VWVortex.com - Investing in LED bulbs worth it?
Username or Email Address
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up

    VWVortex


    The Car Lounge
    Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
    Results 1 to 25 of 67

    Thread: Investing in LED bulbs worth it?

    1. Member IridiumB6's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 29th, 2010
      Location
      Toronto, Canada
      Posts
      3,584
      Vehicles
      2018 Tiguan Highline, 2012 X5 35d, 2012 Golf 2.5
      12-06-2019 05:12 PM #1
      I tend to drive on dark country roads fairly often, and I'm looking to increase the breadth of my fog lamp beam as this greatly aids night time driving.

      The ones on my X5 are fine, the ones on my Golf aren't. They barely make a difference really.

      Anyway I'm wondering if I should go for an LED bulb or a higher end halogen (and if halogen any good recommendations)? I've found some Sylvanias that are going for about $70, but if they're going to make a substantial difference over my OEM bulbs I'll invest in them. I found comparable LED bulbs for around $120, which is a bit steep.

      This is what I'm looking to go for:

      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post

      If the next GTI has over 300 hp off the showroom floor, I'll eat my airedale.

    2. Remove Advertisements

      Advertisements
       

    3. 12-06-2019 05:17 PM #2
      I had Diode Dynamics SL1s in my Subaru and I loved them. I'd definitely go with LED if you could find one from a good company (aka don't get the ebay crap).

    4. 12-06-2019 05:25 PM #3
      I've tried Sylvania Silverstar bulbs and to be honest, there was little if any difference from stock. Not worth doing.

      Probably 90% of LED replacements on the market are rubbish. Probably 90% of what's left are ok but not an improvement on stock. The 1% is hard to find. "Cheap" and "good" are mutually exclusive.

      For fog lamps I have these and like them (*note* my car uses H11, not the same bulb as yours) https://www.xenondepot.com/h16-h8-h1...12793unix2.htm

      Here's a yellow 9006 ... https://www.xenondepot.com/9006-Xtre...006-pro-yw.htm

      Another good website - they test bulbs and provide their findings: https://headlightrevolution.com/

    5. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 19th, 2015
      Posts
      1,582
      Vehicles
      small car that does it all, incredibly reliable too
      12-06-2019 05:28 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by GoFaster View Post
      I've tried Sylvania Silverstar bulbs and to be honest, there was little if any difference from stock. Not worth doing.

      Probably 90% of LED replacements on the market are rubbish. Probably 90% of what's left are ok but not an improvement on stock. The 1% is hard to find. "Cheap" and "good" are mutually exclusive.

      For fog lamps I have these and like them (*note* my car uses H11, not the same bulb as yours) https://www.xenondepot.com/h16-h8-h1...12793unix2.htm

      Here's a yellow 9006 ... https://www.xenondepot.com/9006-Xtre...006-pro-yw.htm

      Another good website - they test bulbs and provide their findings: https://headlightrevolution.com/
      I installed a Sylvania Silverstar once in my motorcycle and I couldn't tell the difference but that's not really an LED bulb, as far as I know it still uses halogen technology.

    6. Member G0to60's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 23rd, 2003
      Location
      Milwaukie, OR
      Posts
      7,184
      Vehicles
      90 VW Corrado, 02 Audi allroad, 03 VW GTI 20TH, 96 BMW 318ti, 17 JKU, 16 eGolf
      12-06-2019 05:31 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I had Diode Dynamics SL1s in my Subaru and I loved them. I'd definitely go with LED if you could find one from a good company (aka don't get the ebay crap).
      I went with GTR CSP mini bulbs. Yes, they are ~$130 a pair which is a bit but the light is fantastic. Go with LED for sure.

      I got mine from https://headlightrevolution.com/ and they have good videos that compare different brands and different types so you can decide which way you want to go.

    7. Senior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 23rd, 2000
      Location
      Shepherdstown, WV
      Posts
      23,512
      12-06-2019 05:37 PM #6
      Short answer no not at all worth it.

      Something like the diode dynamics listed do a reasonable job of mimicking the filament placement of a halogen bulb but none of them are perfect and the beam patterns are often actually WORSE. So yes you get more peaklight output in a single hotspot but your overall spread of light covers less and with less light output.


      Putting a cheap LED into a reflector housing is just reckless, and the price of something like the DD likely is not at all worth it imho.


      The handful of honest sellers will usually point out the short comings when you start looking at videos.



