We have a winner in the LED headlight conversion contest! It will please some beyond all reason, and for some reason it will displease others. If you've been following my posts, you already know this was not to be a plug and play project. Having found a LED lamp that physically fit the confines of the headlight assembly without major butchering, and the clip with an opening large enough to hold it in place securely, there was the issue of the canbus warning indicators. The good news is that the canbus is "dumb" (at least for the bulb out indicator). By this I mean there is no mysterious digital code involved in sensing that one of the H7 is burned out. Rather the circuit simply expects to see a predetermined electrical load that signals everything is well. The standard H7 halogen draws about 4 amps. Unfortunately, depending upon how you view efficiency, a 55 watt LED replacement pulls only about 1.8 amps...not a sufficient load to pass its "lamp out" warning. Now, so you know, I tested a slew of those "canbus error correctors". Most did nothing at all. A rare few actually extinguished the warning successfully. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, they accomplished this task only by generating a plastic melting amount of heat. I'm not talking about those little gold resistors either, these were major brand black boxes with capacitors and coils inside. Having worked so hard to get temps below 50C inside he headlight assembly, I was not about to allow something running 150C outside of it. Keep in mind, all we were really doing is replacing the missing [2.2 amp] electrical load on the circuit for each of the H7 lamps replaced. But all the adaptors were doing was trading that for toaster quality heat. What a total waste of energy! We want more light, and the fact that LED make more light out of the energy provided should not be traded for heat to be dumped somewhere else on the bike.
So, I started looking for other things to do with that electricity instead. Oh, and I got way out of the box on this front. A thermoelectric drink holder that would cool a beverage can, drew enough current from the headlight circuit to turn off the warning light. So did jet-turbine sound generator and amplifier-speaker system. Batman would be proud to have this accessory installed on all his machines. Heck, we're talking a couple of amps here, why just throw it away?
Then a light came on...two actually...aux lights. What if we could add outboard lights (to the low and high beam circuits) that provided sufficient load to trick the canbus into thinking the old H7's were still in place and running normally? Well, we could, and we did. Ladies and gentlemen, what I have running now are three LED "headlights". All have a low and high beam just like the main one.
All run off the same circuit and switch, so no additional boxes or wiring. All together, they provide a ridiculous amount of light that is very controllable for pattern...all while using the same amount of energy as the original worthless H7's in the headlight unit. I've been running this complete system for a couple hours now, with nary a flicker or error light. If anyone's interested in this solution to the LED conversion conundrum, please chime in. I'll post some pics shortly. Thanks, for reading about my adventure.
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