Honda CX 500 Forum banner
41 - 46 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
I thought flash to pass was a UK thing.

These switches have a yellow button on the back of the left switch assembly. The Bullet Owner's Manual calls it "Day flash" and from what I could find its purpose is to turn the high beam on while it is held to let oncoming drivers know that you are in their lane while passing other vehicles going the same direction as you are.
In the UK, flashing headlights has exactly the same purpose as use of the horn, ie. to let other road users know you are there. There is no situation where use of either is mandatory (maybe there's the odd sign that tells you to, but there's no official one, only advisory, such as over a hump-backed bridge or a blind tight bend, but these signs are not very often seen nowadays). Headlight flashing does get used unofficially as an 'after you' signal to oncoming traffic on narrow roads or at junctions (and therefore the cause of many collisions...), and to let overtaking trucks know they have safely passed when overtaking on multi-lane roads, so they can pull back in to the left (truckers use the signal a lot, and car drivers often signal to them in the same way).
"Day flashing' when overtaking was probably something once recommended by the Institute of Advanced Motorists here (an elite club for drivers who don't always practice what they preach...) back in the 1950s or 60s, and some of their 'advice' is sometimes the source of much, er, discussion...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
I never got the facination with LED lamps either.

In terms of them lasting longer for example.. ? The CX (at least the UK main models) for example have two bilux bulbs on the rear. If one blows either in tail illumination or brake it's no biggy. That's why two are prefered- there's always one working. And how long does it take to replace a bulb? 5 seconds?

It's not actually a common occurance to me to change bulbs and I have 3 cars and 5 bikes. The last time a bulb blew it was a brake lamp bulb on my Peugeot 205 about 1 year ago. I've had that car 12 years and that is the first time a brake light bulb has died on me (the headlamp bulbs have never blown on the vehicle either).

Likewise with the bikes, the bulbs break mainly because I drop them or shock them in some other way accidentally (bike falls), I can only think of a few bulbs in my time that I have had their full lifespan eeked from them, and that was only because they were really really cheap bulbs that the glass turned silver on after only a few months and they eventually failed a few years later.
 

·
Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
Joined
·
17,736 Posts
I've replaced lots of bulbs over the years and it takes more than 5 seconds to get a screwdriver, let alone and undo the screws that attach the lens and change the actual bulb.
But that's not why I changed to LEDs. LEDs are much more efficient, turning something like 90% of the power they use into light (compared to approx. 10% for incandescents, the rest of the power being wasted as heat). Thet means a well designed LED light produces more light for less power so there is far less chance of other road users not seeing them.

BTW: I don't recommend using LED bulb replacements because they just aren't as good as lights that are designed for LEDs in the first place.
And I specifically recommend against using coloured LEDs behind coloured lenses that weren't designed to work with those specific LEDs.
Incandescent bulbs produce broad spectrum light so lenses designed for them can filter just about any wavelength that is anywhere near close to the desired colour and still be acceptable. For example, some tail light lenses are more tomato red (orangeish) while others are more cherry red (verging on purplish) but both will meet the requirement for a "red" tail light. Since you are filtering out most of the light, you are also reducing the efficiency yet again.

The colour of light produced by an LED used to be determined by the material the diode junction is made of (eg. gallium arsenide diodes produce red light) but more & more of them use very efficient blue light producing junctions coated with a phosphor compound that emits the desired colour when excited by that specific wavelength of blue (sounds complicated but it does produce even more efficient LEDs). In either case, the light produced is limited to a very narrow band of wavelengths. This means that the wavelength of the lens must be pretty close to the wavelength of the LED if you want the light to be very bright. For example, if you put LEDs that produce 625nm red light behind a tail light lens that filters 670nm (a slightly different red) it won't exactly dazzle the driver behind you. For all practical purposes the only way to find out if it will work well is to set up two lenses in the same place at the same time, one with the standard incandescent and one with the LED, and compare them.

When I put the sidecar on Mr.H I bought a pair of rectangular trailer lights in the hope that I could mount their boards inside the bike's original tail light and a matching Honda light that I could mount on the sidecar. I hooked up one Honda light with incandescents, one of the trailer lights with its original lens and one of the LED boards sitting inside the other Honda lens and stood back about 15-20 feet to look. The trailer light was by far the brightest, although its lens actually looks darker than the Honda lenses. The LED board in the Honda lens was the dimmest. As much as I would have preferred to have matching Honda lights with LEDs in them on the bike and sidecar, Mr.H has the trailer lights in their original, somewhat industrial looking housings and with their original lenses. When safety is involved, form must always come in second to function.
Eccles has a set of square LED trailer lights. When I asked a friend who had followed me in his car for a few blocks what he thought of them he said "Very good. The brake lights are almost painfully bright".

If you absolutely have to put LED bulb replacements in the original lenses make sure you get white ones (the same blue light producing junction with a phosphor that produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths). Because they produce a broad spectrum they will work with any lens designed for use with an incandescent. Because the lens wastes most of the light, they will use more current for the amount of light that the lens passes than LEDs with a matching lens would but it will still be a huge amount less than incandescents would need.
I had 48 (white) LED panels behind amber lenses on Eccles for years until I replaced them with the sequential LED signals last year.
 

·
Registered
CX500B 1979 and 2004 BMW F650GS
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
The reason Bullet owners use LEDs is mostly vibration, but also less current draw, the alternator didn’t pumped out gallons. My 350 Bullet wasn’t too vibey at all. But… the Classic 500… that was intense!
 

·
Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
Joined
·
17,736 Posts
I remember these guys specifically talking about wanting to make their batteries last longer when the park lights were on. maybe someone had a specific case where they needed that.
LEDs should hold up well under vibration, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Well.. Skips etc still have the amber lights on their edge.. For a similar reason. These days they are LED.
 
41 - 46 of 46 Posts
Top