      As for better halogens. First off don't buy online unless it is a specific trusted seller you can find people vouching for, Amazon is a cesspool of knock offs. Unfortunately full priced at a local auto store is usually the safest way to buy bulbs. That being said the better bulbs are better at putting some more light down the road. Second bulbs do reduce out put, so if you are rocking your 2012 bulbs in 2019 they might still "work" but are actually outputting less light than new. So even a base direct replacement bulb will likely put out more light. Third that is also how they get you with the 30% 40% etc increase on some of the higher bulbs. They are not 30-40% more than a new base model bulb they are 30-40% more in some cases than a worn base model. They do put more light out but you sacrifice life, often times as short as 6 months, and when they cost 2x as much that can get expensive fast.


      A good compromise if you are not looking to invest in real hardware improvements is just get one level up sylvanias from your local auto store.

    8. Global Moderator EPilot's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 27th, 1999
      Location
      Earth
      Posts
      11,657
      Vehicles
      GTI
      12-06-2019 05:43 PM #7
      There's also the heat issue and since you are in Canuckistan, and you tend to get snow and ice, you'll end up with no headlights.
      Halogen headlights bulbs help keep the headlights warm enough to keep them ice free with cold legs you will have issues.

      For your Golf get some BEC HID headlight replacements and don't look back.

    9. Member IridiumB6's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 29th, 2010
      Location
      Toronto, Canada
      Posts
      3,584
      Vehicles
      2018 Tiguan Highline, 2012 X5 35d, 2012 Golf 2.5
      12-06-2019 06:12 PM #8
      Thanks guys

      After some factors I didn't think about (mostly weather related) it's probably just a safe bet to go for a higher end halogen. Being in Canada I have to get all those special LED bulbs shipped, not to mention duties, shipping costs, poor CAD dollar. They're just fogs in the end, my OEMs have probably just gotten dimmer over the past 8 years.
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post

      If the next GTI has over 300 hp off the showroom floor, I'll eat my airedale.

    10. Member Pnuu's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 27th, 2005
      Location
      WA
      Posts
      5,210
      Vehicles
      GX, Taco, Tiguan, bikes
      12-06-2019 06:28 PM #9
      Silverstars are just OEM-ish bulbs with a coating on the lense, nothing special.

      99% of LED headlight bulbs on the market are junk. You'll probably end up with worse light output than OEM bulbs as they rarely throw light as far, and the light will be diffused due to housings that weren't designed for LEDs.

      I've had excellent history with PIAA bulbs, especially the Night Tech line. If your stock wiring is weak, a relayed harness will also allow much more current through them to unleash all the brightness.

    11. Member Zillon's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 30th, 2005
      Location
      JerZ
      Posts
      1,361
      Vehicles
      Several.
      12-06-2019 06:44 PM #10
      Depends on the LEDs.

      Diode Dynamics are some of the best I've used, and you can actually tune/clock the "filament" to the housing, which I recommend.

      I'm putting a set in the WK2 whenever they arrive. Took advantage of the Black Friday deals and ordered a set of SL1s for the low beams and SLFs for the foglights.

    12. Member 1Point8TDan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 4th, 2003
      Location
      Calgary, AB
      Posts
      9,010
      Vehicles
      D40 Frontier CC 4X4, 3BG Passat .:RS Variant
      12-06-2019 08:05 PM #11
      Had a 9004 bulb go out in my Frontier earlier in the year. Cheapest replacement was $20 for two. Before I would buy one for $10. No biggie but I decided to look online. Ended up buying a LED set on ebay for $26 shipped. Ad said, 5 year warranty, will last 10,000 hours. Lights came within 2 days. They have a hint of blue, and much brighter. They not blinding. Not really good in rain but it rarely rains where I live. One bulb went out this week, emailed the seller, and no reply as it was past the 90 day review period. The next day the light went back on. Bought a set of H7 for the Passat shortly after installing them in the Frontier. Almost looks like xenon in the projectors.

      Considering how cheap the ebay ones are compared to buying the basic halogens, I'd say they worth it. Hopefully the leds last as long as they suppose to. Once I bought an expensive set of H7 bulbs from Philips, and they didnt last even a year and the led look much better.

    13. Senior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 23rd, 2000
      Location
      Shepherdstown, WV
      Posts
      23,512
      12-06-2019 08:23 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 1Point8TDan View Post

      Considering how cheap the ebay ones are compared to buying the basic halogens, I'd say they worth it. .
      How is spending more money for an inferior product worth it?

    14. Member Volkl's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2nd, 2003
      Location
      Olympia,WA
      Posts
      946
      Vehicles
      Miata RF, JKU, Cabriolet
      12-06-2019 08:23 PM #13
      The best upgrade I did on my old MK7 was buy some 65w H7s. They don't give you the fancy blue/white look, but man was the output way better. They are essentially H9 burners with an H7 base.

