FAQs

Here are Some Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Clearwater Lights™

General FAQs   Troubleshooting FAQs    Glenda / Darla FAQs    Krista / Erica / Sevina FAQs    

Billie FAQs    CANopener FAQs      Hybrid kit

 

The following quick-reference chart compares many of the features and benefits Clearwater Lights’ motorcycle auxiliary lighting options:

General FAQs

Can I buy Clearwater Lights directly from you, or do I need to order them through a dealership or other online motorcycle accessory vendor?

You can purchase our products directly from us, either online or by contacting us directly via email or phone (sales@clearwaterlights.com or 916-852-7029), or you can contact your local motorcycle dealership to see if they carry our products. To see which of our products will work with your motorcycle, you can check out the Shop By Bike feature here, give us a call at (916) 852-7029, or send an email to sales@clearwaterlights.com. If your local dealership does not carry our products, let us know and we will happily get in touch with them and introduce ourselves and our products!

There are other brands of LED auxiliary lights on the market, at a lower price point. What makes yours worth the higher price tag?

Every Clearwater Lights kit is an all-in-one lighting solution that includes a pair of lights, wiring harness, mounting brackets, and all necessary hardware. If you need a CANopener, that is included as well. You do not have to shop for additional items necessary to mount our lights. We offer universal mounting kits, as well as mounting kits specific to hundreds of available motorcycles. There are even several mounting location options (fork, crash bar, etc.) for most motorcycles. As a result, there is no guesswork on your part, you’ll get exactly what you need to install your lights exactly where you want them.
Clearwater Lights are the brightest on the market, and are designed to be used and abused on all types of terrain and under a variety of conditions. Currently, our primary audience is motorcyclists – all of our motorcycle auxiliary lights are designed and made specifically for motorcycles, by motorcyclists, and we adapt that technology to our other products. We take note of commonly-experienced issues and design flaws so that we can improve and perfect the next generation of each light.
All of the components in our products are made right here in the USA; in fact, our products and most of the materials that we use are designed, fabricated, assembled, and shipped out of the same family-owned facility in northern California.
We offer world-class customer service and product support. When you call us, we answer; when you email us, you will get a response within one business day (or sooner). Your concerns will always be handled by an on-site employee, likely an assembler, installer, or technician - maybe even Glenn (the Clearwater Lights owner and president) himself!
Our products are guaranteed for a year, but if you experience a problem at any time with your Clearwater Lights, even after years of ownership, we are only a phone call or email away. Let us know what’s going on, and we will be happy to work out a solution that keeps you satisfied.

Can I install them myself?

Absolutely! We have over 500,000 satisfied customers worldwide, many of whom installed their kits themselves. If you perform routine maintenance on your bike and are comfortable with basic tools, installation is not too difficult. Most installations take between 1-3 hours; however, motorcycles with full fairings can take a little longer. Check out our installation videos here for a better idea of what an installation involves, and never hesitate to call us at (916) 852-7029 if you get stuck!

What motorcycles will your light kits fit?

There is a Clearwater Lights kit that will work for almost every motorcycle, and we are adding new motorcycles to that list all the time! Check out our Shop By Bike feature here to see the motorcycle-specific kits available for your motorcycle. If your motorcycle is not there, we have universal kits that fit hundreds of motorcycles, and also offer custom fabrication.

How can I decide which lights are appropriate for my riding style?

We suggest that street riders utilize the Glendas/Darlas at a minimum, for added daytime and nighttime conspicuity. Studies have shown that motorcycles are noticed more readily by motorists if light comes from more than one source on the motorcycle, and adding Glendas/Darlas to your motorcycle will provide you with the recommended “triangle of conspicuity.” If you are a street rider who rides primarily during the day, these will make you more visible in daytime traffic and during poor weather, and will also provide some added illumination in the rare instances that you may be riding at night.
For riders who do more nighttime and/or off-road riding (especially where the path may not be well lit by street lights), the added illumination from our larger lights, such as Kristas, Ericas, or Sevinas, a hybrid combination, is a safety necessity. They will increase your conspicuity, while also providing near- and far-distance illumination of the path ahead. You can also add a set of Darlas to our larger light kits for a discount. More information about matching Clearwater Lights to your riding style is offered in the FAQs specific to the different light kits that we offer.

Such as Kristas, Ericas, Sevinas or a hybrid combination

Do your kits include mounting hardware?

Yes - Clearwater Lights kits are a one-stop-shopping experience! Everything you need to install your lights is included in the kit you will receive, including all mounting hardware.

When I buy one of your kits, do I receive a single light or a pair?

