Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

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heathyoung
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

That's the wrong version of the cree lamps - I saw those as well, and looked up the spec of the bulb.

You want the Cree CXA1512 versions - the other ones are very poor in terms of light output - as you discovered. The heatsinks don't fit either.

elevatorguy
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I took the bike out at night and I can say it is a great improvement, I think it is a little higher on the the beam adjustment and I will have to adjust at some time.
I expressed my bulb error issue with the seller and got a partial refund, so no complaints.

hybride
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Hi all,

I have found a solution to stop the flashing indicators when switching headlamp to LED.

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13858-vx1-led-flashing-indicators-workaround

robwhite
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I got a local electronics shop to change the two resisters (r14 and r15) to 33k ones today ... Plugged in switched on and all I now get is canbus error code coming up on the dash? And the rest of the dash dead The head lights don't even light up?

rob white

robwhite
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I got a local electronics shop to change the two resisters (r14 and r15) to 33k ones today ... Plugged in switched on and all I now get is canbus error code coming up on the dash? And the rest of the dash dead The head lights don't even light up?

rob white

agedbikeman
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I've been using this LED bulb in my VX1 for more than 6 months now, I put a small square of black tape over the flashing green light to hide it, never saw the point in the green dash light anyway, looks like another Vectrix over design waste of money. If you can't see you've got a bulb gone on a bike you shouldn't be riding. As for the blue dash light, it's good to have a constant reminder that you're on full beam.
However, having now installed this good bright light, there's no going back, whatever Vectrix were thinking using a dim headlamp bulb beats me, what's the point in saving electricity to go further when you can't see where you're going anyway.
I'd recommend anyone who has a Vectrix to fit one of these Cree lamp units, you can find them for about 50GBP a PAIR so you've got a spare one and if ever the elements do fail you can find the CREE chip on ebay, a good sharp craft knife and a small soldering and it's repaired
__________________

agedbikeman

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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I'm using yokneamcity's bulb also. The light is pretty brilliant, a real pleasure.
The small fan which cools down the bulb is starting to make noise, I'll need to find a replacement soon...

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I also installed a LED bulb today. I used a different bulb than the ones listed in this thread, about which I read good things on the Zero forums.

Link to my bulb: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PQDUOSO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Cost was $34 (free shipping). Came in 18 calendar days from China to my home in the US. Looks like a well-made product at first glance. Will see how it lasts...

It is a direct replacement, no modifications needed, other than somehow securing the control module. The control module is smaller than the ones in this thread above and made of metal. There is no fan on the bulb. The "socket" part, the round flat metal piece which gets clamped in the Vectrix light fixture, is removable by a simple 1/8 of a turn twist. You take it off, secure it to the housing as you would normally secure the OEM halogen bulb, then screw-in the rest of the LED light in it. Done (you may need to push the spring a mm or two aside momentarily while screwing the bulb in to make clearance, but it fits OK).

I have not secured the control module yet. I think I will clamp it flat against the rear of the light housing itself (one or two holes in the plastic will be needed), or to one of the two threaded metal rods that are already there with no drilling required. Will update the thread when I decide which way to do it.

The light is much brighter than the stock and does come with both low and high beam modes that work just like the original bulb (low, high, low + high). Color temperature seems to be close to the stock LED running light (the OEM halogen is yellowish in comparison) - it is neutral cool white, not annoyingly blue-ish, green-ish, or otherwise colored.

Seems to have a nice pattern on the wall that closely resembles the stock outline in both low and high beam, just brighter and whiter. When looking at the light it is more visible too, so there is more light to see you (whether it is too much to annoy drivers facing me at night remains to be seen, but it will definitely make me more visible both at night and during the day, which is my main goal with this conversion).

The warning blinking green light did come on for me. Remember, there is a fix for this:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13858-vx1-led-flashing-indicators-workaround

Aircon
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

hmmmmmmm....that's interesting.
not what this guy thinks....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TpR2wK_OA4

https://youtu.be/-TpR2wK_OA4?t=23m42s is the conclusion, if you want to skip.

