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  • FIRST POST
    • travelmonster
    • By travelmonster 1st Dec 17, 12:46 AM
    • 121Posts
    • 3Thanks
    travelmonster
    LED headlights
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:46 AM
    LED headlights 1st Dec 17 at 12:46 AM
    Hey guys...

    To put in a LED white light as headlight in the car ? Would it just fit in where the standard bulb goes ? Or would it need a new led type socket ?
Page 1
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 1st Dec 17, 12:56 AM
    • 4,167 Posts
    • 3,669 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:56 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:56 AM
    To do it legally would require a complete new headlight unit type approved for LED lamps and fitted in accordance with the type approval.
    • wgl2014
    • By wgl2014 1st Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    • 419 Posts
    • 250 Thanks
    wgl2014
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 7:23 AM
    To answer your question the ones sold as headlight bulbs will fit the existing fitting (there are different types depending on car).

    They are however (as Joe rightly says) not legal and are also, from what I have seen, rubbish. They appear extremely bright to look at so dazzle other drivers but the projection and useful light output for you to see by is poor.
    If you want to upgrade your existing lights consider some Osram Night breaker bulbs.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 1st Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    • 13,258 Posts
    • 17,476 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 7:47 AM
    Cheap ones can also create unwelcome RF interference.

    I believe that Philips make some that comply with legislation.

    Philips X-treme Ultinon LED Headlight H4

    Edit: No they don't... "Not for use on public roads"
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • Chrishazle
    • By Chrishazle 1st Dec 17, 10:46 AM
    • 449 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    Chrishazle
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:46 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:46 AM
    Loads of discussion about this on car forums. Basically, if your car was not originally fitted with LED headlights then the reflector design is totally incorrect for an LED light source, and you would be breaking the law by fitting them.

    As stated above, try replacing your ordinary bulbs with Osram Nightbreaker Ultimate (as I have done on both my cars), they're much better and completely legal.
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 1st Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    • 7,936 Posts
    • 8,054 Thanks
    pogofish
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:50 AM
    Osram night breakers produce a good bright, coldish light that is akin to an LED - except that they are considerably brighter and fully legal.

    If you hunt around, you can also find lightly blued BMW/AUDI side lamps that produce a clean white that are also road legal that can be swapped-in without any extra wiring/modification.

    I looked into LEDs earlier this year (there is v.useful info on past threads here) and apart from swapping over some ancillary lamps, this seemed the way of least potential hassle, although going by the number of cars I see here with overtly blue/dim/flickery, cheap LEDs, the police don't seem to be particularly bothered about enforcing this one for now.
    Last edited by pogofish; 01-12-2017 at 10:52 AM.
    • interstellaflyer
    • By interstellaflyer 1st Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    interstellaflyer
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    What is this obsession with wanting to blind oncoming motorists? I drive country lanes all the time and manage perfectly well with the lighting fitted standard to the car, the only time I have a problem is when some idiot boy racer in a Corsa or similar with extra bright headlights blinds me. In my boy racer days which goes back to a time when most cars didn't have halogen headlights, I managed perfectly well to negotiate those same country lanes mentioned above.
    I hate football and do wish people wouldn't keep talking about it like it's the most important thing in the world
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 1st Dec 17, 12:15 PM
    • 1,756 Posts
    • 1,203 Thanks
    Tarambor
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:15 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:15 PM
    What is this obsession with wanting to blind oncoming motorists? I drive country lanes all the time and manage perfectly well with the lighting fitted standard to the car, the only time I have a problem is when some idiot boy racer in a Corsa or similar with extra bright headlights blinds me. In my boy racer days which goes back to a time when most cars didn't have halogen headlights, I managed perfectly well to negotiate those same country lanes mentioned above.
    Originally posted by interstellaflyer
    If your headlamps are aimed correctly and you're using legal bulbs they won't. I have Osram 130% in my Mondeo. The headlights are aimed correctly and the beam pattern is a good one which is actually BETTER than the pattern with the genuine Ford ones with a clearly defined horizontal line going out to the right. The guy in the Corsa either isn't using legal bulbs so the beam pattern is all over the shop or their headlights aren't aimed right.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 1st Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    • 13,258 Posts
    • 17,476 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    Has anybody got any experience, good or bad, of PIAA Hyper Arros bulbs?
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 1st Dec 17, 12:45 PM
    • 2,570 Posts
    • 2,663 Thanks
    LadyDee
    I have had to stop driving after dark because these lights are so dazzling. Some people are so selfish, they have no regard for others. Not so long ago, I saw a small car with 3 sets of bright headlights - madness!
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 1st Dec 17, 12:54 PM
    • 13,258 Posts
    • 17,476 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    I have had to stop driving after dark because these lights are so dazzling. Some people are so selfish, they have no regard for others. Not so long ago, I saw a small car with 3 sets of bright headlights - madness!
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    Was it this one?

