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Xenon HID lighting

tractorman414

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi, I have been reading about High intensity discharge lighting conversion kits for bikes. seems for 35 watt input you get a lighting intensity equivalent to 100 watt conventional lighting. there are UK kits in the £70 to £150 pound region, and on eBay from Hong Kong kits for £ 50 including air freight. hiding the ballast pack is one problem, but has anybody tried this form of lighting, and can recommend or otherwise ?
 

Pete Appleton

VOC Hon. Social Secretary
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
Too good to be true?

Well the hong kong kit is £12.50 including bulb and ballast. I recently had to replace just the ballast on a mercedes car and it cost nearly £200. On the face of it the e-bay deal looks too good to be true but for that price it must be worth a try. From the feedback it looks like they have a lot of satisfied customers. I have ordered the kit and will let you know how it goes.

Pete
 

vapide

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
You got to be careful because there are a lot of fake HID bulbs and kits on the market. The tip off is if they are too cheap or don't have a ballast - a true HID will always have a ballast, and is unlikely to cost much less than $100 (though prices are coming down steadily).

The problem with HIDs, for use on older MCs at least, is that its hard to get a low and high beam out of them, for machines which originally had a single high-low beam bulb. The kits tend to handle this by either using a halogen for the low beam, or some even have a little solenoid that moves the bulb up and down or in and out to approximate a low and high beam. All which would be hard to squeeze in a Miller shell!

If someone ever solves the hi-low problem, these would be terrific lights for older bikes, since a 10 or 20 watt bulb could give a totally adquate beam, and still run off an E3L with power to spare.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I just had a look at these H I D bulbs,didn't know they existed.(Only just fitted a halogen bulb)this site:- www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/home.php?cat=277 have a motorbike option for half a kit.Looks like a H4 Bixenon bulb would be needed for the dip/main beam as a lot of the kits are supplied for separate main and dip lamps.How you would mount the bulb in an older type reflector could be a problem.
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
HID's alternative supplier

I was also thinking about fiting a kit a while back, and spoke to a guy called Ian at www.hids4u.co.uk
He was very helpfull, and also supplies a bike specific kit for arround 120 quid.

The thing you have to bare in mind is that the warm up current for the first 20-30 secs is in the region of 8-10 amps, then it drops to a running current of 2-3 amps. Also dont think that going for the highest kelvin number on bulb brightness is best. Take the advise of an expert, as they usually know what their talking about

Neil:cool:
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I couldn't agree more.I looked at both sites, the site I put in the link for said the kits were not road legal and the one that Comet Rider put on says they are.:confused:John
 

Monkeypants

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I bought a new car this year and it has this type of lighting. I was amazed when I first drove it at night, on the darkest night it's as though there is broad daylight in front of you.
I hate meeting other cars with this type of lighting though.
My friend refers to my new car as "the one with the Screw the Other Guy headlights"
 

vapide

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Bixenon probably means that the low beam is xenon not HID. True dual-beam HIDs are very hard to find, and you're unlikely to find one at that price.


I just had a look at these H I D bulbs,didn't know they existed.(Only just fitted a halogen bulb)this site:- www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/home.php?cat=277 have a motorbike option for half a kit.Looks like a H4 Bixenon bulb would be needed for the dip/main beam as a lot of the kits are supplied for separate main and dip lamps.How you would mount the bulb in an older type reflector could be a problem.
 

Pete Appleton

VOC Hon. Social Secretary
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
It's Here

The kit from Hong Kong arrived today - 8 days and less than £30.

I have just tried it on the bench and it works very well. Much brighter than a standard halogen.

The initial start up current is around 8 Amps but drops away to 3.6A in about 10 seconds. Dip and main is done by way of a solenoid moving the reflector shield on the bulb and this is very effective. Finding somewhere to hide the ballast box looks like it may be a challenge but I will let you know.

I have a 7" lucas headlamp with the modern glass/reflector from a Volkswagen Golf ( a worthwhile modification on its own). With this HID bulb the dip beam cut off is sharp and clear just like a modern car.

With regards to legality, the main objection on the government website was that fitting an HID lamp invalidated the type aproval for the vehicle. This is not a problem with the Vincent as they are too old to be type approved anyway and do not require 'e' marked lamps.

There can be no problem with the MOT test as the only requirement is that the light be substantially white or yellow and that the dip beam cut off is within limits at the time of test. Whatever you fit must give a better beam pattern than a Miller.

I will post some pictures when it is up & running.

Pete
 

Pete Appleton

VOC Hon. Social Secretary
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
pictures

The old man has rushed in and fitted his lighting system. As you will see he has mounted it on the front brake balance beam plate. The box looks like it should be waterproof but we will no doubt find out the first time that he goes on a rally organised by Tracy Tilley.:D

All of the other stuff fits inside the headlamp shell and with the headlamp on and electronic ignition the alton balances at just above tickover.

Attached is a photo in very low resolution for those of you in the technological dark ages of dial up ( or Wales as it is also known)

Pete
 

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John Appleton

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
xenon h.i.d.lighting

as you have noticed , my baby boy has rushed in with the results of my efforts ! the lighting kit proved easy to fit after I shortened the harnesses supplied . This only applies to the power feed to the relay and the dip/main control harness . The high tension leads between ballast and bulb are already fairly short and limit the choices when positioning the ballast . The dip/main harness is supplied with a three pin plug attatched . This was replaced with three lucar spade terminals which plug directly into my original three pin bulb plug which means it only takes minutes to revert to a halogen bulb . The only place that I could fit the ballast unit was below the headlamp but it is fairly unobtrusive and will give the anoraks something to talk about . I can confirm that the bike harness did not have to be altered in any way . Now for the important bit . Does it work . You bet it does ! An intense cold blue/white light with a good spread on dip and a clear cut off and kick up , Main beam produces a narrower pattern but with exceptional range . The power consumption seems satisfyingly low and the alton balances at revs for approx. 35 mph . Am I satisfied . Yes , very . The kit comes properly packed . The delivery time is excellant , The results are very satisfying , and all for twelve pounds fifty plus seventeen pounds fifty shipping from hongkong ! John
 

tractorman414

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
HIDs ongoing 2

Again many thanks to you all for your comments, and again thanks to vintagebike.co.uk, I have seen the best explained article on this subject, take a look at :-

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/bulbs.html

my main fear now is the main beam efficiency. as explained by Daniel Stern, the near light is fantastic, but the distant light, no so. I eagerly await Pete Appleton feedback of his lights in use. For me I have an answer to Pete’s problem of hiding the ballast, I have on open D with a C fuel tank, so I believe there should be space beside the frame tube and hopefully enough ventilation to prevent the ballast from overheating

Bernard
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Looks like they are on to a good thing,the price has gone up.
My mistake they have more than one Ebay shop.Uk price still the same..The price if you follow the link appears dearer.
Type in H4-3 in the Ebay search.
 
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John Appleton

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Again many thanks to you all for your comments, and again thanks to vintagebike.co.uk, I have seen the best explained article on this subject, take a look at :-

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/bulbs.html

my main fear now is the main beam efficiency. as explained by Daniel Stern, the near light is fantastic, but the distant light, no so. I eagerly await Pete Appleton feedback of his lights in use.

Bernard
Bernard
Pete has not yet fitted his kit , but I have just been out on road test with mine and it is excellent . The test venue was a narrow suffolk lane and these lights illuminated the whole road width like daylight when on dip and the peripheral light was just as impressive . On main beam I never felt that I was driving into a black hole and the long range performance was such that it would never be a speed limiting factor . In conclusion , Iwould mention that I ride a B.M.W. with a 100 watt halogen bulb and the new system is far superior . Just a footnote for Niel Diggins , we tried to photograph the pattern as requested , but the camera only focuses on the hot spot and gives no idea of what the rider sees . Not only that , its bl.....dy freezing out there so we gave up . John .
 
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