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Thread: Sylvania H4 Silver Star vs Led Bulb

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cerberus's Avatar
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    Sylvania H4 Silver Star vs Led Bulb

    New and inexperienced owner here.

    I would like to increase visibility at night with a brighter, stronger bulb. Ideally I'd like to buy the JNS Led Headlight but for now finances prevent me from doing so. I've read many of the thread about bulbs but I'm a tad confuse. The Sylvania is not a LED bulb, correct? And a LED bulb is supposed to use less energy from the bike. So which one is the brightest? I know nothing about electrical..hell I know nothing about bikes. That said is installation difficult? Do I need to go to a mechanic for this?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Hi Cerberus, here are the common options for headlight replacement/upgrade. If cost and ease are your main concerns, I would recommend a halogen replacement bulb for now, and save or ask Santa, or make a birthday wish for a JNS in the future. I've heard good things about the Osram, and you can get two for the price of one Silverstar Ultras. Here is an Amazon link... https://amzn.to/2SkHYbA

    Halogen replacement bulbs... Sylvania Silverstar & Silverstar Ultra, Osram Night Breaker, and Philips X-treme Vision, etc.

    Pros: Cheapest improved lighting option; direct swap makes it easy to change/install
    Cons: May be brighter than OEM, but often at the cost of lifespan (more heat & thiner filaments); higher watt usage than LED

    LED bulb replacement

    Pros: often offers brighter and whiter light than OEM or halogen; lower watt consumption making it good for freeing up that power for other accessories
    Cons: higher priced than halogen replacement bulbs, many options quality/price mean "good" ones can cost a lot; more difficult to install due to heat sink, fan, and power module; often throw a different beam pattern than the OEM halogen depending on brand (this can be good or bad)

    JNS headlight replacement

    Pros: engineered as a direct headlight replacement for the TW, easy plug and play (unless you want to wire in the optional DRL); brighter and whiter light than OEM, while using lower wattage
    Cons: $120 retail.

    Here is tdubskid installing a LED on his TW200 so you can see what is involved. For what it's worth, this was 2 years ago, and I'm sure I've heard him mention he will be installing the JNS soon.



    JNS TW200 quick install video...



    JNS video best showing the difference between it and OEM output...

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cerberus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Time Larry View Post
    Hi Cerberus, here are the common options for headlight replacement/upgrade. If cost and ease are your main concerns, I would recommend a halogen replacement bulb for now, and save or ask Santa, or make a birthday wish for a JNS in the future. I've heard good things about the Osram, and you can get two for the price of one Silverstar Ultras. Here is an Amazon link... https://amzn.to/2SkHYbA

    Halogen replacement bulbs... Sylvania Silverstar & Silverstar Ultra, Osram Night Breaker, and Philips X-treme Vision, etc.

    Pros: Cheapest improved lighting option; direct swap makes it easy to change/install
    Cons: May be brighter than OEM, but often at the cost of lifespan (more heat & thiner filaments); higher watt usage than LED

    LED bulb replacement

    Pros: often offers brighter and whiter light than OEM or halogen; lower watt consumption making it good for freeing up that power for other accessories
    Cons: higher priced than halogen replacement bulbs, many options quality/price mean "good" ones can cost a lot; more difficult to install due to heat sink, fan, and power module; often throw a different beam pattern than the OEM halogen depending on brand (this can be good or bad)

    JNS headlight replacement

    Pros: engineered as a direct headlight replacement for the TW, easy plug and play (unless you want to wire in the optional DRL); brighter and whiter light than OEM, while using lower wattage
    Cons: $120 retail.

    Here is tdubskid installing a LED on his TW200 so you can see what is involved. For what it's worth, this was 2 years ago, and I'm sure I've heard him mention he will be installing the JNS soon.



    JNS TW200 quick install video...



    JNS video best showing the difference between it and OEM output...


    Larry, thank you for the explanation, very clear, now I know which way to go. Thank you again and Merry Xmas.
    Tweaker, Darth, buellzebub and 1 others like this.

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I've been very happy with very affordable H4 LED replacement bulbs similar to these:[Sponsored]Auxbeam LED Headlight Bulbs F-S2 Series LED Headlights with 2 Pcs of H4 LED Conversion Kits72W 8000lm Hi-Lo Beam. Mine are a little different & brighter than the 4,000 lumen rating of these but idea is the three sided light emitting pylons of this type of design casts a much better pattern ahead of the bike than the older common simpler style featuring light being emitted from only one side of the tower, or pylon that uses only a portion to the TW's reflector to reflect light.
    New LED H4 replacement bulb models come out frequently and the prices seem to fall over time with competition and economy of scale as more and more get sold with increased consumer demand. One can get very good quality lighting for not much money if one does a little comparison shopping. Unfortunately in my opinion many of the domestic brick and motor stores seem to offer older inventory they likely acquired at older prices and thus do not seem to offer as good of value as shopping for fresh models at competitive prices.

    I'm not saying to buy the pair identified, they were quickly selected from many, many options one can find of e-bay or Amazon. Spend a little time looking and you will be overwhelmed by options.

    I don't ride public roads much so my lighting is off-road oriented and like all LED or H.I.D. lighting is not road legal for a TW or any other vehicle in California if that vehicle was not available from the factory equipped with, or available as an option, LED or H.I.D. lighting. This law seems to be very rarely enforced. However if you are especially concerned then the Sylvania or other upgraded Halogens are a bit brighter but more legal option. I did remove a Hella H4 Halogen bulb from one of my TWs that was brighter than the stock bulb and have run the Sylvanias as upgrades in automobiles.

