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TESTED: XenonDepot Xtreme VF LED amber bulbs!

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  • TESTED: XenonDepot Xtreme VF LED amber bulbs!

    Check out the full review on my website!

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3 RESULTS

    www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

  • #2
    The plastic lightguide looks pretty rough in the pictures. I wonder what happens when they're making the 5000th bulb and the tooling is worn and we don't get the same level of precision that went into bulb 1.

    Great testing though...was very pleasantly surprised to see the Lasfit no-resistor bulbs tested, and you confirmed my suspicions about them. I did buy them with my hard earned money, and at first, I was pleased to see that they threw up a gigantic wall of light against my garage door while my traditional incandescent bulb threw up a pathetically tiny (by comparison) area of light.

    Then, I regained my senses and remembered that the relevant unit, LUX (which is mainly what the human eye perceives), is lumens/area, and that the Lasfit bulb was likely screwing itself by projecting light over a much greater area, thereby possibly diluting the relevant lux values, as amber LED chips are generally, as your testing shows, unable to put out many lumens without running into issues.

    Now, if only Lasfit could produce a Y-shaped bulb or something to at least attempt to use the reflector better.

    I'm curious, how did you record the measurements for the turn signals? Did you have them constantly powered on? If so, did you try to measure lumen maintenance?
    Last edited by 430k; December 1st, 2019, 05:41 PM.

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    • #3
      So what you're saying is that generally the incandescent amber bulb is better than all the amber LED variants offered on the market right now? It looks like the only bulb that provides higher lumens is the gtr lighting bulb.

      How do you think the VLEDs V6 Extreme Triton would stack up? You mentioned the V6 Triton in your test but there's also a V6 Triton Extreme. My guess is that you'd just have a brighter version of the V3 you tested. But would that be at least more focused than the gtr lighting bulb?

      It seems only the GTR lighting bulb and possibly the V6 Triton Extreme increase the lumen output compared to the stock incandescent bulb (although with less than desirable focus).

      I wanted to upgrade my amber bulbs but no point in dropping cash on the xtr vf bulb if it's going to decrease light output.
      Last edited by bairpaws; December 1st, 2019, 06:58 PM.

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      • #4
        Looking at measured reported number, XTR VF critical beam range ( center 5 points) average is -19.77% from all tested optics.
        V3 Triton corresponding average is -43.84%

        V6 Triton claims double the output in extreme mode, which is 1,400lm
        But 1,400lm is theoretical max lumen expected IF junction temperature remain 25C, which will not happen in actual application.

        at more realistic junction temperature at 100C, estimated lumen output is 1,120lm

        Raw lumen : Beam intensity (cd) had been studied to have rather liner relationship within same sample reflector.
        Regular model 700lm under 80C is equal to 600lm

        Extreme will have 187% of regular model output reasonably.
        Which makes estimated average on beam center performance based on his tested optics about -22% of incandescent bulb

        But this estimation is based in IF V6 Triton's virtual filament height is adjusted to optimum position.
        V6 Triton only have 2 set height adjustment ability, so output result likely will be lower than above estimate.



        Also, thermally, V6 Triton has big disadvantage of LED driver to be integrated into main body. LED driver also generate moderate amount of thermal loss.

        In thermal simulation, V6 Triton ( not extreme model) reaches above junction temp max at saturation stage( ambient temp 60 simulation ) Time limit is all depend on how air flow around the bulb can be obtained, but even with ideal free space operation, system reaches very high temperature


        As for LASFIT, this will be completely overdriven system. Saturation temperature will literally burn the emitters out.
        Tight ON time limit is required even with signal 50% duty cycle.



        Last edited by upashi; December 2nd, 2019, 01:34 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by upashi View Post
          Looking at measured reported number, XTR VF critical beam range ( center 5 points) average is -19.77% from all tested optics.
          V3 Triton corresponding average is -43.84%
          This is a very respectable result--being so close to incandescent for a "first-gen" product.

