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Philips Ultinon Pro9000, Are We There Yet?

jzchen

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It looks like they already failed ECE approval, but curious if the new design is getting there within the realm of safe replacement?

BTW- @-Virgil- Did you happen to get around to testing the Philips "sealed beam" LEDs? (You had mentioned them on your to-do list a couple months ago).

Thanks in advance!
 

jzchen

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5800K? Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one? The color temperature alone is enough for me to reject them.
(Thank you). When they mentioned that, not personally in the know, I took it at face value. What K (CRT?) would you say OEMs are using?

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Alaric Darconville

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(Thank you). When they mentioned that, not personally in the know, I took it at face value. What K (CRT?) would you say OEMs are using?
Typical color temperature of arc-discharge capsules is 4300K.

With LEDs, there's no reason they can't go closer to 3250 (like some high-performance halogen bulbs), but many LED headlamps are in the 5000K+ territory. All that handwaving about "whiter light".
 
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idleprocess

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5800K? Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one? The color temperature alone is enough for me to reject them.
Suspect it's less 'ad wizards' and more the realities of LED price/availability/LPW performance - all advantageous to the OEM north of 5000K. Blue-tinged white also clearly signals "not halogen" for the aftermarket crowd.

(Thank you). When they mentioned that, not personally in the know, I took it at face value. What K (CRT?) would you say OEMs are using?
I recall that OEM HID typically goes no higher than 4300K. OEM LED however goes considerably cooler for the aforementioned reasons - 5700K appears to be the lower end of the bracket that OEMs live within.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Suspect it's less 'ad wizards' and more the realities of LED price/availability/LPW performance - all advantageous to the OEM north of 5000K. Blue-tinged white also clearly signals "not halogen" for the aftermarket crowd.
Luminous efficacy at the cost of increased glare (white light tending toward blue is more glaring than neutral white, and even more glaring than white light tending towards yellow).

I recall that OEM HID typically goes no higher than 4300K. OEM LED however goes considerably cooler for the aforementioned reasons - 5700K appears to be the lower end of the bracket that OEMs live within.
This "cooler white is better" thing is really predicated on the public not understanding that HID is a transitional technology, and the quality of light produced that way is much poorer than with halogen. There is no advantage to even 4300K lighting, particularly when CRI is diminished compared to halogen.
 

-Virgil-

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It looks like they already failed ECE approval

As of now, there are no ECE-approved (or DOT-certified) LED replacements for halogen headlight bulbs.

but curious if the new design is getting there within the realm of safe replacement?

I've been playing with some Ultinon Pro9000s over the last few months. The results are an interesting mix:

1. They create strikingly good beam patterns in some lamps -- easily some of the best I've ever seen from LED replacement bulbs, and in some cases good enough to be called "really good" without any caveats, terms and conditions attached.

2. In other lamps, they produce beam patterns that might (maybe) be legally and/or technically acceptable, but are visibly degraded as compared to the spec halogen bulb.

3. In some lamps they produce light distributions that look like "Don't even bother putting this on the gonio, it's a waste of time and lab resources; it's going to fail hard"

4. In some lamps they don't physically fit, because of incompatibility with the lamp's bulb-retention setup. Or sometimes that part's OK, but the fan on the back of the bulb protrudes too far to allow installation of the bulb cover, and if you leave that off you're inviting water/dirt/insect contamination of the lamp. I haven't seen any fit problem with the portion of the bulb inside the lamp, though I suppose that's possible on some lamps...maybe those Cibie Bobi conversion lamps of the early 1980s with the bulb sealed off from the interior of the reflector/lens by a glass bubble -- but I'm just guessing; I haven't seen one of those lamps in person in many years, and...well, maybe there's someone on planet Earth who has a set of BOBIs, and will buy a set of the Philips Ultinon Pro9000 bulbs, and try them out. But I'm not holding my breath!

So no...we're not "there yet", and I would say the excellent results in some headlamps with these bulbs are a harbinger that we're headed into some choppy air. Because before, it was a uniform "Just say no". Now it's morphing more toward "Wellllllll, it depends" and a bunch of technical detail that John Q. Public isn't going to read or listen or pay attention to. It'll be like this.

@-Virgil- Did you happen to get around to testing the Philips "sealed beam" LEDs? (You had mentioned them on your to-do list a couple months ago)

They're still on the same list. Who knows, by the time I get around to it maybe they will have revamped that product line a time or two.
 

-Virgil-

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Suspect it's less 'ad wizards' and more the realities of LED price/availability/LPW performance - all advantageous to the OEM north of 5000K.

True...if you include the counterproductive and potentially injurious blue light. I think the math probably works out different if we only count the useful/helpful light, but I don't get paid big bucks (or small ones) to make those kinds of decisions.

Blue-tinged white also clearly signals "not halogen" for the aftermarket crowd.

There's where the ad wizards come in.
 

idleprocess

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True...if you include the counterproductive and potentially injurious blue light. I think the math probably works out different if we only count the useful/helpful light, but I don't get paid big bucks (or small ones) to make those kinds of decisions.

I used "LPW performance" deliberately. Interesting that even the automotive OEMs are using >5700K on compliant designs - not sure if that speaks to cost savings, unavailability of lower-CCT components in volume that satisfy requirements, marketing flash, or whether blue-heavy higher-CCT light sources can satisfy safety requirements when adequately controlled.

RE: automotive LED headlight bulbs, I suspect that imperfect filament geometry replication encourages brute-forcing the problem so that a larger fraction of the photons are originating from something approximating to the correct origin and vector to better emulate the real thing - just at the expense of glare and lost output.
 

jzchen

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Thank you again for the good info! I will continue to wait...

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-Virgil-

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Interesting that even the automotive OEMs are using >5700K on compliant designs - not sure if that speaks to cost savings, unavailability of lower-CCT components in volume that satisfy requirements, marketing flash
It's kind of a vicious circle: marketers cream their jeans over bluer-bluer-bluer light (while artificially high LPW performance numbers make engineers join in the jerkfest) which drives demand, which drives product development and certification. If there were demand for lower-CCT and/or higher-CRI LEDs for headlamps, they'd get developed and commercialized quicklike. The technology already exists; it just hasn't been configured and packaged (and validated/certified, etc) for use in headlamps.

automotive LED headlight bulbs, I suspect that imperfect filament geometry replication encourages brute-forcing the problem so that a larger fraction of the photons are originating from something approximating to the correct origin and vector to better emulate the real thing - just at the expense of glare and lost output.
SAE (in the US) and GTB (for the rest of the world) are actively working on technical standards for LED replacement bulbs for halogen headlamps. There's a lot of progress being made, with active buy-in and participation by a pretty good mix of players. The SAE document is called J3145™.
 

John_Galt

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It's kind of a vicious circle: marketers cream their jeans over bluer-bluer-bluer light (while artificially high LPW performance numbers make engineers join in the jerkfest) which drives demand, which drives product development and certification. If there were demand for lower-CCT and/or higher-CRI LEDs for headlamps, they'd get developed and commercialized quicklike. The technology already exists; it just hasn't been configured and packaged (and validated/certified, etc) for use in headlamps.

SAE (in the US) and GTB (for the rest of the world) are actively working on technical standards for LED replacement bulbs for halogen headlamps. There's a lot of progress being made, with active buy-in and participation by a pretty good mix of players. The SAE document is called J3145™.

I believe PIAA has been offering 4000k retrofit bulbs for some time now. So there isnat least *some* small amount of support/pressure for lower cct lightsources.

In reference to SAE/GTB developing these standards, are they trying for true universal replacement, or is it going to be some sort of self certification/testing for specific retrofit bulbs for specific lamp assemblies?
 

-Virgil-

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I believe PIAA has been offering 4000k retrofit bulbs for some time now. So there isnat least *some* small amount of support/pressure for lower cct lightsources.

Aftermarket retrofit bulbs really don't count toward any meaningful demand here, because almost none of them (and certainly none that PIAA offers -- they sell only toys) use legitimate automotive-certified LEDs.

In reference to SAE/GTB developing these standards, are they trying for true universal replacement

Yes.
 

Alaric Darconville

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I believe PIAA has been offering 4000k retrofit bulbs for some time now. So there isnat least *some* small amount of support/pressure for lower cct lightsources.
It's a start; a shame it's PIAA doing it instead of one of the majors like Philips, Vosla, or the like.

In reference to SAE/GTB developing these standards, are they trying for true universal replacement, or is it going to be some sort of self certification/testing for specific retrofit bulbs for specific lamp assemblies?
I haven't read the document yet, but to do it RIGHT it must be truly universal to prevent the problems mentioned by -Virgil- above. Would be nice if SAE International also included upper limits on color temperature and that those would be adopted by NHTSA.
 

John_Galt

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-Virgil- said:
no...we're not "there yet", and I would say the excellent results in some headlamps with these bulbs are a harbinger that we're headed into some choppy air. Because before, it was a uniform "Just say no". Now it's morphing more toward "Wellllllll, it depends"

There's an interesting test result posted on another public forum that I've gotten links removed in my posts before, that mirrors your statement of "Wellllllllll," specifically with the ultinon LED bulbs.

[Back at it with those moderator edits I see. That's why I did not bother to add the link, despite the testing showing that things are 'getting there' on the developmental side, it still discusses the shortcomings.]
 
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