Introduction: Make Your Scooter/ Motorcycle Headlight Brighter by 80%

Picture of Make Your Scooter/ Motorcycle Headlight Brighter by 80%

I have this Lil' Scooter named Honda Activa.

And like most other 2 wheelers, It has so called "Headlights" that are dim as candles.

Stay with me and you'll learn how its easy to make them very bright and for not much.

Step 1: The Culprit

Picture of The Culprit

Most of the people might be thinking that the weak link for poor illumination is the weak electric system, however that being true, the worst thing is bulb itself.

The standard 2 wheeler bulb spec is dual filament 35/35 tungsten Globe. That generates a dismal 600 lumens, dimmer than most modern flashlights.

Step 2: What to Do and How to Do It...

Picture of What to Do and How to Do It...

I just casually opened the headlight and found that the poor 35W bulb looked more like car H4 55w lamps. And i thought "Why not!" If i can retrofit a proper Halogen 55W car headlight bulb, I can have a good 1100 Lumen output, about 80% increase!

However the Bulb was not a straight fit but Fret not! Use a plier to slightly bend the lower tabs as shown in the Pics, and it fits perfectly! Proper alignment too.

Step 3: Fire It Up!

Picture of Fire It Up!

As the H4 and Scooter bulb bases are little different, Simply buy a H4 holder and wire it into the factory power supply. Both Bulbs are 3 wire configuration so you should'nt have any problem here. Do check for proper High-Low Beam operation before finalizing anything.

Use a multimeter to help out with wirings.

Step 4: Enjoy.

Picture of Enjoy.

I've been using the activa for 2 months now with the mods and zero problems yet.


1>.the beam pattern with 55w upgrade is same which means less glare compared to other mods.
2>.If you are worried about electrical load-
activa alternator is designed for maximum load of 35w headlight
21w turn signal
21w brake /rear light,
5w number plate light /meter light
10w horn.

hence it's capacity is easily sufficient unless you're trying to use everything at once.

Comments

wsidani (author)2015-04-11

this type of light would consume a huge amount of electric power so instead of using this use an LED lamp that is much more effective and doesn't affects the power in the scooter

bhvm (author)wsidani2015-04-13

Dear sir,

The Intent of this 'able is to increase illumination while keeping the Scooter stock and legal as much as possible. LED lamps are not approved by Transport Office. Also, the LED beam pattern is not optimized for road use and would generate huge glare to oncomers.

Meanwhile, do take a look at full LED OFF ROAD lights 'able which i've made for SUVs and like.

MohammadU13 (author)bhvm2016-04-18

sir I have Suzuki sprinter SD 110 in Pakistan ..& i want to Brighter my head light ...can you help me???

bhvm (author)2017-11-07

yes. these should be good.

mithunjj (author)2017-11-02

I'm having a 2017 Yamaha Ray Z BS4 with auto headlamp on and I feel the headlights are very poor. The bulb is HS1 35W Halogen and battery is 5 A.

What's the best stock headlamp upgrade ?

Thanks in advance.

bhvm (author)mithunjj2017-11-04

These days the best option would be to go with good quality LED bulb with Glare shields. However this will only work if Voltage to the bulb is DC. Does the brightness go up and down with throttle? Then its not DC. In that case go with the guide mentioned above here.

mithunjj (author)bhvm2017-11-04

@bhvm: Thanks for the reply. But my Ray is under warranty. So I'm planning to stick with 35W bulbs if possible. The scooter is AC.

What would you recommend in this case?

Thanks in advance.

bhvm (author)mithunjj2017-11-07

In that case the best option is to go for premium Philips/Osram Bulbs. Upgrade will be very mild but it will preserve warranty.

LakshyaS6 (author)2017-06-21

Hello there,
Nowdays I am riding tvs jupiter and want to ask u that the method u have shown can be applied on my jupiter or i have to use a relay for it. Can u provid some links from where i can buy these 55w white halogen bulbs..

bhvm (author)LakshyaS62017-06-21

1. method remains same. Just wiring and routing will be slightly different as per bike model. Suggest you approach mechanic if you do not understand wiring.
2. These aren't white bulbs. Normal Car bulbs. I do not suggest white bulbs as glare is more.

ChirayuR (author)2017-04-27

Hello Sir,

Recently I brought a Honda Shine SP bike & I'm facing headlight brightness issue. Turned on headlight at idle RPM is almost like headlight is turned off, it is very dim @ 3k to 4k RPM, if throttle is full it give 90% to 95% brightness of it actual brightness.(Pass light give the actual brightness).

I earlier had Hero Honda CD Dawn, I didn't had this problem to it even though it was 13 years old technology.

I talked to higher authority service man in Authorized Honda Service Center, I got unsatisfactory reply, they all are doing donkey work.

