of both the 45 and 120 SMD LED bulbs against the standard 12V automotive filament jobbies.

    The last step after obtaining those readings is to maybe order an amber set considering my signal light lens covers are amber going back to what my tech savvy forum friend said about less light possibly travelling through a different coloured lenses and comparing it to the white LEDs. But really, the very last step of the test will be to measure the voltage draw of all the bulbs to complete the full spectrum of data.

    If I could please get your educated opinions on how far back I should have the light meter in order to determine what the optimum bulb for use as motorcycles signals (without impeding or limiting light output) would be; Optimum being most bang for your voltage buck at a reasonable cost.

    Your thoughts please....
    #1
  2. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Do it at a close fixed distance but varying angles.

    Viewing distance would be idea, but there'll be very little light from the LED's unless you are quite close.

    I'm betting you'll have to be very close (< 1m) to pick up any change.

    Pete
    #2
  3. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Look up the federal motor vehicle standard, that would be one place.

    Otherwise what would make sense to me is to get a piece of string say 9-12 feet long, and mark it in 2 or 3 foot sections.
    Then at angles off from the bike like 20, 40 , 60 and 90 degrees mark a place on the floor
    Now you have fixed your location, fixed how far back you will test. then make sure the ambient light in the room is the same
    Best case would be in both dark and a fixed amount of brightness.

    Light falls off pretty quickly and LEDs have a very bright but focused beam. Up close they will seem bright but move back and their brightness might be less then an incandescent bulb. (However I think with the design of these bulbs it might not be as much of an issue.
    #3
  4. rjsurfer

    rjsurfer Been here awhile

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    I purchased the 1157 version of the 120 LED tail light from the same vendor. While I'm happy with the total light output (as bright as the filament bulb it replaced) I'm not happy about the intensity difference between the brake light output and the tail light output.

    I'd rather the see the brake light be more obvious to drivers behind me.

    I even tried swapping the leads to the bulb in an effort to switch the higher output section to the brake light but that failed to work as I thought, for some reason I lost the brake light completely. Probably something to do with the internal LED design.

    Ron W.
    #4
  5. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Long time flashlight nut weighting in ... it'd be good to visit Candlepower forums to verify if your testing methods has been used before.

    generally light meters don't work well determining total output. an integrated sphere, which are too expensive for most folks is needed.

    Lots of advances in LED technologies have happened last few years. to where there's been an explosion in number of new high output LED products available at low costs.

    beware of replacing stock brake light bulbs. if one should get into an accident. Some sharp attorney could use that against you. LED light output is highly directional so you could end up with blind spots. recently some brake light bulb LED replacements can be too bright. the correct brightness becomes a factor too.

    only LED rear brake light replacement I'd consider would be a complete LED/lens assembly designed specifically to replace entire brake light assembly. very similar to what is commonly used in back of large trucks. output of LED/lens combo and most importantly direction of output has been designed specifically for brake lights.

    note most Airheads have low output charging systems. so there's incentive to lower total current drain so more watts are available to support heated gear. I'd love to replace my front headlights. But so far a viable LED replacement over conventional headlights has not happened yet. but with how fast LED technology has been advancing.... that could change at anytime.
    #5
  6. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Excellent advice gents. I will incorporate your suggestions and let you know the results either today or tomorrow.

    I just want to point out that these bulbs are being used strictly for signals as they are definitely not bright enough to act as the rear brake light.
    For rear brake light application, I recommend the larger PCB style LED boards such as the ones that have different flashing modes like the ones in this link:

    http://www.chromeglow.com/store.asp?pid=15834 (just an example, I am not endorsing any products on this thread)

    Appreciate the good direction you guys have given me here!
    #6
  7. Yokomo

    Yokomo Gorilla Adventurer

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    I bought the ebay LED brake/tail light and LED headlight. They suck. They're more dim than stock and the brake light vibrated in 2 on the ride to Autozone to buy some good LED brake lights.
    I think AZ's were $16 for 2. They put out the same light as stock.
    #7
  8. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Color does matter when you measure lumens per watt.

    A red lens, for instance, filters out blue and green wavelengths and transmits only red. A white LED uses more power than a red LED of similar brightness because the white LED has to generate red, blue, and green light. (Our eyes have cones for red, blue, and green and white LEDs have peaks in these three wavelengths.)

    An amber lens is a little different, filtering out blue and transmitting most of the red and green.

    For either color, a white LED uses power to generate light that will be removed by the lens.

    MEASUREMENTS:
    Looking at your bulbs makes me think that the design of the reflector will make a huge difference. In a shallow reflector many of those LEDs will be aimed right at the sides of the lens. In a deeper reflector those LEDs will be aimed at the mirrored surface. Measurements are important, but be aware of what you're measuring. Measurements in radically different reflectors may be double the work but could provide more than double the information.
    #8
  9. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

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    Subscribed...Interested in the results. :lurk
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  10. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    just for kicks... here's an pic of my electronics lab in 2005 testing VF or forward voltage of a Luxeon 3 watt LED.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

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    Of course you are familiar with the Inverse Square Law and how it affects how you measure light.

    Inverse Square Law
    #11
  12. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Huh? Let me google that... I wanna keep this as layman as possible but yes...good point and worthy contribution thanks!

    So then, in your opinion would the amber LED bulb generate more light output through the amber turn signal lens?
    #12
  13. Toysrme

    Toysrme Been here awhile

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    headlights= HID>LED>ic
    markers=LED>ic
    #13
  14. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    For the same cost and the same amount of energy an amber LED will generate more light output through an amber lens.

    You CAN get a brighter white LED, but the amber LED will be more efficient and may cost less (competition in white LEDs may change this). The page you linked to for superbrightleds.com included a link "More information & Buy" which included the simple statement:

    <fieldset id="pl_notes_1p0" class="pl_notes"> <legend>Note(s):</legend>
    • Choose color that matches lens color
    </fieldset>
    #14
  15. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Always match the LED color to the color you want. A white LED behind an amber or red lens wastes light energy.
    #15
  16. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    You can decrease the voltage to the LED tail light by 0.6V by adding a blocking diode in the taillight wire. Turn it so the band is toward ground -- toward the bulb-- so it's not actually blocking anything in this case. If there's a bullet connector for each wire to the light fixture you can just add the diode there.

    While diodes block voltage almost completely in one direction and let it pass in the other direction, a silicon diode will reduce the voltage by 0.6V or 0.7V. (Schottky diodes and germanium diodes cause less voltage drop.) I specify blocking diode because logic diodes and switching diodes are too small.

    I added a supplementary LED bar to my KLR and thought the brake brightness wasn't different enough from the taillight brightness. A diode fixed it fine.

    MAY NOT WORK WITH ALL CIRCUITS: Some more advanced circuits control the current instead of the voltage. Controlling the voltage is a rough way to control the current, but a "constant current" power supply maintains constant brightness even with voltage changes. Controlling the voltage is a little easier and usually adequate. (LEDs will forgive high voltage as long as the current is below their max, but they won't forgive high current.)
    #16
  17. rjsurfer

    rjsurfer Been here awhile

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    Will try that fix some time this week and let u know the results.

    Thanks

    Ron W.
    #17
  18. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Sorry for dropping the ball on this folks, I got sent out to NYC for work and will be returning tomorrow.

    Will do my best to have the results of Phase I by this weekend.
    #18
  19. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Uuuuuuuuuupppppdate!!!!!

    It's fun to be on the other side of that for once! :D
    #19
  20. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

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    Shit, now I'M gonna lose sleep until I step up and get this done!

    Thanks for that BD :rofl
    #20