Any Known After Market HID or LED Headlight Upgrades that are Good as OEM ?

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FL
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Thanks Deontologist for a well written post. I do find the general acceptance of aftermarket LED retrofit bulbs as acceptable or even an upgrade from factory halogens quite puzzling. Especially since the HID retrofit kits are generally accepted as being bad. It's quite a puzzling phenomenon.
There are several reasons: 1) The main reason is money. There is literally millions to be made off unsuspecting consumers in search of "upgrades." HID kits were a huge business back in the early 2000s. People illegally imported HID kits from China and sold them at insane markups. The NHTSA busted 20+ companies doing such activities, but it is a game of whack-a-mole. Now, the fad is LED kits, and the NHTSA has been sleeping at the wheel for the last decade or so. There hasn't been any real enforcement activity going on, and as a result, you and me can easily buy federally illegal HID (and LED) kits off Amazon. https://one.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/P...legal-Lighting-Crackdown-Continues.print We now have brain-dead websites such as Bulbfacts.com advertising "scientific" testing of LED retrofit kits. The truth is that the guy running Bulbfacts.com has no idea what he's doing, and he admitted as much himself. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?453228-are-these-test-results-worth-anything The reason he keeps running his site despite being shown that his testing is useless (as well as admitting to as much) is money. He uses Amazon affiliate links. Whenever someone sees his testing and buys one of his recommended products, he gets $$$. 2) OEM headlamp setups suck. There's plenty of blame to go around here. It's not just unsuspecting consumers being misled and buying dumb stuff. OEM headlamps range anywhere from mediocre to excellent. Chevy Tahoes and their stablemates are HUGE sellers and they had some of the worst lamps on the market for many years. Throw in aging and yellowing of the lamps from sun exposure, and you get even worse headlamps. 3) OEMs don't aim their headlamps properly. 50% of new cars roll out the factory with random headlamp aim. Not even Toyota--the master at making consistently high-quality cars--will aim the headlamps on its new cars consistently (much less correctly). This creates highly variable headlamp performance among "identical" cars. What you might think is a case of a cheap, nasty headlamp might just be instead a misaimed headlamp. Aim is by far the most important determinant in how far a headlamp illuminates at night. Even if you have extraordinarily high-powered headlamps, they won't illuminate anything if they're pointed too far downward. Page 3 illustrates the random aiming of lamps at the factory: https://www.iihs.org/media/714fb5d9...rrent/headlight_test_rating_protocol.pdf 4) OEMs use cheap, long-life halogen bulbs to reduce warranty claims. Many people like to claim that their "headlamps suck." The "halogen bulbs suck." The reality is that yes, the halogen bulbs used by OEMs suck. They are long-life bulbs--they are designed to last as long as possible so people don't go running back to the dealer after 1 year of ownership. The average American is not mechanically inclined and will more than likely complain at the dealer about a burnt out headlamp bulb on a new car under warranty. Long-life bulbs are designed to hit the minimum legal standard for light output. Most halogen bulbs are by law required to emit a certain nominal number of lumens, plus or minus 15%. These long-life bulbs are targeted to emit in the lower part of that range, so 85-90% of the