Motorcycle auxiliary lights – stay on the bright side of life!
Whether you want to make the car driver who can’t be bothered to use his mirrors, aware of your presence or make better progress down that windy road at night, a powerful set of new motorcycle auxiliary lights are your new best friend.
That’s for the front of your bike, what about rear auxiliary lights?
Ultimately whether you are thinking front, rear or both, auxiliary lights are all about improving your safety by making you more visible or enhancing a night time ride by illuminating the road from curb to curb and as much as 250 metres down the road.
Do you use your bike for commuting? I often commute down the A1 into Hertfordshire and the DENALI D4’s bolted to the front of my bike flash alternately with the hazard lights (which I use when filtering) and the output from the D4’s is like the parting of the waves as the cars clear a path for me, it’s a spiritual thing for a biker.
So what lights should you choose and how do you fit them?
These are two great questions to which there are more than one answer. Let me try to explain here but if you still have questions, drop me a message and I’ll get back to you. Promise.
What lights are best for you?
Here at MOTO-MATE the choice of lights was kind of easy as I knew I wanted the DENALI range in our line-up, however not everyone wants the Rolls-Royce of lights, but they still want to be seen.
So, based on this we have two brands of LED front lights.
The first is a basic two-wire light that is in an aluminium housing with a sealed flying lead connection (the connectors are waterproof sealed items). These are robust units and have a lens pattern that is part wide angle diffusion and part long range. These lights do not use the latest CREE LED technology but they do offer a really bright “white” light output and having had a set on my personal bike for 6 months they have proved both totally reliable and effective at letting people know I am there. Quite simply these are great value and really effective lights.
The second offering is, as mentioned, from DENALI Electronics. These are one of the, if not “the” premium brand of auxiliary lights. Utilising the latest CREE LED technology and light output from 2190 up to 8750 lumen! We are talking “night into day”, these are premium quality lights.
The DENALI lights use a three wire system that gives you both a low and high output meaning that they can be used in conjunction with your low beam headlight at 50% output and full power with your high beam / pass light. Aside from giving you different light output, you can also change the beam pattern to suit your requirements. Supplied with interchangeable lenses you can adapt the light beam from long-range spot lights to wide angle or a combination of both.
The other question I posed was, “how do you fit them on your bike”?
The answer to this question first of all depends on what bike you have. If you have a CAN bus equipped BMW or a modern KTM with CAN bus we have two brands of CAN bus controller that make life pretty simple in terms of installing these lights and integrating them into the other functionality of the bike such as hazard lights etc.
Before I forget, if you are looking at our basic two wire lights and have a CAN bus controlled BMW or KTM you can still have the added functionality of the CAN bus controller plus, it will allow for dip beam dimming of two wire lights.
If you don’t have a CAN bus controlled BMW or KTM and still want to use auxiliary lights, all is not lost.
With the basic two wire lights, these can be wired into an ignition feed via a relay and a switch so they act as basic daytime riding lights (DRL), running at 100% output. Whilst this is ok during the daytime, it isn’t at night time as you will need to switch them off (via the fitted switch) as they are likely to distract oncoming traffic.
The DENALI lights can use the three wire setup and the DENALI DataDim module so they can be integrated into your dipped and main beam light circuits and switch intensity as your headlight switches.
That’s the front lights covered, now what about the back?
When you are breaking an auxiliary brake light adds more visibility to following traffic, but what if you aren’t breaking but just decelerating? This would mean no brake lights would show and there is an increased chance of following traffic hitting you from behind. If you have connected your front lights via a CAN bus controller there is a port for an auxiliary brake light that allows the auxiliary brake light to flash when you decelerate, increasing your safety from being rear-ended.
With regard to the actual fitting of these lights to your bike, we are happy to provide technical support to customers looking to self-install. If you are less confident, we offer a mobile installation service, or you are welcome to come to us.
If you have any questions then drop me a message and I would be happy to give you my thoughts.