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Thread: LED Headlights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    The Woodlands, TX
    Posts
    59

    Default LED Headlights

    I'm considering switching out the headlights on my Caterham S3 with their newer LED headlights. It looks like its about $800 for a new pair. Has anyone done it? Is it worth the cost and bother? I don't drive at night often, but when I do, the headlights are appallingly dim.
    2013 Caterham R300, 2006 Acura RL, 2014 Honda Odyssey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
    I'm considering switching out the headlights on my Caterham S3 with their newer LED headlights. It looks like its about $800 for a new pair. Has anyone done it? Is it worth the cost and bother? I don't drive at night often, but when I do, the headlights are appallingly dim.
    I swapped with the more reasonable amazon/china replica models. I started with 7in and then did 5 3/4in setup. Both have very good output even for the price but I wasn't happy with how 7in ones were sitting in the bucket.

    5 3/4 sit perfect and are almost exact replicas of OEM. Hard to tell difference unless you know what you're looking for.

    It's not quite OEM but it's also not $1000 (after conversion and shipping etc)

    If you want just the output I'd get better bulbs, even LED replacements.

    If you want output and style, go replica.

    If you want best quality and best output then get ready to spend the $$ to get the best of each. Only you can say if it's worth it.
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Linky?
    Life Can Be Cruel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Dallas/Ft Worth
    Posts
    40

    Default

    As a lighting designer I can tell you that LED choice can be tricky.
    Forget about the physical fixture look.
    Concentrate of what lighting is supposed to accomplish; illuminating a dark roadway at night without blinding oncoming traffic.

    Designing a LED fixture that can maker the road look like daylight is slam dunk easy. To do so without completely blinding oncoming traffic is a completely different story.
    IMO auto headlight LED lighting is in its infancy. Stick to the tried and true until The Experts have figured it out and offer complete fixture replacements.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    1,201

    Default

    If you decide to stick with traditional lighting, Daniel Stern is a great resource. I have the Cibie lenses couple with Navra +50 bulbs and have no complaints about the lighting; sharp cutoff and very good output.

    -John
    '95 Westfield SEiW w/2.0L Duratec
    '68 Lotus Elan FHC
    '91 Miata w/Flyin Miata suspension & brakes
    '95 Porsche 993 C2
    '86 Porsche 944 turbo (neglected project car)
    Throttle Steer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    227

    Default

    For what it's worth here is a good comparison of good LED vs China stuff and what the difference in beam and light out put is

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peFLmu2MfTg
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    850

    Default

    I was extremely happy with the Harley Davidson 5 3/4" LEDs on my Storker. They did give the front a different look, but the light pattern was spectacular at night. The illumination was very clear.

    I did have some pretty decent luck with Sylvania XtraVision H4s.

    Here are some good American made LEDs...https://www.jwspeaker.com/products/
    - Brunton Storker, LS3, Chassis 159

    Check out my build:
    http://www471.pair.com/stalkerv/gall...2_itemId=30849

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vovchandr View Post
    For what it's worth here is a good comparison of good LED vs China stuff and what the difference in beam and light out put is

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peFLmu2MfTg
    Thanks for this! Now, if only the OEM JL Wrangler headlights weren't also $800...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Only an opinion but here is what I did / am doing.

    The price for "Caterham" LED headlights was harsh so I looked at alternative's and found these on Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Wisamic-5-3-5...gateway&sr=8-1

    I have run them for over a year and there are a couple of other local Caterham runners Locally using them. They are at least twice as bright as stock and cut a wide-angle, rectangular pattern that is helpful. Plug-and-play for three-prong connections and the price is worth the experiment even if they may be OJ (oriental junk). Two spares in the boot just in case!

    I also invested in rears and front markers from Just Add Lightness in the UK. In the middle of mounting them on a total rebuild but I can share that lighting them with a battery and comparing them to stock Caterham is scary. Stoopid bright. and it is obvious they cater to Caterham owners. Even have LED plate light replacements and they include .
    ALL mounting hardware.

    https://www.justaddlightness.co.uk/why-change-to-led/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    The Woodlands, TX
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Thanks for all the feedback. I ordered one of the Wisamic lights. It is definitely cheap enough to be worth experimenting with.
    2013 Caterham R300, 2006 Acura RL, 2014 Honda Odyssey

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