LED headlights

Makai

Test Drive
Thanks all for the help in my led fog light conversion. Love the wider and brighter output.
I was so impressed I figured why not do the same for the headlights ? What a fine kettle of fish this is turning out to be. I have a 2010 OffRoad. The more I lookup information the more nebulous it gets.
Has anyone had any luck with a straight up bulb swap to bright white LED ?
Again thank you for your help.
 

meisanerd

First Fill-Up (of many)
I went through this site, found the best ones I could for the budget I had that was available in Canada, and did a straight swap. Wish I woulda done it sooner.

https://www.bulbfacts.com/led-kits/chart/

Wound up with the Nineo IIs (were the best budget at the time), haven't regretted it for a second. I've had a couple friends around here swap to those as well in their other vehicles.
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
I went through this site, found the best ones I could for the budget I had that was available in Canada, and did a straight swap. Wish I woulda done it sooner.

https://www.bulbfacts.com/led-kits/chart/

Wound up with the Nineo IIs (were the best budget at the time), haven't regretted it for a second. I've had a couple friends around here swap to those as well in their other vehicles.
Yup, Nineo Gen II are great. A little challenging to figure out the sleeve to install them, but huge improvement with no scattering and no blinding other drivers.
 

westslope

First Fill-Up (of many)
For the moment, I am reasonably happy with the older Hikari 9,600lm bulbs installed in early 2020.

If I was to replace the Hikari LED bulbs going forward, I would put NINEO 9007 110W HB5 LED Bulbs in. Lumens seem to be vulnerable to 'adjustment'. Watts strike me as less vulnerable to 'adjustment'.

I used the watts approach to choose LED bulbs (low and high beam) for our Kia Soul 2015 and the results were spectacular.
 

meisanerd

First Fill-Up (of many)
I mean, technically speaking, lumens is a defined value. The problem is, lumens is basically amount of light measured over a area from a distance, and if they don't tell you the area and distance they are using to measure, you can't use that to compare between different bulbs.

Watts can be affected by the tech in the bulb, how efficient their circuitry is, and doesn't necessarily tell you anything about light output as the lens can also affect how much light gets thrown, and where it goes. And, a lot of these cheap led bulbs, they just tell you the watts off the spec sheet, not actually measuring circuitry usage.

The site I linked does a comparison at a fixed distance, and also checks beam spread, so you can use it to more accurately compare bulbs.
 

Springfield

Test Drive
Location
Sunny Florida
I put the Nineo II's on my 2005 S, and they made a great improvement. However, to get them to fit I had to trim off the rear 1/2 of the OEM mounting ring so it wouldn't interfere with the rear-facing internal fan housing.
 

545

Test Drive
I mean, technically speaking, lumens is a defined value. The problem is, lumens is basically amount of light measured over a area from a distance, and if they don't tell you the area and distance they are using to measure, you can't use that to compare between different bulbs.

Watts can be affected by the tech in the bulb, how efficient their circuitry is, and doesn't necessarily tell you anything about light output as the lens can also affect how much light gets thrown, and where it goes. And, a lot of these cheap led bulbs, they just tell you the watts off the spec sheet, not actually measuring circuitry usage.

The site I linked does a comparison at a fixed distance, and also checks beam spread, so you can use it to more accurately compare bulbs.

you are describing lux, not lumens

lumens is the amount of light output
unfortunately most numbers are not accurate, companies don’t bother testing (with an integrating sphere) and either make something up, or use the lumen numbers provided from the led manufacturer, prior to it being in a completed assembly
 
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XterraRising

Need Bigger Tires
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
Companies are pretty shady when marketing because they know 99.9% of people won’t bother checking.
 

Springfield

Test Drive
Location
Sunny Florida
Do you have to modify the harness for these?
qtViLLh.jpg

No, plugs fit good on my 2005 S OEM harness. The plug shown above fits into a small converter module, which has the right plug for a standard headlight socket. However as I said in my earlier post, I had to trim the back part of the OEM headlamp retaining ring (at left below), because the fan built into the back of the LED was too fat to fit inside the retaining ring, and the mounting point (silver ball in 3rd pic) is a little too close to the fan for the OEM retaining ring to fit between the fan and mounting point.
uG5Hb1j.jpg

Lbv7bq7.jpg
 

meisanerd

First Fill-Up (of many)
you are describing lux, not lumens

lumens is the amount of light output
unfortunately most numbers are not accurate, companies don’t bother testing (with an integrating sphere) and either make something up, or use the lumen numbers provided from the led manufacturer, prior to it being in a completed assembly
lux is just lumens / area
 

meisanerd

First Fill-Up (of many)
Do you have to modify the harness for these?

