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Offline Mcfly

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LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« on: February 17, 2020, 06:31:18 PM »
I decided to upgrade the Halogen bulbs to LED.  The Halogen bulbs well... sucked. 
I started with Philips H7 Standard Halogen Headlight Bulb, headlight was out when
the bike came off the transport truck, so the Phillips got me on the road.  I tried better
quality halogen bulbs, and found them better, but shorter life and higher
cost made them a less admirable solution. Sylvania Xtravision bulbs at $30/pair...
Yeah they did throw a bit more light down the road, but still weren't enough for my aging eyes.
 
So I decided to try LEDs, despite the mixed feelings and varied technical disparities that are shared on forums.
I went with a pair of Techmax 'Mini-H7-TE' LED replacement bulbs (6500k).  I also purchased a pair of pliable
rubber caps (70mm diameter IIRC) to cover the longer bulbs.

The bulb replacement is straight forward... not much exciting to read on changing a light bulb.
The covers were NOT very much fun trying to put on then zip tie in place.  I decided to cut up
the OEM covers and epoxy the rubber caps to just the outer ring that attaches to the headlamp
housing.  Using Permatex Black plastic Bond (2-part epoxy), I attached the the outer ring of the
OEM bulb cover to the rubber cover, and after a 24 hour cure, the 2 parts 'were one'.  Even some
moderate twisting and pushing wouldn't break the two pieces apart, so I'm pretty happy with the
end result.  The covers now attach with a little twist, like the OEM covers.





Low beam headlight:


Low Beam headlight projection on a wall about 3 ft away:


High beam headlight on:


High beam headlight projection on a wall about 3 ft away:


No head lamp error code on dash:


The work (and pictures) were done in the garage due to inclement weather... Sunshine state my @$$!  bb :008:

I'm pleased with the end result.  The bulbs seem to display a nice cut off, and are remarkably brighter than the
Halogen bulbs.  Of course I'll need to get out on the road at night to really be sure I've made the right choice.
Planning on that little jaunt into darkness tonight.

I also have NO idea as to IF or how long the caps will last, but what's life without whimsy?  I'll keep a close
eye on the caps and see if another solution will eventually be needed.




Offline Markymark11

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2020, 06:47:03 PM »
Sounds like a neat solution. I went with HID Xenon's on my last XR as I couldn't find a suitable solution for the rear covers and never thought about your solution, so I may look at LED now for the current steed. Well done and please let us know if the bond fails. You can buy replacement OEM covers from BMW in the UK for £12 each , so no problem hacking a spare set up just in case.  :002:

Offline Mcfly

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 07:07:33 PM »
*Originally Posted by Markymark11 [+]
Sounds like a neat solution. I went with HID Xenon's on my last XR as I couldn't find a suitable solution for the rear covers and never thought about your solution, so I may look at LED now for the current steed. Well done and please let us know if the bond fails. You can buy replacement OEM covers from BMW in the UK for £12 each , so no problem hacking a spare set up just in case.  :002:

I've since found an ebayer in Italy with a 3D printer making solid caps to fit the XR OEM headlight openings.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hard-Plastic-LED-Headlight-Dust-Seal-Cover-Cap-for-BMW-R1200RS-S1000XR/312630603096?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

Use your existing O-Ring, and the covers attach the same as OEM.  I've ordered a pair, but they'll
take a couple of weeks to get over the pond.  Probably a better solution.  I'll update on both accounts,
because to me, a frugal solution is the preferred solution, provided it works.

Offline SimonUK

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 09:04:28 PM »
I have had those exact same bulbs installed for 6 months/5000 miles now, no issues at all, still burning bright. I also used the same rubber caps, but never got round to putting zip-ties on, again no problems the caps have not moved that I can see(seems the most frugal option, didn't even have to spend on 2 zip-ties!!!).

Excellent solution (for me anyway)

Offline st4gary

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 09:11:41 PM »
Any chance either of you have a link to the rubber caps you used?

Thanks,
Gary

Offline Mcfly

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 09:23:40 PM »
*Originally Posted by st4gary [+]
Any chance either of you have a link to the rubber caps you used?

Thanks,
Gary

Here you go!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SB7YQ2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Offline st4gary

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 09:25:26 PM »
Thanks!  I was prowling Ebay w/o any luck.



Offline Dutch

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 12:27:44 AM »
I'm curious how your impressions of the night ride went.
No dash warnings?

Offline Mcfly

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Re: LED Headlight Bulb upgrade
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 01:46:58 AM »
*Originally Posted by Dutch [+]
I'm curious how your impressions of the night ride went.
No dash warnings?

First time out was bad.  Went about a mile to a dark road, and lighting was terrible.
Turns out the low beam was focused quite a bit higher with the new bulb.   Got a few
oncoming bright flashes, being a tell tale.  My bad for not checking... basics. 

Second time out was much better.   Now that the light was pointed closer to
the right direction, the view was much nicer.  Definitely getting further down the road
lit up, and better overall illumination.  Brighter white light seems to light up reflectors
and signs further out, but I still got an oncoming bright flash.  This test road is a 2 lane
 unlit rural road, so it may just be the fact that I'm close to oncoming traffic.

When I got home the second time I threw the lights on the garage door. 
Low beam needs a tad more down adjustment I think, otherwise
things seem to be good.

The performance of the LED over halogen is definitely noticable.  I need to dial in
the proper adjustment, but not tonight. 

I never got a headlamp error code.  These bulbs are 30w, so I think they draw enough
to satisfy the canbus.