Kizashi Club

Your Kizashi Owners Club and Forum 

Non-Suzuki related topics. Anything can go here.
 #23100  by SamirD
 Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:06 am
KuroNekko wrote:
SamirD wrote:
murcod wrote:A lot of the higher intensity bulbs (or higher Wattage) can have a shorter life span, so perhaps just stick with a well known standard Wattage bulb eg. from Philips or Osram. I think 55 Watts is the standard output?

PS: If you touch the glass the bulb can be cleaned with Methylated Spirits. The oils from your skin is what does the damage- when the bulb gets hot.
Here in the US people stopped putting in higher wattage bulbs after they started frying their wiring harnesses. :shock: Even most 'performance' light bulbs here are still stock wattage. They will usually use some xenon gas or other additive to get more light output, although this is also limited as they have to be within certain specs for DOT compliance.

Because of the cheap HID retrofit kits available now and the lower power higher light output of these systems, most people in the US simply change to these if they want increased light output. I've not done it myself, yet, but have been tempted since they're now truly plug and play.


I have quite some experience with high wattage bulbs. While aftermarket bulbs from PIAA, IPF, Silverstar, etc. are brighter and better, they also can generate more heat. Some even consume more power (like 65w). This can melt your harness and damage the headlight housing. I used to have a harness adapter for running these types of bulbs in my Impreza. As someone already pointed out, they also don't last as long.

After trying them out for years in different cars, I went to a HID kit and will never go back. Even the best bulbs from PIAA will not match the output of a mediocre HID kit if the color temp is between 4300k to 6000k. On average, an HID bulb outputs 300% more light than a halogen bulb while consuming 35W instead of 55W.
HID kits have significantly dropped in price over the last several years. While they can cause their own set of problems like flickering and ballast failure, they are generally more reliable and longer lasting than high output filament bulbs.
While they are technically illegal if installed aftermarket, enforcement on HID kits is very low, especially when used in a projector lens and the color temperature is between 4300k to 8000k. I've passed state inspection in two cars with HID kits installed and have never been pulled over by the police for headlight issues.

However, I truly believe LEDs will take over soon. They have a longer life and consume less power than HIDs, not to mention halogen bulbs. LEDs can also be adaptive. While luxury cars like Audi and Acura have incorporated them as low beams and high beams, even the new Toyota Corolla has LED low beams as standard. This is why the new Corolla's headlights don't look like they run halogen bulbs.

While in the past LEDs did not output even close to an incandescent bulb, their technology has advanced quite a bit in the last several years. I even own LED flashlights that output an astonishing 400 lumens of light, besting even the very best tactical flashlights 10 years ago.

I actually want to find a high output LED bulb to replace my incandescent high beam H7 bulb in my Kizashi. However, for it to output usable high beam light, the LED must work well with the headlight's high beam reflector.
My low beams are HID and work just fine with the factory projector lens.


Really great feedback Kuro! Thank you! 8-)

Why not just go for HID on the high beam like you've done for the low beam versus LED?

I think the LED technology is catching up, but without some of the custom designs like what Audi is using for the main headlights, I think a simple retrofit like the HIDs is still a few years away. I'm sure it's possible, but just not cost effective at the moment.
 #23108  by KuroNekko
 Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:58 am
SamirD wrote:Really great feedback Kuro! Thank you! 8-)

Why not just go for HID on the high beam like you've done for the low beam versus LED?

I think the LED technology is catching up, but without some of the custom designs like what Audi is using for the main headlights, I think a simple retrofit like the HIDs is still a few years away. I'm sure it's possible, but just not cost effective at the moment.


Glad you brought this up. After my last post, I did some serious investigation into LED retrofitting for low/high beam headlight purposes and not just DRL use or fancy light strips.

