LED headlight conversion


#1

so, what`s the story with replacing OEM headlights with LEDs? can I just buy a plug N play LED bulb and put that in and it will work or is there more to it than that?
My current headlights put out a very yellow/orange light I want white light from my headlights and LEDs put out very white/bright light.
I live in a rural area with a lot of deer so i want to be able to see as far down the road as possible and as clear as possible without blinding other drivers.

Im looking at 9005-HB3 Samsung LED 42-SMD Canbus White 6000K Headlight Bulbs #Gd2 High Beam I dont know what all the letters and numbers mean,would they work ok in my suburban without blinding people?


#2

I myself would just stop by Auto Zone or Advance auto parts or something similar and see if they have an exchange chart .


#3

As nice as LEDs are, the cheap ones don’t work too well in stock headlight assemblies. I am a fan of the various iterations of the Sylvania SilverStar bulbs.

AutoZone doesn’t sell LED headlight conversions.


#4

I’d recommend you try Sylvania SilverStar Ultras. They’re a direct-fit replacement that really does make a huge difference. I use them, and the difference is dramatic. The tradeoffs are cost (they run about $50/set) and operating life (about 1/4 that of a “standard” bulb). They’re available at big-box discount stores (Walmart) and any parts store. NOTE: there are five different levels of Silverstar bulbs. The Ultras are the best.


#5

yeah, good point, i didnt consider that the LED housing plays a huge part in how well they work.ill look tomorrow but i think the actually plastic housing has faded and is turning yellow from the heat of the oem bulbs over the years.i may have to replace the housings if i do that i won`t bother with LEDs, new housings and sylvania silverstars is probably the best way to go at this point.


#6

[quote=“the_same_mountainbik, post:4, topic:95288, full:true”] The Ultras are the best.
[/quote]
The zXE line is even brighter. I have a set in my fog lights and they are incredible. The Ultras in my regular headlights are darn good, too.


#7

[quote=“tardrex, post:5, topic:95288, full:true”]
yeah, good point, i didnt consider that the LED housing plays a huge part in how well they work.ill look tomorrow but i think the actually plastic housing has faded and is turning yellow from the heat of the oem bulbs over the years.i may have to replace the housings if i do that i won`t bother with LEDs, new housings and sylvania silverstars is probably the best way to go at this point.
[/quote]The difference will be tremendous.


#8

I was just looking at the zXe`s on the autoanything website.


#9

zXE, eh? Thanks a million. I’ll look for some next lamp change. :slight_smile:


#10

By housing are you meaning the plastic lenses are turning yellow? If so a polishing kit would be the first thing to try. Clearing that makes a big difference.
Also is this the Suburban you had that had rusted brake lines ?


#11

Nice catch, Volvo.
I’ve polished out many old plastic lenses with excellent results. I’ve used regular (paint) polishing compound as well as the “special” lens compound, and I like the regular polishing compound best. I’ve heard of people even using toothpaste successfully. Any micron-level abrasive suspended in a viscous compound should work great.

I use a round sponge (from the bath section) mounted on a regular drill arbor and spun by a variable speed drill at a modest rpm. I wet the sponge well and apply the compound liberally. I use masking tape to help prevent paint damage to the surrounding area. I’m doing some for a friend tomorrow.


#12

There are no end to the LEDs that are plug-in replacements for conventional bulbs, but so far as I know, none of them are DOT approved for on-road use, so if you are in an accident and the other guy claims your lights blinded him, you loose.

LED lights are very directional, shooting light out the side of the bulb from one, two, or three panels of diodes. Even the ones with three panels put out a pretty splotchy light pattern if used in conventional reflectors or projectors. The electronics behind LEDs generate a lot of heat. Most of them have fans built into their bases, and others have large heat sinks. You have to have room for the fan or the heat sink behind your headlight housing…

Retrofitting HID bulbs into a headlight housing made for conventional bulbs is generally not a good idea, but LEDs in a conventional light housing are an even worse idea. HIDs and LEDs do, however, put out a lot of light.


#13

Most LED bulbs are, in fact, DOT approved and dissipate very little heat. That IS the advantage to LED bulbs, in addition to a brighter light and longer lasting bulb. It’s not much different than the LED bulbs replacing your lights at home.


#14

[quote=“kurtwm2010, post:13, topic:95288, full:true”]
Most LED bulbs are, in fact, DOT approved and dissipate very little heat. That IS the advantage to LED bulbs, in addition to a brighter light and longer lasting bulb. It’s not much different than the LED bulbs replacing your lights at home.
[/quote]The LED headlight replacements I’ve looked at have large heat sinks, so they must be putting out a decent amount of heat.


#15

I have in my house in Mexico changed all lights except two yard light bulbs, with LED bulbs. A not inconsiderable investment for the future. Yes, all the bulbs have considerable heat sinking. This is not because they generate so much heat; a 75 watt equivalent takes only 15-18 watts. it is an attempt to avoid over-heating the diodes. I suspect the same is true on car headlight LED’s.


#16

I use the Ultras too. I paid over $50 for the set and they have a shorter life but they are bright. You do need to clear up the lens though. Nothing will shine bright through a yellowed lens. So use one of the kits on the market to polish them clear again.

Yep I’ve started converting to LEDs. I’ve pretty much done the lights that are used a lot like kitchen, hall, etc. $20 for two can bulbs compared to $5 but they take much less power and haven’t had to replace any. I think I’ve paid over $400 so far. I won’t use the CFLs though due to fire and mercury.


#17

An excellent point about the lens, Bing.
I just polished a friend’s fogged lenses yesterday. She was amazed at the difference. Her initial response? “Wow! I can see the bulbs in there!”.


#18

This test wasn’t impressed with the LED bulbs:

And they point out that most aren’t street legal.


#19

you can touch the led’s when lit, that’s how cool they are. There is a heat sink for exactly that reason, to keep them cool. That’s not to say they are burning hot. LED’s and resistors are heat sensitive but give off very little, if any, heat that you can feel.


#20

I have to disagree. A resistor running at it’s rated power will be hot to the touch, perhaps enough to burn. As will a LED, although the latter will be a bit cooler as the max junction temp is about 300ºC.

Also a resistor is not very temperature sensitive. Typical carbon film resistors have a TC of about 50ppm/°C. That means from 25º to 125ºC it will change by 5000 PPM or 0.5% maximum.

LEDs on the other hand are very temperature sensitive, as are diodes, and have to be driven by a constant current source lest they go into thermal runaway.

On the other hand, most resistors are running at a tiny fraction of their rated power and actually are cool. But that is not always true. It can be quite hot and still be doing what it is supposed to.