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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Always striving to raise my riding profile and be more noticeable, after istalling a Stebel air horn for audio volume, I have just mounted my Optronics driving lamps. Took out the 50W bulbs and replaced them with 20W narrow angle spots. Next step is to wire them up as soon as I can decide on a switch and where to place it.

Picture attached so anyone with an opinion feel free to share. :smiley_th :beerchug:
 

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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
Very nice looking driving lights. I love your American flag emblem too. I guess you only want the driving lights on at night and that's why you want a separate switch for them? If this is correct, I would still have the power hooked up after the ignition so that when the bike is off, the driving lights are off too, even if the switch is accidentally left on. Otherwise if you had them on during the day for some reason, and shut off the bike, you might walk away without realizing the lights were left on, and your battery would be dead when you returned.

Is it not OK to have the driving lights on day or night whenever the bike is on? If you could hook the lights up with the headlamp, the light would not come on when you first turn on the key, until you actually start the bike. That would save on battery drain, too.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you ruby and slim. I am reluctant to wire it into the headlamp circuit because that already draws 55 and 65 watts on high beam. If I add another 40 watts into that circuit it may overload that circuit fuse. What I intend to do, as I did with my horn, is wire a relay into the headlight circuit so it's only operational when the motor is running. I am planing to do the same here by adding another relay into that circuit so the driving lamps only work when the motor is running.

As far as the switch, opposed to keeping them on all the time, my thoughts are like this. These are narrow angle spot halogen beams. They should be very effective at night. During the day they would be noticeable too but they may be blinding to oncoming drivers and I don't think that's right to do. I am looking at a lighted switch so I can tell when the lights are on and only use them when there is no oncoming traffic. Basically I hate when someone is coming toward me with their high beams on and make it difficult for me to see where I am going until they pass. So that's my thinking. If there is something I am overlooking, please let me know. :smiley_th :rockon: :motorcycl
 

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Lebanon, NJ
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"During the day they would be noticeable too but they may be blinding to oncoming drivers and I don't think that's right to do."

Wouldn't they do the same at night?
 

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Love My Baby
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I am looking at a lighted switch so I can tell when the lights are on and only use them when there is no oncoming traffic.
And why would you only use your driving lights when there's no oncoming traffic? Isn't the purpose of the driving lights to make you more visible to oncoming traffic?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought that driving lights were so I could better see where I was going at night just like the bright beams on my car. The reason that I want to put a switch on them is so when there is oncoming traffic, just like I go to low beam on my car, I can go to low beam on the bike and shut off the driving lamps. When the oncoming traffic passes I can turn them back on. To me that makes sense.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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I do not have driving lights yet, but have been thinking if I put some on, to hook up a relay to an ignition controled circuit other than the headlights. My reason is that if the headlight`s circuit goes out at night, I still have the driving lights to get home. They would still have to have an on/off switch separate from the headlights, but would go off with the ignition key.
 

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Love My Baby
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What OlHoss says makes a lot of sense. However, I'm a bit confused about why we would only use the driving lights with the high beams. I thought that the driving lights were equivalent to the fog lamps on my Tacoma. I use them whenever the lights are on to improve my visibility to others, and they light up my way in foggy conditions when I should NOT be using the high beams. It's safe to use the fog lamps against oncoming traffic because they shine lower than the headlamps.

And if you wired the driving lights as OlHoss stated, you would still have lights to get home if your headlamp circuit quit on you at night, but now those driving lights would not be blinding oncoming traffic.
 

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Anyone try 'projector style' driving / fog lamps? They have a narrow beam so not to blind traffic but still add the visibility thing.

DT
 

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Super Moderator
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The 20w bulbs you put in the Optonics light are not going to blind anyone. Trust me.

I installed mine for driving at night...but did use them durring the day to make me stand out a bit more in traffic.

On a bright sunny day your pupils are so constricted that even an oncoming car with its high beams on is not going to blind you.

As these are "spot lights" you are supposed to aim them at the ground in front of you (and one a bit to the rightside for deer spotting) , not pointed at oncoming drivers.

