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Motors LED headlight bulbs

Discussion in 'General' started by CrapBag, 14 Mar 2019 at 09:00.

  1. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    My poor old 2002 Vectra C passed its MOT yesterday which i was most shocked by.

    Now that i hopefully have it for another year i really want to tackle the extremely poor dipped beam headlight issue.

    Ive seen LED bulbs for sale. This sort of thing

    1 are they any good.
    2 are they legal
    3 will my insurance be invalidated by fitting them

    HID seems a little expensive to go down that route.

    I intend to do the cdr2005 AUX input mod and change the inerior bulbs for LED bulbs too. (these or these not sure if canbus is even an issue for interior bulbs)

    Thanks
     
  2. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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  3. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    It is a minefield an varies with the insurer, I queried with mine they said that if the vehicle was damaged by the bulbs they wouldn't cover me, but also said there is nothing explicit in the policy regarding the use of them.

    In terms of bulbs and current headlight, you can really only put LED into a projector type headlight, reflectors will be akin to driving a lighthouse at people.
    What bulbs do you have now and do have now and what are the headlamps like?

    I run LED in my Passat, had zero issues on the MOT and with the police.
     
  4. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what they would say if I crashed into you and claimed I was dazzled or couldn't see you clearly because of your LED headlights?
     
  5. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    1. 99% of time no
    2. Definitely no (putting any bulb other than the one headlight is rated for is a big no no)
    3. Up to insurance (if you dont tell them and in a case of rear end collision they probably wont even bother checking, but if its a head-on collision and other driver complains that you blinded him there is a big chance that they will), but you'll definitely have trouble passing MOT.

    Generally speaking retrofitted LED headlights are crap - the bulbs don't have adequate cooling, light source is not a "single spot" as in halogens/HID, so light uniformity is all over the place (reflectors are not designed for multi point light source), colour temperature and CRI is often also not that good and degrades with time and the light output is usually lower than HID and sometime even a halogen.
     
  6. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Going on the halogens in my car before I'd of crashed into something long before meeting you on the road anyway.
    Same arguement could go for the current rangerovers, their headlights are at the perfect level to burn your retinas.

    Also HID is a pain to fit with current regs (washers, auto leveling functions), probably better getting projector headlights in your car, or just better bulbs.
     
  7. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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    Get better bulbs
    Agree 100%, same for all these cross over style vehicles too, bloody menace, difference is they are type approved and their insurers won't leave their owners carrying the cost, you'll (if discovered) will have your policy cancelled and be liable for all of my costs and your own

    It's a pain because they dazzle and blind other drivers and the current regs should be more vigorously enforced imho

    Winner winner cat fish dinner

    Don't take any of ^ that personally, I hate retrofit HID's & LED's with a passion, same with idiots who can't fit regular bulbs properly or don't check their alignment or fit 100W bulbs etc etc.
    I drive a lot (25k commuting alone) and most of that is on unlit roads so when Mr. Max Power wannabe blinds me but thinks he is fine because he can see sat behind his headlights it really gets on my wick
     
    MLyons likes this.
  8. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    So the higher end so called brighter Halogens is my best bet?

    I bought some way back in halfords and they didn't seem to be much difference, have they gotten better from say 10 years ago.
     
  9. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    How are the headlights in general? Are they cloudy or clear?

    Personally I'd be looking at the OSRAM range. Those or Bosch are my go-to for automotive bulbs.

    LED bulbs in headlights not designed for LED's are dangerous to other road users and I'm betting they're more of a placebo than an actual help to the people driving the cars.

    IIRC the reflectors aren't designed with LED's in mind, so the light patterns get all ****ed up compared to Halogens.
     
  10. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Not taking it personally at all, I did get some cheaper ones then eventually got the higher quality 36W ones which carry an E mark (they are available just need to hunt about), I had the headlights aligned so the cut offs correct and the beam pattern its more even theres no hot spot in the middle, I think a lot of people don't realise that a lot of these are sided LED units so you put them in wrong an the beam pattern goes wrong blinding people.

    In terms of dazzling people, only complaint I had was my brake lights are very bright, my model uses a full LED rear cluster which is the VW/Valeo ones. Does seem to be a trend in general though newer cars have brighter lighting, BMW laser lights being a pet peeve with me. Its almost an arms race with brightness

    Reg wise with HID they have tightned it up, you have to use projectors, with a headlight washer system and auto levelling, else its a nice big fine for them.

    Headlight wise a 2002 should have the older reflector style unit which is lightly part of the problem, Something like Phillips extreme vision or Osram Night breakers should give a better output, or see about projector units from another vectra C, May need to check if the connectors on the harness match, Vectra forums will have that covered though.
     
  11. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    They are clear, they have been yellowing for the last 4 years now and I had an advisory on an MOT 4 years ago that they would need doing so I bought a kit from Amazon with 4 different graded emery pads, a bottle of compound and a mop to go in my drill and I do them just before every mot now and they were redone last Monday for Tuesdays mot so that usually helps. (been done 3 times now)

    They aren't 100% clear, there are some fine scratched areas but I don't want to go too mad rubbing them down.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2019 at 11:44
  12. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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  13. fuus

    fuus Rocking All Year Christmas

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    Those Phillip Racing Visions or Osram Nightbreakers would be a good call as a 100% legal upgrade. I put some of the Phillips White visions in my daily recently and it made a world of difference
     
  14. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Ah okay. I'd suggest some, like everyone else, better bulbs. Halogen has its limits, but anything better is either risky (with regards to mot/insurance) or wickedly expensive.

    The likelihood of the headlamps yellowing and fogging up regularly is that the UV coating has been polished off having once worn off entirely. I've seen people get around this by applying a few layers of UV resistant clear coat. I can't remember whether I ever researched if that was the right thing to do though.
     

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