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Old October 2nd, 2015, 12:20 PM   #1
M42
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Cyclops 3800 lumen LED bulb impressions

Got one a month back, have since had opportunities to try it out in lots of different situations, so let me tell you what I think!

Here's what it looks like in the box:



The base and plug is exactly like any conventional H4 bulb. If you can put an H4 in your headlight, you can use this. If your headlight has that rubber cover over the back of the housing, you'll probably have to trim it so the fan can stick out (I did).





(picture makes it look yellow, it's not. Pure white irl)




Lo




Hi (sorry, people in that house)





So far it's been fantastic. I had a sylvania H4 in there before, and I basically rode with hi beams on all the time because it was piss weak. It barely even looked like "light" during the daytime at all, like here in this pic it's barely brighter than the sunlit areas.




It's fantastic during the daytime. It helps you stand out so much more during times like sunrise/sunset, because the light isn't yellow. LEDs are also super directional, so you're not really blinding anyone unless they're crouching down 100 feet in front of the bike. Like, I've been blinded more by crappy HIDs and those super bright blue projectors some new cars have (I'm looking at you, hyundai!!!)

The only downside is that you won't get 100% function unless your headlights also come with an LED reflector inside - without it, the light will have dimmer spots within the circle it casts, because LEDs need an entirely different reflector (since they're so directional). You can see a bit of it on the ground in my night pics up there, but that's also partially because my garbage delkevic headlight reflector is bubbling in like 4 places. Basically, with a conventional reflector, your throw/spot light will still be good, but your spill light won't be as good as it could be. Cyclops includes two different thickness spacers with the kit, which are supposed to help alleviate it somewhat. I haven't bothered putting the spacers in, because the light is real freakin good anyway.

It will cast light on my shirt during the day if I walk like 3 car lengths in front of the bike. It made what would have been a miserable, slow, eye-straining 90 mile trip through a HUGE downpour on unlit pitch black highway at night, into a joke. I emailed the company with a question at like 7 PM their time and got an answer in 5 mins. The fan makes an adorable "wheeee" sound. It's pricy, but worth it.
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Old October 2nd, 2015, 01:39 PM   #2
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Old October 4th, 2015, 08:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M42 View Post
The only downside is that you won't get 100% function unless your headlights also come with an LED reflector inside - without it, the light will have dimmer spots within the circle it casts, because LEDs need an entirely different reflector (since they're so directional). You can see a bit of it on the ground in my night pics up there, but that's also partially because my garbage delkevic headlight reflector is bubbling in like 4 places. Basically, with a conventional reflector, your throw/spot light will still be good, but your spill light won't be as good as it could be. Cyclops includes two different thickness spacers with the kit, which are supposed to help alleviate it somewhat.
That's the problem with putting anything other than an H4 bulb into an H4 headlight, whether it's LED, HID, plutonium, etc. The headlight housing is engineered to match the way the H4 bulb puts out light, so anything that puts out light in a different way won't match the housing as well. Some designs will simply work better than others in these retrofits. Thanks for sharing your observations on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by M42 View Post
The fan makes an adorable "wheeee" sound.
I hate the idea of adding a little fan to my headlight. The most common failure with modern electronics is their cooling fans, since that's basically the only moving part. There are other headlight LEDs that instead use loops of wire braid as a heatsink with a ton of surface area. As long as you're able to get a little airflow over it, I think I would much prefer that type of setup, as it's one less moving part to fail. Probably not great for a round headlight bucket, but it seems like it would work very well behind a fairing.



With your standard round headlight bucket, you also have the option of using the HD-style LED projector headlight. http://www.baggerbags.com/products/7...le-harley.html (video) It costs a decent bit more, but you don't have to worry about a fan and I'm willing to bet it does a better job of evenly lighting up all the areas it should (simply because the whole unit is engineered as one piece).
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Old October 4th, 2015, 08:38 AM   #4
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Even better than that are the proper DOT and SAE compliant LED offerings from JW Speaker or GE Automotive lighting. They come in 7" round, rectangular sealed beam replacement, etc and all offer fantastic lighting with a proper, fully legal low beam cutoff and then have a badass high beam.

The JW speaker units come as a factory option in Harley's, but both the JW and GE units can be retrofitted into bikes, classic cars, current model trucks, etc.











Significantly more expensive, but if you're going to do it, do it right. I'm back on Halogen until I finish my bixenon setup that I've been preoccupied from finishing...

EDIT: Didn't follow Bill's link, he already mentioned the JW Speaker option on the Harley's.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 03:46 PM   #5
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Yeah, I love those projector buckets, but spending 300 in peripherals as opposed to things like physical ride improvements (suspension upgrades etc) is a bit too rich for my payscale right now. I was worried about the fan too, but I haven't found anyone that's complained about it breaking, and cyclops customer service is decent enough that they'd most likely send you a replacement if it ever happened.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 04:44 PM   #6
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I have the same bulb in my FZ6.

I know some people don't like when we throw brighter bulbs in buckets designed for standard H4s, but it was the only solution! The vibrations on my bike were blowing out regular H4 bulbs every 100 miles.
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Old October 5th, 2015, 07:56 PM   #7
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I was really worried that I'd be one of those dickheads blinding everyone on the road, but I've walked all around the bike at night and it's really not bad (I realize I may be biased). My headlight is pointed way down than others, though. I also rarely ever ride at night, this was an upgrade because I realized I was invisible during the evening/morning.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 06:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
My headlight is pointed way down than others, though.
This is another "fix" that people do which can actually make things a lot worse. If your headlight is aimed too low, not only are you not throwing light in the distance where you need it, but you can also be making the foreground area too bright, which causes your pupils to close down, essentially giving you the same visibility results as having a dimmer light (added onto actually having less light where you need it).

I'm not trying to pick on M42 here (it sounds like she doesn't really use the light for illumination much anyway), I just want to point out that headlights are designed to put out light in a certain pattern. Simply aiming a headlight lower does not correct for a mismatched bulb/housing that produces a distorted output pattern.

I'm not here just to tell people they're wrong. I just want to point out the possible issues that a lot of people probably don't consider with a "simple" change like this. Blinding other drivers or unintentionally crippling your own vision most likely won't end with good results.

I've been trying to find an LED headlight assembly that would work in the 500's fairing, but haven't had much luck...
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Old October 6th, 2015, 07:17 PM   #9
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Have you tired to reaim the headlight? I had a similar issue when I installed the HID set-up, I had the reaim my headlight, on both the Ninjette and EX.
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