I didn’t have to cut or trim anything. It was a bit tricky and I did lots of rotating and trying different alignments before it fit.

I didn't have to modify anything either, just plugged the bulbs in. There was a bit of playing with the clocking to make sure they had the right beam pattern, but mechanically they just worked.
 

jsexton

Need Bigger Tires
Supporting Member
Location
Lewis Center, OH
I also put nineo's in mine, they work great, both high and low beam. Also did not have to modify anything. I did install the bulb housing in my headlight before slipping the led "bulb" in.
 

Makai

Test Drive
Thanks for the intel.
I will order the nineo’s after I get 2 retaining rings.
Just in case Murphy shows up.

Next I’ll be looking into a radio upgrade, way too much fumbling around with the original while driving.
 

jsexton

Need Bigger Tires
Supporting Member
Location
Lewis Center, OH
I also put nineo's in mine, they work great, both high and low beam. Also did not have to modify anything. I did install the bulb housing in my headlight before slipping the led "bulb" in.

i undersold this a little bit. Bought these for the headlights:
NINEO 9007 LED Bulbs Halogen Replacement 6500K Extremely Bright All-in-One Conversion Kit | 360 Degree Adjustable Beam Angle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XC168C...abc_22BZNC538P9D7K10N4D1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Liked them so much I bought these for the fog lights:
NINEO H11 LED Bulbs | 60W Halogen Replacement 6500K Cool White Extremely Bright All-in-One Conversion Kit | 360 Degree Adjustable Beam Plug & Play https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MDOWGY...abc_5PM7BRQXW166WE1HK0HX?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

plenty bright to where it’s not a significant difference (still brighter, but not like turning daylight on anymore) when I turn my 20” light bar on.

I haven’t been flashed a single time with the headlights and fog lights. I have them pointed down enough it doesn’t blind other drivers. Very happy with them.
 

westslope

First Fill-Up (of many)
.........
I haven’t been flashed a single time with the headlights and fog lights. I have them pointed down enough it doesn’t blind other drivers. Very happy with them.

With some time and effort I could probably figure out how to re-orient the fog lights all by lonesome but please humour me and tell us how you re-angled the fog lights.

BC 18-wheel truck drivers do not like my fog lights and in respect to them, I rarely if ever use them. Should fix this.....
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
With some time and effort I could probably figure out how to re-orient the fog lights all by lonesome but please humour me and tell us how you re-angled the fog lights.

BC 18-wheel truck drivers do not like my fog lights and in respect to them, I rarely if ever use them. Should fix this.....
If they’re OEM there is an adjustment screw on one of the bottom sides/corners.
 

General_Tarfun

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I can't speak to the quality of other brands but the 9007/9004: GTR Ultra Series 2.0 I bought from the retrofitsource are comparable or better with no glare for oncoming traffic.
 

Gen X

Bought an X
Supporting Member
Location
Ashburn, VA
Yes, both high and low. You have to put the bulb in the correct orientation to get the beams to focus right.

Nineo II like this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XC168CY

Another question on these. Are they DOT approved? I just did my vehicle inspection here in Virginia. I had put LEDs in my reverse and fog lights. The shop said they are not approved. Luckily I still had the old bulbs in the glove box, just swapped them out and passed inspection.

I asked about adding lights such as a light bar, rock, or camp lights. They said for those to pass all white light must be blocked when doing the inspection. The tech said some people remove the light bars, and one time he even passed it after they covered the bar with duct tape.

Maybe just a Virginia thing? I guess if they are not approved, I just keep the old bulbs and swap them before doing the yearly inspection?
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
Another question on these. Are they DOT approved? I just did my vehicle inspection here in Virginia. I had put LEDs in my reverse and fog lights. The shop said they are not approved. Luckily I still had the old bulbs in the glove box, just swapped them out and passed inspection.

I asked about adding lights such as a light bar, rock, or camp lights. They said for those to pass all white light must be blocked when doing the inspection. The tech said some people remove the light bars, and one time he even passed it after they covered the bar with duct tape.

Maybe just a Virginia thing? I guess if they are not approved, I just keep the old bulbs and swap them before doing the yearly inspection?
It is a VA thing.

VA inspections are crazy. I don't miss them.

You are allowed to have 4 forward facing DOT approved, white filaments active at any time. So. In VA it's against the inspection to do the fog light bypass in such a way that the fog lights stay on when the high beams come on. Because that'd be 6 filaments. It also means that any other forward facing lights have to be covered at all times. I never got in trouble for having lights on the side or rear of my truck.

I had a buddy with an old Silverdildo with like 8" of lift and 35s that had 6" halogen off road lights installed on the roof. Every year for inspection, he'd just go up to the roof and turn them backwards. And that was enough so that the inspector didn't care.

