LED bulbs vs. Stock bulbs - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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LED bulbs vs. Stock bulbs

I have a LED lighting kit installed on my bike that lights up the engine, tires, and road, so I wanted to reduce the load on the battery by changing out the bulbs to LEDs. I ended up buying some LEDs that I considered to be the most reasonably priced for the brightness level. The LEDs I got are rated at 800 lumens, 15-16 watts, and are around $7-$11 for a pair. Other brighter LEDs go for much higher for just one bulb.

I bought two red colored 1157, two amber colored 1157, and two amber colored 1156. All rated at 800 lumens.





I did a side by side comparison of the new LEDs and the stock bulbs and here are the results. The pictures were taken with my iPhone so the actual brightness looks different in real life, but it still gets the idea across.

LED is on the right side of the picture and stock bulb is to the left.
On the turn signal, the LEDs are brighter, however on the brake light the stock are brighter. It has something to do with the color of the LED and the lens filtering. I'm wondering if it would be better to put in white LEDs in the brake instead of red.

I measured the voltage at the battery with the key in the on position (without engine running). Unfortunately I did this after installing the rear signal LED. I did not want to remove them again because I broke the LED base during installation and had to solder the wires back in place.

Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on rear signals :12.22 v
Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on rear & front turn signals: 12.27 v
Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on turn signals & brake lights: 12.32 v
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RoadHopper likes this.

Don't take my word for it. I'm just a foolish newbie.
When in doubt, just know that I am only joking around.

95 VN750
Top speed is 112 mph at ~7900 rpm
Blacked out engine
Dry rusty splines finally lubed for the first time
R/R relocated to the side of fuse box
Rust removed from tank
Marbled
In line fuel filter, 23-28 micron rating
Voltmeter
Gear indicator
LED turn signals & brake light
16 color LED engine light up & underglow
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:26 PM
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What bulbs are you installing?

Stock turn signal bulbs are only 8 Watts....you are using LED bulbs at 15-16 Watts?

You are actually using more power and not reducing consumption if I am reading this right
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evulcannibal View Post
I have a LED lighting kit installed on my bike that lights up the engine, tires, and road, so I wanted to reduce the load on the battery by changing out the bulbs to LEDs. I ended up buying some LEDs that I considered to be the most reasonably priced for the brightness level. The LEDs I got are rated at 800 lumens, 15-16 watts, and are around $7-$11 for a pair. Other brighter LEDs go for much higher for just one bulb.

I bought two red colored 1157, two amber colored 1157, and two amber colored 1156. All rated at 800 lumens.





I did a side by side comparison of the new LEDs and the stock bulbs and here are the results. The pictures were taken with my iPhone so the actual brightness looks different in real life, but it still gets the idea across.

LED is on the right side of the picture and stock bulb is to the left.
On the turn signal, the LEDs are brighter, however on the brake light the stock are brighter. It has something to do with the color of the LED and the lens filtering. I'm wondering if it would be better to put in white LEDs in the brake instead of red.

I measured the voltage at the battery with the key in the on position (without engine running). Unfortunately I did this after installing the rear signal LED. I did not want to remove them again because I broke the LED base during installation and had to solder the wires back in place.

Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on rear signals :12.22 v
Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on rear & front turn signals: 12.27 v
Voltage @ battery w/ LEDs on turn signals & brake lights: 12.32 v

Incandescent lamps put out "white" light... which is more like a range of all sorts of colors, like random noise... ever heard of white noise? So filters work on incandescent lights by refusing to allow some of the colors through... what you have left... is just the red light flowing through the red plastic... so... that's one...

but...

LED's do not put out white light. They put out a specific frequency only. It could look white to a human eye, but is actually a bright blue, or a bright yellow, etc... LED lights are like single notes on the piano scale compared to white noise which is like pressing all of the keys at the same time.

So a filter is going to simply attenuate an LED... if that LED has no red in it to begin with, it's just going to block it out. So... a RED LED is better in a RED filter, but... the filter doesn't block it out actually... it allows it through.

Now keep that in mind, but also... filters are not perfect either. They are simply tinted plastic. If it were a true "filter" of light, it would be polarized, like sun-glasses. If you'd like to read up on the topic, try here... Articles, reviews, news, promotions, tips

Hope this helps and i stand corrected in advance.

