Headlights LED?

telepraise

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I concur with fellow posters who feel the current generation of LED headlamps make you part of the problem we all hate. It seems the bulk of them are in the blue end of the light spectrum. Those shorter wavelength light rays are going to scatter more after leaving the headlamp regardless of how well the reflecting shell focuses them. I'm sticking with longer wave halogens in my older Highlander- better focused light further down the road without blinding oncoming traffic.
 

imwjl

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They can, they're just illegal in the states due to a (IIRC) NHTSA requirement from the 60s that headlights have a high and low setting. The "smart" arrayed lights that detect oncoming traffic and aim the light away from said traffic don't have high and low, and therefore don't meet the requirement. I believe steps have been taken recently to correct this, though.

To the OPs question, I've run into the same question and decided to stay with halogens also. Part of the problem is that if the LEDs don't get it right, they're perfectly functional trash for the next 20 years due to their longevity.

The lights our version of the VW that can also not have them depending on model year and packages have traditional low and high beam automated just as has been done for decades, and manual low and high been on stalk. The "smart" part is the inner part that's an array of LEDs moves up, down and sideways, and more light will shine side ways based on steering wheel or turn signal.

My understanding is they must also be legal. It was bought off the lot from a US dealer. They're in two packages. There was some sort of a regulation or legal matter with their selling what was the 2019 car well into 2020 because of delayed manufacturing of next generation, and those late/last models having 6/72 warranty while others had the more common 3/36 warranty.

One way or another they're fantastic and far superior to the Acura LEDs a family member had on a same year and now 2022 model.

More to topic, the simple steps we took on 1999 - 2013 Toyotas and Subarus are also fantastic.
 

JL_LI

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My two BMWs have the best lights of any cars we’ve had. The LEDs light up the road and the high beams illuminate as far ahead as I can see. They’re self leveling and I don’t get flashed too often when I leave high beams on. I’d never go back to filament bulbs ever again. It took BMW years to reach this level. Exotic bulbs with LED marker lights weren’t worth the cost but these are amazing.
 

David Barnett

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It's all about pattern control. The headlights in my car are like the sun, but I notice that when I pull up behind another car the beam cuts off just below the level of their outside mirrors, so apparently I'm not going around blinding people with my brilliance.
 

VintageSG

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If you beef up the feed wires, perhaps even relay switch, you can easily increase the light output of your current headlights. The cable used by most manufacturers is barely adequate and you'll maybe be able to measure the voltage drop to the filaments. It doesn't seem much, but 1.5V to a halogen is the difference between mostly on and fully on.
100/60W H4 can replace the usual 55/50W ( Wattages may be different in different territories ), but they really do require thicker feed wires to give of their best, as many a Brit with a Lucas loom found out.
Don't go blue, or 'Ultra-White!' or indeed any of that over-hyped colour temperature cobblers. Warm white, or even French yellow, is much nicer on the eyes.

LED headlight replacement lamps require a driver and most a cooling method too. Fan fails?, driver fails?, at least you can revert to halogen. The H4 and H7 replacements I've come across have varied from garbage to 'I wouldn't fit them to my vehicle' It they don't have a driver and additional cooling, they're position marker lamps at best.

LED replacement headlight units?, I've seen many cars and motorcycles with 5" or 7" round headlights that use LEDs. They retain the 'traditional' round headlight shape, but the gubbins is now all LED. The aftermarket is now littered with direct replace units that vary from properly waterproof, heatsinked, with-driver units, that cost quite a lot, to cheap inuts that mimic the ones that actually work. A few of our local 'ricer' twazzocks have fitted the latter, and they match poor illumination with dazzle.

Shop carefully, or just optimise the feed voltages to your current halogens and use lamps with a lower colour temperature ( seriously, it's a thing )
 

jvin248

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+1 foggy lenses need fixing.
Our old car the kids are driving no one could see very well. The car happened to have replacement lenses rather than causing us to buy whole new assemblies. The new lenses really let us see well when driving now.
 

SacDAve

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I looking into the
make sure to check the lenses on your lights... if they are foggy, yellowed etc... time to replace the whole kit. You can get reasonably priced replacements WITH halogen bulbs on amazon. I replaced my trucks at the end of summer and I did one of our older cars too... what a relief during the rain and fog of late!

Do you remember which ones you bought?
 

imwjl

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It's all about pattern control. The headlights in my car are like the sun, but I notice that when I pull up behind another car the beam cuts off just below the level of their outside mirrors, so apparently I'm not going around blinding people with my brilliance.

IIRC, you have a GTI or Golf R. If a Mk 7.5 with the smart LED assembly you probably see them move around when you start the engine. I don't see the beam move obviously for oncoming traffic as I understand new gen lights can, but totally see that cutoff at high side of the pattern against things and in snow or fog. Also, I've not had people flash me for brights like the 3 2015 - 2022 Acuras with LEDs my mother had and has.

As said earlier, I can imagine a high repair cost for an electromechanical assembly but it's so darn fantastic that I'll pay for a future repair if needed. Luckily we are in that last group of 2020 calendar year buyers who got the 6/72 warranty.
 

David Barnett

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IIRC, you have a GTI or Golf R. If a Mk 7.5 with the smart LED assembly you probably see them move around when you start the engine. I don't see the beam move obviously for oncoming traffic as I understand new gen lights can, but totally see that cutoff at high side of the pattern against things and in snow or fog. Also, I've not had people flash me for brights like the 3 2015 - 2022 Acuras with LEDs my mother had and has.

