4.13. LED Running Lights

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Options for 80-84 Specials:

License Plate Lights use 194 type bulbs that use 3.8 watts. Aftermarket 194 bulbs with 5 LEDs (shown below) use 0.3 watts.


The image below shows a stock 194 on the left versus an LED 194 on the right. In my opinion, this provides plenty of light for the license, and use this setup.


Tail and stop lights use a 1157 bulb that use 27/8 watts. I found an aftermarket 1157 bulb with 35 LEDs (shown below) that burns 1.5/0.3 watts. 19 LEDs fire rearward.


The images below shows a stock 1157LL on the left versus the LED on the right with the brake lights lit. The lower light output of the LED May be of concern to some riders. The pictures do fair justice to what is seen in person.


The reason the stock 1157 appears brighter than the LED array in this case, is due to the off angle position of the bulb socket used in the late type of XS650 tail light. Since Light Emitting Diodes are limited to emitting their brightest light straight out the end of of the emitter tube, the off angle of the tail-light bulb sockets decreases the amount of light visible when looking straight at the tail-light from behind, [as the pictures show]. Also with LEDs you need to consider the color of the light being emitted. The common "white" light type of LED is severely filtered by the red color of the tail-light lens, thus cutting the amount of light shining through the lens..The "filtered" white light naturally makes the off angled LEDs appear even less bright. LEDs that emit red light are much brighter, due to the non filtering effect the red lens has on the red spectrum of light. There are red light emitting 1157 type LEDs that have a 360 degree arrangment of emitters..The 360 degree LED arrays more closely mimic the globe shape of the stock 1157 bulbs. Allowing as the 360 arrangement suggests, more light to be be reflected inside the tail-light and to be more visible from the rear and the sides of the tail-light...The RED colored, 360 degree, 1157 type, of quality built LEDs are as bright ot brighter than the stock 1157 bulbs. For the power savings alone, IMO, the CORRECT type of LEDs are worth it.


--Matt Q.

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