nominal number of lumens. Add in aging as the bulb is used, and the number of lumens emitted drops even more. Add in dendritic growth on the filament due to the halogen cycle, and the beam focus deteriorates, making the lamp appear even worse. It's not uncommon for OEM halogen bulbs to last 7-8 years in cars, and of course output is going to be complete crap. And people will judge their lamps based on the old, tired halogen bulb inside it instead of thinking "what if I replace the old, worn out bulb with a fresh, high-performance bulb?" People love to jump to "what if I replace the crappy halogen bulb with a high-tech LED or HID bulb??" I have a 1999 Toyota Sienna, and its original, made in Japan, Koito branded halogen bulbs are still fully functional in 2019. Car has 160k miles on it, so it wasn't parked in a garage and forgotten about. And it has always-on daytime running lamps which cannot be disabled. So these bulbs have been on for every second of the 160k miles put on the car. And yet they still work. The bulbs are obviously severely degraded due to such long-term service, but they still turn on (unfortunately). Many people will think: wow, what a reliable car, not even the bulbs break. That is a double-edged sword. Yes, the bulbs still "work," but very poorly at that. Nighttime visibility is severely hampered. Even the cheapest, nastiest parts store replacement bulb would put out way more light than the 20 year old bulbs, and there are high-performance upgrades available too.
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I know that at night it is usually LED headlights that I notice are bothering my eyes. I don't know if it's the color, the glare or a combination of those plus some other factors. But I know I didn't have that problem just few years ago, before the hole LED fad took off.
Higher-color temperature lights have been proven to bother older drivers at night, and yet there's a push toward higher-color temperatures because "that's what's looks cool." https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10985991_Why_HID_headlights_bother_older_drivers The funny thing is that all the new, high-color temperature lamps coming out could perform even better if they just stuck with a warmer, halogen-like temperature. But automakers are forgoing raw visibility performance for "what looks cool."
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Another pointer that something isn't right with the LED systems is that IIHS started testing them and rating some of these OEM implementations very poorly. They didn't really do that prior to LEDs becoming popular. So why do the LEDs get a free pass it seems?
OEM LED implementations are generally excellent, but OEMs still don't give two (censored) about proper aim. The IIHS itself says most of the tested vehicles would do just fine if someone at the factory aimed them properly. Unfortunately, no one seems to care at the factory. If headlights had been aimed properly, twice as many headlights could have been labeled as acceptable or good. Note that OEM LED implementations do not at all resemble any sort of aftermarket LED kit. OEM LEDs are far, far, far, far more sophisticated, reliable, and better-performing. http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2018/wp29gre/Headlamp_Light_Performance_evaluation.pdf It's such a BS issue because if you think about it: all ball joints are consistently torqued down to spec at the factory--every factory, any factory. That's why you don't hear of ball joints failing on 2 or 3 year old cars: they were assembled correctly and not randomly torqued down until some union guy felt it was "tight enough." But headlamps--also critical safety equipment, are aimed any which way at the factory.
 
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6,773
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All I can tell you is that with my Rams and Jeep, I could not see the road at all. Went with upgraded halogens, and I couldn't identify any change at all. With LED bulbs and projectors, I can see everything. I realize that the labs and such would tell me that I now have "bad" lights, but I can actually see stuff now. I'm not talking about an "improvement". I'm talking about having to use a flashlight out of my window to see people walking their dogs. I can now see walkers down an entire block. I did actually try genuine Phillips bulbs in the projectors before going with LED. They had nothing on the LEDs. I didn't test them on a garage door. I just picked one spot down the block on trash night and checked to see what I could and could not see. There was no ambiguity. There were cans I simply could not see with the halogens. Glare? Even easier to test. Left the lights on and drove up the block in my lowest car. I could see my lights were on, but beams touched my eyes. Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
 
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Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
I don't know about that. People that bought HID retrofit kits also perceived the improvement. If one spends time to do research and then buy one of these things, it is very likely they will see what they want to see, even if objective studies say otherwise. So while I don't doubt your claims that you can see better sitting behind these light, I highly doubt the glare is not a problem. After all, that better and further visibility has to come at an expense of extra light being scattered, if the headlight housing stayed the same.
 
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186
Location
FL
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
I don't know about that. People that bought HID retrofit kits also perceived the improvement. If one spends time to do research and then buy one of these things, it is very likely they will see what they want to see, even if objective studies say otherwise. So while I don't doubt your claims that you can see better sitting behind these light, I highly doubt the glare is not a problem. After all, that better and further visibility has to come at an expense of extra light being scattered, if the headlight housing stayed the same.
Perception is a double-edged sword. We are blessed with 5 senses, but at the same time, our senses are often misleading. A lot of people feel comfortable to drive after a fifth of whiskey. That's just how they feel. They are convinced they are right. Who are we to convince them otherwise? They know they are right. Their mind tells them they are right. They've been fine the last 29 times they had a fifth of whiskey and went driving home. Who are you to tell them wrong? The fact of the matter remains that the only thing HID and LED kits are doing is helping the person who sold them to you be less poor. I discussed how glare can be an issue with HID and LED retrofit kits, but I did not touch on something far more insidious: 1) Increases in foreground light create a false impression of better lighting. And HID kits and LED kits almost invariably produce large increases in foreground lighting because they cannot/are not focused correctly. Headlamps are designed to focus light emitted from a very specific point in space (hotspot) and throw that light out onto the road. High-performance halogen bulbs can actually increase throw distances by significant distances (think 40+ feet) not through using more power, but simply through precisely locating the filament. If you go to your local auto parts store, I bet you $10,000 you will find examples of headlamp bulbs with sloppily placed filaments--the main issue is that many are crooked. When the filament of the bulb is crooked, the filament is not in the same precise location that the engineer had in mind when designing the lamp, and the light won't end up where it needs to go--which is down the road so you can see that deer you're about to hit. Sylvania bulbs at the auto parts store are among the worst offenders--they are cheap, mass-market bulbs sold at a massive mark-up and there is very little thought or care put into filament precision for these bulbs across the line. Philips, on the other hand, actually has slightly tighter manufacturing tolerances, but you don't usually see Philips at the parts store because it's all about selling what's cheap for the most markup, not what's higher-quality for a lower markup. HID kits invariably produce large, excessive amounts of foreground light in halogen headlamps because of the nature of an HID bulb. HID bulbs have two hotspots, while halogen bulbs invariable have only one hotspot lit at a time (the center of the filament). Halogen headlamps are not designed to take advantage of two simultaneous hotspots. This causes light to be spilled out all over the place--be it on the road immediately in front of your vehicle, in another driver's eyes, in the sky, etc. LED kits are not much better, but there is some hope that one day, the best LEDs will be able to replicate a halogen bulb in terms of hotspot placement. Currently, there are only a handful of aftermarket LED bulbs in headlamps that work acceptably. People are comforted by a flood of light 5 to 15 feet in front of the vehicle. Cars with an excess of foreground light are perceived to have better headlamps, when the truth is that foreground light does little to improve actual nighttime visibility and safety. There may even be a small determent to safety form excessive foreground lighting, as all this light can cause your pupils to actually shrink slightly, and therefore take in less overall light, which is the exact opposite of what you need at night. Actual testing of aftermarket LED bulbs--even the best--show that they put light in the wrong location. They emit light, and a lot of it, at angles below that of the halogen it replaced. In effect, the LED is putting out more light not further down the road but closer to your car--which is in effect useless. https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/transportation/TLA/pdf/TLA-2007-01.pdf
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At almost any driving speed, however, objects within the foreground are likely too close to avoid by slowing down or steering. Additionally, published models of disability glare suggest that foreground illumination should negatively impact the visibility of objects located further ahead along the roadway while driving."
 
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
I don't know about that. People that bought HID retrofit kits also perceived the improvement. If one spends time to do research and then buy one of these things, it is very likely they will see what they want to see, even if objective studies say otherwise. So while I don't doubt your claims that you can see better sitting behind these light, I highly doubt the glare is not a problem. After all, that better and further visibility has to come at an expense of extra light being scattered, if the headlight housing stayed the same.
There's nothing "perceived". I know the difference between something being completely shrouded in darkness, and something having light hitting it. Projectors are ridiculously good at light management. Intensity has improved in the area under the cutoff, but not at all above it. Again, it's not a hard thing to test. I know the difference between light glaring in my eyes or not. After all, in the field of use and the function of use, the human eye is really the only thing that matters. There's no laboratory equipment riding around in the driver's seat. Whether from vehicle emitting, or vehicle receiving light, it's all going to come down to what the human eye sees. A complaintant of glare is not doing so based on lab equipment, and a person who can't see at night is not basing their lack of visibility on lab equipment. Lab equipment is good for developing solutions that will ultimately work for the human eyes, but the human eye is the ultimate consumer that it must satisfy.
 
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6,773
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Originally Posted by Deontologist
Perception is a double-edged sword. We are blessed with 5 senses, but at the same time, our senses are often misleading. A lot of people feel comfortable to drive after a fifth of whiskey. That's just how they feel. They are convinced they are right. Who are we to convince them otherwise? They know they are right. Their mind tells them they are right. They've been fine the last 29 times they had a fifth of whiskey and went driving home. Who are you to tell them wrong?
Did you seriously just compare the perception of visible and invisible objects to a drunk person gauging their own drunkness? So when a person goes to the optometrist as says they can only read down to the 11th line and not the 12th, the licensed doctor is in fact using information as reliable as a drunk gauging how competent their own self is? LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Dude, you have posted up some very technical data. Please don't ruin things by posting horrifically dumb bombastic vitriol such as this.
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The fact of the matter remains that the only thing HID and LED kits are doing is helping the person who sold them to you be less poor. I discussed how glare can be an issue with HID and LED retrofit kits, but I did not touch on something far more insidious: 1) Increases in foreground light create a false impression of better lighting. And HID kits and LED kits almost invariably produce large increases in foreground lighting because they cannot/are not focused correctly. Headlamps are designed to focus light emitted from a very specific point in space (hotspot) and throw that light out onto the road. High-performance halogen bulbs can actually increase throw distances by significant distances (think 40+ feet) not through using more power, but simply through precisely locating the filament. If you go to your local auto parts store, I bet you $10,000 you will find examples of headlamp bulbs with sloppily placed filaments--the main issue is that many are crooked. When the filament of the bulb is crooked, the filament is not in the same precise location that the engineer had in mind when designing the lamp, and the light won't end up where it needs to go--which is down the road so you can see that deer you're about to hit. Sylvania bulbs at the auto parts store are among the worst offenders--they are cheap, mass-market bulbs sold at a massive mark-up and there is very little thought or care put into filament precision for these bulbs across the line. Philips, on the other hand, actually has slightly tighter manufacturing tolerances, but you don't usually see Philips at the parts store because it's all about selling what's cheap for the most markup, not what's higher-quality for a lower markup. HID kits invariably produce large, excessive amounts of foreground light in halogen headlamps because of the nature of an HID bulb. HID bulbs have two hotspots, while halogen bulbs invariable have only one hotspot lit at a time (the center of the filament). Halogen headlamps are not designed to take advantage of two simultaneous hotspots. This causes light to be spilled out all over the place--be it on the road immediately in front of your vehicle, in another driver's eyes, in the sky, etc. LED kits are not much better, but there is some hope that one day, the best LEDs will be able to replicate a halogen bulb in terms of hotspot placement. Currently, there are only a handful of aftermarket LED bulbs in headlamps that work acceptably. People are comforted by a flood of light 5 to 15 feet in front of the vehicle. Cars with an excess of foreground light are perceived to have better headlamps, when the truth is that foreground light does little to improve actual nighttime visibility and safety. There may even be a small determent to safety form excessive foreground lighting, as all this light can cause your pupils to actually shrink slightly, and therefore take in less overall light, which is the exact opposite of what you need at night. Actual testing of aftermarket LED bulbs--even the best--show that they put light in the wrong location. They emit light, and a lot of it, at angles below that of the halogen it replaced. In effect, the LED is putting out more light not further down the road but closer to your car--which is in effect useless. https://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/transportation/TLA/pdf/TLA-2007-01.pdf
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At almost any driving speed, however, objects within the foreground are likely too close to avoid by slowing down or steering. Additionally, published models of disability glare suggest that foreground illumination should negatively impact the visibility of objects located further ahead along the roadway while driving."
Ok, so the first point you brought up is actually an opinion. It isn't a fact. Your second point is in reference to HID and LED kits used in a reflector housing. Neither the OP or anyone else I have seen was discussing use in a reflector housing. To your third point, I used Philips halogen bulbs. Don't hold a candle to Beamtech LED. No pun intended. It was actually at the further limits and not the foreground where the difference was made. Your fourth point is again, about HID in a reflector housing and not a projector. Fifth point is an opinion that I've seen no information to support. The rest of your information is about HID or LED in a reflector housing, and not a projector. As for the link you posted, thanks for the 2007 study based on information from 2003. Riveting.
 