Clearwater Lights kits include a pair of lights, in addition to all of the necessary mounting hardware, for an all-in-one solution to your lighting needs.

What is your return policy?

Clearwater lights are guaranteed for one year. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, we will replace them at no cost to you during this timeframe; however, our goal is satisfied customers and we offer a lifetime of customer service and product support. If your Clearwater Lights fail to perform as expected after the warranty expires, please give us a call and we will work out a reasonable solution.

What brand of LEDs do you use?

Clearwater Lights proudly utilize Cree LED lights and LED components in all of our products.
Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs and LED lighting.

How are your lights wired?

Clearwater Lights use top quality, reliable parts for every step along the design-build process, including Posi-Products connectors. Wiring is silver-plated, fine strand copper with very tough, high-temperature Teflon insulation. The conductors are housed in a tough polyethylene jacket with silicone lubricant to improve long-term vibration resistance. High-grade silvercontent solder is used on all internal electrical joints. Adhesive coated shrink tube is used on all of our harness systems and relays.

Are your lenses shaped to help focus the beam?

Yes, our lens produces a beam with 85% of the light in a 15-degree beam and 15% of the light in a 45-degree beam. This results in additional conspicuity to other motorists during the day, and greater illumination of your immediate and long-distance paths at night. Nighttime illumination can be further increased by upgrading to a hybrid kit, which will provide both a beam of light and a spot light.

What is the importance of the color spectrum, or temperature, used in lights?

Kelvin color temperature is a way to describe the appearance of light emitted from a light bulb. The color temperature of the emitted light is equivalent to a piece of metal heated to that same temperature in Kelvin, on a scale of 0 to 10,000. The light temperature that we use in our lights is blue-white, which mimics daylight. This temperature is frequently used for safety lighting (which we consider our lights to be) due to its crisp, attention-grabbing ambience.

I see that you include mounting brackets and hardware with all of your lighting kits. If I don't need the motorcycle-specific brackets, do you offer your kits without them at a lower price?

Yes, we can offer you the lights at a lower cost without brackets. Give us a call at (916) 852-7029 or email us at sales@clearwaterlights.com, and we will be happy to work out a price.

On your website, I see a CANbus system for some BMWs. What is a CANbus system, and how does it work?

Motorcycles and cars traditionally use fuses to protect wires against shorts and possible fires.
BMW has an electrical control system on many of their motorcycles produced after 2005, called a CANbus system. CAN stands stands for "controller area network." The CANbus system is a computer-controlled protection system that serves as a set of automatic fuses, directing all operational input from the rider to this computer in order to produce the desired output.
For example, rather than the rider engaging the turn signal button and the input going directly to the turn signal, the input first goes through the computer before the turn signal comes on.
Blown fuses result when the wiring gets overloaded because too much power is being used.
With a CANbus system, instead of having to replace a blown fuse, the computer automatically turns off the electricity to the wire connected to the feature that isn’t responding. The
computer then turns the electricity back on once the overload condition stops.
When a person adds accessories to a circuit drawing power away from the battery, such as a set of auxiliary lights, a GPS, or heated gear, the computer senses this, and may turn off the power to the circuit if it is perceived as a problem. Sometimes this causes a problem with operating the motorcycle.
Clearwater Lights do not cause such problems because we have developed a CANbus-specific wiring harness, called the CANopener, which derives all the necessary power directly from the battery rather than other circuits.

LEDs that use a switching power supply or PWM adjustable dimming control can emit radio frequency (RF) signals that can be heard on certain radio bands. Do your lights interfere?

Clearwater Lights cannot guarantee that your radio(s) will not have interference; however, in thousands of installations, we have seen RF interference in only about six cases. Of those six cases, we were unable to remove the noise in four. Clearwater Lights’ president and founder, Glen Stasky, has a background that includes many years of experience troubleshooting noise problems in car audio installations, in addition to lecturing on techniques for solving noise related problems in high-end automotive sound systems.
By nature, motorcycles do not have a steel chassis and ground planes for noise isolation like automobiles do; therefore, motorcycles are in fact more susceptible to noise, and noise troubleshooting can be time-consuming.
If you are experiencing noise or RF issues related to the installation of Clearwater Lights on your motorcycle, we suggest that you look at the grounding configuration of your radio(s).
Also, consider moving the antenna and re-routing the antenna cable. The noise can be entering the radio either via the antenna or the input power wire. A quick test for this would be to power up the radio(s) from an auxiliary battery that is NOT connected to the bike. If the noise goes away, consider adding a noise filter on the input power wire. If it does not go away, disconnect the antenna cable from the back of the radio(s). This will help indicate if the noise is coming in from the antenna or the cable. Simply moving the antenna to the rear of the bike can also sometimes help.
A good radio installation/troubleshooting shop may ask these questions:
1-How many radios do you have on this bike?

