Dirt cheap car headlight LED lamps on ebay?

Orion010

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Feb 27, 2013
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Hey CPF!

So I've been curious lately about upgrading my car lights to LED bulbs since there are so many Chinese sellers selling them for dirt cheap. Does anyone have experience with cheap LED headlights (high and low beams) from eBay around the $10/pair range? I know this has been discussed but the technology seems to be changing rapidly and I'm wondering if it has reached the point where LED headlamps from Chinese manufacturers can actually be reliably obtained for cheaper than the standard lamps in stores. I pay a lot more for those Sylvanias in auto stores and I think there should be cheaper and more efficient options by now.

Thanks CPF!!

And if no one has experience and/or thoughts then I may just have to explore and post the experiences myself! If they are so cheap then why not? :D
 

PhillyRube

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I just bought some small LED "driving lights" for a motorcycle I have (Honda PC800). $22.00 a set. My handheld solarforce L2 throws much better (cost more with Vinh upgrade). Returned to Autozone...

I'm still trying to figure out why these LED motorcycle lights, such as Denali, Clearview, and even the halogen Motolights, are so expensive. They don't normally go on a Harley (remember HD means High Dollar).
 

Hamilton Felix

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It has been my experience that you don't get more than you pay for. I would be very suspicious of aftermarket headlights in that price range. On my vehicles, I lean toward OEM for headlights. If it's a Toyota, then brand new factory Toyota lights. After putting the best possible bulbs in them, and maybe upgrading the wiring harness if needed, I'd put the research time and money into auxiliary lights. The exception is older vehicles, 50's, 60's, even 80's rigs that take standardized headlamps. There, you have some choices.

As to why some lights go for lots of money, it's just a matter of what people will pay. If advertising hype convinces gullible consumers that PIAA lights perform in ways that ignore the laws of physics, or that little MR11 Motolights will magically make you highly visible and safer, then people will shell out the money.

As far as "cheap LED headlights," I might look at them if I wanted rear work lights on an old 4x4 that spends its time off the road in the woods. But I wouldn't count on much at that price point.
 

Alaric Darconville

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I know this has been discussed but the technology seems to be changing rapidly and I'm wondering if it has reached the point where LED headlamps from Chinese manufacturers can actually be reliably obtained for cheaper than the standard lamps in stores. I pay a lot more for those Sylvanias in auto stores and I think there should be cheaper and more efficient options by now.

It's been discussed over and over, and I don't think anything has changed within the past month.


And if no one has experience and/or thoughts then I may just have to explore and post the experiences myself! If they are so cheap then why not?

Because they are unsafe. Because they can get property damaged and people injured or killed. Because they are illegal.
 

-Virgil-

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Alaric is right. Virtually all "LED bulbs" marketed for cars -- whether cheap or expensive -- are unsafe and illegal. The only exceptions are the four Philips items that work in certain specific stop (brake) lights, reversing (back-up) lights, and turn signals.
 

Orion010

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Yeah, I did a lot more reading about LED headlights yesterday and can see why they aren't used! I'm still new to the forum so I couldn't initially find all of these discussions from searching. It's good to know they are illegal and I didn't know about DOT approval and such before. Thanks for all of your input despite having another article like this :p

I hope the technology improves some day so that night driving can be more reliable, safe, and efficient. There are so many great insanely bright handheld flashlights but not really any good LED headlights, it seems.

Thanks CPF!
 

-Virgil-

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Actually, there are more and more good LED vehicle headlamps every day. The 2014 Toyota Corolla comes with very good LED low beams as standard equipment. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade, various models from Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, and Audi, the Nissan Leaf, the Toyota Prius line, and other vehicles have LED high and/or low beams as standard or optional equipment. The Chrysler 200 has LED fog lamps. And there's a growing number of standard-size round and rectangular LED headlamps on the market. But all of these are designed and built as LED headlamps, they're not halogen or HID headlamps with "LED bulbs" installed.
 

RingSteel

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My wife has a '14 Honda Accord touring model, and the LED lights in it are AWESOME!

I would love to find a way to install LED lights to my '04 Toyota Tundra, and I'm searching for info on the retrofit. Any help would be appreciated.
 

-Virgil-

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That's right -- there is no safe, effective, legal way to have LED headlamps on an '04 Toyota Tundra without hacking and carving up the front of the truck.
 

mc84_zz4

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For the LED designed lamps I have seen so far, they do have an advantage of resisting harsh road conditions, such as on a motorcycle, or off-road vehicle, they DO handle vibration much better.
The drawback there is they are still very expen$ive.

As far as an LED retro-fit bulb to a stock headlamp housing, that to me is the same as an HID retro-fit, they are not well-suited for the housing, focus points, etc, and the results can be hazardous for incomming traffic:
1- the blue-ish colors typically used in 5K and 6K Kelvin are not compatible with the reaction of the pupil in your eyes at night, the pupil cannot contract, causing a sense of temporary blindness,
2- the multiple focal points of the light source in some reflected LED produce 'ghosting' in most lamps, causing roadsigns to look like the old TV where you have multiple reflected signs, and multiple shadows as well.
3- The Lumen output of the HID is still not up to what a decent Halogen bulb can produce, ie: 1,000 lumen on the average 55w low beam, 1700 lumen hi-beam, Phillips H4 Xtreme is even higher; 1,200-2,000 lumens IIRC)
LED are hovering aroung 870 lumen for low beam.
I have seen some like the H4 CREE LED, but they were close to $80 the last time I checked, and that is outrageous.
 
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