Jump to content

new head lights


Recommended Posts

I'm considering replacing the hazed over plastic lens head lights.  I could try the headlight restorer, but thought I'd research options before I did anything......

I know my headlights are from a Lincoln Navigator, so easy to just replace.   But I would like to consider/research the LED route.  I've read many threads over the years, with many people on both sides of the debate, that LED bulb replacement doesn't throw the light any further down the road than  the standard headlights bulbs.  Apparently the housing has a lot to do with how far the light is projected down the road.   So I guess the short version of the question, is there a better option  to make the LED's throw the light further down the road since I'm considering complete housing replacement?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

You are right on the money, the housing is not designed for LED. 
 

Projectors, either for LED or HID are your best bet. 

Their are companies that will split housings, add projectors and reseal the housings. Not the cheapest, but they are awesome at night. 

Edited by JDCrow
Spelling grammar
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I replaced the original factory headlights back in 2012 due to complete hazing with a set purchased from Amazon. They were Anzo USA brand headlights. Within one year the coating on each lens started to peel off and it was downhill quickly from there. So I would NOT recommend purchasing ANZO brand ever.

Then in 2019 I purchased another set on eBay but this time I specifically looked for the Eagle Eyes Brand based on reviews, etc. I am not disappointed.

However, my 2006 Saturn Vue headlights are very hazed over so once I am back to Florida for the winter I plan to take the car to the local Sam's Club and they will restore the headlights for about $40 or so, depends on how bad they determine them to be. Plus they guarantee their work for 5 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Dr4Film said:

I replaced the original factory headlights back in 2012 due to complete hazing with a set purchased from Amazon. They were Anzo USA brand headlights. Within one year the coating on each lens started to peel off and it was downhill quickly from there. So I would NOT recommend purchasing ANZO brand ever.

Then in 2019 I purchased another set on eBay but this time I specifically looked for the Eagle Eyes Brand based on reviews, etc. I am not disappointed.

However, my 2006 Saturn Vue headlights are very hazed over so once I am back to Florida for the winter I plan to take the car to the local Sam's Club and they will restore the headlights for about $40 or so, depends on how bad they determine them to be. Plus they guarantee their work for 5 years.

I spent a fortune ($800) for headlights from Anzo on my Ford. They peeled at 1 year and I was just out of warranty. To bad so sad they said. Here is one company that does custom HID

 

https://www.sickhids.com

 

 

Edited by JDCrow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

JD,

Can you give me the 'pitch hit' crash course on HID vs LED?  

My experience with  HID, is they are slow to come up to brightness.  Maybe that's changed now, I don't know.

Thanks.

Edited by windsorbill06
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, windsorbill06 said:

JD,

Can you give me the 'pitch hit' crash course on HID vs LED?  

My experience with  HID, is they are slow to come up to brightness.  Maybe that's changed now, I don't know.

Thanks.

I’m definitely no expert, but like mentioned, just sticking bulbs in stock housing will often not help. I’ve done it and been very unhappy. The actual projectors are inserted or built in. This focuses the beam correctly for the desired pattern.

 

Here is a good video. These guys are way smarter than me

 

https://youtu.be/TAmpVnZD9TI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had HID's on the old Fleetwood gasser (F53 Ford F150 headlight shell).  Yes, it took maybe 30 sec for them to warm up to full brightness.  That's acceptable.  But HID's in a standard housing spit light everywhere.  Trees, ditches, road signs 1/2 mile away.  In 80,000 miles driving the gasser, much of it at night, I'd only been "flashed" twice.  They did light up the road nicely and I could pick out things like road gators at 65 mph before running over them. 

The HR came with Lincoln LS TYC LED headlights.  Very sharp cutoff.  Low beams are good out to about 50 ft.  Hi beams are the bomb but can only be used on roads without traffic.  I'm working on them for best long distance without blinding people (now maybe 150 ft out), but has to be done in a flat dark area with lots of distance.  It's on my to-do list.  The LED pattern has dark spots in it. 

I still do ~ 30% driving at night, 10k - 15k mi / yr total.  Right now I just pray there's nothing in my path at night.  I might look into projectors but # 1 don't want to modify the existing shell and # 2 not real keen drilling extra holes.  The fog lights are oval in shape and worse than useless.  Having a spot or projector in those holes would be ideal.

I had HIDs on my motorcycle.  One morning about 5am I had a car, dead with no lights *IN* the lane, on dark interstate at 70 mph.  It's quite possible those HIDs saved my life. 

- bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, cbr046 said:

I had HID's on the old Fleetwood gasser (F53 Ford F150 headlight shell).  Yes, it took maybe 30 sec for them to warm up to full brightness.  That's acceptable.  But HID's in a standard housing spit light everywhere.  Trees, ditches, road signs 1/2 mile away.  In 80,000 miles driving the gasser, much of it at night, I'd only been "flashed" twice.  They did light up the road nicely and I could pick out things like road gators at 65 mph before running over them. 

The HR came with Lincoln LS TYC LED headlights.  Very sharp cutoff.  Low beams are good out to about 50 ft.  Hi beams are the bomb but can only be used on roads without traffic.  I'm working on them for best long distance without blinding people (now maybe 150 ft out), but has to be done in a flat dark area with lots of distance.  It's on my to-do list.  The LED pattern has dark spots in it. 

I still do ~ 30% driving at night, 10k - 15k mi / yr total.  Right now I just pray there's nothing in my path at night.  I might look into projectors but # 1 don't want to modify the existing shell and # 2 not real keen drilling extra holes.  The fog lights are oval in shape and worse than useless.  Having a spot or projector in those holes would be ideal.

I had HIDs on my motorcycle.  One morning about 5am I had a car, dead with no lights *IN* the lane, on dark interstate at 70 mph.  It's quite possible those HIDs saved my life. 

- bob

Just need an oven and a butter knife LOL 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original housings are designed to the focal point of the bulb element. Engineering in some other light source that does not match the exact geometry of the original bulb may or most likely will not produce what you desire. 

Our pusher has the large Par56 round sealed beam incandescent headlights, similar to what you see on older Jeeps. I changed these to multiple led assemblies with integrated running, turn, high and low beam. They look nice, fancy is a better description, but I still installed additional driving lights to be compatible with the average lighting system on today’s vehicles.

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have classic Hella round headlights with glass lenses. No fading that way. Thankful for that. Years ago I found LED bulbs with adjustable depth and rotation which let me match the preexisting pattern exactly. Marked the original shape on a white sheet up front and adjusted accordingly. I should have bought spares because I don't see these exact same ones for sale anymore. Hopefully they last because I don't use them that much but sometimes we run out of daylight and then they make an artificial day in front of me. 12.000 lumens of it. The ability to move the bulbs in-out and rotate them is a key in simulating the old bulb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Dennis H said:

RVrs travel at NIGHT? Why?...asking for a friend..😉...Dennis

LOL I’m trying to wrap my brain around 4-6 hours travel a day. Last trip in the truck- 18 straight home to Havasu for vacation. Wife still doesn’t know how I did it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dennis H said:

RVrs travel at NIGHT? Why?...asking for a friend..😉...Dennis

#1 - I like to get home ASAP

#2 - I don't like driving in Atlanta during the day . . . . and I live in the Atlanta burbs!

#3 - There's less traffic at night.  And less crazy people.  Also the winds die down at night.  That said the HR is MUCH better than the Fleetwood in windy conditions. 

#4 - Dash AC doesn't keep up with daytime heating.  OTOH I travel year round, and it gets cold too. 

Typical scenario is to pull out on Friday or early Saturday.  If driving through ATL it's a 5 - 5:30 departure before the morning commute builds.  Chill out at camp site (cow pasture) with 300 - 900 of my best friends on Saturday.  Race on Sunday.  Leave race anywhere between 3pm - 6pm.  If I get tired I'll stop.  Arriving at 1am is typical and 3am isn't unusual but I've been known to drive until daylight the next day. 

Rest areas aren't the best security, and they fill up early.  Truck stops are ok but they fill up early too, and it's tough backing up a 10 ft trailer with a 39 ft tow vehicle between two 18 wheelers in the dark.  I've had my fill of Wally World, way too noisy if they're open 24 hrs.

Worst part is I don't have a job to get to on Monday.  Just something about home. 

- bob

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, 

I'm no expert on headlights, but I have fooled around a lot with the ones on my 2006 Dip and learned a few things the hard ($) way.  Couple of thoughts from a lighting engineer:

- I sell LED lights (street lighting to utilities, mainly) for a living. We spend a lot of time and money on engineering to make sure the light coming out of the LEDs goes in the right place - it's not easy! Don't get me wrong -- I love LEDs; they feed my family.  ...and LEDs will put out a LOT MORE light for the energy used, BUT... the reflectors in your headlamp assembly determine where that light goes. Unless you really do your homework and get LEDs with the exact shape, size, and focal point of the Halogen lights they're replacing (no small feat), most of that extra light goes in the wrong places (i.e., oncoming driver's eye, shoulder of the road, etc.).  Also, technically speaking LED headlights in a reflector designed for Halogen (incandescent) bulbs aren't DOT approved, and I hear that in certain places you can get a ticket if caught with LED retrofit bulbs.