2-Who installed them?

3-What other accessories are on the bike?

4-How many antennas are on the bike?

5-Where are the antennas located?

6-Where are the grounds located?

7-Are any antenna cables bundled with the power wires?

8-Does your bike interfere with any of your friend's bikes when you ride together?


You can also try powering the LED lights from an auxiliary battery and then move the lights closer to your bike. This will help you isolate the cause.
Here is an interesting statement that Glenn used to make in his lectures: "All motor vehicles that use an internal combustion engine with an alternator will have noise in any audio system connected to that vehicle. Every time. On some vehicles, the noise may not be perceptible, on some it may be unacceptable. The difference is how well that noise is minimized."
It appears that any LED light with a switching power supply may cause interference in your radio; not just Clearwater Lights. There might be an alternative radio installation technique that will help. Until then, we recommend that you consider converting to a standard halogen bulb.

How are crash bar sizes measured?

Crash bar sizes are determined by measuring the diameter of the bar. This measurement can be obtained by using a caliper. You can also obtain the diameter by wrapping a piece of paper, business card, or string around your crash bar, measuring the circumference,  and converting that measurement to its equivalent diameter using the chart below:

For example, if the distance measured around the bar using a piece of paper is 65.97 mm (2.60 in), then the chart shows the equivalent diameter is 21 mm.
The second chart below shows the crash bar sizes for which we have available mounting options:

Do you offer a military discount?

We offer a 15% discount for active duty military; thank you for serving our country.

What is a hybrid kit?

A hybrid kit allows you to mix two complementary lights together; for example, a Krista and an Erica, or an Erica and a Sevina, by providing one spotlight and one flood light. This allows the rider to increase both daytime conspicuity as well as your near- and far-distance nighttime illumination at a great price.
When purchasing Krista or Erica kits, selecting the "Yes" option from the "Upgrade to a Hybrid Kit" menu will automatically upgrade your purchase to a hybrid kit with the next light size up.
For example, an upgraded Krista kit will contain (1) Krista light and (1) Erica light. An
upgraded Erica kit will contain (1) Erica light and (1) Sevina light.

 

 R1200 GSA with a Krista/Erica Hybrid setup

GENERAL TROUBLESHOOTING FAQs

My lights are hooked up, but they do not turn on.

Check the grounding – does not work on the front forks because it is isolated. Try grounding to the ground wire.

Why do my lights not switch from low to high when I cycle through my low and high beam?

The white high beam trigger wire is likely not connected to the high beam headlight wire.

Why do my lights flash when the ignition is switched on?

All of our systems take a brief moment to boot up. During that time, no dimming signal is sent to the lights, so they momentarily turn on to full bright.

After a long trip through the rain I noticed that my lights have condensation in them. Can I take them apart and allow them to dry?

Each and every light is pressure tested before leaving the factory. Water can only get in through an O-ring or the rear wire grommet; if you notice condensation on the inside of the lens, we recommend that you open them up and let them dry for a day. Follow these steps, and take care when opening the front shiny bezel:

1. Tap the front of the lens with your knuckle a few times. The idea is to gently break the seal between the O-ring and the clear lens

2. Put a rubber glove on one hand. Use this hand to grasp the front ring

3. Try to prevent the lens from turning while you unscrew the front ring.

4. Once the front ring rotates, simply unscrew the front bezel and remove the front lens and the optic below.

5. A hair dryer can speed up the drying process.

Glenda/Darla FAQs

What are the dimensions of the Glenda and Darla lights?

The outside diameter of our Glenda and Darla lights is just over 2 inches. They are both approximately about 2 inches deep.

How much do the Glendas/Darlas weigh?

Each 2-inch diameter light plus the housing weighs approximately 7 ounces.

What is the light output for the Glendas/Darlas?

Darla provides approximately 2000 lumens per light, while Glenda provides 800 lumens per light.

Running at full power, what is the electrical draw in watts?

At full power, each light uses about 12 watts. As you reduce the intensity of the light using the adjustable control knob, the power usage drops significantly.
The initial goal of the Glenda project was to create the most light possible with a maximum of 12 watts of power (1 amp) per light. This power level was chosen because is the highest power that we could safely add to a headlight system without adding a relay. Darlas provide more illumination, but also draw only 12 watts per light.
To get the most illumination possible, we designed a digital switching power supply to
increase the efficiency of the LEDs. By combining this with the most recently developed LEDs, we are able to produce over 4 times the amount of light than a traditional halogen filament bulb can produce. We also researched and utilize the most unique spectra in our lights.
Because they are so unlike any halogen bulb headlight on the road, you WILL get noticed.

