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Thread: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

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    Default Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    So one of my main bulbs just burnt out and I'm looking for replacements. I've noticed that the light output is, well... $h*t. I'm looking into upgrading to an LED or HID kit, but haven't done this before and don't know what to look for etc. I see 'expensive' Halogen bulbs are about $60/pair, but I can also see there are $60-100 LED conversion kits on places like Amazon... Are these even worth it? What's a good LED kit supposed to run? i.e. http://amzn.to/2jam3Th

    The main goal is better light output, so if the expensive halogens are better than LED's then I'll put my money into that, but right now it really is terrible. I need to drive with hi-beams on to see anything at night.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Are you looking for better (usable) light output, or are you looking for that "white" look?

    I would suggest HID's > LED > Halogen

    The "expensive" halogens are all the same in terms of brightness IMO.

    LED's are whiter and brighter - but still no comparison to HIDs

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    From what I've read, aftermarket LEDs aren't that good as main headlights yet. Probably want HIDs or new halogens.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by Default User View Post
    Are you looking for better (usable) light output, or are you looking for that "white" look?

    I would suggest HID's > LED > Halogen

    The "expensive" halogens are all the same in terms of brightness IMO.

    LED's are whiter and brighter - but still no comparison to HIDs
    I'd say better usable light output. The white look doesn't matter, so long as I can actually see.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by shiftyy View Post
    I'd say better usable light output. The white look doesn't matter, so long as I can actually see.
    I've had no problems with regular halogens.
    Older ones fade/dim before they die out - which can make it seem that they are not bright enough.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    If your light output isn't that good, consider adjusting the projectors up a little and putting some expensive halogens in. Are your lenses also cloudy?

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by Default User View Post
    Are you looking for better (usable) light output, or are you looking for that "white" look?

    I would suggest HID's > LED > Halogen

    The "expensive" halogens are all the same in terms of brightness IMO.

    LED's are whiter and brighter - but still no comparison to HIDs
    Let's not go lying now.

    Led's are complete and utter sh*t.
    They have no Hotspot, now width, no anything.
    Op your cheapest option is to modify a h9 to fit your h11 housing. Which is what I have.
    Increase your lumens from 1350 lumens to 2100 +- 10%. Using a regular Philips bulb.
    This will not damage your projector bowls.
    Hid, while brighter, will deteriorate your halogen bowls over time, to the point where they're just as bad as oem halogen.
    If you want hid, I suggest a proper retrofit.

    Last edited by Hyperion; 01-11-2017 at 08:27 PM.
    Modifications? I've forgotten more than I remember. Click here for the list.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    No need to think twice, HID is the prefect choice especially right now the HID kits are much cheaper than years ago.

    invest in the old school halogen bulbs is just a waste. The most expensive ones, Nigh Hawk, Eurolite, etc are just far not bright enough (usable enough) while vs HID. And they are actually not cheap, as OP said, 60 dollars or more, plus their life time just too short. Even you will have the chance to replace your HID, but the HID at least can last 2 to 3 times or more longer than halogens in real life. In the past 6 to 7 years on my car, I replaced one burn fog HID bulb (very tiny crack on the bulb so the air inside just keep leaking and the color was changed from yellow to pink in about 2 months...) and one ballast for the same fog due to the original installation spot not good enough so the ballast was rusted and dead.

    And LED, so far didn't see any good enough aftermarket LED kits for the main lights (head light and fog). LEDs are very good for internal lighting, for your license plate, side signals, brake signals etc, but not that good for head lights. It looks white enough, but actually not usable as HID.

    And, so thankful for the projector lens design in the Mazda new cars in the decade, it's just designed for putting HIDs in.

