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  • I’m happy with filament bulbs

    Votes: 6 14.6%
  • I’m happy with my HID

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I’d be happier with an LED

    Votes: 14 34.1%
  • I have an LED (and I’m happy with it)

    Votes: 15 36.6%
  • I’m just happy, and you’re talking bollox

    Votes: 6 14.6%

  • Total voters
    41
  • Poll closed .
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

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Discussion Starter #1
This is to do with LED lighting on the TW, primarily because of the robustness of solid state over filament bulbs. The change over makes perfect sense with regards to rear brake/tail lighting, as it’s a simple bulb swap, and the last thing you need is to have your rear lights go out. Indicators – not so important, and done more for fashion in some circumstances. Even if you do all the above, you only save a load of “not a lot” – it’s changing the headlight bulb that lightens the load the most

But first – let’s take a look at the “tech”. Yer average life span of a filament bulb (on a scale of one to ten) lasts for about a “two”. Vibration is the killer, closely followed by voltage over loads. It could fail in the first year, or the fifth, but it will fail. Meanwhile, they suck up the watts for relatively low “lumens” – (more about “lumens” later)

Then along came the advent of the HID – “high intensity discharge”. As the name suggests, these are basically fluorescent bulbs. No more fragile filaments, mostly “solid state”, but relies on the gasses inside the bulb to work. With the inclusion of a “step up” ballast (about the size of a cigarette packet and easily stuffed behind the TW cowling), there’s little chance of voltage spikes spoiling your day. But again, if you have ever used fluorescent lighting, you’ll be lucky to get five years out of a bulb, so I’m going to give HID a lifespan rating of about 5 out of ten

But the major advantage to HID’s, is the “lumens”. With fluorescent tech, we now have the capability to take it up to 6000, which is “daylight” to the human eye. Anything less is “soft lighting” – anything more is “harsh blue lighting” – but 6000 is about where you want to be

Then along comes LED. “In the beginning”, LED bulbs were restricted to smaller bulbs, tail lights, indicators, torches etc, but in recent years, the product range has opened up considerably. Take a two AA cell Mag light torch with a filament bulb in it, and it will illuminate the darkness for ten feet, with a warm yellow glow. Change just the bulb over to the LED, and now you have a “bright white” light with a range of over 100 feet. (Of course, you couldn’t fit a HID in a torch, but you get the idea of just how far tech has come along in the last five or so years)

Extrapolate that to the TW, and there are obvious advantages to be gained – and as LED’s are entirely solid state, no “contained gasses” to worry about, ballasts or vibration issues etc, I’m going to give a life span rating of 9. Indeed, most car manufacturers say that the LED lasts the “life of the car” – but let’s take a closer look at that ….

What is the life span of a car (according to the manufacturer) these days – ten years ? – still, not bad I suppose (I’m talking about the bulb here). The other issue, is the wide difference in manufacturing quality (at the moment). Car manufacturers have “buying power”, and their reputation depends on the quality of the products it puts into its cars (yeah I know, but the theory is sound). Then there’s Fleabay, which is like shooting fish in a barrel – what floats to the surface is anybody’s guess. Most of the household LED’s I’ve bought recently are still going, but a few have failed (same batch) in the first six months

Over time, I have no doubt that LED’s will become more reliable, and you still get the 6000 lumens, so what should we watch out for …

First up, is cheap Chinese bulbs. “But ultimately, they’re all Chinese” I hear you cry – and you’d be right. But if you buy a “branded product”, that brand has put its reputation on the line, and is likely to have specified a higher spec from the manufacturer. This is a simple case of “you get what you pay for, or you rely on luck”

Second up, is if the LED isn’t placed within the reflector precisely, the performance can reduce dramatically. So it no longer becomes a case of “just getting the replacement bulb” – it needs to “work as part of a unit” to be truly effective

Or am I overthinking this ?

Why am I typing this all out ? – simply because I’m trying to figure out if I should swap out my HID for an LED, and if I do down the LED route, how far should I take it ?
 

