The safety of motorcycle riders during any time of the day; at night or daylight, is paramount. A rider cannot afford to and should not neglect or compromise on any safety or protective features of a motorcycle. One of those, and, perhaps the most important safety features on a motorcycle is; the headlight. The type of Headlight you choose is critical to a safe riding experience.
Most motorcycles come equipped with a standard Halogen Bulb in a Halogen Reflector housing. Halogens are a dated technology, but they are what the stock headlight assemblies were designed for. There is this common misconception that upgrading your stock Halogen Bulb to a much newer, brighter and higher lumen rated LED Bulb would improve lighting conditions. However, to upgrade to a new lighting technology platform, you must upgrade to a compatible lens design. In other words, you cannot just swap out the light source without also considering changing the headlight assembly. With the exception of factory LED headlamps or Daymakers, which are designed specifically to use LED emitters and are subject to testing to ensure correct throw and convergence in addition to lumen output, aftermarket LED bulb upgrades aren’t considered safe.
LED bulbs do not work in the same way Halogen bulbs do. LED’s emit light through a small lens that creates a beam within a specified arc. Most aftermarket LED bulbs are in the 120 degree range, more or less. On an LED bulb, the LED diodes can be found on opposing sides, at 1 - 2 emitters per side. This equals an effective 240 degrees of illumination. While the LED diodes are in the approximate place they cannot replicate the omnidirectional or 360 degree light source of a halogen bulb. Unlike Halogen bulbs, aftermarket LED bulbs produce bi-directional light and do not illuminate the reflector surface uniformly resulting in performance loss. The upper rear portion of the reflector responsible for distance illumination, is very poorly illuminated by the LED design, which also results in loss of light projection down road. A standard Halogen Reflector housing was designed specifically to take advantage of the emitted light pattern of a halogen bulb. An aftermarket LED bulb emitting 120 degrees less than the halogen bulb simply can’t emit a uniform and wide enough light pattern to be as effective. Even with a comparatively equal or higher lumen output LED bulb, you would get more from a Halogen bulb. Even though the LED bulb has a higher lumen output rating, focus is completely lost. The illuminating characteristics or pattern has shifted from projecting distance down road to extremely bright foreground lighting. While ultimately you want more light, you want all that light to be focused and projected, not more light scattered in front of you like a blob. This results in massive light scatter or glare. From a safety standpoint this is an important and critical element as glare is what blinds oncoming traffic.
Regardless of advances in LED technology, with higher output emitters and such, the simple fact that by nature they emit light differently than halogen filament bulbs means they will always be less efficient and effective when mounted in a reflector housing designed for a halogen bulb. That doesn’t mean to say that a quality LED emitter mounted in a suitable housing designed for it is unsafe. Motorcycles now have Daymaker Assemblies that were designed specifically for LED emitters and the resulting performance is not only advantageous but clearly noticeable.
In an effort to save a few dollars, some riders opt to retrofit their stock halogen housing assemblies using the much cheaper LED bulbs available everywhere. While the lumen rating of these LED bulbs might satisfy the brightness output requirements of a rider considering an upgrade, the excessive glare, lack of focus and loss in distance projection not only make this upgrade impractical, but unsafe and dangerous. It is important to understand that it is not the brightness of the light, but the distance of light throw, or, the projection of light down road that is most important to a motorcycle rider. Anyone claiming equivalent or superior illumination from an aftermarket retrofit LED bulb in a halogen reflector housing outperforming Daymaker assemblies specifically built and tested for LED’s are absolutely false and misleading to consumers.
When it comes to considering an upgrade to your motorcycle headlight, cutting corners or compromising on quality and functionality and ultimately your safety, is not negotiable. LED technology has evolved over the years and has come a long way. Compared to a few years ago, it is now very affordable to be able to upgrade your stock halogen headlight assembly to an LED Housing or Daymaker. LED Daymaker headlights are the safest and most cost effective option for motorcycle riders considering upgrading.
Here at VTX Daymaker, we offer some of the lowest and most affordable rates for upgrading your Halogen reflector housing to an all LED Daymaker. A bracket is required to upgrade your housing. Unlike any of our competitors that sell Brackets, they do not have any aim adjustability. They aim the headlights by requiring you to find and place shims in the correct spots. Even then the aim can’t be manipulated to exactly where you want it. We are the only company in the world that manufactures Adjustable Daymaker Brackets. All of our kits ship with Adjustable brackets that allow you to aim your Daymaker properly. Aiming your Daymaker properly is as important as choosing the right type of Light for your motorcycle. You don’t want your Daymaker beam to be too low resulting in loss of distance throw or too high which blinds oncoming traffic. Make the right decision for you and your loved ones so you can be seen and be safe. Get a Daymaker! Get a VTX Daymaker Kit for your motorcycle today!