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Installing LED headlight bulbs in my 2005 HR Scepter


daveyjo
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I am considering installing LED headlight bulbs in my 2005 HR Scepter.  My coach uses H9 tungsten filament bulbs in, surprisingly, both hi and low beam lamp fixtures.  The low beam fixture looks like it has an opaque filter/lens in front of the bulb, and the high beam lens is crystal clear.

To understand things better, I went to my local NAPA store and asked about replacing the H9 bulbs with LED bulbs.  He told me I may have to have new light fixtures with LED bulbs, as the LED light sources do not emit light in all directions like a tungsten filament in my H9s, but are instead flat surfaces.  That makes sense.  NAPA did not carry any.  Then I stopped at the local AutoZone, where they showed me high output tungsten bulbs and assured me that they were LED bulbs.  I left.

So now I am at my favorite knowledge store, Monacoers.  Here are my questions:

1--Do I need to replace my headlight fixtures as well as my lamps in order to switch to LED lights?

2--If not,what LED lamps would replace my H9 tungsten lamps?  There were some recent posts about using M4 LED bulbs, but I am unclear if an M4 replaces lots of tungsten bulbs including an H9. 

3--I am also not sure about using an LED lamp behind an opaque lens/filter in my low beams.  Are there issues?

I went to the www.M4products .com website (RVgeeks5) that was recently mentioned, but obviously haven’t got my questions answered.  Can anyone answer my questions?

Thanks in advance for considering my questions.

Dave Jones

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Dave, you will likely not get the best performance from the existing fixtures and LEDs but that doesn't mean you won't get some "improvement". That said, you need to be aware that most aftermarket LED replacements (and many OEMs) are not legal in most states. Our state enforcement officials have completely rolled over and are not enforcing the laws.

I am a physicist who has spent much of my career designing and building optical systems so I have a bit of experience in this area. Most replacement LEDs concentrate on brightness but that is very misleading since the brightness is a function of light color and the wavelengths being measured. Your eyes can't appreciate certain levels of "brightness" if the color is not compatible with a person's eyes, AND that compatibility varies from person to person and with eye age and weather conditions. Have you ever been blinded by incoming LED headlights, especially during a rain storm? That is the danger of simply replacing regular bulbs with LEDs. Chinese manufacturers, where most replacements come from,  will claim almost anything.

So, yes you might see some improvement from behind the wheel of your vehicle but you might also get run into by another driver who has been blinded by your new LEDs.

As you noticed, suppliers like Auto Zone don't understand what they are selling. They aren't alone. I considered replacements at one time and gave up for all of the above reasons.

Not a rant, just trying to spread a bit of education.

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