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Thread: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

  1. #1

    Default I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    I would always opt for the model that has factory LED headlights
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2018 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Magio View Post
    I would always opt for the model that has factory LED headlights
    Factory LED headlamps are not always objectively better than the factory halogen headlamps. Is it really worth not seeing as well just for the colors to match?
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2018 at 09:51 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Factory LED headlamps are not always objectively better than the factory halogen headlamps. Is it really worth not seeing as well just for the colors to match?
    LED headlights are generally considered and advertised as allowing you to see better at night than the halogen version of the same headlight. Whether or not that is objectively true is not really possible to know since the beam specs are kept under wraps.( 99% of people dont know about CPF where they can possibly get the answer). In my own experience I like the higher CCT, and the LED's tend to offer a much wider beam which is helpful.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2018 at 09:52 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Magio View Post
    LED headlights are generally considered and advertised as allowing you to see better at night than the halogen version of the same headlight. Whether or not that is objectively true is not really possible to know since the beam specs are kept under wraps.( 99% of people dont know about CPF where they can possibly get the answer). In my own experience I like the higher CCT, and the LED's tend to offer a much wider beam which is helpful.
    Higher CCT can be detrimental to seeing performance. You might prefer it; you don't necessarily see better with it. Certainly, a wide beam is great (the LS430's HID lamps produce a very wide beam) but that's just one of so many factors into what makes a good headlamp good.

    What you're arguing is, essentially, that since you don't know better and you have a particular aesthetic preference, it means you'll always choose LED regardless of whether you see better with them or not. I suppose you're free to do that, but you also seem to be suggesting to others that it's also the choice they should make.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2018 at 09:52 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Magio View Post
    LED headlights are generally considered and advertised as allowing you to see better at night
    That's not the same as their actually allowing you to see better at night, though. LED headlamps are not generally/categorically better or worse. There are a lot of LED headlamps on the market that don't do more than just barely meet the minimum legal requirements.

    Whether or not that is objectively true is not really possible to know
    What? That's not the case. Go look at the IIHS headlight tests, for example, or Consumer Reports' headlight tests. Want to have some fun? Go look at the IIHS results for the LED headlamps on the Volvo XC-90 (that's the kind of car that hit that pedestrian in Arizona not long ago as an autonomous vehicle with a lazy/probably texting "operator" in the driver's seat), then look at the results for the various kinds of headlamps on other vehicles in the XC-90's same class and segment.

    In Europe there are numerous testing protocols readily accessible by consumers, too.

    In my own experience I like the higher CCT, and the LED's tend to offer a much wider beam
    Perhaps one or more particular LED headlamps you've driven with give a wide beam, but no, it is not correct in general that "LEDs tend to offer a much wider beam".
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-20-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  6. #6

    Lightbulb Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    I look for cars that specifically don't have LED headlamps and and/or will not choose that trim level option. I loathe LED lights with the blue glare from oncoming traffic and would not want to wish that upon anyone. From a drivers perspective, I like the perfect color temperature and 100CRI halogen lighting provides me at night on my cars and will continue to use them for as long as I can.
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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    For a very direct example of vehicles whose LED headlighting isn't all that great:
    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    I have a 3 week old 2017 F150 with LED headlights and I don't think they are nearly as good on low beams.
    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    You're right about the LEDs Ford is putting on their trucks lately: nice looking lights, but their objective performance ain't so hot, and no, they don't even come close to the rather good HIDs you had on your Durango.
    There are good, and bad, headlamps of EVERY technology. Back in the days when acetylene lamps were used on cars, there were good ones and bad ones. When they moved to electric lamps with 27cp bulbs, there were good ones and bad ones. We have good and bad sealed beams, good and bad halogens, good and bad HIDs, and good and bad LEDs. It's not the light source that makes the lamp good or bad, it's the implementation of that light source.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 04-20-2018 at 11:26 AM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    There are good, and bad, headlamps of EVERY technology. Back in the days when acetylene lamps were used on cars, there were good ones and bad ones. When they moved to electric lamps with 27cp bulbs, there were good ones and bad ones. We have good and bad sealed beams, good and bad halogens, good and bad HIDs, and good and bad LEDs. It's not the light source that makes the lamp good or bad, it's t implementation of that light source.
    Perfectly stated thank you !!

  9. #9

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Waiting for the neutral white high cri led headlights

  10. #10

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    ... We have good and bad sealed beams, good and bad halogens, good and bad HIDs, and good and bad LEDs. It's not the light source that makes the lamp good or bad, it's the implementation of that light source.
    Now that's the truth. I put a set of GE Nighthawk H6054 lamps in my S10, and those are the best headlamps I've ever driven behind, even though sealed beams are "old technology". As -Virgil- often says, good lamps are good, bad lamps are bad.

  11. #11
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Guy View Post
    Now that's the truth. I put a set of GE Nighthawk H6054 lamps in my S10, and those are the best headlamps I've ever driven behind, even though sealed beams are "old technology".
    There may be very few better sealed beams than those, but there certainly are many better composite headlamps than those. What you are reporting is surely more subjective than objevtive, although the axial-filament GE H6054NH, with the 65W high and 55W low (compared to the usual 35W low on a 6054) is a really good sealed beam. But you must not have driven behind very many headlamps for those to be the best you've driven behind.