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Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Projectors are ridiculously good at light management.
Many times when I oversaw headlamp development, entire designs had to be scrapped and reworked because modern cars pretty much dictate sharply sloped, aerodynamic headlamp lenses. These lenses, even when put in front of a good projector, can create unwanted reflections that cause the entire headlamp to fail government standards with regard to visibility and glare.
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
So when a person goes to the optometrist as says they can only read down to the 11th line and not the 12th, the licensed doctor is in fact using information as reliable as a drunk gauging how competent their own self is?
Humans can be pretty bad when it comes to perceiving things accurately, even when it comes to basic things such as proper headlamp use: https://www.iihs.org/api/datastoredocument/bibliography/2129
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Self-reported use of high beams varied by roadway environment, with 81% of drivers reporting they use high beams always or most of the time on winding rural roads with little or no street lighting, but only 22% saying they use them always or most of the time on city streets with little or no street lighting
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A recent roadside study that observed cars driving in conditions where high beam use was appropriate found actual use to be very low (18%). The much higher rates reported by respondents in the current study indicates they overestimate how often they use high beams.
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Your second point is in reference to HID and LED kits used in a reflector housing. Neither the OP or anyone else I have seen was discussing use in a reflector housing.
What's wrong with HIDs or LEDs in reflector housings? Lexus made thousands of vehicles with HIDs in reflectors. The 2018 Accord uses LEDs in reflector housings. 2020 RAV4 has LEDs in reflector housings. Please educate yourself with regard to legitimate vehicle lighting. It would contribute to a useful discussion.
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To your third point, I used Philips halogen bulbs. Don't hold a candle to Beamtech LED. No pun intended. It was actually at the further limits and not the foreground where the difference was made.
Philips halogens vary wildly in quality, with some aimed toward people who want their car to look "cooler" to others who want all-out seeing performance. I don't know what you used, and often times, it's not just the bulb that needs to be tossed or upgraded, but also the entire headlamp. Headlamps are not designed to last forever, as they are attacked constantly by UV exposure, heat exposure, water exposure, etc, and all this degrades performance, often to the point where simply a new bulb won't do any good. Not to mention things outside of the headlamp, such as degraded or substandard wiring from the factory that doesn't provide enough voltage to the lamps.
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Your fourth point is again, about HID in a reflector housing and not a projector.
There's nothing inherently wrong with an HID in a reflector housing. This is a very common misunderstanding I run across online when discussing headlamps. It's also a basic misunderstanding.
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Fifth point is an opinion that I've seen no information to support.
Just because you can't find it doesn't make it false. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2009-01-0336/
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Subjects preferred high, but not necessarily uniform, light levels in the foreground. In contrast, visual detection of targets down the road was slightly, but not significantly, worse with higher foreground illumination levels. The results suggest that high foreground illumination levels have a negative or at best, a negligible, influence on visual detection of potential hazards, while conveying a sense of improved lighting quality.
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The rest of your information is about HID or LED in a reflector housing, and not a projector.
Projectors are not necessarily great at controlling light. A cutoff is no indication of good light control. People fail to realize that the cutoff shield in a projector is not the only thing affecting the beam pattern in a projector. Projectors are almost invariably made by legitimate OEM suppliers with diffused lenses (often with a Fresnel pattern). The lenses do not simply let light pass through. The lenses are almost always designed to influence the beam pattern, and this can cause problems when the wrong type of light source is used (i.e. HID in a halogen housing).
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As for the link you posted, thanks for the 2007 study based on information from 2003. Riveting.
Have the human perception pathways changed significantly from 2003 to 2019? Did our eyes and sensory mechanisms evolve in that timeframe?
 
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186
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Originally Posted by 2015Corolla
Diode Dynamics - DOT approved
The DOT is not in the business of approving anything. "DOT approved" is a meaningless statement. It is a flat out lie that people use to market their crappy products, and yes, Diode Dynamic's products fall under "crappy." https://www.nhtsa.gov/interpretations/11118
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This is in response to your FAX of August 8, 1995, with respect to the importation of "Phoenix Halogen Auto Bulbs H4 series, H3, H1 and 9000 series-HB1 for the USA market." We understand that you presently have a shipment of these awaiting entry. You state that "Mr. Taylor Benson recently informed us that these lights required DOT approval." Taylor Vinson repeatedly informed you on the phone that DOT does not approve bulbs or any other kind of equipment. If there is a Federal motor vehicle safety standard in effect covering an item of equipment, the manufacturer (or importer for resale) is responsible for certifying that the equipment complies with that standard. The certifier does not need DOT permission or approval for that action.
As I previously stated, people who sell LED and HID kits will do anything to get you to open up your wallet and donate $ to them, including lying you to about "DOT approval," which flatly does not exist. It's a booming business, and Paul McCain will say and do anything to scam you of your money. The reality is that Paul, the founder of Diode Dynamics, knows very little about lighting--not even enough to stand his ground when confronted by facts. Here's an example of how clueless Mr. McCain is when confronted by facts and actual lighting experts: I design LED Bulbs! Hello! I will say that Paul is a great businessman, as he's been making money hand over fist with his products, despite knowing next-to-nothing about headlamp or bulb design.
 
