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vfr350

LED Headlight bulbs r/r issues?

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It been forever since I posted (or rode), and I'm certainly late to the game on LED headlight bulb upgrades but that just means more data now right? So its at the point where H4's gotta go, but my charging system has been a happy camper. What is the consensus on the impact led's make on the r/r? I read something about what sounds like a plate heatsink for the r/r Mello Dude was making,  did it help or is it a necessity when upgrading? I was surprised to see some bulbs w/ high/low now, any vendor or bulb recomendations? Maybe if I can see at night I might surpase the whole 160 miles i put on last season, not the best season......

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Simplest solution - get LED bulbs that draw the same wattage as your current bulbs (true wattage, not the BS equivalent nonsense). Your charging system won't know the difference. 45 watts is your target, I'll even get you rolling:

 

https://www.amazon.com/HIKARI-Headlight-Conversion-9600lm-Warranty/dp/B01LCE19PW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1528593783&sr=8-3&keywords=hikari+h4

https://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/Saber-50W-H4HL-LED-PR

 

There is a set that draws ~32W and a set that draws ~50W. Personally I am a fan of the CREE XHP50 emitter. Ignore the lumen listing of all the sellers, the emitter usually runs about 16W ea and about 2,200 lumens (18W max (12v) and 2,600lm). If you want real detail the best place to look is the spec sheet from the LED manufacturer - http://www.cree.com/led-components/media/documents/ds-XHP50.pdf

 

The bigger issue with LED bulbs is the light pattern and glare since the bulb/emitter doesn't have a shroud that is as effective as the one around the filament in an H4 bulb. I currently have the hikari bulbs linked above in my bike. I bought them to try (the other LED's I have used have been in different applications... 9005 bulb types, etc) and I think that the amount of glare is just about at what I think is a reasonable limit. I am not really satisfied with LED in these housings and will probably retrofit a true bi-xenon setup soon. Hope this helps, sorry for the ramble. 

 

 

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I'm not sure on that one. I've had LEDs for several years now, and my R/R died last year. But it was used when I got it (FH012 from an R1). I don't remember how long ago I put it in either, but certainly before the LEDs. I don't think I had any of my previous R/Rs die, but I think I upgraded to an updated OE and that one had the plug eventually fail. Now I've gone with a new FH020. Haven't really ridden much over the past year.

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Kevin, I know as well the downfalls of the r/r, think i'm running a MOSFET one now, still factory plugs running a VFRness as well.

 

adkfinn, you certainly weren't rambling, good info on the bulbs to start. Sometimes I wonder if it just wouldnt be easier to remove the entire housing sans front glass and just mount a small LED light bar in its place, how much more work could it be vs a bi-xenon upgrade, sure thats all custom right, no dropin kits?

 

I've got a cheap infared thermometer that i'll try and take temps of the r/r before I upgrade (or if), it'd be interesting to see the change in temp after the bulb change, but trying to be constant will prove difficult with rising summer air temps....

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11 hours ago, vfr350 said:

Kevin, I know as well the downfalls of the r/r, think i'm running a MOSFET one now, still factory plugs running a VFRness as well.

 

adkfinn, you certainly weren't rambling, good info on the bulbs to start. Sometimes I wonder if it just wouldnt be easier to remove the entire housing sans front glass and just mount a small LED light bar in its place, how much more work could it be vs a bi-xenon upgrade, sure thats all custom right, no dropin kits?

 

I've got a cheap infared thermometer that i'll try and take temps of the r/r before I upgrade (or if), it'd be interesting to see the change in temp after the bulb change, but trying to be constant will prove difficult with rising summer air temps....

 

R/R's - My understanding : our bikes use a shunting type of system, where the regulator is dissipating excess voltage by turning it into heat via resistance. So, if you are concerned about that you wouldn't want to run bulbs with significantly lower draw than the factory bulbs that the system was designed for, which would increase the 'work' the r/r would have to do to keep system voltage under 14.6V. In some sense, running a higher/slightly higher wattage could actually lighten the load on the r/r, given that you have a properly working electrical system. I know this is a slipshod explanation/articulation - if someone better equipped would like to chime in and/or correct this please do. 

