Submitted by stt816 t3_1119cbi in DIY

Original thread

Pic of the Triumph

Hi everyone. I made the post above a couple days ago in the motorcycle sub..I found out my dads bike is a 1966 Triumph Tiger Daytona.

I also decided I will be displaying it inside my house for now rather than fixing to ride it. A mobile detailer is coming tomorrow to work on it

I wanted to ask you guys something. I think it would be really cool to be able to turn on the headlight with a switch while it’s in my house. I know an electrician so he could work on it but would want to see what you guys think some options could be. I think it would be also cool if I was able to control the brightness of it.

I had my Christmas tree lights on a Kasa smart switch with a timer. I could also control them from my phone. So I’m wondering if you could wire the headlight to a plug? Or just any other ways..thanks!



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GRZMNKY t1_j8dg1hb wrote

Find the headlight plug, disconnect it, wire in a 12v power adapter to the plug. You'll want to disconnect the headlight completely instead of splicing in to it. That way 12v doesn't feed into the entire system


stt816 OP t1_j8dgpmt wrote

Ok would there be a way to dim it as well?


electechbw t1_j8didwr wrote

Get a 3-12VDC universal adapter that let's you switch voltages.


mymoparisbestmopar t1_j8dibcn wrote

If you plug it into an outlet with a dimmer switch, or get one of those dimmer adapters that goes between the plug and the outlet.


generationgav t1_j8dlo2m wrote

If it's not going to be driven, I'd open up the headlight fitting and remove the existing lamp and lamp holder, do it carefully so they can be replaced.

Replace these with a modern, dimmable, DC powered lamp, ideally one that can be controlled with a smart device.


30carbine t1_j8e2jtr wrote

The bike may be 6V. I don't know British bikes, but I would double-check.

The headlight is also probably sealed beam as well... as a giant light bulb. Most suggestions here will not work.

I would buy a new cheapo headlight off ebay that takes a separate bulb. Then use any bulb and dimmer you see fit.

I would be tempted to get it running. If nothing else, I'm sure putting around a parking lot with it would be fun.


azuth89 t1_j8dgba4 wrote

Most old headlamps are 35w or 55w, which means you'll want at least a 5 amp 12vdc supply. You can google for that phrase. If you want to go with a smaller, cheaper supply you can slot in a lower power or LED bulb.

I...might downgrade the bulb for display anyway since a roadworthy headlight, even the old ones, is really bright to have sitting aorund inside.


stt816 OP t1_j8dgtis wrote

Yeah that’s why I was wondering about dimming it. Anything you can think of that would allow me to dim it/control brightness?


azuth89 t1_j8dh1yv wrote

Honestly I'd probably just find soemthing like a marker light and attach it to the back of the housing. Get the flare size close then use a little aluminum putty, hot glue, whatever I have on hand.


[deleted] t1_j8dhx9d wrote



mymoparisbestmopar t1_j8dizaa wrote

You're thinking of a rheostat, and those are very outdated for the purpose of dimming lights. Theyre big, inefficient, and get crazy hot. Nowadays most every dimmer youll find, especially in residential electrical, are gonna be solid state dimmers, which use variations on pulse width modulation.


[deleted] t1_j8dkcjv wrote



mymoparisbestmopar t1_j8dnixm wrote

*varistor, which is short for varying resistor, a component for which its resistance changes with the applied voltage, meaning it doesnt have a set ohm rating. A potentiometer isnt a varistor, and a varistor wouldnt be a very good dimmer, considering its ability to affect current is dependent on the voltage being applied to it, meaning to use it to dim anything, youd need to be able to dynamically reduce the applied voltage, meaning youd need a dimmer for a varistor to work as a dimmer. Also, the dimmers im talking about are made for AC current, they switch said AC current on/off at an adjustable time after the start of each half cycle, thus modulating the width of the pulses of current sent through the circuit, like i said, a version of pulse width modulation. You ever seen a dimmer switch in a house? Most likely a solid state dimmer.


[deleted] t1_j8dqqnz wrote



mymoparisbestmopar t1_j8f1ext wrote


Leading edge or trailing edge is the difference of which part of the wave form the dimmer cancels out to reduce the average current in the circuit, thats exactly what i was describing in my comment.

>they switch said AC current on/off at an adjustable time after the start of each half cycle, thus modulating the width of the pulses of current sent through the circuit

Leading edge vs trailing edge is just whether the circuit is turned back OFF during the half cycle, or turned back ON during the half cycle. You literally dont understand the technology enough to recognize a description of how it works. If all the ones youve installed have been leading edge or trailing edge, theyve all been solid state dimmers.

Also, he needs a 120V AC to 12V DC adaptor either way, so honestly he could use an AC dimmer OR a DC dimmer.


dustinwalker50 t1_j8e4tfc wrote

Buy this. I have used it to make a lamp using a 12v led car bulb. adapter


revoman t1_j8dfybd wrote

Just get a 12 volt DC power supply and wire it up. Shouldn't be too hard.


stt816 OP t1_j8dgomc wrote

Ok would there be a way to dim it as well?


5degreenegativerake t1_j8dm70u wrote

You could pretty easily do something with LED strip lites inside the headlight housing. You can buy one with “smart” features so you can control it from your phone.


laXfever34 t1_j8kuqb7 wrote

So this is up my alley. I rehab bikes, boats and cars. If it were me, I'd hide a 12v charger and power the battery. Then fix it up and I'd ride the thing. If it's so old there's no battery I'd add one and a rectifier. I'd still display it inside but be able to take it out and ride it sometime too. Just drain the carb before taking it indoors. When it's hooked up to the charger you can turn the lights on like normal when it's on display.

You can wire a dimmer inline if you insist but I'd try it the way it is now and see if you when wanna dim it.


EdSmelly t1_j8dj2e4 wrote

Use the battery in the bike. Put the battery on a trickle charger.


bhensley t1_j8es1sc wrote

This is the easiest and likely safest way. Trickle chargers aren’t expensive, and just clip to the battery terminals. Great for cars or bikes.


rattymcratface t1_j8e03pk wrote

If it were me, I'd be awfully tempted to restore it and ride.


CanadianBaconMTL t1_j8e93eb wrote

Just put a battery charger, or remove the battery and put a 12v power supply