20 July, 2015

Current state of the art LED options in H4 / H1 car bulbs

Model H4 LED high performance
Tired of changing the H4 halogen lamps of my Xsara Picasso car, I was looking for alternatives in LED, checking the state-of-the-art in H4 Led lamps, If I could find one well worth installing, so getting savings in fuel and maintenance .
Is it legal? : To carry LED lamps  outdoor legally in Spain, for now we only have the option of installing a complete approved headlamp, and that must be installed by a certified workshop to carry the certificate to the periodic Technical inspection, because the headlamps are designed for a type of lamps with which it lights the same way (lumens and openness); this could cost easily €150. These lamps in theory can not be used on public roads (although for racing/testing purposes). There is no problem changing the ambiental interior lights to Led ones.
In the following video I commented highlight of these LED lamps H4 "SunnyLight"  and installation:



Looking for the right model

Comparing Chinese lamps Aliexpress , 95% are worthless for different problems (cooling, lack of power, length, beam ...) but  I found these fan cooled models that integrate CREE chips (which have better performance and longevity) could eventually replace traditional. The following have just LEDs per one side, making sure the beam is not the same as the halogen, I doubt that this could work well:


However the following model has 4 LEDS XM-L2 capable of 10W each, and being on both sides of the output shaft of heat, its light would be very similar to the halogen. Its price is higher, but will go down over time:


Features of these lamps:
  • 4 LED CREE XM-L2 (2 for 4 in the short and long); 17 / 33W power; 4000 lumens.
  • Efficient heat removal design with integrated fan.
  • 360 design light emission.
  • IP68 sealing driver and connector.
  • Wide voltage range from 12-24V DC.
  • Color temperature 6000K (pure white) with a CRI of 65.
  • The site promises manufacture according to ISO 9001-2008 CE Rohs E4 IP68 standards, and certainly so ( IP68  only Rohs driver and probably the whole team) but the difficulty will be certified with a role ...
So I asked for testing a couple of them , and in 15 days had them in my possession:


Examining their design and quality of materials, we see that is pretty good, both materials are quality welds ; the plates are properly secured and with good thermal paste, so the heat will be well connected to the back. 


Light beam

On the other hand, like halogen, they wear a reflective at the front for not shine straight ahead (there are other low-quality Chinese that focus onto people instead of the way), but the focus of the Xsara Picasso, that wears a reflector mirror covering the focus of the headlamp, this is not very important to achieve a comprehensive and uniform light on the road with adequate lighting height (and not the eyes of other drivers). Furthermore, the Xsara has a light height regulation motor control focus, so you can adjust it at any time according to vehicle load and road conditions.
On the other hand, with a white 6000K, its ability to highlight the colors is quite low, but for night driving this is not very important (is more important to see well the objects to see them with full color).

The only problem I see is in the changes of level, where the most light can dazzle more the oncoming car:

Light cones intelligent adaptive lighting ( BMW Adaptive Headlights )

On the back of a small fan keeps it warm; in tests after 10 minutes running with the hood up (enough to reach its operating temperature time) and temp. Ambient 20 °C, it did not exceed 40°C , so meets and exceeds the important cooling section, they will not exceed 60ºC though 30ºC nights we light on and the hood closed. However, as I mention in the video, the fan quality leaves something to be desired, emitting a lot of noise and vibrations (noticeable by touching the sink).


Sunnylight the manufacturer indicates isolation by standard IP68 , which meets both the driver and the connector; the driver brings the entire inner silicone filler, and uses rubber sealing connector for ensuring sealing against water.

You can see that they have filled silicone for safety and sealing

The feeder is in sealed aluminum case, the risk of fire before total failure is null

In the test of brightness (see Youtube video), waiting to make the road test (I'll try soon in a little busy road), it can be noted that the headlights with these lamps, light very evenly and to the road (not upward as long with halogen), and with greater intensity and scope, so we gain more security, less fuel and maintenance costs.
Unlike other LED poorly designed, they do not dazzle other drivers, but illuminate more the more important road and objects in it, recommended.

After using them 2 weeks, I can't be more sattisfied. 

References and more info:

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