LED Turn Signals have gained popularity in the motorcycle industry. The benefits of LED Turn Signals are notorious. They offer greater visibility, reliability, longer lifespan, and use less power. As we discussed in Rats Nest 101: A Tech’s Guide To Accent Lights, it can be like comparing apples to oranges when considering your LED choices . This holds true whether you are in the market for accent lights, taillights, headlights or turn signals. With the recent release of our ProBEAM® LED turn signals and the pre-existing popularity of our original Dynamic Ringz™, we hope to “shine a light” on their differences. Let’s see how their design and performance measure against the competition.
To provide an accurate and fair comparison we evaluated each product on the following criteria:
Quality of Components: all components including but not limited to the gauge of the wire, bulb base material and circuit board.
Craftsmanship: the design and assembly of each unit for durability and installation.
LEDs: the type and number of LEDs used in each product, determining light output or brightness.
Compliance: the function of each product for compliance with FMVSS Standard No. 108 #5 (DOT Compliance) as well as any additional held compliance.
ProBEAM® LED Turn Signals
ProBEAM® LED Turn Signal replacements are the latest LED turn signals from Custom Dynamics®. The ProBEAM® LED Turn Signals are made of high quality OSRAM automotive grade LEDs. They are also designed in compliance with FMVSS Standard No.108 #5. Each Amber/White ProBEAM® turn signal cluster contains 24 white LEDs that showcase a smooth white halo as the DRL. 12 amber LEDs at the center function as the full-contrast turn signal.
The patented design of the ProBEAM® turn signal cluster is a heat-stake assembly of a heavy-duty LED board, reflector, and inner lens. The LED board comes with a conformal coating to protect all components from moisture. The addition of the inner lens magnifies the LED light output. This provides a wider viewing angle, resulting in increased side visibility. The final assembly provides customers with a weather-tight sealed turn signal. A 22-gauge wire pigtail and bulb base allow for plug and play installation.
The bulb base was easy to install. A flat head screw driver fit perfectly into the groove across the top of the bulb base. Four inches of wire between the cluster and the base allowed for easy maneuvering. We twist the cluster to coil the wires down into the housing before popping on the lens. DOT/SAE compliant ProBEAM® smoked lenses are included. The light smoked lenses provide a clean finished look when the bike is off.
At $109.95 for a pair, ProBEAM® turn signals and lenses provide a superior light output. They use a combination of high quality LEDs and components. ProBEAM® products have a Custom Dynamics® Lifetime LED Warranty and carry both DOT/SAE compliance. We also offer a complete line of ProBEAM® products including rear turn signals, taillights, and headlamps to outfit your ride!
Comparison A: ProBEAM® v. Original Dynamic Ringz™
Custom Dynamics® acclaimed Original Dynamic Ringz™ are the first Amber/White LED turn signal. Each cluster has a total of 48 5mm LEDs. 24 outer White LEDs produce a bright white running light halo. The center 24 Amber LEDs provide a full contrast turn signal. Designed with FMVSS standards in mind, the original Dynamic Ringz™ will perform the same way as the new ProBEAM®. The white ring of LEDs will turn off while the amber turn signal blinks. Yet, the original Dynamic Ringz™ do not carry the same DOT/SAE compliance as the ProBEAM®.
The original Dynamic Ringz™ design is a standard LED board, 4″ wire pigtail and bulb base. A thick conformal coating provides protection from moisture. The tab/block on top of the bulb base makes this a “no tools needed” job. Just grab the plug and play bulb base with your fingertips to secure it into the socket!
The biggest difference is the light output. The ProBEAM® utilizes a reflector technology with automotive grade LEDs. These components produce a brightness beyond compare. Also, due to the 5mm LED design of the original Dynamic Ringz™ they appear brightest when viewing from straight on. The ProBEAM® reflector disperses the light to offer a wider viewing angle with more side visibility.
Custom Dynamics® Dynamic Ringz™ retail at $89.95 a pair and allow for the use of a clear or smoked lens, but these are sold separately ($7.90/pair). Custom Dynamics® offers a complete line of rear turn signals, taillights, and Fillerz® that use the same 5mm Dynamic Ringz™ LEDs for a cohesive look.
Comparison B: ProBEAM® v. Competitor
This competitor’s cluster appears to resemble Custom Dynamics® original Dynamic Ringz™. This cluster has a total of 48 5mm LEDs. There are 24 outer white LEDs and 24 amber LEDs in the center. With power applied a huge difference is visible. During the turn signal cycle, the cluster alternates flashing between the white ring of LEDs and the amber LEDs in the center. Since the white ring of LEDs remains illuminated during the turn signal cycle, this product would not meet FMVSS Standard No. 108 #5 and does not follow DOT regulations.
