Headlights LED VS HID - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Headlights LED VS HID

I don't like these 9004 bulbs, after 6+ years of them I'm pretty tired of not being able to see at night even with my brights on. They burn out fairly often.. I'm looking for something aftermarket, I'm not trying to blind everyone as I go down the road. But I'd like to be able to see at night. Can anyone help with recommendations? I'm looking to replace the housing and get some better lights. I have a non sport truck if that helps.


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post #2 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 11:06 AM
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If you have the non projector headlights, use LED. If you have projector headlights use HID.


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post #3 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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If you have the non projector headlights, use LED. If you have projector headlights use HID.


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Does it have something to do with the wiring setup between the 2?

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post #4 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 12:31 PM
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Both have perks and both need projectors. A halogen housing is not designed to reflect light from a non filament source.

I would do a mini h1 projector from moritmoto. Cheap and easy. You can see how to install in the article.
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post #5 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 01:25 PM
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I have no experience with LEDs on a second gen, but have used HID's. They work great when they work, I have tried relays and separate wiring harnesses, tried different brands, but I ended up with the same results, flickering and burning out. I had one set of LED's in a 05 Jetta, No flickering, no issues, Just as bright. When I buy a new set for my 2nd gen, i will be getting LEDs

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post #6 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 11:42 PM
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I have no experience with LEDs on a second gen, but have used HID's. They work great when they work, I have tried relays and separate wiring harnesses, tried different brands, but I ended up with the same results, flickering and burning out. I had one set of LED's in a 05 Jetta, No flickering, no issues, Just as bright. When I buy a new set for my 2nd gen, i will be getting LEDs
When buying HIDs you need to make sure your not getting Ballasts made in China there junk. Find some with German made ballasts. I have had a set for almost 10 years with no problems. Still running the original bulbs. But when these do go I will switch to LED

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post #7 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 05:33 PM
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I got a set of new clear housings and cheap dual beam led bulbs. Aside from it doing some odd stuff with the lighting control module (I think its because I went cheap with the bulbs) the leds are BRIGHT. I got leds for the fogs too, and they aren't bad either. Night and day compared to the stock housings and bulbs.


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post #8 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 06:51 PM
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Both have perks and both need projectors.
Not entirely true. HIDs should only be used in a projector, and cheap LEDs that aren't designed correctly should be used in a projector because at least there is something controlling the light then. A properly designed LED will have the chip set aligned in the same location as the filament on a regular bulb, in order to produce light from the same point as a filament bulb, so that the reflector housing can properly aim and control the light as designed. An improperly place LED chip, or a poorly made LED light can lead to horrible dissipation of the light and create a hazard on the road. While it might appear you have more light, you are blinding other people and are creating a reason to be pulled over for one, and for two a moving road hazard. HIDs will outperform most current LEDs in a projector housing, this is because of how a projector collects and redirects the light. HID bulbs ignite a gas tube basically, creating a long cylinder of light, similar to a fluorescent bulb. That light is thrown out from the length of the tube, collected and redirected by the projector in a controlled manner. That is the same reason why LEDs and Filament style bulbs do not work well in projectors. Projector housings are designed to control light produced by an HID. reflector housings are designed to control light from a filament based bulb (to varying degrees of success). And LED bulbs are currently designed to replicate a filament based bulb. At least one that's been properly designed. At the end of the day you do get what you pay for with LEDs, and some of the expensive ones are just slapped together and get a big sticker thrown on them. The Diode Dynamics SL1 and the Supernova V4 are known to work well in reflector housings, and create a good beam pattern that does not generally blind others. Although, i should say from what i remember when i had my 02, the second gens housings weren't exactly the greatest at controlling light, so a projector might be a better fit. If someone would like to get better lighting, and stay away from HID, Morimoto does make a retrofit LED Projector housing that offers fantastic output and a perfectly controlled projector that was designed to be used with LEDs. it does not have replaceable bulbs to my understanding, but it is a true LED projector. If you want to run LEDs in a projector, the only way i would recommend it is to use a projector designed with LEDs in mind. Just my 2 cents
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post #9 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 08:10 AM
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I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a "properly designed led" replacement bulb. Every car with LEDs has special reflectors or projectors designed just for them. If you just put in any old led it will still not be as a good as a cheap hid retrofit. For cheap use, FastBrite ballasts are good, along with hylux, or any of the expensive OEM german/japanese ones. The hard part is making sure it's not a cheap clone of any of them, esp the cheaper fb/hylux. The 2nd gen housings do suck as well, but at least with projectors they are only for looks Get a good set of quad sport lights, pop them open, and put some mini-h1s in, or ream the bulb opening and put in some nice d2s projectors with OEM bulbs. I've done this mod myself and it's great. hidplanet.com has great info/people to help with your build.

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post #10 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a "properly designed led" replacement bulb. Every car with LEDs has special reflectors or projectors designed just for them. If you just put in any old led it will still not be as a good as a cheap hid retrofit. For cheap use, FastBrite ballasts are good, along with hylux, or any of the expensive OEM german/japanese ones. The hard part is making sure it's not a cheap clone of any of them, esp the cheaper fb/hylux. The 2nd gen housings do suck as well, but at least with projectors they are only for looks Get a good set of quad sport lights, pop them open, and put some mini-h1s in, or ream the bulb opening and put in some nice d2s projectors with OEM bulbs. I've done this mod myself and it's great. hidplanet.com has great info/people to help with your build.
Until you see one in action, that's understandable. OEM LED units make their reflectors for them special to better optimize and use the light, or to minimize space or fit into a certain design. There are a lot of options when it comes to LEDs. the early and most cheap LEDs However the key for a "properly designed LED" is to have one made to emulate the source point of the light. Reflector housings are designed around the source point of light, any bulb with a source point different then that, will reflect and refract in the housing differently, and therefore create a different light dispersion then intended by the original engineers. That is the same reason why HIDs are a horrible choice in reflector housings, as well as why a bad LED is a bad choice in a reflector housing. While they might give out a lot of light, there is no control to it because of the source of the light, and the light not using the reflectors correctly to allow the light to be controlled in the desired manner. This uncontrolled light is why is negative to everyone on the road, whether the source by HID or LED. The point of threads like these, and hopefully most posters, is to identify sources of light and options that offer and improvement over stock in light output, without creating a less controlled light that is dangerous to other drivers.

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post #11 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:09 PM
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What you say is true but it’s nearly impossible to duplicate. Lots of people like to swap 9004 and 9007 bulbs but even that throws everything off because of the direction of the filament. Headlights are optical instruments just like glasses and you can’t normally swap glasses with someone even if you have the same prescription because of other factors like pupil distance.

http://candlepowerinc.com/pdfs/9004_9007.pdf

I would love to see good plug-and-play LED bulbs but if it was easy they’d have been out long ago

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post #12 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:47 PM
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Supernova V3 bulbs, in the Ram reflector (quads, not duals) housings have been the best so far, that i've personally played with and witnessed. they produce light identical to the standard bulb, in a stronger manner producing more usbale light, without blinding. I should note, these are the V3 bulbs, there have been reports of the V4 (newer version) not fitting properly in the ram housings.



In this picture, you can see the beam of the Supernova V3 on the left, and the LED you are more experienced in seeing. the LED on the right is an OPT7, a cheap horrible LED i will relentlessly talk bad about because they are popular only because they are cheap. They produce a miserable light pattern, while making things brighter for the driver, they blind everyone and anyone going down the road.



And in the interest of fairness, here you can see exactly how controlled you can get the light with a projector. This is the "ideal" situation, however it is also the most expensive. Spending a little bit of time checking fitment and beam pattern can land you an LED that offers you great light ouput, without blinding, and without needing a retrofit or upgrading to projector housings


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