          What I would be super curious about is a reverse light test, as everyone thinks that a LED is an automatic upgrade, and even though I've "upgraded" my reverse lights to LED, I can't help but notice incandescent reverse lights while driving around, and almost all of them appear to be very bright on-axis and fill the reflector very well. I can't help but wonder what happens to the light distribution when one of these cheap designs with the projector and LED chips stuck to the sides perform. I also can't help but wonder what's an actually useful distribution of light for reverse situations--I see people running the Diode wide fog bars in the back, but I always found that I preferred light up higher--I don't think that a fog lamp mounted below the car would create much uplight and I doubt I can even see light that low out my back window or side mirrors.

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          • #6
            Excellent write-up, as usual!

            I had very high hopes for the XTR VF, but now I'm glad that I didn't waste my money. You couldn't have posted this at a better time as I've had two pairs of them in my XenonDepot shopping cart for the last few days. The Black Friday/Cyber Monday prices had me very tempted to pull the trigger on a set of Ambers and a set of Reds for my 2017 Accord sedan.

            The focus and beam pattern seem to be very good in my car's housings (that damaged rear turn signal reflector is a bummer), but that loss of intensity is a big let-down. I just can't accept that kind of output loss compared to stock in exchange for the crisp on-off appearance that LED's provide in a turn signal application. That's not a trade-off that I feel comfortable making.

            I noticed that you didn't include the 1st-gen Philips X-treme Ultinon Amber in your testing, which has been the reigning champion among LED turn signal bulbs for the past several years. They're the bulbs I've been using in my rear turn signals for a total of about 3.5 years now in two different cars. In my experience, they easily beat the stock 7440A incandescent bulbs in perceived intensity while maintaining a light pattern that is fairly close to stock. Even when standing up to 100 feet behind the car on an overcast day, they're extremely bright, though their brightness does take a big hit when viewed off-axis. To be fair, even the stock bulb suffers from that effect in these housings, just not quite to the same degree.

            Even though you didn't include it, how do you think the 1st-gen XU would've fared in this test against the other bulbs? I know for a fact that it would destroy the 2nd-gen XU, which in my own experience performs terribly compared to the 1st-gen. I have both of them in red, and in the Accord's brake light housing, the Gen 2 pales in comparison to the Gen 1 in both output and beam pattern. The Amber at 5.5W is an absolute beast compared to the 2W red version, as well, so I imagine that it might be the only plug-and-play LED that can match or exceed incandescent under your testing conditions. It's too bad that it's now out of production and has been replaced by a vastly inferior product.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by th23 View Post
              Excellent write-up, as usual!

              I had very high hopes for the XTR VF, but now I'm glad that I didn't waste my money. You couldn't have posted this at a better time as I've had two pairs of them in my XenonDepot shopping cart for the last few days. The Black Friday/Cyber Monday prices had me very tempted to pull the trigger on a set of Ambers and a set of Reds for my 2017 Accord sedan.

              The focus and beam pattern seem to be very good in my car's housings (that damaged rear turn signal reflector is a bummer), but that loss of intensity is a big let-down. I just can't accept that kind of output loss compared to stock in exchange for the crisp on-off appearance that LED's provide in a turn signal application. That's not a trade-off that I feel comfortable making.

              I noticed that you didn't include the 1st-gen Philips X-treme Ultinon Amber in your testing, which has been the reigning champion among LED turn signal bulbs for the past several years. They're the bulbs I've been using in my rear turn signals for a total of about 3.5 years now in two different cars. In my experience, they easily beat the stock 7440A incandescent bulbs in perceived intensity while maintaining a light pattern that is fairly close to stock. Even when standing up to 100 feet behind the car on an overcast day, they're extremely bright, though their brightness does take a big hit when viewed off-axis. To be fair, even the stock bulb suffers from that effect in these housings, just not quite to the same degree.

