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Motors LED replacement bulbs - NOT HID

Discussion in 'General' started by Sentinel-R1, 24 Nov 2015.

  1. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    After a rather disappointing and expensive purchase of "130% brighter" bulbs by Phillips, I was looking at replacing the H1s and HB3s for dipped and main beam with straight swap LED bulbs.

    There's lots of reviews on the web and a couple of youtube vids and they seem excellent with plenty of light output, no ballast required and no electronic boxes to wire in - but wondered if any BT'ers had made the swap and if so, can I get your genuine opinion?

    The reason I'm after brighter lights is I drive to London and back each weekend in the dark and living in deepest darkest rural Lincs, the unlit backroads are a bit of a problem when oncoming drivers have factory fitted HIDs which seem to completely cancel out my headlights, leading to a potentially expensive game of 'Guess where my car will end up".
     
  2. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I've just bought a bunch from here; http://www.ledperf.co.uk/index.php?packkit=1

    But no headlight bulbs I'm afraid. Mostly rear facing stuff and interior, but they seem to provide LED versions of most bulbs for my cars, and seem to have a pretty wide selection.

    Might be worth a punt?
     
  3. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Thanks for the link there.

    For the price, certainly worth a punt IMO; however, just wanted some reassurance that they're going to make a noticeable distance to light output and projection.
     
  4. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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    Nope.
    The car has HID so I'm sticking with that, however I did look into them for the motorcycle and decided against.

    Reasons;
    Horrible non sharp pattern & cut off on all of the ones I've seen, but when you're sticking an LED in a reflector designed for a regular bulb it's never going to work properly.

    Having an LED sufficiently powerful enough for a headlamp in an enclosed space may be problematic with regards to cooling.
     
  5. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    From my limited experience with LED car lights [based on friends who've tried them] - if you can't see where you're going with HIDs... you still won't be able to see where you're going with LEDs...
     
  6. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Ive not had much luck with LED's my onboard computer makes them strobe doing continuity checks. I picked up some Lucas Lightbooster +120% after using Philips and others. These are easily the whitest and the brightest. Not had any issues since with being out shone.

    Important thing is, what is the car an what type of headlight is it?

    Also sorry for a bit of thread poaching but liratheal, what are the rears like? I sorely need a brighter pair of reverse bulbs the rear tints make things interesting at night, also do you know if they have issues with strobing?
     
  7. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    @Redflames - The car is a 2005 impreza wrx, fitted with standard filament bulbs, not HIDs. The reason I don't want HIDs installed is my car doesn't have headlamp washers so would fail an MOT if fitted - and I can't be arsed removing them for tests.

    I also understand concerns about heat, but these LEDs reportedly run cooler than filament bulbs, so can't see heat being an issue if claims are accurate, nor can I see the fact that they're LEDs being an issue with beam projection as HID kits use the standard headlamp housing and reflectors too.

    The car's ECU doesn't check whether or not lights are out, so flickering shouldn't be an issue either.

    It's a tough one!
     
  8. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    IIRC if it doesn't have light washers then LEDs will be an MOT fail as well...

    EDIT: HID/LED bulbs apparently won;t fail an MOT if the car didn't come with cleaners/levellers... but if the car came with them, they have to be working...

    source
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2015
  9. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    Always thought it needed the washers an levelling motors

    Bulb wise ill speak to a guy at work he has an 05 WRX not using HIDs
     
  10. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    "Vehicles equipped with High Intensity Discharge (HID) or LED dipped beam headlamps may be fitted with headlamp washers and a suspension or headlamp self levelling system.

    Where such systems are fitted, they must work; however, it is accepted that it may not be possible to readily determine the functioning of self levelling systems. In such cases, the benefit of the doubt must be given.

    Headlamp washers may work in conjunction with the windscreen washers (when the dipped beam headlamps are switched on) or by a separate switch."


    VOSA the MOT Inspection Manual section 1.7 PDF warning!

    Underlines are mine.

    *doh! ninjaed
     
  11. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that.
     
  12. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Could you explain a bit more then please?

    A colleague of mine purchased an aftermarket 6000k HID kit which came with bulbs and the ballast/control boxes. He didn't replace the headlight units, reflectors or anything and they're literally night and day (pun intended) compared to the filament bulbs the kit replaced.
     
  13. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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    I don't deny he'll be chucking out a shed load more light, and I don't deny you will with LED either.
    But standard reflectors are not designed for HID's, the pattern is crap, the light scatter is bloody horrible and they dazzle like buggery, and that's with a burner which is a whole lot more like a standard bulb than an LED which has a multipoint outputs.

    I came a cross a BMW cutaway of their LED headlights whilst I was researching it, the lengths that had to go to in order to get a decent focussed output was quite something.

    Do your research, buy some bulbs, but there isn't a snowballs chance in hell that I'll be convinced that LED bulbs work well in standard reflectors, people see masses of lovely bright pure white light compared to their old tired yellow bulbs and think they're onto a winner, but amount of light is only 50% of the challenge.
     
  14. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Hmm, ok. I understand a bit better now. I wouldn't want to be the knobber who dazzles everyone, seeing as though that's one of my biggest bugbears when it happens to me.

    I think I'll consider buying the dipped beam H1 LED bulbs and comparing the pattern against a wall at 25ft, to the filament bulbs with some taped out wall markers - before I spend out on the more expensive main beam HB3 LEDs.

    Realistically, that's the only way I'm going to know if they're traffic friendly.

    Thanks for the advice and IF the pattern is good, I'll let you know.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    LEDs run cooler, but also have much less tolerance for heat; basically they overheat and break quickly. Hence they tend to come with huge heat sinks attached (see for instance LED bulbs for the home).

    HID bulbs, like filament bulbs have a point light source which the reflectors are (more or less) designed to focus/spread. LED bulbs have a light die which actually is a whole rectangular surface, so you get a different, unfocused reflection pattern.
     
  16. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Ok, so the bulbs I've been looking at come with differing amounts of diodes. There are models with 12, 20 and 26 IIRC. If what you're saying is right, then I'd be better with less diodes as they'd be closer to the original position of the filament?
     
  17. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    No doubt thats why i nearly get blinded by every second car these days.
     
  18. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Well-Known Member

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  19. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Thanks everyone for the info and feedback. I think I'll pick up a cheap set of dipped beam LEDs and see what the projection is like before committing to a quality pair.

    I'll report back with pos/neg news.
     
  20. Puk

    Puk (A shrewd and knavish sprite)

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    I use to use HID's in my old ST Fiesta, i can't remember the rating. Very easy to fit, just cable tied the balasts to the slam panel supports.

    They do fail MOT's, and i know this, as i was a service manager for Ford and my MOT testers would fail them if they had no beam pattern. The lamps throw out so much light they completely wipe out the beam pattern. I use to change back to standard bulbs for the MOT if they didn't go through first time. I use to live in rural hampshire, and lamps use to make night driving a lot easier but i did feel bad for other road users!
     

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