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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Default Led headlights

    Guys,

    Anyone know where one can get real High/Low Beam LED headlight bulbs.

    As you know, your standard incandescent headlight bulb has a small hood over the low beam filament that directs light upwards only so that the beam reflects off the top of the bowl only giving the 'dipped' light pattern. The high beam filament is higher wattage and unhooded so reflects of the entire bowl giving the longer light throw.
    I have bought a couple of sets of LED bulbs purporting to be high/low beam but they all appear to be high/high beam, i.e. there is no difference between either beam. (No, it's not a wiring or incompatibility issue).

    I guess I should have been alerted when the bulbs were described as 'fog light' as well as high/low. They do have the standard 3 pin lamp base with the same connections and do illuminate on both high and low positions so in theory do work, but not as required. (Shock, an Ebay seller misrepresenting a product, who would have thought such thing could happen).

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    Before you say, google is your friend or try Ebay, I have been down this path and while there are thousands of entries for LED headlight bulbs, none appear to actually work as high/low. Or none of the dozens that I looked at appear to do the job. None that I saw direct light upwards only on low beam, they're all cylindrical with varying numbers of SMD leds and have a 360 degree spread of light on both low and high. There might be a difference in the light levels between low and high beam, but not direction.

    I like the idea of LED lights (no heat, lower power, and 'white' light) but I might have to live with incandescent bulbs for a while, driving around in permanent high beam is not desirable.

    Cheers
    Ren
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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    One would have thought you could make these bulbs so that only the LEDs on the upper side of the cylinder light up on low beam and the ones on the lower side of the cylinder then illuminate as well on high beam - ie, you surely shouldn't need the little 'hood' when you have a whole series of directional LEDs to turn on and off.

    Do any reputable parts retailers carry these bulbs yet such that you can test if that's actually how they are wired and return if not?

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    What fitting style are they?
    I periodically look for H7 style LED replacements that would be a direct replacement either equivalent or upgrade for the halogens.
    I've yet to find something that gets reviewed satisfactorily.
    One of the key issues seems to be that the output pattern of a halogen is pretty everywhere, but the LED is rather targeted. The lenses to make the LED work the same as a retrofit might be prohibitive for a cheap ebay led.
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    The 'hood' is on the incandescent bulbs and yes, I would think it would be relatively easy to have the LED's on one side of the 'bulb' light up for low beam and on all sides for high beam.

    The lights are for my R12 which has a P45T base but I have adaptors to convert P43 bulbs to fit (see photographs below). So pretty much any of the common H4 equivalent bulbs will physically fit.
    Having a correct light pattern is another matter and the current problem.
    This is one of the bulbs I tried which proved to be useless.
    It lights up but no low beam just 2 high beams.

    Led headlights-p45t-bulb-adapter4.jpgLed headlights-p45t-bulb-adapter3.jpgLed headlights-p45t-bulb-adapter2.jpgLed headlights-p45t-bulb-adapter1.jpgLed headlights-p45t-bulb-adapter5.jpg


    There probably are LED bulbs that do work high and low beam but I'm not keen on having to buy more and more bulbs until I find one that does this.

    Cheers
    Ren
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    Fellow Frogger! Rally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    Guys,

    Anyone know where one can get real High/Low Beam LED headlight bulbs.

    As you know, your standard incandescent headlight bulb has a small hood over the low beam filament that directs light upwards only so that the beam reflects off the top of the bowl only giving the 'dipped' light pattern. The high beam filament is higher wattage and unhooded so reflects of the entire bowl giving the longer light throw.
    I have bought a couple of sets of LED bulbs purporting to be high/low beam but they all appear to be high/high beam, i.e. there is no difference between either beam. (No, it's not a wiring or incompatibility issue).

    I guess I should have been alerted when the bulbs were described as 'fog light' as well as high/low. They do have the standard 3 pin lamp base with the same connections and do illuminate on both high and low positions so in theory do work, but not as required. (Shock, an Ebay seller misrepresenting a product, who would have thought such thing could happen).

    Before you say, google is your friend or try Ebay, I have been down this path and while there are thousands of entries for LED headlight bulbs, none appear to actually work as high/low. Or none of the dozens that I looked at appear to do the job. None that I saw direct light upwards only on low beam, they're all cylindrical with varying numbers of SMD leds and have a 360 degree spread of light on both low and high. There might be a difference in the light levels between low and high beam, but not direction.

    I like the idea of LED lights (no heat, lower power, and 'white' light) but I might have to live with incandescent bulbs for a while, driving around in permanent high beam is not desirable.

    Cheers
    Ren

    Did you fit the LEDs and try them at night for light spread and distance , I was told by a Lightforce rep that LEDs would never be good long range lights as a LED is impossible to focus and project.

    How did your Ebay ones perform?
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    LED flashlights are getting pretty good projection nowadays. I would have thought an LED with a large die, a good heatsink and one of those small reverse mounted reflectors in front of the die (reflecting back onto the main reflector purpose made for LED) would be mega bright and enable focusing.