      Osram Rallye 65w used to be the ticket, but then Osram discontinued them.

      Daniel Stern Lighting has an alternative that I recently bought, but haven't installed yet.

      He has Volsa H7 65w bulbs that he custom ordered, made in Germany. I have been told they should act exactly like my old Osrams, I just need to get around to installing them.

      https://www.danielsternlighting.com/.../products.html

    15. Member rammalammadingdong's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2nd, 2007
      Location
      Norf
      Posts
      1,391
      Vehicles
      One SUV, One CUV
      12-06-2019 09:33 PM #14
      I’m Norf of OP.
      It’s a lot colder here, and I used this guy’s stuff

      https://deautokey.com/category/shop-...ll-years-trims

      He is not cheap.
      But,
      Service is excellent.
      Even he experiences failures, but takes care of you should one ever go.
      I bought every option for my Q and he sent spares of which I did go through 2 of them but still no concerns 2 years and running.

      They are primo quality and fookin bright.

      Not affiliated with that business in any way, he works with us Canadian folk just fine.

      Good luck.
      Amazon/ebay poo is just that - poo.
      No.

    16. Member n0rdicalex.'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 14th, 2007
      Posts
      15,430
      Vehicles
      S4, R32
      12-06-2019 09:35 PM #15
      I upgraded the fog lights in my S4 with Philips LED bulbs. they weren't cheap but not only do they look better, they have better light output on the road without being obnoxious or blinding.

      welcome to the layer cake

    17. Junior Member FL_BeachBum's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 30th, 2019
      Location
      Stuart, FL
      Posts
      35
      Vehicles
      2013 VW JSW TDI, 2013 Mazda CX-5
      12-06-2019 09:45 PM #16
      I’ve noticed a lot of the newer LED bulbs coming out actually have a proper way of mounting them so as to optimize light output without scattering light in the halogen housing. Which was always a major concern. I bit the bullet and upgraded to LED in both my VW and my wife’s Mazda. The VW had to be housing specific because you know the Germans. Gotta over engineer everything. The Mazda were just basic run of the mill. I see everyone taking crap about them, but I know without a doubt that I have more light output and can see considerably better at night with these than the halogens that we’re there before. I don’t get why everyone says otherwise.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI 19” Audi RS7 replica wheels, Nitto tires, Neuspeed Intake, LED high and low beams, LED interior lights, Malone roof rack, Blacked out emblems, blacked out marker lights, H&R springs

      2013 Mazda CX-5, LED low beams and yellow LED dogs, 18” HELO wheels pirelli tires, tint

    18. Member 1Point8TDan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 4th, 2003
      Location
      Calgary, AB
      Posts
      9,010
      Vehicles
      D40 Frontier CC 4X4, 3BG Passat .:RS Variant
      12-06-2019 11:18 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      How is spending more money for an inferior product worth it?
      The leds are $6 more per pair and I have no idea how long they will last. Usually my halogens die every 2 years in my dd. They are better in terms of light output.

    19. 12-06-2019 11:41 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by IridiumB6 View Post
      Anyway I'm wondering if I should go for an LED bulb or a higher end halogen (and if halogen any good recommendations)? I've found some Sylvanias that are going for about $70, but if they're going to make a substantial difference over my OEM bulbs I'll invest in them. I found comparable LED bulbs for around $120, which is a bit steep.
      No, if you drop $70 on anything Sylvania then Sylvania is going to be laughing all the way to the bank.

      Let's see what Sylvania has to say about its own Silverstar bulbs...hmmm...Sylvania must say that they are God's gift to earth, right?

      https://imgur.com/a/zsgl7mQ

      https://imgur.com/a/uYI4hhr

    20. 12-06-2019 11:51 PM #19
      I just replaced the original piss poor bulbs in my 20 year old Grand Marquis with an LED set from Lasfit. I’m not saying they’re premium or garbage but I can share my testament that there is no comparison vs the old bulbs interns of bright useable light. They’re almost as bright and clear as you’d see on most modern vehicles. I ordered the 6000k kit and for the $, I’d buy again if/when they fail. They have a one year warranty and their customer service department emailed me after I received them to follow up.

      https://www.lasfit.com/?gclid=EAIaIQ...SAAEgLrCPD_BwE
      The only suit I own...is fireproof!

    21. Member
      Join Date
      May 10th, 2010
      Location
      Parts Unknown
      Posts
      19,203
      Vehicles
      2016 Tiguan SE 4Motion
      12-07-2019 01:09 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by IridiumB6 View Post
      I tend to drive on dark country roads fairly often, and I'm looking to increase the breadth of my fog lamp beam as this greatly aids night time driving.

      The ones on my X5 are fine, the ones on my Golf aren't. They barely make a difference really.

