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Author Topic: Changing Bulbs to LEDs  (Read 12203 times)

Grommit

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Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« on: April 05, 2009, 11:19:08 PM »
Some time ago there was a post about LED bulbs as replacement for the stock filament bulbs. Here is my contribution to the discussion. My bike is a 2009 Military.

I have replaced the BA9s "Pilot" bulbs with brighter white LED bulbs. The white is actually closer to the blue one sees in the specialty headlamps. I'm going to order up a set of LED turn signal lamps. An LED has an "instant on, instant off" characterstic that is perceived by the human eye faster than an incandescent bulb which "fades in, fades out". That alone is a good reason for using them on a motorcycle!

I have the 4 amber turn signal, white tail/brake, and the BA9s lamps for the speedometer (green turn, blue hi beam, green neutral, white speedometer face lamp) and another white for the ammeter. I'm waiting for an opportunity to dig into the headlamp shell to get at those bulbs. With sunglasses/dark goggles it is almost impossible to see the turn signal indicator lamp. It's easier to watch for the flickering of the ammeter. Hopefully the new LED will be brighter than the stock bulb.

The total cost to replace all the bulbs comes to $42.71 plus shipping of around $4. It seems like a lot but the reliability factor makes it worthwhile to me. Add to the cost of the bulbs a flasher designed for the LED bulbs, $12.95 (solid state).

I bought the LED bulbs from superbrightleds.com. I've used their 24V LED bulbs for a couple of years and they are great.
1960 Daimler Ferret Armoured Car
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre
2009 Bullet Military

Rick Sperko

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 12:23:22 AM »
I replaced all of my bulbs with LEDs except for the headlight and am really happy with them. Bought them from the same place. Oh, I added the LED tombstone tail light too, and hooked in one of the blink several times then go solid brake light devices.

I had someone turn left in front of me last year and ended up with a broken arm, so I am determined to be as visible as possible, while not relying on the other guy.

-Rick
Rick in Milwaukee, WI

'06 RE Bullet Classic Iron
'63 VW Beetle Ragtop (also classic)
'66 Chris Craft Cavalier Cutlass 26'
'02 BMW R1150R

Grommit

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 01:26:01 AM »
This is from Superbrightleds - others may have similar prices. The later bikes have 12 bulbs total.

Bulb, 1157, white (tail and brake), 1157-W24, $12.99
Bulb, 67, amber (L/F turn signal), 67-A15, $4.95
Bulb, 67, amber (L/R turn signal), 67-A15, $4.95
Bulb, 67, amber (R/F turn signal), 67-A15, $4.95
Bulb, 67, amber (R/R turn signal), 67-A15, $4.95
Bulb, BA9s, super blue (high beam indicator), A9s-B4, $2.98
Bulb, BA9s, super green (neutral indicator), BA9S-G4, $2.98
Bulb, BA9s, super green (turn signal indicator), BA9S-G4,  $2.98
Bulb, BA9s, super white (right pilot lamp), BA9S-W4, $2.98
Bulb, BA9s, super white (left pilot lamp), BA9S-W4, $2.98
Bulb, BA9s, super white (ammeter), BA9S-W4, $2.98
Bulb, BA7s, white (speedometer), BA7S-W, $1.49
LED (or incandescent) Bulb Flasher Unit, CF12ANL-01, $12.95
TOTAL, $65.11
(shipping was $5)
With this setup you may never have change out a bulb as long as you own the bike! They claim 50,000 hours on the LEDs.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 08:14:17 PM by Grommit »
1960 Daimler Ferret Armoured Car
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre
2009 Bullet Military

geoffbaker

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 01:32:50 AM »
grommit, if you dig back on the forum on LEDs you should come across my contribution as well. I built a 73-LED unit that fit in the taillamp of the existing bullet and was twice as bright as a standard filament lamp... also all flashers, instrument lamps etc converted to LED.

Grommit

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 08:11:45 PM »
grommit, if you dig back on the forum on LEDs you should come across my contribution as well. I built a 73-LED unit that fit in the taillamp of the existing bullet and was twice as bright as a standard filament lamp... also all flashers, instrument lamps etc converted to LED.

I wanted to list just the simple items that were "plug 'n play", with virtually no mechanical or electrical skills involved. How many Enfield owners does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, I hope.
1960 Daimler Ferret Armoured Car
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre
2009 Bullet Military

BigDon

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 02:37:43 PM »
Grommit

Is the LED (1157-w24 ) as bright as the current incandescent?

Same question on the turn indicators.

Thanks
Big Don
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Rick Sperko

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 03:03:19 PM »
Quote from: BigDon  link=topic=3881.msg43626#msg43626 date=1239287863
Grommit

Is the LED (1157-w24 ) as bright as the current incandescent?

Same question on the turn indicators.

Thanks
Big Don

You can see some pictures showing the differences here: http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/forum/index.php/topic,2729.15.html

Those are 1156 to 1156 comparisons, but should give a feel for the brightness of an 1157.