 

I would skip a light bar, most of them adhere to the 'this 5W LED is capable of putting out 500lm, so if we put 10 or 20 of them in a light bar that must mean it puts out 5,000 or 10,000 lumens'. I find this logic to be highly flawed and results in poor performance for a primary light source as it doesn't have enough throw/distance (but does make for a good flood light for offroad). If you had one candle, then lined up 19 more next to it... would you have light that is 20x as bright as a single candle? No, you'd just have more candlelight, the idea that there is a multiplicative effect is bunk. My advice would be to stick to the newest/newer high wattage LED's with real output. Funny enough, the bigger lighting companies are usually farther behind on adoption of newer technology. My guess is that it is due to the fact that they have a lot more invested in housing design/production/marketing/etc for the established products and need to try to sustain a longer product lifespan in order to recoup costs/maintain profits. This leaves the big boys like Baja Designs and Rigid way behind the eight ball on emitters from what I have seen. 

 

Bi-xenon - Yes this would be a custom job, although not that hard to do well given the volume of aftermarket parts available. Basically you heat your assembly, separate the clear lens from the housing, install your projector of choice ( such as these: https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/hid-projectors/bixenon-q5r-projectors-1500.html ), re-assemble the housing with some fresh sealant, then install bulbs and wire up the ballasts, re-aim your lights and you are good to go. 

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adkfinn you are correct on the r/r function, exactly why i was worried. Until Kevin point out I assumed all LED bulb were less wattage than their filament cousins. Even looking at the amazon link he sent, its hard to find a wattage spec. Obviously i don't want my r/r doing MORE work. Ideally a set of aux light in addition to the current setup would probably be gold, and although functional they look like spark plugs on frankenstein.

 

Then Bi-xenon setup is a bit more work than I'm looking for at this point. The question is which wattage will you be going with, as i'm sure 35w is brighter to start than stock, the 50w are hella bright (not Hella brand) so a good/great projector seems manditory for proper setup, but those bulbs and the box get cooking too.  Does that setup mean sans high beam?

 

Kevin stated he didn't like the chips on the bulbs he was using, I'm kinda interested in trying something different then, I found these which I like the position of the emitter but can't seem to find the wattage. My cooling fan is on a manual switch so if I see something i dont like i can alway pop that on for some draw in a pinch.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077B3SNJR/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B077B3SNJR&pd_rd_wg=CToBF&pd_rd_r=XK4P1ZQFT69A5C3R6N8H&pd_rd_w=9d2k4

 

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The only thing I said was that I did have a Reg/Rec die on my while using LEDs (in fact it's as close to full LED as I can get), but that R/R began it's service in my bike as already used (FH012 from an R1 I bought on eBay). It still lasted several years, so I can't say specifically the lower draw of LEDs overworked it. I also said I don't think my original R/R died, but had wiring and connector issues which lead to an upgraded R/R from Honda.

I've since switched to a brand new updated version (FH020), and have no plans to alter the bulbs in my bike.

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Sorry Kevin, my mind blended the posts, I see that as I scroll back. My mind, it gets losts...often.

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3 hours ago, vfr350 said:

adkfinn you are correct on the r/r function, exactly why i was worried. Until Kevin point out I assumed all LED bulb were less wattage than their filament cousins. Even looking at the amazon link he sent, its hard to find a wattage spec. Obviously i don't want my r/r doing MORE work. Ideally a set of aux light in addition to the current setup would probably be gold, and although functional they look like spark plugs on frankenstein.

 

Then Bi-xenon setup is a bit more work than I'm looking for at this point. The question is which wattage will you be going with, as i'm sure 35w is brighter to start than stock, the 50w are hella bright (not Hella brand) so a good/great projector seems manditory for proper setup, but those bulbs and the box get cooking too.  Does that setup mean sans high beam?

 

Kevin stated he didn't like the chips on the bulbs he was using, I'm kinda interested in trying something different then, I found these which I like the position of the emitter but can't seem to find the wattage. My cooling fan is on a manual switch so if I see something i dont like i can alway pop that on for some draw in a pinch.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077B3SNJR/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B077B3SNJR&pd_rd_wg=CToBF&pd_rd_r=XK4P1ZQFT69A5C3R6N8H&pd_rd_w=9d2k4

 

the datasheet you are looking for is linked on this page:

https://www.lumileds.com/support/documentation/datasheets

 

 

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I currently run these:

http://www.jdmastar.com/product/313/8TH-Gen-H4-9003-LED-Headlight-Conversion-Kits-Set-of-2.html

The only issue is you will have to spend some time to orient the bulb direction with the little set screw. Then you will have to re-aim the headlight housings to get a some really good output. The output and beam pattern are inferior to my old mini h1 projector retrofit, but so much less headache. They just work.

