LED light bulbs

Discussion in 'Non Technical' started by geron, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

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    Hey guyz,
    Just bringing up the topic of LED Light bulbs.
    I'm raising this issue following the installation today of a set of LED light bulbs on the daily 2001 Ford KQ Laser or a Mazda 323 BJ, they are basically the same car. So by now you are probably thinking... er… so what? Well, hang on, it's coming...

    Some background...
    I've had the car for about 5 yrs now and because OEM lights are crap, Phillips +130 lights have been fitted to it since then. They are good however they don't last very long. I have to change them on a yearly basis and they are quite expensive.
    So this time, following some research I tried the LED H4 HI/LO bulbs, just for a change. These...
    They are designed not to blind oncoming traffic so I thought..."perfect"
    Upon installation, they were very bright but beam facing upwards in low beam, they were like 'High Beam' hmm..... I thought it doesn't look good.
    I put them to the test tonight while driving to the gym just down the road and immediately got flashed. Oh Dear...
    OK... bad idea LED I thought. Anyway, not one to give up, I compared them to the normal Halogen lights in the way they produce light and realised they were fitted upside down, ie… due to reflectors, low beam was actually high beam. Once they were turned 180° around 'BINGO' low beam focusing down low and then high beam was as it should. Driving around at night to see if anyone would flash and 'nobody did' - YES, happy :)

    OK, guys the difference in light output and clarity between Phillips +130 or PiAA or OSRAM or whatever compared to LED is ridiculous. LED is light years ahead. He,he.. I'm so impressed by this that my mind went straight to the Z afterwards which is currently sporting PIAA's everywhere.

    A few yrs back, we were all discussing HID's and how the 2000 spec lights are the ultimate for the Z and lusting over a set but @ 2k, should I say any more?

    I honestly believe LED's have come such a long way nowadays which leave all else for dead. They simply plug in to the existing harness, no ballast, no complexity.

    Also, LEDs are all 6000K brightness which if all the lights are changed, they all look uniform and nice and pure white.
    I'm watching these at the moment, H3C LEDs

    What do you guys think about the Z with LEDs? Anyone done it?
  2. NI85

    NI85 Member

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    There was a group buy for specific designed ones late 2016. On that topic thread, people only posted that they received them. Didn't say how they performed at night or show a before/after night pictures. They were not like that H3C eBay one you linked
  3. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

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    I had doubts about LEDs but only due to lack of knowledge/experience.
    Well, the future is definitely here, now.

    I am amazed H3C are available in LED and best of all, no adaptors, no mods just plug and play.
    As for the high beam for the Z, and I love this bit because they are separate to low beam, simply fitting the most powerful LED bulbs is where it's at, It's a personal choice really as to how many lumens one wishes to go with but whatever... Also the spotlights/driving lights having LEDs OMG... low down and corners will simply POP.
    The Z will have the most incredible lights when everything is turned on at night using just the normal light housings.

    This light issue was seen as a weak point for the Z, but no more.
    No more having to mod the low beam to stay on with the high beams either. No drilling into the bodywork to mount ballasts, no ugly wiring.

    Country driving at night will be so much safer with being able to see Roos on the sides of the road and wombats.

    Also, as far as the low beam goes with the H3C, I don't see any issues blinding others on the road as long as the head lights are adjusted to OEM specs. There are plenty of cars nowadays with very bright projector headlights.
  4. Hellsheep

    Hellsheep Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey guys,

    I participated in the group buy a while back for a set of LEDs (no hi beams) for my Zed. Whilst they were a huge improvement from factory lights, they still don't compare to the HID's I've got on my new Zed. But as you've said there are a lot of benefits to LED kits.

    I did notice the light spread seemed a bit odd with the LED kit, but that may have just been poor adjustment on my part.

    Based purely on giving me the best light, I'd go HID's, based on less complexity (in most cases) and usually cheaper I'd go LED's. Also, I'd go LED's if you don't drive night after night, but if you're using it very often at night time I'd say HID's are the go.

    Another major benefit I see with LED's are regulations around HID/ADR approval in certain states. The HID's I have are pretty obvious.... police will spot em a mile away.
  5. East Coast Z

    East Coast Z Well-Known Member

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    Here are a few things to consider relating to LED's.
    Firstly, the 6000K does not relate to brightness.
    It relates to the colour.

    The 9600 Lumens supposedly emitted by the LED's in your Mazda won't be anything near 9600.

