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LED headlights

 
Old 11-15-2018, 11:18 PM
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Default LED headlights

Now that COB (Chip-on-Board) technology has gotten to a point of mainstream acceptance, there are a lot of LED replacement lamps showing up.

At work, I'm on a holy quest to eliminate CRTs, and am down to just a few dozen. In my personal life, I'm damn near finished eliminating incandescent filaments. My car is the only holdout.

Most of the units offered at a reasonable price point appear to be Alibaba-grade hardware, upon which a label bearing the name of a made-up company is applied, although a few appear sufficiently unique from the rest that it's possible they were actually designed by, and manufactured under the purview of, the companies which are selling them. (By a Chinese white-box factory, of course.)

Many of these claim specs which, on paper, appear to be favorable as compared to conventional halogen lamps.

I'm well aware of the old maxim: Chinese aftermarket parts are ****.

I'm also aware that this is MiataTurbo, and we built our reputation on making good things happen from shitty parts. (I feel as though a bit of that spirit has been lost over the past decade or so, now that competent engineers who also happen to be race drivers are taking our tiny little market seriously.)

Has anybody actually tried these yet as low beams in a projector-equipped NB2? At $50 and under, I'm tempted to buy a few sets and compare them just out of sheer curiosity.

Examples of what I'm talking about:

Amazon Amazon


Amazon Amazon


Amazon Amazon


Amazon Amazon
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:48 PM
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I have these LED headlights. In my nb2 projector low beams and high beams.

https://www.auxbeam.com/s3-series-ph...eadlight-bulbs

They aim as well as my 35w morimoto elite hid kit did and are also much brighter. I do not notice any hotspots in the beam and there is no bleeding above the cutoff, no one has ever complained when I am behind them.

If you ever drive in rural places having leds in your high-beams as well is amazing. When my lows and highs are on it is INSANELY bright everywhere.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:41 AM
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In my experience projectors don't seem to care what the actual light source is. For example, putting an HID bulb in a projector designed for a halogen gives basically the same cut off and pattern as a halogen bulb in the same projector. It's a totally different story when you put an LED or HID bulb into a halogen reflector.

Something else to consider though is the fact that you can actually have too much foreground light. If you have too much light directly in front of the vehicle it can inhibit your ability to see further away.

Will the cheap LED's be brighter in the application you're describing? Almost certainly. Will you actually see better? Not necessarily.

Here's a thread with some discussion about foreground lighting in automotive applications.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:33 AM
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From my experience using LED headlight bulbs, they have much brighter foreground lighting, but the throw of light into the distance is shorter then hid or even halogen equivalent, so LED bulbs seem much brighter as there is a lot of foreground lighting but the actual long-distance visibility suffers.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:16 AM
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Too lazy to check all of those links but, I did do a bit of research a year or two ago. I was prepping my dirtbike for a 24 hr race and needed light. Super limited on power supply and charging, so LEDS seemed like a good option, with HID in a very very close second. I went with LED because I was afraid the rough environment might damage the HID. In the end, I found that wattage of each individual chip was way more important than total wattage of combined chips. I ended up using two 2" cubes containing 4, 10 watt chips each. So my 80 watts total absolutely drowned out my competitors 400 watt total made with 3,5 &7 watt chips.

Fast forward to 2018- My buddy ran a chump car race, used my tiny 2" cubes as a back up system. 6 hrs into the race, a collision took out all of his primary lighting. He ran the rest of the race on my two 40 watt cubes and said they were better than the factory headlights.

there. some useless data.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:19 AM
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Unscientific anecdotes:

I have LED bulbs in the foglights of my Montero (projector housings). They're trash.

I have LED bulbs in the high beams of my 4Runner. They're trash.


I have LED lights (assemblies) as backup lights on the Montero. They're awesome.

My experience so far is that sticking LED bulbs in not-LED housings....sucks. LED lighting in general is pretty awesome though.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:28 AM
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I've heard of this "foreground vs background" debate.

As someone with a less-than-PhD level of physics knowledge, I'm uncertain as to how a photon can decide how far it's going to travel based upon the source which generated it. This seems to violate certain rules. I've also read quite a lot about LED vs. HID vs. Halogen which is just obviously false, based upon the opinion of uneducated people attempting to use big words.

That having been said, as a city-dweller, I'm not concerned about a deer which is 1000 feet ahead of me. I am concerned with the pedestrian who just stepped into the road from between two parked cars 50 feet ahead of me. For some strange reason, killing pedestrians is one of the few motor-vehicle offenses which the Chicago PD actually seem to care about. (Assuming that you're north of Cermak. Below that, anything goes.)
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:30 AM
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I spent $200+ on the Trucklite LED setup, and it's just OK. It's about what I would expect from a $50 chinese LED setup like the ones you linked. The lower current draw is nice for idle tuning.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:00 AM
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Inapplicable to NB folks, but has anyone had good/bad experiences with the 7" round Jeep LED replacement headlights? (apologies if this is considered threadjacking)
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by themonkeyman View Post
Inapplicable to NB folks, but has anyone had good/bad experiences with the 7" round Jeep LED replacement headlights? (apologies if this is considered threadjacking)
1. I did not realize inapplicable was a word, TIL.

2. I have a set on my NA and have nothing but good things to say about them. Then again I'm not typically overly critical.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by themonkeyman View Post
Inapplicable to NB folks, but has anyone had good/bad experiences with the 7" round Jeep LED replacement headlights? (apologies if this is considered threadjacking)
I've got 7" Trucklite LED lights on my Land Rover, which has the same fitment as an NA. They are way brighter than the standard lights, and a good deal brighter than the Raybrig / crystal lights that I've got on the NA at the moment. They aren't perfect though - in some situations (notably damp/wet roads when it's not fully dark) the road just seems to suck all the light up and they don't seem to light a lot up. I'm told it's because LED lights have a much narrower frequency range than a normal bulb.

I've looked at the ebay/alibaba 7" LED lights for the NA - it seems that a lot of them are complete junk with really bad beam pattern and output - especially the ones that look like a matrix of about 100LEDs rather than a couple of big LEDs and a reflector.
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:09 PM
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Cheap LED headlights (with lousy or no cutoff) are one of the things that make me stabby. Poorly adjusted headlights are already an issue, with everyone driving trucks and SUVs. Adding LED into the mix just makes it worse.
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:19 PM
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for the na, the retrofit source has a closeout deal going now, $75 each for the morimoto units. i've had them for ~3 years and like them.
https://www.theretrofitsource.com/mo...dlights-7.html
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
As someone with a less-than-PhD level of physics knowledge, I'm uncertain as to how a photon can decide how far it's going to travel based upon the source which generated it. This seems to violate certain rules. I've also read quite a lot about LED vs. HID vs. Halogen which is just obviously false, based upon the opinion of uneducated people attempting to use big words.
A halogen or HID light is going to have a small filiment/arc, maybe 1mm x 10mm. The lenses and reflectors are going to be designed for that.

Most cheap LED headlight replacement bulbs stick a bunch of LEDs all over something vaugly the size of the glass casing for the above. Now that light ends up who knows where, but seemingly most of it ends up closer based on what I have heard from others.
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