CONTENTS

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OVERVIEW

Upgrading your headlights on your vehicle can sometimes be more work than initially thought if you don't have all the information ready which is why we have set up this guide to help select the right LED Conversion for your cars headlights as well as follow up posts that will give you more in-depth instructions relating to CANBUS, installation, special adaptors and interior LED globes.

With so many types of bulbs, sockets, holders, heat dissipation methods, housings, CANBUS modules, etc... it does make things quite complex. Through this guide, we will include all the necessary steps involved in a simple format as possible. If you would like more details on a certain area of LED Conversions, click through to the specific blog in the links below.

NOTE: We have a large range of pre-selectable kits available for most vehicles. If you have upgraded your headlight to an aftermarket unit that changes the appearance/aesthetics (example: new unit has an inbuilt DRL, etc..) or even to the next trim level up, the globes through our finder may no longer be relevant for the upgrade, in these cases it is best to match the globes manually.

Shop by Vehicle

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HALOGEN VS LED

Below is a comparison between a STEDI Copper Head H4 LED Conversion (Left) compared to the factory fitted Halogen (Right) in a 2007 Mitsubishi Triton. Both shot same angle, same camera + settings, the same stretch of road and you can see the gain in both distance and flood with the LEDs, with some current model vehicles still coming factory fitted with halogen, you can see why our LED Copper Heads have become quite the popular choice when chasing a clearer vision whilst driving without the addition of LED Driving Lights.

LED also has a lower current draw than that of a Halogen globe and a much longer lifespan looking at 50,000 hours as a standard. Headlights are one of the least exciting replacements you will do to your vehicle so with the longer lifespan, it's a choir you won't have to come across again for some time. 

Halogen vs STEDI Copper Head LED Headlight Conversion

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FACTORY LED / HID

As we move further down the path of more and more cars factory optioned with either HID or more commonly, LED, at this stage the available range is on the more minimal end of the scale. Keep in mind that some models are only factory fitted with LED/HID low beam whilst maintaining halogen globes in the high beam. These models are still able to have LED upgrades installed into the high beam as they are just your standard type globe. Examples of these can be seen in the newer Toyota Hilux SR5 and 200 Series Landcruiser models that have LED low beam headlights but a standard HB3 halogen high beam.

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PROJECTOR VS REFLECTOR

The two types of housing styles found in headlights are the difference between reflector and projector. These can be quite easily identified but we have added a reference photo below to help verify which type your vehicle has. We have tried to find an image that easily shows the difference, below is a VW Golf Mark V in the 2 varients, reflector on the left and projector on the right. As you can see, the low beam (right side in each image) has what we call a transformers eye. Very rarely will the high beam also be a projector but not impossible.

Projector Headlights vs Reflector

Recently added to our ever-expanding range of LED Conversion kits are the Project-specific LED upgrades. These have a higher volume of light and work much more effectively within a projector lens. As you can see we have assembled a few reference photos below showing the difference between a factory halogen, our copper head kit, and out project kit. As you can see that not only is the Lux reading jumping up significantly with each kit but also the volume of light in the beam is a lot fuller on the wall which translates to greater visibility on the road.

Halogen in Projector HousingCopper Head LED in ProjectorProject LED Projector Beam

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IDENTIFYING YOUR GLOBE TYPE

Identifying the globes your vehicle needs can sometimes be as easy as checking the owner's manual. It should (if you're lucky) list all of the globe types found throughout the vehicle and the specs relating to halogen, watts, etc... We have through our experience, come across a handful of manuals that will only list the watts of the globe and not the fitting type. This can be relevant for halogen globes but unfortunately not for LED. Other methods include searching for markings that can be either on the globe, connector plug or imprinted on the headlight unit itself. Examples of this can be seen below.

STEDI Conversion kit identify globe Imprint

Note that some vehicles may say H8 as an example, through using our vehicle selector you might be appointed a H11 kit. This is because the H11 covers multiple globe types. As an example, both H8 & H9 both have a very similar collar design, this is because the difference is to do with wattage (irrelevant for LED), and the connecting tabs are the same for the lower 2 but the top tab has been slightly offset so that the 2 are not cross-compatible without modification. This applies to H8, H9, H11, H16 & H27 globes. H11 is compatible with all but unfortunately the others only being compatible with the same fitting i.e 

H8 - H8 
H8 - H11 ✖
H11 - H8 

This is why we will generally only carry mostly H11 globes.

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BULB HOLDERS / SPECIAL ADAPTORS

Throughout our research into headlight conversions as to what is suitable in what cars. Moving to European cars we have found that the majority will use an adaptor/holder to position the globe which makes install/removal easier with halogen but due to heatsinks fitted to LED kits, it makes fitting a little difficult or not compatible. Here enter the special adaptors, more commonly found in H7 and H1 globes with the majority of applications being low beam and a small handful for high beam. These special adaptors will fit underneath the H7/H1 collar basically bypassing the H7/H1 collar using them only for allignment. There are many different types of adaptors available and currently, we supply a range of 20 different adaptors.

STEDI LED Conversion kits special adaptors and fittings

These adaptors can be difficult to sort through and match up with the right one for your vehicle so, please be sure to match up as close as possible. For vehicles that we have confirmed fitment of, we have added to our vehicle selector. If it proves to be a task and a half to match up, feel free to get in touch with us providing as many photos of different angles of the adaptor piece to help us identify a suitable adaptor. Our current range can be viewed via the 'shop now' link below with an article set up specifically showing the adaptors from different viewing angles via the 'user guide'. 

User Guide Shop Now

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CANBUS MODULES EXPLAINED

CANBUS modules can be a difficult area of LED conversions that can come in to play for 2 types of vehicle, one being negatively switched vehicles (commonly found with Toyota and Nissan), the other being vehicles fitted with electronics that check for the voltage and/or current draw of the headlight. Please note that CANBUS modules are known to generate a bit of heat so we strongly recommend fitting external to the globe mounted on a metal surface rather than plastic.

NEGATIVELY SWITCHED:

When dealing with negatively switched vehicles and LED conversions you will need an additional CANBUS module fitted to rectify the polarity. Although our conversion kits are protected against reverse polarity meaning if the globes are plugged in incorrectly, it will not short out or damage the circuitry and instead not illuminate. 

VOLTAGE/CURRENT DRAW CHECK:

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COMPLETE HEADLIGHT UNITS

For vehicles that run a 7 Inch sealed headlight unit, we currently offer 2 variants of complete replacements also compatible with motorbikes. These will completely replace the existing unit offering a much brighter low and high beam as well as an optional DRL. Being that the LEDs, reflectors, and lens have all been built and tested together, they meet the ADR requirements for road use.

STEDI 7 Inch Headlight Replacement

User Guide Shop Now

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INSTALLATION

As for some vehicles, the installation of retrofitted LED conversion kits can be more extensive than others. In these cases, the installation can be quite vast with unusual access to the back of the headlight, space within the engine bay is minimal to work around, special fittings and so much more. Our user guide will cover the most part of the installation. This can be accessed via the link below with some vehicles having a dedicated blog post for such modifications. 

User Guide

LED CONVERSION TUTORIAL VIDEO

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ADR & LEGALITIES

The below extract has been taken from the http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/licensing/LBU_VS_IB_132.pdf

IB-132C Vehicle Safety and Standards Information Bulletin (Updated August 2017)

LED headlight replacements globe Similar to HID lights, LED lights to produce more light to the amount of power they consume. The retro-fitting of aftermarket conversions of LED lights and/or light assemblies to the dipped beam (low beam) circuit of a vehicle does not guarantee that they will comply with ADR performance requirements applicable to the vehicle which may make them non-compliant for road use. The fitting of such lights and/or light assemblies is considered altering a vehicle from the manufacturer’s specifications which classify the vehicle as a modified vehicle. The vehicle is required to be examined to determine if the vehicle meets the requirements under ADR13.