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Thread: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    I know this has been asked a lot because I just got done reading two days worth lol.
    A few years ago I put some led headlights in my Nissan titan. We live in the woods, 50mph country roads with no runoff between the edge of the road and trees. I wanted to be able to light up more of everything as well as further up the road. I investigated quite a bit and ended up getting hella 500 driving lights. After a while I decided they were not enough and got led headlights. I read a whole lot and ended up making glare guards for them. In the long run for me they are just not good. I feel like there is no beam pattern, very hard to see during inclement weather and I had to dip them so low that when I put my brights on there really is no difference. I think I'm still being inconsiderate and blinding everyone.
    My question, regardless of having the glare guards on, is it pretty much that the led lights are too bright for reflectors and literally bounce all over the place?
    I ended up doing some more research and am changing over to Phillips vision plus but keeping the led high beams.

    here are the old leds I took out today, will miss the bright light bu I'm ok with being safer
    https://іmgur.com/a/mVcGS
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 01-25-2018 at 09:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps


    Those bulb-shaped toys you used, tried to modify, and then (thankfully) removed, are just not going to work in headlamps. They do not begin to approximate the size, shape, and position of the filament that the headlamps were designed for.

    but keeping the led high beams
    By that do you mean you have similar LED "drop-ins" in the high beams of your Titan? Take them out and put the right bulb in.

    If your Nissan Titan uses the HB3 (9005) in the high beams (which I think all of them do), a swap to the Philips HIR1 (which requires a base modification) is a far, far better upgrade than the LED "drop-ins", but then again so is just a standard HB3 compared to those LEDs. Even in your high beams, the LED bulb-shaped toys such as you'd tried in your low beams are not giving you better performance.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    LED drop-ins are horrible. Like Alaric said, they don't make light in the same places as the bulbs they're replacing so the light coming out doesn't go where it should.
    Net result is that you can't see where you're going and you'll blind on-coming traffic.

    The pity is that people buy them like crazy. They see a vehicle with them, look at the headlights, and say, "dang that's bright."
    And it is. But not the good kind of bright. A headlight is for lighting up the road not for looking at.

    They're very popular in the H13 size since most headlights that use that bulb are poor performers. The LED drop-in makes them worse.

  4. #4

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    I feel my vobabulary is a limiting factor for me here, as well as the familiarity with technical terms, and that may cause me problems...

    I am looking for headlight LED upgrades (simple bulb-swaps) for my car; H7 for the low-beam and H4 for the high-beam...
    And from what I have been able to research, road-legal, reflector-styled LED bulb upgrades simply does not exist.
    Unless it's a complete OEM LED headlight unit - which does exist, but cost way more than I want to spend.

    Second is the projector-styled type, which is what my high-beam (H4) got...so long story short, is there a read-legal LED upgrade for this type at all as of now?

    As I read almost every time: LED upgrades in factory headlight units screws up the beam pattern and blinds oncoming traffic (and I do not want to cause either of those things).
    I am looking at something like a H4 Philips X-treme Ultinon LED upgrade:
    https://www.philips.com.au/c-p/12953...headlight-bulb

    ...and on paper, it does look really good!

    But when it doesn't specifically state "road-legal" in the blurb, as should be done regarding all the illegalities around this subject, I have doubts.
    Last edited by PaladinNO; 01-30-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinNO View Post
    I am looking for headlight LED upgrades (simple bulb-swaps) for my car
    Easy: There are none that are legal, effective, and safe. Reflector, projector, H4, H7, none of that matters, the answer is always the same.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 01-31-2018 at 02:27 PM. Reason: fixed quote markup

  6. #6

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Easy: There are none that are legal, effective, and safe. Reflector, projector, H4, H7, none of that matters, the answer is always the same.
    Yeah, that was pretty much my conclusion as well. But thanks for confirming it for me.
    My lights
    #8 - One doesn't feel welcome...

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinNO View Post
    Yeah, that was pretty much my conclusion as well. But thanks for confirming it for me.
    Hence the thread title. Hence the OP's experience that they don't work. Hence my and Hilldweller's posts.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    I'd like to get a hold of that H4 LED from Oz and experiment with it in a Cibie bucket though....

  9. #9

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    I'd like to get a hold of that H4 LED from Oz and experiment with it in a Cibie bucket though....
    I did exactly that, so I'll save you the trouble: complete fail.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    I did exactly that, so I'll save you the trouble: complete fail.
    Hilldweller sad now...

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    I did exactly that, so I'll save you the trouble: complete fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    Hilldweller sad now...
    Be happy you saved money you can now use toward JW Speaker products

  12. #12

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    Hilldweller sad now...
    Why? Think of all the good-to-excellent LED headlamps in standard shapes and sizes, including some with heated lenses.

  13. #13

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Yeah cheer up hilldweller its not all bad

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Why? Think of all the good-to-excellent LED headlamps in standard shapes and sizes, including some with heated lenses.
    It's hard to keep holding my breath for JWS to release their round ones. They're such teases.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonOk View Post
    Yeah cheer up hilldweller its not all bad
    I've got the Asian knock-off blues. So many crappy/cheap products available. I live in the land of lifted full-size pickups with at least 4 LED cube "foglights" on all the time. Flood pattern. Freakin photon torpedoes frying my retinas every morning.
    sigh

  15. #15

    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    I live in the land of lifted full-size pickups with at least 4 LED cube "foglights" on all the time. Flood pattern. Freakin photon torpedoes frying my retinas every morning.
    sigh
    Get them to follow you over my way... I might can help with that =)

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Hilldweller's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED 'drop-ins' don't work in headlamps

    Quote Originally Posted by drmalenko View Post
    Get them to follow you over my way... I might can help with that =)
    Come here and give a tutorial to the Canton and Holly Springs PD and County FD. They're even putting illegal headlights on their work vehicles, Chris.

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