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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:32 am 
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hello uncle dan- you are the best on auto lighting electrics and second only to me in stand up comedy. remember a while back you did a good essay on why led headlights were ng for then current tanks. is this still the case or are ones available now that meet legal safety and performance requirements. realizing that the ideal old sealed beam glass jobs are not coming back, have been reading new stuff which says the new led headlight bulbs are up to speed and safe. these were the the 9004 and 9007 models. would prefer your sage advice to the many shysters i know. thanks tons danno. bob f


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:31 am 
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bob fisher wrote:
a while back you did a good essay on why led headlights were ng for then current tanks. is this still the case


It depends what we're talking about when we say "LED headlights". The "LED bulbs" now flooding the market are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product. No matter whose name is on them or what the vendor claims, these are a fraudulent scam. They are not capable of producing even a fraction of the amount of light produced by the filament bulb they supposedly replace, let alone producing it in the right pattern for the lamp's optics to work. It's a "square wheels" situation: halogen headlamps need to use halogen bulbs or they don't work right, and that will always be the case.

(same goes for "HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps or fog/auxiliary lamps (any kit, any lamp, any vehicle no matter whether it's a car, truck, motorcycle, etc.). They do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here for details -- the particulars are different for LED vs. HID, but the principles and problems are the same overall. Halogen headlamps just really need to use halogen bulbs or they don't work right.

Quote:
have been reading new stuff which says the new led headlight bulbs are up to speed and safe


That's a common and effective, simple yet powerful advertising technique known as lying.

All that said (and putting in some relevance to Slant-6 powered vehicles):
there's a number of legitimate LED headlamps (engineered and built as such) on the market -- they range in quality and performance from pathetic to excellent. All of the ones designed to fit in place of vehicle-specific composite replaceable-bulb headlamps are unsafe trinkets, but there are some good ones in the standard round and rectangular sealed beam sizes. In 7" (large round), the 701C from Peterson is good (also sold as the Sylvania Zevo), the Truck-Lite unit is good (also sold as the GE Night Hawk, and by a big, big margin the king daddy of them all is the 8700 Evolution 2 from JW Speaker in chrome or black.

In 200 × 142mm (large rectangular), the JW Speaker in chrome or black is the winner, but the Truck-Lite (also sold as GE Night Hawk) is a fine one, too.

In the 165 × 100mm (small rectangular),
the JW Speaker low beam and high beam are the primo items, with the Truck-Lite low and high right behind 'em.

In 5-3/4" (small round) there are a couple good options, both from Speaker: they make a plain low/high beam, a fancy low/high beam with white LED daytime running light ring around the perimeter, and a super fancy low/high beam where the LED ring around the perimeter lights white for DRL and amber for turn signal. Note the body of this lamp is necessarily larger than a regular reflector-type headlamp, so the bucket cup needs to be modified (central hole enlarged) to clear it.

Most LED headlamps, including all the ones linked above, are not advisable if you do a lot of wintertime driving with snow/ice/slush, because the lenses don't run warm enough to melt off the winter crud. If you want LED headlamps suitable for winter use, that'll be these. JW Speaker just (about a week ago) came out with a lens-heated version of their 7" round lamp, but I'm not seeing availability yet; probably soon. So far none in the other sizes.

Other notes, please read these:

• All of the LED headlamps linked in this post are American-made to a very high standard of quality, performance, durability, and safety. Nice to see real headlamp innovation coming from North America; historically that has not been the case.

• Any of the LED headlamps I linked in this post will easily and hugely outperform even a very good halogen headlamp in the same shape/size. Yes, they're expensive, but they take enough less power than our stock headlamp circuits were designed to supply that you don't have to put in relays or beef up the wiring as you do to efficiently feed halogens or even sealed beams, so if you're crunching the upgrade-cost numbers, factor that in.

• As you go shopping, you will find a mountain of junk on the market, including piles of round and rectangular LED replacements for sealed beams. Some of them look a lot like the ones I've linked (copycat/knockoff); others look totally different. All of them are promoted with claims of performance and legality. If I did not specifically link to it, it is junk, do not buy it. Yes, it really is completely that simple.