 

I used to run a mini H1 HID retrofit set, but aftermarket HID ballasts and relays are all unreliable. Every 3 to 5 months I would have to replace something, a bulb, a balast, an ignitor, etc... too many components for these fragile systems.

20151213_221049.jpg

20151231_233419.jpg

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Those look nice as well fonque. I'm not sure what the decoder is for, but can I assume its not needed? Are you using them with the projector globes still, light in the pic looks crisp? How long have you been running these as I see they are rated @ 25w , any r/r issues or have you noticed any flux in voltage if you have a voltmeter installed? With the globes suprised you didn't go the bi-xenon route, any reason?

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You do not need the decoder, that is for CAN bus vehicles, like bmw bikes where changing the bulb type will throw errors. No the projector lenses were removed I am not sure what I going to do with them. The projector housing are bolt on, it can be installed so its reversible. The final reason I got rid of the HID setup was the voltage drain I found from the morimoto HID relay harness. It would drain my battery after 2 or 3 days of not riding. However, when running I had no issues with voltage drops. I have a usb charger with a voltage read out. 

The LED headlights have been completely trouble free. I have been running the JDM Astar 8th gen H4 bulbs since October of last year without issue.

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2 hours ago, fonque said:

I currently run these:

http://www.jdmastar.com/product/313/8TH-Gen-H4-9003-LED-Headlight-Conversion-Kits-Set-of-2.html

The only issue is you will have to spend some time to orient the bulb direction with the little set screw. Then you will have to re-aim the headlight housings to get a some really good output. The output and beam pattern are inferior to my old mini h1 projector retrofit, but so much less headache. They just work.

 

I used to run a mini H1 HID retrofit set, but aftermarket HID ballasts and relays are all unreliable. Every 3 to 5 months I would have to replace something, a bulb, a balast, an ignitor, etc... too many components for these fragile systems.

20151213_221049.jpg

20151231_233419.jpg

 

vfr350: Those JDM Astar bulbs use the same Luxeon Z ES emitter as the ones you linked yesterday and I posted the link to the data sheet for, meaning they are basically the same light output (given they use the same number of LED's per bulb, the only difference would lie in the stalk design/shield/build quality/etc. The Hikari you posted appear to only have three LED's per 'filament', whereas the JDM Astar bulb is pictured with 4 LED's per 'filament', so they will consume a few more watts and there will be a bit more light, but probably not more throw/distance. For what it is worth, I have used some of the JDM Astar led's for small bulb replacement (reverse lights, running lights, etc.) and they seem to be well made and I haven't had any issues. 

 

fonque: Sorry you had trouble with your HID setup, but I have to differ with you about the reliability of aftermarket HID ballasts and relays. This may have been true of older product generations, but isn't my experience with the current products. I have been using a full Morimoto setup in my 4Runner for three years and it has been completely trouble free since day one. 

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I have run HIDs in all my cars for at least the last 10 years. I have alot of experience with retrofits and projector installs, and various brands. I have had issues with every one of my morimoto based installs. I have dealt with failed bulbs, failed relays, failed ignitors. The plus with buying from the retrofit source is their warranty policy is solid. They have replaced everything without issue. But I got tired of replacing stuff every few months. Ive tried the cheapest crap from DDM tuning all the way to OEM. If you want the most reliable setup OEM ballasts with Philips or Osram bulbs in a proper projector housing is the only way to go.

It may be possible that I have had 10 years of bad luck, or 10 years of poor installs, but if you read complaints about morimoto products on hidplanet, you will see im not the only one that has had issues.

Either way, LEDs are just easier, when something goes wrong, you only have to trouble shoot 2 components instead of 6 or 7.

