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Old 09-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #1
alt14
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Default retrofitting high beams

For a while now I've been looking at retrofitting my high beams with something that could make the beam far as my lows cover a very wide area already, anyway I had been told by another member on here that the e55 projectors would probably be one of the better ways to go but now I've been thinking something very different, not that it would be legal having these in but has anyone else thought or actually done high powered leds in the housings, something like rigid industries spot leds?
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #2
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I would not recommend putting LED's in for your driving lights..not a good idea, generally they have much less output than even a halogen bulb.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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The leds I've been looking at are nearly double the output of the stock 9005 bulbs
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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The challenge with the high output spot LED units originally designed for off-road use is making sure their heatsinks are properly ventilated. The backside of these units typically come with rather beefy heatsinks. Similar to the very rare few who have retrofitted high power LEDs for their low beam (see upashi's thread in HIDP), proper heatsink design (which is presumably taken care of by buying these high output spot LEDs) and proper ventilation of these heatsinks are crucial. So, the fitment will have to be a hybrid retrofit of sorts; one where the business end is inside your headlight housing, but where the heatsinks are actually outside, in the back, and well ventilated. Then, the challenge becomes not of ventilation, but of sealing the opening you've created. If the seal doesn't need to be flexible (i.e. you only need to align once before sealing), then it may be a bit easier.

Definitely an interesting retrofit.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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That was my most concern but I would be taking out the old seal that closed off the high beam section and making some new sort of seal probably fixed once I have it aimed right and the heat sinks on the back, I was thinking maybe some kind of duct from the side grills leading to the heat sinks (like people do with brake vents from the fogs) though i'm not sure this will be enough to keep it cool
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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Maybe a duct from the fogs, through the heatsinks and up through 2 small hood vents, like on gc models

This is an interesting idea indeed
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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It's kind of hard to see but i have a coat hanger that a ran through where the side grill would be to the bottom of the headlight housing



This is the inside view right under where the high beam on the housing is where the hanger is coming though



And this is where it would be going in

I'd like to keep my fog lights even though they don't make to much of a difference. The fit would be very tight so i'm not sure i could get anything in there, im also thinking if this isn't a good area maybe a vent on the splash tray pulling air in through the bottom

Last edited by alt14; 09-17-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #8
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I was thinking, maybe the fact that the heatsinks will not be sealed into the headlights may be enough, unless you're planning to treat these high beam LED spots as off road lights (i.e. something that runs for an extended amount of time as opposed to occasional high beam flash).

That way, as long as the heatsinks have engine bay air to "breathe" from, it should be ok without all the custom ducting that you're planning on.

For the time being, set it up that way, and buy one of those inexpensive $11 digital LCD thermometer and place the probe near the heatsinks?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Also, I guess the heat issue on off road vehicles may be worse because you are not going all that fast so there is less air circulation, whereas on your car when you turn the high beam ON you are likely going at a higher speed, with more air flowing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satrya

For the time being, set it up that way, and buy one of those inexpensive $11 digital LCD thermometer and place the probe near the heatsinks?
This is what I was thinking about doing and as long as the area isn't reaching over 145 f I should theoretically be okay (recommended operating temperatures of them are -40-145 f)
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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hey dudes. this thread is exactly what i'm thinking of doing!

i chose the Rigid Industries 2x2 LED in white with FLOOD beam type. they were like $180 for the pair. these are not the D2 model-- that is twice as much $.

im planning to mount them inside the headlamp assembly.


Duallyw-S by tommyburkart, on Flickr

pic: rigid dually in highbeam side. headlight assembly back piece w/o plexiglass cover


experimenting with led headlights - 36-LED smd white board + projector beam glass by tommyburkart, on Flickr


regarding the heat issue:
it is a worry. however , three points:
- these things have a thick alum heatsink casing. hopefully that will spread enough heat without an extra vent of some kind. headlamp assemblies do have tiny venting, via corner holes with foam/plastic/wax cover things on the back side of the headlamps
- highbeams will not be flicked on for all-day usage, light you might have to do with lowbeams some days
- there is no way that these things get hotter than my Xentec 6000k xenon bulbs. those things heat up instantly and radiate so much wamth its crazy.

