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Thread: Swapping out lamps for LED's in guage cluster ?

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Question Swapping out lamps for LED's in guage cluster ?

    A while ago, I read with interest a thread pertaining to swapping out the existing incandescent lamps in the gauges and indicator panel on a R1100RT. I even kept the web sight which was provided within that thread directing me to the seller of the LED's.
    http://superlumination.com/74.htm
    Problem is......the web sight sells a multitude of various led's and I am at a loss to what I should be aquiring. I cannot find the thread of yesteryear to direct me in the proper direction either. the reason I wish to persue the LED's is that many of the existing lamps are burnt out......and the work involved in getting to the guage cluster is ridiculous, so I would like to do this properly.....and only once....preferably.
    Is there anyone out there who has done this swap or can remember this subject and direct me to the thread I am talking about?
    Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by snookers; 01-09-2013 at 12:48 AM.
    2000 R1100RT
    Niagara BMW Riders #298

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    The lamps that are stock have a pretty good lifetime and are built for the rough service environment of motorcycles.

    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.
    Forgive me if this dosn't make sense to me..........if there is a current draw on the battery, as there would be with the headlight on.....and the headlamp is always on when my bike is running, then the alternator would be charging the battery. I merely wish to have the led's installed since changing the bulbs in the guage cluster on the RT is a major PIA
    2000 R1100RT
    Niagara BMW Riders #298

    BMWMCO #45

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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    The 3W incandescent bulb in your RT is part of the "field" circuit for your alternator. It is what "excites" the circuit that creates the initial magenetic field that gets your alternator charging. This is especially important at idle speeds. Changing this particular bulb out to an LED might not be a good idea.

    I know for a fact that is will not work on an old airhead generator light because I tried and failed. That circuit is not quite the same as the Oilhead but the same electrical principles apply more or less.

    That said, I have changed out my speedo and tach bulbs for white LEDs and the difference is phenomenal. The eBay LEDs I used came from Hong Kong dirt cheap compared to the prices I see being charged on some of the lighting sites this side of the ocean. Long delivery times but the postage is free.

    Visibility of my two gauges at night is really remarkable now and I highly recommend it. Yes, it's a bit of a pain in the arse to get there but once you are done the results are worthwhile.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    2000 R1100RT
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    Rally Rat
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    The bulb these folks are talking about is the one behind your battery symbol. The bike puts 12 volts to one side of the bulb The other side is wired directly to the field winding in the alternator. The other end of the field is grounded.

    Key on engine off (KOEO) the bulb has 12 volts on one side and a ground on the other so it lights up.

    Start engine, the 3 watts at 12 volts from the bulb excite the field on the alternator which becomes an electromagnet and makes the alternator start charging. Now the alternator is charging and the voltage regulator takes over. The bulb has 12 volts on both sides, so it goes out. (no ground).

    An LED bulb will not pass current (3 watts) to the field so the alternator would not charge.

    The other reason is an LED bulb draws one tenth the power a regular filament bulb draws, so it would not work for this application any how.

    The rest of your idea is great!

    David

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookers View Post
    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    From my post above,


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    The lamps that are stock have a pretty good lifetime and are built for the rough service environment of motorcycles.

    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.

  8. #8
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookers View Post
    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    Specifically the alternator bulb. But yes, the bulbs in the display block which I think are all the same but not positive. Would have to check the fiche.

    I've only switched out my tach and speedo bulbs for LEDs. Love em... Huge difference at night.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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