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LED headlight finds and discussion - not for LED bashing

danbfree

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YES, there are SOME LED's that will perform very well without glare and have proper projection reach in reflector housings! So I started this thread out of respect to those who refuse to believe that LED's can be used safely or effectively and simply don't appreciate posts on LED's when they aren't interested in changing their mind at all. So please no LED haters posting here either, we are going to take a conservative approach in what we recommend for proper safety. We KNOW the factory halogens are absolute garbage and unsafe, despite those too stubborn to believe this line of thinking, there absolutely ARE LED sets out there SAFER than the factory halogens and I'm sure official testing would prove this too.

If you just want to see the recommended ones, scroll past the set of 4 pics below, they are listed right under there. Both the fogs and low beams take an H11 bulb and while you can use whatever cheapie you want for the fog lights in the stock housing as it's mainly for decoration anyway, it's imperative to select the right bulb to use as a low beam. Also, for high beams, our car uses a little fuse cartridge style with no room for LED fans, so Sylvania SilverStar Ultra halogens are the best to use there. For those interested in learning more about picking proper LED's for our FiST with stock reflector housings, read on...

NEVER rely on Amazon reviews, always check BulbFacts.com LED charts before you buy! Unfortunately you can't just buy the top premium DeAuto LED as they work poorly/TOO bright in our factory housings as I learned personally unfortunately. Also, while BulbFacts doesn't have every set out there, with like 50+ sets tested, it is still the best place to narrow down your selection to ones that tested well. They do have a limited number of premium ones tested for now so another good resource for premium products is Headlight Revolution for ones like Diode Dynamics and SuperNova, which I'd love to test but I'm also afraid of the limitations of the stock housing in handling anything very bright. Too many people on Amazon just put up a good review for being "bright" after never trying LED's before and have done ZERO research on proper cutoff, THIS is why so many people hate on LED's and I don't blame them. Don't be ignorant bad cutoff guy and read on. :)

Biggest factors in using LED's as headlights overall and in our reflector housings safely:

Most important is how well the LED placement mimics a halogen's light source point to ensure it projects properly to avoid massive glare and have proper outward projection. Reflector housings are designed to reflect the light coming from a precision filament point from a halogen bulb as not to glare much and also project outward properly. THIS is one of the biggest reasons we are finally seeing some very capable LED's as they are finally addressing this, and any recommended ones have shown they do this quite well, with just the bit of glare as intended above the cutoff line. We have gone from very few to most new sets coming out addressing this, so more choices that are safe is great!

BulbFacts.com has some GREAT info/chart on brightness and cutoff/projection quality of LED headlights. They have done an amazing job actually reviewing LED's vs. those sponsored Top Reviews BS. Show them a little love and use the links to buy from their site if you choose to buy one of the highly rated sets there, which I strongly feel is the safest bet. The technology has come a LONG ways over the past 5 years but also still too many cheap crappy units on Amazon/eBay to count so feel free to post here on deals you've found that have actual good results. Good wall/garage door and "down the road" projection shots showing good cutoff with very little glare above cutoff highly desired. Keep in mind they are *technically* illegal, like even a properly done projection retrofit are, but good LED's without excessive glare can be ran actually safer than the legal halogens much like driving 5 MPH over the speed limit can be completely harmless in an areas where the speed limit is set too low anyway. DOT laws are antiquated and have not been updated to address good LED's. We've all seen these Toyota and Lexus these days with horrible glare from their approved LED headlights, these we recommend here have FAR less and actually SAFER than those legal ones!

Unfortunately, for headlights, the FiST has limited clearance that disqualifies many LED's from even fitting the housing. Unless the heatsink length is shorter than about 35mm, then they need to be no wider than 32mm, preferably 30mm or less. BulbFacts now has added dimensions based on feedback from me, so it's easy to see which ones are short or narrow enough. Unfortunately every set I've tried is of the longer variety, while 4 of the 5 top amazon sets under $100 are the short ones, the TechMax I use now are ones that aren't short but is narrow at least. If you want to use rear covers, stick to the shorter ones AND ones that don't run very hot, like all of the 4 other in their top 5 amazon sets rate at. Personally I haven't seen any issues with moisture running with no rear covers, even in heavy rain, but you can avoid possible water spotting on the inside of the housing by running with rear covers on, up to you, again, I don't bother. Another factor to consider is our housing themselves are very cheap to replace, so trimming the plastic rim a bit with snips is no big deal, this is sometimes needed to fit certain sets on the passenger side.