As said earlier, I can imagine a high repair cost for an electromechanical assembly but it's so darn fantastic that I'll pay for a future repair if needed. Luckily we are in that last group of 2020 calendar year buyers who got the 6/72 warranty.

You do recall correctly, it's a Mk7.5 Golf R. It has separate DRLs so I don't notice the lights doing the little ballyhoo dance when I start up. But in this car the steerable lights do make a noticeable difference in corners, unlike my previous 2010 and 2007 GTIs which both supposedly had the feature but it wasn't overtly visible.

The warranty was one of the incentives that convinced me it was time to trade in my 2010 car in 2019. Luckily I haven't had to use it.
 

imwjl

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You do recall correctly, it's a Mk7.5 Golf R. It has separate DRLs so I don't notice the lights doing the little ballyhoo dance when I start up. But in this car the steerable lights do make a noticeable difference in corners, unlike my previous 2010 and 2007 GTIs which both supposedly had the feature but it wasn't overtly visible.

The warranty was one of the incentives that convinced me it was time to trade in my 2010 car in 2019. Luckily I haven't had to use it.
The upper model Golf family 2019 model year are thoroughly modern dinosaurs. At least US/Canada with the larger screen in the dash and updates safety electronics. My son and I discovered the emitters change in addition to the electromechanical assembly.

My wife wanted an R. I needed a wagon. So far no regrets. It's got none of the VW quality and service reputation but the dealer service mgr claims the Golfs are better than others that share more or much with the Porsche Audi models. I'm not worrying for 6 years or 72,000 miles.

:)
 

David Barnett

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The upper model Golf family 2019 model year are thoroughly modern dinosaurs. At least US/Canada with the larger screen in the dash and updates safety electronics. My son and I discovered the emitters change in addition to the electromechanical assembly.

My wife wanted an R. I needed a wagon. So far no regrets. It's got none of the VW quality and service reputation but the dealer service mgr claims the Golfs are better than others that share more or much with the Porsche Audi models. I'm not worrying for 6 years or 72,000 miles.

:)

Different models in the Golf line appeared to be made in different countries. I think the base Golf for the US market came from Mexico, my Golf R came from Germany, I think the Sport Wagon came from Germany too, I don't recall if the GTI was assembled in Mexico, US, or Germany? My '07 and '10 GTIs were German, but that may have changed with Mk7 and Mk8 cars.
 

imwjl

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Different models in the Golf line appeared to be made in different countries. I think the base Golf for the US market came from Mexico, my Golf R came from Germany, I think the Sport Wagon came from Germany too, I don't recall if the GTI was assembled in Mexico, US, or Germany? My '07 and '10 GTIs were German, but that may have changed with Mk7 and Mk8 cars.
What's made where got more confusing in past years via the delays for the electric cars. Now US only gets GTI and R where the first Mk 8 have been delivered. My dealer expects the first R in 8 weeks but my wife is losing interest. Sadlyn no more wagons.

Mexico now makes Tiguans, Jetta and the Taos after the last Golfs were done. The US plant's future is electric cars.

I'm certain head and tail light assemblies have universal fit and software can be edited. I backed off on my obsession to turn my wagon into an almost R with more ground clearance but at first I was drilling into lots of detail and I made all sorts of notes and bookmarks on compatibility and mods. The Alltracks had (have) R drivetrain and suspension parts via the Haldex AWD and a US/Canada CXXB engine variation. Just a tank of no ethanol high octane fuel and blowing on the fire is plenty pep.

It's my first VW but 1/2 my wife's family is German in Luxembourg, France and Holland. My wife passed her driver's test in a Thing. Topless German cars and women (some of them) will always be a fond memory for me.
 

nikolayreach

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Hey, SacDAve. It would help if you tried to set the ESK8 sports tape controller to adjust your car headlights accordingly.
 

Killing Floor

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I’m not an auto lighting expert. But I am as close to an expert in LED CoB and optics technology as anyone you’d come across on a guitar forum. I am an engineer, an LC, not an automotive engineer. So grain of salt.
Do Not buy the cheapest LED Anything. Especially when safety is a concern. Buy from a reputable brand OR just replace your modular headlamps with OEM replacements. Halogen works just fine still and a middle of the road halogen lamp is better than a bottom end LED. If you upgrade to LED get a top tier brand if can find, not the best cost. Because cheap LEDs on cheap boards fail fast.
 

Flat6Driver

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I have a 96 Tacoma the headlights are about worthless. I want to upgrade to LED's doing a quick google search prices are from $50 to $250. I know nothing about vehicle LED lights, some are just a bulb, others a complete replacement light's and some need an adaptor cable. Any guidance would be appreciated? What brought this about as you get older your night vision starts to suck.



Just replacing the 25 year old bulbs might get you more light.
 

nikolayreach

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Hey, SacDAve. It would help if you tried to set the ESK8 sports tape controller to adjust your car headlights accordingly.
In my opinion, you could find a better option if you are looking for LED sports tape, ESK8 is good, but still, they have a too high price. Better to look for other sports tape at lighting and supplies stores. Also, I don't understand why people install athletic strips near their homes, which is a waste of money. I've seen several of these models outside homes in my neighborhood for Christmas, and I don't think some people know the difference between regular strips and athletic strips.
 

metalicaster

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I'd stay away from the LED "bulb" replacement kits. They won't work properly with lens/reflectors designed for halogens. If you go LED, you need a whole new assembly, not just a retrofit.
 




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