Can you please tell me what should I do..??

bhvm (author)ChirayuR2017-04-28

If all bikes are behaving the same, Manuf has installed a very poor quality dynamo and there is no easy way around it. You may choose to re-winding the stator which will increase power but also void warranty.

Yes weak dynamo will offer very slow battery charging.

ChirayuR (author)bhvm2017-04-30

Thank You Mr. Expert for your valuable reply...

I will try to get it fix from Service Center or from local mechanic.

bhvm (author)ChirayuR2017-04-30

Always a Pleasure.

bhvm (author)ChirayuR2017-04-30

Always a Pleasure.

bhvm (author)ChirayuR2017-04-27

Bike headlights are dependent on Dynamo.
What Pass light switch does is send full power from battery. Which is not related to RPM.

In your case it appears that the dynamo is weak and should be check or replaced in warranty.

ChirayuR (author)bhvm2017-04-28

Thank you for your reply.

I checked other Shine SP bikes in service center too to cross check. I found all Shine SP bike has the same dynamo.

And response I got from service center is they cannot do anything to it.

If the dynamo is weak or not performing up to the mark, will it effect battery charging..??

AmitG102 (author)2017-03-15

Sir.i have bajaj platina 100cc 2005 model... how can i correct the fluctuation of headlight? Light intensity increases with accelerator & deceases with accelerator.. is there any solution?plz guide me

bhvm (author)AmitG1022017-03-15

This is natural to happen. As the dynamo is tied to RPM.

Only option is to convert Scooter electricals to DC and hence power the headlight by Battery.

D P Rai (author)2017-03-15

In my Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSI, voltage across regulator is measured 13.0 V on high RPM by mechanic. Mechanic tells it is OK. Pl reply how much voltage is OK?

bhvm (author)D P Rai2017-03-15

Seems a decent voltage.

GillG9 (author)2017-01-16

Hi Sir,

How about on Yamaha Mio sporty scooter, does the same procedure applies?

bhvm (author)GillG92017-01-16

Yes Why not!

GillG9 (author)bhvm2017-01-16

Thanks can't wait to try... :)

FaisalM47 (author)2016-12-27

Hi bhvm,

I own a Honda Activa HET 2013 make (Non 3g). I am interested in implementing your idea on my scooter, however, the vendor said 55/60w bulb would drain the battery quickly.

I had 30w CREE 6000k LED which broke, now I have installed stock 35w bulb.

The LED was setup to turn on even if the engine wasn't on.

I have a pair of Bosch horns and all the other things are stock setup. My daily usage is 45-50 kms, out of which the headlight remains on for 22 kms (Either during night or early morning). I normally travel at 45-50 kms/hr on the highway.

Kindly advice if battery would get charged properly and rest of the stuff would work?

Thanks in advance.

bhvm (author)FaisalM472016-12-27

Hello Faisal,
1. Please read here for more details on LED bulb-
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/product-reviews/23419-review-led-headlight-conversion-bulbs-cars-bikes.html.

Even I have upgraded to Cree 30w LED bulb. Its a very good upgrade.

2. I do not think Bosch horns will drain the battery as they're not being used continuously.

3. Do consider converting meter bulbs, Turn signals etc to LED as they may save some power. However the gains will be only mild.

4. 55/60w Bulb does not drain battery even after 20 mins of usage as long as its being powered by default wiring (From alternator) . However if wiring is direct to battery (As you suggested) it will drain the battery.

FaisalM47 (author)2016-12-27

Hi bhvm,

I own a Honda Activa HET 2013 make (Non 3g). I am interested in implementing your idea on my scooter, however, the vendor said 55/60w bulb would drain the battery quickly.

I had 30w CREE 6000k LED which broke, now I have installed stock 35w bulb.

The LED was setup to turn on even if the engine wasn't on.

I have a pair of Bosch horns and all the other things are stock setup. My daily usage is 45-50 kms, out of which the headlight remains on for 22 kms (Either during night or early morning). I normally travel at 45-50 kms/hr on the highway.

Kindly advice if battery would get charged properly and rest of the stuff would work?

Thanks in advance.

GauravS182 (author)2016-10-18

Sir i have platina 100 & i want to increase headlight without using of LED

bhvm (author)GauravS1822016-10-23

Go through the instructable. Its clearly for that purpose.

Udaya BhaskarK (author)2016-09-27

I have a suggestion: I have used this myself in my TVS Jupiter after getting the headlight converted to DC and bought LED bulb from aliexpress. Buy a LED bulb like this attached. This negates the need to install projectors and follows the original beam pattern of the scooter so no glare to oncoming traffic. This is coz the LED points are at exactly same location as the high / low filaments of the stock halogen bulb.

bhvm (author)Udaya BhaskarK2016-09-27

I have used the similar bulb, here-
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/product-reviews/23419-review-led-headlight-conversion-bulbs-cars-bikes.html

DIWAKARD1 (author)2016-09-02

r u sure bro if i use this thing it'll not trouble to eletrical & battery because i am also fedup with activa headlight

bhvm (author)DIWAKARD12016-09-02

Haven't troubled me at all, mate.

