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Thread: Replacing headlights to LED one

  1. #1

    Replacing headlights to LED one

    I have BMW R1200RT 2015. I am considering replacing the high and low head lights bulbs with LED bulbs.

    Is there an advise if it is recommended on first place? And if recommended, should i reconsidered a certain brand, which include the lights alerts adjustment?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Most folk seem to go with Cyclops https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/, but others are available (see "Similar Threads" at the bottom of this page).
    Cycle Gear sells Speedmetal headlight replacements but I don't know their reliability.
    I've just installed a Speedmetal in my 1150RT (they had a special sale and I had a "stackable" coupon!) and am in the process of writing up a full report on it, to be posted in a few days....

    EDIT: effort postponed due to other (non-MC) issues, sorry.
    Last edited by Pauls1150; 05-24-2022 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #3
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    I've installed the Cyclops LED replacements in my '06. Much brighter, good beam pattern, No warning lights from the change, but the headlight out warning will come on on failure (unplugged to test).

    I went with the Cyclops even though there were cheeper options as they had a good reputation and guaranteed they would work with the CAN bus/ZFE properly. Benn about 1.5 years, so far, so good!
    Don in Pahrump, NV
    2006 BMW R1200RT (BMW #3, Bike #30)
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  4. #4
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    I recently replaced an H7 low beam on my 2019 R1250RT. It was a chore. Did not know about this kit until today: https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.c...kit_p_194.html .
    What are your experiences with LED headlights vs. conventional quartz-halogen?
    Ray
    '74 R90/6. '75 R90S. '76 R90S. 2019 R1250RT
    Too many dirt bikes to list.

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Should you wish to learn from experts, browse ... https://www.candlepowerforums.com/fo...s-included.87/

    Here is part of their "boilerplate" on how to use the forum (relevant to your questions) ...


    Be mindful that there are a lot of bad ideas and bad products in the vehicle lighting world. All of them are hyped and promoted as great ideas. CPF Rule 11 is particularly important here because of the safety concerns with motor vehicles and their lighting.
    This means (among other things):

    Homemade headlamps, taillamps, stop lamps, turn signals, fog lamps, etc, are not safe, effective, or legal. We will not help you build or troubleshoot them. We will not argue this point.

    "HID kits", "LED conversions", and "projector retrofits" aren't safe, effective, or legal. If you want one or think you want one, you don't want one. If you already have one and it's not working, we're not going to help you fix it. (If you have one and you think it's working, it's not; get it off your vehicle before someone gets hurt.) We will not argue this point.

    Only very few of the "LED bulbs" for non-headlamp/non-foglamp use available on the market work safely and effectively; most of them are unsafe junk. The ones FOR headlamp/foglamp use are ALL unsafe junk. We will not argue this point.

    For a large number of vehicles out there, there is a safe, legal, and effective way to upgrade the lighting. For some, it may require carefully-chosen auxiliary lights. Whatever the manner, we will try our best to help you find that upgrade. It might not always be cheap, and it might not always be easy-- but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. And that is another point no öne can argue.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  6. #6
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Right on

    Kent, you are right on the mark. While I have not viewed the candlepower forum, I have had experience with various LED replacement bulbs and to be quite frank, none of them work and can cause problems with night vision or blinding oncoming drivers. I do have LED replacement bulbs in my bikes however, it took a lot of effort to find the ones that seem, and I use the term seem lightly because I no longer ride at night so I cannot say for sure the beam pattern produced is correct enough for nighttime.

    My only non scientific method of testing the different bulbs has been to sit in front of my white garage doors and compare beam pattern from the LED replacement bulbs to the H4 stock bulbs.

    At this point, I am pretty sure but not 100% certain I have a replacement bulb in the headlight that will give a well defined light pattern close to that of the stock H4 bulb. Many and especially the cheapest LED bulbs produced hot spots, blinding spots, uneven light that would limit the rider's vision ahead as well as blind oncoming drivers.


    Why do I have LED bulbs in my bike if they don't work so well? The first reason is the color of light they produce is easier to detect in the daytime is "brighter" looking than even the "whitest" H4 bulb. I am looking for a light that will stand out and is easy for other drivers to see. Second of course is the reduced power draw.

    Bottom line is IF I had to ride at night, I would NEVER replace the H4 bulb in my stock headlight with any of the so-called drop in replacement bulbs. St.

