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  1. #1
    Active Member LifeLongRider's Avatar
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    Default LED Headlight Question

    I recently installed LED headlights in my F3Ltd. WOW, what a difference. I looked at numerous H4 LED bulbs before selecting the GENSSI LED headlight kit, part no. G7-ELT-H4 (see pic). Most LED H4 9003 bulbs I looked at do not include the circled components (see pic). Most just have the cable coming out of the rear of the bulb assembly with the 3-prong connector. I've seen descriptions of these components ranging from "thermal management heat sinks" to "external voltage regulators" to "CANbus LED drivers". Does anyone know specifically what these components are and what their function is?
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    2019 F3 Limited

  2. #2
    Active Member Rattlebars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLongRider View Post
    I recently installed LED headlights in my F3Ltd. WOW, what a difference. I looked at numerous H4 LED bulbs before selecting the GENSSI LED headlight kit, part no. G7-ELT-H4 (see pic). Most LED H4 9003 bulbs I looked at do not include the circled components (see pic). Most just have the cable coming out of the rear of the bulb assembly with the 3-prong connector. I've seen descriptions of these components ranging from "thermal management heat sinks" to "external voltage regulators" to "CANbus LED drivers". Does anyone know specifically what these components are and what their function is?
    Heat sinks are the big mushroom hickeys (highly technical term) on the bulbs.

  3. #3
    SpyderLovers Sponsor cptjam's Avatar
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    The heat sinks keep the led from overheating. Good ones are equipped with a fan. The external voltage regulator is a ballast the light needs to work. It fools the canbus into thinking it is a regular incandescent bulb, which uses more power. Try them and see. If not, there are proven models available from Lamont. Worth every penny! Joe
    Joe Meyer



    Dealer for the Outlaw/ROLO laser Alignment system

  4. #4
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    Howdy;

    Those are referred to as 'drivers' not 'ballasts. Ballasts is an old term dating back to fluorescents... and later, HID systems. Ballasts are typically multi-mode devices that have start and run profile phases as required by the tubes / capsules. Drivers are typically much simpler - in the case of LEDs they provide a constant-current source to the emitters, regardless of input voltage variations. Ensures the LEDs live longer than a few seconds, lol.

    On another note - for some factual info on the suitability of P&P LEDs in factory halogen housings, refer to this:

    https://www.danielsternlighting.com/...nversions.html

    Other genuinely excellent sources of info (if one were to actually care aboot truly high-performance, proper, effective vehicle lighting), go to The Retrofit Source,and/or HIDPlanet websites.

    Bottom line - there isn't a single available drop-in Plug & Pray system that produces a bright but well-controlled, uniform, wide beam pattern in a factory halogen housing.

    Which is why, as soon as my dang tricycle arrives, I'm initiating a full HID retrofit. Given Sir Lamont was so kind as to post up a vidya of the housings, it appears as though a Mini-H1, or possibly a MiniD2S projector can be made to fit. Measurements and rear clearance will determine which projector will be suitable.

    4500K colour temperature, (certainly no higher than 5000K - going up the spectrum into blue may look cool, but is useless - and actually REALLY useless & dangerous in the rain due to wavelength absorption), Morimoto components from TRS, 35 watt ballasts. And a method to inhibit headlight turn-on @ startup. Either a time-delay or manual control via a switch. Hot-restrikes are very bad juju.

    Looks like factory housings are aboot $155 Benjamins apiece. Not bad. And will allow for no downtime as work on the retrofitting progresses. Existing reflectors can be blacked out, painted body colour - git as fayncy and creative as you wish sky's the limit. Also allows a full return to stock for resale, etc. Do not yet know if the factory units use permaseal or reg'lar easily-to-bake-open butyl as the sealant around the lens. Will soon.

    The more you ride, in all-conditions, the more crucial investing the time and funds into this specific endeavour becomes. Serious riding demands serious lighting. Period. Be seen - sure - but you also need to SEE.

