The Truth About Projector Retrofits in 6 Images

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All the points discussed (11, 12, and 14) are in reference to the below chart. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] Raw photometric data is available here. [Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com][Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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The evidence is abundantly clear that halogen lights create the best visibility and LED's continue to be expensive vanity up-charges that are good for nothing but blinding oncoming drivers.
 
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Originally Posted by Tman220
The evidence is abundantly clear that halogen lights create the best visibility and LED's continue to be expensive vanity up-charges that are good for nothing but blinding oncoming drivers.
It is? I am assuming that you are speaking of LED/HID retrofits into halogen housings and not true LED or HID headlights. I have owned 3 vehicles with either factory HID or LED and all of them far outperform halogen lights.
 
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Originally Posted by FastLane
LED lights are horrible.
There are no factory LEDs or HIDs listed in the comparison table - if they were, you'd see that they blow the old school factory halogens completely out of the water. Factory to factory, stock to stock, halogen is far worse than HID or LED. Aftermarket is another matter entirely.
 
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A sample of 1 aftermarket H1-HID projector isn't a statistical representative sample to reach a conclusion. Maybe try evaluating additional aftermarket D2S projectors, as well as the popular factory projectors used for retrofitting, such as the S2000, TL & FX
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Jeep Wrangler (LED) is in the tables above.
Yes; but are they factory LED or retrofit LED into halogen housings? I have a 2019 Wrangler with factory LED headlights and I can see far beyond my next door neighbors halogen headlights. I have a JL Jeep and he has a JK, in fact, I have not had a bad experience with factory HID (2014 Ford Explorer) or factory LED (2018 Mercedes C300, 2018 AMG GLC43, and 2019 Jeep Rubicon).
 
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Originally Posted by UG_Passat
A sample of 1 aftermarket H1-HID projector isn't a statistical representative sample to reach a conclusion. Maybe try evaluating additional aftermarket D2S projectors, as well as the popular factory projectors used for retrofitting, such as the S2000, TL & FX
It's a mid-tier option which, according to TRS, is better than the S2K. And at $120 for the projector alone, it's nearly 5x the price of the $25 H1 Acme option. It's a good representation of what the mid-tier section of the industry looks like, and it doesn't look pretty. From this we can safely deduce that the $25 Acme's are the same or worse. Also, the bigger point isn't to figure out which aftermarket projector is best. It's to show that what our eyes tell us is often BS. And waving a lux meter around on a wall isn't much better. Before today, no one--not even the people who wave lux meters around on walls--could have told you that the $120 HID projector was worse than sealed beams from the 1970s. I spent hours reading reviews of the Mini H1 7.0 yesterday, and not one person was able to give even a ballpark estimation of how good/bad the projector is vis-a-vis other vehicles' headlamps. This projector has been out for years and no one can tell me that it's worse than a 2006 F-150? Just shows that we need actual testing--not Caesar waving an outdated and incorrect-for-the-task lux meter on a wall in a garage wink. The Extech LT300 was not designed to accurately measure metal-halide (HID) or LED light sources. It's a failure of the community at large to not be able to evaluate the projector and realize that it's worse than their Cibie 7" round from the 1970s. Just goes to show how inadequate our eyes are. You know for a fact that before today, if someone came in here and said "I see that the Mini H1 7.0 HID is objectively worse than a sealed beam from the 1970s" he'd be laughed out the forum (unless he had data).
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Originally Posted by UG_Passat
A sample of 1 aftermarket H1-HID projector isn't a statistical representative sample to reach a conclusion. Maybe try evaluating additional aftermarket D2S projectors, as well as the popular factory projectors used for retrofitting, such as the S2000, TL & FX
It's a mid-tier option which, according to TRS, is better than the S2K. And at $120 for the projector alone, it's nearly 5x the price of the $25 H1 Acme option. It's a good representation of what the mid-tier section of the industry looks like, and it doesn't look pretty. From this we can safely deduce that the $25 Acme's are the same or worse. Also, the bigger point isn't to figure out which aftermarket projector is best. It's to show that what our eyes tell us is often BS. And waving a lux meter around on a wall isn't much better. Before today, no one--not even the people who wave lux meters around on walls--could have told you that the $120 HID projector was worse than sealed beams from the 1970s.
The Acme option is basically an older version of the MH1 projector they still sell. The Mh1 is designed for more size restricted housings for retrofit and easier install, so it won't have the benefits of a larger bowl or lens. It's not really a mid-tier option. Their mid-tier option is the Mini D2S projector, which uses an actual D2S bulb, instead of a more compromised rebased xenon bulb. Plus, I don't see the full report for the MH1 in the google drive, just a snapshot of data.
 
