Jump to content

LED headlight bulb replacement


Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. 

Sorry to beat a dead horse here, but I've tried searching the forum for 6th gen led replacements and can't find a thing(most likely don't know how to use the search function correctly).

 

Well here's my question, I just noticed yesturday that one of my low beam bulbs are out. I'm wanting to switch from the halogen bulbs to LEDs and just wondering what Amazon/eBay/and so fourth specials everyone is running and have had good luck with?

I'm going to be working afternoons in the next week so driving home in the dark will be the norm for me and my girlfriend wants me to have both low beams working.

I have an 08 vfr.

 

Thanks for any suggestions you all have. 

Screenshot_20200610_124816_com.ebay.kijiji.ca.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm kind of late, but better late than never.

 

I'm running the Hikari Ultra's in size H4. They're not as bright as the same bulbs in H11 and H7 sizes running in my family's cars, but they're a definitive huge improvement over the very dim stock bulbs. It's like the stock low beams were non-existent when compared to the high beams lol. Now it's like I have slightly brighter high beams in my low beams (https://imgur.com/gxl4O1G). I feel like the Hikari Ultra's are the sweet spot cost-performance-reliability wise in low beam applications (I didn't have any luck with the standard Hikari's as they stopped working after less than 2 weeks on my mom's car, versus the Ultra's running trouble-free for 7 months now in weather ranging from -30 C to 30 C in both my mom's and sister's cars), but feel free to check out BulbFacts. I'm also running them without the dust caps, which are impossible to fit without blocking the heatsinks anyway, to improve their longevity as they run quite hot to the touch, and I'm tucking the drivers and wires into the sides. I'm now considering wiring the unused LED's to my high beams so that they also turn on when I turn on my high beams, or maybe not as I want the low beams to last as long as possible lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer
On 7/28/2020 at 7:40 PM, JafsSK said:

Hey everyone. 

Sorry to beat a dead horse here, but I've tried searching the forum for 6th gen led replacements and can't find a thing(most likely don't know how to use the search function correctly).

 

Well here's my question, I just noticed yesturday that one of my low beam bulbs are out. I'm wanting to switch from the halogen bulbs to LEDs and just wondering what Amazon/eBay/and so fourth specials everyone is running and have had good luck with?

I'm going to be working afternoons in the next week so driving home in the dark will be the norm for me and my girlfriend wants me to have both low beams working.

I have an 08 vfr.

 

Thanks for any suggestions you all have. 

 

LED's suffer from the same problem the old HIDs did: because they're an illegal and badly designed technical bodge, the major manufacturers stay away from the market and your only choices are various fly-by-night dodgy eBay sellers flogging various grades of Chinese junk.  But if you absolutely must run the latest inappropriate technology, good luck.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer
1 hour ago, JZH said:

LED's suffer from the same problem the old HIDs did: because they're an illegal and badly designed technical bodge, the major manufacturers stay away from the market and your only choices are various fly-by-night dodgy eBay sellers flogging various grades of Chinese junk.  But if you absolutely must run the latest inappropriate technology, good luck.

So, do you recommend not using LEDs? Or only warn that they are an unproven upgrade for a VFR?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

What you want are the latest LED's that are closer to DOT compliant for beam pattern.  Not sure what the 6th Gen has, but the 5th Gen has Honda specific H4 look-alikes (with unique locating tab locations).  If H4/9003, you have to remove the two lower tabs to fit in the Honda socket.  I use F2 LED's (when you look for listings, it's a yellow box with F2 on it), and these have a good beam pattern.  Any with no shields on the LED's are to be avoided as all they do is spray light everywhere.  You may have to trim 1/8" or so off the smaller diameter of the rubber boot.  Separate the base from the bulb, trim the two tabs, install, then the rubber boot, then insert bulb.

Everything is made in China, so put that aside.  This is one listing, you can search AliExpress as well.  Covid is causing overload with all postal services, so be prepared to wait..... you may be able to find a US source that is stocking them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-9003-F2-LED-Headlight-72W-12000LM-Cree-Chips-White-6000K-Driving-H-L-Bulbs/143055112163?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D17b0995298584490b8a5b8e3f2102588%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D15%26mehot%3Dnone%26sd%3D264591497696%26itm%3D143055112163%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057%26brand%3DUnbranded&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Af235a548-da42-11ea-a8f7-74dbd180e7e8|parentrq%3Ad36038b21730aaaa669bedeafffff8cf|iid%3A1

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gebruiker said:

So, do you recommend not using LEDs? Or only warn that they are an unproven upgrade for a VFR?

 

LED technology has gone a long way since 3 years ago. The beam pattern of the Hikari Ultra's is excellent if you couldn't make it out in the picture I posted, and it's readily available on Amazon with Prime shipping. All you gotta make sure is aim it dead straight from 25 ft away with you sitting on the bike. Not that the aiming does much when you accelerate or brake lol. And it's a direct plug-in on the North American 6th gen's.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer

What do you mean "beam pattern"?  Last time I checked, pre-8th gen VFR headlights used reflectors, which means that any light you see in front of the bike was first bounced off of a smooth (RC36) or sculpted (RC46) reflective surface (if you're seeing light directly from an LED, you've got bigger problems).  There is literally nothing the bulb can do to affect the beam pattern apart from more or less precisely match the design parameters of the reflector it sits within. 

 

Yes, LED H4s have progressed a bit from the early versions, but they can't get around physics.  Plus, if you cut off the lower tabs to get a regular H4 to fit into an American-market Honda H4 headlight unit, you're depending on blind luck to even get the focal point positioning right (that's assuming you can live with the fact that the light source of an LED is still not the same size and shape of the homologated H4 halogen filament).  At the very least I would suggest buying bulbs made for your particular headlight housing (if you can find any).  [Edit: It is also possible to modify some US-spec Honda headlamp housings to accept regular H4s; 3rd and 4th gens can do this; 5th and 6th gens I think cannot.]

1795187332_AutomotiveHeadlampBaseStyles.GIF.4bca396e6b41b7ef46fb712429204fd7.GIF

 

What I call "regular H4" use the P43t base shown in the drawing above; instead, Honda's North American market bikes used the PX43t 65-Degree base.  Those tabs are the only thing that reliably determine the position of the light source (e.g., filament) relative to the headlight reflector, which together create the beam pattern you (and other road users) see on the road.  If you snip off two of them, you no longer have a tripod, you have a monopod.  Usually, the bulb leans on something else in the headlamp so it doesn't get very far away from the designed position, but there is no way to predict by how much or what effect it will have on the beam pattern unless you test it afterwards.  Caveat emptor.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer

The LED's I have used for years had the locating plate in the wrong place which put the LED emitter in the wrong place. Once corrected it throws a good pattern.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer
On 8/13/2020 at 2:51 PM, JZH said:

Edit: It is also possible to modify some US-spec Honda headlamp housings to accept regular H4s; 3rd and 4th gens can do this; 5th and 6th gens I think cannot.]

Are you referring to home made alterations, or some kind of commercially available ring adapter? I see this kind of thing on EBay (below) but I'm not entirely convinced it would position the lamp in the right place.

1-X-P45T-R2-H5-to-P43T-H4-BULB-ADAPTER-MOTORCYCLE-SCOOTER-MOPED-OLDTIMER-CLASSIC

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer

I was referring to the Bob Peloquin "Dremel mod" of the 3rd/4th gen headlamps.  It's a messy procedure, but the design of the OEM headlamps makes it an elegant and OEM-like solution.  The later reflectors don't seem to have the same extra holes molded into the plastic.

 

Sure, those adapter rings would work if they're designed and manufactured properly.  But the old-style stamped metal "H4 adapter rings" used to position the bulb 1-2mm deeper into the reflectors.   Bob Peloquin also once drew a diagram showing the effect that had on the beam pattern (not real good).  The main problem with cutting off the locating tabs is that different manufacturers make the rest of the bulb differently; only the location of the tabs and the filaments is "homologated" so that it is the same for every bulb meeting the H4 spec.  If you rely on a non-homologated part of a bulb to position it precisely within the reflector, it could sit differently than a different H4 made by another manufacturer.  When the spec is set out to tenths or hundredths of a millimeter, that could result in a noticeable difference.  (But maybe not?)  

 

I've never seen those rings before, but they look like someone's thought about the issues and actually tried to resolve the problems, which IMHO is a lot better than the "suck it and see" school of thought which usually prevails in these sorts of things...

