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I am looking to change out the halogen bulbs on my 848 for HIDs, but it seems LED is catching up on brightness. Has anyone installed LED bulbs and seen an improvement over HID?
 

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I haven't done the swap from HID's to LED's but there was a fellow a bit ago that was doing it. To get the equivalent lumens in the LED you had to go to some serious wattage and the bulbs tended to have built in cooling fans and a ballast to power them.

I dug around a bit to see what was needed to get the same amount of light and the cost and such kind of put me off. A good quality LED kit was going to set me back over $100. I've had HID's in now since 2008 so wasn't worth re-doing things. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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The bulbs I used are the CREE LED H11 and they had a small ballast. They put out the same light out put as my 35w HID set up. I like them over the HID because I can keep it all compact. I did cut out a bit of the plastic on the back of the headlight cover to accommodate the fan for the bulb but I was able to put the small (tiny) ballast right on top of the headlight cover. This was on my 848 EVO. I know some guys have done it over on the 899/1199s. Here is a link to the thread.

There are a few kits that are around the $40-$60 range. My deciding factor on the $79 kit was that it had 4500 Lumens (kelvins is color) Compaired to the 3500 Lumens of the HIDs.

http://www.ducati.org/forums/848/59391-thinking-led-headlight.html

I found the output to be better, especially in the High Beam. The light appeared to project out of the projector better and fuller where as the HID was more Scattered. I wish I had a camera to take compare pictures, cell phone cameras dont do it justice.
 

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IMHO I ALWAYS loved the nighttime look of HIDs on the road. They ALWAYS gave me the best field of view and most visibility in all angles, mostly sideways ya know? I had it on one of my Dukes and loved it incredibly. However, that was an older model bike and didnt have all these super electronics involved like the new bikes do, making it a serious nightmare to effectively work.

The new bikes that come with LED seem to work just fine and to me anyway, Id just as much keep it that way instead of ending up screwing something up trying to go to HID for meager gains if that. I have HID on my truck on both the low beams and fog lights and am super happy i did that (well not me of course but a friend who knows what the hell he is doing with all the resistors, capacitors, and wiring stuff!)
If it was guaranteed to come out better and without the risk of screwing something up on another part of the bike I may do the HIDs on my 1199 Tri. But to me its not wrath the risks and I will just live w LED since I never ride the damn thing anyway! :)

**The only serious risk I know of (from a VERY VERY reputable Master Tech) is that putting any ballasts behind the dash and electronic brain area is that it has caused some brutal issues for the bike that obviously are not warrantied. Granted, many folks have done this and not had ANY troubles at all but to me Its not worth doing. Those that mount the ballasts in other areas are much safer and not putting a 20-30k bike to the test of any ECU cooking at all.

Best of luck to ya if you go the HID route and Id love to see before and after pics if doing it ok? Don't forget to take shots BEFORE doing it in both daylight and nighttime shots for us all to see please??? :)
 
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