Headlight Upgrade

Any electrical issues

Headlight Upgrade

by Pinner-man » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:12 am

Back in early 2016 I asked if LED headlight bulbs were suitable for Calibras, back then it seemed that no-one had any experience with LED headlights. I still want to upgrade my headlights so I am wondering if anyone now has any ideas whether LED's are suitable and if they are as bright as HID's. As I said in my previous post, I fitted a HID system on the dipped beam of my previous car and they were very good. LED bulbs would be much easier to fit than a HID system. Advice on whether LED's are as good as HID's or if a HID system is still the system to go for would be appreciated.

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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by v6 steve » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:43 pm

I've never used them but can't see why not as long as the fit it's worth trying let us know how you get on
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by sealeysonic » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:07 pm

Would be interesting to see how you do it.
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by GreyDJ » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:05 pm

sealeysonic wrote:Would be interesting to see how you do it.

Yup, the attached heatsink looks pretty big.

What is wrong with using a HID, they are much the same price now and work well in the Cally projector lights?
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Cliff » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:55 pm

HiD can be an MOT failure though can't they? They are here in Sweden at least...


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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by GreyDJ » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:27 am

Not so far for me in the UK. All the MoT tests is beam alignment, so that there is no dazzle of oncoming drivers, not what created the beam. Mind you given some of the dazzling lights out there.............

If HiD was a failure then, as it was a retrofit not factory fit, then LEDs as a new technology should probably fail as well.
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Pinner-man » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:02 pm

I have seen several videos on UTube and read descriptions on sellers websites about LED bulbs. There does not seem one definite answer to whether they are suitable for UK usage, whether they give a brighter and better focussed light beam than HIDS, or whether the best versions have external heat sinks and voltage converters. In fact nothing seems to be agreed, so I have decided to take the plunge. I have ordered a version that does not have a bulky rear heat sink and therefore will be a direct replacement for the H1 standard bulb. The website states that the bulb has an expected life of 50000 hours, I think that should be sufficient. I will fit them to the dipped beam slot and see how they perform. I will post my findings, wish me luck.

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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by GreyDJ » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:28 pm

Look forward to seeing the results.
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Pinner-man » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:58 pm

What a mistake to make!!.

The bulbs finally arrived. Unfortunately they did not fit into the headlight unit. As can be seen from the attached picture, the rear connector matches the H1 bulb but the head containing the LED's is much wider and will not fit into the headlight reflector. In hindsight when I viewed the website picture of the bulb I should have noticed the difference but it raises a question, are all H1 headlight fittings the same as on the Calibra, consisting of a narrow slit just big enough for the bulb to fit through. If that is case then the bulbs cannot be described as H1 replacements. I would be interested to hear your view on this issue. One the "bright side" I connected the LED bulb to a 12v supply and it was much brighter than the standard bulb fitted to the car. However the bulbs fitted to the car are the standard filament type which would explain why the headlights are so poor. I am not sure if I will continue my search for a suitable LED bulb, I will be more careful this time. One alternative would be HID's for the dipped beam and halogen for the main beam, is that a good combination?


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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Cliff » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:07 pm

Ouch, those things are huge!! I would be asking for a refund, I agree that they can't be called a H1 replacement - the dimensions are wildly off. A quick search on the internet shows that there are other options, some appear smaller - though whether they are or not is quite something else.

I never gave your post a thought regarding this but I had a couple of wedge type LEDs that should replace the sidelights but they don't fit either since the hole for the sidelight is literally slightly larger than the bulb yet of course the LED replacement is not slight...
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Pinner-man » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:21 pm

Hi

Having looked at some more LED bulbs that claim to be suitable H1applications, I my not so sure, they all look bigger than will fit into the H1 fitting on the Calibra. I did fit HID's to my old Calibra and they worked well. The reason I was interested in LEDs was the possibility that they were a direct plug in replacement without the need drill holes into the plastic rear covers of the headlight fitting. But I guess that's not too big a job. So do you think that HID's for the dipped beam and halogen bulbs for the main beam is the best solution. Is there another option I could consider. What headlight bulbs are fitted to yourCalibras.

I have Emailed the supplier of the bulbs explaining they will not fit into a H1 fitting, so far I have not had a reply!!

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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Cliff » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:08 pm

Pinner-man wrote:Hi

Having looked at some more LED bulbs that claim to be suitable H1applications, I my not so sure, they all look bigger than will fit into the H1 fitting on the Calibra. I did fit HID's to my old Calibra and they worked well. The reason I was interested in LEDs was the possibility that they were a direct plug in replacement without the need drill holes into the plastic rear covers of the headlight fitting. But I guess that's not too big a job. So do you think that HID's for the dipped beam and halogen bulbs for the main beam is the best solution. Is there another option I could consider. What headlight bulbs are fitted to yourCalibras.

I have Emailed the supplier of the bulbs explaining they will not fit into a H1 fitting, so far I have not had a reply!!

Regards


Mine had HIDs on the dipped and full when I got it. However they're an MOT failure here in Sweden so before the MOT I removed them and put high bright halogens in. To be honest, I've left them there.... they're not enough of a problem for me.


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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by rips » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:31 am

I had read on another forum that the Calibra's problem was poor wiring but I don't agree with this at all. My Mk3 Cavalier would have had the same loom & the lights on that were fine. IMO, it is the Calibra's small lenses/reflectors which are the issue.

I looked at LEDs a while back & also found that the cluster itself was too large to fit in the H1 aperture.
I have heard that HIDs are technically a UK MOT fail but the way it is worded makes it open to interpretation. If this is the case, then a sympathetic tester can make a difference.
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by GreyDJ » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:59 pm

rips wrote:I had read on another forum that the Calibra's problem was poor wiring but I don't agree with this at all. My Mk3 Cavalier would have had the same loom & the lights on that were fine. IMO, it is the Calibra's small lenses/reflectors which are the issue.

I looked at LEDs a while back & also found that the cluster itself was too large to fit in the H1 aperture.
I have heard that HIDs are technically a UK MOT fail but the way it is worded makes it open to interpretation. If this is the case, then a sympathetic tester can make a difference.

My interpretation is that Hids are not a MoT fail if the beam pattern passes the beam analyser test. Mine certainly do, they work very well in our projector headlights.

However, Hids in a non Hid car fail the Construction and Use rules (washers, self levelling etc), so if you a picky policeman has it in for you there is a problem.

Other manufacturers cars that use these headlight components also have terrible headlight performance, its not just the Calibra.
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

by Pinner-man » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:53 pm

Hi

I think from the various comments we can say that LED's are not suitable for Calibras headlights. I have sent a Comment to the Website I purchased my LED'S bulb asking for a refund as they are not a H1 replacement - guess what I have not received a reply - I shall keep trying. As far as HID's are concerned on the dipped beam, my old Calibra had no trouble passing the MOT, I always use the same garage for my MOT so perhaps he was just being lenient. There is no doubt in my opinion that HID'S give a better coverage than the standard bulb. I could always fit them but replace the standard bulb for the MOT.
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