One of the issues identified in the webBikeWorld Clearwater Lights CANopener review regarded protectors or covers for the expensive light modules. Actually, Clearwater has lens covers for both the large Krista and Erica lights and the smaller Glenda and Darla light sets and this is a “Quick Look” at those products.
The 2014 BMW R 1200 GSW test mule, with its Clearwater Lights CANopener3 system, includes a set of the Erica and Darla lights. The slip-on light covers an inexpensive investment to protect the high-value (and highly valued) Clearwater products.
Adding the slip-on covers with their clear and amber lenses protect the lights and they also eliminates the need to open up the LED modules to change the primary lenses from clear to amber if desired.
Additionally, the clear slip-on lenses can be left in place over the lights, acting as stone guard protection. They can then be simply swapped for the amber lens covers to maintain visibility and conspicuity in changing weather conditions.
The lens cover kit comes with a pair of the rubber slip-on casings that completely cover the LED light housing if the lights aren’t being used, along with clear and amber lenses (photos below).
It’s very easy to install the lens covers; in fact, I spent more time opening the bag and taking some initial photos than i did in getting the lenses fitted into their slip-on rubber covers and mounted on to the Erica lights. Simply pull the covers off, change the lenses and then slip them back on the LED modules when you want to change lens colors.
The Krista and Erica slip-on lens covers are utter simplicity in design and use. The round clear and amber lenses are made of lightweight acrylic plastic that is nicely finished for safe handling and for easy fitment into the covers.
Prepping the clear and amber lenses took a little bit of time though; the stick-and-peel material used to protect the lenses for end-production, packaging and shipping was really (really) hard to remove.
I didn’t want to use a heat gun — even on low — to soften the material, so a couple of fingernails bit the dust in getting enough of the protective material loosened around the edges to peel cleanly off the acrylic lens. But this was the only difficult part of the task.
The two black slip-on covers with white Clearwater logos set 120 degrees apart on the circumference provide strong protective housings for the changeable acrylic lenses.
The front interior of each stretchable rubber cover has a molded double ring and once a lens is slipped in between these rings, it isn’t going anywhere, held in by pressure and shape.
With your choice of the clear or amber protective lens worked into place, slide the entire cover on to the Clearwater light module and the thickness of the ring walls provides the clearance between the light module lens and the protective secondary lens in the protective cover.
This slight recess in front offers protection if the light assembly is bumped or hit with something from either the top, bottom or sides. This can happen from unidentified or identified flying road objects and the protective lens covers will handle it.
The lenses can be changed from clear to amber and back again quickly enough to meet any change in riding or weather conditions.
And the lenses certainly don’t take up much room. The unused set of lens are wrapped in a small micro-fibre cleaning cloth and packed into one of the spare pliable black Erica light covers with the second cover pushed over the first to form a small and easy-to-carry holder of sorts that can be stowed almost anywhere.
And it also means that the vinyl light covers are available if needed, as some jurisdictions require or did require that (high output) auxiliary lighting be completely covered while riding on some roads.
When using the Clearwater Lights slip-on lens covers, the LED light modules don’t require a realignment, nor do the attached lenses on the lights need to be removed. With some other accessory lighting kits, significant user intervention is needed to change lenses. Advantage Clearwater.
There is no real perceived diminishment in light output with the clear slip-on lenses in place. Adding the amber lenses does present a very different and very noticeable light output appearance that is very conspicuous but “easier” on any oncoming eyes. This happens with only a slight reduction in light output when objectively viewed.
With the amber slip-on lenses fitted and the Clearwater adjustable light dimmer output set between 20 to 30 percent, the Erica LEDs make very distinctive Daytime Running Lights that should be noticeable but not uncomfortable to oncoming traffic, day or night.
But since my Erica lights are essentially used off-road or on lightly populated secondary roads, any slight loss in output is easily overcome by upping the output a bit…and the Erica LEDs aren’t lacking in that department!
Bottom line: in having used the clear and amber slip-on covers for the Erica LEDs, I’ve decided that a set for the Darla LEDs is on the priority list. This will mean that both sets of lights on my GS are given additional protection and I have an additional lens output option.