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I've had CREE LED headlight bulbs for several years now. I got H4 (9003/HB2) Bulbs.

http://www.highperformancebulbs.com/h4-cree-led-bulbs-headlight-bulbs-super-bright.html

They do draw less current. But they work fabulously. Wire-My-Bike pointed out that they would increase the load on an R/R. (I've had the VFRness also in this setup.)  So I bought MellowDude's heat sink for my Rick's R/R. That setup has lasted 45,000 miles on my current bike and several 10,000s on former fifth gens. I've also gone over all my connections, cleaning them with dialectic spray and coating the blades with OxGard for conductivity improvement.

 

I've had NO electrical problems with this setup. This year I added LED driving lights to my forks and I've run with heated gear (jacket liner and gloves) in the past.  All with no issues.

 

I've also never encountered anyone flashing their lights indicating they were annoyed by by lighting. The bulbs effectively use the stock reflector for a good cut-off of the lights. The fork-mounted LEDs are a driving light configuration with a short wide and side-oriented beam so no problems there.

 

Earlier this year I did my spring pilgrimage to the mecca of motorcycling gear, Aerostich, in Duluth (160 miles one-way). Due to unexpected cold I used two-lane roads through deer country after sunset. With the highbeams lit and the fork lights on it was nearly daylight-lit through the woods. Outstanding! All the deer were wearing sunglasses in the dark! :pinocchio:

 

The last step in my electrical upgrades is sending a spare stator to be rewound and installing it in Cool Breeze, my 57,000 mile 2001. Being a procrastinating champ that has yet to be done. One of these days ...

LED_headlightsInPlace.JPG

Spring2018Lights.JPG

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16 minutes ago, fonque said:

I have run HIDs in all my cars for at least the last 10 years. I have alot of experience with retrofits and projector installs, and various brands. I have had issues with every one of my morimoto based installs. I have dealt with failed bulbs, failed relays, failed ignitors. The plus with buying from the retrofit source is their warranty policy is solid. They have replaced everything without issue. But I got tired of replacing stuff every few months. Ive tried the cheapest crap from DDM tuning all the way to OEM. If you want the most reliable setup OEM ballasts with Philips or Osram bulbs in a proper projector housing is the only way to go.

It may be possible that I have had 10 years of bad luck, or 10 years of poor installs, but if you read complaints about morimoto products on hidplanet, you will see im not the only one that has had issues.

Either way, LEDs are just easier, when something goes wrong, you only have to trouble shoot 2 components instead of 6 or 7.

 

fonque - I doubt its all bad luck, and I know you aren't the only one that had trouble with the longevity of aftermarket parts, I just wanted to offer that it wasn't a universal truth and not everyone had the same experience. Who knows, I could be one of the lucky ones or in the minority? Either way, in general I agree with you. LEDs present a simpler solution than a projector retrofit for sure. My concern about running LED's is the reflector housing and glare. The current LED tech certainly exceeds halogen in output, now they just have nail the bulb design. I haven't tried the bulbs you have pictured, maybe I should give them a whirl. 

 

vfr350 - I found this video that shows the wattage draw of a comparable luxeon z es based bulb, it looks like those emitters typically draw 5.4W each, based on the draw of 21-22W per bulb when in use (same consumption for each 'filament' section, they don't run concurrently). http://godialy.com/video/jGu7YAop3x0/Power Consumption of Philips lumiled Luxeon ZES LED chip H4 Head Light

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MaxSwell, I'd be willing to bet my r/r is a Ricks as well, have to check. What are the odds MellowDude still has some of those blocks ? Along with the VFRness I actually made my own "grounding kit" ran like 5 different legs of 10awg wire to different parts of the bike trying to insure at least one ground path w/o crud. Can your aux lights be mounted vertical instead of horizontal by chance?

 

1 hour ago, adkfinn said:

 

vfr350: Those JDM Astar bulbs use the same Luxeon Z ES emitter as the ones you linked yesterday and I posted the link to the data sheet for, meaning they are basically the same light output (given they use the same number of LED's per bulb, the only difference would lie in the stalk design/shield/build quality/etc. The Hikari you posted appear to only have three LED's per 'filament', whereas the JDM Astar bulb is pictured with 4 LED's per 'filament', so they will consume a few more watts and there will be a bit more light, but probably not more throw/distance. For what it is worth, I have used some of the JDM Astar led's for small bulb replacement (reverse lights, running lights, etc.) and they seem to be well made and I haven't had any issues. 

 

fonque: Sorry you had trouble with your HID setup, but I have to differ with you about the reliability of aftermarket HID ballasts and relays. This may have been true of older product generations, but isn't my experience with the current products. I have been using a full Morimoto setup in my 4Runner for three years and it has been completely trouble free since day one. 

 

Thanks and for the wattage per emitter, I noticed it looked like it was the same named emitters, saw the 4 on the high side but didn't know about the low, guess the #16 should have gave it away. I have also lurked on the 4runner forum and looked at that Morimoto setup. Which wattage did you go with and what did you do on the high beam side? Really looks amazing on the 4runner.

 

Side note, I have had LED flashlights that I've had to warranty, couldn't figure out why the battery had such a short life, in a dark room you could put the light up to your eye and see the slightest little glow, ever so slight. Just never know what might cause a draw on things.

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2 minutes ago, vfr350 said:

 

MaxSwell, I'd be willing to bet my r/r is a Ricks as well, have to check. What are the odds MellowDude still has some of those blocks ? Along with the VFRness I actually made my own "grounding kit" ran like 5 different legs of 10awg wire to different parts of the bike trying to insure at least one ground path w/o crud.

I'd message MellowDude; they were high quality and fit perfectly. A simple metal plate (aluminum I believe) with a hole drilled near each corner. He's a great guy to work with. He has done several projects for me. Highly recommended.

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4 minutes ago, vfr350 said:

 

MaxSwell, I'd be willing to bet my r/r is a Ricks as well, have to check. What are the odds MellowDude still has some of those blocks ? Along with the VFRness I actually made my own "grounding kit" ran like 5 different legs of 10awg wire to different parts of the bike trying to insure at least one ground path w/o crud.

 

 

Thanks and for the wattage per emitter, I noticed it looked like it was the same named emitters, saw the 4 on the high side but didn't know about the low, guess the #16 should have gave it away. I have also lurked on the 4runner forum and looked at that Morimoto setup. Which wattage did you go with and what did you do on the high beam side? Really looks amazing on the 4runner.

 

Side note, I have had LED flashlights that I've had to warranty, couldn't figure out why the battery had such a short life, in a dark room you could put the light up to your eye and see the slightest little glow, ever so slight. Just never know what might cause a draw on things.

 

I am running the xb35 ballast, relay kit, and H11 style amp bulbs - all morimoto from theretrofitsource.com . I am using them in the factory projectors, beam pattern and cutoff is acceptable despite these projectors being designed for a halogen bulb. My plan is to retrofit bixenon projectors at some point here as well. I am using a set of the original DDM Saber LED's in my high beams, they use two CREE XHP50 emitters per bulb and are very bright. If I could change anything I'd actually decrease a little of the foreground and ahead right (street sign area) output pattern as it is borderline too bright. My 4Runner is a 2007, which uses the high and low beam in conjunction when you are on high beams, my combined set up is very bright. 

 

I have a few sweet flashlights as well - I've been using Nitecore products for three years or so and am more than satisfied with their products (lights/batteries/chargers) and price point. 

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Small add here: The one thing we haven't discussed in this thread yet is the newer LED projectors that have hit the market: https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/led-projectors.html

 

I have no experience with these and I haven't searched for meaningful reviews yet, but in theory something like this could be the best of both worlds, a quality projector housing with excellent intensity and beam focus... with a very bright, efficient, and simple LED bulb behind it. Any thoughts or experience from anyone here?

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On 6/14/2018 at 9:38 AM, adkfinn said:

Small add here: The one thing we haven't discussed in this thread yet is the newer LED projectors that have hit the market: https://www.lightwerkz.net/index.php/components/led-projectors.html

 

I have no experience with these and I haven't searched for meaningful reviews yet, but in theory something like this could be the best of both worlds, a quality projector housing with excellent intensity and beam focus... with a very bright, efficient, and simple LED bulb behind it. Any thoughts or experience from anyone here?