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Originally Posted by Deontologist
Originally Posted by 2015Corolla
Diode Dynamics - DOT approved
….. Here's an example of how clueless Mr. McCain is when confronted by facts and actual lighting experts: I design LED Bulbs! Hello! I will say that Paul is a great businessman, as he's been making money hand over fist with his products, despite knowing next-to-nothing about headlamp or bulb design.
Wow....THAT was a BEATDOWN in the linked thread!!!
 
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9,410
Location
Canuck living in California
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Originally Posted by KrisZ
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
I don't know about that. People that bought HID retrofit kits also perceived the improvement. If one spends time to do research and then buy one of these things, it is very likely they will see what they want to see, even if objective studies say otherwise. So while I don't doubt your claims that you can see better sitting behind these light, I highly doubt the glare is not a problem. After all, that better and further visibility has to come at an expense of extra light being scattered, if the headlight housing stayed the same.
There's nothing "perceived". I know the difference between something being completely shrouded in darkness, and something having light hitting it. Projectors are ridiculously good at light management. Intensity has improved in the area under the cutoff, but not at all above it. Again, it's not a hard thing to test. I know the difference between light glaring in my eyes or not. After all, in the field of use and the function of use, the human eye is really the only thing that matters. There's no laboratory equipment riding around in the driver's seat. Whether from vehicle emitting, or vehicle receiving light, it's all going to come down to what the human eye sees. A complaintant of glare is not doing so based on lab equipment, and a person who can't see at night is not basing their lack of visibility on lab equipment. Lab equipment is good for developing solutions that will ultimately work for the human eyes, but the human eye is the ultimate consumer that it must satisfy.
Everything you just described is perceived by you. Like mentioned already, there us nothing wrong with reflector headlamps and projector headlamps also require a specific light source. Both can be designed to work well with any light sourse. You say you see further with LEDs than halogens despite the cut off being the same. I don't doubt that, but where do you think that extra light is coming from? It is the extra scattered light and it will cause extra glare to others. So you may feel good about your LED retrofit because you can see more, others sharing the road will not appreciate it, guaranteed. It's quite amusing how HID kits are almost universally seen as super bad on this site and people using them are selfish jerks, but this new LED fad is fine and dandy.
 
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3,514
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Chicagoland
Originally Posted by Deontologist
Originally Posted by 2015Corolla
Diode Dynamics - DOT approved
The DOT is not in the business of approving anything. "DOT approved" is a meaningless statement. It is a flat out lie that people use to market their crappy products, and yes, Diode Dynamic's products fall under "crappy." https://www.nhtsa.gov/interpretations/11118
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This is in response to your FAX of August 8, 1995, with respect to the importation of "Phoenix Halogen Auto Bulbs H4 series, H3, H1 and 9000 series-HB1 for the USA market." We understand that you presently have a shipment of these awaiting entry. You state that "Mr. Taylor Benson recently informed us that these lights required DOT approval." Taylor Vinson repeatedly informed you on the phone that DOT does not approve bulbs or any other kind of equipment. If there is a Federal motor vehicle safety standard in effect covering an item of equipment, the manufacturer (or importer for resale) is responsible for certifying that the equipment complies with that standard. The certifier does not need DOT permission or approval for that action.
As I previously stated, people who sell LED and HID kits will do anything to get you to open up your wallet and donate $ to them, including lying you to about "DOT approval," which flatly does not exist. It's a booming business, and Paul McCain will say and do anything to scam you of your money. The reality is that Paul, the founder of Diode Dynamics, knows very little about lighting--not even enough to stand his ground when confronted by facts. Here's an example of how clueless Mr. McCain is when confronted by facts and actual lighting experts: I design LED Bulbs! Hello! I will say that Paul is a great businessman, as he's been making money hand over fist with his products, despite knowing next-to-nothing about headlamp or bulb design.
I wouldn't call the miserable people of the CPF "experts." I'm sure if I put OEM HID headlight housings with some Osram Nightbreaker Laser bulbs on my car and posted it there, I'd be told why I'm wrong and how much of an idiot I am.
 
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Originally Posted by Skippy722
I wouldn't call the miserable people of the CPF "experts."
Some of them do work in the automotive lighting industry, so they literally are experts. Certainly more knowledgeable about the subject than the typical layperson. Same as BITOG - a good percentage of members here are more knowledgeable than the average Joe, and a handful work in the industry. The difference is the Automotive Lighting section of CPF has strict rules about posts since automotive lighting is a safety issue and is thus heavily regulated.
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I'm sure if I put OEM HID headlight housings with some Osram Nightbreaker Laser bulbs on my car and posted it there, I'd be told why I'm wrong and how much of an idiot I am.
No, if you wanted to put legitimate, complete OEM HID headlight housings with legitimate HID bulbs as an upgrade to your car, you would not be called an idiot. You might be given different recommendations/advice if, for example, there are better bulbs available, or if the results of that headlamp upgrade might not be worth the money/time/energy spent, but you would not be called an idiot or get moderated/banned. OTOH, if you were to post about putting HID or LED bulbs into a halogen headlight assembly, then yes, you would first be warned and then catch more flak if you continued.
 
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186
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FL
Originally Posted by Skippy722
I wouldn't call the miserable people of the CPF "experts." I'm sure if I put OEM HID headlight housings with some Osram Nightbreaker Laser bulbs on my car and posted it there, I'd be told why I'm wrong and how much of an idiot I am.
And that may or may not be a good idea. Often times, HID headlamps were only offered on non-US versions of cars. The only way to get a HID housing is to import it, and that might mean the headlamp housing is designed for the wrong traffic directionality. The US is a left-hand-drive country. When you sit in your car and turn your headlamps on against a wall, you'll notice that the beam pattern is generally lower on the left and higher on the right. This prevents you from glaring an oncoming driver. Other countries (i.e. Japan) are often right-hand-drive, so their beam pattern is higher on the left and lower on the right. You use one of these headlamp in the US, everyone around you is going to have a bad time. See, there are many, many nuances that laypeople don't consider. That's why CPF is a valuable resource. They point out the many nuances that people seem to forget in their quest for the "brightest" lamps. Bright isn't the only measure of how good a lamp is. There's a lot more than that. Also, none of the experts at CPF make any money off their recommendations. If they link to Amazon, it's not a referral link. If they suggest a product, it's not because they sell it. They're giving out free, high-quality advice. And yet it seems that many people would rather take advice from people who make money off their recommendations.
 
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3,514
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Chicagoland
Originally Posted by Deontologist
Originally Posted by Skippy722
I wouldn't call the miserable people of the CPF "experts." I'm sure if I put OEM HID headlight housings with some Osram Nightbreaker Laser bulbs on my car and posted it there, I'd be told why I'm wrong and how much of an idiot I am.
And that may or may not be a good idea. Often times, HID headlamps were only offered on non-US versions of cars. The only way to get a HID housing is to import it, and that might mean the headlamp housing is designed for the wrong traffic directionality. The US is a left-hand-drive country. When you sit in your car and turn your headlamps on against a wall, you'll notice that the beam pattern is generally lower on the left and higher on the right. This prevents you from glaring an oncoming driver. Other countries (i.e. Japan) are often right-hand-drive, so their beam pattern is higher on the left and lower on the right. You use one of these headlamp in the US, everyone around you is going to have a bad time. See, there are many, many nuances that laypeople don't consider. That's why CPF is a valuable resource. They point out the many nuances that people seem to forget in their quest for the "brightest" lamps. Bright isn't the only measure of how good a lamp is. There's a lot more than that. Also, none of the experts at CPF make any money off their recommendations. If they link to Amazon, it's not a referral link. If they suggest a product, it's not because they sell it. They're giving out free, high-quality advice. And yet it seems that many people would rather take advice from people who make money off their recommendations.
My model of the 300 had both a halogen and HID offered for the US. I'm also aware of the difference in LHD, RHD, and DOT vs ECE. I'll be keeping my Diode Dynamics SL1 LED's till I decide on whether to retrofit better and proper HID projectors into my factory halogen projector headlights or just buy OEM HID headlights. They're brighter than the factory 9005 halogens and on par with the upgraded 9011's I had in there to my eye.
 