1987 VN750 California - "Lydia"
Reupholstered leather seat w/matching lockbox.
Rebuilt battery cage
Relocated R/R
AGM battery
Murican MCCT
Redesigned Rear - LED Tag/Signals/Harness
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc2dgq View Post
What bulbs are you installing?

Stock turn signal bulbs are only 8 Watts....you are using LED bulbs at 15-16 Watts?

You are actually using more power and not reducing consumption if I am reading this right
According to the service manual and parts list, they are 23 watts each.

Rear Brake is 54 watts, stock.


1987 VN750 California - "Lydia"
Reupholstered leather seat w/matching lockbox.
Rebuilt battery cage
Relocated R/R
AGM battery
Murican MCCT
Redesigned Rear - LED Tag/Signals/Harness

Last edited by RoadHopper; 04-29-2016 at 04:44 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:37 PM
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IIRC it's roughly 5-8 watts for the running mode, 21-27 watts for flashing. Basically, you save almost nothing by swapping in LED's to the rear turn signals because they aren't on normally, but it's worth doing on the fronts and the brake light bulbs because you cut that constant load by about 90%.

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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These are the LEDs that I am using.

if you check this out it gives info about the 1157 bulb.
1156 and 1157 Light Bulb Comparison - webBikeWorld

I knew the switching out the back was going to be kind of useless, but I like consistency and I figure go all out or go home.
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Don't take my word for it. I'm just a foolish newbie.
When in doubt, just know that I am only joking around.

95 VN750
Top speed is 112 mph at ~7900 rpm
Blacked out engine
Dry rusty splines finally lubed for the first time
R/R relocated to the side of fuse box
Rust removed from tank
Marbled
In line fuel filter, 23-28 micron rating
Voltmeter
Gear indicator
LED turn signals & brake light
16 color LED engine light up & underglow
evulcannibal is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:46 PM
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No worries there - my message came across harsher than it should have. I'm running LED's on the rear signals as well, both for consistency and (hopefully) long life. For what it's worth, the license plate lights are a constant draw and worth replacing, I just haven't found a good replacement for them to recommend. Ordered something on the slow boat from China, but haven't gotten it in to test yet.

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calebj View Post
No worries there - my message came across harsher than it should have. I'm running LED's on the rear signals as well, both for consistency and (hopefully) long life. For what it's worth, the license plate lights are a constant draw and worth replacing, I just haven't found a good replacement for them to recommend. Ordered something on the slow boat from China, but haven't gotten it in to test yet.
Sniff... Sniff. (wipe nose and cheeks)
Its okay. I, I, I, I didn't think anything of it.
I'm also thinking about replacing the license plate light. Is it a 67 bulb?
Let me know when you find a good replacement.

Don't take my word for it. I'm just a foolish newbie.
When in doubt, just know that I am only joking around.

95 VN750
Top speed is 112 mph at ~7900 rpm
Blacked out engine
Dry rusty splines finally lubed for the first time
R/R relocated to the side of fuse box
Rust removed from tank
Marbled
In line fuel filter, 23-28 micron rating
Voltmeter
Gear indicator
LED turn signals & brake light
16 color LED engine light up & underglow
evulcannibal is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evulcannibal View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by calebj View Post
No worries there - my message came across harsher than it should have. I'm running LED's on the rear signals as well, both for consistency and (hopefully) long life. For what it's worth, the license plate lights are a constant draw and worth replacing, I just haven't found a good replacement for them to recommend. Ordered something on the slow boat from China, but haven't gotten it in to test yet.
Sniff... Sniff. (wipe nose and cheeks)
Its okay. I, I, I, I didn't think anything of it.
I'm also thinking about replacing the license plate light. Is it a 67 bulb?
Let me know when you find a good replacement.
That sounds right. It's the same base as an 1156 but much lower output.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Can any old Led bulb be use here, or is the issue that it has to be directed downward to the license plate.

Don't take my word for it. I'm just a foolish newbie.
When in doubt, just know that I am only joking around.

95 VN750
Top speed is 112 mph at ~7900 rpm
Blacked out engine
Dry rusty splines finally lubed for the first time
R/R relocated to the side of fuse box
Rust removed from tank
Marbled
In line fuel filter, 23-28 micron rating
Voltmeter
Gear indicator
LED turn signals & brake light
16 color LED engine light up & underglow
evulcannibal is offline  
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