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Which Headlight Upgrade - LED or Super H4

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by AC-T3, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Pondering the options for my '82 and am stuck between H4 relays and bulbs on steroids or the LED route. H4 relay kits that double stock power output are available for the 80/85 T3 and Bosch do a number of H4 options, the penultimate being the H4 Extreme at 130/100. Appreciate the higher current draw of H4's but if incandescent output is better then I'm happy with that.
     
  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

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    11,847
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    :pDrive slower.
     
  3. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

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    9,382
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    You can do the testing for us Rob.

    It's hard to actually find any information on the led headlights. They may also be better with relays.
     
  4. peter915

    peter915 Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Location:
    Sunshine coast
    syncro likes this.
  5. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,622
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    I read an interesting comparison between driving light types....halogen/HID/led etc.
    What I found really interesting was that the average eye's focal length at night is about 100 feet. Conclusion drawn was that if you blaze the road for hundreds of feet, it really doesn't serve any benefit.....you can't actually focus on what is lit !
    Appropriate spread of light & colour temperature, I think, are better priorities.....
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  6. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,847
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Possiby correct re focal length and i wonder if thats related to light intesity.
    But i think that extra distance is good as even if its peripheral or only shape reconition it extends the reaction distance.
    I find i tend to constantly check different areas not in central focus
     
  7. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,876
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    I rather see the movement shape of a Roo, further away than 100 feet, even if it is blurrily unfocused.....;)
     
  8. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,622
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    I agree with your earlier post Col, drive slower !
    Beyond a certain point, focal length didn't improve with more illumination, that's what was interesting...and the point.
    I think most Roos are hit when they jump sideways into the path of a vehicle, rather than the driver not seeing them on the roadway, 100s of metres ahead...
    My scariest moments have been driving through countryside cuttings and approaching a mob of Roos grazing on roadside grass, early in the mornings.....not sure how brighter lights would assist there....
    Just sayin' ......and in no way detracting from the benefit of good headlights led or otherwise...
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  9. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

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    11,847
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    :rolleyes:Spose its no longer politicaly correct to mention only being able to see 30 ft n focus at 15.


    Agree that spread is also important as well as having good low beam so that you dont go blind when the rack of roo cookers are turned off.
    On high beam the intensity should be lower in foreground to allow eyes to adapt to the distance
     
  10. peter915

    peter915 Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Location:
    Sunshine coast
    I saw a Jeep earlier today - open top - with what must have been 5x large - large (read HUGE) spot lights on the roof (on a roll bar) - they must have been 250mm dia .... like can you imagine the light coming off his bonnet - like apart from the fact it was a Jeep - ... what total tossa !
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    syncro likes this.
  11. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,847
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    :D
    I was just stirring.
    Yeah, usual roo strike is from side and at last minute as they jump into ones path.

    In hwy situation i think its more relaxing to have at least 100m of light at an intensity that allows good reconition without straining
    Better reactions as well.
    Less intensity causes tunnel vision and a hunched driving position as one tends to peer into the distance.

    In the 90's I found the new lights on the au falcon a huge improvement over the rack of spots i used to run on my kombi at the time.
    Bright, even coverage, wide and good range in comparison.
     
  12. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,847
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Like running 4 super oscars on the front of a datsun rally car in the 80's :) had to see somehow. Spots, and wides out each side to see when cornering on opposite lock at BS speeds on narrow dirt roads on moonless nights.
     
  13. seano

    seano Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    North Western Victoria
    Lads...these are for headlights. Not roo killing spotlights!!!

    Personally, I'd go with H4's using the best quality 60/55 globes you can manage. To date, I've tried 100/130 in four vehicles and have created more additional heat than light. These days I think I'm using Philips extreme vision.

    LED 'globes' in lenses that were not designed for them are an exercise in futility. Been there done that.

    If you need extra light after that then a decent led light bar to supplement high beam is a very useful flood light...
     