First, let me answer your question of why not HIDs for high beam.
HID are not suitable for high beam because they require a warm up time. All HIDs (factory and aftermarket) pretty much require a warm up for the optimum operating output. If you ever watch a HID turn on, you will see the light get brighter and stronger over about 30 seconds from the initial activation flash. HIDs work by a chemical reaction inside the xenon gas bulb. They are similar to street lamps on roads, but those use argon gas which requires even more time, but they last much longer and are brighter. This is why if you watch street lamps turn on, they take time to get to their operating light output (about a minute or two).
Because HIDs require this warm up time even if it's a mere 20~30 seconds, they are not suited for quick flashing or intermittent use like how high beams are commonly used. HIDs are great for low beams which turn on and stay on for the most part of your trip. High beams are used more temporarily so HIDs are not good as they can be pretty dim when you need them for just a few seconds when they have not warmed up. Cars that do use HIDs for high beams actually have a system called "bi-xenon". Those don't have a separate high beam HID bulb. They merely use the low beam bulb, but it gets tilted up or unshielded for high beam use. Cars that use this system are the ones without a dedicated high beam reflector in the headlight like the 2nd and 3rd generation Mazda3.

However, the very use of high beams makes LEDs optimal. LEDs light up faster and brighter than filament incandescent bulbs like halogen. They are suitable for flashing, long duration, or varying wattage. All these characteristics actually make them the ideal automotive light over HID or incandescent bulbs. They also have a very long lifespan. For these reasons they are the best brake lights.

While OEM LEDs for headlights are making their way more and more into cars, aftermarket kits have not been viable... until now it appears. My research tonight has revealed that finally, there are kits that can perform at roles beyond just DRLs or show use.

I've found this interesting thread on a Subaru Legacy forum regarding the matter.
http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/h7-led-headlight-bulbs-closed-208860.html

This kit looks rather promising and is very different from the low wattage, low lumen H7 LED replacement bulbs that merely provide accent lighting.
http://store.ijdmtoy.com/High-Power-COB-LED-Headlights-Head-Lamp-Kit-p/20w-led-headlights.htm

The idea with these high performance LED retrofits is that where a normal halogen bulb would have its filament give off light in the headlight reflector, the LED would do the same. While the implementation is questionable, I'm very interested in the results and may actually buy a kit just out of curiosity.
Many cars these days use either a low beam or high beam bulb as the DRL. Our Kizashis use the high beam bulb at low wattage for the DRL. Changing them to LEDs would give the car that elite LED white color instead of the incandescent "yellow" for DRL use.

I'm thinking about starting a new topic thread on LED H7 bulbs since this thread is originally for someone's bulb failure issues.
 #23111  by sx4rocious
 Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am
do these require HID balasts? or Is this a complete kit? I'm having the same issue as the OP in my SX4, and now the driver's side light is out in the Kizashi. If this is a complete kit for that price, I may pick up two kits.
 #23114  by murcod
 Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:48 am
Going further off topic..... :) ... those LED kits are interesting. I can see heat dissipation being a big problem though- and heat will kill the LED's.
PS: In that Liberty forum they were talking about cutting a hole in the back of the head light for a fan to cool them! :roll: I'd imagine the genuine OEM LED headlights would be sealed and have the rear section of the light made from aluminium to form a passive heatsink - with no cooling fans to fail.
 #23121  by KuroNekko
 Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:58 pm
murcod wrote:Going further off topic..... :) ... those LED kits are interesting. I can see heat dissipation being a big problem though- and heat will kill the LED's.
PS: In that Liberty forum they were talking about cutting a hole in the back of the head light for a fan to cool them! :roll: I'd imagine the genuine OEM LED headlights would be sealed and have the rear section of the light made from aluminium to form a passive heatsink - with no cooling fans to fail.


You hit it right on the head. The unit in my previous post does not have a fan, but many reputable LEDs for headlight purposes do. However, because of the extended heat sink body plus the attached fan, the lamp would extend outside the headlight enclosure so you can't put the cap on.

The product in the link below is the best LED headlight kit I've found and this company and their products have a good reputation in other car forums. I've seen this kit's light throw in a Toyota truck forum and it's impressive.
Most people say these high performance LEDs have a throw of somewhere between halogen and HID. The lumen ratings also corroborate these claims.
This would mean a significant upgrade in the high beam's output while also giving off the white LED DRL look. Personally, I'm very interested.
Here's the link: http://www.vleds.com/bulb/h-series/h7/h7-cxa.html
 #23124  by murcod
 Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:12 am
Would that Vleds kit fit inside the head light - the LED driver probably wouldn't - but even the bulb/ heat sink/ fan assembly? From memory, even the bulb retaining clip in the Kizashi head light would have serious trouble working with that large heat sink? The extra weight would also be an issue.
This
Image
vs
Image
Image

I'd be interested to see the beam pattern too. You're going from a small compact glass envelope (with uninterrupted 360 degree light) to a larger metal "bulb" design with the LED emitters spaced apart "back to back". They seem to be using the Cree 1512 emitters which appear to be rated at only 115 degree viewing angle (and that rating is allowing substantial variance in the intensity over that 115 degrees - see page 11 of this link http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/ ... XA1512.pdf )

All those changes would have to have an effect on the head light's beam pattern?
 #23130  by KuroNekko
 Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:38 am
No doubt that there are some issues with installing this kit or any LED kit.
The first point about the back of the bulb not fitting is very likely. The headlight does have some space before the cap goes on, but I doubt it can fit that large heat sink and the fan. The other kit without the fan may fit, but I don't think it's as good nor as safe as this vled kit.

The second point about the LEDs in the reflector is also a good point as the multi-reflector in headlights are designed for halogen bulbs and not anything else. However, these kits claim that the LED is designed to utilize the existing reflector in throwing the light. That's why they have large LEDs on the sides which shine onto the reflector, mimicking how halogen filaments cast their light.
While the beam pattern may not be as optimal as halogen bulbs, it should be good enough to work.
Threads in other forums I've read state that the LED conversions work rather well in multi-reflector housings, but not as good in projector housings, which is the opposite of HID kits. Glare is less than HID kits in either application, but the cut-off is poor in a projector lens when using LED vs. HID.

Despite these drawbacks, I'm very interested in the LED conversion as I do not like the halogen DRL. I currently have IPF Super Low Beam H7 bulbs as my high beam/DRL bulb. Even then, the look is rather yellow in DRL use as the system uses lower wattage for the DRL. I also don't think the bulbs work too well as a high beam. While they are an improvement over the crappy "blue" bulbs that the previous owner had as the high beam/DRL, I still wish for much brighter performance from a high beam.
There is also the factor that the constant use as a DRL is burning out the filament over time, making it dimmer and dimmer.

Personally, I may wait until I take a trip to Japan and see what LED conversion products are available in the JDM. They are way ahead in these kinds of things and sell a multitude of conversion bulbs and kits even in normal auto parts stores. I'd ideally like to find a H7 replacement LED bulb without a huge heat sink and fan so I can seal up my headlight with the cap. However, as of now, it appears the type that generate enough light to replace a halogen bulb need large heat sinks and fans to dissipate the heat the bulbs create.
 #23135  by sx4rocious
 Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:40 am
If and when I get the money for something like this together, I may try it in the SX4 as it has a multi-reflector sytem and plenty of room behind the housing for the heatsink and fan system. i love the idea too. SX4 headlights are notoriously dim and I've had the car for less than 2 years and replaced both bulbs twice.....
 #23136  by murcod
 Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:08 am
On that Liberty forum someone mentioned cutting the back out of the head light out to fit the fan/ heat sink. The same person mentioned no water had got in, but I wonder if they've considered how much dust will build up inside the head light long term?

The biggest issue with most halogen head lights is they're usually made entirely from plastic - so tend to retain heat inside.

:!: Thinking outside the square for cooling methods that will remove the heat from inside the head light.:

Something like the remote "heat pipe" heat sinks used on PC graphics cards would work wonders. Run the piping from the LED module, through a waterproof seal to a remote heat sink in the engine bay.... eg. like this http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/cpu/vpu-c ... part1.html

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Or, a coolant based system like people use for CPU's. Like along these lines http://quietpc.co.uk/reserator1-v2 You could substitute the coolant radiator from an air to liquid intercooler.
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Or use this as the remote radiator to get rid of the heat http://www.thinkcomputers.org/swiftech- ... reservoir/
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There are all sorts of possibilities for an external cooling system to keep the heat down- if you're keen. :o
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