LED Headlights - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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LED Headlights

So I've been reading on here and it appears most of the discussions on LED Headlight bulbs are from 2012 through 2013. I wanted to find out if anyone has more recent info. I don't believe CREE LEDs were out back then and now there's even a new COB LED (whatever that is). The one thing I've noticed is that a number of these LED headlight bulbs are saying higher wattages now. If that's actually current draw (aren't LED's supposed to draw less current than incandescent?), then it appears to me there's a legit risk of melting the wiring harness or H4 plug. I was looking at this one in particular that has a 5 year guarantee: 2x 120W 12000LM CREE LED HEADLIGHT BULBS H4 HB2 9003 6000K WHITE HIGH LOW BEAM | eBay and it says "120w" on it. Anyone got any advice on these? One of my low beams just blew out last night and I've had a good amount of experience with bright headlight bulbs over the years in my motorcycles. So I want to get the brightest non-HID bulbs I can find that won't actually damage the wiring harness. Any info is appreciated.

Thanks,
Wayne

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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:11 PM
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Re: LED Headlights

Using a power wheel (W=VA, where W is watts, V is volts, and A is amps) and assuming all modern vehicles with a 12v DC system, the headlights/leds you are talking about stating 120 watts of power, will be pulling 10amps of current.

The stock bulbs are rated at 55w/60w, low beam and high beam respectively, meaning they draw a current of ~4.5 and 5amps. Doubling the current draw will put a great strain on the stock wiring.

This would be a high risk if you decided to run these bulbs and will almost certainly damage some part of it, whether it be the harness or wiring itself

You have a general idea of how led's are supposed to draw less power, but with the wrong approach. LED's, although rated in lumens instead of candella, generally put out the same amount of light with less power. This means that with the same brightness from an LED bulb vs an incandescent bulb, you would be drawing less power. Also, keep in mind that LED's are still in essence a diode, so manufacturers will often put the 6v-12v ratings to help understand your current draw. LEDs will light up at a certain wattage, not necessarily just current or Volts. If it was decided to wire up your aux lights in series from the same source circuit, then the Voltage would be shared between the 2 bars, dropping it to 6v per bar instead of 12v. This would in turn increase the amp pull to the bars so that they would light up. However, this is subject to the circuit you are adding to and would really only apply if the 12v source was the battery itself.

Hope that wasn't too confusing.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: LED Headlights

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Using a power wheel (W=VA, where W is watts, V is volts, and A is amps) and assuming all modern vehicles with a 12v DC system, the headlights/leds you are talking about stating 120 watts of power, will be pulling 10amps of current.

The stock bulbs are rated at 55w/60w, low beam and high beam respectively, meaning they draw a current of ~4.5 and 5amps. Doubling the current draw will put a great strain on the stock wiring.

This would be a high risk if you decided to run these bulbs and will almost certainly damage some part of it, whether it be the harness or wiring itself

You have a general idea of how led's are supposed to draw less power, but with the wrong approach. LED's, although rated in lumens instead of candella, generally put out the same amount of light with less power. This means that with the same brightness from an LED bulb vs an incandescent bulb, you would be drawing less power. Also, keep in mind that LED's are still in essence a diode, so manufacturers will often put the 6v-12v ratings to help understand your current draw. LEDs will light up at a certain wattage, not necessarily just current or Volts. If it was decided to wire up your aux lights in series from the same source circuit, then the Voltage would be shared between the 2 bars, dropping it to 6v per bar instead of 12v. This would in turn increase the amp pull to the bars so that they would light up. However, this is subject to the circuit you are adding to and would really only apply if the 12v source was the battery itself.

Hope that wasn't too confusing.
Makes sense and I see what you're saying. You're absolutely right about me looking at it backwards too. I was thinking apples to apples about light output. If a stock Halogen is 60 watts at 1000 lumens, a 1000 lumen LED should (in theory) draw much less wattage than the halogen bulb (same light output with lower power consumption). In this case, it's a 12,000 lumen light so the draw should be higher than a stock halogen. I believe I made a discovery after the original post though. I'm trying to verify it with the Vendor but I noticed on most of these sets (other vendors/other brands) they're listing the total wattage for the pair of bulbs. I believe that's the case with this one as well as it's says 120w /Kit. So while it says 120 watts in the specs, I think it's meaning 60 watts per bulb which would be right in line with our stock bulbs power consumption and therefore not put excessive draw on the wiring harness. Now the big question is, will these work with our DRL's? I understand that a lot of LEDS won't run when lower current is applied to them. If the vendor says they will, I may give these a shot and see how they do. $27 shipped for a pair of 12,000 Lumen LED bulbs (which appear to be of good quality and certified to 3 different standards) isn't a bad deal at all.

