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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 that we have a large range of pre-selectable kits available for most vehicles. 

OTHER LED CONVERSION BLOGS

- LED Headlight Installation Guide

- LED Interior Conversions

- H7 Special Adaptors

- CANBUS Modules

- LED FOG Light Upgrade

CONTENTS OF THIS POST

- LED Conversion Tutorial Video

- Halogen vs LED

- Identify what globe you need

- Bulb holders / Special fittings (H7)

- CANBUS Modules & Bulb out warnings

- Projector vs Reflector Housing

- Fans vs Fanless kits

- Installing my new LED Kit

- Can the back of the globes be exposed?

- Can I upgrade to LED from HID?

- LED Parker upgrade

- Complete LED Headlight Units

- Are LED Conversions Legal


LED CONVERSION TUTORIAL VIDEO


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. 

CopperHead

LUX COMPARISON HALOGEN VS LED 

The Light meter echos the massive gains visible to the eye. A whopping 66% net increase in Lux. Keep in mind that typically a standard halogen HB3 bulb on average will push out between 800 to 850 Lumens, while our HB3 LED Copper Head is pushing out 1,760Lumens. To sum it up that is a 48% increase in volume and 66% increase in Lux.

Halogen High Beam Lux measurement HiluxLED Upgrade High Beam Lux measurement Hilux

HALOGEN VS. LED COPPER HEAD VS. LED PROJECT IN PROJECTOR HOUSING

Halogen in Projector Housing

Copper Head LED in Projector

Project LED Projector Beam


HOW DO I IDENTIFY WHAT GLOBE I NEED?

Finding your vehicle bulb type can be either as simple as looking in the owners manual or by checking the existing globes. By looking in your vehicle's owners 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 FITTINGS

*PLEASE NOTE THAT H1 & H7 MAY HAVE ADDITIONAL VARIATIONS OF BULB HOLDERS*
These can be found in the Special Adaptor product page or if you want more information our Blog Post.

H1 H4 H7 H8 H15 
HB3 HB4 HIR2

CONNECTOR TYPES

Con1 Con4 Con7 h9 hb h15


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


FAN vs FANLESS

The lifetime debate whether you chose a fan kit or fanless? You will notice that we have moved our entire range of LED conversions to solid or braided heat sinks. The reason behind this has a few impacting factors being that with fanned kits, the heat dissipation is strongly reliant on the fan's performance. When that fan fails, heat rises eventually causing the LEDs to burn out and leave you driving blind. They also have the disadvantage of the requirement to be exposed to operate at their full potential. Once sealed inside a headlight housing the fan will just circulate the hot air around internally, having them exposed will expose them to water intake. 

When using a solid heat sink or braided wings, these act as the sole point to dissipate heat performing at their full potential whether fully enclosed inside the headlight or exposed to the elements. Also, the advantage of the solid and braided heat sinks are the lower profile design allowing them to be installed easier into most applications.


INSTALLING MY NEW LED CONVERSION KIT

The installation process behind our LED Copper Head kits is basically the same as replacing the factory bulb with the only additional steps including the placement of the driver module/CANBUS and tucking in the copper belts. The overall process will generally take between 10-20 minutes for a pair of globes. 

For our in-depth instruction guide with step-by-step pictures check out our LED Installation Guide.


CAN THE BACK OF THE GLOBES BE EXPOSED

If your vehicle has a rubber surround that does not fully cover the back of the headlight or no cover at all this is not an issue as our Copper Head kit is still completely compatible. These types of headlights will ensure no water can penetrate past the collar and the back of the Copper head is rated to IP65 protecting against water.

123


CAN I UPGRADE TO LED FROM HID?

FACTORY HID: Unfortunately at this stage we have no available conversion kits when looking to convert a vehicle's headlights that were factory fitted with HID. There are however available conversion adaptors that will allow conversion to a standard fitting, at this stage we are still seeking a supplier for products to guarantee 100% satisfaction.

AFTERMARKET HID: If you have previously converted your headlights to HID that was factory fitted with LED or Halogen our kits will be 100% compatible as the aftermarket HID kits plug into a standard Halogen connector.


LED PARKER UPGRADE

Now that you have brought your headlights out of the stone age it's time to follow through with upgrading the parkers. This follows a very similar guide to the headlights meaning there are a few different variations to the fittings. Luckily there are no special adaptors to these bulb types but they do have varied characteristics. For example, there are single filament globes that perform single functions such as reverse lights that maintain just an on/off function. On the other side, we have dual filament globes that operate in different modes like tail/brake lights that operate in both a full and dimmed mode.

The physical difference between these 2 types of globes is generally to do with the points of connection either having more or the tabs are offset in height or rotation from the single filament globes. This can mean that sometimes they are not cross-compatible with one another so make sure to identify exactly what globe you need. Always if you get stuck, send through some photos of your existing globes and we'll help match them up with the correct ones for you.

For more information regarding the different types of bulbs, follow through to our Interior LED Conversion Guide as the lights used in your parkers are the exact same as those used in 90% of vehicle interiors.

Interior Globes


COMPLETE LED HEADLIGHT UNITS

We also offer a small range of complete LED Headlight Conversions that will completely replace the globes and housing which are also ADR compliant. With the 7 Inch CARBON & 7 Inch IRIS offering a complete upgrade for most motorcycles running a 7-inch headlight unit, Kenworth Trucks, Land Rover Defender, Toyota FJ45, Mercedes Benz G Wagon, 75 Series Toyota Landcruiser, GQ Nissan Patrol and a wide range of Jeeps. To check the full known list of compatible fittings, check the specific product description. 

Headlights

Triumph 7 Inch Iris LED HeadlightTriumph 7 Inch Iris LED HeadlightTriumph 7 Inch Iris LED Headlight


ARE LED CONVERSIONS LEGAL?

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.