CR: LED Headlights vs Halogen Headlights

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3,038
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Idaho
https://www.consumerreports.org/hea...righter-but-often-lack-clear-advantages/ some excerpts:
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... At Consumer Reports, 55 percent of the 2018 models we tested had LED headlights. Of the 2019 models we've tested, 86 percent had LEDs. ... in CR's testing, we discovered that these new lights don't offer any more illumination than traditional halogen and/or high intensity discharge (HID) headlights. ..Both LED and HID headlights can produce a brighter, whiter light than halogens, and they illuminate the sides of the road well. But how far a headlight illuminates straight ahead, in the direction a car is traveling, is what's most important, Stockburger [Director of Operations at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center] says. In that respect neither HIDs nor LEDs have proved to be superior over halogens in CR's testing ... in our headlight tests, we've seen that neither LED nor HID low-beam headlights consistently illuminate more of the road ahead than halogens do. The poorer performers among all headlight types don't reach the 300-foot mark. The result is that drivers traveling at 60 mph or faster will "overdrive" their headlights, meaning they're going faster than the lights can illuminate the road ahead, giving the driver little time to stop. ..."Even with the new technology, low-beam headlights don't always provide enough forward seeing distance for the driver to react to an object in the road and stop in time," Stockburger says. ..."We've found that with LEDs and HIDs, manufacturers are having a hard time balancing casting enough light down the road without causing glare to oncoming drivers because of their intensity," says Stockburger. ...And owners should always be aware that headlight alignment is important regardless of the underlying technology. Headlights should be aligned vertically so that the road ahead is properly lighted, but also so that glare to oncoming drivers is limited.........We buy every vehicle we test from dealers for evaluation at our Auto Test Center and often have to adjust the headlight alignment on test cars before evaluating them, Stockburger says.
 
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35,854
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ME
Cars need reflector size. You can't fake optics. Pretty much all headlights take a backseat to style and aero considerations. My 1st generation saturn had the best (halogen) "Guide" headlights I've ever had in any car.
 
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pa
$$$$ has implications in most testing + consumer reports is not the holy grail!! their health info is even worse. many of todays changes like the problematic CVT are driven by $$$$. cheaper to manufacture is more profits for todays money hungry manufacturers, but of course there are some true improvements but not as many as advertising hopes you believe IMO!!
 
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4,107
Location
SW Ohio
Yet sooooo many people want to "mod" their vehicles to switch from halogen bulbs to LED. Many people suggest they not do it since the projectors weren't designed for LEDs but those that have already switched to LEDs will swear up and down that they're better. My feeling is they won't admit the work they did was all for nothing....
 
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5,990
Location
Connecticut
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Both LED and HID headlights can produce a brighter, whiter light than halogens, and they illuminate the sides of the road well. But how far a headlight illuminates straight ahead, in the direction a car is traveling, is what's most important,
That is... unless you like spotting deer on the side of the road before they jump out. Halogens are better than LEDs and HIDs?? LOL okay consumer reports.
 
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2,995
Location
The Northeast
I've made an observation about newer car factory LEDs when I'm driving near them on the highway. Those LEDs tend to dump a lot of light in the area immediately in front of the car. Maybe the down road throw is good but I can't comment since I'm not in the driver's seat. But the foreground is really well lit. FWIW, I had a rental Corolla and those factory LEDs blew me away. Crisp cut off and excellent side & down road throw. Really made night driving a joy and worry-free.
 
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1,064
Location
Ontario, Canada
LED do produce as good and even better lighting at times than Halogen drawing far less power and producing no heat, They're equal to HID, but I don't know if HID produce heat or not. Of course if bought at Walmart or made in China things may be different. laugh
 
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2,892
Location
Chicagoland
What a joke of an article crackmeup Those Corolla LED's are amazing, they blow my 9011 swapped halogens out of this universe! Wish I could retrofit those into both my cars.
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
The big problem with LEDs is that its a $$$$$ if ever there's a failure. While with a halogen, you spend $10-$20 (maybe a little bit more if its a fancy HID), and you're on you're way.
 
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3,140
Location
Parts Unknown
I see no one posted the link to how CR subjectively evaluates headlight performance https://www.consumerreports.org/headlights/how-consumer-reports-tests-car-headlights/ I don't think people read the entire article. here's a nice nugget:
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You don't automatically get a better system when you use LEDs, Hella's Pietzonka says. "If you have a bad optical system or a bad reflector, then the LEDs can't produce better light," he says. Cost is also a factor. The automaker decides how many lumens (a measurement of brightness) it wants out of its lights. For example, a headlight assembly with two LEDs may perform worse than a halogen light, one that has three LEDs may equal the performance of a halogen light, and a unit with five LEDs can exceed the performance of a halogen light, but ultimately it's a matter of how much money a manufacturer wants to spend, Pietzonka says.
The halogen projector Toyota uses on the Highlander and Sienna, gets better IIHS ratings than many LED and HID headlights. https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/toyota/sienna-minivan/2019
 
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1,152
Location
USA
Originally Posted by pitzel
The big problem with LEDs is that its a $$$$$ if ever there's a failure. While with a halogen, you spend $10-$20 (maybe a little bit more if its a fancy HID), and you're on you're way.
Ding, ding, ding, winner! LEDs aren't much better at lighting than halogen if at all and like others have said the reflectors make the difference between outstanding and poor headlamps. And just as important in the long run is durability and longevity, and when a LED headlamp goes out you will pay a FORTUNE to replace it. Thanks but no thanks the halogens make more PRACTICAL sense.
 
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7,206
Location
North Carolina
LED headlamps are the new norm and thus, are / will be repairable. Bake the light, remove the lens, change the LED, and seal it back up. Only those that can't DIY will pay the big bucks, same as it is now. High dollar headlights are nothing new. HIDs have been self leveling since their inception - ever price out one of those?
 
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1,152
Location
USA
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
LED headlamps are the new norm and thus, are / will be repairable. Bake the light, remove the lens, change the LED, and seal it back up. Only those that can't DIY will pay the big bucks, same as it is now. High dollar headlights are nothing new. HIDs have been self leveling since their inception - ever price out one of those?
Almost ANYone can replace a traditional incandescent bulb in a mass market car....not so the LED. Just more reason to not buy new cars....disposable junk. Now if the LED module is replaceable like a traditional bulb for a reasonable price I would consider them but as it stands now...not a chance.
 
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14,481
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...
I like the LED lights as well. Mine are auto leveling and swivel on turns. The light is clear and bright.
 
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2,892
Location
Chicagoland
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
Well then stay in the past. I'm quite happy with my LED lighting, and I don't anticipate any trouble from them. If they fail, I will repair them.
approved
 
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5,442
Location
MTL, CANADA
I have had Halogen and have HID now, both completely useless in terms of functional downroad lighting. Swapped to a set of cheap Amazon LEDs and the difference was big. I know someone with a new Corolla and the difference is nothing short of remarkable. LEDs should have a much longer lifespan as well, ive had halogens go out on numerous occassions under 6 months.
 
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690
Location
New Jersey
What type of headlight the vehicle's got is more important. Reflector type is worse. Many LED stripe headlight is not that great. But a true projectors will light you a nice and even coverage.
 
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8,456
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
LED headlamps are the new norm and thus, are / will be repairable. Bake the light, remove the lens, change the LED, and seal it back up. Only those that can't DIY will pay the big bucks, same as it is now. High dollar headlights are nothing new. HIDs have been self leveling since their inception - ever price out one of those?
My HIDs are $200 plus tax.... From AAP and AZ... Dealership $420 plus tax...
 
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