CONTENTS

Divider

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

Divider

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

Divider

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.

Divider

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

Divider

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 time.

Divider

BULB HOLDERS / SPECIAL ADAPTORS

Divider

CANBUS MODULES EXPLAINED

Divider

COMPLETE HEADLIGHT UNITS

User Guide Shop Now

Divider

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

Divider

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.

HOW DO I IDENTIFY WHAT GLOBE I NEED?

Finding your vehicle bulb type can be either as simple as looking in the owner's manual or by checking the existing globes. By looking in your vehicle's owner's manual (if listed), you might be able to confirm your headlights and sometimes some of the other exterior or interior globes. If there are no connector listings and just watt ratings for the bulbs then, unfortunately, it will have to be confirmed manually. For headlight globes, you will need to check the collar around the globe for an imprint that will list the fitting type (refer to picture below).

Imprint

Some cases we have come across had no indication in the owners manual (only referred to watt ratings of replacement globes) or the print on the collar was either faded and unreadable or non-existent. No worries, to guide you through we have provided both the fittings that connect into the housing and to the car to help gauge exactly what you need. Some may be easily identifiable as others may look similar with a slight variation to connections or tabs that will result in not be compatible.

Below are the most common globe fitments you may have in your vehicle. As an example you can see that both HB3 & HB4 both have the exact same collar, this is because the difference is to do with the power connection having a slight change in the arrangement in tabs connecting at different points. This also 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 

BULB HOLDERS & SPECIAL FITTINGS (H7 + H1)

H7 brought a whole new world of pain when we discovered a lot of vehicles (mainly European) have special adaptors that the standard H7 bulb will be seated in before then plugged in as a complete unit using the new tabs on the adaptor to secure in the headlights housing. These special adaptors also carry power through the back making it simple when replacing to another standard halogen bulb. We now offer these types of special adaptors that are compatible with our Copper Head H7 kit making it as simple as replacing the halogen bulb and grabbing the power of the existing special adaptor. The only difficult part being confirming exactly which adaptor you require. 

To view the current range of H7 special adaptors we carry, for a more detailed description with the installation guide follow through to our Special Adaptor blog.

H7 PRE FITTED KITS

The H7-6 kits, although it looks like either orientation will work, only installs correctly via the proper tab alignment. The 2 tabs either side of the globe are slightly off-center which isn't easily noticeable at first glance but after attempting to install and feel it is not seated 100%, just unclip and rotate 180° to align the proper tab to the holder.

H7 Guide
H7-1
H7-3
H7-5
6


CANBUS MODULES & BULB OUT WARNINGS

Some late-model vehicles are fitted with onboard computer systems that will monitor the current draw of the headlight and will display a warning on the dash, cause flickering or even shut down the low beam completely if it detects the current is outside of its normal guidelines. To avoid this there is an inbuilt CANBUS module with our Copper Head kits that will rectify these issues. To test for the vehicle requirement of CANBUS is the simple process of unplugging a single low beam globe and turning on the ignition. If you receive an error/bulb out warning on the dash then your vehicle requires a CANBUS. 

There are also a handful of vehicles that not only monitor the current draw but the voltage as well. When the vehicle is fitted with this type of system a secondary CANBUS is required. Unfortunately, this is not a simple as just removing a headlight as it will not specify the additional CANBUS because regardless you will receive the same errors that will tell you that a standard CANBUS is required.

To learn more about CANBUS Modules click through to our CANBUS blog post.


PROJECTOR & REFLECTOR HOUSING TYPES

There are 2 types of headlight housing your vehicle may have which will heavily determine the characteristics of projection of light. Reflector housing is coated in chrome that is designed to reflect the light shown from the globe outwards. You will notice these styles of housing generally have a cup that sits in front of the bulb that will prevent light from shooting straight forward.

The other is projector housing which is more commonly found on more late-model cars. This style has a noticeably curved lens that sits in front of the light bulb, inside the rest of the build-up of the housing is very much the same. The advantages to projector housing are that it shoots a sharper beam allowing more control over the focus of light as well as a much clearer cut line that will prevent light from spraying out into oncoming road users.

Some vehicles come in variations of the 2 depending on the spec of the model. More entry-level specs will generally have reflector housing and as you move up the range they will move into the projector. We have also found that in some cases if there is a variation between the 2 types of housing in the same model vehicle that the globes can also differ. For example, a certain model with reflector housing might run an H7 globe but the same model built with the projector may have an H1. This is important to know when converting your headlights to LED as you will need to check the globe type if there are variations of your specific model.

Projector vs Reflector

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.