    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • chrisw
    • By chrisw 1st Dec 17, 12:58 PM
    • 1,636 Posts
    • 898 Thanks
    chrisw
    In my boy racer days which goes back to a time when most cars didn't have halogen headlights, I managed perfectly well to negotiate those same country lanes mentioned above.
    Originally posted by interstellaflyer
    We used to bolt Raydyot driving and fog lights all along the front bumpers...
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 1st Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    • 1,128 Posts
    • 881 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    Has anyone got a sense of how reliable the newer LED headlights are? I see the odd rear high level light with missing segments, so they are not lifetime. How many segments do you lose on an LED headlamp before it becomes a problem? How reliable are the control electronics?

    I rejected the idea of going for a Q3 S-Line because I worked out the headlamp upgrade was between £1000 and £1500 of the price and that was from the base model having Xenon with automatic dipping sensors. Given that my previous cars all had decent halogen which I found adequate, I couldn't see what the point of the premium was. I don't do much countryside driving on minor roads and my other half's commute is on A roads which are unlit but lighting isn't an issue as they are quite heavily used when she's driving on them.
    • interstellaflyer
    • By interstellaflyer 1st Dec 17, 2:35 PM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    interstellaflyer
    We used to bolt Raydyot driving and fog lights all along the front bumpers...
    Originally posted by chrisw
    Indeed people did because it looked sporty back in the day, however they dipped them for oncoming traffic so generally you weren't blinded by them. This current trend of fitting illegal bulb upgrades or HiD kits is purely for vanity, being a member of car forums and Facebook pages I often see members posting pictures of their cars after doing these upgrades along with the caption "my car looks a lot better now I've fitted the new bulbs/HiD kit"
    I hate football and do wish people wouldn't keep talking about it like it's the most important thing in the world
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 1st Dec 17, 2:41 PM
    • 1,303 Posts
    • 618 Thanks
    Frozen_up_north
    Has anyone got a sense of how reliable the newer LED headlights are? I see the odd rear high level light with missing segments, so they are not lifetime.
    Originally posted by IanMSpencer
    The high level rear LED brake lights are often a string of LEDs along a strip of printed circuit board. On one of our last cars it failed due to corrosion of the print board tracks, not an LED problem but lousy PCB coating.

    My Leon (and my last one) has LED headlights from new, they are excellent. No failures and are much better lights than bulb versions. I have no idea of replacement costs if they fail though, the price of having them fitted to a basic model (from new) is crazy though.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 1st Dec 17, 3:06 PM
    • 6,399 Posts
    • 5,172 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    This current trend of fitting illegal bulb upgrades or HiD kits is purely for vanity, being a member of car forums and Facebook pages I often see members posting pictures of their cars after doing these upgrades along with the caption "my car looks a lot better now I've fitted the new bulbs/HiD kit"
    Originally posted by interstellaflyer
    The majority of people who "need" these tend to be car fiddlers. Led headlight bulbs are a step up from new car mats and unlike smoked rear lights which are for kids, led bulbs are shoved in under the pretence of "working on the car" and being an important upgrade.

    A fair proportion of cars that have these fitted tend to be driven in cities where its entirely possible to drive without any lights on, as proven by dozy drivers, accompanied by permanent fog lights and driven by younger drivers.
    My car is 20 years old and is known for having poor headlights but I can see ok even with my ageing eyesight.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 1st Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    • 2,570 Posts
    • 2,663 Thanks
    LadyDee
    Was it this one?

    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    Could well have been but I was so dazzled by lights I couldn't have positively identified the car

    Not yours I trust?
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 1st Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • 4,694 Posts
    • 6,158 Thanks
    spadoosh
    They do seem ridiculously bright, i often need to look away, squint or just hope my burned retinas can recover in time before i hit something.

