BlackShadow
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: 2008 Honda Fit LED retrofit and halogen headlamp questions

  1. #1

    Default 2008 Honda Fit LED retrofit and halogen headlamp questions

    Hey folks, great forum... I've lurked for quite some time (and learned a LOT about color quality for building LED lighting) and this is my first post.

    I have a 2008 Honda Fit which I'd like to retrofit with LED lamps for the parking lights, front directionals (for use with a directional-to-DRL widget), license plate lights, dome light and maybe tail lights. The Fit has a tiny battery with minimal reserve capacity, plus I want a fun project and to save 3lb of CO2 emission or whatever over the car's life. :P I also have some questions about headlamps.

    Front parking lights are amber 194NA. I see a ton of choices here, I really would like good visibility for nighttime city driving so I'm guessing a 120 degree beam at least. As bright as possible that's legal and won't burn itself up.

    Front directionals are very important, as I'd like to get a controller that turns them into daytime running lamps when they're not activated, possibly this kit if it would work with LEDs. Again, bright and long lifespan as they'll be on whenever the car is. Front directionals are 7440NA amber.

    License plate lamps are 168. I would prefer warm white.

    Dome lamp is a DE3022. Again, I would prefer warm white.

    Tail lights are a combo of 7443 and 7440.

    As far as headlamps go, I have a question about Osram halogen automotive lamps. Of all the lamps listed here, comparing the 64150 lamps from different series (Nightbreaker Plus vs Ultralife, for example), the color temperature and lifespan vary dramatically, but they all seem to cast about 1500 lumens. I don't understand how a Nightbreaker Plus can claim an extra 30m beam length and 90% more light on the road when it's producing about the same lumens as all the other bulbs.

    Honda Fit bulb number reference: http://www.elightbulbs.com/2008-Hond...nt-Light-Bulbs

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Stillwater, America
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: 2008 Honda Fit LED retrofit and halogen headlamp questions

    Quote Originally Posted by das_blinkenlighten View Post
    Hey folks, great forum... I've lurked for quite some time (and learned a LOT about color quality for building LED lighting) and this is my first post.
    Welcome!

    I have a 2008 Honda Fit which I'd like to retrofit with LED lamps for the parking lights, front directionals (for use with a directional-to-DRL widget), license plate lights, dome light and maybe tail lights. The Fit has a tiny battery with minimal reserve capacity, plus I want a fun project and to save 3lb of CO2 emission or whatever over the car's life. :P I also have some questions about headlamps.
    Retrofitting LED lamps is much more difficult than you might think.

    Front parking lights are amber 194NA. I see a ton of choices here, I really would like good visibility for nighttime city driving so I'm guessing a 120 degree beam at least. As bright as possible that's legal and won't burn itself up.
    Those LED "drop-ins" are not safe or effective, and they are not legal.

    Front directionals are very important, as I'd like to get a controller that turns them into daytime running lamps when they're not activated, possibly this kit if it would work with LEDs. Again, bright and long lifespan as they'll be on whenever the car is. Front directionals are 7440NA amber.
    Perhaps it does on those vehicles that use LED lights from the factory, but LED "drop-ins" are not legal in regulated vehicle lighting functions.

    License plate lamps are 168. I would prefer warm white.
    Once again...


    Dome lamp is a DE3022. Again, I would prefer warm white.
    That's one where you'll actually be OK with a "drop-in".

    Tail lights are a combo of 7443 and 7440.
    But we're back to the problem with "drop-ins".

    As far as headlamps go, I have a question about Osram halogen automotive lamps. Of all the lamps listed here, comparing the 64150 lamps from different series (Nightbreaker Plus vs Ultralife, for example), the color temperature and lifespan vary dramatically, but they all seem to cast about 1500 lumens. I don't understand how a Nightbreaker Plus can claim an extra 30m beam length and 90% more light on the road when it's producing about the same lumens as all the other bulbs.
    It's all about filament luminance and the precision of the coil. A smaller, more intense hotspot translates into more beam length and better focus.

    Here's an older thread with more information on the LED "drop-ins": http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d-or-white-LED
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 07-17-2012 at 07:45 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2008 Honda Fit LED retrofit and halogen headlamp questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Retrofitting LED lamps is much more difficult than you might think.

    Those LED "drop-ins" are not safe or effective, and they are not legal.
    Okay, thank you. Let's stick with the idea of LED dome/trunk lights and the front directional to DRL widget. The 2008 Fit doesn't have DRLs, and I want them... does anybody know if that DRL-1 widget is good? It looks like it's made by some guy, albeit some guy with some knowledge of electronics.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2008 Honda Fit LED retrofit and halogen headlamp questions

    Stern's got a big info page (and better instructions than the other vendor, IMO) on the DRL-1 module here. I got two DRL-1s from him for two of my vehicles a few years ago and they're still working perfectly.

    I have to emphasize to you that Alaric Darconville's advice about LED retrofits is 100% correct -- "LED bulbs", no matter which ones, are not safe, effective, or legal to install in any safety-related lighting device on a roadgoing vehicle.

    Your Honda Fit does not take H1 bulbs (Osram 64150 family), it takes HB2 (also called 9003). H4 bulbs will also fit and work correctly. The best ones without exceeding the standard wattage rating are the Philips Xtreme Vision 12342XV ; a very close second best is the Philips Xtreme Power 9003XP. The XP has slightly longer lifespan than the XV, though these -- like most all higher-performance filament bulbs -- have a considerably shorter lifespan than a standard or long-life bulb. That is the price to be paid for the greater output and higher luminance that yields better beam performance. Third-place preference would be the Osram Night Breaker 64193NBR.

    Your question about why the different varieties of bulb are all listed as producing the same amount of light is a good one. You aren't being presented with the information you can be excused for thinking you're seeing. The 1550 lumen figure (in the H1 example you give) is just the nominal output spec for the H1 bulb type in ECE Regulation 37, which is the technical regulation containing the specifications for car bulbs used throughout the world except in the USA, which has its own regulation. In both regulations, each bulb type has a nominal output spec and an allowable tolerance. In the case of H1, in R37 the nominal output spec is 1550 lumens at 13.2v, with a tolerance of plus or minus 15%. That means a compliant H1 is permitted to produce from 1318 to 1782 lumens at 13.2v, a 30% variance. The reason the manufacturers adopt a poker face and claim the nominal spec for the output of all their different bulbs (Osram is a particularly habitual offender this way) is because if they gave actual values, it would ruin their marketing efforts for their high-profit blue glass "upgrades" which in fact produce much less light than even their normal standard bulbs.

    There are other factors besides lumen output that go into the effect of bulb design on headlight performance. Filament luminance and focus, etc. These have been discussed in other threads on this forum; I would dig them up for you but right this minute I'm late for a conference so I gotta go!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •