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Has anyone tried those LED headlight conversion assemblies. If so, are they brighter? Stable?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Sager, March 7, 2018.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Blown98

    Blown98 New Member

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    Completely agree with @J_C here.

    HID's or LED's will never work correctly in a reflector style housing that was never designed to use them.

    Even using LED's in a projector that was designed to handle an HID or Halogen bulb will still scatter the light because an LED chip does not create light the same way a filament or ionized gas does(due to chip placement, chip thickness, etc).

    The "HID Planet" forum and the group "Headlight Junkies" on Facebook are great places to learn about proper retrofits and why headlights are designed the way they are.
     
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  3. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto. I too would like better lights, but I see all the various way too bright lights of others going to work each morning. I won't change mine significantly unless I can do it in a way which wouldn't bother, me facing them.

    I had special 100w bulbs in my first car, a 72 Gran Torino. That required a high powered solenoid, and the 55amp alternator wasn't good enough. After upgrading the alternator(80am) and wiring/relay, it worked great. That was a four light car, four 5 3/4" round lights. Cibie lights, with 55w low beams, wasn't terrible for other drivers. But high beams, the 55/100 H4 bulbs, plus two 100w H2's, was extremely bright, and I only used those when nobody was in front of me, at any distance. Care about others, look at what others do to you at night, don't be those people.
     
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  4. Sager

    Sager New Member

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    Cant complain when you're on this side led.PNG
     
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  5. Sager

    Sager New Member

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  6. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    That is exactly the problem, who cares about others, I can see fine.

     
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  7. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    +10000

    The beam pattern is probably off and there's a bunch of light above the cutoff. This is dangerous for others, but it may be dangerous for you too -- just because the beam "looks brighter" doesn't mean it is actually helping you see better -- the stock beam pattern is carefully designed to give you downroad visibility and keep the light on the road, and out of other drivers' eyes.

    Also, the light color of a halogen has advantages over the cool-blue light of most LEDs. It causes less strain on human eyes and causes less of a night vision adjustment. Proof of this: Pure red light doesn't affect pupil dilation, so it doesn't affect night vision in the same way regular light does. The 3200K color temp of halogen light has much more red light and less blue light.

    Look carefully at most/all of the LED drop in replacements and you'll see they are not DOT compliant, and they will often say "for off road use only". My experience with cheap imported LEDs is that most of them are junk and do not last very long.

    If you want to improve your visibility legally and safely, this is what you can do:

    1 - Replace your old yellowed housings with new ones (check RockAuto, they are not that expensive)
    2 - Get high efficiency (not high wattage, big difference) halogens such as GE Nighthawk or Osram Silverstar (not Sylvania Silverstar, different product line), these preserve the beam pattern of the stock bulb with the stock wattage but produce more light
    3 - Install relays for your headlamps so the power bypasses the headlamp switch and associated wiring. Older switches can cause voltage drops and reduce the voltage to the actual bulb. The amount of output gained by this is going to depend on how old and deteriorated your headlamp switch is.
     
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  8. RangerX

    RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    maso, have you used both those brands, and if so, do you like one over the other? I’m looking for better bulbs for my 96.
    Also, are there relay kits? Or is it a DIY thing?
     
  9. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    I've ran the (base model) Nighthawks for about 3 years and have no complaints but they aren't that much brighter. Personally I wouldn't do the (even brighter) Nighthawk Platinums plus the direct wiring mod because the result will be a very short bulb lifespan.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Blown98

    Blown98 New Member

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    Yeah, why care about the rest of us that have to share the road with you when you can see fine right?

    This is what a proper retrofit looks:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Explorer2.0

    Explorer2.0 Our low milage and well cared for 2nd Gen TARDIS! Elite Explorer

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    We tried LEDs but went back to Halogens for reasons listed.

    Currently running GE Nighthawk Platinum Bulbs with upgraded harness in new OEM style housings for head and fogs. Fogs currently have 38w Silverstars. Anything whiter or brighter in the fogs reflects too much rain or fog back which defeats the purpose. Unlike the majority of drivers, we only run fogs during inclement weather conditions or off-road.

    Team TARDIS

    20190408_141949.jpg
     
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  12. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    That's usually the tradeoff with higher efficiency bulbs, they get their efficiency from driving the filament "harder" and hotter. This typically reduces their lifespan.
     
  13. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    I've tried a few and they do help, but it's an incremental improvement. Phillips Xtremevision, GE Nighthawk, or Osram Silverstars are all about the same. Just avoid the blue-tinted bulbs.

    Regarding the relays: Something like this would work. It still requires cutting and splicing some wires. Not sure if there's a true plug-and-play kit someone has put together.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Pack-EPAuto-Relay-Harness-Bosch/dp/B072QXDZRD/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=headlamp+relay+kit&qid=1565199863&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNVBENzFDODcyMzdXJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzkxNzYzMksyWFM1NExYMUVLUSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDI0Nzg1Mjk0V0VDQ1lPUUdFMiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1
     
    Last edited: August 7, 2019
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