    Dubman likes this.
  14. peter915

    peter915 Active Member

    Messages:
    707
    Location:
    Sunshine coast
    You haven't tried the new generation CREE headlight units - not a globe - no lenses - I use one almost everyday in my Toyota Landcruiser.
    Its the 21st Century
    Still - if you use a push-rod motor - then globes with filaments make sense - aka 19th century.
    PJ
     
  15. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Think I recall discussions a few years back about some members fitting or discussed fitting headlight relays to run 100/80 H4's or similar. Did this happen and if so was there any noticeable increase in illumination or other benefits? Also interested in LED heat production and impact on output.

    Oh and Mr cbus, I have slowed down - courtesy of the 4.83 final drive.
     
  16. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,382
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    I run 60/100 H4s with relays and it is better. I think that yours would be the old style fuse panel which may see an improvement.

    Even with LEDs I would run 4 relays.
     
  17. Dubman

    Dubman Well-Known Member

    I tried a number of set ups on my old bus over the course of ownership the best thing I found was Phillips +100s and a relay kit, (Now available in a +130)
    http://forums.kombiclub.com/threads/wont-you-light-my-way.35395/

    Although they seem to have "more light" HID kits are great usually only for boy ricers, but in the wet or fog you'd better off with a Dolphin torch. :p
    The whiter light of HID and even some of the cree bulbs turns to wash when used outside of clear nights. (There is a reason fog lamps etc are yellow)

    At work I see it all the time, customers complain that the lights are rubbish when wet or misty, but don't want to loose the look of their "upgraded" Blue/white globes when we recommend back to stock or the Phillips option :rolleyes:

    The other thing to remember too as I found when trying out HID's although the light was noticeably different, after every attempt at adjustment, using eye lids etc, It was p!$$ing off every other driver around me. Just sit in front of a Honda in traffic to see what I mean. Most modern cars have motorised self leveling lights to try and combat this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
    AC-T3 likes this.
  18. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

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    1,446
    Location:
    newcastle
    I have HIDs on the Baja and they are rubbish to drive with. Useful in heavy bushland but painful on eyes everywhere else.
     
  19. Squalo

    Squalo Active Member

    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast QLD
    Lighting is a big topic on the Patrol4x4.com that I am involved with. General consensus, supported by one of our vendors who is a lighting specialist, is that LED is not quite there yet for distance and penetration. However, for Kombis that really aren't all that fast, especially when touring outback roads at night, LED might be adequate. But, we're talking 7" LED housings here, and even the cheapest ones aren't cheap - and they're cheap, if you know what I mean.

    LED bulb into reflector housings is a waste of money and effort.

    HID bulbs into reflector housings is just a crap thing to do so let's leave that there.

    HID bi-xenon projectors are about as good as it gets (bi-xenon simply means low and high beam out of the single projector, using a solenoid activated flip up shade. But, not cheap. $500+ for a quality 7" set-up. Never go above 5000k rating, because the higher ratings wash out really badly on wet roads - you'll almost feel like you have no lights at all. And the blue/purple tint attracts the revenue raisers. Downside, the cut-off on low beam takes a bit of getting used to - but having HID for both low and high beam is terrific, when you dip your lights you can actually still see where you are going.

    As suggested, the Phillips uprated globes are going to be the best option for Kombis (and any other relatively slow-moving objects), but to get the best out of them you should uprate the wiring - run them straight off the battery, via relays and 6b&s wiring, and use the OEM headlight wiring to switch the relays in/out. It's actually very easy to do at home, but you can buy off the shelf harnesses that are virtually plug and play. Obviously you need to swap from sealed beam to run the Phillips globes, so a set of Depo 'crystal' 7" headlights will also make a big difference in lighting output.

    Allow $50-70 for the H4 Phillips globes, $60 for the crystal headlights and $125 for the wiring harness (or well under half that if you are up to a bit of cutting and crimping to make your own).

    And a LED lightbar is a good idea for people who drive at night in rural areas. Any lightbar can do the job, but the cheap ones won't be putting out as many lumens after 12 months (and on that, some of the expensive ones are actually cheap...). I've had good experiences with Baja Designs LEDs and HIDs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
    seano, cbus and AC-T3 like this.
  20. AC-T3

    AC-T3 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    965
    Location:
    Woy Woy
    Thanks for the views, options and info and effect of weather conditions. A relay kit is en-route from the good ole USA and will run mid range H4 globes - currently run Hella E4 lenses and 60/55 globes so looking forward to the change.
     

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