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Headlights - Halogen Replacement Bulbs

GreenFluorite

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Yup, I'm familiar with FMVSS108. I think LasFit has to put that on their package. I'm trying to understand if everyone must abide by those regulations, how is any auto manufacturer allowed to deliver LED headlights? By those definitions any Xenon HID headlights are illegal, but some vehicles offer them from the factory.

Again, I think it's unlikely that in 2021 a police officer would issue a citation if you pass yearly vehicle inspection. It's also illegal to exceed the speed limit, but if I tried to stay at the speed limit on the highway, I'd probably be a safety hazard to those around me.
I don't pretend to be familiar with the engineering behind the housings that hold the bulbs, but my understanding was that it's legal as OEM equipment because the housings are designed for the specific bulbs, whereas retrofitting one kind of bulb into a housing that wasn't designed for it threatens to violate the allowable specs. Of course, maybe it would still be in-spec, but I can understand the law being written the way it is simply because of no easy way to judge that. I wasn't aware that anybody was subject to annual inspections. In Ohio, I've never had a car inspected except for a few specific counties that require passing an emissions test every other year. As such, I reckon it'd be very unlikely for us to get cited for it, especially if they're not obviously any brighter than other LED lights on the road, which law enforcement probably assumes are legal OEM lights. But I'm also trying to gauge whether my wife would be irritated by the flicker, and if simply upgrading to a better halogen bulb would be enough of an improvement for her.
 

2020Telly

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I don't pretend to be familiar with the engineering behind the housings that hold the bulbs, but my understanding was that it's legal as OEM equipment because the housings are designed for the specific bulbs, whereas retrofitting one kind of bulb into a housing that wasn't designed for it threatens to violate the allowable specs. Of course, maybe it would still be in-spec, but I can understand the law being written the way it is simply because of no easy way to judge that. I wasn't aware that anybody was subject to annual inspections. In Ohio, I've never had a car inspected except for a few specific counties that require passing an emissions test every other year. As such, I reckon it'd be very unlikely for us to get cited for it, especially if they're not obviously any brighter than other LED lights on the road, which law enforcement probably assumes are legal OEM lights. But I'm also trying to gauge whether my wife would be irritated by the flicker, and if simply upgrading to a better halogen bulb would be enough of an improvement for her.
Makes total sense. If you can't live with the canbus flicker from the vehicle starting or the idle stop and go with LEDs, upgrade to better halogens and you will be fine. My problem is that I think our legislators pretend to be familiar with everything. My annual emissions inspection also tests for the vehicle tint being within spec and makes sure that all lights are functioning, otherwise I have to get it fixed and re-inspected within a certain timeframe to get my plate registration renewed.

Either way, the OEM halogen bulb is not great. Regardless of whether you want to stay within spec or go a little over, I think the OEM bulb is probably closer to the minimum spec. If "glare and dazzle" are subjective to local law enforcement, then I would suggest always being very polite when getting pulled over.
 

lamduhh

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Legal or not, in CA I have not had an issue with LASFIT HB3 led headlight bulb replacement. I have been pulled over an given warnings for my light bar. Never even been questioned about my headlights
 

Mmiller

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The 9005 bulb is a single filament bulb and used in the halogen projector housing of the Telluride as both regular and high beams because when you put on the high beams a shutter moves out of the way to project more light. I agree with the previous post that a 6 year old article on the topic is likely obsolete. LED technology has moved lightning fast when comparing the aftermarket parts that have come out way faster than automobile regulations can keep up. With that said, I believe that not all LED retrofit bulbs are equal. Some LEDs work better in different vehicles simply because of the chip size and location on the area known as the blade where it sits in the housing to mimic what would have reflected from a Halogen. Some also have a thinner blade or use a wedge design to lessen the chance of dark spots. Size-wise, from what I have read 9005 and HB3 are the same thing.

I think there are three basic halogen projector housing styles:
1. A housing designed for a single filament in one halogen bulb for low and regular beam then uses a shutter and mirrors to reflect more light when you want high beams. (I think this is the style for the Telluride LX, S, EX non Premium Pkg.)
2. A housing that uses two different projectors and has the mirrors reflecting more light from halogen bulbs when you switch on high beam.
3. A housing that uses a dual filament in one halogen bulb for low, regular and high beam.

(The Telluride EX Premium and SX use an LED two projector housing with amber DRLs and this housing does not have replaceable bulbs.)

I have tested several halogen bulbs and I currently have the Twelvolt LEDs. I would have no problem going back to halogen as long as it isn’t the Kia OEM bulb. The main thing I have concluded is that < $5 bulb that came with the vehicle is absolutely horrible to drive at night. I haven't measured it but I think the OEM bulb has somewhere around a 3,000K color temp and a very low lumen rating (maybe 1500 lumens?) which accounts for the low luminance and low beam performance. So the bar is pretty low and anything you buy off the shelf may be an improvement.

If you have the halogen housing and you are worried about the NHTSA ratings for the Telluride because of the headlights, remember that they must conduct their tests using what comes from the factory. In my opinion, spend $30 or more on better 9005 bulbs (halogen or LED retrofit) and you will feel much better driving at night. I would personally aim for a color temperature at least 4,000K but no more than 6,000K and an effective luminance of around 1,500 lumens for Halogen, around 3,500 lumens for HID, and more than 5,000 lumens effectively focal for an LED retrofit. I think you can get away with the lower lumens with Halogen and HID because the entire bulb lights up and reflects as designed for the housing. With LEDs you have to brighten more because you have those little chips that are trying to mimic an entire bulb glass effect. Also remember if you get too high for lumen rating on an LED retrofit (or HID) you risk glare of objects in front of you and blinding oncoming drivers because of the height of an SUV housing.
Thanks for your post. I was considering going with LEDs but I think I'll just upgrade the halogen bulbs. LEDs with the cooling fan motor..the higher temp..flicker..just seems like it could cause trouble down the road. Retrofitting something your car was not designed for doesn't seem like a good idea to me. The Telluride is a rolling computer so best to leave thing as it was designed for. The stock headlights aren't THAT horrible.
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Tellthemride

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Difference was so significant they specifically only awarded the car with LED headlights.

 
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2020Telly

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Difference was so significant they specifically only awarded the car with LED headlights.

Agreed. The important thing to note about that IIHS headlight test is that it is done with the stock halogen bulbs and they do not adjust or modify the projector from what they got in their test vehicle from the manufacturer. So if the projectors were pointed down slightly for one vehicle that represents everything produced.
 

Mmiller

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Agreed. The important thing to note about that IIHS headlight test is that it is done with the stock halogen bulbs and they do not adjust or modify the projector from what they got in their test vehicle from the manufacturer. So if the projectors were pointed down slightly for one vehicle that represents everything produced.
My wife and I generally try to not drive Kermit ( our moss green Telly) at night. We took it out to look at Xmas lights the other night. I found the lights to be fine away from ambient light on a dark road..maybe not quite as bright in a well lit area...but certainly not horrible.. Upgrading the halogen seems like a much better bet than putting LEDs in a halogen houseing that's it's not designed for. It's like running a 1000 watt amplifier with 3 inch speakers. LEDs have less long range especially in that houseing..run much hotter..and weren't wired originally for that. One post the guy replaced the entire light assembly hacking up the wiring harnesses which voids your warranty and I would never do that to a new car..especially one like this which they are a rolling computer. Lastly the LEDs are illegal especially after market bulbs. I know I have been blinded more than once with these.
 

