1500 Headlight Question


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Dane
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

1500 Headlight Question

Post by Dane »



Hey all,
I need to replace the headlight bulbs on my 96 GL1500.
Do you have any aftermarket recommendations for a halogen bulb?
Thanks.



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CrystalPistol
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Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by CrystalPistol »

Dane wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:20 pm
Hey all,
I need to replace the headlight bulbs on my 96 GL1500.
Do you have any aftermarket recommendations for a halogen bulb?
Thanks.
H4 60/55w Sylvania or Phillips either one.
Last edited by CrystalPistol on Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by WingAdmin »

I'd suggest skipping the halogen bulbs altogether. You'll be MUCH happier with the results of one of these:

LED Headlight Comparison: SoCalMotoGear vs Electrical Connection

SoCalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights - 2nd Generation

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hugger-4641
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Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by hugger-4641 »

I prefer the blue/white of the Silvania Silver Stars vs the yellow hue from regular replacement bulbs, but that's just a personal preference.

Dane
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by Dane »

Thank you everyone for your replies!
I ended up installing a set of Silvania Silverstar Ultra. Love them!
I'm in a very rural area of Wisconsin, and riding is always a game of "dodge the critter," especially at night.
Hawks, eagles, turkeys, cranes, opossum, raccoons, badgers, groundhogs, skunks, fox, lynx, coyotes, deer, and black bear are all common things to find standing or walking on roads out here.
A fellow Wisconsin winger on a evening ride recently hit a turkey at 30 mph on his GL1200 and it destroyed his faring, and dumped the bike.
This is why for night rides I like to have light that not only shines far down the road but also wide in the ditch line to see whats there too.
It's nice to see the glow of their eyes and know what direction they're heading before you're too close to do much about it.
A few of my friends I ride with have gone to LED's, and they just don't throw out light far enough or wide enough to suit me.
I'm sure in the future they will improve and be the way to go, but for now I'll stick with the H4's.
Thanks again everybody.
Safe travels to you all, and watch out for the cagers and the critters, because they sure aren't watching out for you.

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PunWinger
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 5:50 pm
Location: Port Matilda, PA
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500 Goldwing
Commodore Blue-Green

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by PunWinger »

WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:37 am
I'd suggest skipping the halogen bulbs altogether. You'll be MUCH happier with the results of one of these:
LED Headlight Comparison: SoCalMotoGear vs Electrical Connection
SoCalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights - 2nd Generation
WingAdmin, I had not seen a real committal statement from you to which LED you liked better other than a tiny snippet in the EC review video. Maybe I missed it. I guess I know for sure now! What is it about the new Pathfinders that makes you recommend them over the EC LEDs?
Autocorrect has become my worst enema!

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Corkster52
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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:28 am
Location: Naperville, IL
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 Aspencade
1988 GL1500 (sold 4/17)

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by Corkster52 »

WingAdmin has some great insight into the differences between the two, but at the time (when he also had ECs installed), I jumped at the chance to install the EC ones. Every ride with others I have been on since installing them I get at least one question about them as where to get them.

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CrystalPistol
Posts: 1399
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Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by CrystalPistol »

hugger-4641 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:29 pm
I prefer the blue/white of the Silvania Silver Stars vs the yellow hue from regular replacement bulbs, but that's just a personal preference.
I understand personal preferences.

I like the older, softer color more:
A) when I'm meeting them,
B) when they are following me,
C) on my own ride when in light fog or mist at night,
D) on my own ride when driving/riding on a roadway with a lot of reflectorized signs.

Our new Forester has LED lighting, I don't think much of them.
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by WingAdmin »

PunWinger wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:42 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:37 am
I'd suggest skipping the halogen bulbs altogether. You'll be MUCH happier with the results of one of these:
LED Headlight Comparison: SoCalMotoGear vs Electrical Connection
SoCalMotoGear Pathfinder LED Headlights - 2nd Generation
WingAdmin, I had not seen a real committal statement from you to which LED you liked better other than a tiny snippet in the EC review video. Maybe I missed it. I guess I know for sure now! What is it about the new Pathfinders that makes you recommend them over the EC LEDs?
They are SO similar in terms of performance as to be almost identical. In the end , I kept the Pathfinders in my bike for two reasons:

- The EC had a very slightly larger dark spot in the beam pattern than the Pathfinders
- The heat sink on the Pathfinders was larger, with far more surface area, so it would be more efficient at removing heat. The more heat removed, the longer life of the LED.

