Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34

Thread: R1200RT LED Headlight conversion advice needed

  1. #1
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88

    Lightbulb R1200RT LED Headlight conversion advice needed

    Popped another H7 bulb and thinking about converting both the low beams and high beam bulbs to LED.

    What is the general consensus on what works best from the following perspective:
    • Not blinding oncoming drivers
    • Beam Pattern
    • System compatibility (no warning light)
    • Cost

    I'd also like to change the two daytime running lights in the upper corners of the headlight assembly with whiter bulbs that match the LED.

    Any links to verified vendors is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Rod

  2. #2
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    I don't want to be one of "those" guys, but this subject has been beaten to death on all the BMW forums. Search "LED" or that plus my username and you'll get 1,000 hits that all, in one way or another, touch on your questions.

    Edit: What year and model is your bike? That's always important when asking for technical opinions.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  3. #3
    Registered User bicyclenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Sugar Grove, IL
    Posts
    41
    Rod,

    Cyclops LED light kit. Comes as specific kit with high/low bulb as required for the year of your RT. No CANBUS errors. At $185 to me that is reasonable to not have to change another headlamp, at least not in the foreseeable future thinking of the costs and time. The higher color temperature adds more contrast for riding at night and stands out during the day. Designed for the bike.

    https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.c...kit_p_194.html

    for the parking lights I found some CANBUS compatible LED Bulbs at www.superbrightleds.com

    I think this was the part (for a 2010 model):

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...1944&year=2010


    Also, if you are interested, you can swap the turn signal bulbs for LED's. I used a set from Dynamic Motorrad, a bit pricey, but the they guaranteed to work.

    http://dynamicmotorrad.com/

    Other CANBUS compatible bulbs, maybe even those from SuperBrightLEDs may work too.

    I have found, at least on my 2010, there is no easy way to replace the rear tail lamps/brake lamps with LED's. They use a 1156 bulb which is a single filament and to go from tail to brake it seems BMW increases the voltage to make the bulb brighter and so with an LED the lights don't give a CANBUS error until you hit the brake light and the system, senses a different resistance and it turns on a warning light, as I recall the light will go off with an off and on key cycle but will come on the first time you hit the brake. So I was able to replace all lights with LEDs except tail and brake lights.




    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmerchant View Post
    Popped another H7 bulb and thinking about converting both the low beams and high beam bulbs to LED.

    What is the general consensus on what works best from the following perspective:
    • Not blinding oncoming drivers
    • Beam Pattern
    • System compatibility (no warning light)
    • Cost

    I'd also like to change the two daytime running lights in the upper corners of the headlight assembly with whiter bulbs that match the LED.

    Any links to verified vendors is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Rod
    2010 BMW R1200RT
    2014 BMW C650GT (sold)
    MOA # 208387

  4. #4
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    I don't want to be one of "those" guys, but this subject has been beaten to death on all the BMW forums. Search "LED" or that plus my username and you'll get 1,000 hits that all, in one way or another, touch on your questions.

    Edit: What year and model is your bike? That's always important when asking for technical opinions.
    Many of them are old and there is a lot of change from month to month with LED technology.

    My RT is a 2011, I didn't bother with the year since I was not aware that there were any appreciable changes in the Hex/Cam headlight reflector.

  5. #5
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclenut View Post
    Rod,

    Cyclops LED light kit. Comes as specific kit with high/low bulb as required for the year of your RT. No CANBUS errors. At $185 to me that is reasonable to not have to change another headlamp, at least not in the foreseeable future thinking of the costs and time. The higher color temperature adds more contrast for riding at night and stands out during the day. Designed for the bike.

    https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.c...kit_p_194.html

    for the parking lights I found some CANBUS compatible LED Bulbs at www.superbrightleds.com

    I think this was the part (for a 2010 model):

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...1944&year=2010

    Also, if you are interested, you can swap the turn signal bulbs for LED's. I used a set from Dynamic Motorrad, a bit pricey, but the they guaranteed to work.

    http://dynamicmotorrad.com/

    Other CANBUS compatible bulbs, maybe even those from SuperBrightLEDs may work too.

    I have found, at least on my 2010, there is no easy way to replace the rear tail lamps/brake lamps with LED's. They use a 1156 bulb which is a single filament and to go from tail to brake it seems BMW increases the voltage to make the bulb brighter and so with an LED the lights don't give a CANBUS error until you hit the brake light and the system, senses a different resistance and it turns on a warning light, as I recall the light will go off with an off and on key cycle but will come on the first time you hit the brake. So I was able to replace all lights with LEDs except tail and brake lights.
    Thank you for the links, primarily only interested in the headlight but may be useful information for other users.

    Rod

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmerchant View Post
    Thank you for the links, primarily only interested in the headlight but may be useful information for other users.

    Rod
    The parking lights will look weird if you only replace the headlights... for a few $$, I think it's worth having the same color for the whole set.

  7. #7
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by alvtrex View Post
    The parking lights will look weird if you only replace the headlights... for a few $$, I think it's worth having the same color for the whole set.
    I agree and said that wrong, what I should have said is that I'm not interested about the turn signal or taillight bulbs, only the head light and two marker bulbs in the headlight assembly.

    Rod

  8. #8
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmerchant View Post
    Many of them are old and there is a lot of change from month to month with LED technology.
    I've been researching this extensively for two years. Not much progress has been made that I'm aware unless and until someone develops an LED that can uniformly radiate light in a 360 degree pattern. The only thing that seems to have changed is progressively increasing claim of lumen output - which has nothing to do with how the beam is projected and only serves to blind oncoming drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmerchant View Post
    My RT is a 2011, I didn't bother with the year since I was not aware that there were any appreciable changes in the Hex/Cam headlight reflector.
    It only matters because sometimes people post in the wrong forum (I'm talking about me specifically).

    Sorry, I didn't mean to come off short, it just seems like I've written about 5,000 words on the subject just in the last couple of months between here the Facebook groups. It's like it's LED season or something. Haha.

    In short, I've extensively tested the major brands (i.e. the hugely expensive ones that you will no doubt be getting a lot of recommendations for) and settled on these being as good or better for literally 1/3rd the price, are CanBus friendly, and have no bulky drivers to stuff into the housings. People feel compelled to believe that more expensive means higher quality. I guarantee you that ADVMonster and Cyclops are paying $30 for each unit they buy from China and then marking them up 300% to sell to us.

    Here are a couple of the recent threads:
    Extensive thread on BMWLT from last month
    BMWMOA thread from last summer
    Last edited by pappy35; 02-10-2020 at 09:26 PM.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  9. #9
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    I bought these parking bulbs at Autozone. I can confirm they work without any CanBus issues.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  10. #10
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88
    @pappy35

    Thank you for the information and links, very helpful. I've been a member of the LT page for at least 15-years but never think to go there; guess I just think of it as an LT only board which it clearly isn't any longer...

  11. #11
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88
    Random thoughts, errr questions......

    Since I'm going to do both low beams and the high beam I'm going to need to buy 2 sets of 2 bulbs. Does it make any sense to buy the lower watt/lumens LED for the lows and a higher watt/lumen set of LED for the high beam? The thought process is that I'm good about dipping my high beam to oncoming and from behind other drivers so it shouldn't be as offensive but get the most light possible for night riding and I'd shoot for the same color temp and adjustable beams for the lows. The only downside I can think of with this is if one of the lows go bad I won't have a spare.

    Secondly, what is the thoughts on fan cooled vs. non-fan cooled? I'd think three bulbs running in one sealed assembly is going to generate a lot of heat. Fan'less logically says less to fail but wondering if the fan cooled lights are as reliable as the copper resistor?

    Does anyone have a link to the the Intel-LED's on Amazon? I'm a Prime member and like the free shipping and easy return policy.

    Rod

  12. #12
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    The Intels aren't on Amazon as far as I'm aware. I got them off Ebay which took, I think, just a week to arrive from China. They come two to a package. I think the key to their perceived optical performance (beam pattern) is the thickness of the substrate they are mounted too (with thinner being better).

    With regards to lumen output, I don't think ANY of them have any real, scientifically calibrated, idea what their actual output is. I have described LED marketing as "lumen wars" because they just seem to keep creeping up and up. I have permanent green spots in my eyes now from staring into the ADV and Cyclops units (I'm not implying anything here other than I spent a lot of time looking at them) so beware.

    Regarding fans vs. heat sinks, the Intels and Cyclops have fans. As for heat, there's a lot of air inside that housing, three LEDs running won't make enough heat to cause any issue (halogens can run a couple of hundred degrees I think and these won't generate more heat than that). I've been running them for almost a year and I know a guy on FB that's had them for much longer (he recommended them to me actually) with no issues.

    The single biggest issue is that no LED is every going to project the same as a halogen. A halogen is a true 360 degree, almost spherical, pattern. LEDs are maybe 160 degrees per emitter. A cross-section of the emission as viewed from the front towards the rear will look like an hourglass. This does not play well with a reflector designed for a halogen emission pattern. In my testing, the Intels, as compared to the Cyclops and the ADVMonster H7s had the best pattern but they are still not anything like halogens. There is going to be a lot of scatter.

    This is why another property of the Intels is a benefit. They are not as brilliant and thereby not as blinding to other drivers. I rarely get flashed. When I was running the Cyclops and the other one I got flashed all the time. I have a lot of consideration for others (not as common a trait as it should be unfortunately) and so this really matters to me.

    Though I say the Intels aren't as bright, they are BRILLIANT as compared to halogens and very white so you will notice a vast improvement.

    I talk about Cyclops quite a bit so I always feel like I should say that I found them to be a fantastic company with regards to customer service. Daryl over there is awesome. The other guy? Not so much so if one must go with expensive to satisfy some irrational, as opposed to an engineering/cost rationale, I highly recommend Cyclops.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  13. #13
    Registered User dirtmerchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    The Intels aren't on Amazon as far as I'm aware. I got them off Ebay which took, I think, just a week to arrive from China. They come two to a package. I think the key to their perceived optical performance (beam pattern) is the thickness of the substrate they are mounted too (with thinner being better).

    With regards to lumen output, I don't think ANY of them have any real, scientifically calibrated, idea what their actual output is. I have described LED marketing as "lumen wars" because they just seem to keep creeping up and up. I have permanent green spots in my eyes now from staring into the ADV and Cyclops units (I'm not implying anything here other than I spent a lot of time looking at them) so beware.

    Regarding fans vs. heat sinks, the Intels and Cyclops have fans. As for heat, there's a lot of air inside that housing, three LEDs running won't make enough heat to cause any issue (halogens can run a couple of hundred degrees I think and these won't generate more heat than that). I've been running them for almost a year and I know a guy on FB that's had them for much longer (he recommended them to me actually) with no issues.

    The single biggest issue is that no LED is every going to project the same as a halogen. A halogen is a true 360 degree, almost spherical, pattern. LEDs are maybe 160 degrees per emitter. A cross-section of the emission as viewed from the front towards the rear will look like an hourglass. This does not play well with a reflector designed for a halogen emission pattern. In my testing, the Intels, as compared to the Cyclops and the ADVMonster H7s had the best pattern but they are still not anything like halogens. There is going to be a lot of scatter.

    This is why another property of the Intels is a benefit. They are not as brilliant and thereby not as blinding to other drivers. I rarely get flashed. When I was running the Cyclops and the other one I got flashed all the time. I have a lot of consideration for others (not as common a trait as it should be unfortunately) and so this really matters to me.

    Though I say the Intels aren't as bright, they are BRILLIANT as compared to halogens and very white so you will notice a vast improvement.

    I talk about Cyclops quite a bit so I always feel like I should say that I found them to be a fantastic company with regards to customer service. Daryl over there is awesome. The other guy? Not so much so if one must go with expensive to satisfy some irrational, as opposed to an engineering/cost rationale, I highly recommend Cyclops.
    Thank you for your time and comprehensive reply. I'd tend to agree that there is more puffery then fact when it comes to the ratings on lighting from these sources. I'm a bit concerned with shipping delays on anything coming directly from China due to Coronavirus. The Cyclops look like fine bulbs but not sure I want to deal with the separate driver in the housing; let alone pay 150% more....

    Going to do some more research and will post back what I ultimately do.

  14. #14
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmerchant View Post
    Thank you for your time and comprehensive reply. I'd tend to agree that there is more puffery then fact when it comes to the ratings on lighting from these sources. I'm a bit concerned with shipping delays on anything coming directly from China due to Coronavirus. The Cyclops look like fine bulbs but not sure I want to deal with the separate driver in the housing; let alone pay 150% more....

    Going to do some more research and will post back what I ultimately do.
    Yeah. I hadn't thought of that. Could be. I got mine in like 6-7 business days. That driver (x3) can be stuffed in there without too much difficulty but when there's a viable alternative without one, why bother.

    The Cyclops works out to $60 per unit and the Intels are $17.50 (and that includes what will end up being a spare since they come two to a package). Nice thing about Cyclops is they will take them back if you don't like them. I still think its silly to pay that much more but, like i said before, they are a very good company.

    Do a search on Facebook in one of the RT forums. There's a lot of info there as well.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  15. #15
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    577
    My buddy Tony ordered a set on my recommendation about a month ago and he got them in about two weeks (and as far as I know he didn't get sick either ). Shipping might not actually be affected significantly.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-27-2018, 01:50 AM
  2. /5 headlight conversion.
    By kjmcd13 in forum Airheads
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-27-2017, 05:10 PM
  3. LED headlight conversion? vs HID kit? R100RS
    By ricochetrider in forum Airheads
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-23-2017, 03:50 AM
  4. Led headlight conversion issues
    By 808r1200rt in forum Hexheads/Camheads
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-08-2016, 02:52 PM
  5. Sidecar conversion parts needed
    By JeffMunn in forum Vintage
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-22-2009, 08:52 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •