30,000 hours?  I don't think so.

[ Wednesday - August 15, 201]

I had read reviews about folks out in the wilds using LED bulb conversions for their cars.  H7, H4, and the like.  In a lot of the reviews, they said the LED conversion is a rip off.  Most of the people experienced a very short life expectancy for their LED conversions.  Most people are experiencing multi month life expectancy.  At $50 a pop, I can understand why they're disappointed or even enraged.

In my case I switched to using the Cyclops LED bulbs on the GSW back in March of 2017: Never blinking eye (Cyclops LED).  The Touratech USA Cyclops website said the bulb has 30,000 hours life expectancy.  That's easily 3 years life span.  Despite what is advertised, when reality sets in, the bulb only lasted 1 1/2 years.  Not bad, but that is, at best, half of the claimed life expectancy.  I was surprised, yesterday (Tuesday), when the main lamp warning light came on.  My initial reaction was, "oh no, the parking light died again."  When I check the GPS for the fault (at a red light), the message claims my main lamp is out.  "How odd... that's not right," I thought.  "The LED light is suppose to be good for a long time..."  At least that was the idea.  As I was moving again, I stood up on the foot pegs and peered at the headlight protector for the bright reflection from the main lamp.  Sure enough, no headlight reflection.  Only the parking light reflection was visible. There you have it, the GSW ECU doesn't lie.

In terms of how the Cyclops LED failure, the bulb failed because the clear silicone beads, that normally sits on top of the LED element protecting the elements from direct atmosphere exposure, broke off or burned off.  The exposed LED elements didn't stand a chance being exposed to the atmosphere (oxygen).  Both left and right LED element were destroyed.  Ever see a incandescent light bulb with power coursing through the element (tungsten) without being in a vacuum tube?  Pretty cool pyro.  The silicone bead crumbled as I pulled the bulb out of the headlight housing.

I have another Cyclops LED bulb, but at $64 per bulb lasting 1 1/2 years the LED bulb is a bit questionable economically.  A pair of Philips H7 Xtremevision +130% halogen cost $21.  I've used the Xtremevision in the past.  For both the 800GS and the R12R.  The bulb last about six months max.  In some cases only three months.

In the end, nothing lasts forever and it's just a matter of preference.  At first I thought, I thought it might have been a bad idea to get a GSW with halogen lights.  Now I think it's better because I can go with either halogen or LED conversions.  I'm going back to halogen for a while.  I'll probably switch to the Cyclops for the winter months.

Written on: August 15, 2018
Last modified: August 15, 2018