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Headlight Performance Review

Eject

Active Member
Joined
February 23, 2017
Messages
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Location
Toronto, Canada
City, State
Toronto, ON
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Explorer Sport
I just took delivery of my new 2017 Explorer Sport.

I love the look of the headlights, very aggressive looking and the LED strip illumination is stunning.

I live in a rural area and the low beam LED headlights output a lot of very white light, work great and do a great job on their own. Add the LED fog lights and it gets better.

The downside has to be the high beam performance. The high beam uses a conventional halogen bulb and I've found that the high beam is somewhat lackluster. There is a decrease in light output and noticeable difference in color to a yellow-white light. It makes me wonder why Ford didn't opt for a LED bulbs for the high beam. I'm sure that this can be overcome by replacing the high beam halogen bulb with a LED replacement.

I would also like to add that when the high beams are switched on the low beams remain on.

TLDR: Low beam performance is awesome, fog lights are great. High beams are disappointing and yellow.
 



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It's probably because high beams aren't used often. My older Acura has hid low beams but halogen highs.

Seems like it would be a higher cost to pass on to the customer for something that isn't used so much.
 






I just took delivery of my new 2017 Explorer Sport.

I love the look of the headlights, very aggressive looking and the LED strip illumination is stunning.

I live in a rural area and the low beam LED headlights output a lot of very white light, work great and do a great job on their own. Add the LED fog lights and it gets better.

The downside has to be the high beam performance. The high beam uses a conventional halogen bulb and I've found that the high beam is somewhat lackluster. There is a decrease in light output and noticeable difference in color to a yellow-white light. It makes me wonder why Ford didn't opt for a LED bulbs for the high beam. I'm sure that this can be overcome by replacing the high beam halogen bulb with a LED replacement.

TLDR: Low beam performance is awesome, fog lights are great. High beams are disappointing and yellow.
Halogen reflectors aren't ideal for LED use since the light will 'scatter' because an LED produces too bright a light for the reflector to handle. They will be brighter though. The 2018 looks to have LED Hi/Lo. BTW, I also travel back roads and have no issues with the high beam lighting other than that the colour is different.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...dlight-conversions.435075/page-6#post-3625336

Peter
 






The high beams are probably meant to be "flashable," the LEDs, not so much.

For those of us who use the high beams as a method of communication (particularly with big rigs) the accomodation of halogens is actually a welcome one.
 






9011 HIR. Research this forum and you will see many posts suggesting these. I have them and love them.
 






I am running the Evitek 9005 bulbs and have had no trouble with them over the past year. With auto-high beams on, I have not had a single vehicle flash their brights at me. It is a huge improvement over the stock bulbs especially driving long roads at night in the desert. The only thing I suggest is transferring the o-rings from your original bulbs as the new o-rings will fail and stick to the housing after a few months.

Evitek LED Headlight Bulbs 9005 HB3 for Cars- Plug n Play Headlight Kit, 30W 6500K Pure White OSRAM Chip LED Bulbs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017M57DJG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_QaXAzbRXZ2X8D
 






Thank you for posting that information. I'm always concerned about quality and that many of these LED bulbs may not use the LED's that they claim to, and I have no way of knowing what I'm actually getting.

I haven't seen many branded Osram or Philips LED bulbs online or in store. I know that they exist on their websites.

Heat disappation and overall size are also concerns.
 






The high beams are probably meant to be "flashable," the LEDs, not so much.

For those of us who use the high beams as a method of communication (particularly with big rigs) the accomodation of halogens is actually a welcome one.

Leds handle flashing (rapid on/off) better then halogens do. its just cost cutting as they arent used as much and most people wouldnt notice.

Im very happy with the lowbeams/fogs but do wish the went to a slightly warmer color tone.
 






After further research, it seems that Philips and Osram don't make retrofit LED headlights, although Philips has a LED fog light replacement bulb.
 






Like @PlatinumOwner I'm running the Eviteks for my high beams and love them. I live in the country as well and whatever drop-off in distance (if there is one, I don't notice it) is more than made up for in being able to see the ditches much, much better than before. Have to give @Fentress24 a shout-out for the suggestion.

Also, if you go this route keep in mind that the plug might need to be put in upside down for them to work. Had a bunch of frustration and headaches before we figured that one out. :)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017M57DJG/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2QRECU11QYEN6&colid=3AFC7KIO868V5
 






Like @PlatinumOwner I'm running the Eviteks for my high beams and love them. I live in the country as well and whatever drop-off in distance (if there is one, I don't notice it) is more than made up for in being able to see the ditches much, much better than before. Have to give @Fentress24 a shout-out for the suggestion.

Also, if you go this route keep in mind that the plug will need to be put in upside down for them to work. Had a bunch of frustration and headaches before we figured that one out. :)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017M57DJG/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2QRECU11QYEN6&colid=3AFC7KIO868V5


I've installed this in my 2016 Platinum and a family members 2016 Limited. Interestingly, in mine the plug worked normally but in the 2016 Limited I had to reverse it. The Limited was built in Oct 2015 while mine was built in Mar 2016. It seems that 'some' of the wiring harnesses have reversed 9005 connectors, which doesn't matter for halogen.
 






