Jump to content

2011 R1200RT - Converting Incandescent Bulb to LED


Recommended Posts


I'd like to know if anyone has tried converting the "Longlife Incandescent" bulbs that live in the headlight assembly to multiple LED Bulbs. Would doing so cause a fault due to love voltage draw?


The bulbs I am talking about are number 2 on this diagram:


Link to comment

The problem with replacing any original bulb with a different type is that the beam pattern will change. The position of the light source from the LEDs will not be the same as from the incandescent bulb, so the reflector will cast a different pattern. That's the reason Federal Safety Specifications require using only the type of bulb originally specified on the bike.

Link to comment


First of all, the bulbs in question are parking lamps. They are 4 Watt bulbs basically intended to make the bike visible when parked.

They are not headlamps, foglamps or any other type of lamp intended to actually throw light on the road.

As such, there is no reason for a multi-LED replacement unit.

The only advantage of a single LED replacement "bulb" (of which I have not checked to see if any are available) would be a longer life.

For reference, I just had one of the stock bulbs burn out at 60K miles on the bike.


No error was recorded by any controller when the my single bulb failed. Also, if an error had been produced it would be related to current and not voltage. as a bulb out (or properly designed LED replacement) does not change the nominal voltage.

Link to comment

Thank you for the input.


My line of thinking by converting these bulbs to LED is that it would create additional visibility and not replacing headlights....


The BMW part number is 63 21 7160797 ; Does anyone have the bulb manufacturer part number?

Link to comment

Interesting.. so the LED is claiming 13 candle power then?? vs 1.5 for the incandescent? Hmmm... I may have to do some replacing..


more light = goodness

Link to comment

That's exactly what I was thinking, I will give it a try and report back.


Thanks :grin:


Mine was replaced with a type 194 wedge base lamp. (BP194 from NAPA Auto Parts)

Candle Power: 1.5


The link below


is a source of type 194 LED replacement lamps.

To convert brightness in mcd to Candle Power, divide by 1000.

Link to comment

Don't get your expectations up...

Candle Power was based off of just that: the light emitted by a candle. 20 vs 1.5 still just isn't significant. It is also very deceptive in that a standard bulb is radiating in all directinos while an LED is much more directional.



A 55 Watt headlamp would be at a minimum quite a few thousand candle power.

Link to comment
Guest Kakugo

I think you refer to the W5W (501) side bulbs, right?

I bought a couple of LED ones fitted with a small resistor built in to avoid the fault code. Haven't paid them more than a couple of quids. And they were readily consigned to the "failed projects drawer".

Yes, light is "whiter" but they are also so much paler than the stock incandescent bulbs.

Now, Philips does make a very bright W5W LED lamp (availabe in both 4000K and 5000K grades). Problem is it's rabidly expensive (for the same money you can have four Osram Nightbreaker Plus bulbs on eBay) and they don't come with an inbuilt resistor.

Yes, you can solder in a resistor to trick the diagnostic system: it's as cheap as chips (40 cents each) and easy to do.

But it's really worth it?


Link to comment

Silly question remotely related...I recently saw a 1200RT with some great additions: In the front he had LED's in the parking light locations and the flickered intensity, not alot, but man did it grab attention and make the bike noticeable from the front and angled to the front sides.


He also had a flicker unit of some type (hyper lights I think) to replace his brake light. When he grabbed the brakes the brake light flashed three or four times then went continuous.


Of all teh safety "get me noticed" gadgets I have seen, these were definately the best. Bad part, I never got to talk to him about it.


But I will be looking for these farckles gadegets and putting them on as soon as I can.



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...