Headlight Relays


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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goldminerusa
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Headlight Relays

Postby goldminerusa » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:28 pm



Recently i`ve been reading about LED conversions, lighting options and such. One article is about Headlight Relays and the improvements they offer. Isn`t voltage a constant value above 2000 rpm on an 1100? I understand there are losses going thru switch`s and connections, but how and why does a relay work in returning greater voltage to the headlight bulb and improving light output, In this case an H4 Halogen. ( The article further stated that an H4 will show a 70% improvement in usable light output, mimicking a 60/100 bulb) That said, Does higher heat become a problem with the increase in efficiency, considering the way a halogen functions by design?



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cyclewizard
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 standard

Re: Headlight Relays

Postby cyclewizard » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:39 am

You can get an 85/80 watt osram or you can switch over to narva bulbs that start at 100/55 watt and go up to 130/100watt narva but remember the more power the more heat and stress on your electrical system I typically stay with these bulbs for halogen they are high efficancy and are all good manufacturers and there is not a big diffrence in photometry tests or life expectancy to even mention it Tungsram Megalicht, Narva Rangepower+50, Osram Silverstar or Philips VisionPlus remember sylvania silverstars are not even in the ballpark of the osrams so don't get them confused and going up in power is fine but you have to find that balance between life expectancy heat and stress on the electrical system if you put in some 130 watt narvas your going to melt any plastic housing and kill the factory wires in no time. but I thought I would share some information hope it helps.

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cyclewizard
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Re: Headlight Relays

Postby cyclewizard » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:46 am

One of the reasons an electrical relay is such a popular tool for electricians and engineers is that it can control electrical output which is higher than the electrical input it receives, if the ignition or lights were connected directly to the battery, heavy duty insulated wiring would be needed to connect the steering column to the battery, and the ignition switch would also need to be much more robust. By using a relay, relatively lightweight wiring can be used, saving space and increasing vehicle safety.

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SteveB123
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Re: Headlight Relays

Postby SteveB123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:58 am

A relay is just a heavy duty switch, triggered by another switch. The single heavy duty switch has much lower losses than the existing (and ancient) multi-switch current path.

No, you won't overheat anything, it will actually be operating at its design voltage.
I relayed the lights on my long gone Audi 5000. Absolutely worth it. I think I gained 1.5 volts at the lamps!

HTH
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

goldminerusa
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Location: Southern NH, home again!
Motorcycle: 1982 gl 1100standard, 1983 1000c

Re: Headlight Relays

Postby goldminerusa » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:21 am

Theres a relay offered by www.easternbeaver.com that is plugged in between the factory headlight connector and the bulb. The voltage goes thru the relay AFTER going thru a 30 yr. old harness and switch`s, My question is, how is this increase accomplished and will it compromise the original system?

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SteveB123
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Re: Headlight Relays

Postby SteveB123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:34 am

goldminerusa wrote:Theres a relay offered by http://www.easternbeaver.com that is plugged in between the factory headlight connector and the bulb. The voltage goes thru the relay AFTER going thru a 30 yr. old harness and switch`s, My question is, how is this increase accomplished and will it compromise the original system?


I'm unclear to where you're reading that it only goes through the original harness....it states a connection to the battery is required.

"Most H4 Kits just plug into your bike's existing wiring. No cutting of your bike's wiring is needed. You plug into your headlight bulb socket and headlight bulb, connect to the bike battery and you're all set!"

The original headlamp wiring is used only as a trigger to open and close the relay, using very little power. The heavy lifting is done by the direct connection between the battery, relay and headlamp.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

goldminerusa
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Location: Southern NH, home again!
Motorcycle: 1982 gl 1100standard, 1983 1000c

Re: Headlight Relays

Postby goldminerusa » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:05 am

My mistake. I thought the wiring being the trigger for the relay meant that system voltage was being fully used. Thanks for the correction.

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portugeezer
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Re: Headlight Relays

Postby portugeezer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:35 am

My main bike is a GL1000 on those you almost have to add a relay or you cannot ride at night. The way you do this is to run direct power right off the battery with a fuse inline. You split that into two power leads one going to each relay. You then cut your leads going to both the high and low beam and run them to the relays. What this does is when you switch your bike on it opens up the direct line but yet it still cuts power to the light during engine cranking. My lights are very bright now! I put my relays in the left faring compartment. I learned this from Fred over on the GL100 side of this forum. There is a wiring diagram posted by Fred Camper on the GL1000 forum. I highly recommend it and it's an easy mod if you are inclined to do minor electrical stuff!

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WingAdmin
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Re: Headlight Relays

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:58 am

It also helps extend the life of your switches, as they are no longer switching high current (and arcing inside as a result).

When I put high-power horns on my bikes, I always put relays in, as the high-amp draw of the horns will quickly kill the switches.




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