LED headlight bulb help - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
  • 1 Post By RhiannonoftheBirds
  • 2 Post By KCW
  • 1 Post By bevo1981
  • 1 Post By patrickdk
  • 2 Post By NorthernRider
  • 2 Post By nurtaeff
  • 2 Post By rn2god
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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LED headlight bulb help

Hey all,

I'm not a mechanically inclined rider, so I don't really understand some of the issues in posts about headlight bulbs and the discussion about them. Basically, I need a little help understanding what will and won't work with a new LED bulb before I buy one. There's talk about fan-less, non-fan-less, rubber gaskets, all sorts of things that a newbie rider who isn't a "gear-head" (meant with great affection! ) doesn't understand. I'm used to an old Jeep that I could go to Walmart, look it up and buy a new lamp. That's my level of car knowledge. Anything else, someone else has to help me with and/or make sure I don't get screwed at the garage. (Believe me, it has happened and cost me big $$$) Frankly, I'm tired of asking the BF because of that "look" I get because he's a definite gear-head and I'm just not built that way. Give me a computer and I'll run rings around him fixing it.

So, what I'd like to do is get an LED headlight bulb for my stock headlight. It's an '09 950. I want something bright, day and night. I commute to work in the dark in the morning and I'd really like something that doesn't have to be on high beam constantly to feel like I'm seen. I wear my Hi-Vis vest, but I want max visibility.

Suggestions? "Don't get XYZ brand..." "Look for..."???? I've seen Pathfinder LEDs at J & P Cycle, and other sites, that they claim will fit my bike. The prices aren't bad, but reading reviews tells me that it's not that simple. Some have great luck and love them, some have had major fails.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 04:53 PM
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Its not an LED bulb but I put a Sylvania Silver Star replacement bulb in my vstar 650.

Its noticeably brighter when I ride at night, esp on the highbeam. There is no trick or fuss, you replace the stock lamp with this halogen lamp (dont touch the glass with your fingers, use a paper towel to put it in or only touch the base - oil on the lamp will make the glass overheat and fail).

You dont have to worry about power, it draws a few more watts, not enough to blow the fuse or anything

and because its not an LED you dont have to worry about any of those LED issues you were mentioning.

They are about $25 at Advance Auto - you can get them cheaper from Amazon. Walmart might carry them, sometimes they come in a two pack.

The only drawback is they wear out faster than the stock halogen lamp. I dont remember the hours (130 or 150 hours maybe average). I figure it should last me a year at 5000 miles a year, averaging 40mph.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 05:12 PM
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the 950 uses an H4 or 9003 connection which are the same thing. it has 3 prongs, 3 sides to a square. i wouldn't focus too much on the color temperature or lumens that any bulb advertises because they are all going to be fairly similar, and all of them should be much brighter than your stock halogen bulb.
as for fan vs. fanless, i wouldn't pay any attention to this either. you don't need to worry about noise and no decent LED bulb will generate enough heat to do any damage inside your headlight bucket.
as for fitment, as long as you get an H4/9003 bulb it should be just plug and play like changing out any light bulb. but in the motorcycle world, fitment is never guaranteed so i would look at the picture of the bulb's housing and compare it to yours to make a determination if there will be any fitment issues.
if you want to be able to use both low and high beam, make sure the bulb specifically says hi/low among its features. not all of them have this function.
as for which ones to look for, i would go largely by amazon reviews. that's what i use for most of my online shopping research anyways, and these people will tell you how satisfied they are with that product. but OPT7 bulbs are considered by many to be one of the top LED motorcycle headlight bulbs you can get if you are looking to go top grade. as for where to start, here you go:

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 06:21 PM
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the problem is, any h4 bulb will work and fit, but the cast of the light onto the road with an LED is going be crap, cause the housing is made to reflect light from a normal bulb pattern, and the LED has a different pattern, and there are several LED patterns also.

So the only way I can say, you will get good results, is to change the bulb and reflector. Those jeep led you will notice replace the whole bulb and reflector, and they make them, but they will NOT fit on the 950, cause it uses a custom 5.75" housing. If you change out the housing with a normal 5.75 or 7" you will be fine with one of those.

The only one I have been able to find that fits the yamaha vstar 950 5.75" housing is the denali LED bulb, with the yamaha conversion kit they sell to go with it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 06:23 PM
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I picked up one on eBay for $15.99 Canadian (from China). I knew it probably wasn't a good one but for the price I thought I'd try it. It does have a fan and as bevo mentioned, there was no additional wiring or anything. It did come with 3 adapters for different applications so I just chose the one that matched my stock bulb and put it in. As for performance, I was pleasantly surprised. It's not perfect, but it's leaps and bounds over my stock bulb. Here's a link to the thread I posted if you want to read more about it and how it worked. https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...-led-bulb.html
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 09:13 PM
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I have opt7 led bulbs in both bikes (mine and my wife’s). It’s a big improvement from the stock halogen bulbs and makes you much more visible on the road. Both were plug and play, I just had to remove a rubber “sleeve” on the back of the bucket since bulbs have a heat sink that won’t fit thru the “sleeve”. I didn’t replace reflectors and actual light pattern didn’t change much. I’ve ridden my bike at night time and never got flashed. Installation on both bikes took about 10 minutes.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 07:08 AM
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I recently purchased a SEALIGHT H4/9003 LED Motorcycle Headlight for my '09 650. As others have mentioned, it does fit in the housing just fine, but you won't be able to use the rubber boot behind it. The difference it made for night driving is incredible. I actually had to adjust my light up because I was 'wasting' a lot of the intensity of the bulb in just making a very bright spot on the road on high beams. I was only able to see about 40-50 yards down the road with the stock bulb. With the LED I can see about 100 yards on the flat stretches. I also have a headlight modulator and I can see a remarkable difference in the day time as well. Street signs now blink like neon lights in the middle of a sunny day at 1/4 mile. It is amazing. The pattern that is made for this bulb on my 650 is just fine. The low beam has a slight dark line right in the middle, but the high beam is solid. I am very pleased with it.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 08:15 AM
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I second this. I also JUST bought the Sealight H4 on Amazon, I think it was about 45. LED, very little power draw (which is important since I just added a full system and USB chargers), and I'm very happy.

Like people have said, even a $10.00 replacement should be better than stock.

Safe Riding!
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