(I guess) 1st scooter with High CRI Nichia LED headlights

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clemence
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(I guess) 1st scooter with High CRI Nichia LED headlights

I had a full weekend off and I think it was a perfect time to start begin my scooter headlight project development. The guinea pig is my faithful Honda scooter. It's a very common Honda scooter in Indonesia, myriads of them actually. Honda sold more than 1.300.000 unit in 2016 alone for this particular type. Urban Indonesian rarely walks, they scoots.

And the good thing is, Honda has completely switched to LED headlights for all it's product lineup in Indonesia since 2015. I used to mod the whole headlight assembly to get one. I forgot to take before pics, I already stripped the whole headlight, doh... I'll borrow my neighbour's scooter later tonight for a before-after beamshots.

 

Summary of modification objectives:

  • wider and more evenly distributed beam. The OEM HL was too narrow and gave me limited close and medium sight, while the hotspot was too bright and liney (how do you call a thin vertical beam in english?).
  • brighter or equal to OEM HL brightest hotspot with the same good cutoff to prevent glaring others
  • more neutral CCT, to get better view in smoky or foggy nights.
  • much higher and wider high beam. The OEM high beam was nothing but adds more intensity in the center

It's small, lightweight, and fast @110km/h stock. I modded mine and got a 124km/h top speed. You can carry your monthly grocery with this one. The underseat box is big enough for a full face helmet. The best thing about this 150cc scooter is the fuel consumption, 45km/liter is easy. With patience you can get almost 50km/liter. It's fuel injected with a single alternator/charger which also the electric starter. I rode on this dude from Bali to Jakarta last year (1400 km /trip).

 

Finally, dissasembled. Designed in Japan by Stanley exclusively for Honda.

Looks easy for many of you while it was a real PITA. The reflector holder (middle) was severely glued to the recessed groove in the headlight body (right).

Most modder here advised me to use heat gun and a small spoon to pry open slowly. I didn't have the time for a time consuming-nerve-testing,process. So I put the whole headlight assembly in a big metal bucket and boiled them in a boiling water (yes boiling water). With heatgun method I opened the joint at about 15cm/hour, and I had to keep it separated, otherwise the joint will closed back. With boiling method I snapped open the whole thing in 2 hours.

I really hate the glue, why don't they just use rubber seals and screws instead??

 

One of the best/clever design to get the most from the LED with minimal glare. A sharp cutoff is a must for headlights, according to many Japanese automotive regulations. The bare LED positioned just a bit above the reflector so the strongest emission hit the reflector and the high angle emission exit the headlight at horizontal angle at worst. Some beam directed upwards to aid shining traffic signs, but in this HL, it's too dim, only useful in a complete darkness. The driver isn't sophisticated at all. The driver positioned in the center right above the accent lights.

 

FR4 boards with double copper sides. I don't know what are the flat domeless LEDs used here. The die measured ~ 1mm x 1mm. Any larger die LED should give me floodier beam, right? EDIT: they're Stanley LED 

 

6000+K with magenta-ish tint and of course very low CRI (not measured, just saw it)

 

3535 soldering foot print. It's a NON DTP PCB used with DTP-able LED. Common in streetlights to save cost. Note the generous through hole vias connecting to the backside of the PCB to get the largest cooling area.

Left is the cathode side. At ~ 350mA/LED, this design is more than capable even in a sealed HL chamber unit like this one. And this scooter designed with the low beam turned on all the time.

 

Got me wondering if the E21A could be used....checking....hmmmmm, interesting. Symmetry isn't needed with a scooter HL. Almost all car's headlight also assymetric. 1mm off center should be OK

Just to give the idea how it would soldered. Man...this E21A is so tiny and THIN, even flipping it was a challenge (for my sore trembling thumbs from glue prying session earlier)

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK: DELUXE REFLOW ADJUSTABLE STATION + PANCAKE BATTER (OPTIONAL)

 

 

OEM LEDs removed. The new sm503 9080 E21A stuck in place using sticky flux. No additional solder needed at this point. At 240C the masking paint started to yellow, lower than 240C the solder didn't melt too well. I remember JIS requires automotive solder to melt at around 227C minimum. I think Stanley/Honda uses IR rather than hot plate to reflow this one. 