2020Telly

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My wife and I generally try to not drive Kermit ( our moss green Telly) at night. We took it out to look at Xmas lights the other night. I found the lights to be fine away from ambient light on a dark road..maybe not quite as bright in a well lit area...but certainly not horrible.. Upgrading the halogen seems like a much better bet than putting LEDs in a halogen houseing that's it's not designed for. It's like running a 1000 watt amplifier with 3 inch speakers. LEDs have less long range especially in that houseing..run much hotter..and weren't wired originally for that. One post the guy replaced the entire light assembly hacking up the wiring harnesses which voids your warranty and I would never do that to a new car..especially one like this which they are a rolling computer. Lastly the LEDs are illegal especially after market bulbs. I know I have been blinded more than once with these.
A lot to unpack there. You have quite a bit of subjectivity that you stated as if it were fact. If you want to upgrade the halogen bulbs in a projector housing designed for halogens, makes total sense and you will be happy with any upgrade especially if your eyes are already okay with the OEM bulbs. Any projector housing is built to project light from a bulb. A filament or chip doesn't make a difference to the mirror. As long as the LED chip is positioned to reflect optimally for that vehicle it will be just as good if not better than the halogen that just shines light all around. Your 1000 watt amplifier is a bit incorrect since it is a projector housing. The halogen bulb is the 1000 watt amplifier in that case. You may be thinking of reflector housings, not projector housings. A reflector needs all the light it can get to reflect back out a wide and bright beam. A projector only really needs the right positioning and smaller amount of a housing in the right spot which can be achieved with the right LED chip size and positioning. The power of the sun projected through a mirror can start a fire, but a lighter does the same thing more efficiently. In that case the halogen filament bulb in a projector housing is the sun, where the lighter is the LED chip.

LEDs retrofit bulbs do put off heat but significantly less than the halogen and even less than HIDs. The canbus flicker is a risk, but it's something some folks get use to and it's there with halogen just so subtle you miss it. Your statement that aftermarket LEDs by themselves are illegal is not accurate, reference my post #17 earlier: Headlights - Halogen Replacement Bulbs Depending the on state you are in you will continue to be blinded and it will be completely legal. That's simply because the laws don't provide enough guidance for something that subjective. If we let laws dictate what is safe technology on vehicles we would all be driving the same car with very little advancements. A number of luxury brands have been running LEDs for years and they are legally allowed to sell their vehicles. I'm all for sticking with the halogen bulb if you go with something better than stock, but I don't believe there is anything wrong with going with aftermarket improvements. Kia didn't make the bulbs, they just sourced them from somewhere, which means they probably went with the lowest priced lowest spec that meets the base requirement for head lamps across all states, which in this case equates to crappy performance (subjectively of course). So when it comes to consumable bulbs, unless you buy all your bulbs from the Kia parts department they assume you will go aftermarket even with Halogen. The reason why people are looking for alternatives to the OEM parts is because the legal definitions aren't sufficient enough and people are searching for a solution to a problem. Blaming a solution isn't acknowledging that there is a problem.
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Mmiller

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A lot to unpack there. You have quite a bit of subjectivity that you stated as if it were fact. If you want to upgrade the halogen bulbs in a projector housing designed for halogens, makes total sense and you will be happy with any upgrade especially if your eyes are already okay with the OEM bulbs. Any projector housing is built to project light from a bulb. A filament or chip doesn't make a difference to the mirror. As long as the LED chip is positioned to reflect optimally for that vehicle it will be just as good if not better than the halogen that just shines light all around. Your 1000 watt amplifier is a bit incorrect since it is a projector housing. The halogen bulb is the 1000 watt amplifier in that case. You may be thinking of reflector housings, not projector housings. A reflector needs all the light it can get to reflect back out a wide and bright beam. A projector only really needs the right positioning and smaller amount of a housing in the right spot which can be achieved with the right LED chip size and positioning. The power of the sun projected through a mirror can start a fire, but a lighter does the same thing more efficiently. In that case the halogen filament bulb in a projector housing is the sun, where the lighter is the LED chip.

