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LED HEADLIGHT DRIVING LIGHT


Refuzn-To-Grow-Up

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One of the forum members, after reading my post (regarding LED light bars), on Roger Dickenson’s post about Nuclear lights (the link is below), sent me a PM to share with the group.

Rather than hijack Roger’s thread, I started another thread on LED lights. I did some (but not a lot of research in the resource guide), but I am no expert on this HDT stuff nor electrical stuff (I am more of a gear head).
I have had several email conversations with the member about his conversion to LED lights and, with his permission, I am sharing his work. The member prefers NOT to post on the forum. And, I respect his request. His comments are in red type.
His Volvo is a 2002 and mine is a 2008. As I recall, he has a Gen I and mine is a Gen II.
I am not sure if a Gen II computer is going to “whine” about the difference in current draw between all LED driving lights and stock. Anyone?
Jim:
Like everyone else, I found the stock Volvo headlights to be pretty abysmal. I installed LED bulbs in my 2002 Volvo 780 that helped a lot, and I feel that the low beam performance is now adequate with those bulbs. But high beam performance was still unacceptable.
So, I took a chance and ordered these:
They have a 10 degree reflector, so the beam is very narrow. It's important to make sure that you know what degree the beam pattern is on LED light bars. Most "spot" beams are 30 degrees, which is not adequate for long range lighting. I wouldn't even consider anything above 15 degrees for this application. And if the ad doesn't explicitly state the degrees, I wouldn't take a chance on it.
My Volvo's front bumper has the cut outs for the fog lights, and the cut outs happen to have a single hole pre-drilled in the top of the cut out, perfectly centered. The LED light bars mount with a single bolt, so bolting them in took only a minute per side. Very very easy. I then extended the wire, added blade connectors to the ends of the wires, cut the blade connectors down to size, and inserted them into the back of the wiring harness for the main headlights. Since everything is LED, the total draw doesn't exceed what the factory wiring can handle.
They come on with my regular high beam switch and are very bright, but not obnoxious. The 10 degree beam is perfect for use as a high beam. They project the light much further than the low beams, and merge with each other about where the low beams fade out. I couldn't be happier with them and highly recommend the upgrade to anyone with a similar dissatisfaction with the stock lights.
Even on a truck that already has fog lights installed, these could be mounted more toward the center of the bumper in the lower radiator opening.
I recommend using medium strength (blue) Loctite when mounting these. Both on the adjustment bolts as well as the main mounting bolt. Strong enough to keep it in place, weak enough to be unbolted if need be.
The LED bulbs that I used in the factory headlights are pretty much the same as discussed elsewhere on the board. Mine were 2,000 lumens for low beam and 2,600 lumens for high beam. I might go a little higher if I had it to do over again, but not by much.
I hope this helps someone. I finally feel like my lighting is safe for night driving!
For comparing LED light bars to headlights, the reflector is very important. 30 degrees would be about right for low beam, and 10 degrees or narrower would be right for high beams. It's really more about focus than it is about lumen output. And you don't want a huge difference between your low and high beam light output because your eyes can't adjust fast enough to be safe when driving at highway speeds.
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As was mentioned before, in the other thread, those LED bars are illegal for on-road usage. That is why that EBay ad says things like "work light" and "off road". Read the "applications" it lists at the bottom of the ad. Not a one of them is for on-road use. They are not only obnoxious, they are blinding to other traffic.

 

I am also curious about the LED bulb he put into his existing Gen1 housing. To my knowledge, due to the different type of reflector required, there is no street legal interchangable LED "bulb". Volvo does have a GEN2 replacement headlight but it is way to rich for my blood.

 

Here is a left side for $800. For $1600 a pair, I can drive in the daylight

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Big5er, you're going to be proud of me...I pushed a bunch of buttons so that the next statement stood out:

 

A forward-facing LED light bar, especially one mounted in the center of a vehicle, has no place on the highway. Even if you don't intend to use it, there are many places where off-road lights are specifically regulated, and required to be physically covered when on the highway. I think Jim is either in or from CA, where driving and fog lights are required to meet SAE standards, and auxiliary lights must meet the requirements in 13 Cal. Admin. C. § 712 (a). Further, CA imposes a limit of 8 off-road lamps, and prohibits the use of auxiliary lights with anything other than high beams.

 

To meet the aiming requirements for various auxiliary lights (which are at the state and local levels, and admittedly very non-technical and subjective in nature) with a conical beam, it's generally illegal for "any of the bright portions" to rise "above a horizontal plane passing through the lamp centers". If you mounted the lights as high as possible (42" seems to be pretty common), the bottom edge of that cone would be 6 feet out--which is going to appear brighter than the more distance parts of the cone, and tend to worsen your ability to see things you might be able to avoid (by drawing your focus closer, and preventing your eyes from dilating.

 

I am also curious about the LED bulb he put into his existing Gen1 housing. To my knowledge, due to the different type of reflector required, there is no street legal interchangable LED "bulb". Volvo does have a GEN2 replacement headlight but it is way to rich for my blood.

The stock headlights use an H11 bulb. To quote a SEMA e-news article, "Under FMVSS No. 108’s Section S7.7 (Replaceable light sources), each replaceable light source for headlamps must be designed to conform to the dimensions and electrical specifications for the headlamp source it is intended to replace." That includes "wire coil filament size and location" which the LED "bulb" can't meet. NHTSA has made very clear that these types of "bulbs" marketed for use in existing lights are not legal. The light distribution from one of these is very different from a halogen bulb, and when dropped into optics designed for a halogen bulb, the light output is often very different. At the very least, the manufacturer of the lamp (i.e. Volvo) isn't expected to design their lamp to meet the standard for anything that fits in the hole; if it fits in the hole it's required to match the specifications in part 564. Here's the list of specifications that must match the H11 specification: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2004-title49-vol5/xml/CFR-2004-title49-vol5-part564-appA.xml

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As was mentioned before, in the other thread, those LED bars are illegal for on-road usage. That is why that EBay ad says things like "work light" and "off road". Read the "applications" it lists at the bottom of the ad. Not a one of them is for on-road use. They are not only obnoxious, they are blinding to other traffic.

 

I am also curious about the LED bulb he put into his existing Gen1 housing. To my knowledge, due to the different type of reflector required, there is no street legal interchangable LED "bulb". Volvo does have a GEN2 replacement headlight but it is way to rich for my blood.

 

Here is a left side for $800. For $1600 a pair, I can drive in the daylight

 

Big5er:

 

Below is a "copy and paste" of his email to me regarding the LED's for Gen I Volvos. These bulbs may not fit Gen II Volvos.

 

I can buy a lot of diesel fuel for $1,600. I'll pass too on the Volvo lights.

 

As I read his email, these are not "light bars" but two individual driving lights. And, they do not turn on until he activates his bright light switch. So, it appears that he uses them like we would do on a dark country road. When there are no approaching vehicles, the bright lights are on. As a car approaches, the bright lights are turned off.

 

I do not know about the legality of LED's on vehicles, but, it would appear that as technology develops, LED's will become the standard for lighting on trucks, cars, boats and even in our homes. I think that it will just be a matter of time before the law catches up with this new lighting technology.

 

 

 

Jim

 

These are the headlights that I ordered:

With the 5k color temperature and 9007 size.
That particular auction has ended, but here is the same item from another seller:
If you search on eBay or Amazon for "LED headlight 9007" you will come across tons of options. The problem that I've had is the color. I really wanted white for my truck, and 5000k looks white. 6000k and above has a blue tinge to it. No matter how much they claim it's "white", it's got some blue in it. There are a lot of options for bulbs with more light output in the 6000k and above range, though. Keep in mind that a typical halogen bulb is putting out around 2,000 lumens on high beam. Give or take.
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Life is too complex already :rolleyes:

Especially in California!

 

It's also complex enough that enforcement on the road is spotty at best--and that stuff that's clearly illegal to sell often falls through the cracks when it comes to prohibiting its use on the road. Given how bad (in terms of both quality/longevity and performance) a lot of stuff is, just getting into the ballpark of compliance would be an improvement.

 

As far as the legality of LEDs as a technology, I'm unaware of anything prohibiting their use. Numerous vehicles now come with them factory installed as headlights, driving/fog lights, taillights, etc. -- NHTSA is charged with regulating performance, not design. Just be realistic about lifetime claims--if they're tested at all, SAE J2938 specifies only a 2,000-hour minimum testing requirement. A lot of lifetime claims out there are for the LEDs themselves (or not tested to any standard), when thermal management and the driver circuits significantly impact system life.

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There are street legal LED driving lights available, but they are not headlight replacements. From my experience, Nuke-E's kit or the high dollar LED's are the only two high quality, legal options.

 

Here's what is going on mine for driving lights - http://www.kchilites.com/lights/gravity-led/4-x6-gravity-led-pair-pack-system-kc-711-spread-beam.html

 

4x6-gravity-pair.jpg

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There are street legal LED driving lights available, but they are not headlight replacements. From my experience, Nuke-E's kit or the high dollar LED's are the only two high quality, legal options.

 

Here's what is going on mine for driving lights - http://www.kchilites.com/lights/gravity-led/4-x6-gravity-led-pair-pack-system-kc-711-spread-beam.html

 

4x6-gravity-pair.jpg

Have you tried these?

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