Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

LED headlights

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by seanc19, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. OK, I've searched a bunch of forums and haven't found info I was looking for. This is my first post so apologies if I didn't look hard enough, but....

    Are there any H4 LED headlight globes on the market that have BOTH high and low beam set-ups which DO not require additional relays to the wiring loom?

    Has anyone come across any, or is a relay the ONLY way to get both a high and low beam on a drop in H4 to replace the standard 55w/60w versions?

    Please be tolerant, I am a brand new member (so nothing snarky please) - am bewildered after traipsing through a million google searches and various forums on this site, I couldn't find a STRAIGHT, BASIC answer to my question; so YES (details of where to buy would be greatly appreciated) or NO.

    Thanks in advance folks :)
    • Like Like x 2
  2. @Ox-34 or @Highett might be the ones to ask with no disrespect meant to others - these guys are serious long distance riders .
  3. Thanks Goldnine for the tip :)
  4. Hi Ox-34: does your suggestion require relays to be added to the wiring loom for those globes to operate as you mention (40% on low, 100% on high) or can you drop the lamp straight in without any modifications? Thanking you in advance :)
  5. Ox-34, please ignore. I just googled the Denali kit and it's not what I was talking about - my bad.
  6.  Top
  7. Hi Seanc19

    I once tried to source some 'proper' aftermarket high powered LEDS to sit inside my current headlight housing but was never satisfied. There are straight replacement LED 'bulbs' with a bunch of little LEDs over a structure the same size as a 'normal' bulb. I found them to be terrible. Maybe there are better quality ones, but I didn't find them.

    There are apparently high output LEDs around, but they had a relay. In fact they had a ballast-like box that needed to be placed somewhere outside the headlight housing (much like many HID set-ups) and the little boxes had tiny fans to cool them down. Overall it looked too delicate for the exposed environment of a motorcycle.

    It does seem that Harley Davidson use LED lights as the 'stock' headlight in some of their models, but I have no experience with them.

    Do you mind if I ask do you have a particular project in mind, or are you just after an LED alternative for say a postie bike or something to save a little spark?
  8. Resurrecting an old thread. Several years have passed since it was started, and LED technology has improved.

    Has anyone played with a H4 LED replacement for their halogen globe? I've just replaced a blown light with a replacement halogen, and it led me to think that there must be something better.

    Has anyone tried the alternatives and can provide some insight?
  9. I'm in the same position as you, pugsley. Right now. How did you go? Any tips for me?

    I'm looking at h7 led for low beam and h9 for high.
  10. I got most of my better HID kit from TRS in the US, they've arguably have the best reputation in the aftermarket lighting industry. They have now released LED H7's (plus some other base platforms) but are pretty pricey US$120 pair plus postage: H7: Morimoto 2Stroke - LED Headlight Bulbs from The Retrofit Source


    Most LED headlight bulbs will have an extended rear on them, you need to make sure you have room for it behind the headlight housing, in fact these TRS bulbs have the smallest rear (heatsink) I've seen to date.

    Personally I see these having a similar issue as PnP HID replacement bulbs, i.e. the OEM halogen reflectors are designed for a spherical light source, the light pattern out of these bulbs may not give an optimum light spread. Just because it looks brighter doesn't necessarily translate to usable illumination and could even cause flaring to oncoming vehicles.

    Disclaimer: Although I've spent a small fortune with TRS getting a twin Bi-Xenon Projector headlight setup, I'm not affiliated with them.
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. #11 malJohann, Oct 3, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
    Opt7 supplies a drop-in focussed hi-low beam with proper cutoff for $129 AUD shipped for two units. They cater for most if not all adaptor types. Here's an eBay link for a H4: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/281785759915
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. #12 Geoff3DMN, Oct 3, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
    I had a Hoglights LED headlight unit fitted to my HD Switchback, I'm very pleased with the result.

    They sell them for Harleys, Triumphs, Victories and other bikes using 5.75 inch or 7 inch round headlights (which these days is mostly cruiser style bikes).

    HogLights Australia - Light up your ride!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. I have a Philips Xtreme Ultinon LED Car lamp H4 6200k fitted to my XJR1300, model reference 12953BWX2.

    Unlike a lot of other aftermarket units, these have a shade and reflector right above the LED chip top and bottom that supposedly mimics a halogen light pattern. I gave this unit a shot since they're touted to be a drop in replacement bulb for light units designed for a halogen light source, and designed by Philips, a company with products in halogen, HID, and now LED. They're designed for cars, so I wasn't sure about their reliability on a bike, but so far so good after about 6 months.

    The product consists of the actual bulb unit that clips into the lighting housing, and a control unit. The bulb unit has a detachable heatsink that screws on and off, which makes installation easy, and no need to cut any rubber sealing behind the headlight. The control unit and bulb are separated by a short cable. The control unit is waterproof, and I have mine installed above the headlight/behind the instrument cluster i.e. facing right into the elements (naked bike). I can post photos once I get enough posts. The connection is by a standard H4, drop in replacement.

