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Led headlights ajustments

Hi i just installed led headlights what i found was the are bright side to side but to don,t go out very far can only see half the distance that the original lights did Went to dealer they say no ad…justments can be made.Any help please thanks jim.

I’m not sure how you expect any help when you didn’t bother to tell us what kind of car you have.

Regardless, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is correct. People often have issues trying to use LED lights in headlights that weren’t designed for them.

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Sorry about not saying make or model of suv.It is a 2012 gmc terrain slt Jim45

Talked to dealer they say led lights will work in 2012 gmc terrain

There’s your answer

They do, just not very good.


another poster here has a 2018 acadia with factory led lights and he says they suck. you put in aftermarket led bulbs with stock reflectors and they suck too? hmm,
i think your rig has reflector lenses? vs a projector style lense?
i think the projector style lenses work better with aftermarket bulbs.
but i dont know for sure what you have


so, your visibility sucks with aftermarket LEDs, no surprise
on another side, the glare from your non-stock LEDs blinds drivers around you

replace it with bulbs with the compatible halogens, which seem to be H11 per Sylvania’s Guide:

XTRAvision gives a substantially better light than OEMs, while lasting longer than SilverStar, that’s what I would suggest, but you can go SilverStars and replace them every eyar or so

by sticking to halogens you will make your visibility better and will stop blinding drivers around you


It appears on your vehicle only the up/down is adjustable, no left/right adjustment possible. Is that how you understand it?

It sounds like they need to be aimed a little more up. Park in front of a wall at night in a dark place and aim them right.

Incandescent filaments just get hot, emit the black-body spectrum for the temperature they are. LED bulbs can be made any color the manufacturer wants. They get white by using at least 3 colors. They can choose how much of each they want. The stuff for homes comes in a few choices. I haven’t shopped for auto LED lights. Too-bright sounds like more blue than incandescent. I’d hope you have a choice. Bulbs for home are cited as temperature-colors, as though they were a hot filament emitting black-body radiation. Less blue would be cooler.

Hi i would like to thank you for your help Jim

Hi thanks for your help but when i took it to dealer they said no adjustment .But i will take head lights out of the suv and see what is going on thanksJim

Hi thanks jim.

Either you have it taken off or switch to another different LED headlight, that’s just how it works if the shop says they won’t adjsut it for you.

If they said there is no adjustment for the color and/or brightness they are correct. To change these you need different LED’s. If the aim needs adjustment, that can be done.

I don’t think you can adjust them to fix your problem.

When I upgrade a AA Maglite flashlight from the xenon bulb to an LED bulb, I lose my ability to focus the light because the xenon bulb sticks out through the reflector’s focal point, but the LED bulb is flat, so it doesn’t protrude into the reflector’s focal point.

The same thing is likely happening with your LED bulbs. They don’t put out light at the reflector’s focal point. You’ll probably have to go back to the proper bulb for your vehicle if you want the lights to shine like they’re supposed to.

The green arrows in this diagram are pointed in the wrong direction, but it demonstrates the principle I’m describing. If you move the light source away from the focal point, the reflector can’t reflect it in the right direction.


…only if your intention is to blind other drivers and make them see spots for 20 minutes.

An LED is a tiny bit of material in a large solid plastic body. The body is made to project light in a shape. If you look at the specs of bulbs from places that sell many kinds, they offer a choice of focus, from narrow to isotropic. One could make an LED bulb for a Maglite that stuck out. If one wanted to emulate a xenon bulb, it would stick out and be isotropic. The Maglite people may have chosen to use narrow-focus bulbs.

It’s possible to aim them too high; it’s possible to aim them too low. I recommend focusing them correctly. If your only choices are too low to illuminate the road far enough in front of you or blinding oncoming drivers, something’s wrong.

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MagLite aside, “focusing” is not an option for the car headlights, I’ve never seen any MODERN manufacturer to provide a focusing adjustment, and frankly, WHY would they do it?

Now, LEDs can have many types and shapes. Some of them is a small crystal with a plastic protector, some of them are a blob of smaller crystals, once again protected by some kind of plastic. By no means it is the size/shape of what headlight housing manufacturer envisioned for halogen bulb. Even if it is a small crystal, it has a lens which typically throws focusing off. It’s just a fact of life, some headlights may be lesser off, some more, but typically you end up with a glare and lesser visibility down the road.

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I wrote to Maglite a couple years ago asking about compatible LEDs for their older flashlights. Their answer was that LEDs needed a different design and that their newer flashlights are made for LEDs, but that their older flashlights will not work as well with an LED.

Not to get too far off track, but there are companies out there, other than Maglite, that make LED upgrade kits for Maglight flashlights.

For example, I have two 2-D-cell Maglites, one my father owned in the 1980s and one I bought recently. The new one came with an LED bulb, but the old one didn’t. I upgraded Dad’s old Maglite with one of these and it’s worked great. It works as well as the one that came with an LED bulb.

I suspect Maglite has a conflict of interest, and they’d rather sell you a new flashlight than tell you that you can upgrade the one you have.

If you want to upgrade an old 2-AA Maglite to LED, there are several aftermarket kits out there. The one I like has three LED bulbs in it, but you lose the ability to focus the beam when you do the upgrade.

To keep this car-related, if you’re going to keep a flashlight in your car for emergencies, I recommend one with an LED bulb, because it can run on weak batteries in an emergency.

Whoops! I meant aiming.

You can make the dispersion anything you want with the right plastic housing., which I mention not to recommend that you shop there, but because it has thousands of bulbs and the specs for each, has LEDs with angle 15 to 360°. I notice they now have auto bulbs. It’s a good place to window-shop.