Let the night become a day
As the second stage of fun with lights, I decided to add two LED lights. We came to the conclusion that we do not need to send a beam of the spotlight at great distances and by pointing them towards the sky, try to contact aliens. We need lights to use during the evening rough terrain rides, camping in the wild, illuminating motorcycle repairs after dusk. Or simply to send a sharp reminder of our presence to a driver who “did not see” a motorcyclist and almost collided with one of us. Therefore, a wide angle will be just right for us.
Firstly, I searched the European market. LED lights available here tempted with their great look and parameters. However, its price can scare a potential buyer. The online auction website from the neighbouring continent came to the rescue. I chose the power, dimensions, read the opinions about the product from current owners and narrowed down the choice to two models. Flipped a coin, head or tail… click, bought, let the will of heaven take place… After three weeks the first pair of Chinese lamps ended up in my hands, for the test. It was a small cost, I will give it a go. If I burn I know that there is no point of trying and will not buy another set anymore.
Lamps are not too big, have aluminium casing to help remove heat, official 10 W of power per piece, the angle of light 60º, IP67. It looks nice on paper, but let’s check reality. Firstly, I took the front of the lamp apart to check the condition of connections, gaskets, materials. Overall it looks OK, but as for the waterproofness I had some concerns. These seals somehow did not look reassuring… I had two choices – leave it the way it is or find a way to ensure full waterproofness. I came to the conclusion that if the lamp fails somewhere on the road, I will not have enough knowledge and tools to fix it. So I decided to seal it my own way. I put RTV silicone under the cover and then done it tight. If this does not help, nothing will.
On the next day I tested it for water tightness – children, do not do it at home!! I connected lamps with the old battery and then put them into a bucket of water. It did not short circuit, the fuse survived, nothing exploded. The water did not get through.
The second test allowed to check how many Amperes a pair of lamps consume. Multimeter showed 1,15 A at 12 V that gives 13,8 W. So one parameter can be thrown to a bin because it gives less than 7 W per lamp compared to 10 W stated. The parameter to a bin, but not lamps. I switched them on at night and with a pleasant surprise, I found they were enough. In the final analysis, they will use less power and I want to be able to use them without an engine running.
The LED lights found their place just under the handlebar. Maybe they do not look brilliant in this place, but at least thanks to it, I have easy access and can adjust them while riding. And highly located they illuminate more space in front of the motorcycle. Also, I added a fuse and the possibility to switch them on after turning the ignition switch on.