Led conversion kits?

toyota
camry

#1

Anyone know much about led conversions kits for headlights? I have a 2017 Camry SE just bought led conversions kits for both low and high beams. My question is, is this too much power for the battery and or alternator? The kits have heat sink fans to keep them cool. Should I not worry too much about this? i don’t want to over surge the car or anything.


#2

I don’t think you need to worry about your car’s electrical system, if anything, LED lamps use LESS power than incandescent bulbs or else if they do use the same power, they make a lot more light.

One of the problems with powering LED bulbs from a battery is that the LEDs themselves operate at a very low voltage but a high current and if you just put a resistor in series with the light element in order to achieve this, you might as well be using an incandescent bulb. Also, the voltage drop of a forward biased diode does not follow Ohms law, amps = volts times resistance. A diode changes its resistance with different amps and so it has to be ballasted just like a electric arc lamp does. A lot of the heat generated by these bulbs seems to come from inefficient ballasting systems.


#3

Make sure your modification will successfully accommodate your car’s daytime running lights, which I believe use the high beams.


#4

Yes they do. They’re on all the time.


#5

Did the conversion kit include a new reflector? Because if not, the stock reflector is designed to work with a normal bulb and will most likely throw a bad light pattern with the LED.


#6

Make sure the new ones are DOT approved, and if they are SAE certified, that is even better.


#7

I’ve used the kits from SuperBrightLeds.com for a few years now. They have a basic tool which will give you a direct conversion for most of your bulbs.

They do include headlights (and reflector), but I’ve only used them for cabin lights (reading light, convenience), trunk,blinkers etc. They include a few dimmable, in case your car has such feature.

I changed them after my friend’s wife left the reading light on overnight and depleted the battery, which won’t happen with so small draw from LEDs.

Pros:

  • They barely get hot.
  • Much brighter light.
  • Much lower current draw.
  • Much higher life expectancy.

Cons:

  • Some cars will read too little current being drawn and trigger the “bulb blown” indicator, if equipped.
  • Some blinker systems will blink at a much higher rate (6-8 times per second, instead of twice), which I didn’t mind. They sell resistors to fix this.
  • Color may vary from the original bulbs, but you have choices on the website. I like the “cool” temperature, but to each his own.
  • Price. The simple ones are around $5 each, and they only go up. Replacing all of them will get you between $100-$200, easy.

Good luck!

Edit: Not affiliated with the website, I just like them. They’re running 10% off on account of July 4th. But they run specials every now and then.

Edit 2: Just looked them up, DRLs are $25 ea. Low beam and high beam kits are ~$90 ea. So you’re looking at around $230 only in the replacements…