    "Cloudy" lens actually not a big problem for the HID light power. It will just looking bad (while the light is off), but can't block much of the light from the HIDs. Smoke Lens cleaning kit (3M or other brands) can help a lot without emptying your pocket, since 2 years ago I did it first time, I think it would be better to do that every other year to keep your head lights looking good.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    No need to retrofit anything, we have some good sellers in the forum. with the whole kit, you only need to remove your halogen bulb, use the same cable to connect to the ballast and then connect the new HID bulb and put it back into the lens housing. That's it. And maybe the provider can help to install for free. All my HIDs were bought in the forum. you can look for Brendan or Kevin if you need, PM me for the phone number.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by YepYep View Post
    No need to think twice, HID is the prefect choice especially right now the HID kits are much cheaper than years ago.

    invest in the old school halogen bulbs is just a waste. The most expensive ones, Nigh Hawk, Eurolite, etc are just far not bright enough (usable enough) while vs HID. And they are actually not cheap, as OP said, 60 dollars or more, plus their life time just too short. Even you will have the chance to replace your HID, but the HID at least can last 2 to 3 times or more longer than halogens in real life. In the past 6 to 7 years on my car, I replaced one burn fog HID bulb (very tiny crack on the bulb so the air inside just keep leaking and the color was changed from yellow to pink in about 2 months...) and one ballast for the same fog due to the original installation spot not good enough so the ballast was rusted and dead.

    And LED, so far didn't see any good enough aftermarket LED kits for the main lights (head light and fog). LEDs are very good for internal lighting, for your license plate, side signals, brake signals etc, but not that good for head lights. It looks white enough, but actually not usable as HID.

    And, so thankful for the projector lens design in the Mazda new cars in the decade, it's just designed for putting HIDs in.

    "Cloudy" lens actually not a big problem for the HID light power. It will just looking bad (while the light is off), but can't block much of the light from the HIDs. Smoke Lens cleaning kit (3M or other brands) can help a lot without emptying your pocket, since 2 years ago I did it first time, I think it would be better to do that every other year to keep your head lights looking good.
    What? These projectors were not designed to put hids in. Here's what HIDs will do to any bowl that did not come HID from the factory after a few months time.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Nope~ I have run 4 HIDs (2 headlights and 2 fogs) in my 2008 3 hatchback for years without any issue. Further more, you don't need to modify the connector type of your lights as you can get the same type of bulbs as your halogen bulbs. The only difference is in between the new bulb and the original power cord, you need to find a good place to fit in a ballast. That's all.

    Regarding your picture, I doubt it's from the "ball" type projector lens but actually from the old fashion reflecting bowl lens. And I don't suggest to put HIDs in neither but for the different reason below.

    What I mean the projector lens is designed for HID is because the "ball" lens will limited the lights from the bulbs to stay low. So I won't suggest ppl use HIDs on their car without the "ball" lens design because the high power output from the HIDs will reflect too much light too high that will affect the cars in your front just like you put the high beam on.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    What? These projectors were not designed to put hids in. Here's what HIDs will do to any bowl that did not come HID from the factory after a few months time.
    I ran the cheapest HIDS possible for 3 years in my MZ3 and 4 years on my Lancer without this issue.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by YepYep View Post
    Nope~ I have run 4 HIDs (2 headlights and 2 fogs) in my 2008 3 hatchback for years without any issue. Further more, you don't need to modify the connector type of your lights as you can get the same type of bulbs as your halogen bulbs. The only difference is in between the new bulb and the original power cord, you need to find a good place to fit in a ballast. That's all.

    Regarding your picture, I doubt it's from the "ball" type projector lens but actually from the old fashion reflecting bowl lens. And I don't suggest to put HIDs in neither but for the different reason below.

    What I mean the projector lens is designed for HID is because the "ball" lens will limited the lights from the bulbs to stay low. So I won't suggest ppl use HIDs on their car without the "ball" lens design because the high power output from the HIDs will reflect too much light too high that will affect the cars in your front just like you put the high beam on.
    These are from a 2013 Subaru Wrx.....

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by Default User View Post
    I ran the cheapest HIDS possible for 3 years in my MZ3 and 4 years on my Lancer without this issue.
    Did you open to see?

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Lens Housings are clear
    Frequent washing and detailing gives you an eye for these kind of issues.

    Especially after you install cheap aftermarket items - you tend to look out for (or even expect to see) any burning or melting issues.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    You'll never tell without seeing the bowls themselves

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    The light is as strong as the first day you installed it without any dimming or issue, do you need to disassemble the light housing to remove the bowl to check it daily?!

