Adding a set of high performance auxiliary driving lights (spot lights) is generally a rather simple and affordable upgrade that can significantly enhance your ability to see and to be seen.
Spot lights are typically available in two varieties — lights that project a somewhat short but wide light pattern (a 30 to 35 degree spread is common) and lights that project a longer and narrower light pattern (20 degrees).
30 -35 Degree Wide Beam
20 Degree Long beam
Can my bike support additional spot lights and what are my options?
Lighting options are divided into three categories:
1. Halogen bulbs: This system has been around for many years and comprises a bulb with a filament. These type of systems consume the most power and relative to their modern counterparts (HID or LED) they remain inefficient.
2. Hid/Xenon: A newer technology that delivers 3 times the light of conventional halogen headlamps while consuming considerably less power.
The HID (High Intensity Discharge) Xenon bulb does not use a filament commonly found in normal halogen motorcycle light bulbs. Instead, the bulb is filled with Xenon gas (ignited via a high voltage ballast) to create a white arc of light.
3. LED (light-emitting diode): The latest technology that has evolved into the most efficient power consumption light form of the three derivatives. LED’s also offer a long service life, in excess of 50 000 hours of illumination.
LED’s are extremely sturdy, and can handle shock and vibration much better – for much longer. Further advantages include low power consumption, low heat output and a very efficient, bright light output.
Good quality LED’s (such as Cree) however remain at the top end of the price spectrum. Beware of cheap and inferior LED products as they will be a disappointment not only in light output but service life.
The type of light that you may want to add to your bike will be dependent upon the capacity of its electrical system. If it has the extra capacity to support an additional 110 to 150 watts of power, using conventional halogen lights are a cost effective solution. They will however not be as bright as the HID or LED options.
A typical set of halogen driving lights, each drawing 55 watts of power, will need an additional 110 watts of power to operate properly. However, if your bike’s electrical system output is limited, you may be forced to consider using a more energy efficient lighting system such as LED lights (which only draw 10 Watts each) or HID (Xeon lights which draw 35 watts each).
Does Your Bike Have Enough Electrical output Power?
Every motorcycle has a rated amount of electrical power that the bike’s system can generate to keep it running and to power various items like the headlights, tail lights, turn signals, fan motor, instrument lights, and various electrical sensors located throughout the bike.
Beyond that, most bikes can support another 100-200 watts of power to run miscellaneous electrical items such as a GPS unit, a radio or a set of spot/fog lights. The amount of extra power is going to vary from bike model to model, so it’s best to either check your owner’s manual for “Generator Charging Capacity” or “Alternator Output”. Alternatively consult your dealer.
Another option to increase the capacity of your electrical output would be to consider a Lithium Ion battery which not only provides additional power vs. a standard battery but also charges fully within 5 minutes of riding. Such a quick charge rate reduces the demands on your bikes charging system as a result.
Lithium Ion batteries are also 80% lighter with a much stronger crank amperage and hold a charge for approximately a year, without charging.
DESERT FOX RAPTOR SPOT LIGHT KIT : LED
LED spot lights represent the pinnacle of current light technology. Their light output is unrivaled relative to the unit’s size and low power consumption. Consuming a meager 10 watts per unit, the new Raptors produce an outstanding bright output of pure white light equivalent to a 100 W halogen unit!
All this is achieved by using only the highest quality components including industry leading Cree LED’s and a robust laser cut lens.
Furthermore these units have been designed specifically for motorcycle use.
Features of the Desert Fox Raptor spot light kit:
- A proprietary reflector technology that provides the ultimate focus for long range light projection.
- All circuitry is shock resistant and resin encased, important for motorcycle use.
- Weather proof connectors, silicone wiring and stainless steel fittings.
- A unique gland to ensure wiring is stable and will not crack in extreme conditions e.g. when turning the handlebars over the lifetime of your bike.
- Rugged aluminium housing for optimal durability and heat dissipation.
- High power Cree Led with a light output of over 1100 Lumens per spot light.
- Consumes only 10 W of power, the lowest of any unit.
- Reverse voltage protected.
- Thermal protected with over-sized cooling fins. Many spot lights have inadequate cooling resulting in the LED loosing output power i.e the warmer the LED becomes the less bright it is.
- Extremely robust laser cut lens with a light transmittance of greater than 93%
- A kit comprises 2 spotlights, full wiring harness including inline fuse and relay and a waterproof handle bar switch which enables you to operate the system without removing your hand from the handle bar.
- Plug and play. No cutting of existing wiring is required. Simply connect to your battery with the supplied wiring kit.
- Service life of 50 000 hours with no filaments for total peace of mind.
A Raptor kit Includes:
- 2 spotlights.
- Full wiring harness including inline fuse and relay.
- Waterproof handle bar switch which enables you to operate the system without removing your hand from the handle bar.
There are most certainly cheaper LED alternatives. These cost less as a result of their components, performance and will be a disappointment, assuming that they can withstand the rigors of motorcycle use.
LED spot lights only (no headlamp) with subject at a distance of 30M
Motorcycle headlamp only (no LED spot lights) with subject at a distance of 30M