      Anyway I'm wondering if I should go for an LED bulb or a higher end halogen (and if halogen any good recommendations)? I've found some Sylvanias that are going for about $70, but if they're going to make a substantial difference over my OEM bulbs I'll invest in them. I found comparable LED bulbs for around $120, which is a bit steep.

      This is what I'm looking to go for:

      The ZXe's while you think they are brighter, the blue tint filters out most of the useable wavelengths we need for sight in the dark.

      they are fog lights, there are not made for distance. they are designed to throw light to the sides more so you can see the edge of the road in inclement weather.
      Quote Originally Posted by Jezza
      Power and Speed solves many things
      2016 Tiguan SE 4Motion
      APR Stage 1/DDM Tuning Ultra HID 5500K/Neuspeed P-flo/AEM Dryflow BruteForce filter

    22. Member
      Join Date
      Oct 22nd, 2007
      Location
      Syracuse, NY
      Posts
      2,938
      Vehicles
      982, F22, E88, etc.
      12-07-2019 01:09 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      A good compromise if you are not looking to invest in real hardware improvements is just get one level up sylvanias from your local auto store.
      This. Good quality halogen bulbs can make a world of difference in some situations, whereas LEDs in a halogen housing are far more likely to dazzle oncoming drivers and might not even improve your vision. Sylvania, Philips, and PIAA all make great halogen options. If there's nothing at your local parts store you could also order from a trusted online vendor, but not Amazon as there can be spoofs there.

      Also, if the headlight housing on the Golf is starting to get cloudy, you might consider a buffing kit to remove that.
      Last edited by ghost03; 12-07-2019 at 01:14 AM.

    23. Member IridiumB6's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 29th, 2010
      Location
      Toronto, Canada
      Posts
      3,584
      Vehicles
      2018 Tiguan Highline, 2012 X5 35d, 2012 Golf 2.5
      12-07-2019 02:04 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      This. Good quality halogen bulbs can make a world of difference in some situations, whereas LEDs in a halogen housing are far more likely to dazzle oncoming drivers and might not even improve your vision. Sylvania, Philips, and PIAA all make great halogen options. If there's nothing at your local parts store you could also order from a trusted online vendor, but not Amazon as there can be spoofs there.

      Also, if the headlight housing on the Golf is starting to get cloudy, you might consider a buffing kit to remove that.
      Thanks. Probably what I'm going to do. I like the idea of these custom LED ones but the hassles are a bit too much.


      Lastly, any discernible differences between the Sylvania ZXEs or the Ultras?
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post

      If the next GTI has over 300 hp off the showroom floor, I'll eat my airedale.

    24. Member
      Join Date
      Jan 10th, 2003
      Location
      Barrie,On.
      Posts
      10,934
      Vehicles
      '09 335d
      12-07-2019 02:39 AM #23
      For back road driving where you aren't going to blind any oncoming traffic? HID is the easy choice here, who gives a **** about hot spots when you've got more light then god.

    25. Junior Member FL_BeachBum's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 30th, 2019
      Location
      Stuart, FL
      Posts
      35
      Vehicles
      2013 VW JSW TDI, 2013 Mazda CX-5
      12-07-2019 08:21 AM #24
      So everyone loves to bash on LED and when an actual question is asked no one actually answers it. They just chime in opinions regurgitated from everyone else ?? LED bulbs are better than halogen without a doubt. Even in stock housing. More light output. Better color spectrum for better visibility. HIGHER LUMENS EQUALS MORE VISIBILITY. My LASFIT bulbs put out 7600 lumens. Standard halogen bulbs put out 1400 in low and 2400 in high. So can anyone actually answer why you all hate LED so much when it’s actually considerable better? Do you also hate incandescent lights too and keep oil burning lamps in your house? Or maybe you still have a Black and white TV and think color television is the devil.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI 19” Audi RS7 replica wheels, Nitto tires, Neuspeed Intake, LED high and low beams, LED interior lights, Malone roof rack, Blacked out emblems, blacked out marker lights, H&R springs

      2013 Mazda CX-5, LED low beams and yellow LED dogs, 18” HELO wheels pirelli tires, tint

    26. Senior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 23rd, 2000
      Location
      Shepherdstown, WV
      Posts
      23,512
      12-07-2019 09:05 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by 1Point8TDan View Post
      The leds are $6 more per pair and I have no idea how long they will last. Usually my halogens die every 2 years in my dd. They are better in terms of light output.
      100% chance they have a worse, less useable, beam pattern.

      99.9% chance their actual light output is less than stock after a few minutes of operation.

      So you're paying 30% more for an inferior product.

    Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •