If you are replacing
the bulb(s) in your headlamp(s) with bulbs of higher wattage, be aware
that enhanced wattage may or may not produce the improvement you desire.
The degree of improvement you will see depends on the definition or
precision of your lighting pattern. In US-DOT lighting, the patterns
vary from very poor to very good. In those cases where the pattern is
good (as in the Concours headlight), the improvement can be marked.
With a poor lighting pattern, the light distribution is so diffuse,
the improvement can be negligible. In a Euro spec, or "E" coded lamp,
like the one I sell above, the improvement is substantial on the Concours.
This bulb's output is very close to a halogen, 80/100 watt bulb,
but does not tax the stock wiring or j-box because it draws no more
current because it is a 55/65 watt bulb.
The industry accepted
life of a standard wattage bulb is some 200-300 hours - of course, some
are going to fail earlier and some are going to last your lifetime.
Time to Fail is a standard bell curve around 200-300 hours. Typically,
the life of a high wattage bulb is less than half that of a standard
wattage bulb - some (not these Hella bulbs) are rated as low as
50 hours. It is heat and vibration that kills any bulb. With a high
wattage bulb, there is much more heat, resulting in a much softer filament
which is much more susceptible to vibration failure. When running high
wattage bulbs in smaller lamps designed for 55/65 watt bulbs, not
only do you run the risk of cracking your lens or housing, you significantly
reduce the normal life of the bulb. Your wiring may not be up to the
task of handling the higher wattage bulbs too.
the glass of a replacement bulb with your bare fingers. A halogen bulb
burns VERY hot and the oils from your skin will create a SUPER HOT spot
on the glass that will cause the bulb to shatter or burn out prematurely.
If you inadvertently touch the glass with your bare fingers or skin,
you may very carefully clean the bulb with a clean cloth soaked in isopropyl
about HID driving lights?
of electronic ingenuity promise a ton of increased lighting while consuming
significanly less electrical power, almost a free lunch. Yes, they are
BRIGHT, but the very white/bluish tint makes some objects, particularly
dust and rain, very distracting. Also, the distance the lighting gets
down the road is still the function of the reflector design (bigger
IS better). HID lights utilizing a projector type housing at do not
perform nearly as well as ones with larger reflector housings. I have
ridden ahead and behind a motorcycle that had HID, projector beam, lights,
and, other than the brightness, they provided very little advantage
over my Hella FF-200's, particularly in the overall useful lighting
that is needed for safe night-time riding. The Hella Compact 4000
Compact HID's are a large diameter light and are the ultimate in driving
lights. To see pictures of the installation of these lights on
a C-10 Concours go here.
I own a set of
PIAA 5100 series pencil beams. This little known of model, is light
in weight and not overly large. They use their "super white" PIAA
bulbs (55 watts each) that PIAA claims have an output like an 85 watt
bulb. These cost $40.00, each, H-3, bulbs are of the bluish/white type
and change the light spectrum to appear brighter but have some of the
same disadvantages of HID lights when riding in rain, dust, or fog.
When I used them, I had them on the mirror type mounts on my Concours.
Because of the vibration of the fairing, the movement of the lights
was distracting and the high mounting often prevented their use. This
situation is what led to the developement of my Driving
Light Mount for
the Concours. I have compared them to the Hella FF-200's , and
they are no match because the Hella's are such a good all-around light.