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    Mercedes Benz changed all their lights to LED a year or so ago.
    Big marketing ploy to save power.
    Yeah wow 800W on a car that produced 450KW of power

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    The bigger benefit is that they should last the life of the car.


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    I've looked into it a bit recently and I can't rind a reputable LED bulb replacement for a halogen bulb, so my only option was HIP globes or a full LED light replacement as I have the later twin round lights on my 12, but that was a $800 upgrade, and that is a very good set of HID or LED driving lights plus a lot of change.

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    My primary reasons for looking at LED's is, in order of priority; 1. brighter and whiter light output (allegedly) 2. Cool running 3. Less power consumption.

    One can use higher wattage halogen bulbs but I believe the extra heat from these do eventually destroy the silver on the headlight bowl, (personal opinion). I'm using halogen bulbs of a high rating than recommended at the moment (I think they're 50/60 watt) but even these don't cast a particularly good light. Yes, the lights are aimed correctly, full power is getting to the bulbs, and the silver is good, but the glow is more yellow than white. I don't want to go any higher in the wattage.


    Led headlights-img_0115.jpg

    I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade the lights, I don't do a huge amount of night-time driving. Swapping out a couple of bulbs for the sake of $50 or so is okay. Spending hundreds for a couple of brighter lights is not justified.

    Add-on driving lights (or kangaroo lights) are possible but they are illegal to use in a built up area (although you wouldn't know it by the number of dicks that drive around with spot/fog/driving light on all the time). I need better low beam light, not high beam. This time of year, I'm driving to work in the dark and driving home in the dark, so the shortcomings of the existing lights are noticeable. During summer, I would rarely use the lights.


    Cheers
    Ren
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rally View Post
    Did you fit the LEDs and try them at night for light spread and distance , I was told by a Lightforce rep that LEDs would never be good long range lights as a LED is impossible to focus and project.

    How did your Ebay ones perform?
    The comment by the Lightforce rep surprises me.
    I would have thought the reflector and/or the headlight glass would do the work of focussing.
    A incandescent bulb is just a hot wire and emits light in all directions.
    An led should have an edge over the incandescent because they emit light from the front of the LED only.
    In fact the LED beam is likely to be too narrow and several LEDs are needed for a decent spread of light.
    Multiple LED's isn't too big a deal due to the size of the SMD LEDs

    I found the Ebay LED bulbs were useless for headlights.
    Plenty of light but no low beam, just all high beam.
    A purpose designed LED light would probably work, but replacing and incandescent bulb with LED didn't fly in my application.
    For spot/fog/driving/ high beam only, lights they might work fine.

    Cheers
    Ren
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    I,m sure there are led headlight globes that work well. A lot of high end vehicles, (Mercedes, Audi, etc.) are fitted with led lights, but whether these can be adapted for general use is doubtful. Also, they would most likely be very expensive. I think it's only a matter of time before they are fitted to "normal" cars.

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    If you want good headlights in a R12 forget the rectangular headlights and change to the four headlight arrangement that the Virage had.

    The get some Hi/Lo lights like this for the outers

    HEADLIGHT INSERTS H4 QH High / low. 5 3/4 inch.. Brand New . | eBay

    and also some lights like this for the inners

    Sealed Beam 5.3/4'' 146mm 100W Spot Light 12V Push terminals Convex Lens | eBay

    If you have the version of the R12 that came with the "Kangaroo Lights" wire the outers to the headlight globe and the Kangaroo globe to the inners and you have full control over the lights.

    If you want to go down the LED headlight route its a waste of time retrofitting LED globes to old fashioned headlight because they are not designed for that. You are better off buying a complete LED headlight that is designed to work properly and as said above that is expensive.

    This just my humble opinions but feel free to experiment.
    Regards Col

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    Hey Ren. I had a link come up in my Facebook posts this morning. They had H4 LED globes, I am madly trying to find it. I'll post the link here when I find it. They were an Australian Company and it was a commented post and people were asking for fitment applications and getting replies so sounds legit
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    https://bapoffroad.com.au/

    Here you go buddy. It is an off road supplier but I am sure the road legal ones with an ADR compliance would suit.

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY View Post
    https://bapoffroad.com.au/
    It is an off road supplier but I am sure the road legal ones with an ADR compliance would suit.

    Cheers
    Those ones look like they might even work! Though when they describe them as 180W etc, I assume they mean some sort of dodgy total light equivalence or something - presumably even a big LED should only pull small current...

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    I was under the impression that there were no retrofitable led headlights that met adr. You don't want your insurance company to walk away from you.

    If you could find a round light that you'll fit inside the kangaroo lights footprint then you could get a plastic piece made to fit the hole that looks correct and then put the new light inside. I'd get it blow molded from polycarbonate.

