HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock - Honda-Tech

HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

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Old 01-18-2017, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

H4 bulb LED retrofits: Better than the H4 HID retrofits

Information for people with h4 headlight bulbs: 92-03 Civics, del Sols, 97-04 CRVs, 97-01 Preludes, etc.Here's another thread about LED headlight bulb retrofits. This is a guide for beginners who may be considering upgrading their headlight bulbs on an EG EK del sol or any other car with an H4 bulb for a headlight. The EG has the fluted lens, the EK has the new standard of yellowing plastic, and the del sol has the worst of both worlds. These new LED retrofits should completely eliminate HID conversions as a bolt in replacement and I urge everyone to make the switch. Now both HID and LED kits have good and bad ones, but as a whole, I’ll talk about why LED retrofits CAN be better, specifically for the dual filament H4 bulb, aka the 9003 bulb. HID kits for those of us with H4 bulbs (92 to 00 civics like me) suck and I'm going to get a little technical as to why they suck:

First, I now run LED headlights in my stock 99 Civic headlights. I ran several HID kits, most glaring like crazy. I ended up with a bixenon kit which consists of an HID bulb assembly bolted on a solenoid that moves the bulb back several millimeters to move into position of the high beam filament when you turn high beams on. This was better than a standard kit (which has NO high beam) and better than the ones that just shove an h3 bulb onto the side for ‘highs’ which emits far less light than stock. So lets start with a comparison:

LED lights: No bootup, compared to the 5 second color change/warm up of HIDs. LED ignition: Diodes turn on an off right away, faster than halogen bulbs.
Lower power consumption. Yes, a drawback to HIDs and LEDs is they both require a separate box (ballast for HIDs, resistor controller for LEDs.) Lack of an igniter. Since there is no initial ‘spark’ needed like the HID ballasts puts out, that makes these safer with respect to someone trying to work on it and shocking themselves. Similar control boxes: Because of the lower power consumption, the controllers are inline, don’t need any extra airflow to keep from overheating, and control the low/high switch on the fly like the better HID kits do. So switching from low to high is actually quicker than with stock halogen bulbs.
Brighter than stock light output. Now this can vary from manufacturer. I paid under 60$ shipped for my kit off ebay/amazon and will try and find the link to the ones I got. But the reason my newest LED kit is brighter is that the bulb position has the light source in nearly the same position as the factory bulb while 99% of the HID kits do not, I’ll get into why in a bit.
GLARE: This is the reason HID conversions are illegal. My LED setup has an actual cutoff and no glare. Let me explain why.

The h4 bulb uses two filaments. A wire gets hot from appx. 12 volts of electricity. This emits light from a wire, roughly the shape of a skinny rectangle, as the coiled wire is where the light comes from. HIDs use an arc in a glass-enclosed area close to the shape of a small sphere; this light is then emitted from a circular shape. Our reflectors were designed with the intent and shape of reflecting light from that skinny rectangle. If you put in the wrong shape, light output will of course not match Honda's original design. If you were to use this skinny rectangle, which is close to a 'line segment' and wanted a 'perfect' light output that was straight, in theory, the shape would be half of an ellipse. if an HID were to emit light from a solid single point, its shape would be a parabola. Now these shapes are ideal and real reflectors may not be these exact shapes, but the point is that if you use something meant for one reflector in another, you have light scattering in directions it wasn’t designed for. The problem comes when your low beam now shoots tons of light above its cutoff in every which way, blinding oncoming traffic and not going in front of your patch of road where you want it. Now comes the fun part. While HID kits can have a solenoid, this does position the bulb close to the area of where the filament would be in both the high and low beam. However, the low beam of an H4 bulb has an aluminum shroud under it, reflecting some light that would otherwise scatter. If you were to have something to deflect light to prevent this (such as an OEM-style HID bulb - d2s verses the d2r bulb) then it works. However a fixed light absorbing or deflecting shround or material works on an HID bulb in a low-beam position for our h4 bulb. These kits work pretty well but you don’t have a high beam. Those with a solenoid bolted bulb (to mimic high beam position) may have a fixed shround that doesn’t move but are going to get in the way, and lots of them are chromed which scatter light or matte black which absorb light. The result is more light but an inferior light output to stock. In other words you’re gonna get better light output with a PIAA bulb. Some of the cheaper LED kits are just some LEDs on a h4 base. They scatter just as bad. However there is a Phillips bulb that has a thin metal plate with LEDs on both sides, putting a ‘rectangle’ shape of LEDs in the same position as the original bulb. Furthermore, there is a metal ‘wedge’ protruding under the front LEDs, the low beam, mimicking the light deflection of a low beam. Good right? It is. In fact when I tested it on my Civic, I found a near identical beam pattern on my garage door, and during a test drive, went out to adjust the bulbs to give what is much much closer to the identical output of my factory bulb. But then you have the benefits of LEDs too, like a whiter color than stock, brighter output, faster low/high beam switching, lower than stock power consumption, and a control box that doesn’t let the lights dim when the engine (alternator) is off, nor does it have the light dim/brighten when revving (if your Civic is using the voltage-adjusting E.L.D. boxes standard in most 96+ Hondas).

So in my opinion, LED retrofits will ultimately replace HID retrofits. Rememeber I’m referring to a drop in bulb replacement, NOT a projector replacement. Although as we can see, Acura and Porsche (and the new EX-L Civic actually) are now using LED projectors which in my opinion are at least a little less blinding to me but still light the roads well. Speaking from someone who drives a car where you sit low to the ground, I can’t stand range rovers, cadillacs and cars with excessively bright headlights from the factory. And as nearly every HID retrofit will glare like someone left their high beams on, hopefully people wanting HID retrofits will buy LED retrofits instead (with low beam cutoffs) and output your light where you want it, on the road and not blinding oncoming traffic.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

X-treme Ultinon LED Car Lamp 12953BWX2 | Philips

its a start, but not there yet.
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

Be curious to see some reviews on this bulb
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

Should try googling, they have reviews.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: HIDs are dead and LEDs are in! H4 retrofits in LED form rock

LED's are definitely the new thing with a lot of cars now.
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