-Rick
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 07:44:36 PM by Rick Sperko »
Rick in Milwaukee, WI

'06 RE Bullet Classic Iron
'63 VW Beetle Ragtop (also classic)
'66 Chris Craft Cavalier Cutlass 26'
'02 BMW R1150R

geoffbaker

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 07:30:03 PM »
Quote from: BigDon  link=topic=3881.msg43626#msg43626 date=1239287863
Grommit

Is the LED (1157-w24 ) as bright as the current incandescent?

Same question on the turn indicators.

Thanks
Big Don

Don, I bought some 5W luxeons - the brightest on the market - and while they were brighter than the regular incandescent, they also are incredibly delicate - both mine blew thanks to loose tongues & wires in the housing...

I built a very simple LED twice as bright as the standard incandescent for about $20. It required soldering three wires, if I remember right... very easy.

Look it up on the threads if you're interested.

BigDon

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 08:50:33 PM »
Thanks Geoff.
BigDon
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08 RE Classic, the last of the Iron Barrel Bikes.(FireBall!)
05 Suzuki DRZ 400, for haulin' xxx in the woods!
09 BMW R1200GSA for a change of pace!
http://www.youtube.com/user/SlooDon#p/u

geoffbaker

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 03:58:12 AM »
You're welcome, Don.

I forgot to add, I also built my own 37-LED turn indicators, also brighter than stock, for $15 each. I also added a "lightbar" on the back which is both brake and turn signal, and everyone comments on how visible the bike is. And all use about 1/30 the draw of standard incandescents.

Think of it this way... you can keep adding LEDs till you look like a Christmas tree... and still save on power consumption... ultimately, LEDs are much better, unless you are confined to using stock LEDs in the original housing. These tend to be less powerful.

I think I posted some comparison pictures, too...

Grommit

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 07:55:39 PM »
I had not yet ridden my Military at night, so the discovery I made was inside the garage, lights off. I wanted to see how bright the LED lamps were in the dark.

Big surprise! For some reason when the left lamps are blinking, the right lamps also blink, but very, very dimly. Same with the right signals, left LEDs blink dimly. There is apparently a crossover somewhere in the turn signal circuit.

After I stopped to think about it, I don't mind if the opposite turn lamp blinks very dimly as the additional blinking might help bring attention to the fact that the rider is going to turn, There is no comparison in the intensity between the selected lamp and the dim one. Strange, but something I can easily live with!
1960 Daimler Ferret Armoured Car
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre
2009 Bullet Military

Grommit

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 08:06:52 PM »
The LED bulbs are available in various configurations. A bulb may have anywhere from 4 to 24 or more LED bulbs clustered in the base. You can determine which LED type will fit in your housing, and that way select the level of brightness based on the number of LEDs. My tail/brake LED is an 1157 base with 24 LEDs. I would have perferred to use a red bulb but need white for the license plate illumination.
My amber turn bulbs have 24 LEDs, and the BA9s pilot and other lamps are 4 LED bulbs.
I've also reactivated the right handlebar lamp switch. Military vehicles have to be able to switch off visible lamps. An added plus is not having the headlamp and tail lamp on when using the electric starter, so the only lamp on is the neutral lamp.
1960 Daimler Ferret Armoured Car
2007 Honda Shadow Sabre
2009 Bullet Military

geoffbaker

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 04:33:07 AM »
I had not yet ridden my Military at night, so the discovery I made was inside the garage, lights off. I wanted to see how bright the LED lamps were in the dark.

Big surprise! For some reason when the left lamps are blinking, the right lamps also blink, but very, very dimly. Same with the right signals, left LEDs blink dimly. There is apparently a crossover somewhere in the turn signal circuit.

After I stopped to think about it, I don't mind if the opposite turn lamp blinks very dimly as the additional blinking might help bring attention to the fact that the rider is going to turn, There is no comparison in the intensity between the selected lamp and the dim one. Strange, but something I can easily live with!

Grommit, I would suggest you  not live with it.
When one light blinks dimly and the other is bright, it is defnitely a sign of voltage crossover... which means you could very soon have a major voltage crossover, known as a short.

You are leaking voltage through either a faulty connection or a wire that has been damaged, and that could lead to what I found when I opened up my wiring harness after months of erratic electrical issues... three feet of melted wire.

You really can't "live with" that...

Chances are good it will get worse, and could affect other systems.

The Garbone

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2009, 07:01:43 PM »
Bad flasher possibly or a slight short.... hmmm..
Gary
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mtrueblood

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Re: Changing Bulbs to LEDs
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2009, 08:42:49 PM »
I posted a question about changing pilot light bulbs to LEDs in another forum before discovering this forum.  I think this gives me most of what I need.  

Am I correct in thinking that these LEDs fit into the same base as the bulbs?  I'm not familiar with LEDs, but what I read on the Internet made me think that I was just getting something with two wire leads coming off of it, and that I'd have to do some Ohm's Law calculation and solder a resistor to one of the leads.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 10:09:21 PM by mtrueblood »
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