Do you consider the Glendas/Darlas to be fog lamps, visibility lamps, driving lights, or spots?

We consider these to be a combination of a fog and visibility light; however, due to the adjustable “dimming” feature, they serve multiple purposes.
These lights are primarily for conspicuity (visibility to other motorists) rather than "down the road" illumination. Some customers have commented that even in bright sunlight, cars move over in front of them during their daily commute, whereas before our lights, they were constantly ignored. I find the car pool lane here in CA rarely has a car ignoring my approach from behind.
Although illumination is not the primary function of the Glendas/Darlas, they will illuminate road signs, reflectors, and deer retinas much better than standard or halogen lights due to the higher bandwidth of light energy. You might be amazed at how far away exit signs can be seen.
Because all of our lights are much too bright to leave on “high” at night, we have designed a computer-controlled, adjustable control knob. It mounts on your handlebar and allows you to control the brightness of our lights via the digital controller in each light. Our "high/low" relay option is a useful recent addition to our lights. It allows you to "set" the intensity of the lights for the LOW beam switch position. When you switch your factory HIGH beams on, our lights switch to high as well. When you turn the factory high beams off, our lights then return to the brightness setting previously selected on the adjustable knob, which can be further adjusted depending on your driving conditions. This way, you don't have to control both lights with two switches.
We suggest you utilize the full brightness to maximize your conspicuity during daytime traffic or on open roads, then lower the brightness utilizing the adjustable control knob for use in nighttime traffic. Using the "flash to pass" headlight switch provides an additional way to demand attention when necessary.

Is there a beam cutoff to prevent nighttime glare for oncoming traffic?

Oncoming glare is reduced by utilizing the adjustable dimming knob, as well as your factory high beam switch. The dimming knob sets the brightness of our lights for the LOW beam switch position. When the HIGH beams are selected, our lights switch to high too. So, you simply need to dim your headlights with oncoming cars.
These lights are meant to improve your conspicuity and to add to side illumination by utilizing a unique and noticeable visible spectrum of light. By designing the beam to be broad reaching, we assure that you will be very noticeable in adjacent lanes of traffic, at night and in full sunlight.

Are the Glenda/Darla lights too bright to be used in conjunction with the low beams at night?

No; you can control the brightness of the lights at the low beam setting by utilizing the adjustable control knob. We suggest that you keep Glendas/Darlas on all the time, to afford you the most visibility in any situation.

My Glendas/Darlas turn off when switched to high beam. What does this mean?

You may have an H4 headlight, where the low beam and high beam are contained in the same bulb. In these kinds of bulbs, the low beam turns off when the high beam is activated; the red power wire connected to your H4 headlight wire turns OFF when you switch to HIGH beam.
You need to find an alternative source for the red wire. Try some other switched hot wire, such as GPS, or Aux...

If the Glendas/Darlas replace the current fog lights on the BMW, do they use the same wiring?

We cannot use the same wiring because the factory BMW wiring cannot accommodate the adjustable control knob.

Why would I want to order discounted Darlas with my order of Kristas, Ericas, or Sevinasand what exactly do I get when I add them to my order?

Many of our customers choose to run Darlas with their larger, brighter lights for added daytime and nighttime conspicuity. The wiring harness that comes with our 3.7 inch and larger lights includes a hook-up for our Darla lights so that one adjustable control knob, can controls both sets of lights. When you add Darlas to your order, you receive the standard Darla lights and bikespecific brackets, but not the unnecessary Darla wiring harness. This allows us to offer the Darla kit at a reduced cost when sold in combination with another light set.

Krista/Erica/Sevina FAQs

What is the Krista/Erica/Sevina's Kelvin color of light?

Kelvin color temperature is a way to describe the appearance of light emitted from a light bulb. The color temperature of the emitted light is equivalent to a piece of metal heated to that same temperature in Kelvin, on a scale of 0 to 10,000.
The Kelvin temperature of the Krista/Erica/Sevina lights is 6,300, giving off a blue-white light that mimics daylight. This light temperature is frequently used for safety lighting due to its crisp, attention-getting ambience, which we consider our lights to be.

Are these lights too bright to be used in conjunction with the low beams at night?

When the lights are adjusted properly (up/down, side to side), you should have no issues as long as the light is set to a lower output. (10%-15%) But in the rare case someone does flash you, we have included an on/off switch.

