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Thread: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

  1. #1

    Default White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    I posted this on a model specific forum elsewhere. A Vendor introduced his product (LED headlamps "bulbs" intended for halogen bulb replacement) and I expressed (polite) skeptiscm. He offered to send me a set for objective and subjective evaluation. So far I've only had time to do this quick setup and single-point data collection. I know that many of you already know this stuff and can predict the outcome, but I figured you'd like it anyway.

    Here is my short "preview" review.


    Here is the test setup that I used for this quick evaluation. Test surface is a bedsheet (I'm going to call it a screen) stretched over lumber, with a second thicker sheet behind, to reduce light bleeding through and confounding measurements. Distance from headlamp to screen is 2.1m (about 7ft, the max I can achieve in my garage, and I want to stay in the garage for easy and complete light control). The vehicle is confirmed level, and the lamps are aimed to horizontal using the pictured laser level shining across the optical center marked on the lamp lens, and onto the screen. Slightly below horizontal is preferred for driving on public streets, but horizontal is what I use for evaluation because it is simple to aim and achieve, so there is less room for aiming error putting one lamp at an advantage or disadvantage.


    The camera is mounted in the center front of the vehicle and does not interfere with the beam pattern. The camera absolutely must switched to manual (settings below), otherwise the camera will try to achieve the same exposure and white balance for all shots, no matter how bright or dim the actual condition is, and all comparisons will be meaningless.


    Each bulb was allowed to burn for 1 minute prior to taking pictures and measurements. The vehicle engine was running so that there would be no decreased battery voltage as the test progressed.

    Img00


    Here is the screen shot with the garage lights on. The camera is set to manual and every shot of the screen is taken using the following settings: ISO200, 1/20s, f8.0, 5000K WB, tripod mounted, 2sec shutter delay so I can press the shutter and 1) not cause any blur due to button press and 2) not be in the beam.

    Img01


    Here is the screen with all lights off.
    Img02


    Here is the screen with parking lights only. There is enough light from the parking lights to move around the garage, but it's not really enough to show up on camera with these exposure settings.

    Img03



    Here are the stock bulbs. H11 LL (long life). I measured a maximum luminous intensity of 4200 lux at the hotspot, and 100 lux above the cutoff line.

    Img04



    Here are the Hellst LED headlight bulbs. I measured a maximum luminous intensity of 550 lux at the "hotspot", and 200 lux above the cutoff line. 550 is not a typo. I put "hotspot" in quotes because there really is no hotspot with these bulbs. The beam pattern is very abnormal in that there is no hotspot, and instead the beam intensity is even over a wide range (graphic below). When driving, this gives the impression that the bulbs are very bright immediately in front of the car (which they "kind of" are), but without the high intensity hotspot, the reach (distance) of the beam is not good. I will have more driving evaluation next week. The beam in the lower portion is very smooth. My initial impression was that there was a significant amount of light thrown above the cutoff, but really it's not much more than the other bulbs. It just looks like there is more light above the cutoff because the light below the cutoff is dimmer, relatively speaking. On a white wall, there are significant "rainbows". In real-world driving they aren't really noticeable to the driver of the LED-equipped car, but may be noticeable to oncoming traffic as flashes of various colors from the headlights as the cutoff moves through the driver's field of vision. The cutoff is well enough defined, though again it has an abnormal shape that does not match the standard shape for a VOR (or any) lamp system.

    Img05



    Img051



    Here are Philips H11 X-treme Vision +100 bulbs. They are H11 bulbs that meet all FMVSS requirements, they are just designed and manufactured to tighter tolerances and to the extreme high-end of the allowable (per FMVSS/SAE) output for H11 bulbs. I measured a maximum luminous intensity of 5350 lux at the hotspot, and 130 lux above the cutoff line. The tradeoff for increased output in this bulb is increased cost and reduced life compared to the H11 LL.

    Img06



    Here is a popular bulb swap for H11 bulbs, the H9. This swap is technically not legal, though some debate the actual safety implications of the swap. The H9 has higher output and is not sheilded like the H11 is. In a reflector-type lamp, this will certainly cause uncomfortable glare for oncoming drivers and I would not recommend it. In the mazda5 projector housings, there is a bit more noticable glare, and the amount of light thrown above the cutoff is equal to the Hellst LED's as the most in the test. If that is an objectionable amount is debateable. It is certainly borderline, in my opinion. I measured a maximum luminous intensity of 6350 lux at the hotspot, and 200 lux above the cutoff line.

    Img07



    Here is a comparison pic of the four bulbs.
    Img10



    And a comparison chart. It is fair to note that this chart only indicates maximum hotspot brightness, which primarily correlates to beam reach. This chart does not reflect any other aspect of lamp performance.

    Img11


    Here are the high beams as a reference. I measured a maximum luminous intensity of 14,600 lux at the hotspot.

    Img08



    I will do a full drive evaluation of all bulbs later. I will evaluate beam intensity, reach, dispersion, evenness, and cuttoff in real-world driving. My qualifications include 1) being a nerd who likes automotive lighting and flashlights as a hobby, and 2) Before my current OEM QC job, I previously worked for the same major OEM as a design/evaluation engineer for Automotive lighting and did this exact type of thing on a regular basis as a part of my job (though admittedly only for about a year).
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-07-2018 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Fixed broken stuff

  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Great post, thanks for taking the time to write it up.