DIWAKARD1 (author)bhvm2016-09-03

ok then i'll do the same thanks for reply

dilysvarghese (author)2016-09-02

I m using suzuki lets 110 scooter... is that lighting technique apllicable for my scooter?

JustRahil (author)2016-07-05

Nice piece of information and its really helpful.. However i have seen you suggesting to use cree led something like "Shilan CREE LED 30w Bulb" .

Did you consider this for your activa?

How do you think it beam pattern would be?

if not then is it worth getting an LED Projector headlight for activa ??would it be any better than the CREE LED 30w bulb?? please help
I am really fed up of low lighting.... please help me.

Thanks in advance :)

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-05

Hello there,
http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/product-reviews/23419-review-led-headlight-conversion-bulbs-cars-bikes.html

If you visit the above thread, you can see the beam pattern of Shilan H4 cree on activa as well as other vehciles.

Only problem with activa is very poor Power output and almost no voltage regulation, which makes the Shilan H4 filcker at some times.

I do not have experience with LED projector, esp if the beam pattern & Glare is safe for you and others.

JustRahil made it! (author)bhvm2016-07-06

I think you are saying that if if use the bulb on direct AC from alternator then it would flicker.

I already have a dc setup on activa. I have used a Relay and fuse. one positive wire from the ignition switch to the relay coil via power button. the other side of coil grounded. then one 12v supply from battery to fuse and then to the relay. the output of the relay to the high low switch.(I have used TVS jupiters high low switch to get the pass light feature :P)

I Did refer to the circuit diagram to do all the changes.

So do you think now i am good to go?

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-06

Hello Back,

yes you are in the right direction. I would love to see the electrical setup of your Activa. I am using a full wave bridge rectifier along with capacitor bank to turn original headlight power into DC. its easier that way.

Other problem I identified is that very puny 5A battery. a 30w LED bulb consumes about 2.5~3A. if the battery charging setting in Activa is set to 500mA or 1000mA (about 10~20 percent of Battery amp rating is the norm), you are slowly discharging the battery. Any such issues you faced?

JustRahil (author)bhvm2016-07-07

yes ofcorse!! i will definitely show it to you.

and regarding the battery drain, i did not face any major change as i ride the bike in the day time so that it gets charged. Slight change in the sound tone of the the horn was audible suggesting less voltage but it came back to normal quickly once i switch off the lights.

so if you ride the bike for significant amount of time to let the battery charge during daytime then you won't face any issues.

BTW I have a switch which is kind of retrofit on activa which can toggle between AC(alternator) supply and DC (battery) supply. just in case if the battery fails.

I am using a halogen 35/35w bulb and the brightness did incerase on dc but still not happy with the output.

Please guide me at the following:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PC-30W-CREE-LED-H4...

and

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-Set-H4-LED-Motorc...

second one has the 4300k color option too.

if its not the one then can you please suggest me one :)

if i am not wrong then Your method of using full wave rectifier is great but will not work properly at low rpm , voltage fluctuations and hence flicker

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-07

1>I am really excited about your setup, esp with the AC/DC toggle. It should be a nice project. My driving is generally evening/night and very short run so Battery dosen't get charged well. Sometimes I remove the battery and put to charge on my state of the art- MPPT solar charge controller. It supports 4 stage charging.

2>The second bulb appears to come with Tints or lenses that you can install to change color. Seems a better option. Just make sure you get the adapter ring for activa from the seller. Activa h4 socket is different from cars.

3> My next project shall be installing some Smart Cree LED spot lights on the scooter-

http://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-a...

This is because of limitations of stock reflector. I could put these AUX Leds on high beam trigger via a relay and Boom! Instant daylight.

4> Yes the Rectifier causes Flicker at Low RPM due to poor regulation.

JustRahil (author)bhvm2016-07-09

1) your rectifier and my toggle switch will do wonders to the problem of discharging. then next would be to make the switching automatic. All problems solved

2) you are rite but i have concerns about heat dissipation as the second bulb does not have a fan and i guess this will have an effect on the bulb. what do you think. also i have already modified the bulb seat to fit h4 type so no problem with that.

3) yes aux lights is a good project. I was thinking if those could be fit near the front suspension one on each side. will wait for your inputs on this matter.

4) we can some system to use battery power at start and then when the alternator voltage crosses 12v then switch the power supply from battery to alternator.

I am no much expert in electronics but upon searching the net came to know it has to do something with zener or comparator.