 

The Morimotos list as 25w's and its also interesting as well after seeing this note:

Compatibility:

Direct Fitment: H4 & H7 housings (little/no mods)

 

I found this site as well with some interesting mounting options for bike spec aux lights, even these little add ons:

http://www.max-inc.cn/super-bright-white-3w-cree-led-mirror-mount-fog-drl-lights/

http://www.max-inc.cn/spot-fog-lights/

 

 

On 6/11/2018 at 1:53 PM, MaxSwell said:

I've had CREE LED headlight bulbs for several years now. I got H4 (9003/HB2) Bulbs.

http://www.highperformancebulbs.com/h4-cree-led-bulbs-headlight-bulbs-super-bright.html

They do draw less current. But they work fabulously. Wire-My-Bike pointed out that they would increase the load on an R/R. (I've had the VFRness also in this setup.)  So I bought MellowDude's heat sink for my Rick's R/R. That setup has lasted 45,000 miles on my current bike and several 10,000s on former fifth gens. I've also gone over all my connections, cleaning them with dialectic spray and coating the blades with OxGard for conductivity improvement.

 

I've had NO electrical problems with this setup. This year I added LED driving lights to my forks and I've run with heated gear (jacket liner and gloves) in the past.  All with no issues.

 

I've also never encountered anyone flashing their lights indicating they were annoyed by by lighting. The bulbs effectively use the stock reflector for a good cut-off of the lights. The fork-mounted LEDs are a driving light configuration with a short wide and side-oriented beam so no problems there.

 

Earlier this year I did my spring pilgrimage to the mecca of motorcycling gear, Aerostich, in Duluth (160 miles one-way). Due to unexpected cold I used two-lane roads through deer country after sunset. With the highbeams lit and the fork lights on it was nearly daylight-lit through the woods. Outstanding! All the deer were wearing sunglasses in the dark! :pinocchio:

 

The last step in my electrical upgrades is sending a spare stator to be rewound and installing it in Cool Breeze, my 57,000 mile 2001. Being a procrastinating champ that has yet to be done. One of these days ...

LED_headlightsInPlace.JPG

Spring2018Lights.JPG

 

MaxSwell, in the pic it looks like adhesive velcro was used to mount the little balasts, was there a reason for velcro over say double sided tape? Do they heat up at all? Probably nothing to zip tie it to I'm going to assume, yet to tear things apart to see.

 

 

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2 hours ago, vfr350 said:

MaxSwell, in the pic it looks like adhesive velcro was used to mount the little balasts, was there a reason for velcro over say double sided tape? Do they heat up at all? Probably nothing to zip tie it to I'm going to assume, yet to tear things apart to see.

Actually, I never thought of using tape. The first thought was velcro, which is attached with some kind of adheasive stick-on now that I think about it. The velcro could allow minor adjustments after all was done, but not proved necessary. I've r/r the front cowl to replace the bulbs (the version I've got now has been replaced with upgraded versions. Mine have burned out once or twice.) But I've never found the need to adjust or move the LED Control Module. If I were to transfer these to a different machine I'd still need one side of new velcro. Seems a toss up.

 

I do not know if the LED Control Modules get hot (I'm guessing not), but the lights certainly do. Those are powered fans inside the heat sinks attached at the back of the bulb. I had to cut away some of the rubber dust gasket to clear the fans exhausts. The fans start as soon as the ignition is powered with an audible whir before I hit the start button.

 

The installation was easy. While the remove/replace of the front cowl can be a chore, it is something I've done dozens of times (YMMV).

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Quick little update, bulbs installed. Was kinda a pain as these things weren't clocked level for sure, lots of bending and tweaking of the mount tabs. Once installed I noticed the light is certainly "whiter", its hard to say how much brighter, it seems the LED's and the creases in the reflector make the light a bit odd (projectors prob be best here). Another thing I noticed is that with my suspension set up (front dropped a bit, rear raised a tad) the aim was real low, like the high beams were just a bit further than where I would expect the low's to be. So I have some aim adjustment yet. Even with that i'm not sure the LEDs will have the reach or throw on high that the old osrams did. I can say at stoplights the light was no longer swallowed up by cars that pull up along side, so it doesnt appear to be a step backwards at least on low. Voltage at speed does not appear to be higher, but is up at idle for sure, didn't get a change to see how warm the r/r is, was just a short ride.

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