We have had this question come up several times, so we decided to revisit the subject. A few years ago, we tested some LED bulbs and they were no where near as bright as the Halogen bulbs are using as headlights on all Optibike models. One of our customers replaced the halogen bulbs in his Optibike 800Li with LED bulbs so we tested them side by side in a “dark” room. Here are the official stats:
Distance from the wall: 8ft
halogen bulbs (on left in photo): 2 x 10w 12v
cost (halogen): $2.49 each x2
LED bulbs (on right in photo): 2 x 3.3w 12v
Cost (LED): $40.95 each x2
Things to consider: We will have to do a longer range test to be conclusive. The halogen bulbs used are narrow beam bulbs, which are designed to see far, not wide. That test will have to be conducted outside, at night, because we do not have room to do it inside.
Conclusion (after preliminary testing): It looks as though if you have an extra $82 for headlights and want to conserve 1.86% of your battery life over a full charge- you should get some LED bulbs for your Optibike. The bulbs that were tested were from here:
As far as LED’s as OEM for Optibikes……. I think that adding a hundred dollars or more to an Optibike for an option that not all customers would take advantage of is a bit unnecessary. The upgrade can be done very easily by riders who want to maximize the riding experience at night- we are happy to provide instructions. The upgrades that we offer inhouse are those that are more easily done while the bike is being built (brakes, suspension, paint, fitting, etc.) We will be keeping our eyes out for a lower cost LED solution that offers comperable (or increased) lumen output, but $82 headlights is a bit steep for most riders.