LED vs Halogen - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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LED vs Halogen

why are most new production bikes still coming equipped with halogen headlights? are they cheaper to manufacturer than LED? do the companies have binding contracts with them? is there some advantage that halogen still holds over LED? it seems to me like it would be a foregone conclusion to just start putting LED headlights in all new bikes at this point with all the advantages they have. even automobile companies have begun making the switch. but even some of those are still putting in halogen headlights. i'm just not sure why everyone doesn't just make the switch at this point.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 11:37 PM
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I've wondered the same thing. There probably are a number of hoops that need to be jumped through when making a 'change' to existing productions.

I'm sure it won't be long until all manufacturers just get LED on every vehicle they produce. Halogen will become old school, like a candle in front of a mirror.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 11:47 PM
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Only disadvantages I've noticed with led is the harshness of the light it give off in complete dark. It can be a bit blinding when looking into it with say an oncoming car.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 11:42 AM
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They are in cahouts with the aftermarket folks who produce the replacement LED lights.

Could also be that they are in a situation similar to Yamaha with the Royal Star Venture. They bought up so many cassette decks that it would cost them too much to switch. LOL

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 12:02 PM
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A 60W headlight bulb is only pulling 1/12th of a HP from the engine through the alternator. Saving power is not an issue.

That leaves you with cost, quality of the light, and reliability.

You cannot put an LED directly on 12VDC. They are current driven devices, not voltage, so the headlight needs a current driver circuit to ensure it will not burn out when the battery cycles from 10V while starting up to 14.5V while fully charging right after a start. The circuit is inside the light bulb, where it gets very hot.

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Only disadvantages I've noticed with led is the harshness of the light it give off
this is also an issue. LEDs are a point source of light, not like a wide filament. On many many cars now the tail lights are LEDs and they are the naked LED pointing backwards. Get behind one at a red light and the spot-intensity of the LEDs causes a persistance of vision etched into your retinas for well over a minute. Its as if you looked into a camera flash, you see the brakelight dots everywhere you look, even in the daylight. At night its worse.

To not use the LEDs as point sources they have to be pointed backwards into the reflector.

The other really annoying thing about LEDs on vehicles is to dim the brake light down to the driving tail light brightness, they pulse the lamps. I find this really distracting at night. When you scan your eyes across the highway side to side, you see the blinking tail light of the car in front of you drawing red dots all over the place in the dark night air. They could dim the tail lights by using a variable current driver circuit instead of pulsing them, but that would cost 85 more per LED... so they dont.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 01:15 PM
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How do LED manufacturers vary the harshness of the light? Is it the coating on the outer surface of the light bulb? I buy some that are soft and others that are harsh.

I doubt if most people realize that there is a power supply in the base of the bulb to supply proper power to the LED. The same with fluorescent bulbs. I really like the instant ON of the LED compared to fluorescent.

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Last edited by commonground; 10-22-2016 at 01:20 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 07:07 PM
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yes, they can put a semi opaque coating on the bulb to disperse the light, or they can point it backwards into the reflector.

Its not possible to make one LED element that puts out light in all directions. They are usually on an aluminum plate, so at most you get 180 off one element.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 07:26 AM
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An interesting thread! Another reason this is such a great forum...Where else can I go and get good info like this? The widely varying knowledge that each of us carries always amazes me.

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