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-10

1> If you are really serious about Lights on your activa, and you want to keep it for a long time, here is a plan for you-

a> It appears that Headlight power has a separate section in the alternator, or atleast a different winding Coil. We need to revert this coil for battery charging. That should almost double the battery charging. I can say so because there is no battery discharging even after putting 100/90w bulbs on headlight circuit.

A DC-DC Step down regulator (Price 90Rs on ebay) set at 14.4v should prevent overcharge of the batteries.

b>With so Much charging available, one could add in another battery. the 12v 7AH UPS battery is very cheap. Only 600~700 Rs. This can be adjusted under the seat. Now parallel the new battery with original battery using Thick wires

c> The upgraded setup- 5AH+7AH= 12AH should be great enough for any kinds of Lights, Including AUX & HID. We need to power these lights from the DC (Battery) as you have already converted.

2> One cannot be sure about Chinese quality as it keeps changing. Trial & Error is the only option. I guess unless you're driving hours & Hours on end, Heat should'nt be a problem. Newer Cree LEDs (Like XHP & XML-U2) are binned at 85.c compared to 25.c of older models.

3> Best place of Install AUX lights is front bezel , near Number plate. Because AUX lamps mounted near suspension could get damaged due to Stones & Dust.

4> Point 1 solves that and is easier. It is never recommended to disconnect/Bypass the battery from the circuit, because battery works like a Giant capacitor- Absorbing current when there is excess (Charging) & Filling in gaps at low revs (Discharging). Removing battery will cause Huge spikes and will burn the Bulbs etc.

Designing a comparator that acts 'Fast' to prevent surges will be complicated & Expensive.

JustRahil (author)bhvm2016-07-10

1> The wire which runs to the headlight has parallel connection as one of the 2 inputs to the RR. This supply after full wave rectification might increase the charging rate as we know that the RR of activa is the current limiting agent.

So wouldn't it be okay to just use one existing battery and use HID and aux lights(high beam)?
I am under the impression that the HID once lit up would seep in less current and then the fast charging system would charge up the battery fast.

What do you think?

2> Trial and error it is then :)

3>I dont have a front guard to mount the lights on :(

4>AND if all works good like what you said which one would be better LED or HID in terms of visibility.?

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-11

1> The small 5A Battery will have Poor Life due to High startup Draw (9A) of HID. Also, LED headlight Bulb+Aux lamps 2x 18w, Shall consume about 6A. are you sure the charging system shall be as strong? (8~10A required).

3> Not Front guard, The Front metal show where Number plate is fixed.

4> HIDs rule the roost when it comes to penetration. The very small arc provides a concentrated, very tight hotspot with insane range. However for scooters, I shall suggest LED as reflector design isn't capable enough for HIDs. Also, the UV radiation from HID shall yellow or Dull out the chrome in a few years.

JustRahil (author)bhvm2016-07-12

The stock headlight circuit supports a 60w bulb (70 watt should also ,as i had tried connecting both inputs in parallel and it worked like a charm) with rpm greater than about 4000 and 60w bulb consumes around 5A current at 12v. now if this is used to charge battery then then charging current would be existing current rate + 5A . This is what i think.

the thing which I don't know is stock charging current. If you know that than we can come to some conclusion.

also what i think is if we add an additional battery then the time taken to charge the battery will be double.

For HID i believe HID with lens is better

bhvm (author)JustRahil2016-07-12

Yes, The calculations are correct and there should'nt be any problems. I think stock charging current is set at 1A.

kiriasu (author)bhvm2016-08-08

Hello, according to the activa's user manual, generator capacity is 0.133KW @5000 RPM which is approximately 9.2A @ 14.5V. Since, automotive batteries are designed for fast charge and discharge (thin plates) it can withstand the full 9.2A charging current. To asses the RR's capability we have to test the charging current manually using a near discharged battery connected through a ammeter. I have been planning to do it, but couldn't spare the time! :P I have been planning to update the headlights of both my honda's (activa & uni) for sometime now, but I can't trust these local electricians. So, if you can, can you check the current output to the battery through RR? And, according to uni's user manual the generator capacity is 0.13KW @5000RPM and it uses a 7Ah battery (0.003KW less, more or less same).

bhvm (author)kiriasu2016-08-09

Thanks for providing Input regarding Alternator. 9.2A at 14.5 is quite a healthy reading. However is the output split among 2 sections? Viz. Headlight & Charging?

An Automotive battery may take charging at 9A, but charging at c2 (for 5A) battery will seriously impact longevity. Better Charging rate is C0.2 (1A for 5A). At max C0.5 (2.5A) should not be exceeded.

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Bio: Necessity is the Mother of Inventions they say, I live in challenging land called INDIA. where the Sub par conditions like power issues, heat, Dust ... More »
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