    LED lamp output values (Lumens) can vary dramatically depending on which values are being quoted.
    The following information may assist selecting the right product for the right application.

    Raw Lumens
    This is a measure of the theoretical output of a light.
    Raw Lumen output is calculated by multiplying by the theoretical rated output of the LEDs by the number of LEDs in the lamp.

    8 LEDs rated at 100 Lumens per watt
    8 x 100 = 800 Raw Lumens

    Effective Lumens

    This is a measure of the actual output of a light.
    The Effective Lumen output takes into consideration electrical and real world losses (ex. thermal, optical, and assembly), so it is a better representation of the useful visible light that is actually produced.

    Raw Lumens = 800
    Thermal, Optical & Assembly Losses = 40% (of Raw Lumens)
    800 – 320 = 480 Effective Lumens

    What do you mean by Thermal Losses, Optical Losses and Assembly Losses?

    There are inherent losses associated with any lamp (LED, Halogen, HID or Incandescent).
    The main losses are related to 3 items:
    Thermal Losses, Optical Losses and Assembly variation.

    Thermal Losses:[​IMG]

    LEDs produce less light as they get hotter and generate a tremendous amount of power in a relatively small area.
    As the LEDs are powered for longer and longer periods of time, they typically get hotter and hotter depending on the thermal management system.
    It’s not unusual for LEDs to reach over 100ºC.

    The greatest challenge is thermal management of LEDs.
    LED manufacturers typically measure the light produced by their LEDs after 25 milliseconds (ms).
    That is equivalent to a flash bulb.
    It gives a Lumen number that is the absolute maximum value.

    For vehicle applications, most specifications require that the lamp be measured at 10 and 30 minutes to make sure that the LED temperature has stabilized.
    This will result in the LED producing 10 – 20% less light than it’s advertised value.

    Optical & Assembly Losses:[​IMG]
    As light travels through an object (such as a lens), it loses intensity depending on the clarity of the material.
    This is due to inherent losses internal to the material and to losses at the boundary of the part as the light travels from air, through the lens, and back to air.

    These losses are present whether the light source is an LED or a bulb.
    The losses associated with the lens material and optics can vary from 10 – 20%.

    There are also losses associated with assembly and manufacturing variation.
    The LED output varies as the assembly tolerances may diminish the overall performance from theoretical LED maximums.

    Simply adding the expected values of the LED light sources together will never result in a lamp that shines that amount of light on the ground.

    Sourced from: http://www.jwspeaker.com/blog/raw-lumens-vs-effective-lumens/

    Concerning the 300ZX projector headlights.
    The projector headlights are fitted with a lens to focus the beam.
    If the position of the LED's on the globe assembly is different to the original halogen globes, the light will be out of focus.
    By different I mean if the LEDS's are positioned closer to the reflector, or to the lens, once installed in the assembly.
    The projector headlights will produce less light than the reflector headlight, because of the light losses mentioned above.
    The light has to pass through two lenses with the projectors & only one with the reflectors.
    Can you see the globes in projector headlights?
    There is a lens clarity issue in itself.

    If you want to improve the headlight output on a 300ZX, install HID's.
    The best HID's are the Nissan Xenon's.
  6. geron

    geron National Petroleum Equipm

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    Thanks for clarifying East Coast Z. Yes, 6000K is the colour of the light and not the brightness. Lumen is the measure of brightness. I made a mistake earlier while thinking @ 100mph due to my excitement at the time of writing.

    I'm so impressed actually that I purchased the LED H3C for the Z. I want to see how much better they are compared to the 120+ PIAAs.
    And for anyone out there wondering, 120+ PIAAs are bright compared to a regular 55w halogen lamp.

    This will be interesting.
  7. rob260

    rob260 Moderator Staff Member

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    Sydney (North)
    I really like my 11 year old HIDs.
  8. stumagoo

    stumagoo Active Member

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    Another thing that has been hashed here many times is wiring quality..... Halogens are very sensitive to insufficient voltage supply. If the wiring and connectors are in not so great condition then the old halogens are not going to perform as well as when they were new. This is not saying that the Halogens are as bright as HID's or even LED's but more to say that like everything else on our 25-30year old cars that the wiring needs to be checked to make sure its in good condition
  9. MAX

    MAX Ex Zedder

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    I bought a wiring bypass kit for my other car $16. Direct power from the battery and 120 hella halogen bulbs. Not fantastic but a cheap upgrade.

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