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Display Mesage #50095

The Great LED Experiment, Part 2
Written by CalvinFold on 9/29/2004 at 04:42 am

Well, for those who are nay-sayers about LED replacements, I've got news for can be done, not cheaply, and not with simple bulb replacements, but
it can be done...and WOW what a difference.

I am using the 1.85" LED Clusters made by Radiantz (sold by Custom
Dynamics). I decided to try them first in the Uni-Go, so I replaced the single,
wimpy tail/brake light bulb with THREE of the clusters.

I took photos, but if what I saw on the LCD was any indication, just like
WebBikeReview, photos don't do the clusers justice.


--I love the LED reaction time, easily noticeable "instant on" versus the "ramp
on" of bulbs.

--The LEDs are red, through the red lense, making any other bulb taillight look
*orange*. I mean, my taillight is now an intense, fire-engine red.

--I can stare at the bulbs all day long, staring at the LED clusters will make
flash blind in a hurry.

--With good LEDs (wide viewing angle) and the already cut plastic lense, light
dispersal at the peripery is no worse than the bulb...but the center where the
clusters are scream at your eyes.

--Both running lights and brake lights are brighter than the bulbs AND still
have high contrast between high and low intensities (which is important for
"brake recognition" by other vehicles).

Now this is at night...the real test is how much better is it during the day or
low-contrast conditions (overcast, fog, twilight). Will report in soon as I can
make that determination.

Next step, the signal bulbs. I'm doing these over the weekend since I'm not
sure if I'm going to need the inline load units for the trailer....if I do, I'll
have to
order them. I know I will need them for the bike, but haven't gotten that far.

(The PC800 requires the load of the bulbs for the flasher for the signals to
work right, however LEDs don't have enough load, so the PC800 thinks it has
a dead bulb and flashes the signals at double rate to let you know...aka
"thermal flasher." What I'm not sure is if the Uni-Go will suffer from this due
the isolation relay. I suspect not, in which case it will rely on the PC800s
which is still all bulb-based and okay.)

After I do the Uni-Go signals I am waiting for a sacrificial PC800 taillight bar
practice on removing the lense for converting the taillights. Also have the
signal conversion kit" on order from EC (the new LED version, of course), and
will likely get one of those "Ultimate Light Bars" I saw on the Y2K+4 trip for
Givi rack. Once I get all these pieces I will order the LED arrays for the PC800
(3 x 3 lenses is 9 red arrays, + 2 amber turn signal arrays + load mimic units)
then I'll break into the lenses and go nuts. Oh, and while I'm in there
I intend to convert the center rear running light to a brake light. This may
the license plate lighting a bit odd short-term...if it looks too wierd, I have
solution in mind (small white LED clusters hidden up under there).

Stay tuned.

San Leandro, CA
1996 Honda Pacific Coast 800 ("Red Dwarf")
45,000+ miles || HRCA #HM729375
2002 Uni-Go Trailer ("Starbug 1") || Trailer #499
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 || 9:37 PM PST

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