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Old 01-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #72
ignatz72 OP
call me iggy
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Mid-South, M-town
Oddometer: 626

So far, Tennessee Thumper, Les_Garten, and craydds are onboard the LED train! WOO, WOOOOO!

I really look forward to the results of the Kisan 100HD Tailblazer from both Les and Ray... seriously, no pressure or hurry - do it right and report back.

Meanwhile, an update I don't think I have provided yet. I completed the idiot light install and fairing reassembly on my GS this past weekend, and I have to say that I am super pleased. You have already seen the results of the SBLEDS BA9s-RHP3s in the gauges (the BA9s-RHP6 will absolutely not fit without modification), but I would like to provide what evidence I can of using the 74-xHP3s in the dash indicators.

The 74-xHP3s are direct replacements of the #2721 bulbs used in most dash indicator applications. In attempting to find a perfect fit, I tested these as well as the 74-xHP and 24-xHP. The 24-xHP would not fit at all in this socket, and I demolished the 74-xHP in my attempts to make it fit (the plastic base is seriously weak). So the 74-xHP3 has emerged as the sturdiest fit for #2721 applications (again, dielectric grease helps!). If your existing idiot bulbs look like the one pictured on the right below, the 74-xHP3 will work for you.

One more shot of the comparison between the stock idiot light bulb (#2721) and the 74-xHP3:
From LED stuff

So I have a 74-BHP3 for the High Beam indicator, a 74-RHP3 for the Oil Pressure indicator, and 3x 74-GHP3 for Turn Signal and Neutral indicators. I buttoned everything back up, put all the fairing panels back on and took a brief ride yesterday evening. My thoughts follow.

The 74-xHP3 bulbs are BRIGHT. Do not be misled, these things are much brighter than stock incandescents. Those of you with Macular Degeneration, Sensitive Retinas, Chronic Dry Eye, or who ride a lot at night may want to stick with incandescents or follow my ideas below. I do most of my riding in the city during the day, so I want bright dash indicators. If I lived in the country or rode mostly at night I would probably think differently. I was hoping that some of the single LED options would fit, because I expected that multi-LED bulbs might be too bright, but I have not found a suitable single-LED bulb in my testing.

Here are some shots of the idiot lights in action, although the iPhone camera kinda bleeds all the bright lights together more than in reality:

LED Oil Pressure vs. incandescent Charge (you can tell the left light halo is brighter than the right):
From LED stuff

LED Oil Pressure, incandescent Charge, and LED Neutral:
From LED stuff

And finally, the Big Lebowski: LED Oil Pressure, incandescent Charge, LED Neutral, LED High Beam, and LED Turn Signal indicators on half intensity Running Light setting:
From LED stuff

SO... Yes, the reflection in the large GS windshield is bothersome, and yes the 74-xHP3s are bright. But again, pictures don't really do it justice, it's really something that you will have to try. The 74-xHP3s are only $3.50 each so you really can't lose for giving it a run.

Honestly, I am glad these bulbs are brighter, because I want to know if something is up and I don't initially catch onto it. When running, you WANT to see the Oil Pressure light as soon as possible, and you should know when to expect the Neutral light. The only qualm I have is the brightness of the High Beam indicator. Granted, I don't have much occasion to travel with the High Beam on here in the city, but when I visit TN Thumper in the country I can see how the brightness of the 74-BHP3 would be a problem. My installation is also complicated by the GS touring windshield reflection, something that should not be a problem in the summer with the stock windscreen.

BUT, I have an idea that I think I will try. This might work for those of you who want LEDs in the dash but are worried about brightness since I do think the 74-xHP3 is the sturdiest, best solution for this application.

I'm thinking about using some liquid electrical tape to paint over the two side LEDs on the High Beam bulb. This will make the 74-xHP3 a one LED bulb. I do believe that there will be plenty of light provided by the one remaining LED, while not becoming overpowering at night.

My only worry with this solution is the possible heat generated by the then covered LEDs on the side of the bulb, and how that might affect overall bulb life.

But, overall, nice problems to have when considering the benefit I recognize in these bulbs. We're talking 40,0000 hour life in the idiot light position, a spot I am all too happy to avoid revisiting with regards to bulb replacement! I think the bulb life tradeoff may be entirely relative...

My question to you electrical gurus is this: Snowbum made mention of a slightly lower wattage/voltage bulb that would instigate charging sooner in the Charge Indicator position, so what do you think the ramifications would be of having an LED bulb in the Charge Indicator spot? We're talking mA draw instead of 10ths of an A draw, would that mean charging starts as soon as the bike is running, or would some other Hell Break Loose as a result of having an LED in this location?

THX for reading and replying!
Current: 93 R100GS, 03 XR650R
Prior: 73 CB350, 77 R100/7, 83 R100RT, 04 XR650L
I love every motorcycle I've owned and even some that I haven't.

ignatz72 screwed with this post 02-02-2012 at 05:11 PM
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