There will be times when you want them on without having the highbeams on, so don't wire them to highbeams, you will lose half of the advantage of having them on the bike in the first place.

KM
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #13
I hear what you're saying KM but my concern is not bothering anyone during the day. At night however when the pupils are dialated .......... specifically why I want to be able switch them on and off at will.
 

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Love My Baby
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OK, as I see it, (and this is just me, not how I think everyone eise should think), your high beams are for lighting up the way in deep darkness when no oncoming traffic is around. Your driving lights are for just that - DRIVING! Day or night they will help you become more visible to others, and at night they will light up your way more than your low beam alone. Driving lights are not extra high beams, they are extra lighting for driving - any time you need or want them. You can choose to use them only when your high beams are on, but if you wire them to be dependent on the high beams, then you can't use them any other time. What a waste! I like the separate switch idea - the fog lamps in my Tacoma have a separate switch. They work independently of my high or low beams, but they don't come on at all if my headlights are off. Whereas motorcycles are supposed to have their headlamps on at all times, it would make sense to be able to have your driving lights on all the time as well, not just with your high beams. Your driving lights don't have to be aimed up high to improve your night vision. You can use your high beams to see further ahead and use your driving lights to widen your field of vision, as knifemaker stated for deer spotting, etc.

But that's just how I see it. It's your bike, you may do as you wish and it won't be wrong. I just like functionality, versatility and value. And I don't like being limited.
 

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good job, they look real nice. i was looking at doing something like that but i limited the amount of cash i would put into my vn when i got it.
 

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I hear what you're saying KM but my concern is not bothering anyone during the day..
Your quote from your 2nd post: "During the day they would be noticeable too but they may be blinding to oncoming drivers "

Irregardless, I will say this again differently as you seemed to miss it:

The 20w bulbs simply lack the power to "blind" anyone, day or night. Your low beam headlight has more than 2 times the candlepower and I do not think it would "blind" anyone either unless they got out of their car , walked up the light and stuck their face up to it.

The only reason the "high beams" might blind someone is because they shine up and farther out to the left.

But yes, you should have a switch so you can turn them on or off anytime you wish to, but doing so because you feel they might "blind oncoming cars" is silly. If you had a set of 55 watt driving lights installed I would guess this could be a problem if they were pointed wrong , but as the Vulcan could not drive them safely and you stated you installed the 20 w spots , I am sure it ain't going to happen.

You started this thread saying "Always striving to raise my riding profile and be more noticeable, after istalling a Stebel air horn for audio volume, I have just mounted my Optronics driving lamps."

Which sounds like your intrest was in being more noticed, hence the reason you started this thread in Motorcycle Safety instead of "equipment" so, I am confused as to what you do expect out of the lights and your purpose. Sorry.

I rode with my lights on almost all the time day and night, and only turned them off when I was traveling at low speeds or around town when I noticed that the voltmeter was showing a lower charge going to the battery.


As for the switch, I can't find the one I was thinking of at JCW..but did find this:
http://tinyurl.com/3uzsgm


A lousy photo and it costs more than what you spent on the lights themselves...lol and it looks like it only fits Hardleys...


But I did find this site:
http://tinyurl.com/3sbktq

Looks more like what I remember.
KM
 

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Lebanon, NJ
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437 Posts
Well, they do create glare even at 20w Hell DRLs throw out a tone of glare, so much so that they often times mask the turn indicators during the day.

I've read that it is estimated that 50% of the population is very sensitive to glare. I know I am. I have excellent night vision and perhaps that's what led me to be a successful photographer, I see the light.

Daniel Stern of Daniel Stern Lighting - http://www.danielsternlighting.com/home.html has discussed this often on the NG rec.autos.driving

Also, the National Motorists Association has a position here:
http://www.motorists.org/pressreleases/home/saturn-boycott/
 

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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
Aim your driving lights lower (and wider) than your low beam headlight and you will never blind anyone even if you installed 100 watt bulbs. Your driving lights will widen your field of vision and make you more visible to oncoming traffic, but not disturb anyone.
 
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