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LED headlights

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Bill Blue, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Anybody tired them? I'm talking about the 7" "sealed beam" version. Read some reviews on Amazon, they seem to offer greatly improved visibility. My night vision is really getting crappy - to the point that $400 sounds okay if they work.

  2. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    While recovering from the overwhelming response to my initial response, I did another customer review of the headlights. I decided the ones that did not think they were the greatest lighting improvement ever, were, generally speaking, a bunch that did not have a clue what they were talking about or would complain if you hung them with a gold rope.

    So our local Brown suited Santa delivered a package to me yesterday. Been busy installing them and can give an initial report.

    First off, they are a drop in replacement for the sealed beams. No adapters or other stuff required. They do have a forward protrusion and I was concerned it would interfere with the hooded Alpine cover. But no worries.

    Here is a photo of the lights "doing their thing".
    As you can see, the halogen sealed beam looks like an oil lamp burning. Yes, the LED light is lit, even though it looks like maybe camera flash. Needless to say, there was no camera flash. While some like the yellowish light, I do not. Mainly because it seems I can see better with whiter, maybe even "bluish" light.

    Total cost, $400 minus maybe a six pack. Included shipping and Indiana sales tax. They are Truck-Lite brand, sold as Jeep replacement lights. Bought them on Amazon.

  3. Alpine66

    Alpine66 Donation Time

    Nice! It isn't too late for me to get this as a Christmas present....just sayin...
  4. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Initial driving impression.

    Great headlights. They have very good near field side fill. One of my main problems is seeing the road while turning corners. A real issue on unfamiliar rural roads.

    Road sign illumination is outstanding. They jump out at you.

    Some say they are as good on dims as the conventional lights are on bright. I would not go that far, but they are very good on dim. Brights are incredible. The projection is more like landing lights. My old lights were H 24's, which I consider to be pretty good.

    They do have a quirk in the light pattern, each unit projects an X onto the road. Some find that to be an irritation. Yes, it is there, but it is what you make of it. They told me I could improve the aim a little. The driver's side can go to the left a little and the passenger side can go up. The headlights had been aimed using the TLAR method on a dark street, as I have no level space.

    I find it hard to see how there can be so much difference between the LED and conventional lights, as they all must meet the same basic parameters of illumination.

  5. crs

    crs Donation Time

    Bill - Thank you for a good report.

    Reminds me of the light setup on my first Alpine. Normal headlights complemented by Lucas driving lights; drivers side pencil beam and passenger side broad beam. It was wonderful on deserted highways as it left no dark spots.
    However, when meeting traffic, it kept me busy switching down; first the pencil beam and then the broad beam, and then the high beam of the headlights. Unfortunately, that light set went walkabout during the restoration of our Series IV and no one can remember what happened to them. :confused:
  6. mikephillips

    mikephillips Donation Time

    One thing to note for those who may not know, LEDs are polarity sensitive so if you're still running positive ground the headlamps Bill got probably won't work for you since the Jeep is negative ground. You'll need to find a positive ground set or swap the car to negative ground.
  7. coupe

    coupe Donation Time

    Bill, have to ask what is TLAR headlight aming, not sure I've ever herd of it.
  8. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    TLAR: "That Looks About Right" A time honored methodology for the dedicated Barnyard Engineer.

  9. RootesRacer

    RootesRacer Platinum Level Sponsor

    Several things, the Kelven temperature on LEDs is somewhat higher than those of incandescent or halogen. This being that "white" LEDS have less energy on the red spectrum and more energy on the blue.

    The other is pure lumen density. Incandescents are lumen limited by the amount of current needed for more luminosity. "White" LEDs pack roughly 4 times the luminosity per watt even ignoring the higher Kelven temperature.
  10. Nickodell

    Nickodell Donation Time

    Bill: Your experience with the LEDs reminds me of when I still owned my Jaguar XJ6 12 years ago, and installed a plasma headlight kit. This was a lot more complicated than "drop in" fitting, involving connecting the headlight low beam wiring into a central unit that converted the 12v into, as I recall, several hundred volts needed to fire up and maintain the plasma in the bulbs.

    Like you, I found that the light was amazing, covering a much wider arc, showing road signs etc., and being at least twice as bright as even halogens. Amazingly, they used only 30 amps per side, rather than the 55a of the OEM units. The conversion kit was around $150.

    Two big downsides, however.
    1) they were not "dippable." You could only really instal them on 4-headlight systems, like the Jag's, choosing high or low beams. To do both would require another complete system.
    2) they are incompatible with modern cars with daylight sensing, which lowers the headlight voltage for daylight running. Plasma systems have to have the full 12v to operate at all.

    The Jag. was made just before the daylight sensing became standard. I tried running them in daytime (full power, of course) but got some flashing and single-finger gestures. Strange, because I almost never got the same reaction at night, when you would think if there was going to be a problem it would be then, not in daytime.
  11. Hillman

    Hillman Gold Level Sponsor

    Sounds good. Saw this "They are Truck-Lite brand, sold as Jeep replacement lights. Bought them on Amazon." Do you have a model number or whatever? I googled "LED SEAL BEAMS" and got nothing but H4 conversion stuff.

  12. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor


    BERNARD ROSE Gold Level Sponsor

    Hi Bill,
    It's been a few years since you wrote this. Are you still satisfied with the lights? I just purchased a Series 2, and I want to improve the visibility. How do they look when they are not lit...in the reviews it says they are darker. Any input would be appreciated.
  14. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    The actual body of the light bulb is totally isolated and does not depend on a frame ground connection.
    You could set up the connections upside down to the lights.
    To do that you would have to rewire the headlight switching setup because the High/Low shares a common pin.

  15. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Jerry said:
    "The actual body of the light bulb is totally isolated and does not depend on a frame ground connection.
    You could set up the connections upside down to the lights.
    To do that you would have to rewire the headlight switching setup because the High/Low shares a common pin."

    Yes, the lamp body is isolated but the wire to the common (ground) pin on the lamp is a short wire connected directly to chassis. You could rewire it but it would be very cumbersome, assuming the other lights stayed incandescent. It would be much simpler to find pos earth headlamps or change the car to neg earth.

  16. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    I love the LEDs. If anything they are too bright as the reflections off of highway reflectors, especially things like stop signs, tend to be too bright.
    They protrude out about an inch farther than other lights, but it looks okay on a funny little British car. After all, they are known to be weird.
    Can't have everything!

  17. Ratical

    Ratical Donation Time

  18. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

  19. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    I have installed Joe's headlight kit. Drop in replacement for the original headlamps. Same depth as originals. No additional protrusion.

    I can take and post photos after this weekend if interested. I haven't re-installed the headlight trim rims yet.

    Ken Ellis likes this.
  20. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    An update to my previous post. Attached is one photo of an original Lucas headlamp and then a couple of photos of one of Joe's headlights from his LED headlight kit. The LED headlight face is flatter than the original Lucas headlight. The LED headlight face does protrude more than an original headlight at the outside. However, it protrudes less than the original headlight in the middle, due to its flatter curvature.


    Attached Files:

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