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just replaced both my bulbs with H4's and felt that they did not sit very securely with only 1 tab. I could move the connector around and see the effect on the beam. I put in a pair of the shims available on Amazon that locate the bulb closely in the shim on the outer shape and the little tabs at the bottom. The shim is about 1mm thick. I checked it against my garage door before and after and the only difference was that the beam pattern was raised slightly, wheras before it was slightly below horizontal at 20ft. The bulb was more securely seated and did not move around when I tried to move the connector.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Whist the discussion is going on...I have a question

My 07 VFR has H4 looking low beam and H7 looking high beam lights

But unlike a regular car... they only operate on one beam

as in... if I had H4's in a car... they would operate as low and high beam due to the 2 filements

Why does Honda not use both filaments or the globes ?

Can I adapt the wiring of the H4 to use both so when high is engaged... the second filament is used ?

And which beam is the bike currently using on either ... low of high filament on each globe

Anyone know ?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer
21 hours ago, JZH said:

I was referring to the Bob Peloquin "Dremel mod" of the 3rd/4th gen headlamps.  It's a messy procedure, but the design of the OEM headlamps makes it an elegant and OEM-like solution.  The later reflectors don't seem to have the same extra holes molded into the plastic.

 

Sure, those adapter rings would work if they're designed and manufactured properly.  But the old-style stamped metal "H4 adapter rings" used to position the bulb 1-2mm deeper into the reflectors.   Bob Peloquin also once drew a diagram showing the effect that had on the beam pattern (not real good).  The main problem with cutting off the locating tabs is that different manufacturers make the rest of the bulb differently; only the location of the tabs and the filaments is "homologated" so that it is the same for every bulb meeting the H4 spec.  If you rely on a non-homologated part of a bulb to position it precisely within the reflector, it could sit differently than a different H4 made by another manufacturer.  When the spec is set out to tenths or hundredths of a millimeter, that could result in a noticeable difference.  (But maybe not?)  

 

I've never seen those rings before, but they look like someone's thought about the issues and actually tried to resolve the problems, which IMHO is a lot better than the "suck it and see" school of thought which usually prevails in these sorts of things...

 

Ciao,

 

You've inspired me to dig out a set of LEDs and try a middle course...somewhere between the Bob Peloquin solution and the suck it and see. Probably closer to suck it and see... I'll say this much, they sure are bright!

 

IMG_5460.jpg.3eeb498083699ffd24b9ba2def3eeff9.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Headlight Revolution have some good comparison videos on YouTube between LEDs and Halogens in a variety of housings (all car and truck, but light is light). I'm not suggesting they are the ultimate resource but their videos are fairly objective and present the results in a manner you can evaluate yourself. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhombf0sgTNxJQbzAIIhSXdlMx7eogh6Y     

As they state, brightness isn't as important as beam pattern, the lighting variant of 'Power is nothing without control'.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Member Contributer
12 hours ago, Neil said:

Whist the discussion is going on...I have a question

My 07 VFR has H4 looking low beam and H7 looking high beam lights

But unlike a regular car... they only operate on one beam

as in... if I had H4's in a car... they would operate as low and high beam due to the 2 filements

Why does Honda not use both filaments or the globes ?

Can I adapt the wiring of the H4 to use both so when high is engaged... the second filament is used ?

And which beam is the bike currently using on either ... low of high filament on each globe

Anyone know ?

 

 

The dual filament H4 bulb is a bodge of a design, driven by the desire to create a replaceable-bulb, homologated hi-lo halogen headlamp in a small package.  With the two filaments stacked on top of one another it's surprising it all works in the same reflector at all.  But the bulbs are everywhere and cheap as chips, so if Honda had the space for a four-bulb headlight on the RC46-II, they probably reasoned that using the H4 for the low beam only could actually work quite well, if the reflector was then optimised for just the dipped beam (rather than somehow also work with a full, unshielded filament located 5mm below the shielded one).  You could wire it up to illuminate on high beam, but the reflector is probably not designed to focus the light emitted by the unshielded filament--it could go anywhere.  You can try it, but having a lot of light illuminating the ground in front of the bike might not be as beneficial as you might want.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Member Contributer

 

I tried these, they work quite well. I did however decide not to use the rubber boots with them. They’re aimed well and very much brighter than the halogens.

BEAMTECH H4 LED Headlight Bulb, 50W 6500K 8000Lumens Extremely Brigh (9003 Hi/Lo) CSP Chips Conversion Kit

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.