If the lights replace the current fog lights on the BMW, do they use the same wiring?

We cannot use the same wiring. The BMW wiring does accommodate the adjustable control knob, and the CANbus circuit does not supply enough power for Krista/Erica/Sevina.

Can these bigger lights be mounted on the front forks like the Glenda/Darla?

It is possible, but we do not recommend this because the weight of the Krista/Erica/Sevina is too great to be supported by this particular mounting option. See our Shop By Bike feature here for some recommended mounting options for your particular motorcycle and
preferences.

If I want to install smaller (Glenda/Darla) lights in addition to Krista/Erica/Sevina, what wiring is required?

The Krista/Erica/Sevina comes with a harness that incorporates wires for the Glenda/Darla too. That way you only need one adjustable control knob to control both sets of lights. Be sure to select the “Add Discounted Darlas” option to your order so that you don’t pay for the unnecessary Darla wiring harness!

 

CANopener FAQs

What is a CANopener?

The Clearwater Lights CANopener system is an innovative auxiliary lighting management system like nothing else available, consisting of a small control unit within the wiring harness. It installs easily by plugging directly into the existing Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) connectors on the BMW. No other modifications to the motorcycle needed. Once installed, the rider can control the brightness of their Clearwater LED lights by using the Multi-Function Controller (MFC) if so fitted, or the Clearwater handlebar-mounted adjustable control knob. The CANopener provides additional functions to BMW motorcycles equipped with the MFC. The BMW ambient light sensor is utilized to provide automatic day/night brightness memory; the lights can be switched on and off by using the bike’s turn signal cancel button; and instant, full, attention-demanding brightness is available by using the high beam, “flash-topass,” or horn buttons.

Why the CANopener?

The CANopener system allows riders to manage the light output, for both increased daytime and nighttime visibility to other motorists, and to illuminate a dark road or trail ahead. One of the best and most innovative features of the CANopener system is how it integrates with the BMW's existing CANbus system to adjust the light output, without requiring extra handlebar controls, buttons or Multi-Function wheels. The capability then allows the rider to almost instantly activate an attention-demanding, high-intensity flashing or strobe pattern from our lights using the bike's Flash-to-Pass, horn, or hazard controls.

Common CANopener Acronyms

A list of commonly used acronyms to describe CANopener controls: (1) WW = WonderWheel (BMW multi-function controller) (2) TSC = Turn Signal Cancel (3) TPM = Tire Pressure Monitor (4) FTP = Flash To Pass (5) OBL = Optional Brake Light

What are the CANopener’s default brightness levels for your various light kits?

The default brightness levels for the Darlas/Glendas and Kristas/Ericas/Sevinas, and also the Billie Brake Light, are provided in this quick-reference guide:

Running Lights

Default levels

Darla/Glenda

Erica/Krista/Sevina

Low Beam – Day

50%

30%

Low Beam – Night

30%

10%

High Beam

100%

100%

 

Billie Brake Light

Default levels

Tail

Brake

Day

20%

70%

Night

10%

60%

Where is the TPMS on my motorcycle?

The following photos illustrate where the TPMS should be on non-TPMS models, on 2013-2015 BMW models, and on 2016/later BMW models:

Which side of the WonderWheel should I press when changing modes/setting functions on the CANopener?

When pressing the WonderWheel in a specific direction, always apply pressure from the side of the WonderWheel that’s closest to you. The following graphic illustrates this:

CANopener Reference Table

The basic functions of the CANopener are available on this quick reference guide. We suggest that you print it out and keep it with your owner’s manual or with your registration, so that it’s available when you need it:

Billie Brake Light FAQs

What is the difference between the regular Billie Brake Light and the Billie Jr.?

The only difference is the frame: The Billie is a full-perimeter license plate frame, and the Billie Jr. is a light bar that can be positioned above or below your license plate (see photo below). They provide the same lighting functionality.

How do I change Brake Light Modes?

There are 4 brake light modes. To cycle through modes while the bike is at a full stop, press and release the Turn Signal Cancel (TSC), then pull and release the front brake lever completely 5 times. Example: Billie starts in mode 1, pressing the front brake 5 times will cycle you to mode 2.

There was a wire with an LED on the end of it included with my Billie. What is it, and what’s it for?

This is an optional indicator light that you can mount at the front of your bike so that you can see what the brake light is doing while riding. It’s very easy to install: first, mount the LED to the front of the bike in a location that you can easily see while riding. Next, route the wire to the back of the bike near the CANopener. Finally, you will Posi-Lock the red and black wires from the indicator light to the red and black wires from the CANopener. This is what it looks like when mounted to a clutch cable: