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The Ultimate Headlight Upgrade vs Philips LED headlights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by crashnburn80, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Nov 12, 2016 at 10:44 PM
    #1
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I recently compared unshielded Opt7 LEDs against the ultimate headlight upgrade and the LEDs had significant glare issues and very poor beam performance. Philips claims to have clean cut offs and says directly on the box it will not inflict glare to oncoming drivers. Coming from a major name brand reputable manufacture, I was curious to give them a try and compare them to the ultimate headlight upgrade.

    Philips 2500 lumen LEDs vs Osram 5800 lumen high powered halogens

    LEDs:
    The Philips LEDs are intriguing as every aspect of the design seems to be done the right way. From a major well known manufacture, claims of actually being compatible with a stock halogen reflector and not producing glare and using innovative passive cooling technology while maintaining the OEM headlight seal. I purchased the Philips LEDs from XenonDepot on sale for $200.

    Halogens:
    The halogens in this experiment are the 5800 lumen Osrams from the Ultimate headlight upgrade. These bulbs are over 100% brighter than stock while still maintaining reasonable bulb life. These are a significant light output upgrade without compromising optics by utilizing technology that is designed for the stock reflector halogen lens. Cost about $120.

    Right on the Philips LED box, no glare to oncoming drivers.
    fullsizeoutput_6d4.jpg

    Side by side comparison shots to halogen bulbs. The glare guards on the Philips LEDs are decently large.
    fullsizeoutput_6d1.jpg

    Top down comparison. It is difficult to see in the photo, but the LEDs driver side glare guard is actually slightly longer than the passenger side. Thanks @StevoNB for pointing this out as it is very subtle. The longer glare guard on the driver side, and the smaller tighter control guard on the passenger side indicates this is likely designed for use in right hand drive vehicles. As would be consistent with the picture of the glare on the box.
    fullsizeoutput_6d6.jpg

    The design of the Philips LEDs is significantly better than the Opt7s, and most other LEDs. The Philips have glare guards, unlike the Opt7s. They also utilize a smart removable passive cooling system that does not use any moving parts to cool the LED circuit. By making the passive cooling sink removable, the the LED can be installed into the headlight housing, the OEM rubber boot reinstalled and then the cooling sink installed afterward. Many LEDs, especially those with cooling fans, require you to modify or cut the OEM boot to install the LED, which then allows moisture into the headlight resulting in condensation on interior of the lens. One very minor point for improvement, Philips could have aligned the cooling sink to line up perfectly vertically when screwed on all the way to optimize cooling. No failure prone moving parts, silent, and maintains the factory headlight seal. Smart.
    fullsizeoutput_6d2.jpg

    Comparing the LED headlight cut offs to the Ultimate headlight upgrade in the stock headlight assemblies. The ultimate headlight upgrade is on the left, the Philips LEDs on the right. The LED beam cut offs look spot on to the halogens, though the sign spotter beam above the horizon seem a little more prominent in the LEDs. The Philips has an outstanding cut off compared to the Opt7s.
    IMG_0576.jpg

    Comparing high beam pattern pattern. Ultimate left, Philips LED right.
    IMG_0580.jpg

    While the beam patten doesn't tell much in the above photo, setting the camera to focus on the beam centers to close the aperture to capture the heart of the beam shows the similarities better. The ultimate upgrade is a little more full than the narrower LED on the right.
    IMG_0579.jpg

    Glare is of course the main offender in non-shielded LEDS. No excessive glare when facing oncoming drivers with the Philips, as advertised. Oncoming beam looks like stock.
    Philips LED on left, Ultimate on right.
    IMG_0605.jpg

    What surprised me was how well the Philips did in the Lux rating. I got a high reading of 474. I couldn't say for sure if that was a hot spot in the beam but they seemed to do much better than their 2500 lumen rating would suggest. The Philips measured higher in my tests than the Opt7 LEDs, which were rated to be 7000 lumen, but the Opt7 had serious beam control issues which may have adversely affected their rating.
    Philips LED 474 Lux:
    IMG_0588.jpg


    While better, than the Opt7s the Philips still did not measure as high as the Osram halogens, which come in at nearly 30% brighter.
    Ultimate headlight upgrade 609 Lux:
    IMG_0445.jpg

    Output. Ultimate headlight upgrade on the left, Philips LED on right.
    IMG_0586.jpg

    Cut offs in a halogen reflector are only part of the story. Directional light LED diodes are not the same as omnidirectional light halogen filaments. You could actually tell this looking at the headlight reflector with the lights on, the LEDs had clear light hot spots to the right and left of the LED inside the reflector, whereas the entire reflector running the halogen bulb was lit uniformly. Meaning a more even, consistent saturated flood of light projected. I tried taking photos of the LED hotspots inside the reflector, but was too challenging for the camera.

