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Old 04-02-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
boxerboy81 OP
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Airhead headlight.

The one on the left is the 29 yo original. The right is brand spanking!



The question.

Will removing that middle piece from the headlight allow it to be brighter?

What is it's function? It obviously reflects the light from the bulb, onto the surrounds, so my guess it's to allow an even spread? Does it make it brighter?

No, I don't want to experiment with these bits, as the results would be split and subjective.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
fishkens
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FWIW, I'd be interested to hear reports on an HID conversion like this:

http://www.ddmtuning.com/Product-Cat...hting/HID-Kits

That might be an easy path to a brighter headlight w/out cutting into the stock bits. Or not.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerboy81 View Post
The one on the left is the 29 yo original. The right is brand spanking!



The question.

Will removing that middle piece from the headlight allow it to be brighter? No it doesn't make it brighter but it makes it easier for you and oncomming traffic to see where you're going.

What is it's function? It obviously reflects the light from the bulb, onto the surrounds, so my guess it's to allow an even spread? Does it make it brighter?
It prevents light shinning straight our through the lense ensuring the larger proportion of the light that does exit has been reflected from the parabolic surface of the reflector and reaches the lense at "normal" and approximately parallel with the rest of the light. The lense can then do its thing more efficiently shapping the beam putting light whare you want it.

No, I don't want to experiment with these bits, as the results would be split and subjective.

.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:17 AM   #4
Jasper ST4
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One thing that seems to get little attention to headlight upgrades or "fixes" is the possibility of blinding oncoming traffic. Seems kind of important to me. Many times I have to look away from a bike coming my. It isn't legal, it is dangerous and I wish that they would start enforcing the law.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:55 AM   #5
Bill Harris
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+1, Jasper. My philosophy for upgrading forward lighting is to increase the availiable light on the road in front without creating glare to oncoming traffic. This has been my rule of thumb since H4 headlight and halogen driving light upgrades since the 1970's.

That piece in the middle of the reflector is a glare shield, BTW.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
...

That piece in the middle of the reflector is a glare shield, BTW.
How does it do that? Is it via returning the light, onto the reflector, and spreading the intensity? I have no expertise in these things. I thought the lens markings and angles pointed the light downward and forward to where it's needed, therefore reducing glare and lights in oncoming eyes.


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Old 04-02-2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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The reflector / lens assembly is a system that spreads and focuses the light. Removing the internal cap will ruin the light output. The lens is designed to direct reflected, not direct light.

The airhead headlights provide some of the best factory lighting I've ever seen. It's too bad BMW has given in to the stylists - on most newer models the lighting is inferior.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:48 AM   #8
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In the US you have different headlight standards than we do in most of the rest of the world, you have the SAE standard and we have the ECE standard so I expect your airheads are shipped with a different headlight setup. According to Wiki your SAE standard allows for more glare than the ECE system.

Anyway, as far as I am aware the metal bowl is simply a glare shield, it does not have a polished surface and I cant see how it could possibly improve the light output. I remove the shields from my lights, IMO it increases the lumen output and my visibility. Half the cars on the road are running headlights that dazzle me, Id rather dazzle them a little than merge into invisibility with my old H4's but each to their own.

Heres a wiki quote regarding the shields

The traditional European method of achieving low and high beam from a single bulb involves two filaments along the axis of the reflector. The high beam filament is on the focal point, while the low beam filament is approximately 1 cm forward of the focal point and 3 mm above the axis. Below the low beam filament is a cup-shaped shield (called a "Graves Shield") spanning an arc of 165. When the low beam filament is illuminated, this shield casts a shadow on the corresponding lower area of the reflector, blocking downward light rays that would otherwise strike the reflector and be cast above the horizon. The bulb is rotated (or "clocked") within the headlamp to position the Graves Shield so as to allow light to strike a 15 wedge of the lower half of the reflector. This is used to create the upsweep or upstep characteristic of ECE low beam light distributions. The bulb's rotative position within the reflector depends on the type of beam pattern to be produced and the traffic directionality of the market for which the headlamp is intended.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:53 AM   #9
fishkens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasper ST4 View Post
One thing that seems to get little attention to headlight upgrades or "fixes" is the possibility of blinding oncoming traffic. Seems kind of important to me. Many times I have to look away from a bike coming my. It isn't legal, it is dangerous and I wish that they would start enforcing the law.



This should be the #1 rule when adding/modifying lights. It's not just the law but blinding other drivers impairs safety and makes other drivers angry at us.



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Old 04-02-2011, 06:01 PM   #10
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I have tested them back to back and I prefer to run them without the center reflector. They do alter the light pattern a little and I prefer the light pattern without the reflector. To each his own. I don't think it causes any more glare at all by removing the reflector.

I wonder when the cops are going to start cracking down on illegal car headlights? IMO, they are starting to get out of hand!
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