• (back to bulbs you asked about) There are effective, safe ways of wringing a fair amount more performance out of many aero composite halogen headlamps, but since no Slant-6 vehicles came with those, send me an email or a PM if you want to talk about the details.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:16 pm 
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i like those super fancy 5 3/4" units with the signal, do they have one with a normal looking lens rather than alien bug eye? how about highbeam only?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:21 am 
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No, options in legitimate 5-3/4" LED headlamps are:

-High/low beam with built-in turn signal and DRL
-High/low beam with built-in DRL
-High/low beam without built-in DRL or turn signal

All of them have the compound optics.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:22 pm 
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SlantSixDan wrote:
. . . . but there are some good ones in the standard round and rectangular sealed beam sizes. In 7" (large round), the 701C from Peterson is good (also sold as the Sylvania Zevo), the Truck-Lite unit is good (also sold as the GE Night Hawk, and by a big, big margin the king daddy of them all is the 8700 Evolution 2 from JW Speaker in chrome or black.
.



It appears that none of these incorporates either turn signals or DRL. Is that correct in what I am reading?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:15 pm 
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Correct. There are no legitimate 7" round headlamps with inbuilt turn signals. There is a version of the JW Speaker 7" round lamp with built-in DRL, available by special order if you know some nut plugged into the vehicle lighting world.
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:16 am 
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SlantSixDan wrote:
Correct. There are no legitimate 7" round headlamps with inbuilt turn signals. There is a version of the JW Speaker 7" round lamp with built-in DRL, available by special order if you know some nut plugged into the vehicle lighting world.
Image


Hmmm, that might be you I suspect. OK I'll take s seat and ask how much this special order might run. Probably can't afford it but still gotta ask.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:34 am 
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How would that work if you have Twighlight Sentinel and auto DRL already?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:59 am 
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sandy in BC wrote:
How would that work if you have Twighlight Sentinel and auto DRL already?


Sounds like you're operating the headlamps as DRLs in one manner or another -- that's different to what we're talking about just now, which is separate, functionally-dedicated DRLs that are not the low or high beam headlamp. Functionally-dedicated DRLs (whether they're built into the headlamp housing or separate) are better; they do a better job of making the car visible, take less power to run, and have other advantages over the use of headlamps as DRLs. If you were to install headlamps that contain a dedicated DRL function, you'd rework your circuitry to eliminate the headlamp-DRL mode. You can keep the Twilight Sentinel (GM's name for headlamps that turn on when it gets dark out). Details on how to do this depend on the particulars of your circuitry.

(65 dartman and anyone else who wants quotes or non-public-benefit assistance, please contact me privately)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Not to threadjack or anything, but Dan are there any legitimate 7" HID options? I have seen a few projector units that looked promising and a whole lot that were obvious trash.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:22 pm 
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mcnoople wrote:
Not to threadjack or anything, but Dan are there any legitimate 7" HID options?


Yes...only and exactly one. It is the best 7" round headlamp of all, bar none, but the magic don't come cheap at $1500+/pair. 'Course, even that is far cheaper than replacement body parts (human or automobile) necessitated by a crash; for people who do a lot of night driving, or who need outstanding headlamps or else they can't drive at night at all, they're worth the price.

As you have noted, there's also a mountain of trash on the market.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:47 am 
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I have been running a cheapo eBay special HID headlight kit with ballasts for the last 5 years on my 1994 Acura NSX. I specifically wanted a green hue in the 4K-5K range, so the green was accomplished with some sort of gas additive or something of that nature (the bulbs are not tinted). I read sooo much about how bad that is and how hard it is to see the road and such, however while they are not as obnoxiously bright as some ultra-white lights out there, they light-up street signs, markers and anything in the road pretty darn well. I would not recommend them for driving in the pitch-black out in the country, however I have driven then down some really dark streets all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area with no problems to my visibility. The car has never failed a State inspection because of them, even after being inspected by State Troopers in my area (multiple times). I compared the light output on my garage wall with my standard halogen light and the green HID's, and the difference was immediate that even a "bad" HID kit is better than the stock halogen lights on a 1994 NSX.

I have purchased a similar kit with 7" round housing for my '72 Duster, in a 8K vivid blue (also not recommended by many people), but have yet to install them. After driving the car at night a couple of times with the stock yellow halogens in there, I'm 100% confident that even the blue HID kit will give me at least 5x the visibility I currently have... it's bad enough currently that I decided not to drive the car at night (and definitely not in the rain) until I have a chance to install my new light kit. For something with at least a 30-day return policy from a reputable seller, under $100 for 2 round housings, bulbs, and ballasts, I would just take a chance on a cheapo non-branded kit to see if they work for you.

