WARNING: HID Bulbs Will Melt Subaru BRZ Fog Lights – Try These LEDs Instead!

Did you know HID lights will melt the fogs on your BRZ? We will show you what happened to our BRZ and show you 2 good high power LED options so you can STILL have upgraded fog lights.

 

brz

If you’re like us, we love the look and power of HID bulbs in our vehicles and will use them any chance we get. So when it came to updating the Subaru BRZ we went all out and put HIDs in the headlights and fog lights. The strength and intensity of HID lights make them a perfect safety upgrade in headlights and fog lights during poor weather conditions. However, we found out that HIDs were not an ideal choice for our Subaru BRZ fog lights. In the Subaru BRZ, the power of the HID bulbs was too great for the fog light housings; within a few days they began to melt.

burnt fog lightburnt fog light 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HID light sources provide the brightest illumination available and are considered the benchmark against which other forward lighting technologies are measured. HID light sources provide three to four times the light output of standard halogen light sources and promote better driving visibility by providing enhanced peripheral vision and improved down-road illumination. HID Bulbs use up to 65% less energy than conventional lighting and can last up to 10 times longer, but all of that light creates heat. I recommend never installing HID bulbs in Subaru BRZ fog lights. We had these 35w HIDs installed in the fog lights for 1 week until we noticed some bubbles forming on the lens. Then within another week we also noticed the chrome reflector starting to flake and melt. As soon as we could, we ordered new housings and replaced them with new LED lights instead.

So now what, are you stuck with dim, yellow light in your BRZ fog lights? Not to worry, we’ve found two great options from Top Line Group Automotive that will look great and keep your fog light housings intact.

Their first option is a 950 lumen 80 watt LED bulb from GTR Lighting. These bulbs will give you the crisp, white light of HID, with the long life and simplicity of LED bulb replacement.

led_fog_light_kit_level_1 2

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Bulb in fog light housing.

 

Their second option is a complete LED Conversion Kit that boasts 2,200 lumens per bulb—that’s up to 2.5 times the output of standard halogen bulbs! Totally plug and play, this kit will give you the crisp, white 6000k look of HID without the higher HID price tag. Although the LED Conversion Kit doesn’t quite match the power level of HID, the LED Kit is a great choice where heat and melting issues arise. The LED bulbs in the Conversion Kit are molded from aluminum to conduct and dissipate heat through the bulb.  Also, an embedded fan in each bulb creates a forced-air cooling system to cool the bulb, prolong the bulb life, and protect your fog light housings.

 

LED bulb in housing.

LED bulb in housing.

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting  LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

So if you want to update your Subaru BRZ fog lights, learn from our mistake and looking into these other great options. And if your looking to make any other upgrades to your Subaru BRZ, take a look at all the other BRZ specific options Top Line Group Automotive has to offer.

Custom LED Fog Light Install for the Fiat 500c

We recently came across this custom LED fog light install for the Fiat 500c and thought the results were great. The Fiat owner used the GTR Lighting 9W LED Projector Driving Lights and a GTR Lighting halo switch. Below are the step by steps for the install and the final product.

Re-posted from the fiat500owners.com Forum. Written by macavant

After considering the Fiat option fog lights for auxiliary lighting; I decided to go a different route and go with an LED setup. The other LED setups I have found were either square lamp units or rectangular. I wanted to stay with the “round” – “circle” theme that our lovable 500s currently posses.

Decided on the GTR Lighting LED driving lights. The lights are rated @ 9W, 600 lumens with a 6000K color rating.

The install required the front bumper to be removed. Bumper removal was done by following a guide posted by Tweak. Bumper removal instructions. (Thank you Tweak for posting this)

After removing the bumper (with 8 Pozidriv screws & 9 T30 screws) the blank foglight covers can be removed (attached by 4 tabs each). Once removed – A 2.5″ hole cutter was used to provide an opening for the new light units.

Removed bumper and removed wiring harness aftermath.

Removed bumper and removed wiring harness aftermath.

A mount was created from the rear of the foglight opening from aluminum plates and secured by 4 bolts. The foglight openings of the bumper only had 3 mounting holes, a fourth hole had to be created to provide a more stable mount for the aluminum plate.

Created an aluminum plate as a bracket.

Created an aluminum plate as a bracket.

Aluminum plate as a bracket.

Aluminum plate as a bracket.

The driving light units came with mounting holes @ the rear. I used M8 x 1.25 bolts to mount it to the aluminum plate – the length of the new bolt allowed depth adjustments. The depth is adjusted with the use of fender washers and 2 nuts that sandwich the Al plate.

Depending on the preference, the bolt (along with the light unit) can be moved forward or back.

Driver side.

Driver side.

Passenger side.