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I have a JNS LED headlight and love it. The amount (lumens) and colour (degrees Kelvin - K) are great, and the power savings are going to allow me to put some aux lighting on in the future. This is the type of lighting these bikes should be equipped with from the factory.
 

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I don't know how so many on the forum ride in the dark with stock bulbs. I have ventured rough trails (probably mild to most on here) several times just to have the headlight go out a few days later. My guess is that it is like the old incandescent light bulb drop light. It works great until you move it and the filament can't handle both heat and movement and poof the light goes out. If Houston wasn't so lit up I might go ahead and change to an led.
 

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Point me to a good LED headlight bulb that is a "plug and play" for the TW and I will switch.
x2 . Same.
Philips 11342XUWX2
I had the previous(gen1) model in my car, and had it tested at a techical inspection center and the beam completely complied with the halogen beam standard.
The headlight was reflector type.
 

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All I know is am in crazy-love with my JNS headlight unit!
 

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Philips 11342XUWX2
I had the previous(gen1) model in my car, and had it tested at a techical inpection center and the beam completely complied with the halogen beam standard.
The headlight was reflector type.
Thank you. Holy crap that’s pricey. But thank you for the info nonetheless.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A couple of questions for the JNS users:

Is it adjustable up and down

Is it adjustable left and right

Is the reflector biased left or right – or is the beam centred “straight ahead” ?
 

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A bright headlight is a good start, but You really want/ need a helmet light for any night riding.
Wherever you look is lit up and this kills the tunnel vision created by the headlight. It fills in the dark spots And let’s you see down offshoots of the trail.

Trailtech had dual hid’s which were amazing but I cheaped out and use a bike halogen with a water bottle shaped battery. The trailtech hid’s are so bright I just follow my buddy closely. The halogen is more like a flashlight compared to the hid’s but it is self contained and works off bike, which is hugely handy. I have found It doesn’t take a lot of lumens if it’s focused where you’re looking.

If you do run a helmet light you need to learn to look away from oncoming traffic and hikers who step off trail, I still forget but am usually quickly reminded.
 

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Yes, it’s adjustable up and down.

The low beam pattern cut-off is flat and symmetrical left to right. No bias and no need for left to right adjustment.

The JNS headlight aim on the attached photo is a bit higher but you should be able to appreciate the difference in light output and pattern width.



A couple of questions for the JNS users:

Is it adjustable up and down

Is it adjustable left and right

Is the reflector biased left or right – or is the beam centred “straight ahead” ?
 

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I need another category: I am too old to ride trails at night (it's hard enough in daylight)

I try not to ride at night and it would be nice to have a better headlight. That being said, If you are really serious about trail riding at night you need a good helmet mounted light.
 

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Another question to JNS... Is there any regulation for the light?

The biggest led failure for home, auto and rv interior lights is the CHEAP electronics used to regulate, drop down the voltage to keep the LED's operating within there fairly narrow current/voltage specs.. Push them too bright and the life expectancy is from a few hours to a few hundreds, not the 10,000 hrs led's are expected to live.

Jim
 

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I've been having pleasant results with simple ~$20 plug & play H4 bulbs as long as they have three emmitter faces on seperate pylons. Ones like these current offerings:
[Sponsored]Auxbeam LED Headlight Bulbs F-S2 Series LED Headlights with 2 Pcs of H4 LEDConversion Kits72W 8000lm Hi-Lo Beam

I back them up with another ~$20 of spot beams like these, they bold directly to forks w/o need for any adaptors or brackets:
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)

They create lighting like this but usually I aim the spot lights much further down the trail:

An alleged total of about 7500 lumens. The spots usually cast noticeably bright pools of light on upcoming tree trunks during daylight if in the shade. Total combined draw is about same 55 watts as single oem H4 bulb.
 

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If anyone wants H4 HIDs I have a pair with HID low beam and Halogen high beam plug-n-play H4 bulbs for a nominal contribution. PM me. Low beam seems way too bright for street use, I took them out of a truck but they should fit in a TW if you can hide the ballast.
 
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