If you do decide to convert your headlights to HID with Xenon gas or LED technology, make sure you get a whole kit with housings, ballasts/relays (built-in or external as required depending on kit design), and bulbs... not just the bulbs. The proper bulbs require additional electronics behind them to work with the standard power source... anybody trying to sell you just a bulb is not your friend... unless it's some extremely "fancy" and expensive bulb that has everything built-in, at which point they will probably cost more than any complete kit with new housings anyway. :roll:

Doing an eBay search gives me tons of options on the cheap: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... D&_sacat=0

It's up to you and your budget on how "quality" you want to go, however I will tell you that while my 2005 Mercedes AMG headlights cost $1,400 each from the dealer, my cheapo eBay kit that I'm sure cost under $150 several years ago is still working just fine on my Acura. I would be surprised if the kit I got for under $100 for the Duster won't last as long, and they come with a mean-looking black housing and central projector lens.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:52 am 
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Leaning Dusty wrote:
I have been running a cheapo eBay special HID headlight kit with ballasts for the last 5 years


Unwise. Halogen lamps need to use halogen bulbs or they don't work right.

"HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps or fog/auxiliary lamps (any kit, any lamp, any vehicle no matter whether it's a car, truck, motorcycle, etc.) do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here for details.

Same goes for "LED conversion" bulb kits. They are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product. No matter whose name is on them or what the vendor claims, these are a fraudulent scam. They are not capable of producing even a fraction of the amount of light produced by the filament bulb they supposedly replace, let alone producing it in the right pattern for the lamp's optics to work. Again, halogen lamps need to use halogen bulbs or they don't work right.

Car lights are life-safety equipment. They have to work right (as objectively defined, not "Looks good to me, so I'm good to go!"). This applies equally for headlamp hacks ("HID kits", etc) and for Chinese headlite-shaped trinkets.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Be advised that beam color too far off from whitish yellow is probably illegal in your area. Check your local laws. The cops might not have stopped you for it, but all it takes is one fuzz having a bad day to ruin yours.

Realistically, the upgrade path for our older vehicles is:

(1) clean grounds and connectors through whole system
(2) install relays
(3) GE Nighthawk lamps
(4) Hella H1/H4 retrofit lamps
(5) Cibié H1/H4 retrofit lamps (get 'em from Dan!)
(6) the $1500 LED monsters

That's it. The vast majority of us would likely be perfeclty happy to stop with relays, and the Nighthawks would be awesome. Jumping to Cibiés is really awesome but starting to get pricey. If you don't make your living driving at night, you probably don't NEED them, but they are a nice upgrade.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Reed wrote:
Be advised that beam color too far off from whitish yellow is probably illegal in your area. Check your local laws. The cops might not have stopped you for it, but all it takes is one fuzz having a bad day to ruin yours.

Realistically, the upgrade path for our older vehicles is:

(1) clean grounds and connectors through whole system
(2) install relays
(3) GE Nighthawk lamps
(4) Hella H1/H4 retrofit lamps
(5) Cibié H1/H4 retrofit lamps (get 'em from Dan!)
(6) the $1500 LED monsters

That's it. The vast majority of us would likely be perfeclty happy to stop with relays, and the Nighthawks would be awesome. Jumping to Cibiés is really awesome but starting to get pricey. If you don't make your living driving at night, you probably don't NEED them, but they are a nice upgrade.


You are right, however the law (at least here in Texas) is that the bulbs can not be tinted. As long as the bulb is translucent and the color comes from the burning of the gases inside, it's fine. I think if they are too red or a certain shade of blue, it can cause problems for the owner, especially if too much of both colors are present at the same time. I've also been pulled over plenty for all sorts of reasons (mostly because half the time I guess they think I'm a drug dealer :roll:), but of all the tickets, the headlights was never a problem even if they clearly saw the color of the bulb.

I have the luxury of not needing to drive far to get to work and around town, so I've been getting a 5,000 mile emissions waiver on my '94 NSX directly from several State Troopers in the Texas Department of Public Safety for the last 3 years (I'm having trouble passing smog due to a technicality and changing emissions standards from year to year). They always do a complete safety check before giving the waiver, so they spend a good 30 minutes 1 on 1 with the car during an appointment and physically check everything, including the headlight bulbs.

When I was younger and dumber, I did, in fact fail a safety inspection once because I had some sort of weird off-road show light bulb that was tinted and filled with something that made it run hot enough to melt the bulb bracket inside the housing in my 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue... that was enough for me to learn my lesson! lol :wink:

_________________
1972 Plymouth Duster:

- 225ci

- 4-barrel intake w/ 500cfm carb

- split headers

- 2.25" dual exhaust

- digital ignition

- Viper Blue (and peeling :D)

- black-out custom digital gauges


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