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hugger-4641
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by hugger-4641 »

Dane wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:04 am
Thank you everyone for your replies!
I ended up installing a set of Silvania Silverstar Ultra. Love them!
I'm in a very rural area of Wisconsin, and riding is always a game of "dodge the critter," especially at night.
Hawks, eagles, turkeys, cranes, opossum, raccoons, badgers, groundhogs, skunks, fox, lynx, coyotes, deer, and black bear are all common things to find standing or walking on roads out here.
A fellow Wisconsin winger on a evening ride recently hit a turkey at 30 mph on his GL1200 and it destroyed his faring, and dumped the bike.
This is why for night rides I like to have light that not only shines far down the road but also wide in the ditch line to see whats there too.
It's nice to see the glow of their eyes and know what direction they're heading before you're too close to do much about it.
A few of my friends I ride with have gone to LED's, and they just don't throw out light far enough or wide enough to suit me.
I'm sure in the future they will improve and be the way to go, but for now I'll stick with the H4's.
Thanks again everybody.
Safe travels to you all, and watch out for the cagers and the critters, because they sure aren't watching out for you.
I have similar problems here in West TN. My 60 mile commute to work has 40 miles of rural 2 and 4 lane hwy, plus a few miles on I-40, and I am quite often riding home after dark. I pass at least half a dozen deer on the side of the road on EVERY trip no matter what time of day, no exaggeration what so ever. I have counted as many as fifty in a single trip. I installed a set of LED auxillary lights under each side of my fairing above front fender that shine out to the sides. I guess they kind of serve the same function as cornering lights, but they work better because they are higher up and pointing down. These have helped a lot with seeing things off to the sides of the road. I get a lot of strange looks and questions from bikers who notice them and the angle I have them aimed, but they have saved me several times by letting me see deer that were down on the road banks about to come up and cross in front of me. These are deer that I would not have seen in time with just my headlights.
They also work great for riding in rain at night as they shine down on the fog lines good enough to let me keep moving even when I can't see anything through the windshield and they don't blind oncoming traffic like these HID's that some guys are putting on their bikes. I don't recommend riding in rain at night if you can avoid it, but if you have to, then you definitely want all the light you can get, but there are ways to do it without blinding everyone else. 8-)

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raven41951
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Location: Haverhill, MA
Motorcycle: 2016 GL1800
1994 GL1500SE (sold)
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1975 Kawasaki 500

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by raven41951 »

I'm with WA on this one. I had pathfinders in my 1500, have them in my 1800 and the SoCalMotogear equivalent in my Tundra.

I started with an upgrade to HIDs in the 1500 (SoCal) and when one prematurely died, they sent me a pair of beta pathfinders to "try". End of story

If you have seen LEDs that are subpar to the Halogens, you were looking at the wrong set. Pathfinders have so much more illumination than the halogens I don't even need my high beams any more, but watch out when I flip them on!

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raven41951
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Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by raven41951 »

As I said, I have SoCal LEDs in the Tundra. Well, last week one burnt out. I have taken it out to check it because its such a pita. I emailed Tim at SoCalMotogear and told him about it and also that I was looking to get the LED light kit for the rear of the 1800.

I got a reply in a few minutes and they are sending a new set of LEDs for the Tundra AND the 1800 rear LED kit for just a few bucks more than the kit alone.

Customer service!

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Ravyn
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1980 Honda cx500 turbo..."SOLD" My latest bike is a 1994 GL1500SE, side car rig.

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by Ravyn »

CrystalPistol wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:48 pm
hugger-4641 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:29 pm
I prefer the blue/white of the Silvania Silver Stars vs the yellow hue from regular replacement bulbs, but that's just a personal preference.
I understand personal preferences.

I like the older, softer color more:
A) when I'm meeting them,
B) when they are following me,
C) on my own ride when in light fog or mist at night,
D) on my own ride when driving/riding on a roadway with a lot of reflectorized signs.

Our new Forester has LED lighting, I don't think much of them.
I'm with you 100%. I hate LED lights and those super bright silver stars or whatever they are called. I do not like lites that chop off the top of the beam. For me they create to much shadow. I prefer a nice round beam of the softer color. And I do a fair share of night riding. I don't have any trouble with lite they produce.

brownfoxx1
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Motorcycle: '1993 gl-1500 goldwing with road smith trike kit . plus 3 harleys, and a bmw

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by brownfoxx1 »

go to LED. its great. about 100.00. on-line

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Sadanorakman
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Location: Leicester, ENGLAND
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 SE

Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by Sadanorakman »

I can understand the OP's feedback. My last car had HID projector headlamps that actively steered. My latest car has LED projectors that also actively steer. They both produce amazing lighting, but in comparison the LED's have a much harsher hue (bluer tint), an unnecessary sharp cut-off with harsh coloured fringing, and seem to throw back more off of retro-reflectuve road signs... I find them much more fatiguing.

I appreciate that halogens produce way less light, and that HID conversions in Gold wings are downright dangerous due to the bad beam patterns. I just wish that the available LED conversions selected a slightly warmer tint that was a little easier on the eye.

There is no such thing as a true 'white' LED, as white light consists of many frequencies over a broad spectrum. LED's produce light only in narrow bands of pure colour.
White LED's normally use pure blue emmiters, with a thin layer of yellow phosphor deposited on their surface, which converts the frequency of some of the blue light, and allows some through. What results is something that looks like white light to the human eye, but if you look at a spectrum analysis of it, you see a huge blue and yellow spike, and little else. They have little to no green content for example, so the colour rendering is not generally very good.
You can seem to have either good colour rendition, or high light output with LEDs, but for the moment, seemingly not both simultaneously.

I will be fitting LEDs to my gl1500, but yes they can be quite fatiguing on the eyes.
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WingAdmin
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Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by WingAdmin »

Sadanorakman wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:05 pm
I can understand the OP's feedback. My last car had HID projector headlamps that actively steered. My latest car has LED projectors that also actively steer. They both produce amazing lighting, but in comparison the LED's have a much harsher hue (bluer tint), an unnecessary sharp cut-off with harsh coloured fringing, and seem to throw back more off of retro-reflectuve road signs... I find them much more fatiguing.

I appreciate that halogens produce way less light, and that HID conversions in Gold wings are downright dangerous due to the bad beam patterns. I just wish that the available LED conversions selected a slightly warmer tint that was a little easier on the eye.

There is no such thing as a true 'white' LED, as white light consists of many frequencies over a broad spectrum. LED's produce light only in narrow bands of pure colour.
White LED's normally use pure blue emmiters, with a thin layer of yellow phosphor deposited on their surface, which converts the frequency of some of the blue light, and allows some through. What results is something that looks like white light to the human eye, but if you look at a spectrum analysis of it, you see a huge blue and yellow spike, and little else. They have little to no green content for example, so the colour rendering is not generally very good.
You can seem to have either good colour rendition, or high light output with LEDs, but for the moment, seemingly not both simultaneously.

I will be fitting LEDs to my gl1500, but yes they can be quite fatiguing on the eyes.
You're right about how LEDs produce white light, but you're not quite on about the color frequencies emitted. A sample:

Light spectrum comparisons
Light spectrum comparisons

A "cool" LED of 4000K or higher puts out a spike in the blue section, while a "warm" LED of 3000K is missing that spike of blue. Both have considerable green outputs, with less red. Traditional halogen peaks right in the yellow with very little blue, which is why they appear yellowish compared to LEDs. Fluorescents have huge spikes in green and red/near IR. In film, red and IR is not recorded well, which is why film scenes shot under fluorescent light appears with a greenish hue.

The colored fringing you see on the cutoff is chromatic aberration, and has more to do with the quality and design of the lens of the projector/reflector than the actual light source. You see the same thing on light/dark transitions of pictures taken with cameras featuring cheap lenses.

Chromatic aberration example
Chromatic aberration example


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Sadanorakman
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Re: 1500 Headlight Question

Post by Sadanorakman »

Thanks wingadmin. I got the green element wrong. Seemed to remember it was lacking in the led spectrum.

Well aware of chromatic aberration in optics after many years of photographic experience. It's not only cheap lenses that suffer from CA, all lenses are a combination of compromises. Barrel, pin-cushion or wave distortion, vignetting, uneven sharpness across the field of view, curved focal plane, CA, contrast problems due to mechanical design, internal refraction etc...

Yes the coloured fringes at the edge of my beams is definitely CA. I doubt the lenses in the HID headlamps were of any higher quality than those in the LED, I ratherfeel the nature of the light source contributes to the effect.
The hid light source is very three dimensional being ionised gas constrained in an approx 1/4" spherical space. This by its nature will create a softer cut-off in the optics, as not all of the depth of the light source can be effectively brought into focus simultaneously. This will also mask any CA.
The led is basically a surface emitter, hence practically a two dimensional light source. This is projects more accurately, hence a sharper (too-sharp) beam cut-off, and the more obvious CA.
The optics must have a large aperture to maximise light transmission, hence will have a very narrow depth of field.


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