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I'm guessing they're D2S but you can look at the top of the headlight, it should be stamped somewhere.

If not, check the owner's manual, or pull the bulb out.

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You've lost me with your terminology.

I'm guessing by "Exon," you mean "xenon."

If so, if it is a D2S (i.e. a round connector rather than a rectangular 3-pin connector), you should be replacing it with a similarly decent D2S bulb. Philips or Osram are the way to go, in my humble opinion.

No, LEDs are not a suitable replacement and I doubt you'll find anything LED for a headlight bulb anyway. For the small 5W wedge bulbs (i.e. park lights), sure, but not your actual headlights. Even if they did exist, they would burn out a lot sooner than a Xenon HID and the colour temperature would be bad enough to get you (deservedly) defected.

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9 hours ago, The Max said:

Even if they did exist, they would burn out a lot sooner than a Xenon HID and the colour temperature would be bad enough to get you (deservedly) defected.

That's not quite true, but true enough for this particular application. You certainly can't replace the HID capsule with an LED source in existing headlights. But there are certainly very many LED headlights available now. Ignoring the shit that dribbles out of chinafactorybackdoor#3, some of these are even very good. If you have HID projectors in a popular enough car, there is likely to be a kit to change them to LED. You can get 100% LED replacement headlights for R32, for example, and the LEDs are probably close on as good as good HIDs.

I won't disagree on the colour temperature, but it's actually more the CRI (colour reproduction index) that is the biggest problem with LEDs. Because white LEDs use phosphors to produce a stripe of red, a stripe of green and a stripe of blue, with nothing else from the visible spectrum in there, you get this horrible flat light that doesn't show up contrast in different colours. Shine a conventional light onto the bushes etc on the side of the road and you can see the different greens. With LEDs, all those greens end up looking the same sort of colourless grey. That's where they need to improve. All modern cars with LED headlights are tiring to drive because of this, no matter how good the LEDs are otherwise in terms of brightness and pattern.

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I would caution against blindly doing LED replacements, if someone has actually bothered to get the photometric data and verified it's an improvement vs original spec lights then it's ok but the vast majority of drop-in LEDs for halogen housings will cause problems because the filament of the halogen has a different light pattern than the LED replacement. The optics of a headlight are pretty carefully calibrated against the light source it is intended to use.

There are some LED headlight replacements that are application-specific and may actually work as intended with better brightness than the original, but the vast majority out there are going to be worse and cause visibility issues. If you have an HID headlight assembly a proper LED retrofit will likely require replacing the projector with an LED equivalent and some harness work to delete the HID ballast. If you want to have the best possible brightness in a D2S socket run 4300k bulbs and make sure your lenses are not hazed or yellowing. Some projectors are also known to be damaged over time, if the metal projector bowl is damaged then you'll have worse light output as well. Getting your headlights properly aimed also makes a big difference, long distance visibility on low beam is most important in the level and 0.4 degree below level test points. Anything below that is not actually that useful and is mostly foreground illumination, too much of which can impact your night vision and increase glare in rainy conditions.

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22 minutes ago, John Stafford said:

I was wondering if the change to something higher in the HID range would be good

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the higher temperature numbers (ie 4300K, 5500K) mean the light is better, if that is what you were thinking.

The light output of an HID is a function of the ballast. The capsule has to be able to take the drive power, but the ballast pretty much sets the drive power.

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13 minutes ago, John Stafford said:

All good info. thanks. I was wondering if the change to something higher in the HID range would be good. How many lumens are these stock? Cheers

 

AFAIK there's not much ability to get higher brightness out of an HID bulb like halogens, the luminous efficiency is already pretty high and 4300k white point maximizes the light output. Philips 85122 would be good for a D2S application for example.

You might be able to run higher output by running a more powerful ballast but many ballasts are rated at input power, not output power. You have to figure out for yourself if the output power/luminance is actually any better.

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1 hour ago, GTSBoy said:

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the higher temperature numbers (ie 4300K, 5500K) mean the light is better, if that is what you were thinking.

The light output of an HID is a function of the ballast. The capsule has to be able to take the drive power, but the ballast pretty much sets the drive power.

Got it. Thanks

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4 hours ago, John Stafford said:

All good info. thanks. I was wondering if the change to something higher in the HID range would be good. How many lumens are these stock? Cheers

 

Stick to what you have. Moving into a higher colour temperature will be far too white and useless in many conditions, particularly in wet weather.

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I had CBI in a retrofitted headlight, very good. Never tried CBB although it might be getting a bit too blue for my liking. I'm happy with the standard 4300K bulbs (about $50 each for Philips/Osram depending on discounts).

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