  3. #3

    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Great stuff! Your experience with the "LED bulb conversion" type products matches mine. This is another product like an "HID kit" -- a headlamp cannot possibly work correctly or safely with it, no matter what features are claimed or brand is used.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    This LEDs look horrible. The only way I can see a LED conversion working would be a complete assembly swap, and that would be so expensive not many people would be interested. I mean change GI g the entire headlight body, not just replacing a bulb.
    Just like ther other LED replacements. The comp, etc tail light swap are pretty good, but over $200. Most people will want to get the drop in bulbs and think it's good.
    Dome and maps lights sure. The cargo light on pickups, fine. Drop in bulbs for turn signals or stop lights, not so good.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Quote Originally Posted by Unicorn View Post
    Drop in bulbs for turn signals or stop lights, not so good.
    Actually... http://philipsxtremevisionled.com/

    These don't have universal application, but Philips has tested these in the vehicles listed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Great job, OP. Please host these photographs for as long as possible as I intend to post a link to this thread on some of the car model specific boards I visit where these "kits" are being hailed as the latest greatest advancement in automotive lighting.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post

    Hmmmmm, VERY interesting. They don't look anything like what I expected. I'll have to keep an eye on these.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Actually... http://philipsxtremevisionled.com/

    These don't have universal application, but Philips has tested these in the vehicles listed.
    I completelty forgot about Philips. That was posted recently too.
    Last edited by Unicorn; 05-03-2014 at 08:25 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Sac02, just FYI I converted your lux numbers to candela (distance x distance x lux) and the results pass the reality test, though I suspect your measurements above the cutoff might have been picking up some below-cutoff light as well. You could add the candela numbers to your chart, if you feel like it; candela is the more common unit for discussions like this at least in North America.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    The high beam capture looks like the lows were still on, right?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    The Hellst LED bulbs is designed for BMW Angel Eyes only, not as a driving light.

  12. #12
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    That "Powered by Website Builder from GoDaddy.com" badge lends a real touch of gravitas to the Hellst site. Makes me want to order a brazilian of their products...

  13. #13
    Flashaholic irsa76's Avatar
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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    The high beam capture looks like the lows were still on, right?
    Pretty normal with single filament lights these days to run both high and low beam together. I personally find it annoying, at least with my car which as extremely good low beam, and average high beam.

    I would be interested to see how a cheap HID drop in kit would fare in this test, to get some actual numbers to back up my earlier observations with the kit I tested last year.
    Yes I'm night blind!
    Can't you see?

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    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    I like the lows to stay on with the highs.
    But I wanted to see what the intensity of just the highs is [ideally there would be no 'contamination' with a perfect projector cutoff, but there is light from the cutouts to light up overhead signs], and that might mean unplugging the lows for the capture.
    and you get to see the pure distribution of the high beams too.

  15. #15

    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    I have been BUSY at work and weekends and have had little time to follow up on this, sorry. I plan to do my night "real world" driving evaluation this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Sac02, just FYI I converted your lux numbers to candela (distance x distance x lux) and the results pass the reality test, though I suspect your measurements above the cutoff might have been picking up some below-cutoff light as well. You could add the candela numbers to your chart, if you feel like it; candela is the more common unit for discussions like this at least in North America.
    I can add candella to the chart, likely when I go to do the write-up for the drive. FYI: the screen measured ~2.1m from the lens, but the lux meter taking the measurement measured exactly 1.9m from the lens (in front of the screen) - so use 1.9m in your conversion, not 2.1 (If you use 2.1m, the candella numbers will be higher than actual)

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    The high beam capture looks like the lows were still on, right?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by mds82 View Post
    The Hellst LED bulbs is designed for BMW Angel Eyes only, not as a driving light.
    The Hellst XRT H8 replacement is advertised for BMW Angel Eyes. Hellst now produces H11 replacements intended for forward lighting, distributed through http://www.ledheadlightbulbs.us/

    Quote Originally Posted by irsa76 View Post
    ...
    I would be interested to see how a cheap HID drop in kit would fare in this test, to get some actual numbers to back up my earlier observations with the kit I tested last year.
    My shipping address is... but seriously, I would test them if you sent them to me. I just don't want to pay for them, because I wouldn't intend to keep them, and I'm not QUITE curious enough to want to spend the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    ... But I wanted to see what the intensity of just the highs is [ideally there would be no 'contamination' with a perfect projector cutoff, but there is light from the cutouts to light up overhead signs], and that might mean unplugging the lows for the capture.
    ...
    I didn't really even consider that, and I probably won't go back and do it either. I don't see the point, other than intense curiosity about the high beam pattern alone. You never drive in that condition, so the condition that I photographed and measured is what you will experience.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 03-05-2020 at 02:50 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: White wall & lux comparison: LED, H11 LL, H11+100, H9

    Quote Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
    the lux meter taking the measurement measured exactly 1.9m from the lens (in front of the screen) - so use 1.9m in your conversion, not 2.1 (If you use 2.1m, the candella numbers will be higher than actual)
    That would probably explain what I was seeing in my candela conversions of the above-cutoff numbers. Rerunning the calculations with 1.9, all the below-cutoff numbers still look realistic and the above-cutoff numbers look more realistic.

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