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Originally Posted by UG_Passat
Plus, I don't see the full report for the MH1 in the google drive, just a snapshot of data.
Well, yeah, if I paid for testing and found out my HID projector got stomped by 1970s incandescent sealed beams, I wouldn't release the entire testing report either. I'm not the one who edited the data. TRS, who paid for the report, posted that snippet, and that snippet is all I get. I'm pretty sure this is the last time we'll ever see a snippet of data from them again. Nope--they won't be making that mistake of releasing data to me again wink. On a serious note, the snippet has all the relevant data we need. The other data (that wasn't released) has to do with the color of the light in terms of CIE color coordinates, the cutoff gradient, etc. Not really relevant and likely too esoteric to be discussed here.
Originally Posted by UG_Passat
it won't have the benefits of a larger bowl or lens.
What benefits does the MH1 7.0 have? Doesn't seem to have any, given the above data, but I keep an open mind. It's interesting to note that the MH1 7.0's peak intensity (21,389.24 cd @ 2.1D, 0.9R) is less than the peak intensity of the beauty of a headlamp shown below (23,421 cd @ 2D, 1R). [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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Originally Posted by UG_Passat
A sample of 1 aftermarket H1-HID projector isn't a statistical representative sample to reach a conclusion. Maybe try evaluating additional aftermarket D2S projectors, as well as the popular factory projectors used for retrofitting, such as the S2000, TL & FX
Have you ever seen objective, photometric measurements for a sizable number of HID or LED retrofits into halogen housings, anywhere? There was a recent SAE paper looking at LED retrofits (around 6 samples ,IIRC). Mostly what I see on forums and from sellers of kits is photographs of headlights shining on a wall. A very effective marketing tool, but reveals very little about real world performance. The "headlight-shining-on-a-wall" test is about as informative as the "drop-of-oil-on-white-paper" test.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Jeep Wrangler (LED) is in the tables above.
IIRC, that one is actually an aftermarket unit that Fiat slapped in there. Sure, technically OEM, but not really. Same thing goes for the Harley Davidson LED units. Let's see an actual set of OEM units that were purpose designed for their cars.
 
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I know a lot of people need to "shim" their Mini H1's to adjust the hotspot. Would love to see some D2S retrofit projectors.
Originally Posted by Spktyr
Let's see an actual set of OEM units that were purpose designed for their cars.
Also this. Would love to see how the Acura/Honda as well as the Toyota LED's perform.
 
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Originally Posted by SubLGT
Have you ever seen objective, photometric measurements for a sizable number of HID or LED retrofits into halogen housings, anywhere?
Yes.
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There was a recent SAE paper looking at LED retrofits (around 6 samples ,IIRC).
It was 9 samples in 3 different lamps, one projector and two reflectors. Two of the lamps were of the VOL type, and one reflector was of the VOR type.
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Mostly what I see on forums and from sellers of kits is photographs of headlights shining on a wall. A very effective marketing tool, but reveals very little about real world performance. The "headlight-shining-on-a-wall" test is about as informative as the "drop-of-oil-on-white-paper" test.
If I showed up and said "this specific HID retrofit projector is worse than a 1970s sealed beam" with no data I'd be laughed out the room and presented with pictures of how "well" it performs. Good thing I came with data.
Originally Posted by Spktyr
Originally Posted by Dave_Mark
Jeep Wrangler (LED) is in the tables above.
IIRC, that one is actually an aftermarket unit that Fiat slapped in there. Sure, technically OEM, but not really.
It's made by Magna, which is a T1 supplier of vehicle lighting products, and an OEM for FCA. https://www.magna.com/company/company-information/customers
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Same thing goes for the Harley Davidson LED units.
Those are made by JW Speaker, which is an American company that makes excellent LED products.
 
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Judging from what I see on the road: vehicles with fog lights <span style="font-weight: bold">always</span> on with the low beams, a lot of people feel more comfortable with very bright foreground lighting. It gives a strong subjective impression of excellent lighting. They would give the tested Morimotos a big thumbs up, despite its shortcomings.
 
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Originally Posted by SubLGT
Judging from what I see on the road: vehicles with fog lights always on with the low beams, a lot of people feel more comfortable with very bright foreground lighting. It gives a strong subjective impression of excellent lighting. They would give the tested Morimotos a big thumbs up, despite its shortcomings.
Yes, people are addicted to foreground illumination. Which isn't helpful and possibly harmful.
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Have you ever seen objective, photometric measurements for a sizable number of HID or LED retrofits into halogen housings, anywhere?
This is a test of HID kits stuffed into various halogen headlamps, from simple reflectors to complex reflectors and projectors. This graph shows the level of illuminance recorded at point "B50L." [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] If you don't know where B50L is, this should help: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 
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Originally Posted by SubLGT
Judging from what I see on the road: vehicles with fog lights always on with the low beams, a lot of people feel more comfortable with very bright foreground lighting. It gives a strong subjective impression of excellent lighting. They would give the tested Morimotos a big thumbs up, despite its shortcomings.
Agreed. However, I run mine all the time because they add an absolutely ridiculous amount of width, while having a super sharp and super low cut off. Almost 180° of width! My headlights cast a super narrow beam pattern.
 
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"I can see better at night with headlights in my car." "No, you can't. You only think you can." "But I can see better." "No, you can't. I know you think you can, but trust me, you can't." "But..." "YOU CANT! If you don't believe me, just look at this entanglement of data I have from an unknown source." "Okay, I guess I really can't...but it sure looks like I can..." "You are clearly a moron because I said so." Luckily for me, I'm stuck with halogen and have no option of the other types...
 
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