  7. #7
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVENRANKIN View Post

    Bottom line is IF I had to ride at night, I would NEVER replace the H4 bulb in my stock headlight with any of the so-called drop in replacement bulbs. St.
    I frequently ride at night and have replaced the halogen H7 low and high beam bulbs with LED "bulbs". I aligned them on my garage door per my owner's manual instructions and am totally satisfied with the beam pattern. I never get flashed by oncoming cars so they must be pretty happy with the pattern as well. Not only do the lights project much further down the road they are, as you say, much more noticeable in daylight. A much-valued side benefit is the fact that they are forecast to last 50,000 hours so I need not worry about one burning out on an extended trip. The "super bright" halogens I once had burned out much too frequently for my liking.

    YMMV.
    Last edited by BC1100S; 05-23-2022 at 05:48 AM. Reason: typo/grammar

  8. #8
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    I frequently ride at night and have replaced the halogen H7 low and high beam bulbs with LED "bulbs". I aligned them on my garage door per my owner's manual instructions and am totally satisfied with the beam pattern. I never get flashed by oncoming cars so they must be pretty happy with the pattern as well. Not only do the lights project much further down the road they are, as you say, much more noticeable in daylight. A much-valued side benefit is the fact that are forecast to last 50,000 hours so I need not worry about one burning out on an extended trip. The "super bright" halogens I once had burned out much too frequently for my liking.

    YMMV.
    I think there may be a difference between the use of substitutes for H7 bulbs and H4 bulbs in that the H4 is a high beam and low beam bulb and the H7s are just a single beam. I know that several companies struggled with trying to make a dual beam HID bulb.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  9. #9
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    not all

    I admit, I don't have any experience with any other light system than the H4 Airheads unit.

    While I may be a bit cranky with my answer, the POINT is unless someone does a bit of research and is willing to spend time and effort, conversion of lighting systems done by simple bulb swapping is for the most part a negative.

    If someone has a source of properly vetted replacement bulbs for various applications, that work, feel free to share it.

    I for example will not tell anyone what bulbs I use in my conversion because as I said, they work for me for my use and under my conditions. If they were a perfect replacement, I would be happy to share.

    There was a very good video on the net regarding LED bulbs used in incandescent lamp housings. Now mind the video was touting two sided LED bulbs versus three sided and was of course pushing the company's product, but on the whole explained why LED bulbs don't always work as replacements for incandescent bulbs. This was due to among things, overall light produced by a filament bulb versus LED and the placement of the LEDs in the reflector versus the placement of the filament.

    So, yes, I have perhaps beat this subject to it's knees, sorry, sometimes things we do to make improvements don't. Sometimes the easy isn't, and last, don't believe all the hype and advertising when buying a product. LOL, I am looking out for you. Have a fund ride and a safe one. St.

  10. #10
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    I said "HID bulb".
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Should you wish to learn from experts, browse ... https://www.candlepowerforums.com/fo...s-included.87/

    Here is part of their "boilerplate" on how to use the forum (relevant to your questions) ...
    Interesting… I did not know this was such an issue. Thanks for the info.

    All I know is that lately I have to shield my eyes in full daylight as some riders pass with a Christmas tree full of accessory lights turned up full. The situation gets worse when driving at night. I guess as one ages their eyes become more sensitive.

    To me, this situation is becoming as bad as loud bikes.

  12. #12
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    Lots of us choose to run led or HID because of the short unpredictable life of H7 bulbs. AND BMW does not sell the little wire bale that like to jump for freedom. And very fragile plastic in the headlamp part that holds this little bail in. Including the difficulty of getting a normal hand into the correct area or disassembly required. They are practically begging you to replace the bulb with a good LED that does not burn out. Sorry but if head light was reliable this discussion would not be needed.

    Rod

  13. #13
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    Here's a thread posted back in 2014 that describes an ingenious repair for when those fragile tiny plastic bits that hold the bail break.

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...nge-gone-badly

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    All I know is that lately I have to shield my eyes in full daylight as some riders pass with a Christmas tree full of accessory lights turned up full. The situation gets worse when driving at night. I guess as one ages their eyes become more sensitive.
    I agree and have the same experience. But out of an abundance of caution you may wish to have your eyes checked if you have not done so recently. The deleterious effects of bright points of light on vision is one of the signs of the onset of cataracts. DAMHIK.
    Last edited by RadioFlyer; 05-24-2022 at 11:03 PM.

  15. #15
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    Interesting… All I know is that lately I have to shield my eyes in full daylight as some riders pass with a Christmas tree full of accessory lights turned up full. The situation gets worse when driving at night. I guess as one ages their eyes become more sensitive.

    To me, this situation is becoming as bad as loud bikes.
    And that is why, when infrequently riding at night, I ride with one set of auxilary lights turned off.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333

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