As for brightness, if you intend to use in our standard reflector housings then you can easily go TOO bright as well. Using BulbFacts.com, I tried the DeAutoLED's (Top Premium set) and at 7000 lux were easily TOO bright, they had a badly distorted beam pattern overwhelming the stock housing design and had to return them, see the pic of the "kaleidoscope effect" it creates below. It appears the ideal is 4000-4250 lux for our housings on low beams. This is just a strong theory at this point, the stalk design matters as well, I recommend sets that have stalks that look like those recommended below

Lastly is color temperature. Regular halogen bulbs are typically around only 3500K (K as in Kelvin, not short for thousand) while many factory HID/Xenon were 4300k, which is the best for all around visibility and most efficient brightness per watt but nearly ALL LED's marketed in North America are in the 5500-6500k range. Despite LED chips being made in 4300k as well, it's just a marketing thing because people think they want blue'ish bulbs when in fact 4300k-5000k are ideal. 4300k CAN be found on Amazon and I link to some below, if you want the best overall light for actual visibility you should go for those but selection is sadly very poor. A few sets at 5000k are available too, mainly through ordering overseas and are nice and pure white. Anything that tests over 6250k+ is definitely more blue. BulbFacts.com is a great way to see what they test at. But as an alternative, AliExpress has MANY more in 4300k as sadly there are so few through American marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.

Up first for example pics is my old oEdRo set. Keep in mind with our reflector housing that all bulbs, even original halogens, have definite spottiness straight ahead and some light escape out the sides, we are looking for only very little light/glare above the cutoff line as possible to avoid blinding anyone. The oEdRo have tiny round tips with 4 sides of LED's to mimic halogen filament placement and length and seem to do an OK job. However you can see the cutoff is moved upward a little high and had to be aimed down a bit. You can also see the spottiness/distortion inherent to our reflector housings, and how the right side is a little off from me bending the anti-glare cap trying to install alternative halogens when my car was new and I hadn't figured out how that all worked. However, I'm not recommending them when they are now up to $50 and there are ones for only $30 that are clearly better. This set is now "retired" after taking a lot of abuse being pulled in and out as headlights and fog lights.

oEdRo:



TechMax - Best all-around for our housing's PERIOD, so far. HOWEVER, if absolute cleanest light spread is most important to you, check out the Katana in my recommendations below, they aren't as bright as these but have the very cleanest on road light spread. So the TechMax are cleaner and brighter than oEdRo for only ~$35, unfortunately the pic is a little too close to the garage to get a good impression. These are what I'm using for now and with more good choices coming out constantly you can understand why I no longer use the oEdRo. 100% best bulb under $40, they run very, very cool and have no external driver to worry about flopping about or having extra cord length to tuck into the housing to raise temps.



Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 - $120 Best you can get that support low voltage for DRL, so those in Canada and elsewhere that like to have low beam dimmer than night DRL's these are for you... BUT, premium bulbs I can't fully recommend overall. Sorry for the very unscientific non-controlled pics here, looks like I was a little close to the wall but you can see how clean the cutoff is and how white they are compared to others. Also, fog lights are on too, so that's where the yellow glow is coming from. The problem here is they DO create what I call the "kaleidoscope effect" with our stock housings, this is an effect that creates angled distortions in the on road view. SOME of this is unavoidable to to the inherent reflector design but certain bulbs exacerbate this, definitely not as bad on these as the WAY too bright for our housing $140 DeAuto LED's but still, for 3+ times the price of the TechMax, they aren't worth it to me. But if you favor the very least blue color bulb possible in a good build quality product and don't mind the price premium, they aren't bad at all.



DeAutoLED - $135 with promo code - The epitome of the "kaleidoscope effect" and why you just can't buy the brightest and highest rated ones and call it good. Avoid if you have North American factory reflectors, but a great choice in H7 bulb style for those with Euro OEM or replica projectors.