    EDIT: Any of the LEDs are significantly brighter and consume a fraction of the power of older generation tungsten incandescent & halogen bulbs.
    Another option to consider is keeping stock headlight for legality and supplementing with auxiliary LED light pods that you can selectively switch on or off as desired. I favor
    these affordable pods as they bolt right up to the reflector brackets on the lower triple clamp bolts with no need for additional brackets and the light they generate is phenomenal. 2 of WEISIJI 20W 4 Inch Daytime Running Lights 4D Lens Spot Beam Led Work Light Bar for Cars/Jeep Wrangler/4x4-Jeep Cabin/UTE/SUV/ATV/Truck/Car/Boat/Fishing (2PCS)
    Last edited by Fred; 12-25-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Sample video showing above lighting. One can see difference between yellow cooler temperature halogen on buddies 2018 KLX headlight and my 5,000 lumen headlight plus square pattern of the aux. spot lights.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Cerberus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    I've been very happy with very affordable H4 LED replacement bulbs similar to these:[Sponsored]Auxbeam LED Headlight Bulbs F-S2 Series LED Headlights with 2 Pcs of H4 LED Conversion Kits72W 8000lm Hi-Lo Beam. Mine are a little different & brighter than the 4,000 lumen rating of these but idea is the three sided light emitting pylons of this type of design casts a much better pattern ahead of the bike than the older common simpler style featuring light being emitted from only one side of the tower, or pylon that uses only a portion to the TW's reflector to reflect light.
    New LED H4 replacement bulb models come out frequently and the prices seem to fall over time with competition and economy of scale as more and more get sold with increased consumer demand. One can get very good quality lighting for not much money if one does a little comparison shopping. Unfortunately in my opinion many of the domestic brick and motor stores seem to offer older inventory they likely acquired at older prices and thus do not seem to offer as good of value as shopping for fresh models at competitive prices.

    I'm not saying to buy the pair identified, they were quickly selected from many, many options one can find of e-bay or Amazon. Spend a little time looking and you will be overwhelmed by options.

    I don't ride public roads much so my lighting is off-road oriented and like all LED or H.I.D. lighting is not road legal for a TW or any other vehicle in California if that vehicle was not available from the factory equipped with, or available as an option, LED or H.I.D. lighting. This law seems to be very rarely enforced. However if you are especially concerned then the Sylvania or other upgraded Halogens are a bit brighter but more legal option. I did remove a Hella H4 Halogen bulb from one of my TWs that was brighter than the stock bulb and have run the Sylvanias as upgrades in automobiles.

    EDIT: Any of the LEDs are significantly brighter and consume a fraction of the power of older generation tungsten incandescent & halogen bulbs.
    Another option to consider is keeping stock headlight for legality and supplementing with auxiliary LED light pods that you can selectively switch on or off as desired. I favor
    these affordable pods as they bolt right up to the reflector brackets on the lower triple clamp bolts with no need for additional brackets and the light they generate is phenomenal. 2 of WEISIJI 20W 4 Inch Daytime Running Lights 4D Lens Spot Beam Led Work Light Bar for Cars/Jeep Wrangler/4x4-Jeep Cabin/UTE/SUV/ATV/Truck/Car/Boat/Fishing (2PCS)
    Thank you Fred. You are right there are a gazillion options.

  8. #7
    Senior Member RaZed1's Avatar
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    Take the claimed lumen ratings of the cheapo bulbs with a grain of salt. They're almost always wildly unrealistic. Headlight Revolution (look up on youtube) does actual real world testing (with the bulb in a headlight, as if it was installed in a vehicle) and the actual lumens delivered "to the road" is frequently less than a plain halogen. To the eye they might be brighter, but the light scatters all over the place, with little of it being focused on where you need it. There's a reason the JNS (and other purpose built LED lights) have very different lenses compared to a traditional headlight- and why these have excellent beam patterns with a sharp low-beam cutoff(something that's difficult to do with a LED retrofit "bulb"). Some of the best bulbs (JW Speaker) have lumen ratings towards the lower end but an excellent focus, so from the driver seat so to speak, they appear much brighter than one with more lumens but poor focus.

    Since the JNS headlight is available as a simple plug and play for the TW (and it works great with a very nice beam pattern), I'd go for that. But if that's a little too spendy, I have had decent luck with LED products from ALLA lighting (ebay or amazon). They definitely seem a step above the usual Chinese junk.
    Darth likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    I run a 80/100 watt bulb in mine. While it's not as bright as an LED if it goes out on a trip finding a new one is easy. Don't think you can say the same about LED's.
    JerseyJeeper and Darth like this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member YamTW87's Avatar
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    Although a bit expensive, the best H4 LED hedlight bulbs available that won't glare and pass every h4 bulb safety test(exept being LED,tested by many in the net including myself) are the Philips H4 Ultinon 12901HPX2(I PAID to have them tested in my car that the beam fully comply with H4 specs in a very strict automotive techical inspection center locally) and 11342ULX2. Also,they have passive cooling,no fan.
    Last edited by YamTW87; 01-02-2019 at 01:17 PM.

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    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    Interesting point.
    I wonder if there is any research comparing durability of various bulb types?
    Very pleased so far with my JNS LED setup...and it appears bullet-proof.
    I got the "black" reflector option, just 'cause it looks so cool! No advantage to it, as far as I know.
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Xracer View Post
    I run a 80/100 watt bulb in mine. While it's not as bright as an LED if it goes out on a trip finding a new one is easy. Don't think you can say the same about LED's.
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