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  • H7 Reflector LED recommendations

    Hi all

    Looking for some LED recommendations.

    Application
    • Bulb Size: H7
    • Stanley reflector ECE
    • 40-45mm available spacing from back of H7 locking collar > dust cap.
    • 2013 Honda Civic Hatch (UK model) Picture

    I've used Philips Ultinon Essential H7's before however the distance between the chips is fairly thick (3-4mm) and a result of this the focus is a bit off. With those LED's installed the cut-off is "blurred" if that makes sense. Everything else was fine , decent light spread, minimal glare, performance pretty much on par with halogen but with stronger foreground lighting.

    I'm looking for a LED option that won't cause excessive glare to oncoming drivers, fairly thin distance between opposing CSP chips (ideally 1-1.5mm max) and total length from base to end of heatsink/fan must be around 40mm.

    Any suggestions?


  • #2
    Image showing Halogen top vs Ultinon Essential H7 at the bottom (Now that I compare it, LED looks pretty bad)

    Comment


    • #3
      Every headlamp responds differently to LED. So even if you got half a dozen recommendations it does not mean it will perform well optically in your Civic headlamp. Especially since your lamp is ECE-spec and you may get suggestions from folks using US/SAE headlamps. Both optical requirements are not quite compatible.

      And since it appears you have some size constraints this may further add complexity to any suggestions. You most likely will need to do testing of your own and buy and try bulbs to find which ones works best for your specific needs and application.

      You are on the right track though. You recognize the importance of the thickness between both sides of the chips and it affects the optical focus. And unfortunately those Philips Ultinon Essentials are like most other junk out there with two PCBs sandwiched over an aluminum post (instead of the superior option of a double sided PCB). Shame on Philips for approving such a design.

      I'm sure you've seen Philips new XtremeUltinon Gen2. It is much better (in theory). It still uses two PCBs but the center aluminum section is much thinner. And it uses a better chip (Luxeon Altilon).




      Osram has just released their new Gen 2 LEDriving headlight bulbs. I cannot speak on the specifics as I have not held one in hand yet but based on the images I've seen it appears to have a double sided PCB. I can usually tell on these LED bulbs based on the its outer shell. Although of course I could be wrong.



      As a final recommendation, look into the BT-Auto G11 series bulbs. They are offered in 3 different heatsink designs so one may suit your fitment requirements. Although I do not test H7 bulbs, the H11 and H4 has faired quite well for me in all my testing. One of my top choice bulbs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Evo77

        I'm actually keen to avoid Philips from now on. Having tried a few of their products, I feel as if the quality/price ratio on their LED products doesnt make sense - if anything, I'd be purely paying for the brand.

        With regards to the G11 , do you know where I can I actually order it? I've tried asking on Alibaba but they won't entertain orders less than 10. Im avoiding the Crustalux version for the same reasons above.

        Comment


        • #5
          Unfortunately you will have to find a dealer selling the G11 bulbs. I forgot that BT does not sell direct. And the few that sell them online sell them at a premium. It may be worth the investment though. If I were you, maybe call up the online shops selling the Crystalux brand and ask them about about a return policy. Maybe they can other some type of refund if you find that they don't provide a satisfactory beam.

          These are cheaper alternatives below. I have experience with some of them in the H11 application. But they require a slight modification to the collar to improve the optical focus by moving UP the LED array which greatly improves the beam pattern. You may want to experiment. Compare the beam to halogen and if the LED cutoff is a bit blurred, remove the H7 adapter base and shave the bottom 1mm. Reinstall and retest. See what results you get.

          LED 1
          LED 2
          LED 3
          LED 4


          Comment


          • #6
            Cheers for the suggestions Evo77!

            I've found a few on Aliexpress (again cutting the cost further) that are double-sided PCB options.
            1. Generic Hikari Ultra variant (link) - Fits size requirements and looks to be double sided PCB (no idea on what the chips are).
            2. OEM variant of Novsight version you linked (link) - this one is 4800k as well which is interesting (I have no issues with a warmer white).
            3. "M2" style LED (link) - Double sided PCB, stepped collar adjustments.
            4. Generic version of a popular Australian LED on ebay (link) - I've used a similar product from the same maker in H11 and it worked well.
            I'm leaning towards option 4 at the moment, but quite literally all of these are a stab in the dark. I know that if they are rubbish than Aliexpress is quite good with looking after you post purchase.

            Also at the back of my mind there is a "premium" option which I've been comtemplating. The following (link) is big with the 4WD crowd in Australia but I can't tell from the pictures where its a single or double sided PCB. Given that its ZES chips, I haven't really seen any manufacturer do double sided using them.

            Comment


            • #7
              1. Generic Hikari Ultra variant (link) - Fits size requirements and looks to be double sided PCB (no idea on what the chips are).
              I do not care for this design. Do you see the large lip that snakes around one side of the LED chip? Yeah, not sure if they thought this would look cool or if they actually thought this helps optically but I believe it impedes the emitting angle of the chip. Its a barrier and could affect the beam. This popular bulb HERE has it and it glares to all living hell.

              The chip it uses is an ETi 1860. Its not a commonly known brand but its very commonly used in a lot of different LED bulbs because it is CHEAP. I can say that these low quality chips offer poor color quality. They often have a poor phosphor layer when manufactured which translates into a beam that has a mix of neutral white, cool white and yellow hues.

              Plus the length of the dies on the ETi 1860 is 3.36mm. The filament coil on a H7 is 4.1mm. Being shorter may also negatively affect the beam. For example, the popular and widely used Luxeon Z ES when stacked in row of three is roughly 5.1mm long.


              2. OEM variant of Novsight version you linked (link) - this one is 4800k as well which is interesting (I have no issues with a warmer white).
              Be careful of variants of this exact bulb offered in a color other than 5000K-6500K because they won't carry the really good Lattice HGL3 chip (which is only available in 5000k and up). So beam performance may slightly different. Stick with the cooler white to guarantee the HGL3 chip.


              3. "M2" style LED (link) - Double sided PCB, stepped collar adjustments
              This is the same as the LED 2 link I provided. Or at least I thought it was the same. When I look much closely, the bottom side of the heat sink appears to be just a bit different. Could be a copy of the M2. I have the M2 so go with that one. I provided links from amazon UK since I thought these would be easily available to you since some of the ones on amazon US are not found on the UK site.


              4. Generic version of a popular Australian LED on ebay (link) - I've used a similar product from the same maker in H11 and it worked well.
              Same snake lip as the first one.


              Also at the back of my mind there is a "premium" option which I've been comtemplating. The following (link) is big with the 4WD crowd in Australia but I can't tell from the pictures where its a single or double sided PCB. Given that its ZES chips, I haven't really seen any manufacturer do double sided using them.
              Most of the copper strap design bulbs are not good thermally. They push the power too high on these things for them to be effective at keeping the LED junction temps below their threshold. This Copper Head bulb claims about 22 watts. That is quite a lot of power for a passively cooled bulb. Light output can significantly drop from the moment it is turned on and continue to fall over a 60 minute period until it finally settles. And by then you may have lost about 30% or more light output, caused the beam to slightly color shift due to the heat and critically impacted the life span of the chips. The good thing is that Luxeon Z ES are high quality chips and they can take a beating. But they are not impenetrable. Do this with a low quality chip and its a toss up on when, not if, those chips die prematurely.

              Newer single package/multi die chips like the Luxeon Altilon, Lattice HGL3 and others have higher tolerances to heat than the older style chips. So when you look at the BT-Auto G11B bulb that uses straps, it can get away with pushing 22 watts while optimizing output without compromising life.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Evo77, very insightful.

                I've ordered the Novsight h7 as a test as I found it locally for super cheap with a return policy. Whilst shopping, I saw these

                Chips on those looks interesting, aka copy of altilon from the looks it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chickennugs View Post
                  Thanks Evo77, very insightful.

                  I've ordered the Novsight h7 as a test as I found it locally for super cheap with a return policy. Whilst shopping, I saw these

                  Chips on those looks interesting, aka copy of altilon from the looks it.
                  That bulb uses the Lattice HFL3. It's a tiny chip. The dies are 3.36mm in length. Too small and did not give me a good beam in H11.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I also have the novsight h7 versions with fan installed in a reflector running for about 2,5 years now. Adjusting them was tricky but after that passed mot/tuv 2 times with them. For me it is a big improvement compared to halogen. still it cant compete with HID projectors i think.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Figured I'd give an update.

                      No go with Novsight LEDs. The collar doesn't allow for the adjustment that I require, in my application the bulbs are locked in at 2degrees left of TDC.

                      Pretty much given up as I'm not convinced the current LED offerings are up to scratch, combined with the legality issues - it's becoming a massive time wasting exercising endlessly researching options.

                      Gone with GE megalight +130 and called it a day.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Modded H18 maybe as an option?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chickennugs View Post
                          Figured I'd give an update.

                          No go with Novsight LEDs. The collar doesn't allow for the adjustment that I require, in my application the bulbs are locked in at 2degrees left of TDC.

                          Pretty much given up as I'm not convinced the current LED offerings are up to scratch, combined with the legality issues - it's becoming a massive time wasting exercising endlessly researching options.

                          Gone with GE megalight +130 and called it a day.

                          Better LED bulbs are on the horizon. Its been in the works for a few years now but there has already been a few meetings just this year by task forces on defining all the criteria needed for legal LED replacement bulbs. And demonstrations have shown good results for beam conformity on all fronts. After all technical specifications are addressed and rules re-written, then its a matter of submitting the proposal for approval. It will take some time but its coming.

                          Good choice on the GE bulbs.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can double confirm this as well. Last week Nick Caloroso from Diode Dynamics came by to see us at ModBargains to check out some of the shops in the California area. I was able to pick his brain a bit about whats been going on at Diode, the future of their lighting developments, how the Gen2 SL1s are doing and all.

                            Some interesting things he did tell me were H7s are coming soon, they are a little different in optical placement when compared to say an H11 or 9006, but they are working on it to do it right.

                            Dual filaments are also a key interest they want to tackle and get right, we all know how H4's and other dual filament LEDs always tend to be 'meh to ok' at best, compared to how good a proper H11 LED can be done. So those are also in the pipeline.

                            The last bit of information I thought was particularly interesting, is that they are working with SEMA to effectively create some kind of certification program for DOT/NHTSA approved LED drop-in replacement lights. Think of it like CARB for lighting products. So far they have been running this this loose 'street legal' esq term for the time being. Since Diodes 50 some employees are able to do all the required light output and tests to certify their products, and they build them all in house, they have a real shot of making a true OEM+ competitor for pretty much anyone who has halogen bulbs in their vehicle, really interesting and impressive stuff!


                            These guys are really committed to doing a good product they they can stand behind proudly no matter if its going in your enthusiasts car, or your moms mini van. Obviously they couldn't tackle every market at once, but as each product hits the market they make improvements and keep moving forward.

                            I do feel for them though... as with almost every manufacturer and retailer in aftermarket parts in the last year, they too got hit with the same 25% tariff on a lot of their metal materials they use for the bulbs. It hurts them and it cuts into their bottom line, but they have kept their darnedest to keep the price the same and shield their customers from the hit.
                            I work at a company who has a website called ModBargains
                            @AFSpec as always on IG

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chickennugs View Post
                              Gone with GE megalight +130 and called it a day.
                              Thought you might be interested but there is a new H7 halogen bulb that is soon to be available on a limited basis. It is a German made 2100 lumen 65w bulb (H9 burner on H7 base).

                              Found HERE.

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