 

Looks good except for the burnt flux on the LED. Cleaned it with IPA later. Centering was a bit off in X axis, I don't care, I left it at the best position I could do with my shaky trembling thumbs.

 

Looks like the silicone protective layer is mixed with the phosphor, isn't it?

 

PRETTY!

I used 2 3500K 319A for the accent lights. Blueish LED was once looks cool on the streets, not anymore. Now they're too mainstream.

 

 

High beam on. Cool, is it a 600CC super bike one might asks?

 

Under exposed

 

Too bad, it's still the same work scooter.....undecided

 

Will update soon with more beamshots and comparison pics...

 

Meet Duddo, my loyal crazy naughty chewy dude

 

BEAMSHOTS:

CONTROL

 

LOW BEAM: Still far from perfect. Too high contrast between close and medium range, making slow careful riding in rough terrain difficult. The eyes have to adjust from bright to dim, strained. But this is way better than the OEM (approx. double the OEM width), the hotspot was thin horizontal line. And adjusting the beam closer just makes it even thinner. 

 

HIGH BEAM: Only makes a difference at very long range, definitely brighter than OEM. If you think this is bad then imagine the OEM which only added ~5 meters more range with the same setup.

 

CONTROL: Didn't dare to ask the neighbors to turn their lights off.

 

LOW BEAM: Minimal glare same as OEM but minus the blinding blues

 

HIGH BEAM: Minimal glare same as OEM but minus the blinding blues

 

THE BEAM

 

- Clemence

 

 

Edited by: clemence on 09/15/2017 - 06:16
electricjelly
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Nice mod. Now your headlights will stand out and everyone will want hi cri.

The Miller
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Cool mod and written with humour, fun to read and see!

djozz
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This story made my morning! It is nicely different from other mods and gives a peek into where you live too (I have never been anywhere near there but Bali is a special place).

Thanks for the effort of making all those pictures, it is so easy to forget that if you are in the flow of modding.

And, how much I like high CRI, of course it utterly insane to want R9080 Nichia’s in your motorcycle. Glasses Glasses Big Smile

Dirt
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Nice job and great narrative! Nice scoot.

Yokiamy
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That is one amazing looking headlight!
But i’m not clear about the way you opened it, you put the whole thing in boiling water and were able to open it in 2 hours?
Did you introduce water into the HL? And just dried it? Please tell us more details, this opens up new options, to replace every nasty >6000k, low CRI light in every circumstance Smile

EasyB
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Cool scooter and nice mod. This is the first time I heard of these E21A LEDs. I couldn’t find a place to buy them. Is there a good source for them?

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Very clever clemence. Love the way you persisted got the light apart. Thumbs Up

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

clemence
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electricjelly wrote:
Nice mod. Now your headlights will stand out and everyone will want hi cri.

It’s more likely they just interested in the accent lights. Not so much in the high CRI.

The Miller wrote:
Cool mod and written with humour, fun to read and see!

It was my playtime, had to be fun.

djozz wrote:
This story made my morning! It is nicely different from other mods and gives a peek into where you live too (I have never been anywhere near there but Bali is a special place).

Thanks for the effort of making all those pictures, it is so easy to forget that if you are in the flow of modding.

And, how much I like high CRI, of course it utterly insane to want R9080 Nichia’s in your motorcycle. Glasses Glasses Big Smile


Yeah, most of the time we realized we have to document it in the middle of the process. FYI, this E21A has no auto align when reflowed, the small pads don’t create enough tension to self center themselves. A centering jig made from SS/ceramic should make positioning easier.

Dirt wrote:
Nice job and great narrative! Nice scoot.

