Don Eilenberger's

Bargain auxiliary lighting, 4/19/2003

As usual - click on any photo to see a big version..

bulb assembly.gif (192582 bytes) Bulb assembly - loosen screws to rotate lens/reflector. I rotated the bulb and lens by 90 degrees since the intended mounting was 90 degrees different than what I would end up with. I doubt if this made any difference at all - but at least the logo cast into the front lens is now horizontal. Loosen (don't remove) the two screws to rotate the bulb and/or lens.
light on mount.gif (275019 bytes) Light mounted on mount. The light itself is an exact dimensional copy of the PIAA 1100 series. They moved the heat-vent holes a tad, and made the front bezel easier to remove (it twists off) - quality seem excellent, and since the primary factor in the light output is the lens and the bulb assembly - I expect they work just as well as the real-thing. Cost of them was $59.99 from a local auto parts place.
light on mount2.gif (233897 bytes) Light mounted on mount part deux. The lights are made by PILOT, and are PN: PL-2020C, 50W bulbs. They are also available with the neat-o dichroic color, and with a black-out filter thing. Since I was looking for light - I went for the clear.
mounted front view.gif (392691 bytes) Lights mounted on bike - front view, no wiring done yet. I added thin nylon washers between the flat plate on the mounting kit and the light-mount. I then put some lock-tite on the threads of the bolt and tightened if enough so the lights could be moved, but wouldn't move themselves. The lock-tite keeps the bolt from loosening. I also used thin nylon washers between the mounting block and the mounting ears on the housings - same reason, this makes them easy to adjust, but they won't move on their own.
mounted side view.gif (194581 bytes) Lights mounted on bike - side view
Lights mounted on light - oblique view
outside oblique1.gif (217465 bytes) Outside - oblique view, wiring is done. The lights came with a wiring kit that I hacked apart to make what I wanted. The wiring between the lights is about 4' as the kit comes, and I wanted about 10". It has a decent quality 30A relay, and came with a switch more suitable for a hot-rod interior. I also had to extend the power lead since apparently they assume this would be connected under the hood, not to a battery behind the engine.
outside obliqe closeup.gif (188805 bytes) Outside - closeup oblique view
switch outside.gif (221917 bytes) Radio Shack Switch - It lights up when the lights are on

Acid test - do they work?


Took an alignment ride with them. They throw a beam about 1,000 feet for reflective surfaces (street signs, taillight reflectors on cars) - it is fairly broad, but I didn't get flashed by any cars coming at me - so they're usable in NJ's urban environment. On a twisty backroad they were a delight - illuminating the sides of the road about 200' ahead of the bike and a bit into the woods - look like good deer-eye spotters.

I figure I saved about $200. The mounting bracket kit is normally $75, I paid $50 for it. The lights were $60, and the switch I added from Radio-Shack was $2. I did use some other electrical bits - but I have those around (spade connectors, lots of tie-wraps) so no additional cost for those.