LEDs retrofit bulbs do put off heat but significantly less than the halogen and even less than HIDs. The canbus flicker is a risk, but it's something some folks get use to and it's there with halogen just so subtle you miss it. Your statement that aftermarket LEDs by themselves are illegal is not accurate, reference my post #17 earlier: Headlights - Halogen Replacement Bulbs Depending the on state you are in you will continue to be blinded and it will be completely legal. That's simply because the laws don't provide enough guidance for something that subjective. If we let laws dictate what is safe technology on vehicles we would all be driving the same car with very little advancements. A number of luxury brands have been running LEDs for years and they are legally allowed to sell their vehicles. I'm all for sticking with the halogen bulb if you go with something better than stock, but I don't believe there is anything wrong with going with aftermarket improvements. Kia didn't make the bulbs, they just sourced them from somewhere, which means they probably went with the lowest priced lowest spec that meets the base requirement for head lamps across all states, which in this case equates to crappy performance (subjectively of course). So when it comes to consumable bulbs, unless you buy all your bulbs from the Kia parts department they assume you will go aftermarket even with Halogen. The reason why people are looking for alternatives to the OEM parts is because the legal definitions aren't sufficient enough and people are searching for a solution to a problem. Blaming a solution isn't acknowledging that there is a problem.
Thanks for your reply. Could you recommend the best halogen replacement bulb for me that you have used on your vehicle? Thanks
 

2020Telly

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Thanks for your reply. Could you recommend the best halogen replacement bulb for me that you have used on your vehicle? Thanks

Philips 9005 Crystal Vision Ultra are a great $30 solution. (See previous post) Sylvania SilverStar Ultras are also readily available at most auto part stores, but they cost a little more than the Crystal Visions. Also remember halogens dim as they age. Most people replace them in pairs when they die, but before that happens they may be in the process of dying. Since you have a filament in the bulb, if you drive on bumpy roads a lot you might find yourself replacing the bulbs prematurely. Don't put your fingers directly on the glass of the halogen bulb when replacing. The oils and grease residue from your fingers could cause the glass to heat up more and cause it to fail sooner. You are starting out at a 500-1,000 hour lifespan as it is with halogen. The average American does about 300 hours of driving per year. So for optimal visibility, expect to be looking at a new pair of halogen bulbs every 3-4 years assuming they don't dim too much to your liking.

I have the Crystal Vision Ultras in my Hyundai with projector bulb housing and tried them in my Telluride since it's the same size bulb and it looked great. I went back my LED retrofit Twelvolt bulbs that I like but that company went out of business.

Here's a very rudimentary test that I did: Headlight Led Upgrade

My big takeaway, go with a whiter/cooler light (around 3500-4500k) if you can. Read up on "perceived brightness" and you will see that the more amber light doesn't appear as brightly lit as whiter light. I feel safer with the whiter light at night.
 
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Mmiller

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Philips 9005 Crystal Vision Ultra are a great $30 solution. Sylvania SilverStar Ultras are also readily available at most auto part stores, but they cost a little more than the Crystal Visions. Also remember halogens dim as they age. Most people replace them in pairs when they die, but before that happens they may be in the process of dying. Since you have a filament in the bulb, if you drive on bumpy roads a lot you might find yourself replacing the bulbs prematurely. Don't put your fingers directly on the glass of the halogen bulb when replacing. The oils and grease residue from your fingers could cause the glass to heat up more and cause it to fail sooner. You are starting out at a 500-1,000 hour lifespan as it is with halogen. The average American does about 300 hours of driving per year. So for optimal visibility, expect to be looking at a new pair of halogen bulbs every 3-4 years assuming they don't dim too much to your liking.


I have the Crystal Vision Ultras in my Hyundai with projector bulb housing and tried them in my Telluride since it's the same size bulb and it looked great. I went back my LED retrofit Twelvolt bulbs that I like but that company went out of business.
Ok thank you for the info. Like I said we go out of our way not to drive at night so they should last us awhile. If you don't like your auto stop feature I shared my zip tie solution that works great on this forum. Our town has two stoplights so really didn't need it as we aren't in urban traffic conditions. Enjoy your new Telluride. Awesome vehicle.
 
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