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Thread: Headlights: HID vs. LED

  1. #1
    Smokin 1500HP - Member ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Headlights: HID vs. LED

    Explore Kenny Brown Performance today!!
    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 (aka: "Stealth Fighter Pilot")
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool radiator, 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, bumpsteer, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB, all LED lights

  2. #2
    Smokin 1500HP - Member 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 (aka: "Stealth Fighter Pilot")
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool radiator, 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, bumpsteer, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB, all LED lights

  3. #3
    LEDs look even better than HIDs which is adds on top of their energy efficiency. What about the lifespan, are they still in good condition or did you have to replace the bulbs(which I assume is more costly than HID)?

  4. #4
    Smokin 1500HP - Member ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    IMHO there is no comparison between HID and LED.

    LEDs are cheaper, easier to install, last longer (30,000 hrs), draw less power and don't have any striking issues. I would never go back to HID.
    Bruce (aka: "Stealth Fighter Pilot")
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool radiator, 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, bumpsteer, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB, all LED lights

  5. #5
    Smokin 75HP - Member serviceman's Avatar
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    How is the strength of the light. Does it push as far out as the HIDs?

  6. #6
    Smokin 1500HP - Member ToplessPony94's Avatar
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    Home of the SmokinStangs - Northeast Mustang Rally!
    Quote Originally Posted by serviceman View Post
    How is the strength of the light. Does it push as far out as the HIDs?
    Yes. The only odd thing is high beams (at least on the ones I got). They don't really go "up" like you might expect. Instead the beams mostly seem to get wider and encompass more to the right and left, which is nice. They only go up a little. But I've not had that cause any issue for me - they are plenty bright enough even on low, and no one has ever flashed me with them on low beam.
    Bruce (aka: "Stealth Fighter Pilot")
    TFS TW heads, rockers, 75mm intake, cam, 75mm TB, CAI, MAF, DeatschWerks 35# injectors, Aeromotive rails/regulator, 255 pump, BeCool radiator, 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, bumpsteer, SF conns, Cobra brakes, =len shorties, 2.5" SS Hpipe, Borla CB, all LED lights

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