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186
Location
FL
Originally Posted by Skippy722
My model of the 300 had both a halogen and HID offered for the US. I'm also aware of the difference in LHD, RHD, and DOT vs ECE.
No, you think you are aware, but you're not. It's not about left or right-hand drive (LHD/RHD), it's about traffic directionality, as I mentioned (LHT/RHT). It's not about which side of the car you sit on; it's about which side of the road the car is on. You can sit on the left, like we do in the US, and yet drive on the left of the road, unlike the US. That makes you need headlamps with a lower beam pattern on the right and higher on the left. A US, left-hand drive headlamp is the exact opposite: lower on the left, higher on the right. Things such as headlamps which impact not only you but everyone else on the road are better left to the experts wink.
 
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3,514
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Chicagoland
Originally Posted by Deontologist
Originally Posted by Skippy722
My model of the 300 had both a halogen and HID offered for the US. I'm also aware of the difference in LHD, RHD, and DOT vs ECE.
No, you think you are aware, but you're not. It's not about left or right-hand drive (LHD/RHD), it's about traffic directionality, as I mentioned (LHT/RHT). It's not about which side of the car you sit on; it's about which side of the road the car is on. You can sit on the left, like we do in the US, and yet drive on the left of the road, unlike the US. That makes you need headlamps with a lower beam pattern on the right and higher on the left. A US, left-hand drive headlamp is the exact opposite: lower on the left, higher on the right. Things such as headlamps which impact not only you but everyone else on the road are better left to the experts wink.
In the retrofitting circles, projectors are referred to as either LHD or RHD. When someone says they need a LHD projector, they mean they need the beam pattern to be lower on the left and higher on the right. A RHD projector will be the opposite. That is what I meant by LHD and RHD.
 
Messages
39
Location
Tennessee
Originally Posted by Deontologist
Originally Posted by 2015Corolla
Diode Dynamics - DOT approved
The DOT is not in the business of approving anything. "DOT approved" is a meaningless statement. It is a flat out lie that people use to market their crappy products, and yes, Diode Dynamic's products fall under "crappy." https://www.nhtsa.gov/interpretations/11118
Quote
This is in response to your FAX of August 8, 1995, with respect to the importation of "Phoenix Halogen Auto Bulbs H4 series, H3, H1 and 9000 series-HB1 for the USA market." We understand that you presently have a shipment of these awaiting entry. You state that "Mr. Taylor Benson recently informed us that these lights required DOT approval." Taylor Vinson repeatedly informed you on the phone that DOT does not approve bulbs or any other kind of equipment. If there is a Federal motor vehicle safety standard in effect covering an item of equipment, the manufacturer (or importer for resale) is responsible for certifying that the equipment complies with that standard. The certifier does not need DOT permission or approval for that action.
As I previously stated, people who sell LED and HID kits will do anything to get you to open up your wallet and donate $ to them, including lying you to about "DOT approval," which flatly does not exist. It's a booming business, and Paul McCain will say and do anything to scam you of your money. The reality is that Paul, the founder of Diode Dynamics, knows very little about lighting--not even enough to stand his ground when confronted by facts. Here's an example of how clueless Mr. McCain is when confronted by facts and actual lighting experts: I design LED Bulbs! Hello! I will say that Paul is a great businessman, as he's been making money hand over fist with his products, despite knowing next-to-nothing about headlamp or bulb design.
That message board looks to be full of mentally ill people.
 
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3,241
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
...Glare? Even easier to test. Left the lights on and drove up the block in my lowest car. I could see my lights were on, but beams touched my eyes. Lab tests are nice, but the real world shows even better how things work out in the real world.
In the real world, a lot of people (especially those over 50) would perceive your LED bulbs to have too much glare, even though you do not.
 
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1,607
Location
USA, FLA
Originally Posted by LoneRanger
I've no doubt there are after market options for LED or HID's but just how good are they, in general? Is there a particular brand name after market that is high quality and equivalent in function to factory equipped OEM setups?
If you already have factory HID bulbs then RCP - 6000K Xenon HID Replacement Bulb Diamond White Metal Stents Base 12V Car Headlight Lamps Head Lights 35W RCP have the best reviews and I have seen factory HIDs removed and RCP put in and it was a big difference. Now if you have aftermarket HID... OPT7 Boltzen AC CANbus HID Xenon Conversion Kit they are only 35 Watt but light travels down road the furtherest Also XenonPro HID Xenon Conversion Kit Its a 55 Watt and is very nice. Also Morimoto H7 Elite HID Kit System cant be left out.. Very high quality but pricey....
 
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