    And as your light has a ball type projector lens to separate it out from the bowl, even when you replace the bulbs you don't need to remove the ball projector to reach the bowl... I don't see any reason to disassemble the thing into pieces to check as it's a sealed standalone object. I doubt I can restore it after I make it apart~

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    These are from a 2013 Subaru Wrx.....
    Are you sure? the 2013 Impreza headlight doesn't look like this, maybe it from the previous generation more years ago, like 2003 you mean? That year's Impreza has the round head light like this shape. And I doubt it came with the ball type projector lens, so if you install HID bulbs, like my cracked one, the leaking gas or over heat may caused the bowl to became smoked...

    And because the HID uses same or less power from the car (50W or 55W), it actually will cause less heat than the other high-output halogen bulbs. Some aftermarket halogen bulbs use 90W or even 110W for the brighter output, and it will burn more often and even cause a fire on your car. So, don't do that on your car.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    I'm 100% sure, I took that picture.
    It's not always the heat, it's the uv rays the bowl wasn't designed to handle

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Actually for the ball type projector lens, we don't need the reflective bowl to handle the light. So we can always find good looking designs for a dark out bowl behind the outer lens of the head light assemble.

    Maybe those types of bowl can also avoid the uv rays we talked about here to leave marks on the chrome like bowls.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Quote Originally Posted by YepYep View Post
    Actually for the ball type projector lens, we don't need the reflective bowl to handle the light. So we can always find good looking designs for a dark out bowl behind the outer lens of the head light assemble.

    Maybe those types of bowl can also avoid the uv rays we talked about here to leave marks on the chrome like bowls.
    Wtf are you talking about? Also, stop saying ball type projector lens, there are only two types of headlights. Halogen reflectors and projectors which can be either halogen or hid. And if I read that correctly, you are saying we don't need the reflective Chrome portion of the projector to reflect light. which is completely incorrect, as that is all that we need to reflect the light, the Glass Lens just focuses the light pattern.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Nope, my friend, you are wrong for understanding the new tech. But you are right as you actually read my comment correctly.

    Please see the picture of my other car in the house, it's a B250 which my wife is driving . You see the reflecting bowl?! No, the bowl is never needed anymore for the projector lens (also means BALL type lens for easy understanding). Because of the light is "project" out directly from the ball type lens, it's same like the projector we use to replace the big screens TV so this is also call the projector light.



    = = =
    Halogen and HID (Xenon) only means two different type of BULBs only. It's not the headlight category.

    Without changing the form of your headlight assemble, you can change to use any kind of bulbs only needs the connector type is the same, you can fit it into the housing.


    Factory Mazda 3 uses halogen bulbs with the projector lens. And what we are talking, is to replace the bulb with a brighter Xenon bulb without changing anything else.

    It's same as you can replace different bulbs for your kitchen light, LED, CFL, halogen. But do you need to replace the bulb housing??

    And actually the HID is just very similar to the CFL bulbs we replaced the halogen years ago to lower down the hydro cost. Because we can use a 13W bulb and get the lumens as high as a old halogen 60w bulb. So you can imagine a same 50w Xenon bulb will have how much brighter than the same 50w halogen bulb.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    uhh... maybe a very tiny bowl behind the projector lens?! As I said, what we do is remove the bulb out and replace with the new one, actually we don't need to remove the bowl. and you can't tell the bowl is chrome or not from the back...

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Ok, I'm going to upload a video this evening explains why you are incorrect. I wish I saw this last night, but you'll just have to wait.

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    Default Re: Looking for new Headlights... LED v. Halogen v. HID

    Yup, you are right. I got this from Google:


    We do have a very small reflective bowl behind the projector lens to make a housing to cover the bulb.

    But I still don't think we should give up Xenon bulbs due to it will make the smoke on the bowl. And for a normal handy man, we can do the bulb swap by ourselves, but disassemble the thing to replace the bowl or clean the bowl looks not an easy job to do it in home after dinner~

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