    Id like to think theres a benefit unless of course the benefit is dazzling other drivers.
    Don't be angry!
    • facade
    • By facade 1st Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 2,931 Posts
    • 1,495 Thanks
    facade
    I have had to stop driving after dark because these lights are so dazzling. Some people are so selfish, they have no regard for others. Not so long ago, I saw a small car with 3 sets of bright headlights - madness!
    Originally posted by LadyDee

    The problem as I see it (no pun intended) is that our archaic lighting regulations date back to 1989, and specify the wattage, rather than the luminosity of the light source.

    In the days of low efficiency tungsten lamps, that was ok.
    Now we have LED and HID rated at the same input power as the tungsten were, that not only have a much higher luminosity, but also a different colour temperature (harsher white light). Put that with these modern ultra small projector headlamps, and you get a massively intense point source of light that blinds you completely.

    The way my eyes work is for the pupils to contract when faced with a high intensity light, so anything that doesn't have the same intensity simply turns black and disappears- hence I can't see a thing except the oncoming light source. It then takes them a few seconds to open up again before I can see again.

    Since most pedestrians now like to wear matt black from head to foot, and face away from the traffic, the only time I know there is one in the road is if I hit them, or they get between me and the oncoming light.

    I try to avoid driving after dark now too....
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science )
    • Chrishazle
    • By Chrishazle 1st Dec 17, 5:11 PM
    • 449 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    Chrishazle
    Friend of mine is a highways lighting engineer, recently emailed this to me :

    "Was looking at replacing some of my bulbs with LED on the car when I came across this, don't know if you were aware that it's illegal to fit led's to a vehicle that did not have them as original equipment, you can be prosecuted and it also makes your insurance invalid. I checked this with a traffic officer yesterday who confirmed that it is right!

    Avoid fitting illegal LED light bulbs to your car
    Who would have thought that Light Emitting Diodes would become so popular? As a schoolboy, I remember them being rather useless, except for the weird creations that barely made it outside of the Design and Technology classroom.
    Yet, 20 years later, LEDs have proven essential in reducing energy squandered by power-sapping filament light bulbs and many of us have invested in the technology to illuminate our homes and offices.
    As LEDs provide brighter and more energy efficient lighting, it is logical to enhance your car, by fitting LED bulbs to your car’s exterior lamps.
    GEM’s advice is to STOP. Here is why:
    • Exterior lamps on most cars are tested and E-mark approved to work with halogen filament bulbs only. Fitting LED conversion bulbs will prevent the optics within the lamp from working as designed, increasing the risk of dazzling other drivers, thus reducing the effectiveness of the lamp. It can also cause faults within a modern car’s electrical system, such as bulb failure warning systems.
    • Car bulbs must pass strict criteria that permit them to be sold, fitted and used legally on the road. Due to their construction, consisting of a halogen-type base with LEDs on top, an LED conversion bulb cannot be sold legally in the UK, because it is unable pass the required Type Approval performance standards and wear the appropriate E-marks.
    • Not only is it an offence to supply car parts that purport to comply with certain regulations, yet do not, but also fitting and using them on the road is not permitted. However, it is possible that a car can pass an MoT Test with an LED conversion bulb fitted to an exterior lamp; this is because the MoT Test, generally, does not enforce Type Approval laws. Yet, you still risk being stopped by a police officer and prosecuted for driving an unroadworthy vehicle with them installed, as well as invalidating your insurance cover.
    The legal rationale:
    New bulbs are one of the few aftermarket replacement parts that have to comply with compulsory technical standards. The UK’s Road Traffic Act (1988) cites that it is an offence to supply, fit or use vehicle parts that do not comply with the required Construction and Use stipulations. Selling an LED conversion bulb might incite the driver to commit the offence of driving an unroadworthy vehicle, leading to a risk of a prosecution under Road Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations (1986) and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations (1989). Not even UK companies that specialise in automotive lighting and retail LED bulbs could tell GEM why they might not be breaking these regulations.

    GEM is also not the only road safety organisation that is concerned about LED conversion bulbs. Tim Shallcross, the IAM’s Head of Technical Policy has commented to the press:
    “Purchasers may think that they are enhancing their safety by fitting a conversion bulb but the good intention is misplaced.”

    We shall follow-up the LED bulb issue in our next blog, as we investigate if and when LEDs can ever be fitted legally and safely."
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