- Aftermarket headlight assemblies abound, from cheap to expensive.  Short of a specialty company that knows what they're doing (see JD's comments above), spend the extra $$$ and buy OEM Lincoln headlight assemblies. (Mine are from a 2000 Buick Century.  My coach came from the factory with TYCO knock-offs that put light everywhere but the road.  I found actual OEM units on GMParts.com for about 50% more than knock offs, and the difference in light distribution is quite noticeable.)

- If you stick with incandescent (Halogen) headlights, make sure you're getting good voltage to the bulbs. My coach did not use relays and ran the headlight current through the headlight switch (!!!). IF your coach doesn't use relays for the headlights, adding them will improve your voltage and light output. The best source for info on how to do this is http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html.  Warning: Daniel Stern hates LED headlights. 

- Aiming is critical.  Good article at http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

As for me, I've gotten great results with actual GM OEM headlights from a 2000 Buick Century (to replace the TYCO knockoffs - in your case it would be actual Lincoln OEM headlights), a well engineered, but (not super high-output) LED bulb, and some basic headlight aiming.

Hope that helps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Great information videos posted.   Scotty, thanks for the link to the headlight relays.  I need to 'dive' in and see if mine have relays or direct wired. Between that, and the hazed lenses, that might be my issue.

Edited by windsorbill06
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Scotty, you're absolutely right about mixing halogen reflectors with HID or LED bulbs.  There's gonna be issues to deal with.  With HIDs light went EVERWHERE and I'm kinda surprised I never got a ticket.  Both those vehicles are gone so don't flame me!  Our Endeavor came with TYC / LEDs.  The high beam is pretty good but obviously can't be used in traffic.  The low beam has a lot of shadows, and not much distance.  It's a matter of getting them "acceptable", but I'll never be happy. 

It might be worthwhile to find some junkyard assemblies (2000 Lincoln LS for me) and carve the projectors into the low beams.  Clean up the lenses and they'd be good.  Mess them up and the investment loss is minimal. 

- bob

Edited by cbr046
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cbr046 said:

Scotty, you're absolutely right about mixing halogen reflectors with HID or LED bulbs.  There's gonna be issues to deal with.  With HIDs light went EVERWHERE and I'm kinda surprised I never got a ticket.  Both those vehicles are gone so don't flame me!  Our Endeavor came with TYC / LEDs.  The high beam is pretty good but obviously can't be used in traffic.  The low beam has a lot of shadows, and not much distance.  It's a matter of getting them "acceptable", but I'll never be happy. 

It might be worthwhile to find some junkyard assemblies (2000 Lincoln LS for me) and carve the projectors into the low beams.  Clean up the lenses and they'd be good.  Mess them up and the investment loss is minimal. 

- bob

Exactly. Practice prying them open. Bake and peel. 
 

Thankfully my Dip has Ford Econoline Housings and the whole van life craze has people wanting good lighting. These are in our future. 
 

https://www.vantageoptics.com/shop/Ford-Econoline-Complete-Headlight-Kits-c25728076

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 6/5/2021 at 11:22 PM, JDCrow said:

LOL I’m trying to wrap my brain around 4-6 hours travel a day. Last trip in the truck- 18 straight home to Havasu for vacation. Wife still doesn’t know how I did it. 

On 6/6/2021 at 10:41 PM, Dennis H said:

Head Slap! Forgot, not everyone is a "retired wanderer"....Dennis

 LOL....  JD,  I'm afraid you'll get there eventually, really all to soon.

I remember vacations like that.  Driving on a Sunday night then going to work Monday.  Kids sleeping and Marilyn ( DW ) making sure I stayed awake.

Now I'm closer to a 6 hr driver.  I can drive longer if necessary but I like 6 hrs much better.

I have come to realize it's a lot more fun to arrive early and watch than to be watched, if you know what I mean.  I have had them gather in a long row with their lawn  chairs to watch me try to back into a near impossible spot.  It was fun for them but not so much for me.  The guide helping me didn't understand that I needed to be    able to see him, later I found it was his first day so I apologize for growling at him.

All great memories,  now

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I just ordered a set of projector style headlight assembly, the whole housing to replace my F-250 originals that left a lot to be desired as far as distance.  Waiting for delivery to check out the new ones.  I found them at Wal-Mart for $300 for the set, free shipping.  The return policy at Wally World is pretty easy so taking them back won't be a problem.  Had projectors in a Lincoln Navigator and they were nice lights.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...