RECOMMENDATION LIST - No 100% guarantees you will like them but these will all fit and show very good promise if not outright proven results. I try to list ones found on Amazon for fast shipping and easy returns, but WILL also list ones from AliExpress IF THEY COME UP when they are an exceptional value and/or for 4300k-5000k options that are hard to find from U.S. vendors. We found our predecessor/clone of the TechMax there first.

REAR COVERS: THESE deeply domed are the best way to go if you really want to use rear covers. Our headlights are designed to not be airtight anyway and any moisture will evaporate out anyway, so I choose to not run them, but that's just me... Just keep in mind that the halogens our housing was designed for are not susceptible from dimming and dying early in the heat while LED's are, BUT the highly recommended TechMax run VERY cool so shouldn't be an issue and we have no proof of how much in real-word use dimming and early death is a problem with LED's ran too hot anyway. Hopefully fair food for thought to make your own choice...

BUDGET - Up to $50:

TechMax ~$35 Amazon - #1 OVERALL CHOICE RIGHT NOW REGARDLESS OF COST! Proven fit and excellent output and cutoff, these are not only the new budget champ replacing the Katana and MaxGTRS (AliExpress version of this same design), they seem to be right at the max output our housings can handle anyway, at 4100 lux. Among the very coolest running with no external module to deal with and $15 less than the Nineo, these are THE proven set to get, regardless of price. Another reason to be careful which brand you choose and not believe Amazon reviews, Alla Lighting sells an identical one for a much higher $60. Alla Lighting has some well reviewed sets but many with the exact same design are also sold cheaper under different brand names. That said, I have included an Alla Lighting not reviewed by BulbFacts down below in the "curious to try" section. That said, it is looking that these are at the perfect point of brightness where they aren't TOO bright for our reflector housings. Downside: They DO have a bit of on-road reflector hotspots/distortion but not as bad as any others I've tested that aren't the dim halogen. If guaranteed cleanest light spread is what you want at the expense of a bit of brightness, see the Katana below.

Nineo Gen II ~$50 Amazon - Pushing the "budget" category price a bit, but they do often have an extra 15% coupon on Amazon to bring them down to ~$42.50. Since these are the new #1 rated kit of ANY on Amazon under $100, I no longer recommend spending $80-90 on the Hikari. They have an even cleaner cutoff than the TechMax and even a bit brighter than the TechMax or Hikari as a low beam. They DO run a touch warmer and have an external driver module to deal with, but temps still on the low end of average. The module should hang out the back of the housing vs. tucked inside to help keep temps down. At over 4800 lux, they MAY be a bit too bright for our housings and emit what I call the "kaleidoscope effect" where all the mirrors of the reflector housing show up on the road from being so bright. One member here has them and will be posting pics soon. Since these are the brightest available in the under $100 category, they should transmit either reflector imperfections or straight up kaleidoscope effect to some extent. If the very cleanest and best light spread is the most important to you over being the very brightest, choose the Katana's I have listed next...

Katana ~$49 on Amazon - #1 choice for light spread. Slightly dimmer than the TechMax but this means they don't create as much reflector imperfection reflections down the road and rated as having the best light spread of any amazon set under $100, so at $49 a great buy if you are distracted by reflector imperfections with bright LED's in our reflector housings. They also run cool and are nice and short if you want to keep your stock rear housing covers on. Tested at an actual 5950k, they are nice and white with only the smallest blue tint.

Honorable Mention - Hikari Ultra - ~$90 Amazon - PERFECT cutoff, slightly brighter than the TechMax, these were the #1 bulb period for quite a while. Biggest knock on them is price, would be nice if they lowered the price over time now with much more competition. Also, while one of the very few with a PERFECT cutoff, may also show some reflector imperfection down road from overall brightness. Also, tested at a full 6450k in color, these are the ones to get if you want the perfect cutoff and a nice blue touch without being too obvious, but more blue than the the others above.

