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Author Topic: LED Lights  (Read 10092 times)
Pessimal
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« on: December 04, 2015, 15:08:28 »

just a quickie really,

been checking the thread in the XEvo section on what bulbs the X8 takes and i have been trying to get some, however it seems to be a minefield of cheap and expensive, those with or without ballast.

could someone please suggest either a good supplier, or a good brand to buy, both would be perfect!!

also, is there an advantage to buying colored bulbs, i noticed that the side/brake cover it a little pink rather than red and wanted to buy red LED bulbs to make them super bright and obvious, esp with the time of year, or am i just making life complicated?

lastly, my top box has 2 red reflectors/clear bits presumably to make visability better, can anyone suggest any strip lights to go in there?? ones that can be side lights and brake lights?

cheers
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Dave Milnes
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 16:04:40 »

I can't help with the type for the X8 but I have played around with LED's both for the bike and car and there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
LED's are very directional, they do not radiate light all around like an incandescent filament so the reflectors on the back of the lights are less useful. The result is that you get very bright circles in the centre of the lenses, rather than a completely lit up lamp. The solution is to use 'tree' type clusters with LEDS pointing in all directions (look like a little pineapple or a stack of little square plates) so at least some of the LED's point at the reflector.
As to brand, well 99% are probably made in china and I bet none (mine didn't) carry any brand marks, but the old rule that if it seems too cheap then it's probably rubbish applies. All LEDS run at very low voltage so need resistors and it's probably these and how they are implemented inside the bulb base that make the difference in quality.
Generally LED's are heavy on the blue wavelength so if you put white LED's behind red lenses you get very pink light or behind amber a very pale yellow. So the rule is use the same colour LED as the lens for rear lights and all indicators. You get reasonably deep reds and ambers then.
If you have strips lights, your simplest bet is a couple of lengths of those waterproof self adhesive 'ribbons' that come in any length up to 5 metres but can be cut into multiples of 3 LED's. You can get short lengths of 3 or 6 LEDS strips from sellers on Ebay for model railway usage if you don't want 5 metres of the stuff. You can probably wedge or slide these in place and either use their sticky backing, or a few blobs of UHU somewhere. These have a 12V input as standard as the resistors are across the tracks on the strip between each LED.
If you are a bit unsure, buy a selection of the cheap as chips LED's to try and if you like them consider getting some better quality ones as backup for when the cheapies fail.
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2004 X9 500 Evo in YELLOW - 2016 Maxsym 600i Sport
Anderton 2004, Pen-y-cae 2005, Matlock 2006, Hay on Wye 2007, Minehead 2008, St Florence 2010, Newent 2011, North Kyme 2012, Betsw-y-coed 2013, Hardraw 2014, Parkend 2015, Whitby 2016, Mundesley 2017, Derby 2018, Telford 2019, Loch Doon 2020, Cumbria 2021.
Mike H
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 17:08:24 »

I have used red LED's for an auxilary tail/brake light. It was built in a car DRL housing and reflector. Also have white LED DRL's on the car (added, not OEM).

Not tried them but I would expect the LED lamps that are supposed to replace bulbs may not work too well because the reflector is designed for a filament bulb, not LED's. Problem there is the focal point where the filament sits, which LED lamp cannot emulate. So that leaves actual LED lamps.

I have also added LED strip lights to a topbox as brake light but that was a Givi kit for a Givi box that includes the housing and red 'lens' to mount it in.

HTH
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Mike H
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 17:18:24 »

As to brand, well 99% are probably made in china and I bet none (mine didn't) carry any brand marks, but the old rule that if it seems too cheap then it's probably rubbish applies. All LEDS run at very low voltage so need resistors and it's probably these and how they are implemented inside the bulb base that make the difference in quality.

Yes indeed the ones I've been messing with all needed redesigning mainly for correct resistor values; originally calculated for 12V, BUT try running them at 14V i.e. more realistic charging Voltage and the LED's failed in rapid succession due to their maximum current rating being exceeded. In fact I also replaced them all with LED's of known specs from one of my electronics suppliers, so a pair of original DRL's which cost around 7 quid from Amazon were then stripped and rebuilt with > £32 worth of new components. Also the PCB's and housings need waterproofing.


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Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.
sixpenny
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2015, 04:26:05 »

I've directly wired in a strip of red LED's as Dave mentions to the brake light circuit on my X8 400. Cheap as chips on Ebay & they work a treat. (see profile pic)
George
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