I've installed this in my 2016 Platinum and a family members 2016 Limited. Interestingly, in mine the plug worked normally but in the 2016 Limited I had to reverse it. The Limited was built in Oct 2015 while mine was built in Mar 2016. It seems that 'some' of the wiring harnesses have reversed 9005 connectors, which doesn't matter for halogen.
Excellent point. I've edited my 'will' to a 'might' to alleviate any confusion. :-)
 






I am running the Evitek 9005 bulbs and have had no trouble with them over the past year. With auto-high beams on, I have not had a single vehicle flash their brights at me. It is a huge improvement over the stock bulbs especially driving long roads at night in the desert. The only thing I suggest is transferring the o-rings from your original bulbs as the new o-rings will fail and stick to the housing after a few months.

Evitek LED Headlight Bulbs 9005 HB3 for Cars- Plug n Play Headlight Kit, 30W 6500K Pure White OSRAM Chip LED Bulbs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017M57DJG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_QaXAzbRXZ2X8D


Are these bulbs still doing okay. I'm really not interested in spending $90 for bulbs that don't last long:)
 






Are these bulbs still doing okay. I'm really not interested in spending $90 for bulbs that don't last long:)
Welcome to the Forum.:wave:

Peter
 






Are these bulbs still doing okay. I'm really not interested in spending $90 for bulbs that don't last long:)
They are still running fine. No problems at all. Though they were only $39.99 when I purchased them.
 






I just took delivery of my new 2017 Explorer Sport.

I love the look of the headlights, very aggressive looking and the LED strip illumination is stunning.

I live in a rural area and the low beam LED headlights output a lot of very white light, work great and do a great job on their own. Add the LED fog lights and it gets better.

The downside has to be the high beam performance. The high beam uses a conventional halogen bulb and I've found that the high beam is somewhat lackluster. There is a decrease in light output and noticeable difference in color to a yellow-white light. It makes me wonder why Ford didn't opt for a LED bulbs for the high beam. I'm sure that this can be overcome by replacing the high beam halogen bulb with a LED replacement.

I would also like to add that when the high beams are switched on the low beams remain on.

TLDR: Low beam performance is awesome, fog lights are great. High beams are disappointing and yellow.
Ive noticed the exact same with mine. I was considering doing the LED upgrade for the high beams but I can't find anything absolute that tells me exactly which bulb size it is I need to replace them with.
 






IIHS is now testing headlights and they must acceptable along with other safety features for a vehicle to get a Top Safety Pick+ rating. The 16-19 Explorer LED lowbeams are very good. The high beams aren't bad, it's just that they are halogen 9005 so people automatically assume they are garbage. The reflector design isn't half bad. I found The Sealight Scoparc S2 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HCZ4VCH/?tag=serious-20) to work very well, and they have the correct plastic ring to fit into the headlamp assembly.

The 2020-up Explorer LED lowbeams aren't as good as the 16-19 Explorers. The F-150 Lariat 502A LED headlights are also garbage. Same with my 2017 Fusion Sport LED headlights. You really need to look at the test data and not just go by whether they are halogen, HID, or LED. The new Escape Titanium LED headlights, 2019-up Edge ST LED headlights, and MKZ Luxury Package LED headlights are very good as well. 2013-2019 SHO HIDs are garbage as well.

I do a lot of driving in the dark so I am very partial to good headlight technology.
 






IIHS is now testing headlights and they must acceptable along with other safety features for a vehicle to get a Top Safety Pick+ rating. The 16-19 Explorer LED lowbeams are very good. The high beams aren't bad, it's just that they are halogen 9005 so people automatically assume they are garbage. The reflector design isn't half bad. I found The Sealight Scoparc S2 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HCZ4VCH/?tag=serious-20) to work very well, and they have the correct plastic ring to fit into the headlamp assembly.

The 2020-up Explorer LED lowbeams aren't as good as the 16-19 Explorers. The F-150 Lariat 502A LED headlights are also garbage. Same with my 2017 Fusion Sport LED headlights. You really need to look at the test data and not just go by whether they are halogen, HID, or LED. The new Escape Titanium LED headlights, 2019-up Edge ST LED headlights, and MKZ Luxury Package LED headlights are very good as well. 2013-2019 SHO HIDs are garbage as well.

I do a lot of driving in the dark so I am very partial to good headlight technology.
I can attest that the Sealights are very good and have them in my Explorer. Below are the version that I have in my '14 Sport:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CX18517/?tag=serious-20

However, I do not agree about the F-150 LEDs. I have a 2020 Lariat and the factory LED headlights work very well for me. Not sure what years you are describing, but I am also very picky about light output due to the amount of driving in the dark. Both ways to work are in the dark, so it is high on my priority list.
 






I can attest that the Sealights are very good and have them in my Explorer. Below are the version that I have in my '14 Sport:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CX18517/?tag=serious-20

However, I do not agree about the F-150 LEDs. I have a 2020 Lariat and the factory LED headlights work very well for me. Not sure what years you are describing, but I am also very picky about light output due to the amount of driving in the dark. Both ways to work are in the dark, so it is high on my priority list.

Yeah you're right, I was thinking of another truck I guess? The 2019-2020 Lariat 502A LEDs aren't as powerful as the 16-19 Explorer LEDs in low beam mode but they are decent - better than my Fusion Sport LEDs!



 



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I see the Aviator made the list and I have noticed that when the headlights are ON the low beam, all 4 of them are ON. I haven't noticed any issue with the amount of light they produce.

Peter
 






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