What To Consider in Installing Extra Driving Lights
Most motorcycle does not have extra driving lights, or most commonly called auxiliary driving lights. Some cruisers and touring bikes do have these kinds of lights. But older bikes as well as small cruises, dual purpose, and others don’t have.
If you have of these bikes, you can install extra motorcycle driving lights easily. Here are some of the basic things you have to consider before installing extra driving lights on your bike.
The features of your extra lamps will depend on your purpose. This reason could be for aesthetic or for safety. Regardless of your aim, keep in mind that almost any type of light added to the front of your bike will serve the purpose of making you more visible to oncoming traffic.
Auxiliary driving lights typically come in two varieties. First, there are bike lights that project a somewhat short but wide light pattern. A 30 to 35-degree spread is common in these lights.
These are designed to boost and slightly extend the existing lighting from your low beam headlight. A wide light pattern will also provide added visibility to see objects positioned on or along the sides of the road like animals, parked vehicles, or a person out for a late night jog.
Second, there are lights that shoot longer but narrower light pattern, about 20 degrees. These lights aim to supplement the long-range high beam pattern of your current lights. The long and more concentrated light pattern will help you to see objects on the road itself.
If you purpose is mainly for safety, you don’t need the latest and expensive lights to achieve this. However, if your purpose is to improve the looks of your bike, you have to check your budget.
Experts say price does not always mean a better light. Do your research on bike lights available in the market. For instance, inexpensive fog light price could range from $ 29.95 or little more a pair. Top-of-line lights, on the other hand, could cost $ 500.00 to $ 1,000.00 per pair.
Quantity and Kinds
Make sure that if you intend to install more lights, you have to know the capacity of the electrical system of your bike. A typical set of driving lights will need an additional 110 watts of power to work properly.
If your motorcycle has extra capacity to support an additional 110 to 150 watts of power, you can add standard lights. However, if your bike’s electrical system output is limited, you may consider using more energy efficient lighting systems such as LED lights or HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights.
The amount of extra power your bike needs varies from bike brand and model. The best you can do is to consult your local dealer about this.
How you are going to power your new lights is your next challenge.
The experts’ advice is to power your auxiliary motorcycle lights from the battery and not tapping into the existing high or low beam wiring for power. The added load generated by a set of auxiliary lights could melt the existing wiring harness that is carrying power to those units.
Bike lights are designed to address different needs of a rider. Hence, they are mounted in specific areas.
For example, fog lights are usually mounted as low to the ground as possible, generally about 12 to 16 inches above the road surface. On the contrary, driving lights are typically installed as high as possible in order to take advantage of the lighting pattern that they offer.
Some bike also presents challenges when it comes to mounting additional lights. For instance, sport bikes are generally don’t offer a lot of mounting options because of their bodywork which could be made of carbon or fiberglass. So you need to think creatively. You can also check out other sport bikes that have auxiliary lights to get some ideas.
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