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Thread: Headlights: HID vs. LED

  1. #1
    Moderator ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Headlights: HID vs. LED

    A number of folks have posted thoughts and fears about LED headlights and LEDs versus HIDs. I converted from HIDs to LEDs this afternoon and thought I'd post very preliminary first impressions.

    First, LEDs are MUCH easier to hook up than HIDs and require less wire fishing and general kipple under the hood. They give a cleaner final look. The particular kit used here is the one sold by LateModelRestoration.com for a 1994 Mustang, though others are available and would likely give similar results. And of course LEDs draw much, much less power than HIDs.

    Here’s the start with both HIDs:



    Now passenger side replaced with LED:



    Final with both LEDS:



    The camera “enhanced” what I was actually seeing somewhat. Those "lobes" above the main area were much less pronounced to my eyes, especially in the case of the LEDs.

    The HIDs were much more stark than the LEDS, which were warmer and more yellowish. These are the highest color temperature available in both lights and the HIDs have a much higher color temperature than the LEDs. I think I would have preferred something between the two, but that was not available for the LEDs.

    Generally, in the pics and in a quick drive, the LEDs appear a bit less bright that the HIDs, but my very hasty first impression after driving less than a mile is that I see better with the LEDs and they throw a more consistent light pattern. Time will tell if that’s true or not. I suspect that the LEDs are not really less bright than the HIDs but that they appear that way because of the difference in color temperature. I also didn't meet any other traffic on my very brief drive, so no idea if people are going to "flash" me or not or even if I have the lights well adjusted. When I first got the HIDs I got flashed a lot, but they were a fairly new thing back then and everyone with them got flashed. I have rarely been flashed with the HIDs in the past few years now that they are more common. I would expect that properly adjusted LEDs would not get flashed much if at all.

    As many people have reported, my HIDs always blinked when I went over a serious bump. I have no idea why, but would love to know if someone else has information on that. I expect that the LEDs won't have that issue, but again time will tell.
    Bruce
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool rad, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil, alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB...

  2. #2
    Moderator ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Also I should mention that the "instant on" feature of the LEDs is nice after the delayed striking and then the big flash followed by the warm-up that HIDs have. The flash sometimes scared the crap out of the car in front of me. It's also nice not to have to wonder if one of the HIDs was going to decide to fail to strike, as would happen to me on occasion, particularly the passenger side HID.
    Bruce
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool rad, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil, alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB...

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    Administrator SVT10th's Avatar
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    Hi Bruce
    Do the housings/lenses look different or are they stock-appearing?

    edit: never mind, just re-read. You just replaced bulbs, right -- not the whole assembly....
    ---
    Jim

    1990 Twilight Blue Mustang GT Convertible

    GT40 Tubular upper and lower intake, GT40 heads, Trickflow Stage One cam,
    BBK 70mm Throttle Body, 24lb Injectors, Silver Fox Transmission AOD SPT-1 Valve Body,
    Headers, O/R H pipe, Flowmasters.
    Dyno July 2016 - 253 RWHP / 293 RWTQ

    Also in the stable:
    2013 Cayenne Red Nissan Altima SL 3.5
    Sold (2015): Black 10th Anniversary Cobra #353

  4. #4
    Moderator ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVT10th View Post
    Hi Bruce
    Do the housings/lenses look different or are they stock-appearing?

    edit: never mind, just re-read. You just replaced bulbs, right -- not the whole assembly....
    Correct. I have the same Sonar after-market housings I've had for many years. This winter I did modify those housings a bit doing another small project which you will see when this season starts.

    Bruce
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool rad, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil, alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Xerxeese's Avatar
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    Looking good !

  6. #6
    Senior Member TorchredSVT's Avatar
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    timely post Bruce...I had an HID go out on me at the end of the season and was considering doing LED's. I have read good and bad reviews on them

    I am more than likely going to be purchasing some as well.
    -- Ian --
    2003 10th Aniv. Cobra Convertible Torch Red
    Born on 6/18/2003 / Build # 4357 / # 489 0f 10th Aniv
    1 of 369 Torch Red 10th Aniversary cars Built

  7. #7
    Moderator ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TorchredSVT View Post
    timely post Bruce...I had an HID go out on me at the end of the season and was considering doing LED's. I have read good and bad reviews on them

    I am more than likely going to be purchasing some as well.
    Good to know, Ian. I'll update this thread once I've got a little driving time with them. Also, feel free to check mine out if it will help you decide.

    In the meantime, I think both of our cars use the 9007 headlight bulbs and I have a couple of 9007 HID bulbs sitting around doing nothing if you want to put off the decision for a while.
    Bruce
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool rad, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil, alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB...

  8. #8
    Administrator SVT10th's Avatar
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    I was just reading the reviews on LMR.
    Apparently they make an AMAZING difference in the 87-93 Fox bodies. ('course putting a candle on the dash throws more light the the stock Fox halogens.)

    Thanks for posting this Bruce -- I think my Fox will be getting new lights this spring.
    ---
    Jim

    1990 Twilight Blue Mustang GT Convertible

    GT40 Tubular upper and lower intake, GT40 heads, Trickflow Stage One cam,
    BBK 70mm Throttle Body, 24lb Injectors, Silver Fox Transmission AOD SPT-1 Valve Body,
    Headers, O/R H pipe, Flowmasters.
    Dyno July 2016 - 253 RWHP / 293 RWTQ

    Also in the stable:
    2013 Cayenne Red Nissan Altima SL 3.5
    Sold (2015): Black 10th Anniversary Cobra #353

  9. #9
    Moderator ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVT10th View Post
    I was just reading the reviews on LMR.
    Apparently they make an AMAZING difference in the 87-93 Fox bodies. ('course putting a candle on the dash throws more light the the stock Fox halogens.)

    Thanks for posting this Bruce -- I think my Fox will be getting new lights this spring.
    Sounds good, Jim. Let me know if you want a hand putting them in and hiding the cabling. Also, I have the nifty special headlight adjusting wrench that makes the adjustments very easy instead of a complete PITA.
    Bruce
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool rad, alum water pump, MSD 6A/coil, alum flywheel, PP, driveshaft, McLeod clutch, Torsen T2R, 3.73, 31spline axles, 17" 95 Cobra R, NT-05 255/275, MM CC plates, coil-over (Bilstein), rlca, K-brace, A-arms, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jibber's Avatar
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    Nice look Bruce.
    SVT COBRA

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