Featured Led Headlights For Thunderbird (achieved!)

Discussion in 'Thunderbird' started by David Downes, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    Hi All,

    I just wanted to show you guys that after many weeks of ordering and sending back LED bulbs for my Thunderbird Commander, I finally found a set that work.

    I ordered many bulbs, one was such a wide diameter that it wouldn't even fit inside the headlamp mirror assembly. Others would fit in, but had such a bulk at the rear the mirror assembly wouldn't fit back into the headlight bowl. Others that came with external power packs that I couldn't easily fit without disassembling half the bike. And yet another one that fit, went back together, but that didn't work as it should do with high/low beam illuminating the wrong parts of the road, due to a very strange triangular shaped bulb.

    Anyway, the bulbs that finally worked, are these ones from amazon:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071RBGQ6G/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apip_f9GGTxW6klp1a

    They fit easily, went back together, have a brilliantly white light, the orientation and lighting from the bulb is as it should be, have a 3 year warranty, and best of all, the visibility at night is astonishing.

    I had originally set out to just change the very yellowy light that the stock bulbs put out as a cosmetic improvement. And this can be seen below from the picture I took having changed just one bulb below. But hadn't expected to get a significant improvement in night time riding. Hopefully the attached pic (which I don't think does justice to how good it actually looked) shows it off a little.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    IMG_1363.jpg

    IMG_1365.jpg
     
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  2. TEZ 217

    TEZ 217 Crème de la Crème

    Mar 6, 2016
    2,838
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    south shields
    Very useful information Dave, pictures make a big difference and do show a vast improvement
     
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  3. Tucker 1963

    Tucker 1963 Elite Member

    Sep 7, 2017
    5,980
    800
    Newmarket
    Thanks Dave think I will definitely be changing mine.
    Tucker
     
  4. Martinh

    Martinh New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    0
    1
    Somerset
    Hi Dave just fitted these LED bulbs to my Commander, bit tight in the nearside lamp housing but all in and working, MASSIVE DIFFERENCE . How are you getting on with yours all still working ok ? Thanks for the link on these, it saved me a lot of faffing around
     
  5. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    Yeah, really pleased with them still, for the first few months, I was paranoidly checking the lights low/high beam before riding out to make sure they were still working, but as time has gone on, I've gotten used to trusting that they work.

    Exactly as you say, it's a bit of a squeeze (but unlike most, actually DO fit!) and the difference, is quite amazing. Really pleased with them.

    In case you haven't I also changed the sidelight bulbs with LED ones, that was much easier, and makes a much smaller difference of course. I just picked those up from Halfords for about a tenner ... quickly looking, I think it might have been these ones:
    http://www.halfords.com/motoring/bu...s/halfords-501-filament-led-upgrade-bulbs-x-2

    But do check that's the correct fitting, I don't remember for sure. But it's a super easy plug'n'play replacement.

    Dave
     
  6. Martinh

    Martinh New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    0
    1
    Somerset
     
  7. Martinh

    Martinh New Member

    Nov 5, 2017
    0
    1
    Somerset
    Thanks Dave, will get around to checking that fitment out
     
  8. Keith McClure

    Keith McClure New Member

    Dec 7, 2018
    0
    1
    South Haven, MI USA
    Just saw your post and have been looking for new headlights for a while now for my 2014 Commander. The link in your post for amazon is not working. Do you have the brand name so I can look these up manually. Thanks
     
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  9. Arnie

    Arnie Member

    Nov 3, 2015
    58
    18
    Blackpool
    These look great, do they do the same that would fit my 2011 speedmaster?
     
  10. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    5,229
    800
    Central France
    Hi David, the link no longer works, any chance you could re-do it?
     
  11. Oldyam

    Oldyam Grumpy Old Git

    May 14, 2017
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    Last seen on the site 44 weeks ago.
     
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  12. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Put on your big boy pants and man up
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    3,330
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    Three Counties
    @David Downes are you still using LED bulbs mate and if so which ones and have you had any issues with them? :idea::idea:
     
  13. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    Still using them, no issues, still work great, massive improvement over standard bulbs.

    I see the link above no longer works, but from my order history, attached is what it was at the time. There is one on amazon now branded as NightEye, but they're no longer available, but I found them here:
    https://www.wish.com/product/5833f3...ABEgIN0PD_BwE&hide_login_modal=true&share=web

    They appear the same except for the branding. Best of luck! Let me know if you get them and how you get on.

    Screenshot 2020-05-17 at 20.22.04.png
     
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  14. Davvid

    Davvid Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    30
    18
    NB, Canada
    David will this work for a standard Thunderbird too?
     
  15. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    Umm, I wouldn't know to be honest. Standard only has one headlight, so ... unless it's smaller (which I'd guess it wouldn't be, I'd GUESS if anything it'd be bigger), then it should do.

    I'd suggest you do what I did, and order like, half a dozen of different ones from amazon, then send back the ones that don't fit ;). I mean, that's literally what I did, but think I went through about 4 or 5 before I found the one that worked.
     
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  16. TEZ 217

    TEZ 217 Crème de la Crème

    Mar 6, 2016
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    Hi David, that link does that include two bulbs ?
     
  17. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    If memory serves me ... typically they give the overall length of the unit, and you can measure (or perhaps look up) the depth of your headlight bowl and compare.

    There were a couple of 'gotchas' however. I think where a couple of my first attempts went wrong, because the back of the unit was too wide - and so snagged on the sides of the bowl and therefore wouldn't go back far enough. And one (or some) had the cable came out of the bottom of the unit, which meant that whilst it should fit with space spare, the stiffness of the cable again meant that it couldn't sit down far enough in the bowl.

    If you find a parts listing for both your bike and the Commander, you might find that the part numbers for each headlight bowl are the same.
     
  18. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    @TEZ 217 I believe it should do. But note that I didn't buy mine from Wish (I bought on Amazon), and they are branded differently. So I can't guarantee anything.

    But all of the ones I bought at the time from amazon, I think were all sets of 2, which makes sense, since it's supposed to be an upgrade kit.
     
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  19. Gyp

    Gyp Active Member

    May 13, 2020
    119
    33
    United Kingdom
    Very late to this thread, though that's not entirely surprising as I'm very new to the forum...

    I think the tech has moved on a little in the last couple of years, and I've had success on my Street Scrambler with these:-

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TQLK6SH/

    They are on ebay in the UK for £29 a pair or so.

    The shape of them is closer to that of a standard H4 so easier to fit within the headlamp shell.

    Beam focus is really good - a pet hate of mine - but I can't comment on longevity/reliability as the bike's not been out much since I fitted it.
     
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  20. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    153
    93
    Essex
    Oh nice, they do look SUBSTANTIALLY smaller than the ones I got. The main bulk with the LEDs when I was buying them, was for fins on the back for heat dissipation. I wonder if they just don't get as hot as they used to, or whether they can just withstand the heat without needing giant heat sinks ...
     
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