              Even though you didn't include it, how do you think the 1st-gen XU would've fared in this test against the other bulbs? I know for a fact that it would destroy the 2nd-gen XU, which in my own experience performs terribly compared to the 1st-gen. I have both of them in red, and in the Accord's brake light housing, the Gen 2 pales in comparison to the Gen 1 in both output and beam pattern. The Amber at 5.5W is an absolute beast compared to the 2W red version, as well, so I imagine that it might be the only plug-and-play LED that can match or exceed incandescent under your testing conditions. It's too bad that it's now out of production and has been replaced by a vastly inferior product.


              If you compare XTR VF with 7440, then it should perform about equal performance reasonably.
              His test is done with 7444 bulb, there is huge difference in output volume between 7440 and 7444

              7444 bulb is rated 28W and actual driven rate is 33.2W in his test.
              7440 bulb is rated 21W typical driven rate is 25W under 13.5V input

              difference in output power is by +33% on 7444 bulb, however, output volume is not liner to power input in incandescent bulb case, lumen output can be as much as 35~40+% higher on 7444 bulb.

              Gen 1 X-treme Ultinon is rated 180lm according to specification, if that is the actual output case, there is no logical way it perform stronger than incandescent.
              even with lower power 7440 bulb output more than 400-450lm 7444 can reach as much as 600+lm in upper end input voltage measure.

              LED can not be exactly located at focal point of reflector, 180lm will not compete against 400lm.

              Feel brighter, looks brighter does not always indicate fact in my believe. LED bulb sitting off the focal point situation, it may create coincidental beam focus, that may be observed at certain distance, but that is not surviving beam strength in great distance.

              His observation revealed current XTR VF also does not compete against 7444 bulb, however, if you talking about 7440 bulb, then XTR VF still will hang around par output in many housings I can say.

              Also check all of observation and XTR VF still shows overall most balanced and strong beam center performance where it regulation prioritize output level.


              Below is summarized chart that gathered from his review.
              Other than exceptionally high powered LASFIT bulb, XTR VF bulb is showing pretty consistent result system is about equal performance to incandescent bulb that is 28W driven incandescent bulb


              Untitled by Yoshi, on Flickr
              It is very rough evaluation,,
              26W 7440 vs XTR VF +16%
              30W 3157 vs XTR VF -18% 4W of incadescent power variance shows 34% of relative variance agaisnt XTR VF 1W = 8.5% of relative variance
              33W 7444 vs XTR VF -38.5%

              If stock bulb is driven higher than 28W, then XTR VF contrast less, if lower, then contrast more.
              So compare to standard incandescent bulb of specification, XTR VF still can be called competitive LED bulb I believe.

              7440 21W typically driven 25-26W @13.7V Expected XTR VF relative strength +5~ +17% ( ~ +40% to specification)
              7444 28W typically driven 32-33w @ 13.7V Expected XTR VF relative strength -30~ -43% ( ~ +0% to specification)
              3157 27W typically driven 30-31W @ 13.7V Expected XTR VF relative strength -20~ -26% ( ~ +8.5% to specification)



              Measure average is all 11 measuring points average. This number then can differ of course, because of LED bulb to be not focused, some coincidental hot spots and also, each bulb has wide range of raw lumen volume.

              LASFIT bulb is in another level discussion,, it sure has massive output volume, if this single aspect carries highest priority in lighting,, that is questionable to me.
              But no questions, output volume is massive, Thermal management concern remain there as main topics.



              About XTR VF in RED color, this will shows absolutely superior strength against incandescent bulb. It is because red lens being used for tail/ brake lamp filter out all other wavelength spectrum other than red range of Incandescent lamp illumination. LED red only emit red that will not be filtered out.
              Beam distribution is confidently compatible to stock, and output volume will be confident by selected wavelength of output color.






              Di
              Last edited by upashi; December 2nd, 2019, 07:54 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Good use for the Lasfit amber bulbs is putting them behind red lenses. So many cars come with the annoying red turn signals. If I had a car with a separate red turn signal (wasn't being used as a stop lamp) I would slap an amber bulb behind the red lens, as that would increase safety far, far more than any sort of traditional LED retrofit. Yes, LED mini bulb retrofits can be more intense in some edge cases in the future (as the testing shows, LEDs ain't it chief, at least today) but the difference between red and amber turn signals has been quantified as up to a 28% decrease in accident probability. I doubt that the possibility of a slightly higher intensity or even the rapid rise time of a LED turn signal bulb would ever lead to a 28% difference in actual crash probability. The instant rise time might translate to a few percentage points at best.

                I think that the balls-to-the-wall power of the Lasfit might be useful in shotgunning a way out from behind a red lens. The red lens would obviously "depower" the Lasfit bulb to perhaps slightly more reasonable levels, and you'd get the benefit of an amber turn signal (although probably with a less-than-ideal beam pattern).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 430k View Post
                  Good use for the Lasfit amber bulbs is putting them behind red lenses. So many cars come with the annoying red turn signals. If I had a car with a separate red turn signal (wasn't being used as a stop lamp) I would slap an amber bulb behind the red lens, as that would increase safety far, far more than any sort of traditional LED retrofit. Yes, LED mini bulb retrofits can be more intense in some edge cases in the future (as the testing shows, LEDs ain't it chief, at least today) but the difference between red and amber turn signals has been quantified as up to a 28% decrease in accident probability. I doubt that the possibility of a slightly higher intensity or even the rapid rise time of a LED turn signal bulb would ever lead to a 28% difference in actual crash probability. The instant rise time might translate to a few percentage points at best.

                  I think that the balls-to-the-wall power of the Lasfit might be useful in shotgunning a way out from behind a red lens. The red lens would obviously "depower" the Lasfit bulb to perhaps slightly more reasonable levels, and you'd get the benefit of an amber turn signal (although probably with a less-than-ideal beam pattern).


                  Are you talking about to use high power amber LED to achieve amber output behind the red lens?
                  In that case, amber must be selected narrow wavelength standard amber, PC amber carries bit wider spectrum range, and filtration with red lens washes out amber color compare to standard amber.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by upashi View Post



                    Are you talking about to use high power amber LED to achieve amber output behind the red lens?
                    In that case, amber must be selected narrow wavelength standard amber, PC amber carries bit wider spectrum range, and filtration with red lens washes out amber color compare to standard amber.
                    The BMW 7 series, at least some of them, have a red lens and a bunch of amber LEDs behind the red lens that creates the rear turn signal. When powered off, you can't tell that the turn signal is amber. When powered on, you can't detect any hint of red. Granted, that is an OEM implementation, and they probably have the color and intensity all dialed in. I'm curious what sort of color the Lasfit bulbs will produce behind a red lens. Perhaps I'll experiment with that by loosely sticking them in the brake lamp compartment and activating the turn signal to see whether I get a true amber turn signal or something odd-looking.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 430k View Post
                      I'm curious what sort of color the Lasfit bulbs will produce behind a red lens.
                      I tried the HR/Lasfit amber 7444 on a Nissan Rogue tail lamp for the stop light bulb out of curiosity of its beam pattern. Color was red but output was horrific. The right hand side of the screen was blob of darkness due to the improper focus of the chips.
                      www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

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                      • #12
                        Great tests evo! So the XDVF bulbs will be the closest equivalent to incandescent, for bulbs that have horizontal filament orientation. The front turn bulbs and DRL bulbs in my CTS both have a vertical filament, 12272 and 5202/H16. Just for kicks, testing conventional ZES bulbs with vertical LED arrays in those reflectors, the intensity is outrageous given that those are headlight equivalent replacements. Shame about the cool white color, no turn signal use there.


                        And yeah PC Amber emitters are essentially just very very warm white, so like a warm white LED behind any colored lens, it will be perceived as the same color as the lens once all of the other color wavelengths are filtered out.

                        That 7 series and other cars that have amber signals behind a red lens (overseas Cayenne, Macan, some Audis) are using conventional Amber emitters on the 580-595nm wavelength, not Phospor Converted Amber. Guess it was a styling call for them, to avoid having clear and chromy portions of the tail lights (besides from the reverse sections).

                        I hear ya about the North American combined functions. I'm currently converting my Cadillac CTS Coupe tails from red turn/brake to separate functions with Amber signals, so I've done a bunch of testing using XPE emitters behind a spare red tail lens, side by side with Red-Orange XPEBRO, Amber XPEBAM, and PC Amber XBEBPA emitters. While there is an drop in intensity from the red lens filtering, the 590nm Amber emitters have a very visual difference to the Red Orange and PC amber emitters, and still retain enough intensity for signalling duties. PC Amber just looked the same as the Red Orange.

                        Have you guys seen the new Ram, Jeep compass, and Tesla Model X? The same sections on the taillights are used for red brake and amber turn, with a switchback function where the Amber turn signal fully overrides the red brake for that side.
                        Saturn Astra XR
                        -Complete Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
                        -EvoX-R, reflective red demon eyes, XB35 5500K, FastBright F5, Triton V3 Amber

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by romanster View Post
                          Have you guys seen the new Ram, Jeep compass, and Tesla Model X? The same sections on the taillights are used for red brake and amber turn, with a switchback function where the Amber turn signal fully overrides the red brake for that side.
                          I never understood how Tesla could claim, with a straight face, that their cars are the "safest ever" with dumb "features" like the world's tiniest stop lamps (apart from perhaps a certain Mazda SUV and the new RAV4), combined brake/turn signals, "switchback" brake/turn signals on the X, and the front side-marker on the 3 is way inboard on the front of the vehicle, unlike most vehicles, which integrate them in the corner of the headlamp or put them on a fender or quarter-panel. Lots of poor decisions about lighting there.

                          At least it's not like the Dodge Challenger, with the headlights that are completely invisible from the side. The only way to see a Challenger at night when it's perpendicular to you is by seeing its side markers...and the older Challengers' side markers are burning out and of course the people who buy old Challengers aren't the type of people to replace mini bulbs. There are so many Challengers running around my town that are literally invisible from the side. They'll be in the middle of an unlit two-way street making a turn and you can't see them a lot of times, unlike other cars that have working side-markers.

                          Are PC ambers cheaper than conventional amber emitters? So, if I understand correctly, the PC amber chips rely on blue light hitting a phosphor that emits amber light? Does the Zevo/Philips Xtreme LED line use PC amber or true amber? Aren't there purple and other color phosphors in the works for creating warm-colored light?
                          Last edited by 430k; December 3rd, 2019, 11:59 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by romanster View Post
                            Great tests evo! So the XDVF bulbs will be the closest equivalent to incandescent, for bulbs that have horizontal filament orientation. The front turn bulbs and DRL bulbs in my CTS both have a vertical filament, 12272 and 5202/H16. Just for kicks, testing conventional ZES bulbs with vertical LED arrays in those reflectors, the intensity is outrageous given that those are headlight equivalent replacements. Shame about the cool white color, no turn signal use there.
                            Originally posted by romanster View Post


                            And yeah PC Amber emitters are essentially just very very warm white, so like a warm white LED behind any colored lens, it will be perceived as the same color as the lens once all of the other color wavelengths are filtered out.

                            That 7 series and other cars that have amber signals behind a red lens (overseas Cayenne, Macan, some Audis) are using conventional Amber emitters on the 580-595nm wavelength, not Phospor Converted Amber. Guess it was a styling call for them, to avoid having clear and chromy portions of the tail lights (besides from the reverse sections).

                            I hear ya about the North American combined functions. I'm currently converting my Cadillac CTS Coupe tails from red turn/brake to separate functions with Amber signals, so I've done a bunch of testing using XPE emitters behind a spare red tail lens, side by side with Red-Orange XPEBRO, Amber XPEBAM, and PC Amber XBEBPA emitters. While there is an drop in intensity from the red lens filtering, the 590nm Amber emitters have a very visual difference to the Red Orange and PC amber emitters, and still retain enough intensity for signalling duties. PC Amber just looked the same as the Red Orange.

                            Have you guys seen the new Ram, Jeep compass, and Tesla Model X? The same sections on the taillights are used for red brake and amber turn, with a switchback function where the Amber turn signal fully overrides the red brake for that side.

                            As far as PC amber color application, XTR VF can be called closest equivalent to incandescent in terms of beam quality and output level.
                            still, it is NOT as intense as 7444NA bulb for sure as of first gen product. 7440/7443NA , then it can be competitive

                            For RED color, then XTR VF can confidently exceed incandescent bulb application, as there is no red colored incandescent bulb, selective color of red LED will show huge advantage over incandescent bulb.


                            12272 like axial layout filament bulb, it is very difficult for LED technologies to mimic their lighting character. LED afterall is surface lighting device, which their destiny is governed by necessity of large heatsink right behind the PN junction point.




                            Some manufacture uses specially formulated red lens that allows amber wavelength pass through much better while displaying " red" look. For example BMW 7 rear lamp 430K mentioned, those lens are actually more close to dot matrix like transparency against amber color. Not completely red lens they are.








                            Originally posted by 430k View Post

                            I never understood how Tesla could claim, with a straight face, that their cars are the "safest ever" with dumb "features" like the world's tiniest stop lamps (apart from perhaps a certain Mazda SUV and the new RAV4), combined brake/turn signals, "switchback" brake/turn signals on the X, and the front side-marker on the 3 is way inboard on the front of the vehicle, unlike most vehicles, which integrate them in the corner of the headlamp or put them on a fender or quarter-panel. Lots of poor decisions about lighting there.

                            At least it's not like the Dodge Challenger, with the headlights that are completely invisible from the side. The only way to see a Challenger at night when it's perpendicular to you is by seeing its side markers...and the older Challengers' side markers are burning out and of course the people who buy old Challengers aren't the type of people to replace mini bulbs. There are so many Challengers running around my town that are literally invisible from the side. They'll be in the middle of an unlit two-way street making a turn and you can't see them a lot of times, unlike other cars that have working side-markers.

                            Are PC ambers cheaper than conventional amber emitters? So, if I understand correctly, the PC amber chips rely on blue light hitting a phosphor that emits amber light? Does the Zevo/Philips Xtreme LED line use PC amber or true amber? Aren't there purple and other color phosphors in the works for creating warm-colored light?

                            PC amber considered as improvement output volume also flexibility to close yellow gap of near by range. Cost of LED itself do not show significant difference I believe, however, many manufacture is shifting more incline to PC amber production.

                            Yes correct, PC amber is essentially shorter wavelength blue LED + phosphor that excite to illuminate in amber color.

                            Benefit of PC amber is to have better CRI, much higher lumen volume, also, some cases, matching Vf to many of blue or phosphor converted other colors can be beneficial to share driver configuration. It also have higher junction temp allowance.

                            Opposite aspect of PC amber is,, it has higher Vf compare to standard amber= more power consumption

                            It appear to be Zevo is using mixed selection of amber chips. easy way to tell difference amber vs PC amber is if there is phosphor layer present or not.
                            PC amber has fluorescent orange layer is covering entire chip. Amber, you will see bare bonding wires on deep red-ish color platform

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                            • #15
                              I really wonder what the voltage drop at the taillamps looks like. Testing at 13.7 volts seems reasonable at first, but given that the taillamps are separated from the alternator by at least several feet if not more of thin wiring, I can't help but wonder if the incandescent bulbs back there "see" the full 13.7 volts or whatever it is that the alternator is putting out. I can't help but wonder if this skews the results in favor of the LEDs.

                              Assuming a 0.5 volt drop from the alternator to the taillamps, that would decrease the incandescent bulbs' lumen output by 12% down to 88%, and intensity should react in a commensurate manner.

                              I'll have to check the + and - voltage drops on my taillamps sometime...would be interesting.

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