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Old 11-29-2021, 02:52 PM   #1
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Headlight bulb upgrade to LED

I usually don't drive at night, back in ~2015 we got caught and had to drive at night and the headlights did not do their job. So I bought a pair of the Sylvania bulbs that should have made an improvement.
Found out this last week that they didn't, at to drive at night a couple times and it was not great. So I just started stopping before dusk. Prior to the trip I had even polished the headlight lenses.

I want to upgrade my bulbs to LED, anyone have any recommendations?

I see some are 2 sided, others are 4 sided, I would assume the 4 sided would be better.



Thanks in advance
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Old 11-29-2021, 03:17 PM   #2
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Don't do it unless you can find housings designed for them. If you simply put the replacement bulbs in your housings designed for halogen lamps, then you are just being a jerk blinding everyone else around you.

https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/...ectors.454371/
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:06 PM   #3
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Some motorhomes don't provide 12V to the headlights due to voltage drop from long lengths of the wires through different applications. If you don't have full 12V, LED's likely won't make a difference. There are several different wiring kits that use relays to run power directly from the batteries, and you may want to try this first.


https://www.danielsternlighting.com/...ys/relays.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
I usually don't drive at night, back in ~2015 we got caught and had to drive at night and the headlights did not do their job. So I bought a pair of the Sylvania bulbs that should have made an improvement.
Found out this last week that they didn't, at to drive at night a couple times and it was not great. So I just started stopping before dusk. Prior to the trip I had even polished the headlight lenses.

I want to upgrade my bulbs to LED, anyone have any recommendations?

I see some are 2 sided, others are 4 sided, I would assume the 4 sided would be better.



Thanks in advance
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:42 PM   #4
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https://www.headlightrevolution.com/street-usage

Check out this web site. They talk a lot about using led in retrofit lights. Basically led and hid are illegal in the us for street vehicles. I did try the four sided ones in a pickup once and they were useless. It is the placement of the light source in the bulb that determines the light beam. Mine just put out a big round circle of light so that you could not see nearly as good. This company sells all the different bulbs but with a disclaimer they are not for use on the highway.
Cleaning the outside usually just gives the lens a nice polish but the inside is also cloudy. My Winnie had such terrible lights I would not drive at night. I checked the voltage at the light with the engine running and had just 11.5 volts. I done the relay system to get more voltage and now I get 12 to 12.5 to the headlights. Check your voltage and if it is low changing to any other kind of bulb will not help.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:44 PM   #5
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Several Wanderlodge guys have installed led conversions in the Hella headlight units with good success, and a few have added relays to the headlight wiring at the same time.
Here is one vendor they have used.
https://hikari-led.com/headlight-bul...rsion-kit.html
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:47 PM   #6
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I had very poor headlights - I ended up replacing the cheap import headlight housings Monaco used with an OEM housing ( mine were from a GMC van) - that made a big difference - the import housings were not only degraded on the outside - but on the inside as well - most of the reflective surface was gone. I also used the relays from Daniel Stern, this also allowed me to have all 4 headlights on in the hi beam position, and reduced the current flow through the factory hi/low switch. After getting them properly adjusted, they now work great - one of the best improvements I have done.
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:05 PM   #7
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Here is a link to a thread I answered about LED lamps from M4. Pictures included!
Check it out.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/hea...de-553734.html
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Old 11-29-2021, 09:35 PM   #8
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I replaced my headlight bulbs with LED on my 99 HR. I also replaced headlight assy. with an updated set. Works great. I also replaced all my blinkers, running lights, and stop lights with LED bulbs. Ran into a few problems there, but solved it by changing out my flashers with electronic ones.
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David 70 View Post
https://www.headlightrevolution.com/street-usage

Check out this web site. They talk a lot about using led in retrofit lights. Basically led and hid are illegal in the us for street vehicles. I did try the four sided ones in a pickup once and they were useless. It is the placement of the light source in the bulb that determines the light beam. Mine just put out a big round circle of light so that you could not see nearly as good. This company sells all the different bulbs but with a disclaimer they are not for use on the highway.
.
That's the key. If the LED emitters are placed inside the headlight housing close to the same spot that the incandescent filament sat, the LEDs will work pretty well.
My dynasty has bmw headlight housings and it was a real challenge to find LEDs that would work. I had to modify the heatsinks to get them to sit all the way forward in the housing so that the emitters were in the right spot.
The LEDs will always be a little different from the headlight focus of a filament, but in my experience you can get pretty close, not blind people and get a lot more light. But it might not be plug-n-play...
Cheers,
Walter
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John24RLS View Post
Here is a link to a thread I answered about LED lamps from M4. Pictures included!
Check it out.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/hea...de-553734.html

Thanks, had several good links plus positive feedback from several people who upgraded.



Still looking at options.


