Automotive Auto Replacement Bulbs...

Launch Mini

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Just wondering if anyone has swapped some of the bulbs in your vehicles from the stock to aftermarket LEDs?
I found a site that offers side markers, backuplights, interior dome lights etc.
They all seem to be simple plug & replace bulbs, but not cheap. ie some backup lights ( standard 3157 bulb replacements) are $19.99/ bulb.

This started when I bought my Jeep Wrangler. The headlights suck and the back up lights are just as bad.
A client was swapping his headlights out on his Toyota. He sells replacement LEDs for the H13s. Again plug & play, so I started googling to see what else was out there and found just about every bulb on a vehicle can be swapped out.

Before I try this, just wondering if anyone has done this and how were the results?
 
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AnAppleSnail

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Let's ask to have this moved to Automotive.

In general (There are a few exceptions: from Philips, for certain particular car model years), these are a waste of money. SuperbrightLEDs sells crap that you don't want on the same road as you. Do not buy from them. Scheinwerfermann or Alaric Darconville can set you on the right path.

An LED is very different from a filament. A dropin LED bulb is almost certain to have a very different beam pattern from a road-safe and road-legal beam. This goes beyond "sharp cutoff" and into the realms of important safety things. Is the light too glaring to other drivers? Can you see up onto the shoulder to spot that deer? Can you read highway signs at a safe distance? Can other drivers on the road see despite you? Maybe.

Will the lamp resist heat, UV, cold, vibration, water, humidity, and impact? Will it last through a summer, then survive a winter of road salt? Probably not.

Will your insurance company still underwrite you? An on-road headlamp is a critical safety device. Tampering with it is unwise and illegal.

What to do? If a lamp ad says "DOT-Certified," do not buy it. If it says "Drop in replacement," but is not the same lamp type (Filament, HID, etc) as stock, do not buy it.

Are your headlight housings perfectly clear? If there is the smallest hint of fog or scratches, you are losing at least 10% output and 20% reach. Are the bulbs in good shape? Do they get enough voltage?

Backup lights are not meant to be very bright. Are you backing up on private land, where an aftermarket add-on lamp is ok?
 

Launch Mini

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Headlight swap does scare me.
Another factor I heard about is driving in snow/slush. The LEDs don't produce enough heat to keep the lenses clear.

The back up lights are two fold.
First, the stock ones are beyond pathetic. There might as well not be any bulbs in there.
Our cabin has a long driveway with a bend. So visibility would be good.

Won't change the headlights, but might pick up a light bar for offroading & the road into our cabin.
 

hokiefyd

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Fortunately for a Jeep Wrangler owner, standard round replacement headlamp housings can be used that offer far better lighting than the stock buckets. But you can find much poorer-performing replacements as well. Search out "hilldweller" on this forum or on some of the Jeep Wrangler forums; he's done extensive testing on replacement housings for the Wranglers and can help light your way to a good solution.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Just wondering if anyone has swapped some of the bulbs in your vehicles from the stock to aftermarket LEDs?
I did one interior light, in my '95 Previa, with a panel of LEDs. Much lower power consumption, but also a lot less light, and not extremely pleasing to the eye.

I found a site ( superbrightleds), that offers side markers, backuplights, interior dome lights etc.
Unfortunately, what they make is largely noncompliant junk. For the interior? Go to town! For exterior lamps, sorry-- they don't work properly, and result in your stop lamps and turn signals and all else you did the swap in essentially "inoperative". (They're "inoperative" because while they may light and flash, they don't light and flash in a way that complies with the legal requirements.)

They all seem to be simple plug & replace bulbs, but not cheap. ie some backup lights ( standard 3157 bulb replacements) are $19.99/ bulb.

At that price, go with the Philips LEDs, if your Jeep Wrangler is within the model years listed at http://philipsxtremevisionled.com/ . Philips has tested those replacements in the listed vehicles and certify them as conforming. (The Philips price may be higher, but still-- you're getting something that will *work*, safely and effectively.)

The (Jeep) headlights suck and the back up lights are just as bad.
They're unpleasant to drive with, yet objectively decent. There's an excellent LED upgrade for the headlamps in the form of the JW Speaker Model 8700. They're expensive, but so is a liability lawsuit if you're involved in an accident and they pin it on your noncompliant exterior lighting.

A client was swapping his headlights out on his Toyota. He sells replacement LEDs for the H13s. Again plug & play, so I started googling to see what else was out there and found just about every bulb on a vehicle can be swapped out.
Those H13 "replacements" put the "play" in "plug and play". I'd rather give a 4-year old Jarts (lawn darts) than install those in any vehicle.

Before I try this, just wondering if anyone has done this and how were the results?

Glad you asked before you try it-- it'll save you quite a lot of grief and money.

