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LED Headlights

Started by sutekh, 06 April 2022, 11:19 PM


There are a couple of other threads on the forum on this topic, but nothing I could find specific to US-spec sealed beams. Many would argue converting to euro is the way to go, and from a beam pattern / light output standpoint, they wouldn't be wrong, but I love the look of quad roundies!

I've done this a few times now on other vehicles, and have probably purchased at least a dozen different lamp types and brands. Two themes have emerged: 1) Active cooling is a must, and 2) "360" degree style bulbs are the only way to prevent dark spots. I put 360 in quotes, because the best I've found are 8-sided, but that still beats the hell outta 2!

I'll post a few follow-ups with pics outlining the process and results...


These sealed beam to H4 retrofit housings are okay. The alignment tabs and socket orientations were bit dodgy, but unlike many of the readily available options online, they don't have right-hand-drive asymmetric cutoff optics embossed into the lenses!

They definitely look the part too. You'd have to look very closely to notice that these aren't OE sealed beams. It's the little things that matter :)


One of the biggest caveats I encountered, is that there just aren't very many good bulb options that offer both a high and low beam (in H4 or anything else for that matter). Going back to my 360deg point, these were the best I could manage to find:


The high-beams also present a challenge, because these retrofit housings are all designed to accommodate H4 / 9003 dual-filament halogens, not any of the single filament variants like H1, H7, etc.
Luckily, almost all of these LED headlights have a common shaft diameter and socket adapters in every conceivable size are readily available.

Speaking of the high-beams, here are the bulbs I used. I've had a set of these in my F-150 for over a year and they've performed flawlessly.


In the below pics, the high/low beam is on the left, while the high-beam is on the right.


Quote from: sutekh on 06 April 2022, 11:19 PMMany would argue converting to euro is the way to go, and from a beam pattern / light output standpoint, they wouldn't be wrong, but I love the look of quad roundies!

US headlights with a good set of H4 conversions actually can be a lot better in terms of both beam pattern and light output (and it's technically against highway code but you can wire them such that you can have 4 high beams and the fogs going at the same time). I haven't messed with LEDs but I even got really good output (but poor beam pattern) with ancient sealed beams after I upgraded to bigger ground wires and a more powerful alternator in my 300SD before I got my H4 conversions.
75 450SEL
80 300SD- ZF8 OM606 superturbo
83 300D- 6-speed M111 Kompressor
84 300D- 5-speed OM617
92 300D- 722.6 OM603 3.5
93 190E 2.6 Sportline LE x2- 6-speed M111 turbo, 3.0 M103
02 C320 Wagon
03 Sprinter 2500
06 E500 4Matic Wagon


So, how do they look? Great IMO, and vastly, massively brighter. The last pic below is with the high-beams on. I neglected to snap one of the lows, but they didn't have any dark spots either. After aiming, they cutoff right where the sealed beams did and shouldn't blind any oncoming drivers (I hope).