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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,
Hoping to get some advice regarding my headlight. I feel it's great on full beam but woefully dim on dipped. Not sure if I should go for simple bright bulb, upgrade to led or install extra lights. Your suggestions would be appreciated (nothing too complex, I'm new to wrenching and I've not done any electricals yet).
Cheers...
 

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Welcome to the Forum. I'd suggest starting by checking the alignment of the light to be sure it's aiming out properly. A small variation can throw the light too low, or high, and throw a beam where it needs not be. Here's a how-to video worth looking through. If that's not enough for you.. Then go looking for alternative lamps.
How To Aim Your Headlight | Motorcyclist (motorcyclistonline.com)
 

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Beam pattern is part of the MOT, and if wrong the testers will usually adjust it if they can rather than fail you. So it never hurts to check, but it seems unlikely.

Unfortunately I have the 2016 model with the LED headlamp so cannot be of much help. Much like my headlamp, at night I just keep it on full beam without it bothering anyone and avoid unlit roads.

But if it were me, I would try replacing the better bulb with a better one first, as it is the simplest and cheapest option, before considering new lights entirely. Particularly if you are happy with the full beam.
 

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If you want a brighter beam after aligning and putting in a $6 replacement bulb, check out Philips X-treme +100 bulbs. These claim to double the light down the road. I use them in my car and it is brighter on low beam.

The tradeoff is that they only last 300 hours instead of the 1000 hours of an ordinary halogen bulb. And our bikes run the headlight whenever the ignition is on.
Philips offers even brighter 55W bulbs (+150 series) but these almost certainly last an even shorter time, just how halogens work.

I would avoid the cheap LED bulb replacements as they use large size LEDs that push the light all over the road. The LED bulbs that form an accurate low beam use very tiny LEDs, the same size as the filaments in the halogen bulb. They have a metal shield blocking light (low beam) just like the halogens. And cost $$.
 

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"...These claim to double the light..."
Probably +10%, no where near the claimed lumens. The technical datasheet usually states high lumens for only a particular type of bulb that nobody use. Then the marketing team takes over ...

Philips Ultinon LED (Essential & Pro) is visibly brighter. The price has dropped over the years but still $$$. They come in a pair. Can always sell the other to bring down the cost.
Make sure there is enough "rear space" (headlight housing is very compact). Read the LED datasheet for how far back the heatsink will protrude, and make sure there is enough space to fit everything in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But if it were me, I would try replacing the better bulb with a better one first, as it is the simplest and cheapest option, before considering new lights entirely. Particularly if you are happy with the full beam.
Think I'll go ahead and take that advice. Why make life more complicated than necessary, right? Cheers.
 

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If you want a brighter beam after aligning and putting in a $6 replacement bulb, check out Philips X-treme +100 bulbs. These claim to double the light down the road. I use them in my car and it is brighter on low beam.
Not mad keen on the whole 300hrs thing, I commute so probably looking at about 6 months before POOF! But for the sake of £20ish I might just try 'em. Cheers.
 

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If it comes to it, fitting auxiliary LED lights is very simple and does not need much technical ability. The hardest part is crimping a connector! There is a port behind the head lamp you can then use (assuming you are not already doing so for Honda's heated grips or 12V socket) without even needing to take the seat off.

The only difficulty is finding a suitable mount on the CB500F, as the shape of the cowl means you cannot use something wrapped around the fork as with most bikes. The easiest option is to buy a mount that replaces one of the bolts holding the mudguard in place. These can be found pretty cheaply from the various Chinese sellers on eBay or AliExpress.
 

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Over the past 20+ years, I've tried many of these brighter bulbs. The Philips X-treme Power H4 was a disappointment (compared to competitors). My baseline reference is still the Osram Intense Blue, which I have 3 sets, in H4, H7, H11.

Most of these bulbs increase the colour temperature slightly (i.e. lighther yellow), rated in Kelvins, to create "perceived brightness". To achieve it, they burn a little hotter (less life) and have a blue glass coating. Actual light output, rated in Lumens, is usually almost the same (refer to datasheet).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If it comes to it, fitting auxiliary LED lights is very simple and does not need much technical ability.
I do like the idea of extra lights. If I can find some I'm happy with, I'll probably do this...I do run heated grips AND a 12v socket. But I never use the socket and I may as well lose it for something that I will use. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My baseline reference is still the Osram Intense Blue, which I have 3 sets, in H4, H7, H11.
Good info. Think these brighter bulbs will be my short term fix while I research auxiliary lights. Cheers.
 

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Not need to give anything up, creating a splitter is not difficult either. The bike supplies 7.5A for accessories (or you could buy a relay to create your own) which will be enough to power everything.

I bought lights in the summer (big ones, because my headlamp is…) but have still not fitted them yet because as I have spent most of the last year shielding.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not need to give anything up, creating a splitter is not difficult either.
Good to know. Need to do source some lights and have a go when the weather turns. Cheers.
Shielding sucks... My wife is in the same boat. Hopefully not for much longer. 🤞
 
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