Erica left me...
[ Sunday - April 21, 2019 ]
While on the last curry run, I noticed my right Erica Clearwater
Lights was out. That's odd. Tapping the high beam switch
and it's still off. That's not cool. It was working when
I got to the restaurant. Eventually I did find the right cable
connection had come off. Once reconnected, the light worked
again. That is until the commute the next day. The right
light went off again. Perhaps the cable is loose again...
nope, it's on tight. Annoyed, I did some trouble
shooting. Swapping the wires (right wire with left light), the
left light works. Right light with left wire... nope.
Then magically the right light came on. "Hey! it's working
again." Famous last words. Slowly the right light faded
to darkness in front of my eyes. OK, it's dying or dead.
How disappointing considering the light were being operated at only
20% intensity the majority of the time. I guess intensity
doesn't matter. The electronics still has to endure the Pulse
Width Modulated (PWM) voltage . Perhaps the electronics gave
up the ghost rather than the LED's. Who knows...
Checking my records, I purchased the Erica's back in October 2013
not too long after getting the GSW. That means I've been used
the lights for about 5 years. That's definitely better than
the Cyclops LED H7 headlamp (at only one year). However, given
the amount of money spent ($900) for the pair, I expected the lights
to last longer. Given my experience with LED lights, I'm not
too impressed with life expectancy. A lot of manufacturers
claim30K+ hours life expectancy. That's easily the life of the
bike. If not the remainder of my life time. But claims
are just that, claims. In my experience the LED would die in a
matter of just a couple of years. This is not my first set of
dead Clearwater Lights. In fact, I had two sets of Glenda's on
my 8GS. Two sets over 5 years. Not a good track record
for a claimed 30K+ hours. So what am I going to do? Get
another set of lights. Something more economical.
This time around, I can't stomach another $900 for another 5
years. So I went with another brand that is more cost
effective. A set of Denali lights.
Denali D4 2.0 TriOptic LED light.
Yes, they're LED's. At $450 for the pair (Twisted
Throttle), I don't mind if they only last 5 years.
Having experienced Denali lights before, I like the brand.
They work, and work, and work.
Denali DM Micro LED Lighting
Even though I infrequently use them, the Micro LEDs shine brightly
whenever the power button is push. I use the Micro LED's when
my main head lamps burns out. Turning them on will reduce the
likelihood of cops pulling me over for running without a
headlight. ... "I don't know what you're talking about
officer, this is my headlight." The Micro LED's out shines my
Philips X-treme Vision Plus H7 bulb.
Given how the GSW has been rigged for accessory electronics, it
takes more time to figure out ways to wire things up cleanly.
CAN-Bus activated accessory power is a cinch. I spent the day
working on the lights on and off. The ending results works
well enough. For the full brightness, I could have tapped into
the high-beam power but decided to put in a switch that I can manual
flip instead. Is it that control freak bit? I don't
think so, but I can never be too sure.
New lights setup.
All done in time for a long trip to Death Valley.
In the end, the Denali lights cost half and are brighter than the
Erica's. These lights are either on, or they are off.
There is no dimming. Perhaps this simplicity will allow them
to work longer. From here out, I will not buy another set of
Clearwater lights again. The dimming feature is nice but the
lights just don't last. At the cost they're asking for, it's
not worth the money.
Written on: April 21, 2019
Last modified: April 21, 2019