Anyone replace the fog lamps, mine currently not working but don't know if it is an electrical issue or a lamp issue. Seems this would help alot.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Thanks, had several good links plus positive feedback from several people who upgraded.



Still looking at options.


Anyone replace the fog lamps, mine currently not working but don't know if it is an electrical issue or a lamp issue. Seems this would help alot.
I replaced my bulbs with LEDs. Was very careful to adjust the aim so that they would not blind people. Made a huge difference for driving at night. I used these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XL7LLVS/

The high beams were still underwhelming (I did not install larger cables or relays so it's possible they are not receiving enough current.)

I replaced my fog lights with these -- much brighter than the headlights are and I use them as "brights" when needed. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H26541B/
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:26 PM   #12
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No offense intended, but I don't get it.
Several posts about, "Close enough" and "I had to adjust my headlights as to not blind people" and "Retrofit".
Plain and simple, as I wrote in the first reply, if you place an LED "bulb" in a housing designed for halogen bulbs, you're just being a jerk and blinding others. The article which I linked has the proof that it also does not make things better to see. And as has also been pointed out, it's plain and simply illegal. Why would anyone entertain doing something illegal? Why would anyone think that, "It'll be okay - I can just adjust them to not cause a problem" and think that it will adequately illuminate the road as well?
Bottom line, you will have to put halogen bulbs into your housings or find housings specifically designed and certified to be DOT certified legal with LED or HID elements. Others have written that replacing the housings may also help. Indeed putting a relay in to handle the current will increase the brightness as well, as long as you feed the relay's supply and load side with a larger gauge wire. The article to which I linked actually had solutions for legal replacement bulbs which provide better headlight illumination without causing glare.
Both of our motorhomes have LED headlights, and those headlights are DOT approved and are actually designed with the proper pattern control, but they use standard sized rectangular headlight mounts. They have better pattern control than the halogen lamps they replaced, causing even less glare for oncoming drivers than from the factory. It will be harder to find LED rated housings with the later style aero and custom shaped assemblies, but not impossible. Yes, you'll pay for them, but you also won't be that jerk blinding everyone, and you'll be able to see the road as well. Don't blind others; you might end up with a Yugo lodged in your front bumper, the driver passing through your windshield, your passengers, and the back wall because he couldn't see a darn thing and ended up in a head-on with you.
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Injuneer View Post
No offense intended, but I don't get it.
Several posts about, "Close enough" and "I had to adjust my headlights as to not blind people" and "Retrofit".
Plain and simple, as I wrote in the first reply, if you place an LED "bulb" in a housing designed for halogen bulbs, you're just being a jerk and blinding others. The article which I linked has the proof that it also does not make things better to see. And as has also been pointed out, it's plain and simply illegal. Why would anyone entertain doing something illegal? Why would anyone think that, "It'll be okay - I can just adjust them to not cause a problem" and think that it will adequately illuminate the road as well?
Bottom line, you will have to put halogen bulbs into your housings or find housings specifically designed and certified to be DOT certified legal with LED or HID elements. Others have written that replacing the housings may also help. Indeed putting a relay in to handle the current will increase the brightness as well, as long as you feed the relay's supply and load side with a larger gauge wire. The article to which I linked actually had solutions for legal replacement bulbs which provide better headlight illumination without causing glare.
Both of our motorhomes have LED headlights, and those headlights are DOT approved and are actually designed with the proper pattern control, but they use standard sized rectangular headlight mounts. They have better pattern control than the halogen lamps they replaced, causing even less glare for oncoming drivers than from the factory. It will be harder to find LED rated housings with the later style aero and custom shaped assemblies, but not impossible. Yes, you'll pay for them, but you also won't be that jerk blinding everyone, and you'll be able to see the road as well. Don't blind others; you might end up with a Yugo lodged in your front bumper, the driver passing through your windshield, your passengers, and the back wall because he couldn't see a darn thing and ended up in a head-on with you.

I've read your posts and appreciate your comments.



But I just about totaled my rig by almost running into a concrete barrier head on in a construction zone because I could see a damn thing. I normally don't drive at night but got stuck in traffic and couldn't find a place to pull off for the night. Not a good position to be in.

If I do decide to install LED bulbs I will take the time to adjust the spot as so it would not impact others. If I feel the bulbs won't work I'll return.

In any case, I have to do something to improve my visibility. I've already tried installing the best Sylvania bulbs in my relatively new headlights, that didn't work so onto something else.
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fffrank View Post
I replaced my bulbs with LEDs. Was very careful to adjust the aim so that they would not blind people. Made a huge difference for driving at night. I used these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XL7LLVS/

The high beams were still underwhelming (I did not install larger cables or relays so it's possible they are not receiving enough current.)

I replaced my fog lights with these -- much brighter than the headlights are and I use them as "brights" when needed. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H26541B/

Thanks FFrank, appreciate your input
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