Thanks for the info!

(BTW, I just looked at them again and noticed they also say 12,000 lumen / Kit so if my thoughts are true on the wattage being for a 2 bulb total, then they're 6,000 lumen bulbs. that's still a lot higher output than a really good Halogen bulb though)
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:39 PM
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Re: LED Headlights

Keep us posted. I'm looking to upgrade my lights in the near future. This thread couldn't have come along at a better time.
I'm illiterate when it comes to the newer light systems. Is there a reason you want to avoid HIDs? I'm just curious.
My wife has HIDs in her BMW and had them in her RX350. I always thought that they did the job. But that was comparing them to my Halogens.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: LED Headlights

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Keep us posted. I'm looking to upgrade my lights in the near future. This thread couldn't have come along at a better time.
I'm illiterate when it comes to the newer light systems. Is there a reason you want to avoid HIDs? I'm just curious.
My wife has HIDs in her BMW and had them in her RX350. I always thought that they did the job. But that was comparing them to my Halogens.
I'm totally lost on most of this myself. Back in the 70's I was ahead of the curve using Quartz Iodine lighting in my motorcycles. Then I got into Halogen, then Xenon came along. Since then, I haven't really paid any attention.

The HID route is just too expensive. The price of the HID units has come down quite a bit, but they're still expensive. And then I understand from reading previous posts that the entire headlight assembly has to be changed out as ours can't stand the heat that's generated by the HID lights. Plus you have to mount the ballast somewhere and all of that. I'm thinking if the LED's work, they might be a better combination of brighter light and lower cost......
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:17 PM
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Re: LED Headlights

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I'm totally lost on most of this myself. Back in the 70's I was ahead of the curve using Quartz Iodine lighting in my motorcycles. Then I got into Halogen, then Xenon came along. Since then, I haven't really paid any attention.



The HID route is just too expensive. The price of the HID units has come down quite a bit, but they're still expensive. And then I understand from reading previous posts that the entire headlight assembly has to be changed out as ours can't stand the heat that's generated by the HID lights. Plus you have to mount the ballast somewhere and all of that. I'm thinking if the LED's work, they might be a better combination of brighter light and lower cost......


Thanks for the explanation. It helps! I'm definitely subscribed and look forward to what you come up with.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:42 PM
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Re: LED Headlights

I put a set of LED headlight bulbs in last week, Great low beam patter considering the stock housing's design issn't exactly modern. I bench checked a set of LED H4 bulbs last fall and they were clocking about 3 amps a piece(with fans). The were without the drastic initial current draw of an HID ballast.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: LED Headlights

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2.ooohhh previously said: View Post
I put a set of LED headlight bulbs in last week, Great low beam patter considering the stock housing's design issn't exactly modern. I bench checked a set of LED H4 bulbs last fall and they were clocking about 3 amps a piece(with fans). The were without the drastic initial current draw of an HID ballast.
Cool, what kind did you use / where did you get them if you don't mind me asking? I did an online conversion and it showed that 3 amps at 12 volts = 36 watts. That's less draw than the stock headlight bulbs. Did you have to use resistors with the LED's too or just plug n play? And do your DRL's still work?

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:20 AM
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Re: LED Headlights

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I'm totally lost on most of this myself. Back in the 70's I was ahead of the curve using Quartz Iodine lighting in my motorcycles. Then I got into Halogen, then Xenon came along. Since then, I haven't really paid any attention.

The HID route is just too expensive. The price of the HID units has come down quite a bit, but they're still expensive. And then I understand from reading previous posts that the entire headlight assembly has to be changed out as ours can't stand the heat that's generated by the HID lights. Plus you have to mount the ballast somewhere and all of that. I'm thinking if the LED's work, they might be a better combination of brighter light and lower cost......
I had DDM Tuning HIDs, seemed like a solid product, great price, never let me down. No issues at all with overheating or anything and I even had 55W ones. Much cheaper than LED options I've seen. Not opposed to LEDs but there are so many sketchy options online that I wouldn't want to find out the hard way they don't work or fit right. And then the solid ones people talk about a lot are just way too pricy.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:04 AM
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Re: LED Headlights

G'day,
HID's have come along way recently, so don't discount them based on the older style and older info out there.
Check out this ...from a forum vendor.... and a write done by debFJVT ..about the new style HID kits...
Xenon-Vision 35W / 55W AC HID Bi-Xenon Conversion Kit - Starting at $67.99 Shipped

Its another option, and these days plug n play, if you don't want projector lens..

Cheers
Baz
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