    [FWIW - Do not depend upon the various aftermarket kit offerings posing as 'fog' or 'driving' lights (which are two fundamentally different animals to boot) to effectively supplement the heads. The ones I see here are mostly fer show - provide some visibility fer the front end of the bike, but very little useful illumination travelling at 88 feet/second. Just indiscriminate 'blobs' of light. None are true dedicated 'fog' lights either. There is a specific optical architecture to achieve that. I have a set of BMW X5 LED fogs made by ZKW with an incredible fog-specific pattern - low, flat and very,very wide - that I will need to shoehorn into the stock aux lighting location. Fer that, the replacement factory blanks/grills for that area are Approx $15/each, as they WILL need to be heavily hogged out to fit the +3.5" housings. again - to facilitate minimal downtime and a return to stock if necessary.]

    DSCN0337.jpg



    Lastly - given some of the Spectacularly EXpen$ive moderooskies and 'Fartles' and non-functional bling y'all fellers & fellerettes throw yer beer money at, this project will probably end up being one of the cheapest - yet most effective and important - safety and functional improvements a ryder can make.

    Imagine a beautiful, bright, uniform beam pattern 8 lanes wide, with a proper well-defined SAE cutoff that does not impact oncoming traffic, and does not produce unwanted foreground lighting (which kills yer distance vision), Drool.

    snow1.jpg

    Can't wait. Don't leave home without 'em. $35k bikes deserve SO much better than inadequate, marginal rinky-dink Honda-Civic-wif-a Fartcan-driven-by-a-nipple-pierced-punk lighting. Heck - everyone deserves better, lol.

    Reckon this info is not fer everyone. Good thang I ain't 'everyone', eh? .


    Cheers
    E
    Last edited by Entropy; 06-16-2019 at 09:56 AM. Reason: spellin', and additional info

  5. #5
    Active Member Rattlebars's Avatar
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    Hey Canuck. That article is not relevant to the LED lights referred to. The ones from Lamont and Electrical Connections mimic the filament placement of the Halogens they replace. They do work well with the reflectors on our single bucket headlamp housing and the dual bucket gl1800 housings as well. They DO NOT just have a blinding blow of light without regard to the facets of the housing. I have not researched HIDs but most aftermarket versions are as he says, light explosions. As one grows older, too much light can be a problem because of feedback from road signs, especially the new prism overlays so one must be careful of throwing too much light.

    I find that the LEDs from Lamont and Electrical Connections do not throw too much and are a good addition. They do ameliorate that feedback problem even the stock halogens tend to generate. The >spot LEDs< I have installed in my Spyder offer narrow beams and do not make other drivers complain much.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Snowbelt Spyder's Avatar
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    Never mind. Deleted.


    Doug

    2012 Spyder RT LTD Lava Bronze, RT 622

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbelt Spyder View Post
    Yep. Not to mention that the copyright date of that article was 2011. Oh...guess I mentioned it after all.
    Which does not in any way invalidate the fundamental truths of the points made (and LEDS are mentioned). Is your Constitution invalid given it's date? The Bible? You can't alter basic physics. And it is still flat impossible to fully mimic the fully unshrouded filament - close, perhaps, but the reference design reflector/ OEM bulb filament alignment is measured in fractions of a millimeter. So - 'clocking' is pure fantasy.

    Stern still replies to email if you wanted to chat. Plus - TRS and HIDPlanet has tons of current relevant documentation.

    Ye kin lead a horse to water ......

    I'll back away from this - I can tell discern folks get all wedged up regarding things that conflict with their worldview . NP. Chill. We good. Like I said - I may care too much. Apologies.

    Cheers
    E

  8. #8
    Active Member LifeLongRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Which does not in any way invalidate the fundamental truths of the points made (and LEDS are mentioned). Is your Constitution invalid given it's date? The Bible? You can't alter basic physics. And it is still flat impossible to fully mimic the fully unshrouded filament - close, perhaps, but the reference design reflector/ OEM bulb filament alignment is measured in fractions of a millimeter. So - 'clocking' is pure fantasy.

    Stern still replies to email if you wanted to chat. Plus - TRS and HIDPlanet has tons of current relevant documentation.

    Ye kin lead a horse to water ......

    I'll back away from this - I can tell discern folks get all wedged up regarding things that conflict with their worldview . NP. Chill. We good. Like I said - I may care too much. Apologies.

    Cheers
    E

    Every forum I've ever belonged to has one . . and it appears you're it. I've added you to my ignore list.
    2019 F3 Limited

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