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Will the Retrofit LEDs improve lighting on 2013 Honda CRV headlights

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  • Will the Retrofit LEDs improve lighting on 2013 Honda CRV headlights

    I just started looking at LED bulbs. And then I noted The Retrofit Source is having a sale. I would like to buy today if I can be comfortable with the likely results.

    I have been reading posts on this thread off and on over the weekend. Opinions seem consistently against LED bulbs. Hence I am a bit reluctant to drop a couple of hundred to try them out.

    The 2013 CR-V headlights are quite awful. Poor beam distribution and not so much light on low beams. Will a set of the high end LED bulbs at TRS actually make anything better? In terms of beam distribution and light intensity.

    .Or other vendor's LED bulbs.

  • #2

    Retrofit or read Ryan's halogen bulb guide.

    By the way, putting 'LED' H bulbs into your headlights isn't retrofitting.


    • #3
      Generally, no. Occasionally there is an improvement from LED, but if the stock optics are awful, then any improvement will just be brighter awful. You should throw a set of HID or LED projectors in there if you want a real upgrade.

      2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
      2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport


      • #4
        That year CR-V uses dual-filament H4 bulbs, which are pretty weak. The Philips X-Treme Ultinon H4 LED seems like a good drop in replacement from what I've seen (particularly in the Test Labs video on Youtube), but at over $200, it's not cheap by any means. It's far better than any of the cheap, junky LED bulbs you'll find on Amazon and eBay, but you definitely pay a premium for that performance advantage.

        If you're not afraid to bake open your headlights (or are willing to pay someone to do it for you), then a retrofit would be your best bet for improved lighting. Fortunately, for those who own a car with H4 headlights like the 2013 CR-V, the Morimoto Mini D2S 4.0 and Mini H1 7.0 practically drop right in with minimal effort (as far as retrofit projects go). And if you do it yourself and don't splurge on expensive OEM bulbs and/or ballasts, the whole project wouldn't cost all that much more than the Philips LED kit. The Morimoto M LED is a good option and would also bolt in fairly easily, provided the CR-V's headlight housing has enough clearance for it.

        I kind of envy cars with H4 headlights, as there are so many options for improved lighting out there, particularly the Philips X-Treme Ultinon LED bulbs (which is honestly the route I'd take in lieu of a retrofit, because I'm lazy). My Accord has Stanley H11 projectors that have decent output with halogen bulbs, but they suck horribly with PnP HID and LED bulbs: ridiculous foreground illumination, excessive glare (mainly with HID's), and a wavy cutoff. The latter two are mainly caused by the in-lens "squirrel spotter" optics that feature a small crescent-shaped "facet" at the bottom of the lens that projects light above the cutoff to illuminate road signs. The glare from the squirrel spotters is noticeable to other drivers with the stock bulbs (I see it on other Accords and older Odyssey's all the time), but it's out of control with HID's installed. LED's don't create as much stray light above the cutoff as HID's in these projectors, but they fail to produce a hot spot, have way too much foreground, and the cut off itself is a lumpy mess. The Toyota/Koito H11 projectors are much better with HID and LED, but ironically have worse performance than the Stanley's with halogen bulbs lol. The only "easy" retrofit option for the Accord is the 4G TL/TL-R projectors, which is fine, I guess, but I'd love to see an LED projector become available that would be a direct swap for the stock projector.