For dual mode fog lights - Car Rover $30 on Amazon - Dual white and yellow mode - Good option to replace stock fog lights, switch from white to yellow each time powered on/off. Not recommended to be used as headlights, they will go from white to yellow if you use auto headlights and aren't the brightest for that.

Also for fogs, 4300k to get some actual fog piercing very cheap: VooDoo $12 AliExpress Our Fog lights do not have any size fitment issues at all so easy to go inexpensive here, easy to get to through the wheel wells to replace. Again 9 o'clock / 3 o'clock standard vertical stalk definitely work best in the factory fog housing to keep light down low where needed, avoid 3-4 sided stalk designs for factory fog housings. I have these installed and am a bit disappointed to say that these seem to be more like 5500k than 4300k and still make my fogs with yellow Lamin-X look green. UPDATE: These have actually lowered in color temp from 5500k to probably 500k and my fog lights with yellow Lamin-X covers actually look more yellow now with some hours on the bulbs. Downside: Lowers radio reception, not a weird hum or anything, just lowers overall reception so I only use them when it's actually foggy or very rainy as I like to actually listen to FM on my fairly short commute.

MID-PRICE - More expensive ($75-100) but higher quality option, more accurate 4300k stock look. NOT actually tested, but I include Amazon links only for easy returns and I ask to PLEASE share your results with us! :)
LOSARON passive cooled/no fan with CREE XHP70 chips. At 4300k, most likely to have the most accurate color index but have not been tested for glare/cutoff either, but an example of HID-like color temp in an LED, I'd love to try these. I've removed references to AliExpress due to shipping time and possible return concerns, but these style are cheaper there if interested.

Kilakila - NOW TESTED on BulbFacts.com, Best for legal Canadian DRL's... $50 "midrange", Genuine Cree XHP-50 chips, very short, will fit with factory dust cover, no problem and temps are lower than average so keeping stock covers on is OK. Just a bit above average brightness overall, but good beam pattern at least. With average brightness at 3000 lux as low beam and brighter ones for less, only recommend for those in Canada that want to have their DRL's on to be fully legal or you want to keep the stock rear covers without worrying about heat.

PREMIUM SETS:

Philips X-tremeUltinon gen2 - ~$135 w/promo - Claimed to be for fog lights, BulbFacts tested these as having a PERFECT cutoff when used as low beam. This is the set that my buddy who is anti-LED for headlights actually is considering for his fogs. Brightness is right in between the TechMax and Morimoto, these look to be an EXCELLENT choice for quality, cutoff and not too bright, possibly THE Premium choice for our cars. NOT easy to find in the US nor very cheap when you do, that UK site I linked has free shipping and specials quite often, so for $131.50 shipped with 20% off code right now is actually a good deal!

Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 - Best for using low beam DRL's/Canadian DRL legal $120 everywhere, rarely discounted. See my comments above, best available that we know of that supports low voltage DRL mode. the write up on The Retrofit Source on why this model is the very first H11 LED they decided to carry. Not as bright as the DeAutoLED below, but definitely a good thing as the those are TOO bright. Claimed to be 5700k they actually tested at 5250k on BulbFacts. Unfortunately, they seem to have no other advantages over sets 1/3 the price but I include them as recommended as they are THE set to get if you want less blue and more white output, but honestly they aren't much less blue than the others but also Canada DRL legal.These DO produce a bit of "kaleidoscope effect" from being too bright, just FAR from as bad the DeAuto LED. This could also be due to the design somehow, but it's looking more and more that sets greater than 4200 lux will have this, so this takes us back to the TechMax in the budget category and the premium Philips above as "just the right brightness".

Premium sets clearly not worth it:
Putco Nitro Lux - Luxury high-end $256 regular price. Passive braided cooling, can cut small hole in factory dust covers to stick braids out and spread. Not on Amazon, you can find them on HeadlightRevoultion.com and brisource.com. Blaise/BulbFacts has tested them and they have a Perfect cutoff but not the brightest, which can be a good thing but still not worth $250.

More info on premium sets to come! But with our housings proving to be very sensitive to bulbs that are too bright, I'm not holding out much hope other than hopefully warmer color temp bulbs in the TechMax brightness (4100 lux) range make their way to market and I think they eventually will.