AnAppleSnail: Thanks for the vote of confidence :)
 

Launch Mini

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Thanks for all the input.
I did find the JW Speakers , but yes, pricey.
But also, mods are a slippery slope, first it's the lights, then it's a lift, tires, .....
 

Jiblet

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Thanks for all the input.
I did find the JW Speakers , but yes, pricey.
But also, mods are a slippery slope, first it's the lights, then it's a lift, tires, .....

I read a few Jeep forums. Someone pointed out how much time, effort, and money people put into their Jeeps, with a huge focus on quality and safety. But when people point out that cheap and easy "solutions" to lighting (HID drop-in bulb, etc.) aren't better, safe, legal, or whatever, then the defenders of the garbage start going crazy.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Thanks for all the input.
I did find the JW Speakers , but yes, pricey.
But also, mods are a slippery slope, first it's the lights, then it's a lift, tires, .....
The lights would seem to make the most sense for a daily (and nightly) driver. Unless this is really your recreational vehicle and you have another car for the other 90% of your driving-- then maybe do the lift kit and tires. But if this is the car you spend most of your on-road time on, you'll get the most utility out of the headlamps. Good tires are also nice.

I read a few Jeep forums. Someone pointed out how much time, effort, and money people put into their Jeeps, with a huge focus on quality and safety. But when people point out that cheap and easy "solutions" to lighting (HID drop-in bulb, etc.) aren't better, safe, legal, or whatever, then the defenders of the garbage start going crazy.

Jeep, Toyota, Hoyt-Clagwell, Canyonero... Regardless of brand, you're right. (AllPar might be an exception.)
 

Launch Mini

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I do get a kick out of some of the forums, and the money guys/gals spend lifting & outfitting their toys, then they post in the "cheap mod" sections of the sites.

My Jeep is an alternate daily driver. ( Bad weather or in the dark). I have poor night vision, so being up high helps at night.
My version of "off roading" is mostly Forestry Service Roads, and easy trails.
So stock will get me in & out easily. However, a slightly more aggressive tread pattern would be nice, but that can wait until these are worn out.

I was "testing" my headlights last night.
With the head lights on, I shone my flashlight out the drivers window about 20 feet in front of my Jeep. My EDC ( not ramped up) provided a nice hot spot over the pattern of the headlights. Turned the headlights off, and I could have driven with ONE flashlight out the window. ( not legally, but visually able ).
For fun, I should get a mag mount for my light, so when out night driving with buddies, I can just use my flashlight on the hood and see their reactions.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Good tires will be a better investment than a lift kit, for sure. Make sure they're good roadable tires, of course-- too aggressive a tread can make the ride a little harsh. Maybe we're getting outside the scope of "Transportation Lighting". But now we know it's frequently driven-- and to get to the Forestry Service roads and the trails you're probably on normal roads with other drivers, so definitely quality, safe, legal lighting upgrades are the goal.

My EDC ( not ramped up) provided a nice hot spot over the pattern of the headlights. Turned the headlights off, and I could have driven with ONE flashlight out the window.
A sufficiently bright light adds enough light to the existing beam, that it looks like it's putting a "hotspot over the headlights". That's how you can see your flashlight beam on a wall in the first place, even if the room is lit pretty brightly. (And kindof like how one whining kid makes a room with a screaming kid in it even louder.) :)

Let's stay safe and not do this "flashlight driving" on public roads, though. :)
 

-Virgil-

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Someone pointed out how much time, effort, and money people put into their Jeeps, with a huge focus on quality and safety.

I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with that part about "huge focus on quality and safety". It wouldn't be polite for me to describe the actual quality and safety of most of the mods I see on actual vehicles and/or written up on the internet, so I'll say "safety" and "quality" conveniently mean whatever a greedy vendor and their ignorant customers want those words to mean.

when people point out that cheap and easy "solutions" to lighting (HID drop-in bulb, etc.) aren't better, safe, legal, or whatever, then the defenders of the garbage start going crazy.

Exactly.
 

-Virgil-

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Just wondering if anyone has swapped some of the bulbs in your vehicles from the stock to aftermarket LEDs?

Welcome to the automotive forum! Virtually 100% of the "LED bulbs" on the market are unsafe, illegal junk. That applies to everything offered by that site you found (and all the others like it...and almost all the auctions on eBay...etc). The one and only legitimate line of LED retrofit bulbs is the one from Philips. It's a brand-new, small lineup for now. It does not include the 3157/4157 plastic wedge base bulbs yet (though I am told these will be added to the line later this year). Until that happens or another legitimate manufacturer (Osram will be next) comes out with the bulbs you need, the only safe thing to do is reject any/all "LED bulbs" for use in exterior lighting functions on your vehicle. If you want to mess with the interior lights, that's not the same safety concern as the exterior lights, so if you install a bulb that doesn't work well (and many of them don't, even for low-demand interior applications) the only real consequence is you're out some money.

