LED panel lights - '03 K1200RS - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 9:08 am Thread Starter
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LED panel lights - '03 K1200RS

A couple of lights behind the gauges on my bike have failed. Replacing them means taking off all the tupperware to get to the panel wiring harness. It occurs to me this is as good a time as any to convert to LED's.

The first question is: has anyone done this recently? A few years ago, some bike part vendors (notably Murph of Murphs Kits) said "forget it - they don't hold up". Looking at DDM Tuning's current offerings, I think they may have more robust parts. Or do they?

The second question is a little harder. The stock bulb is a 12V 3W bulb with a T10 base. The problem here is "how bright is this lamp"? DDM offers these lights in a range of brightness (measured in lumens). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anything in the BMW literature about how bright the stock bulbs are - that is, how many lumens that put out. I don't want to put in LED's that are too bright and distracting when riding at night.

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Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:18 pm
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see K1200RS Dash Light Mod by a77boy

the thread two years ago by a77boy. not the one I was looking for and maybe you found these not workable for you back then. I will keep looking for my other links. Seems it was the guy in Hawaii with the K75 he rebuilt a year ago.

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showth...t=panel+lights

Jim Douglas
'00 K1200RS >135,000 mi, '09 K1300S sold @ 22,232 mi
'93 K1100RS traded up @ 78,000 mi, '85 K100RS sold @44,000 mi, Kawi 650 track bike - sold
http://www.seagullbb.com/

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 8:37 pm Thread Starter
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The recurring theme in all of this is the LED's don't seem to fail as often as suggested elsewhere. The one loose end seems to be how to calibrate the "how bright" part. I don't want to spend ~$50 only to find either I can't see anything at night or the panel overwhelms all other lighting on the road.

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 4:04 am
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I have had leds fail which I put it down to the Chinese manufacture and their greediness to offer higher light output specs than others.

Basically the led chip should be reliable for thousands of hours, but that depends on how much current you put through it and whether that current reaches the point where the led die must be cooled with a heat sink AND that heatsink can work when the led is stuffed inside a closed up round housing. Their chip leds are fitted in a housing with a series resistor. depending on who you buy from the value of that resistor (current/brightness higher or lower) will change.

The 'torpedo' leds with lower light outputs are regarded as old design over the new led chip arrays. Torpedo leds even in the high brightness versions run at 20-25 mA per led which is cool and you cannot go wrong with those. Some of these new led chips and arrays are pushing up to 100mA per led and their reliability depends entirely on how the Chinese manufacturer has tried to pull the heat away. The panel leds I bought have a metal band around the lamp holder. It was my view after having failures and testing on a bench power supply that if those leds were tight fitted in a metal panel, they would have been ok.

If you buy any of these led replacements and they appear very bright, check the current and add a series resistor to bring it down to 20-25 mA per led. If the lamp brightness is not good enough for you, then consider going back to filament lamps. If you buy cluster leds e.g to replace the parking lamp, they are better cooled but adding the resistor to give you a total current of 25mA X the number of leds will give you a more reliable lamp.



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 7:51 am Thread Starter
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It's good to hear from you - I hope all's well with you.
Thanks for the comments. If I have to tweak the voltage with resistors, I'd count the project as a fail.

I hear you on the issue of the older torpedo or bullet shapes. Here's a link to DDM Tuning's. I'm leaning towards them because I have the HID's and they've been very helpful with my questions. And, of course, the HID's, at least, work.

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 2:19 pm
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I fight these bad product designs all the time. Products are driven by marketing hype and sales volumes and these put the wrong kind of pressure on design engineers.

If I buy something that I can see is obviously wrong but low price, I fix it and claim a project success. Many Chinese products are like this - they try making copies of successful products, but often lack the technical background to make them work the same.

I bought a new electric toaster last week - a well known UK brand, but completely made in China! After many years of evolving toaster design, they could have been expected to get it right. Not so, the heat control was all shifted to one end and the toast was over cooked. Buy another and you get the same thing.

So I spend an hour hacking their circuit, change a resistor value and remove a thermistor which keeps changing the toast color according to how hot the thing is (?). Now my toast is medium rare at mid heat setting and consistent every time for every slice.



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