    Now, if you still have that S-10 and want to spend some money, then get a set of these and never look back! (Unless you're in reverse.)

    As -Virgil- often says, good lamps are good, bad lamps are bad.
    Yep. But he'll also say there are better headlamps than even the excellent H6054NH.

  12. #12

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    But you must not have driven behind very many headlamps for those to be the best you've driven behind.
    This is true, we have a relatively old fleet of vehicles, my daily is an '84 MB 300D. And my mom's Avalon does have better headlamps than the Nighthawks, but those are HID so that's not really a fair comparison.

    Now, if you still have that S-10 and want to spend some money, then get a set of these and never look back! (Unless you're in reverse.)
    Oh, I want to. Just tough to justify the cost for something that is the "spare" vehicle. You can bet that's what I'd go for on a vehicle with sealed beam headlamps that was regularly driven at night, though.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    When I was shopping for cars last year I too wanted HID or LED headlights. However, the manufacturers are all too aware of the market's desire for higher CCTs and structures that availability accordingly - rather than price LED/HID headlights as a $500 option, it's available as a package and usually only at the highest trim level. Since I didn't want to spend an extra ~$7500 on a higher trim chock-full of 'amenities' I didn't want (leather seats so I can brand my backside six months of the year in Texas heat; a sunroof that will leak in a few short years; 17-way adjustable power seats that I'll set once and forget) I accepted the base-level halogens. It's unfortunate because the LED headlamps for the (model year previous; 2018 testing wasn't available in June) vehicle I bought perform objectively better than the halogens.

    I gather that with some ingenuity one can source the factory LED headlamps from the previous year that will plug-n-play, but that's a ~$1500 experiment ... and they still feature halogen reflectors for the high beam.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  14. #14

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    The all-new VW Jetta has LED headlamps that put about 500 lumens on the road, about the same as a reasonably efficient H4 halogen headlamp.

  15. #15

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    The all-new VW Jetta has LED headlamps that put about 500 lumens on the road, about the same as a reasonably efficient H4 halogen headlamp.
    That seems... disappointing. Are they better in any other area compared to a decent halogen lamp, or is the primary benefit style?

  16. #16

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    I love my 2017 WRX led headlamps. The beam uniformity and brightness are superior to the halogen model to my eyes. When it comes to flashlights I'm a huge tint snob but I don't mine the ~5700K tint and probably lowish cri. I guess since it all I have I've gotten used to it haha

  17. #17

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Guy View Post
    The all-new VW Jetta has LED headlamps that put about 500 lumens on the road, about the same as a reasonably efficient H4 halogen headlamp.
    That seems... disappointing. Are they better in any other area compared to a decent halogen lamp, or is the primary benefit style?
    Style, marketability, packaging (indefinite lifespan means no need to provide bulb service access), lower current draw (means cheaper thinner wires and switch/relay components).

  18. #18
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Style, marketability, packaging (indefinite lifespan means no need to provide bulb service access), lower current draw (means cheaper thinner wires and switch/relay components).
    But does it also have the drawback of an inordinately high CCT?

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    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    According to this current draw is 4.30 Amps at 12 volts which is not low compare to halogen. Does anyone have information about any LED factory headlight current draw?
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 05-03-2018 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Removed color tagging

  20. #20
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    According to [JW Speaker product specs]this current draw is 4.30 Amps at 12 volts which is not low compare to halogen. Does anyone have information about any LED factory headlight current draw?
    It does seem to be only very slightly lower than than halogen. However, it has perfomance advantages such that it doesn't suffer like a filament bulb does from slight undervoltage-- the color temperature does not shift downwards and the emitter luminance does not drop off anywhere near like a filament's luminance does at undervoltage.

    It also doesn't need the thicker wires needed to provide the inrush current to quickly heat a filament to operating temperature, making a headlamp flash into a flash rather than a ramping up (this is particularly important for turn signals).

  21. #21

    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    According to this current draw is 4.30 Amps at 12 volts which is not low compare to halogen.
    Well, yeah, it is. 4.3 Amps times 12 Volts = 51.6 Watts, which is lower than most halogen headlamps. But the lamp you linked has a lens heater grid. The version without the heater is this one, with 1.94A on high beam and 1.67A on low beam -- very low compared to halogen.

  22. #22
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: I would always get the factory LED headlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Well, yeah, it is. 4.3 Amps times 12 Volts = 51.6 Watts, which is lower than most halogen headlamps. But the lamp you linked has a lens heater grid. The version without the heater is this one, with 1.94A on high beam and 1.67A on low beam -- very low compared to halogen.
    Sure, they could have broken down the power consumption by heater on/heater off so it's less confusing, but the upshot is that even with deicing performance greater than that of a halogen lamp (since the lens is heated by conduction rather than by radiant and convective heating with a halogen lamp), it's using less power than a halogen lamp. And when lens heating isn't needed (in most places, 3.5 seasons out of the year), that is an incredible power savings.

    And you still get the other performance advantages at lower input voltages that a filament lamp just doesn't have. Similarly, very high system voltages won't be burning out the LED any sooner, either.

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