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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies guys.
    I think this might go to the 'too hard' basket for now.
    Yes, it's looking like retrofitting LED bulbs to a fittings made for incandescent bulbs is not a simple case of grabbing one of the many LED bulbs being flogged and fitting it to the headlight bowl.
    I notice that most of the H4 LED bulbs being advertised now as 'fog light', they're not calling them high/low any more.
    No doubt there we people like myself that though they were, well, high low beam bulbs. After a few or more refunds the sellers would revise their description.
    I'm sure there are LED bulbs out there that are truly high/low but from what I can see, most or all of these have a big heatsink hanging out the arse of the bulb which wouldn't fit the 12 because of the headlight bucket (like these);
    Led headlights-s-l300.jpg

    I had the Virage quad lights fitted to my last 12 and from memory they had a pretty good beam for a 5 1/4" sealed beam.
    Sadly, I don't have any Virage headlights now and there aren't a whole lot of Virages being parted-out so getting a quad set-up (plus the required headlight surrounds) might take some patience.
    (Maybe they can be got from the US where they were standard or from Romania where they went into the later Dacias.
    Or even one of the ghastly set-up's they had in Spain and South America with the square/rectangular quad lights.
    No, on second thoughts, I'd rather have no lights than the Spanish style, they're just too ugly.)

    Cheers
    Ren
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    Ren, have you thought of a good brand of blue halogen, like the Philips ones they have in most auto stores, to give you a whiter light?


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    Dear Ren

    There is /was a Virage wagon being parted-out at Imlach's wreckers in Centre Rd Clayton/springvale in Melbourne. I put 'photos up last month. I was there on 23rd April.

    1602 Centre Rd Springvale
    03) 9547 7377

    When I saw it it still had the headlights and surrounds. It looked a nice complete car

    I can't go and look this weekend as I'm going overseas, but a 'phone call may secure them ( although it is a 'pick a part' place, so you may be out of luck unless you know somebody who could get there for you.)

    Worth a try, as it wouldn't cost much

    Best Wishes

    Andrew



    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    Thanks for your replies guys.
    I think this might go to the 'too hard' basket for now.
    Yes, it's looking like retrofitting LED bulbs to a fittings made for incandescent bulbs is not a simple case of grabbing one of the many LED bulbs being flogged and fitting it to the headlight bowl.
    I notice that most of the H4 LED bulbs being advertised now as 'fog light', they're not calling them high/low any more.
    No doubt there we people like myself that though they were, well, high low beam bulbs. After a few or more refunds the sellers would revise their description.
    I'm sure there are LED bulbs out there that are truly high/low but from what I can see, most or all of these have a big heatsink hanging out the arse of the bulb which wouldn't fit the 12 because of the headlight bucket (like these);
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	s-l300.jpg 
Views:	145 
Size:	22.2 KB 
ID:	96678

    I had the Virage quad lights fitted to my last 12 and from memory they had a pretty good beam for a 5 1/4" sealed beam.
    Sadly, I don't have any Virage headlights now and there aren't a whole lot of Virages being parted-out so getting a quad set-up (plus the required headlight surrounds) might take some patience.
    (Maybe they can be got from the US where they were standard or from Romania where they went into the later Dacias.
    Or even one of the ghastly set-up's they had in Spain and South America with the square/rectangular quad lights.
    No, on second thoughts, I'd rather have no lights than the Spanish style, they're just too ugly.)

    Cheers
    Ren

  21. #21
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    G'day,
    you might need something like this...
    https://www.harley-davidson.com/stor...11-67700189--1

    or


    this with two separate leds...
    https://www.harley-davidson.com/stor...-11-7339010--1
    regards,
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug206gti View Post
    G'day,
    you might need something like this...
    https://www.harley-davidson.com/stor...11-67700189--1

    or


    this with two separate leds...
    https://www.harley-davidson.com/stor...-11-7339010--1

    Looking at the photos it appears that the LEDs face backwards towards the reflector to be focused and reflected out the front of the light . This may be to overcome the difficultly of focusing LEDs as reported by a Lightforce rep.
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey View Post
    Ren, have you thought of a good brand of blue halogen, like the Philips ones they have in most auto stores, to give you a whiter light?
    Hello Stuey,

    Yes, I'm now thinking that the blue halogen is the way to go.
    You can get a pair relatively cheaply if one shop's around.
    They don't appear to make them in the P45T base but I've got the adapters so that's no biggie.

    LED's would be nice because of the much lower power consumption and low heat.
    Don't know why the LED's need a big heatsink hanging out the arse when a LED is supposed to be cold.
    Maybe the headlights these days have plastic bowls whereas in the good ol' days, you had a metal bowl that acted as a heatsink.
    If an incandescent or halogen can survive without a heatsink why can't an LED.
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    I'm confused. Earlier you said you don't drive that much at night time, and that you wanted something more efficient.

    Just don't turn your lights on

    And besides, this is way cooler Click

    Do something like tha

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    Bright LEDs do run quite hot. The die on these is mounted on a metal circuit board which is in close thermal contact with the heat sink. Their output drops if they get too hot. I have a really bright LED torch that gets pretty warm when set on high. There's much less heat of course that an incandescent lamp, especially radiant heat.


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