i think HID lows + Rigid LED highbeams will be bonkers. thoughts????
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burkart

i think HID lows + Rigid LED highbeams will be bonkers. thoughts????
Pretty much what I was having in mind to do maybe with the d2's but they might be a little to big, I already have bi-xenon projectors so im thinking I may have the switch to the leds separate but i'll deal with that later on down the road when I actually get the figment right
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:26 AM   #13
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LEDs do not have a co located heat and light source. While the business end is relatively cool, it is the back end that needs heat dissipation. Looking at upashi's thread (http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...Mazda3)started), the amount of heatsink he has to design in suggests a quite serious heat dissipation requirement. Some of the pics in that thread are no longer around. See post #8 on his thread to get an idea of the amount of heatsink involved, and how much he had to excise the back of the headlight housing to expose the heatsinks. Also post #15 for pictures of the heatsink for the high beams. Serious stuff there.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info ^
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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well the timing of this seems perfect. my two ebay-sourced replacement lights arrived today.

i tried out some switchback LEDs that are white and amber. i wasnt really happy with them. used some white led blades vertically over by the outside edge.





highbeams from rigid industries - had to bolt them into place from below. i'd planned on using the 3m outdoor doublesticky. it held on fine- but meant the lights were mounted too low.
it turns out the shape of the plexiglass headlight shell is really limiting when working with big LEDs. the way the LGT headlamp assemblies pinch off by the grille is pretty sharp. the light needs a relatively clear path out, right?


DIY headlights project - rigid industries LED highbeams by tommyburkart, on Flickr

DIY headlights project - rigid industries LED highbeams by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:47 PM   #16
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Are you not putting the chrome trim back in?
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alt14 View Post
Are you not putting the chrome trim back in?
hey man

no, im not. i like the technical, dark look of the headlight without its middle shroud piece.

this is the piece i leave out on re-assembly


20120327_160347 by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #18
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this is an old image showing my headlights evolution - with and without the inner shroud piece


20120428_085441 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


DIY LED Headlights - HID Lowbeams 6X 20cm LED Flexstrips by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #19
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Do you have any kind of stray light from the projectors being exposed?
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alt14 View Post
Do you have any kind of stray light from the projectors being exposed?
short answer: no

the lowbeams are bright as F* but have the traditional cut-off. below there, they are very bright. above/at eye level they just twinkle alittle and glimmer. they look similar in traffic to the 2005-2010 5-series and numerous others.

as far as directional spray, perhaps into traffic or toward parkway: nothing major. most just goes 'up' and doesnt bother anyone. i havent been high-beam flashed by an oncoming car as of yet.

the area 'open' or exposed is about a one inch gap between the horizontal bar reflector and the half-ball projector glass. hows that sound?



White LED indoor testing DIY headlights project - rigid industries LED highbeams - lowbeam halogen by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #21
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Yeah haha I was thinking of that area you last mentioned letting light out with out any of that trim blocking it

What projectors are those?
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alt14 View Post
Yeah haha I was thinking of that area you last mentioned letting light out with out any of that trim blocking it

What projectors are those?

just the original items alittle deconstructed -- without the thick plastic section that has interior lamp graphics, swooping eagle eye.

or do you mean the bulbs? in the above pics theyre just some crappy 35w halogens- put in for comparison purposes.

my real setup employs Xentec HIDs at 6000k hue. i think the bulb type is H7. about $30 a pair on amazon.


these are great
XENTEC H7 6000K HID Slim Ballast HID Xenon Kit (Ultra White) offroad : Amazon.com : AutomotiveXENTEC H7 6000K HID Slim Ballast HID Xenon Kit (Ultra White) offroad : Amazon.com : Automotive

these are good





http://amzn.com/B0032YVDEI

Kensun Xenon HID H7 6000k replacement Bulbs (1 pair crystal white color) : Amazon.com : AutomotiveKensun Xenon HID H7 6000k replacement Bulbs (1 pair crystal white color) : Amazon.com : Automotive

Last edited by burkart; 09-20-2012 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #23
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I meant the projectors in the high beam haha sorry for not being specific
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:12 AM   #24
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What's the lumen output of this LED set?

Also, 6000K Xenons? Seriously. If you're about light and not ricer blue, stick to <5000K.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
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What's the lumen output of this LED set?

Also, 6000K Xenons? Seriously. If you're about light and not ricer blue, stick to <5000K.
2600 lumens for the set, 1300each
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