    I'm quite happy with this unit. Certainly an improvement over the standard halogen. The light pattern is close to halogen as well. Note that the XJR1300 has a 'cut' lens front, rather than a multi-reflector design so I cannot comment how the light will behave on newer headlight casings. Before installing these, I used a Bellof Daytona HID Evolution Neo 4300k for about 4 years. Compared to the HIDs, the LED has a perceived lower absolute light output. I prefer the LEDs in urban environments as with the HID the brightness was sometimes overpowering the eyes, and often I needed a moment to readjust my eyes to other lower intensity light sources while on the road (e.g. bicycle tail lights). If you're travelling solo on back roads though, the HIDs still are definitely brighter.

    Note that they draw about one third the current of standard halogen. Depending on how your ride regulates voltage, you may want to add a separate electrical load to help save your regulator from overheating. I swapped out all of my lighting to LEDs so have a few load resistors just burning off electricity into heat.

    They're not exactly cheap, but I think they're worth the money coming from a company like Philips.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Forgot to say, unlike some of the cheaper units, these are passive cooling, heatsink only. One less component to fail.
  15. See if you can get an LED indicator relay 5EA75EA7 , this will save on powering/installing those load resistors, wasting power is a pet hate of mine.

    Most LED relays also let you have a mixture of LEDs and normal bulbs so if you get caught out in the sticks and don't have a replacement LED bulb you can put in normal bulbs and not worry about the wiring.
  16. Hi barry_mcki, regarding the indicator relay, I have changed out my stock one to an IC unit compatible from 1W up to 100W, so its actually not for the indicators. The load resistors I was referring to are continually drawing while the key is 'ON'. I have a temperature/volt metre installed on the instrument cluster, and I found that when I changed all bulbs to LED, the voltage shot up above 16V. I did some reading and found out that the type of generator/alternator on my bike keeps putting out a constant current regardless of load (permanent magnet?) and the input side is not adjusted to reduce the output current. Hence I figured the regulator must be dumping the excess current as heat. To reduce the chances of my regulator blowing (expensive) I have the load resistors in a well ventilated place doing the dumping.

    The OEM ratings for always on lights are:
    Headlight halogen 60W
    Tail light 5/21W x2
    Meter lights 1.7W x3
    totalling roughly 75W

    The replacement bulbs are:
    Headlight LED 23W
    Tail light 2/0.3W x2
    Meter lights 0.43W x3
    totalling roughly 25W

    So roughly one third, and I didn't want 50W being dumped through the regulator. This is what I figured through my limited experience anyway, and it seems to be working. I have daytime running lights and dashcams running, with the load resistors and the system voltage has settled back down to around 14.3 - 14.8V which is spot on what the service manual says is the output of the alternator.

    My bike is a 1999 model (and an even older design), so I am guessing that the newer models have a smarter electrical system than this though.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Put a Opt7 bulb in. Here are the daytime results for comparison. I'll post up halogen/LED beam shots later for before/after comparison.

    29780627580_8a798ed1bd_b. 30125891356_b4870ef2ea_b.
  18. The Opt7 LED comparison shots are in! Distances are 45 metres to the first road marker, then roughly 66 metres for each consecutive one after that (or three every 200 metres).

    Halogens first, in order is low-beam, then low-beam with DRLs, then high-beam, then high beam with DRLs. The DRLs serve well to light up right in front.

    30046612572_f90b43c84e_b. 30046610272_ce17ddede8_b. 30046612462_438e2085ab_b. 30076386211_f75ed5cd50_b.

    Now the LEDs, in order is low-beam, then low-beam with DRLs, then high-beam, then high-beam with DRLs.

    29532183133_bb31f2b032_b. 30160683335_49e9312016_b. 30125890586_2fd670635f_b. 30125890586_2fd670635f_b.

    Notable that there are some anomalies, but most of them beneficial IMO. The cutoff is a little jagged, but I think that might be due to a slight mis-alignment of the bulb in the reflector (think I bent the spring clip), because the light sources aren't exactly where they need to be, yet. The other anomaly is lighting of the sides of the road and trees, which isn't a bad thing IMO.

    Attached Files:

    • Informative Informative x 1
  19.  Top
  20. I have 55w HID's in the low beam (Projectors) and 35w LEDs in the high beam. The HID's are by far much, much better (brighter) but bear in mind, my bike has projector headlights for both low and high (nice sharp cutoff so HID's work properly). I have the LED's in high for flash purposes. The HID's are 5K colour temp and the LEDs are 6K (couldnt get lower than that unfortunately). 5K IMO is perfect, a nice, crisp white colour. The globes/ballast are rated at 5,000lm per globe for the HID's and about 3000lm per globe on the LED's.

    Got the kits from DDM tuning who were fantastic to deal with (had a broken HID globe when the kit turned up, and they sent out a replacement PAIR free!). The LED kits they offer are complete drop in replacements (like shown above).

    Highliy recommended - headlights are similar to my OEM Bi-Xenons in my euro car now for light output.
    • Informative Informative x 1