AVOID UNLESS YOU HAVE THE EURO PROJECTORS: DeAutoLED. Even though they are the highest rated LED bulb and have great customer service they have very poor down the road beam pattern with our reflectors sadly. Even designed for reflector housings they are too bright and provide a poor beam pattern by overwhelming our projectors, pic on page 30. They DO have awesome customer service, so I can wholeheartedly recommend them for replacing blinkers, tail lights, reverse lights, etc. check them out at deautokey.com.

AMAZON PRIME AND OTHER ONES THAT I'M CURIOUS ABOUT/NOT ON BULBFACTS/WILL FIT/WOULD LIKE TO TRY LIST:

These all fit and would love for someone to try them and report back.

HSUN - Cheap, only $30, very bright 48w each claimed, could run very hot or has BS wattage rating.

Alla Lighting TS-CR - $50, claimed to have higher brightness than the $80 D-CR, which is highly rated by BulbFacts.
 
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TyphoonFiST

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#2
Starting this thread out of respect to those who don't like LED's and don't want their serious technical threads littered with "See? You're wrong..." type posts, so please no general LED bashing here in return...

One of the other members here found a great site: BulbFacts.com that has good info on brightness and cutoff/projection quality of LED headlights. The technology has come a LONG ways over the past 5 years but also too many cheap crappy units on Amazon/eBay to count so feel free to post here on deals you've found that have actual good results. Good wall/garage door shots showing good cutoff w/no glare above highly desired. Keep in mind they are technically illegal, like even running ANY aftermarket downpipe, but if they don't smoke or smell at all like a catted downpipe, then good LED's without above cutoff glare can be ran with little moral issues, up to you.

Just found this insane deal, rated #4 out of 25 sets tested on the BulbFact.com chart. Nice and white, only 5700k color, very whitest out of all tested, for those who hate the blue crap like myself, the DWVO. Has over 3800 lux of low beam brightness and shockingly, only $16.49 on eBay ($31.99 on Amazon) Just an incredible bargain, it's not perfect, they recommend re-aiming which could hurt throw distance. Take that site FWIW, I have the #11 Oedro set and am very happy with them and I thought they were a steal at $28 on a flash sale.

Up first for example pics is my Oedro set. Keep in mind with our reflectors that all bulbs, even original halogens have crappy spottiness, we are looking for as little light/glare above the cutoff line as possible to avoid blinding anyone. The Oedro have tiny tips with 4 sides of LED's to mimic halogen filament placement and length and seem to do a good job. Again the BulbFacts.com site shows them having more glare bleed over cutoff than on my FiST but I still like the DWVO for the insane deal and clean 5700k color with even better brightness than my Oedro's, I'm picking up a set even though I'm broke as I want as little glare as possible for very little money, it's worth a shot so I'll add comparison pics.

Oedro:
Noice Danbfree! I'll see if I can get some posts of the xenondepot up to show the output and spread!



Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk
 
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Jerickson88

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I bought a set off of eBay for the headlights and fogs. I’ll be going with a yellow in the high beams (nokya) but I wanted to try them. It took time to get used to the color, and I feel like I have more visibility, and I don’t get the high beam flash from other cars, so maybe I’m good?!

Will post a photo of them against a wall from xx’
 
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danbfree

danbfree

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Noice Danbfree! I'll see if I can get some posts of the xenondepot up to show the output and spread![/IMG]
Heck ya, my man, I hear those are absolute quality, would love to see some pics!
 
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I purchased the Oedro LED's and in my 16 FiST they have a cutoff that is similar to what BulbFact.com has in their review. Not a clean cutoff.
 
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danbfree

danbfree

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Thread Starter #6
I bought a set off of eBay for the headlights and fogs. I’ll be going with a yellow in the high beams (nokya) but I wanted to try them. It took time to get used to the color, and I feel like I have more visibility, and I don’t get the high beam flash from other cars, so maybe I’m good?!

Will post a photo of them against a wall from xx’
Yellow is great for fogs, great for... actual fog. Not sure about yellow for high beams, maybe counter how the slightest fog/mist makes using high beams pointless sometimes? What model did you go with for the H11 low beams?
 