ProBEAM® produces an unmatched light output with innovative design techniques. As expected, the ProBEAM® is visually brighter in both running and turn signal modes compared to this competitor.
Design and Components
The design of the competitor’s cluster has the same pigtail of wires between the LED board and bulb base. One notable difference is the small connector that joins the two together. The location of this connector makes it difficult to coil the wire inside the housing during installation. Plus, it creates an unnecessary potential failure point in the product. Another downfall with this product is the bulb base. The white epoxy-like substance that fills the bulb base does not have a screwdriver slot or tab. Without an easy way to handle the bulb base, twisting and securing it into the socket was a challenge.
At $79.95 (per pair; lenses sold separately), this LED cluster was very deceiving right out of the package. At first glance, it’s a comparable option to the Dynamic Ringz™. But, when you look at the details of this cluster you can see where some short cuts were made in both design, quality and craftsmanship.
Comparison C: ProBEAM® v. Competitor
With the highest price tag ($149.95/pair), expectations were high for this competitor’s LED turn signal! The unique looking units sit into their own black or chrome plastic trim with a clear lens. Each unit offers 16 white LEDs that illuminate as the running light. With the turn signal activated, 21 amber LEDs blink within the unit. Since this is a sealed unit, options are limited to the clear lens with a black or chrome trim.
The lens design has a ‘protrusion’. Once installed, the top of the turn signal cluster sticks out further than the bottom. This ‘modern design’ mimics a visor style lens. However, if not aligned correctly it impacts the light dispersion and causes a decrease in viewing angle. The bulb base comes equipped with a screw driver slot for installation. The product is advertised as DOT compliant. The wire pigtail is about 2″ long. At half the length of what comes on the ProBEAM® turn signals, maneuvering the cluster during installation is more difficult.
A significant drawback to this product is how the cluster functions with the 4 way hazard lights activated. The electrical design of this cluster requires constant power to illuminate the LEDs. Because of this design flaw, with the hazard warning cycle engaged there will be no illumination from the turn signals. Albeit, this is a very concerning design flaw. You can see the problem in our comparison video here.
Comparison D: ProBEAM® v. Counterfeit
As the old saying goes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. While shopping for products, buyers turn to eBay and Amazon retailers for perks like free shipping and fast delivery. Yet, too often we hear from a customer who received an inferior product. These counterfeit products do not meet our customers’ expectations.
The counterfeit product we compared was a 48 LED cluster. There is a ring of 24 white LEDs and 24 amber LEDs at the center. The pair of clusters sold at $39.95, lenses not included. The cluster had minimal conformal coating on the back. Based on the listing information, there was no applicable warranty. It also lacked manufacturer contact information should we have required assistance or support.
Amber Hazard Warning Flash
Most importantly, the ring of white DRL LEDs do not turn off at all when the turn signal activated. This behavior does not comply with FMVSS Standard No. 108 #5. Because the white LEDs overpower the amber turn signal, the turn signal is almost invisible. The image below shows the hazard warning cycle flash with the counterfeit LED cluster on the right side. The pronounced amber ProBEAM® hazard warning flash on the left (for comparison). Comparatively, you cannot see the counterfeit amber hazard warning flash (right side).
Undeniably, LED turn signals are becoming more and more popular. Concurrently, the market has become flooded with options. You’ll find that the price varies with LED turn signal replacement products. The caliber of the components and the quality of the units varies with the price. As a rule of thumb, if it seems too good to be true – it is.
Subsequently, you must also consider compatibility with your bike’s electrical system. If products are not manufactured to be BCM compliant, the result will be the bike throwing Diagnostic Trouble Codes. This causes a rapid flash on the turn indicators that cannot be resolved.
All Custom Dynamics® LED turn signals go through rigorous testing methods to ensure BCM compliance. To ensure your purchase, contact Custom Dynamics® or an authorized DRAG Specialties dealer. Identifying the new ProBEAM® LED Turn Signals is easy with the new Custom Dynamics® packaging. Plus, ‘Custom Dynamics®’ is printed on the LED circuit board as well as on the DOT compliant lens.
Policies and Support
Besides direct product and price comparisons, also consider the company policies and support. See what technical support the company can offer you. Particularly if you are doing the install yourself and are unsure about the process. Custom Dynamics® offers quick reference installation videos and on demand technical support. Call and speak with a technician to guide you through installation.
Investigate the product warranty and warranty process should you encounter LED failure. Custom Dynamics® offers a Lifetime Warranty against LED failure. We have streamlined our claim process to reach a resolution the same day. Other competitors state on their website it could take as long as 1-2 weeks to process a claim – hopefully that’s not during riding season!