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Yup, that's the real test!

The problem is that the reflectors are not designed for the physical dimensions and dispersion pattern of the LED, so they do not create a good spread pattern on the road. I expected that. Unfortunately, I only have one headlight on the VX-1, so I may not do such a nice side by side comparison. Once I have a chance to check it out at night, I will do what I can to see if the coverage is acceptable. Will follow-up soon on what I find.

The thing is, that while his bulbs did not work in his reflectors, that means very little as to how they will work (or not work) in another reflector. And his lights are different than mine. Both the high and low beams on mine are on the same side of the stem and I only have a single (not dual) LED for low beam and a single LED for high. My bulb also has a different reflector itself. Basically, while his test was great in proving that his particular bulb was no good for riding at night in his bike, it is unfortunately meaningless for any other bulb in that same bike or for his bulb in another bike.

hmmmmmmm....that's interesting.
not what this guy thinks....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TpR2wK_OA4

https://youtu.be/-TpR2wK_OA4?t=23m42s is the conclusion, if you want to skip.

agedbikeman
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I fitted an LED bulb over 1 year ago and am very pleased with the results, even if the beam pattern is wrong, who cares, anything must be better than the original 35W bulb, my bike was undriveable in the dark the headlamp was so poor. What were Vectrix thinking of, a 65W bulb and an inverter to handle it would not have been a detriment to range, even if it went 1km less at at least you could use it at night, but like everything else Vectrix did, they were so concerned with making a 2 wheel computer, they completely forgot they were making a bike. The bike is far too complicated for its own good.KEEP IT SIMPLE.

agedbikeman

elevatorguy
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I am still happy with the LED headlight, the high beam is not really useful but the low beam is so much better it is not an issue.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.

bennelson
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I ordered an LED headlamp. I believe it's the same one Kocho got.
I'll let you know the results after I get it installed and go on a few night rides.

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Adding some photos of my LED light install.

In the first couple of photos you see the LED bulb compared to the original halogen bulb. The part of the LED that corresponds to the class-enclosed portion of the halogen is about the same size as the halogen. And the LEDs are positioned and shielded in a very similar way to the original halogen bulb. The metal flange is removable as you see on the subsequent photos - you clip that in first with the retaining spring on the headlight housing, then screw-in the LED core which is permanently attached to the heat sink. Once installed, the back of the LED heat sink is flush with the headlight housing and the rubber cover can be installed.

I am not sure if installing the rubber cover will cause things to heat-up more than ideal. But without it dust will get inside the headlight and there is no cleaning it once it does get in. So I chose to install it and to also plug the hole in the center using closed-cell minicell foam shaped to fit. That foam is available in kayak and marine stores for outfitting your kayak (and online on Amazon etc.). It is very light and easy to work with - I had a piece of pipe of the right diameter lying around and I just pushed it down on a piece of foam and got a perfect cylinder. Or use your bread knife or similar to shape one, finishing with some sanding if you like.

I attached the control module with two rivet nuts (nuts that have bras threads in a rubber sleeve, which compresses like a rivet when you screw-in the bolt). There is a lot of empty space in that area of the headlight housing for these nuts to go in and to drill safely for them. I fabricated the bracket from a $2 stainless steel ribbon from my local hardware store. Also used stainless steel bolts and locking washers. Lastly, used a tie to secure the little pig-tail plug so it does not dangle around behind the headlight housing.

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Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Oh, and one more thing: there is now a software fix available to eliminate the blinking green low beam indicator light on the dashboard. I just installed it and now I have a steady green (or blue) lights on the dash as expected. No resistor mods needed. Check with David from http://www.vectrixsupport.com if you would like to get the software for the ICM that fixes the blinking indicator light.

Bikemad
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

The part of the LED that corresponds to the class-enclosed portion of the halogen is about the same size as the halogen. And the LEDs are positioned and shielded in a very similar way to the original halogen bulb.

This is very important to obtain the correct beam pattern and prevent dazzling oncoming traffic.

I found a similar bulb on eBay that also appears to be properly designed placing the LEDs in the correct focal point of the reflector:

This one even has the driver unit screwed directly to the rear of the heatsink unit so it would not have to be mounted separately:

I have previously tried a cheap 20W LED Hi/Lo LED unit which fitted easily into the Vectrix headlamp and emitted a lovely intense white light, but the dip beam cut-off pattern was virtually non existent and there was not much difference between the dip beam and main beam patterns, so I refitted the headlamp using the original 35W halogen bulb instead.

The main reason why the light emission from the stock 35W halogen bulb is so poor is because it is only being supplied with a 12V feed, instead of the typical 14~14.5V+ that most car and bike headlamps are supplied with while the alternator is working.

Alan

bennelson
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Kocho, on my light the two LEDs of the bulb point straight UP.

Does that sound right to you?

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Same on mine - both are straight up when mounted in the bike. That seems to be the only way to install this bulb. On the original halogen bulb the low beam also is pointing up and the high beam is 360 degree (up and down and to the sides equally). So the low beam on the LED seems to be very similar to the halogen, but the high beam isn't.

It's dark now, maybe I'll take it out for a quick ride to see how the light works at night...

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Went for a quick ride in the dark. I am not too impressed. The low beam seems to give a little better illumination on the road than what I remember from the original halogen bulb. Not great though - probably good to see far enough away only for riding up to 50mph. The high beam does not work that well either - it doesn't illuminate the road all that better than the low beam already does (the high beam throws light up, not farther down the road). Good to flash someone coming at you or to read road signs farther away, but not that good to extend usable road illumination for riding at higher speeds or to just see farther away. Oh, and the low beam is always on, regardless of whether the high beam is activated with the button or the switch.

elevatorguy
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

The one I put in was much better on low beam, high beam not so much. High beam LED doesn't seem to be lining up on the reflector right and beam is not useful. I even notice it reflecting off signs in the daylight.
I still am not totally comfortable at high speeds in the pitch black. Too many deer to find out my way.

zeuz
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Went for a quick ride in the dark. I am not too impressed. The low beam seems to give a little better illumination on the road than what I remember from the original halogen bulb. Not great though - probably good to see far enough away only for riding up to 50mph. The high beam does not work that well either - it doesn't illuminate the road all that better than the low beam already does (the high beam throws light up, not farther down the road). Good to flash someone coming at you or to read road signs farther away, but not that good to extend usable road illumination for riding at higher speeds or to just see farther away. Oh, and the low beam is always on, regardless of whether the high beam is activated with the button or the switch.

Your review confirms my apprehensions...

Almost every LED lamp available on eBay doesn't respect the original positioning of the light source. When it does, then most only have one LED for the highbeam...

To this day, I only know two promising lamps:

LCJUTILA
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Could a tiny reflector be installed on the bulb to redirect the light?

LCJUTILA

bennelson
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

I'm using the same bulb as Kocho, and have had slightly different results.

On my first test ride, I noticed that the low beam was VERY BRIGHT, but it was almost as if it was simply adjusted too low. It was too low for safe and practical riding (I was just going around my neighborhood road at 20 mph.)

The HIGH-BEAM looked pretty good. The light was more spread out. It really made reflective street signs at a distance "pop" and the wider beam should be good for spotting animals on the side of the road too.

I guess I'll just try adjusting the headlight up and see how the low-beam is then.

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Please, do not email and ask me to send you the ICM firmware that I received from vectrixsupport.com - contact them directly for your own copy. It is not mine to share: it was prepared for me specifically and I can't send you my copy. Alternatively, try one of the other sources that zeus listed above: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13934-bens-2007-vectrix-repair-project?page=13#comment-75029

zeuz
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight


UPDATE

Almost every LED lamp available on eBay doesn't respect the original positioning of the light source. When it does, then most only have one LED for the highbeam...

To this day, I only know two promising lamps I only know one promising lamp:

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Here is a video I shot today with my LED light (go half-way through to see the night-time part of the video): http://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg or directly skip there: https://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg?t=7m6s

After some more night riding, I think I'm fairly happy with how it lights-up the road. Could be a bit more uniform and the high-beam a bit lower, but the low beam is definitely better than the original halogen bulb. Stays cooler than the original bulb too.

Aircon
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Here is a video I shot today with my LED light (go half-way through to see the night-time part of the video): http://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg or directly skip there: https://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg?t=7m6s

After some more night riding, I think I'm fairly happy with how it lights-up the road. Could be a bit more uniform and the high-beam a bit lower, but the low beam is definitely better than the original halogen bulb. Stays cooler than the original bulb too.

Is the beam a bit narrower than the halogen? Looks impressive. Usually people put the halogens back in but the Vectrix voltage makes the halogen so dull and yellowish that for the first time that I know of, LED might actually be a significant improvement.

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

The beam is somewhat narrower than ideal, I think. Some of it is from the camera, since the transition from the brightly lit center towards the dimmer-lit sides is somewhat more abrupt, I think the camera just renders the sides black. But overall an improvement over halogen that is worth the $30 price of admission, IMO. To properly compare one should set a camera on full manual control and switch back and forth, but I don't have the time to do that - the LED seems better enough to keep (perhaps precisely because the halogen is underperforming in the Vectrix).

Here is a video I shot today with my LED light (go half-way through to see the night-time part of the video): http://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg or directly skip there: https://youtu.be/72w9nT5j5tg?t=7m6s

After some more night riding, I think I'm fairly happy with how it lights-up the road. Could be a bit more uniform and the high-beam a bit lower, but the low beam is definitely better than the original halogen bulb. Stays cooler than the original bulb too.

Is the beam a bit narrower than the halogen? Looks impressive. Usually people put the halogens back in but the Vectrix voltage makes the halogen so dull and yellowish that for the first time that I know of, LED might actually be a significant improvement.

kinchip
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

Hi All-

I just installed a Cree 40W, 4,000 lumen bulb.

M80W 8000LM Kit Car CREE LED Headlight Bulbs H4 HB2 9003 H13 9004 9007 Hi/Lo Beam.
Here is a link to the bulb itself:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/281724136831?
The install was pretty straightworward, except that I had to reconfigure the wire holding down the lamp. It took a lot of jiggering, and when I was done, the bulb was pretty loose from the base. So I used the other one in the box! : )
I do have the green flashing light (was hoping I was using enough juice to eliminate that problem) which I will live with.
I only drove it on the street a block or so last night, but it was very bright and so much improved over the stock light.

The heatsink is pretty big! I left in place the rubber boot (which I 'inverted' so the smaller, central portion sticks posteriorly) and I made a 3/4" circumferential cut 1/2 way to the periphery to allow the wire and connector to exit.

I left the boot on because I figured it dampens vibration, in addition to keeping the lamp area clean.
But thinking about it, I wonder if that heat sink is going to get too hot? Will it melt the rubber? I don't want a fire!
I'm thinking of taking the rubber boot off. Has anyone done that and if so, does it impact vibration?
I don't know if it's relevant, but I drive no more than 10 miles at a time in southern California.

Kocho
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Re: Installing LEDs in the Vectrix spotlight

You did see http://visforvoltage.org/forum/13793-installing-leds-vectrix-spotlight?page=1#comment-74968 ? Free from http://www.vectrixsupport.com And there is the DYI version, posted along with other stuff by "team Laird" in a recent thread here...

...I do have the green flashing light (was hoping I was using enough juice to eliminate that problem) which I will live with...

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