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.

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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 are shot at the same angle, same camera + settings, the same stretch of road, and you can see the distance and flood gain in the LEDs. With some current model vehicles still coming factory fitted with halogen, you can see why our LED Copper Heads have become the popular choice, as they provide 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, along with a much longer lifespan (50,000 hours is the standard). Headlights are one of the least exciting replacements you will do to your vehicle. So with the longer lifespan on offer, it's a choice 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

While some cars are factory-optioned with HID or LED, this (in most cases) is just applicable to the low beam, while the halogen globes is kept as the high beam. Such vehicles 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, both of which 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. 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, which show the difference between a factory halogen, our copper head kit, and our project kit. As you can see, not only is the Lux reading jumping up significantly with each kit, but the volume of light (as shown in the beam) is also a lot fuller on the wall, translating to a 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

Please note: the compatibility between the special adaptors and globe types are nuanced but important. 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

Most European cars will use an adaptor/holder to position the globe. This makes installation/removal of the halogen easier, but due to the LED-fitted heatsinks, it makes fitting a little difficult or incompatible. Enter the special adaptors. The special adaptors are more commonly found in H7 and H1 globes, with the majority of applications being suited for low beam, and a small handful for high beam. These special adaptors will fit underneath the H7/H1 collar, bypassing the H7/H1 collar (which are only used for alignment). 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

You can use our Vehicle Selector to ensure the compatibility between your vehicle and the special adaptors. If you require further assistance, then feel free to get in touch with us. Our current range can be viewed via the 'shop now' link below, with an article describing the adaptors from different viewing angles via the 'user guide'.  

  

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CANBUS MODULES EXPLAINED

CANBUS modules can be a difficult area of LED conversions. This is due to the two types of vehicles: one being the negatively switched vehicles (commonly found with Toyota and Nissan), and the other being vehicles fitted with electronics that monitor headlight’s voltage and/or current draw. 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 you are  dealing with negatively switched vehicles and LED conversions, ensure that you have an additional CANBUS module fitted in order to rectify the polarity. Our conversion kits are protected against reverse polarity (i.e. if the globes are plugged in incorrectly), but the fitting of the additional CANBUS will not short out or damage the circuitry, and will 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, which are 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. The LEDs, reflectors, and lens have all been built and tested together, and all meet the ADR requirements for road use.

STEDI 7 Inch Headlight Replacement

 

  

 

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 and minimal space within the engine. Our user guide will cover most of the installation. This can be accessed via the link below with some vehicles having a dedicated blog post for such modifications. 

 

 

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.