    The Philips LEDs do maintain the cut off as advertised. Their output seems more uniform and full than the Opt7 LEDs, not to mention have vastly superior solid state cooling and no compromise of the headlight seals unlike other fan based LEDs. While the Philips LEDs are still outperformed by the ultimate halogen upgrade, if you were interested in getting LED headlights, the Philips LEDs seem like a great product without needing to do a projector retrofit, however the glare cut offs do not appear uniform so it may still will affect oncoming drivers to the distant left.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. Nov 12, 2016 at 10:47 PM
    #2
    T4RFTMFW

    T4RFTMFW #DBBeer

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  3. Nov 13, 2016 at 5:19 AM
    #3
    StevoNB

    StevoNB Well-Known Member

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  4. Nov 13, 2016 at 5:32 AM
    #4
    StevoNB

    StevoNB Well-Known Member

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    Crashburn, did you notice that the glare guards on the Philips bulbs are not the same on either side? I couldn't find any info anywhere, but I think they may be designed for RHD vehicles. Or maybe it makes no difference either way. I seemed to get high beamed quite frequently while running these bulbs, usually on a dark 2 lane road while going over hills.
     
    Norton likes this.
  5. Nov 13, 2016 at 5:41 AM
    #5
    Muffdiver

    Muffdiver Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional

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  6. Nov 13, 2016 at 9:54 AM
    #6
    snowbrdd

    snowbrdd Well-Known Member

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    Nice work.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2016 at 2:09 PM
    #7
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Great observation. After checking out the bulbs more closely, you are correct. The Philips LED glare guard is tighter on the passenger side, meaning more glare control to the passenger side than to the driver side. That would certainly indicate it is designed for RHD vehicles. Very unfortunate for us LHD countries.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2016 at 2:11 PM
    #8
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Thanks for pointing that out. Updated the post with links, a few more photos and some additional info.
     
  9. Nov 19, 2016 at 5:44 PM
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    Silverspool

    Silverspool Come at me Bro!

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    Thanks for this post, i want something brighter but dont want to retrofit so ill be picking a set of these up.
     
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  10. Nov 20, 2016 at 7:50 AM
    #10
    TRDProBuddy

    TRDProBuddy Well-Known Member

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    I have been running these for about 4 months and I love them. Lot more light and never been flashed
     
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  11. Dec 17, 2016 at 5:42 AM
    #11
    deznuts84

    deznuts84 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone use this in a 3rd gen?
     
  12. Dec 17, 2016 at 11:18 AM
    #12
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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  13. Jan 13, 2017 at 11:05 AM
    #13
    locster

    locster Well-Known Member

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    Is this a direct plug and play mod?
     
  14. Jan 13, 2017 at 11:40 AM
    #14
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Yes. The Philips LEDs and the Ultimate headlight upgrade are both plug and play mods. See the link for more info on the halogen upgrade.
     
  15. Jan 14, 2017 at 6:23 PM
    #15
    ToxicPelican

    ToxicPelican Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to do such a good and in depth review crashnburn80!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  16. Feb 8, 2017 at 5:48 AM
    #16
    Jacked05

    Jacked05 Active Member

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    just curious is there a left and a right on the Philips's bulbs, because of the way the glare guards are? Or do they only go in one way so you cant screw that up?
     
  17. Feb 8, 2017 at 8:36 AM
    #17
    StevoNB

    StevoNB Well-Known Member

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    They only go in one way and both are identical. Can't install them incorrectly. Well, you probably could, but it would take some effort.
     
  18. Feb 8, 2017 at 8:41 AM
    #18
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    There is no left and right for the bulbs, however the cutoffs appear to angle up on the driver side and down on the passenger side. This is for street sign illumination, meaning they are really for right hand drive vehicles, where the street signs are on the left, unlike the US where the the cutoffs should angle up on the right.
     
  19. Feb 8, 2017 at 10:37 AM
    #19
    papabear050

    papabear050 Well-Known Member

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    Can't you just swap the LED bulbs around for US drivers... so Driver in passenger side? Also, is the low beam on the Phillips a lot brighter than stock? I do know they don't compare to the Ultimate's in terms of brightness/lux/lumens, however at $200 these will last forever. With the Ultimate, you sacrifice longevity for performance but I read through your posts and have found that the 85w Osrams last about 4-6 months, or 12-14 months if you are lucky. So for the price of the the Ultimate Harness and bulbs, within one bulb change you could have easily paid for the Phillips... then continue to save $$ in the long run. My only question is how much brighter are the Phillips than stock?

    I think I'll go this route... I almost did the ultimates because I wanted the best light output possible but at 6-12 month changes... that adds up to a lot of $$ over the life of the truck.

    also... @crashnburn80 thanks for the testing and time you put in to help everyone. Appreciate members like you!

    Also I found a photo that depicts your statement about "You could actually tell this looking at the headlight reflector with the lights on, the LEDs had clear light hot spots to the right and left of the LED inside the reflector, whereas the entire reflector running the halogen bulb was lit uniformly."

    http://www.xenondepot.com/Philips-12953BWX2-H4-LED-Bulb-Review-s/62.htm
     
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  20. Feb 8, 2017 at 10:49 AM
    #20
    Mush Mouse

    Mush Mouse Club Soda Not Seals

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    I have the same questions as you about these LEDs h4, most people that have them seem quite satisfied with them over the oem halogens. the price on them seem to be coming down a little http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Phi...-Beam-Headlight-Lamp-/381817921780?rmvSB=true
     
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