As for headlamps: There will never be a legitimate, acceptable-working "LED bulb" to replace a halogen bulb. This is a scam/joke of a product that renders the headlamps it's installed in useless, dangerous, and illegal. Stay away. Your client is a fool to put these on his own vehicle, and a greedy, lawbreaking twit to sell them to others. Vehicle lights are not toys, they are life-safety equipment and they must work correctly to do their job.

There are a variety of LED headlamps you can install on a Wrangler. Some of them are quite excellent, some of them are junk, and there's a range in between. The lens-frost issue is nowhere near as big of a deal as it is sometimes claimed to be. I see you are in Canada, where daytime running lights are required. Most (maybe all) of the LED headlamps presently on the market are not equipped to correctly handle the reduced-voltage feed provided by the vehicle in daytime-running mode; they would either flicker or they would operate at full intensity, which is dangerous and unlawful for daytime running lights. If you want to install LED headlamps in such a vehicle, you would need to deactivate the headlight DRLs and move the DRL function to another set of front lights, such as the front turn signals, or install a set of LED DRLs (there are many available, some of which are quite good).
 

HotWire

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I replaced one of the overhead interior lights with LEDs. I find it very cold blue --- not pleasing like incandescent bulbs, but it does use very little electricity and it has lasted a long time. Not much of a mod, but.... I've not bothered to swap the other interior bulbs because of the tint....
 

Launch Mini

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Thanks for all the input.
Will be leaving all stock bulbs stock.
For off roading I "may" add some designated secondary lighting, both front & back.
The interior overhead light is quite far back from the front seats, so I'll stick to that or my EDC when I need to find something in the Jeep.
I had completely forgotten about the reduced voltage on the DRLs. Good call.
Save my money for gas or a GoPro.

I made the assumption that site I mentioned might be crap, as their Flashlights looked like crap too. And 18 LEDs on a tiny bulb was "interesting".
 

RoGuE_StreaK

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I replaced one of the overhead interior lights with LEDs. I find it very cold blue --- not pleasing like incandescent bulbs, but it does use very little electricity and it has lasted a long time. Not much of a mod, but.... I've not bothered to swap the other interior bulbs because of the tint....
I haven't been hanging around this section of the forum, just looking now as I just got a new car and am doing some tweaking...
I'm experimenting with some el-cheapo 5050 based festoon bulbs (31mm, 8x 5050), I found the neutral/cool to be too harsh but brighter than stock incans, and the warm versions too warm and a bit too dull. So, the other day I desoldered half of the cools and reflowed warms in their place, resulting in a much nicer temp and plenty of brightness. You can only notice the two colours if you look at it directly, and would likely be less obvious if I staggered them rather than just replacing the end emitters (see ASCII diagram below). But it was a bit of a pain to do, so I limited the number of emitters I desoldered. Next two I get (for rear compartment) I'll try to unsolder and resolder the lot of them.

Just sayin'. Don't know what the longevity will be, but the festoons don't get too much of a workout (not on for hours at a time) and these ones appear to have at least rudimentary current limiting etc. I've had LED festoons in my previous two cars for years without any issues, and these 5050s are quite a bit brighter and more pleasantly tinted.

(W=Warm, C= Cool, 8x emitters)

WCCW -> WCWC
WCCW -> CWCW
 
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JMSinMD

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Thanks for all the input.
Will be leaving all stock bulbs stock.
For off roading I "may" add some designated secondary lighting, both front & back.
The interior overhead light is quite far back from the front seats, so I'll stick to that or my EDC when I need to find something in the Jeep.
I had completely forgotten about the reduced voltage on the DRLs. Good call.
Save my money for gas or a GoPro.

I made the assumption that site I mentioned might be crap, as their Flashlights looked like crap too. And 18 LEDs on a tiny bulb was "interesting".

For reversing I purchased a V-led license plate frame as well as a White Night reverse light system along with my factory back up lights. Forget LEDs in halogen housing.
 

-Virgil-

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Because the back-up light function, like all other vehicle exterior light functions, is regulated in terms of how much light is required and permitted through a range of vertical and horizontal angles. We don't get to just declare any ol' white light facing rearward is a back-up light. The items you installed produce way too much light above horizontal, which creates a safety problem with glare.
 

Unicorn

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Because the back-up light function, like all other vehicle exterior light functions, is regulated in terms of how much light is required and permitted through a range of vertical and horizontal angles. We don't get to just declare any ol' white light facing rearward is a back-up light. The items you installed produce way too much light above horizontal, which creates a safety problem with glare.

That's a bit of a blanket statement not taking into account the situation. Adding them to the existing lights so they come on automatically would be. Using a switch to turn them on when needed, and safe would be totally different. Backing out of a parking space in the mall would be bad. Backing up in secluded woods or desert with nobody around would be fine.
Kind of like knowing when it's not safe to use high beams or driving lights. Or even which litht to use while walking to avoid blinding traffic.
 
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