Funny story though. I was a very early LED adopter. Like 20 years ago I was putting LED bulbs on my cars. Yes. They sucked. But it was cool. It was new technology. In like 2002 I had an inspector fail my Mustang because of 6K LED license plate lights. He told me, "you can't have BLUE licence plate lights." I had a very lengthily argument with him that my lights weren't blue. They were actually white. and the white he was used to seeing is actually yellow. The inspection code says that the light over the license plates has to be white. Not that it has to be halogen. Also, because they're not lights that project outwards for other drivers to see on the rear of the vehicle, they are not subject to DOT regs. I got the shop manager involved and ended up winning that argument. That tech was not very happy with me.

The rule of inspections is that you find a shop that cares about the important stuff. Brakes. Tie rods. Things that are actually about safety. Afterall, it is called the "Virginia Safety Inspection." And I'm sorry. Having a superior light source to stock is not "against safety." And then you make friends with the people at that shop. Bring them work. Hang out. Talk to people. Get to know the mechanics. That's in your interest in terms of modifying cars in VA.

But if the shop doesn't know you, they have a liability thing. If they don't 110% conform to the rules laid out by the state they can lose their license to inspect vehicles. And if they don't know you, they don't know that you're not working for the state police and trying to "test" them. So they have to stick to the rules. 110%.

I was fortunate to have many friends and clients in dealerships and shops. I miss those connections today.
 
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Gen X

Bought an X
Supporting Member
Location
Ashburn, VA
Thanks Prime. I assume the same for HID Xenon bulbs? Basically no more than 4 forward facing white lights. I wonder how they determined mine were not DOT approved? Maybe they pulled them out to check?
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
Also, fog lights are not subject to DOT restrictions. They do have to meet the "filament" rule. But you do not have to have DOT fog lights.
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
HIDs get complicated. Because the housing has to be DOT approved for use with HIDs. Which of course, the X isn't. So again. Technically, that's outside of inspection code.
 

Gen X

Bought an X
Supporting Member
Location
Ashburn, VA
Thanks again Prime. I didn't think fog lights mattered, but it was just easier to swap the bulbs. I need to check if they are DOT bulbs, I have the original box. Probably not as I didn't know it was a thing. I just grabbed them from Amazon so likely not approved.
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
Now if you had DOT approved LED bulbs, I'd probably argue that with the shop. There is specific language for HIDs, but I don't think there is for LEDs YET. So you could argue that the housing is DOT approved and the bulbs are DOT approved for halogen housings. If you had documentation on that, I bet you could argue for a pass.
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
Another question on these. Are they DOT approved? I just did my vehicle inspection here in Virginia. I had put LEDs in my reverse and fog lights. The shop said they are not approved. Luckily I still had the old bulbs in the glove box, just swapped them out and passed inspection.

I asked about adding lights such as a light bar, rock, or camp lights. They said for those to pass all white light must be blocked when doing the inspection. The tech said some people remove the light bars, and one time he even passed it after they covered the bar with duct tape.

Maybe just a Virginia thing? I guess if they are not approved, I just keep the old bulbs and swap them before doing the yearly inspection?
For Virginia, even if a “DOT approved” LED bulb, it can’t go in a halogen housing. Technically you’d have to get a housing also DOT approved for LED.

They’re wrong about the light bar and other accessory lights. As long as the light, reflector, and lens are white, it does NOT have to be covered. It just had to be on a dedicated switch so it doesn’t come on with high beams or other stuff. They’re also wrong about duct tape because Virginia code explicitly states temporary coverings like tape or foil are not allowed and must be failed. For me, I have a few that are yellow, so I just stick on actual covers when I go for inspection.

I don’t get why they’d be sticklers about the LED bulb and then tell you they pass other people when they shouldn’t. I have LED bulbs in halogen housings, and my shop passes me because when they turn on the lights they just appear to be bright. If you get crappy LEDs that scatter the light poorly, that’s where they may get tipped off and check for the type.

I think you should just find another shop. If you’re near Fairfax I can PM you the one I go to.
 
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Well I bought some

Nilight 2PCS 7 Inch Round Cree LED Headlights​

Got em cheap off China Wholesale Outlet aka Amazon which disappointingly has nothing to do with sexy warrior women. The day they were delivered the Amazon product page changed status to “these are NOT a perfect fit for your rig”! I was so happy I sang their praises all day (sarcasm). So I haven’t cracked open the headlight assembly but I don’t see any mounting hardware or adapter connectors. It looks like an adventure on the horizon. Anyone had experience installing these on a first gen Xterra?
 
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