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...
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.
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:/
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.
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:/
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?