Author Topic: Improving Headlamp output / How I did it – A Technical Discussion  (Read 2324 times)

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Offline TowerMan

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Improving Headlamp output / How I did it – A Technical Discussion

Previously, on the V650 forum, I had recommended getting the 65W Osram H7 “Off-Road” bulb and fitting it.  :028:
The advantage to this over all the Night Breaker Range was that if was designed for high vibration environments, had a long burn lifetime and produced more lumens and had a long lifetime

It offered : 2100 lumen (brightness) and a +500 hour life,

Compared to:
1780 lumen, 340 hours - for the Osram Night Breaker, with slight blue tint.
1700 lumen, 350 hours - for the Osram Silverstar (not Sylvania), also with slight blue tint.
1620 lumen, 200 hours - for Philips X-treme Power H7.
1500 lumen, +500 hours - for ever other Standard H7 55w bulb.

HOWEVER, they stopped production of these 65W bulbs a couple of years ago. if you do fine any for sale they are more than likely to Chinese inferior copies  :157:

SO WHAT TO DO NOW to fit something that is inexpensive and long lasting / +500 hour lifetime  :027:

The only way forward (as I see it) is now to fit some headlamp bypass wiring so that the full system voltage gets to the STD 55W bulbs OR if fitting lamps of +80W rating, the additional current flow does not melt the poor thin OEM wiring / switches.  :172:

Upon investigation of my V650 Mk1 and my V1k Mk2, I found that the voltage drop over the wiring to the headlamps was in the order of:

~1.3V on the 2009 V650 Mk1  :188:
and
~1.5V on the 2015 V1k Mk2  :125:

The max volt drop you want to see is 0.5V , preferably below 0.25V  :028: :028:

You will note above that the newer V1k Mk2 had a higher volt drop than the 6 year older V650 Mk1 :5:
I was puzzled by this until I inspected the wiring size / counted the strands of copper in the headlamp wiring Cct on each bike. :lostit:
The older V650 headlamp wiring had 20% more copper strands than the V1k.  :25:

THEREFORE, the resistance / meter run of wiring run would be greater on the V1k Mk2
Obviously Mr K had been on an economy drive on the later bikes  :33:

Anyway, the result was that I calculated that I was losing something in the order of 36% of light output on the V1k Mk2  :173:

To confirm this, I went and purchased an inexpensive light meter and measured the headlamps light output as a reference, before I fitted the headlamp bypass wiring Cct as shown below .



Before with the OEM wiring (calculated at 1.0 sq mm for the V1k) in Cct, the light output reading was 550
The V650 wiring was calculated @1.25 sq mm
After the 2.5 sq mm bypass wiring installed, the light output reading increased to 750. An increase of +35%  :123A:

Success - Now I can see properly on the dark Scottish back roads. :7:
All this wiring mod cost me, was approx. £35 in material and a bit of time ~2 days

In addition, with this wiring in place, I will now be able to easily upgrade to the 80W Osram H7 62261SBP “Off-Road” bulb (that seems to have replaced the old 65W bulb) which can be got for ~£6.50 each at various online stores and as low as £5.80 each if you buy in bulk.  :123A:



These bulbs, from the Osram data sheet have an output of:
1950 lumen (brightness) and a +500 hour life  :020:
Note - they are sold for OFF ROAD USE ONLY so it is up to you if you want to fit them  :027:

Compared to ~ £16 each, for the most recent 55W Osram Night Breaker Laser Extreme +150%, which you will more than likely go through 2 or 3 sets as they are very fragile / have a rated 200h life and only ~1750 lumens output at most.  :33:

Therefore, I consider that this wiring mod is very £ reasonable / beneficial, in comparison with the added benefit of less maintenance  :028:

Yes I expect others will chime in below / flame off and say they are very happy with his direct fit +150% 55W bulbs less reliable >200h life bulbs, :whistle:

but as I do live further north in the land of darkness at this time of year, I am happy with what I have done  :001:


Hear endeth this year’s lesson / technical discussion  :008:

Richard  :001:
Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 08:50:12 PM by TowerMan
Richard    :001:


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Offline TowerMan

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LED are the next logical step  :028:
HOWEVER
Until the cost for the Philips Lumileds LED chip comes down, then I will stick to Halogen filament bulbs as they focus the beam better / do not scatter the beam in OEM Versys head lamp reflectors

A good article to read / can be found at Auto Bulbs Direct entitled: ARE LED HEADLIGHT BULBS THE BRIGHTEST  :028:

