Monday, April 2, 2012

LED Light Replacements

After completing the electrical system upgrades, I replaced the 55W halogen bulbs in the fog lights with LED H3 replacement bulbs and I replaced the tail lights with LED motorcycle tail light replacement bulbs, both from superbrightleds.com. I was a little nervous about replacing the bulbs, since I have seen mixed reviews of LED replacement bulbs at various places on-line. However, while I have yet to get the bike on the road (my driveway is still mostly covered in snow and slush), I am impressed with how the bulbs appear in my garage:










Since there are two bulbs in the tail light on my V-Strom, I replaced one bulb with the LED, then started the bike. The LED actually looked brighter than the OEM incandescent bulb, so I turned off the bike and swapped the second bulb as well, then started the bike again. Some of the reviews I have read suggest that the LED creates a bright point-source in the tail light lens, but that it doesn't illuminate the entire lens the way an incandescent bulb does. To avoid this problem, I bought the LED replacement bulbs that contain 19 LEDs to provide the red brake light and 6 white LEDs to illuminate the license plate. On the Strom, the 6 white LEDs won't reach the plate, since the bulb is in a sealed lens that is isolated from the plate. However, I was hoping that the white LEDs might help light up the rest of the lens, and from what I can see, they do.



I was similarly impressed with the H3 fog light replacement bulbs. Although they don't seem to light up the road ahead like the halogen H3 bulbs do, they are more than bright enough to make me more visible to other drivers on the road, which truthfully, is all I was really looking for. The stock headlights on the V-Strom light up the road *at least* as well as the lights on any other vehicle I've ever driven. The problem I was trying to solve, however, is that motorcycle headlights are so close together than most car drivers, used to seeing bulbs that are close to five feet apart, think that the motorcycle is farther away than it really is. By adding lights well away from the headlights, other drivers now see a triangle of lights, and it is much easier to judge distances, theoretically making it less likely to be cut off by a driver who doesn't realize how close you really are. For that purpose, the LED H3 replacement lamps seem to be more than bright enough.



All in all, I am pretty happy with the LED replacements, and I am very happy to have cut my electrical budget by roughly 115W (110W fog lights + 8W tail lights - ((2 x 0.65A) X 12v) fog lights - ((2 x 0.075A) * 12V) tail lights). I should now have plenty of electrical power to run fog lights, heated grips and the motorcycle's systems without discharging my battery.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for another” feel good, uplifting, that there are good people in this world story”. We read so many stories that are negavite about people and what they do to others. A random act of kindness is always such a great thing to hear about. Peace and blessings.

    Abs Pipe

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