Jerickson88

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Yellow is great for fogs, great for... actual fog. Not sure about yellow for high beams, maybe counter how the slightest fog/mist makes using high beams pointless sometimes? What model did you go with for the H11 low beams?
Yeah, that’s my thought. You know how most colors can give you a white-out effect; that’s my thoughts of high beams. I typically only use them in special situations anyhow. That’s why I think they may be ok in the highs.

I used these in fog and low beam. Keep in mind, they are low cost; seem to be OK. Will be getting a better analysis later in the week.




Here’s an idea, probably around 60’

 
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danbfree

danbfree

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I purchased the Oedro LED's and in my 16 FiST they have a cutoff that is similar to what BulbFact.com has in their review. Not a clean cutoff.
So, not comparable to my pic above? I wonder what the heck changed, how strange! Mine also seem brighter and whiter than BulbFacts show too, how long ago did you buy yours? Possibly manufacturing variance, I might have gotten a good set while others maybe not so lucky.... I'm just super curious about these DWVO, just can't believe that they look pretty decent for a whole $16.49 at only 5700k and and 140% of stock halogen brightness.
 
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danbfree

danbfree

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Good option for $7 to have rear covers for your LED's with fans or braids that stick out... I like how they are flexible/accordion like for adjust-ability: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071L26GF7

Order the size that matches your fan base width, so 30mm is what fits in ours...
 
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I've got those yellows for the high beams, they seem to work fine. I can take some photos if anyone is that interested.
 
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danbfree

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I am most likely going to purchase these and was wondering if anyone has tried them; they are fanless versions of the standard aftermarket LED package:

Auxbeam H11 NF-S1 Fanless
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074GX852M/

Slow boat from China versions:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2Pc...r-Headlight-S1-N1-50W-8000LM/32779913086.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-P...0-W-8000LM-6000-K-Automobile/32834119247.html
Never heard of an LED upgrade package? But not seeing that great of reviews for the 2 Auxbeam with fans on bulbfacts.com chart... Are you REALLY trying to avoid fans? I don't even really hear mine, had to bend over with the hood open to even hear them...
 
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It's been about 3 years since I got them, pretty sure those are the ones. I know they're Nokya...and they're yellow. [tongue] I'll take a couple photos tonight.
 

TyphoonFiST

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What I mean is usually the LED bulbs have a chip, metal base and then a fan and a plug; they're all basically the same in my uneducated opinion.

Here is another version of the fanless LED bulb that is shown on the BulbFacts website with a near perfect low beam rating.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XHDYTGL
http://bulbfacts.com/led-kits/reviews/beamtech-led-kit-review.html
Xenondepot sells the fanless type of LEDs..I have both generations of bulbs also.....I like them a lot! [wrenchin]
 

Jerickson88

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It's been about 3 years since I got them, pretty sure those are the ones. I know they're Nokya...and they're yellow. [tongue] I'll take a couple photos tonight.
I’ve always felt like properly adjusted lights would provide visibility. I have my cheap LEDs, but in extreme low visibility circumstances, high beams would suffice, and I’d rather have the yellow contrast thrown in. Would love to see pics


If anyone has pics of h1 (high beam) 2500k LED, please send me a link!
 
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danbfree

danbfree

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What I mean is usually the LED bulbs have a chip, metal base and then a fan and a plug; they're all basically the same in my uneducated opinion.

Here is another version of the fanless LED bulb that is shown on the BulbFacts website with a near perfect low beam rating.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XHDYTGL
http://bulbfacts.com/led-kits/reviews/beamtech-led-kit-review.html
I see what you mean, I guess I've been looking at them and trying them for a few years now so I just many, many differences in the style and types of chips, etc between them that I don't see any standard at all...

As far as those Beamtech, I wouldn't settle for only 49% of stock brightness, that's why I ordered the DWVO non-Philips for only $16.49 plus 15% off from eBay, I'll be reporting back once I get them... I do see how they may be a little too bright and create some glare, so I'll re-aim a little if I have to. Re-aiming is fine when the whole cut-off is raised from overpowering, I just have to hope the glare is not excessive.
 

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