Thanks

Yokiamy wrote:
That is one amazing looking headlight!
But i’m not clear about the way you opened it, you put the whole thing in boiling water and were able to open it in 2 hours?
Did you introduce water into the HL? And just dried it? Please tell us more details, this opens up new options, to replace every nasty >6000k, low CRI light in every circumstance Smile

2 hours struggling with hot HL. Let the water reached 80C minimum. Open it slowly from one point using small blunt spoon’s handle when the glue start to soften, put a small piece of bamboo chopstick each time to keep them open. Dip it back to hot water to keep the glue soft.
The hardest part is to completely remove the remaining glue later. I used 2 liter of gasoline to completely get rid of the super sticky gooey. NEVER let the gasoline touched the metalized plastic parts (reflector etc…), the metalization will comes off. And once the glue removed you still have to deal with the glue residue which was super sticky. To clean the transparent PMMA plastic I used gasoline > oleum cajuputi oil > carlack > microfibre cloth polish.
I plan to use normal aquarium silicone glue later. Still thinking to test if Nichia 144A with bigger dies will do better beam.

The result was amazing: much better beam with very uniform distribution, brighter, and I can easily distinguish between clay, mud, sands, or cow’s dung. The OEM LED was too cold and low in CRI, everything looked washed out and flat. Country roads looks so much better with all the browns, reds. and greens. High CRI headlight really boost my mood in solo dark night ridings, everything looks better and colourful now.
I couldn’t get my neighbor’s bike for comparison pic tonight. Will find another soon.

- Clemence

clemence
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EasyB wrote:
Cool scooter and nice mod. This is the first time I heard of these E21A LEDs. I couldn’t find a place to buy them. Is there a good source for them?

I have some sm303 and sm503 9080 for the next sale thread. But you can also get the Ra8000 from Lumitronix. Djozz bought some from there.

MRsDNF wrote:
Very clever clemence. Love the way you persisted got the light apart. Thumbs Up

After the heatgun opened part of the HL, it was a no turning back moment. Do it right or buy a new one.
Yokiamy
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Thank you for the great story, this really gives new inspiration!

clemence
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Beamshots added!

Edness
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thanks for posting this! Great read!

I’ve been to Bali 4 times and loved it. I’m sure I’ll be going again eventually. (Wife’s family’s from Semarang) We are in NYC.

clemence
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Edness wrote:
thanks for posting this! Great read!

I’ve been to Bali 4 times and loved it. I’m sure I’ll be going again eventually. (Wife’s family’s from Semarang) We are in NYC.

Ah Semarang… place where cheap and delicious foods are everywhere. Love the chinatown there. Always gained some weight in Semarang.

- Clemence

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Nice pics!

I have been wondering whem for example tractor/machinery work lights will go high CRI

clemence
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CheapThrills wrote:
Nice pics!

I have been wondering whem for example tractor/machinery work lights will go high CRI

Should makes a difference. For example: excavator lights in an search and rescue, sorting up big waste pile, crops grazing.

lumenzilla
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Cool mod, I wanted to mod my Shogun SP but got no time yet Big Smile

clemence
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lumenzilla wrote:
Cool mod, I wanted to mod my Shogun SP but got no time yet Big Smile

Shogun bebek?
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clemence wrote:

Shogun bebek?

Exactly.
Greeting from Jogja Smile
clemence
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lumenzilla wrote:
clemence wrote:
Shogun bebek?
Exactly. Greeting from Jogja Smile

A reviewer from Jogja! Wink

- Clemence

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agnelucio wrote:
I read your headlight modification thread and immediately bought some emitters from you for my bike (bicycle) light, as I’m getting used to 80+CRI in my other lights, and I can’t go back now. Big Smile

How do you find the difference in CRI affecting your riding experience?

After many rides, my conclusions are:
For city riding in well lit roads, high CRI front light are useless. You better invest more in the output. The only gain I got is from more neutral CCT. This is very useful when trying to pass a big fat white bus, the back reflection is not as irritating as cool white light does.
But… tailing scooting bikinis , high CRI especially with high R9, makes a huge difference! Love
High CRI front lighting is VERY beneficial in country side/outdoor/off-road rides. Everything looks lively and beautiful, more enjoyable night ride.

Note: my mod creates wider and more even beam. In the bright city roads the beam looks dimmer than the OEM. But in dark country roads/forest, it’s so much better. The side spill is very wide with less hotspot, yet the up front cut-off remains the same.

Below is the example of ~20km beautiful road crossing the oak forest (part of Baluran National Park) in East Java. During the night there was no street lights, complete darkness. Under high CRI, it’s beautiful and not as eerie as it actually is (some road burglary reported).

- Clemence

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Nice work Clemence!