This goes through why some LED may put out a lot more light, but the focusing due to the very large light source scatters light all over the place when placed in a reflector designed for Filament bulbs

A bad LED H7  :151:


Why it is bad  :023:


A Good LED H7 :028:


Why it is good  :123A:



I too have gone down the Aux light route  :123A:
I got a pair of these lights (£18/pair) mounted on SWMotech light brackets  :028:



They are great and really do light up the Scottish back roads at night :028:


picture showing them on DRL setting  (Diped and High beam not on)

I wired them up via a LED (PWM) dimmer from AdvMonster HERE that has a High Beam Bypass. :028:



So that they act as DRL (dim) when on low beam, but then auto switch to full power when High beam is selected  :123A:

Richard  :001:
Richard    :001:


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Offline Himself

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Thank you Gents ... Now I know why I fitted the HIDS to my MK2 other than they worked and the standard lights resembled a candle in a force 9 gale.

LEDS would have been so much simpler  :157:
I was seduced by a 1000SX and gave into temptation

Offline TowerMan

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Since upgrading my headlamp wiring, as described above  :028: I have now installed the Osram "OffRoad" 80W H7 bulbs at a cost of £5.80 each, without any fear of damaging the OEM wiring.  :028: :028:

It is now like night and day compared to the original weak pathetic OEM setup  :celebrate:

Dipped Headlamp output measured on handheld cheap light meter:
OEM - 550 lumens  :013:
OEM + Wiring bypass - 750 lumens  :002:
80W H7 + Wiring bypass -  +1300 lumens  :169:

Richard  :001:
Richard    :001:


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Offline TowerMan

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As my side lights are very bright and I also run my Aux LED lights as DRL's through a PWM dimmer, I do not need the dipped beam on all the time during the day.



so I added a 2 way selector switch that allows both headlamps to come on if I use the pass button or select the Main Beam switch  :028: or when in second position the headlamps work as normal for the MoT test :028:

Mods to wiring diagram as shown below  :001:



Richard  :031:
Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 05:47:48 PM by TowerMan
Richard    :001:


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Online Claude

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Richard, in your post you said you are using OEM or brighter 80W H7 bulbs.

Two questions:

1) In you picture above, the headlight is very white (and match very well your DEL spots) and I believe it looks like a ~6000K DEL. Are they H7 or DEL bulbs?

2) With 80W H7 bulbs, aren't you concerned about additional heat that could damage (melt) the headlight's lenses?

Offline TowerMan

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*Originally Posted by Claude [+]
Richard, in your post you said you are using OEM or brighter 80W H7 bulbs.

Two questions:

1) In you picture above, the headlight is very white (and match very well your DEL spots) and I believe it looks like a ~6000K DEL. Are they H7 or DEL bulbs?

2) With 80W H7 bulbs, aren't you concerned about additional heat that could damage (melt) the headlight's lenses?
Claude

Answers as follows  :152:

1. That picture is actually taken with only the sidelights and LED spots (as DRL function with light output at 10%) illuminated. I have replaced the very weak side lights with these much brighter LED's



As you can see they are much longer than the OEM bulb and they therefore now illuminate into the main part of the reflector as well, negating the Cyclops effect. :152:

2. In the daytime, now that I have added the dipped / main beam "option switch", I run with the spots at 10% DRL setting and the new LED sidelights only. i.e. dipped beam is not on.

As described in the above posts both the Main and Dipped Beams and the spotlights (100% intensity) come on, if i use the pass button / select main beam on the OEM handlebar light switch :028:

With regards to heat, as the dipped and main beam will only rely be used at cooler dusk and night times, hopefully I will not be troubled by this. Also if it is raining and I need them on, this will also have some cooling effect as well  :027:

Richard  :031:
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Offline TowerMan

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In the UK as from 11th Jan 2021, the MoT requirements for Motorcycles in the UK has been updated - HERE

In Section 4.1.4 - Headlamps - The wording has been changed

'Some motorcycles may be fitted with high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps.
Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with HID bulbs.
If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp'

to

'Some motorcycles may be fitted with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) headlamps.
Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with HID or LED bulbs.
If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.'


So everyone who has a Mk1 & Mk2 V1k that has substituted a HID or LED light source in a dipped and / or mainbeam headlamp housing that was originally designed to use a halogen filament bulb, then it will now be an automatic MoT failure.:33:

I can see this also eventually being enforced more rigorously by the police as well - i.e. m/c in an unroadworthy condition  :027:
Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 12:41:27 PM by TowerMan
Richard    :001:


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