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Xenon Depot Xtreme LED H4 headlight kit review

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  • Xenon Depot Xtreme LED H4 headlight kit review

    PNP LEDs have a stigma around them, and for good reason. Installing HIDs or LEDs in halogen housings has historically been a controversial move because performance has always suffered. Whether it’s glare or total lack of visibility, PNP has never been the answer.

    But times are changing, and LED technology is advancing quickly. Philips released a PNP H4 LED bulb that performed well in most housings, and from there PNP LED tech blossomed.



    The Xenon Depot Xtreme LEDs use tiny Philips LumiLEDs to emulate a halogen filament to retain proper performance in a halogen housing. Adding to the “standard” Philips design, everything (including the circuit board) was blacked out to reduce reflections. There is a flexible anodized copper heatsink on the back for passive cooling, foregoing an active fan. Fans, while providing superior cooling, add another point of failure, noise, and electromagnetic interference.



    The bulbs come with an allen key to adjust the clocking and four zip ties to clean up the wiring.

    Build quality:



    Like most LEDs, these are extremely well made. They’re hefty, solid metal. The H4 plate is well made and fits into the headlight perfectly. The driver is compact and has loops for a zip tie to go through. All the wires are thick yet flexible. The H4 connector is of excellent quality and the connection between the LED and the driver is waterproof with a screw on retainer. There isn’t a thing I could criticize in terms of build quality.

    Installation:



    The installation of these LEDs is much like a regular halogen bulb. You’ll have to slightly pull the retaining clip around the thicker body of the bulb and mount the driver somewhere, but it’s a fully plug and play installation. Stretching the rubber cap around the heatsink and body may cause you some trouble but the body is reasonably slim.

    Be sure to fluff out the braided heat sinks after the installation is complete. This will allow for enough airflow to pass through them, cooling down the bulbs. They’re very flexible so they will fit in even the tightest of spaces.

    Output:



    This will vary between vehicles and this test was conducted on an OEM Toyota headlight from a 2000 MR2 Spyder. With its large round reflector, it generally takes well to quality LEDs.

    These LEDs are clockable, and this will become important to get the ideal beam pattern. You’ll want to loosen the two set screws enough for it to rotate with a bit of force. You want some friction so it doesn’t come loose. Install the bulb, rotate until you get the ideal beam pattern, then carefully remove without moving the plate. Tighten the set screws and you’re good to go.

    In these housings, performance was fairly good. While the output became messier and spottier, the overall beam pattern was retained. The hotspot was strong, the foreground was minimal, and glare may have actually gone down. The color is a pure white, with no yellow or blue tint whatsoever. It’s actually warmer than many OEM LED setups.













    The hotspot became far stronger and wider, which should translate to better distance vision. The width was slightly increased as well. Surprisingly, there was no increase in foreground light, which would normally be a classic characteristic of PNP LEDs. A bright foreground causes your eyes to adjust and your pupils to shrink, lowering your overall visibility.

    Unfortunately, the cutoff isn’t perfect. It became a bit wavy, though it remained intact. In my opinion the output remained perfectly safe and usable in terms of glare and cutoff.













    High beam performance remained very similar. It might have become a little more diffused, though intensity remained good.

    While Philips used three diodes per “filament,” Xenon Depot opted for four. While this does increase brightness, the length of the line of diodes does exceed the length of an H4 halogen filament and thus does scatter some light. It could be said that removing a diode from each “filament” could have helped the output.

    Heat dissipation:
    In my opinion, the braided heat sinks are not an ideal way of dissipating heat. While the body of the LED got hot, the heatsinks stayed warm. The difference in temperature was significant after 10 minutes of running. Fortunately, the bulbs don’t seem to have a problem with overheating.

    Conclusion:
    While not perfect, these LEDs perform admirably in these housings and should perform reasonably well in others. Is it going to replace a retrofit? Absolutely not. But with so many people buying cheap LEDs that glare and perform poorly, this is a great alternative without breaking the bank on genuine Philips bulbs. As much as lighting enthusiasts might not agree, a safe PNP bulb is a good thing for the everyday person who just wants a nicer look and output.

    You’ll get the benefit of that pretty white light, potentially improved output, instant on, and better longevity. The downsides are a potential decrease in output (depending on housings) and price. But with the latest price drop, they’ve become almost as affordable as the generic stuff on eBay.

    If you’re dying to get that cool white light and a bump in output in a PNP package, this is it.

    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

  • #2
    PS: If you want em, they're $63 a pair right now. I have it on good authority that they'll be gone by the end of the week. http://www.xenondepot.com/H4-Xtreme-.../xt-led-h4.htm

    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

    Comment


    • #3
      If they're blowing out their stock at sale prices, is something better is likely coming down the line?

      Comment


      • #4
        Good comparo.

        Too bad you don't have a lux meter. Would love to see how much light output drops after 60 minutes. I have a pair of other brand copper belt H11 bulbs and I lost 14% lux after just 30 minutes. That's not a whole lot and all things considered it was still brighter than halogen after it was fully warmed up. I do have another bulb that does not have the copper belts and when fully warmed up is barely brighter than halogen. My point is, comparing shots within the first 15 minutes of a LED firing up might not be an accurate representation of its brightness. Just something to consider.

        And a thermal filter for fun...

        www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ziegs2020 View Post
          If they're blowing out their stock at sale prices, is something better is likely coming down the line?
          They teased a new product on their Instagram today. But for $63, this is just a great product on a budget. Whatever comes next is sure to be far more expensive.

          Originally posted by evo77 View Post
          Good comparo. Too bad you don't have a lux meter. Would love to see how much light output drops after 60 minutes. I have a pair of other brand copper belt H11 bulbs and I lost 14% lux after just 30 minutes. That's not a whole lot and all things considered it was still brighter than halogen after it was fully warmed up. I do have another bulb that does not have the copper belts and when fully warmed up is barely brighter than halogen. My point is, comparing shots within the first 15 minutes of a LED firing up might not be an accurate representation of its brightness. Just something to consider. And a thermal filter for fun...
          I didn't think it would be affected too much past 15 minutes, but in that case I can test for more time in the future. I'll pick up a lux meter, been meaning to for a long time.

          Would this be okay enough? ​https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2KV19AYUKS3X0

          Nice thermal filter! Out of curiosity, how do you do that?

          2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
          2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

          Comment


          • #6
            Honestly, for basic testing any meter should be fine for comparing two light sources. I have a Dr. Meter and then I just picked this one up HERE. Peak hold is a must since its a PITA to move the sensor around to find the highest intensity. And I like this new one because it has a retractable cord. I kinda hate those coiled cords.

            I used an online photo editing site. http://www141.lunapic.com/editor/
            www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

            Comment


            • #7
              You think that one you linked is better than the Dr. Meter? I'll buy whichever you recommend.

              2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
              2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

              Comment


              • #8
                The Dr. Meter model you posted looks like a great unit and will do the job. But if your only going to use a meter every now and then to compare light sources, save yourself a few dollars and try the one I posted. For the features and price point its a good bargain.
                www.automotiveLEDresearch.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks man, will do.

                  2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                  2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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