LED Bulbs instead of HID? - SB9T.com
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default LED Bulbs instead of HID?

Hi everyone - wondering if anyone has installed LED H7 headlight bulbs. I have an 06 B9. I searched the forum but haven't seen anyone post anything about LED headlights.

Is it even possible in the MY06's with the clips and caps? Maybe that's why it's not posted here anywhere.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm as tired as everyone else in changing these halogens.
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So I just did this upgrade. Just finished it about 5 minutes ago while I buttoned everything up.

It is a royal PITA to change the bulbs in an 06-07 to begin with, and even worse trying to get these in in my opinion. The first thing you have to do is remove the old bulb by releasing the clip. Once that is done, the collar of the new LED light (the blue arrow in my picture) has to be twisted off the bulb, and secured into place like the old H7 bulb was. Once that is done, make sure you bought an LED set that has the removable head cap (my red arrow) as that cap is only for decoration and securing in color sleeves, otherwise the bulb won't make it into the housing as it is a small opening on the B9.

Once the bulb is in the sleeve, twist to lock it in. Then plug it in (polarity doesn't matter) and then you have a choice, you can secure the chip set to the outside of the light housing with double sided tape or a zip tie, or, since the B9's housing is big enough, just tuck it all in and put the dust cap back on it. The motor of the LED's gets hot, so I don't know how good of an idea it is to put it in the housing and cap it off.

So yes, it can be done, just a royal PITA.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thumbs up thanks!

do you have pics of the installed product? And do you have info on the LED's you purchased (brand, model, where you purchased)?
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Amazon, and here are the exact ones I bought. I did a lot of research, and these were the best mid ranged priced ones I could find.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As far as pictures, I was so pissed trying to figure out why the bulb wouldn't fit, and it took me until I pulled out one full headlight assembly to realize it was the cap stopping it. So, I didn't take pictures at all, and it is super sunny out, so no pics of the beam pattern until tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome. Thanks for the link. Pics of the install (no matter how raw) and the beam patter would be great just so I have an idea of what I'm up against. Also, how do you like them so far?
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly they look awesome, but I haven't had to do any night driving, and since I'm typically the last one home, I haven't got a good pic of them against the garage or anything.

But, today was kind of gloomy and rainy so I did get an some day shots from outside. Not great, but it's something. I know for a fact I'll be out Friday night, I'll get a good pic of the cutoff and such for you then, and pop the hood later and get some pics of the bulb in the housing when it's not raining.


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Old 08-31-2016, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I know this is a lot to ask given how problematic and time-consuming access to the B9's low-beams are :redface:, but I'm very interested to see a side-by-side of the LED replacement versus the factory incandescent.

Historically ( http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/31...l-one-led.html , http://www.f150forum.com/f83/drop-re...r-info-318095/ and http://www.f150forum.com/f83/drop-re...r-info-318095/ ), the problem with plug-and-play LED replacements have been that they give considerably greater foreground lighting than the factory system - and even plug-and-play HID replacements - lays down. This combined with a noticeable lessening of the light's "throw" at-distance (again as compared to either the OE incandescent or a plug-and-play HID replacement bulb), makes it considerably easier for the driver to appreciate the immediate foreground, at the expense of distance vision.

Our own Dodik found this to be the case:
Dodik's 09 Tribeca

I'm wondering if newer replacements may have taken this interplay with the vehicles' incandescent lighting optics into play.

Being a flashlight collector and user (I do a bit of low-light pistol shooting ), I love LEDs (I still own a Surefire L6 that I purchased way back in 2000 or 2001 - one of the first "tactical" LED lights, costing then around $300), and I even have some as household lighting (which I love - but due to expense, I'm updating as I replace old incandescent bulbs, and not all at once).

I've just been somewhat hesitant to take this step with our vehicles, as for the type of driving that I do, throw is necessary. And while the foreground flood would greatly benefit my wife's driving, the low-beams on her headlamps are a bit of work to get to....
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The distance is still an issue, even with the more expensive set. It isn't a ton, but it is a bit noticeable. I live in a fairly urban area and there is lots of light around so it isn't a huge issue for me. And the outskirts around here do lend ample opportunity to use my high beams as well.

One thing I'm not getting is a hot spot how Dodik mentioned. I don't know if that is the difference in my spending double the price on my LED's? Or the fact his front end at the time was lowered and not the rear, but he never touched back on it in that thread.

My passenger side light housing is very easy to get at since the bottom bolts are already gone, maybe Sunday if things are slow I'll pull it apart and stick a halogen back in there and take some pictures. The throw is maybe a difference of about 4-8 feet difference I'm noticing, but can't be 100% sure on without the side-by-side.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I was wrong. I parked backed in today, and bombarded my neighbors with light. My LED's make it down my driveway (about 4ish car lengths) across the road, and hit the neighbors garage. Mind you, their garage is uphill a bit, and about 6-7 car lengths.

First time really looking at them not hitting my wife's or my summer car in our driveway. I'm impressed.

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Old 09-02-2016, 06:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, that foreground is lit beautifully.

I might need to do this to my wife's WRX, since she's a city/dense-suburban driver. It would really help here in the winter.

Does the B9 have the ability to go with HIR bulbs for the high-beams? It might pair really well with the LED lows.

As for the lack of noticed artifacts in your beam, it's also possible that subtle differences in the projector/optics design between the B9 and the latter revision could have made or at least contributed to that difference. Indeed, it's up to anyone's guess as to whether or not the extra money you threw at this project may or may not also have contributed or may be the sole cause of such differences.

Very nice!
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The optics difference was something I was thinking too from the B9 to the later model as well.

And the HIR bulbs are only available in 9000 series bulbs, like the 9012, 9006 etc. I don't know what would be a good fit for the highs besides doing something like one of the Philips extreme H9's, but they burn out quick, but then again how often are your brights on? I know my buddies Infiniti has just one single HID for his low and high with a mechanical cutoff that when he pulls the highs, it swings the cutoff out of the way. That causes the light to just free flow through the lens scattering everywhere, much like the "ricer" that jammed an HID into his Honda Civic halogen reflector.

I'd hate to suggest sticking an H9 LED in your high beam, but since it is only used when there is no traffic around... it seems it would have the same effect as my buddies Infiniti's set up? I don't know.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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^ With the way current LED replacements throw more light into the foreground - lacking throw - that would likely be counterproductive.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staatus Quo View Post
So I was wrong. I parked backed in today, and bombarded my neighbors with light. My LED's make it down my driveway (about 4ish car lengths) across the road, and hit the neighbors garage. Mind you, their garage is uphill a bit, and about 6-7 car lengths.

First time really looking at them not hitting my wife's or my summer car in our driveway. I'm impressed.




Very impressive! This thread couldn't have come at a better time. I have also been thinking HID/LED retrofit. Thanks
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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For what it's worth, the 2008+ Tribeca uses a 9005 high beam bulb.

9011 is the HIR equivalent - you just need to shave a tab to get it to work, but it plugs right in. I did this mod on my Impreza (also 9005) and it's quite good. The lumen increase is significant and it's definitely noticeable in the real world.

It's too bad the B9 doesn't use that type as well.
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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^ A fact which I had totally forgotten about until Staatus Quo reminded me of it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Good to know. I didn't know the newer Tribeca had the 9005 in it. So the HIR would be a good choice.

I am satisfied with the fact that the lows stay on with the high beam on the B9 giving me quite a bit of light with my highs on at night. Now I just need to tint the fogs yellow (as all my vehicles have had for years now since I refuse to throw an LED in the reflector) so they don't have that dull halogen look that they do now.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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And since you wanted some pics of the light in the housing, here is a bit of a write up.

I removed the slam panel simply because I wanted to have easy access to the bulbs since these bulbs have a two piece install.

Pull the two air snorkel clips with a pry tool or flat head:



Pull the two piece clips out of the slam panel. Use a pry tool or flat head to pull up the center plug, then pry under it and pull all 9 plugs out:



Next is the two bolts holding the top of the light:



After that is three bolts on the bottom. Since mine were already removed, and I didn't want to recreate it, you'll just see the 3 bolt holes. But, if you pull the clips on the wheel well splash guard, you can access the bottom bolts which are located:



Next you want to unplug the headlight wire harness just behind the housing:



Quarter turn to remove the dust guard after you remove the whole assembly:



Once inside, there is a metal clip, DO NOT UNSCREW THE SMALL SCREWS! Just push the side of the clip with one screw in and down and it springs free. Remove the bulb, and put the collar of the new LED into the housing and close the clip. Then the LED bulb will slide into the collar and quarter turn to lock in place.

Here is the LED collar:



Here is kind of what the clip will look like if you're not familiar:



And finally the LED installed. There are two kinds of LED, one is a fan style (the one I chose) or there is a ribbon style, which has lots of metal ribbons hanging off the end. I didn't want to go this way, because I wanted to reseal the dust cap. I have since pushed the LED chip set into the housing and put the dust cap back on as these don't get intensely hot. I think part of the reason is the B9 has a very deep and large housing. Here is my bulb and the chip set in the housing:



And then it is a matter of putting it back together in reverse. Do leave out the bottom 3 bolts from the lights. Two have held my housing in place just fine.

Also, with the passenger side light out, you have enough room to do the air box silencer mod if you want. I got nervous and didn't turn the silencer enough to remove it, so I went and pulled the air box off. But there is more than enough room to pull the silencer off once the passenger light is removed.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I wonder if you could work some sort of watertight heatsink into the dustcap to keep it even cooler? Have you taken temp measurements or are you just doing it by feel?
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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By feel. I tested with one halogen in and one LED in when I first installed it, and the LED was about the same temp. I'd like to pick up a 2nd set of dust caps and put something in there to see, like a PC style mesh circle filter with frame or such. Just to test it out. I'm sure more air to help cool it will always be welcome.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'd be more worried that heat will destroy the electronics in the LED fixture - the cover not being very hot doesn't mean that it's an appropriate temp - then again, it could be just fine.

Only time will tell, though.
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