12V and ground were tapped from each of the stock DRL bulb holder / wiring harness. The wires needed are Orange (+) and Black (-). This retains the on/off functionality when the turn signals are activated. I did install an auxiliary switch to turn off the LEDs and allow the stock DRLs to stay on.

The LED unit with the lens optic up close.

The LED unit with the lens optic up close.

Completed install - on with DRL in the afternoon sunlight.

Completed install – on with DRL in the afternoon sunlight.

Completed install.

Completed install.

 

 

How to Upgrade to 2006+ Style 350z Tail Lights

The Nissan 350z starting in 2006 came standard with really cool LED tail lights, so if you were “lucky” enough to get an older model (2003-2005) you’re stuck with the boring reflector/halogen style tail lights. In this writeup I’m going to show you how easy it is to convert your 2003-2005 Nissan 350z to use 2006-2009 style OEM tail lights.

First off I’ll tell you that I am NOT A FAN of using aftermarket tail light housings when something this good and easy to install exists. There are some cheap ~$150 tail lights out there for the early year cars that resemble the OEM LED tails, but they don’t fit as nice as OEM housings, they’re not as bright, and they surely won’t last as long! So, my first suggestion is to get your hands on some stock 2006 and up LED tail lights. Just make sure they have the wire harness coming out of them. I’ll explain more on this later.

1. You can see here a 2005 Nissan 350z with the stock tail lights, these lights are actually being lit up by LED bulbs, but I want to show you how to change the whole housing:

Here are the original 2005 tail lights that use an incandescent light bulb.

Here are the original 2005 tail lights that use an incandescent light bulb.

 

2. The first step is to take the tail lights off the car, and remove the bulbs and wiring from the tail light. To do this remove the three 10mm bolts on each tail light that hold it to the car and carefully pull the tail light off and away, then twist and pull the bulbs out of the housing:

There are 2 wire harnesses going into the housing. Twist and pull each one off and set it aside.

There are 2 wire harnesses going into the housing. Twist and pull each one off and set it aside.

3. Here are the LED bulbs we were using before doing the upgrade. If all you want are LED bulbs for your 350z, then these are a great option! We used the Reflex series 7443 LED bulb in red and the smaller bulb is the 5-LED T10/194 from GTR Lighting in red.

The larger one is the Reflex Series 7443 in red, and the smaller one is the 5-LED 194 in red, both from GTRLighting.com

The larger one is the Reflex Series 7443 in red, and the smaller one is the 5-LED 194 in red, both from GTRLighting.com

These are the best LED bulb replacements you can get to fit the old style housing.

These are the best LED bulb replacements you can get to fit the old style housing.

4.  The wiring to go from the old style (2005) to the new style (2006+) is plug and play. However, you will not need the smaller 2-wire connector that was holding the 194 bulb in place. Tape that up into the harness so it doesn’t short out or get wet:

Remove the 194 bulb from the smaller connector, and use electrical tape to hide it and keep it safe. It's not required on the new headlights.

Remove the 194 bulb from the smaller connector, and use electrical tape to hide it and keep it safe. It’s not required on the new headlights.

5. Next, don’t just remove the 7443 bulb, but remove the adapter plug that connects it to the wire harness. This is the one that will plug into the new 2006+ LED tail lights. This is what through me for a loop at first. I thought we were supposed to use the connector lower on the car and make that work somehow but that is definitely not what you want to do. This 3-wire connector uses an adapter: With the adapter it can use a 7443 bulb and fit the older style tail lights. Without the adapter it plugs directly into the new style LED tail light housings:

Here you can see the wire harness on the back side of the new tail light matches up perfectly to the disconnected 2005 wire harness. Make sure if you are getting a set of new style tail lights for your car that it comes with this little harness!

Here you can see the wire harness on the back side of the new tail light matches up perfectly to the disconnected 2005 wire harness. Make sure if you are getting a set of new style tail lights for your car that it comes with this little harness!

The bulb adapter comes off easily by pressing the plastic clip in the middle.

The bulb adapter comes off easily by pressing the plastic clip in the middle.

Here you can see that the 7443 bulb adapter and the LED tail lights use the same connection.

Here you can see that the 7443 bulb adapter and the LED tail lights use the same connection.

If you are trying to source a set of 2006+ LED tail lights for your Z car, make sure it has that round plastic cap on the back side of the housing, along with the 3 wire harness/connector that comes out of it. Without these parts built into the housing it is not a plug and play install!

6. Plug the one remaining harness in and mount it to the car just like the old tail lights! There’s really nothing else to it: The new style LED tail lights will fit perfectly and just the same as the old style housings with no modifications required.

Plug and Play Wiring

Plug and Play Wiring

Here you can see the OEM 2006+ LED tail lights on the left (driver's side) and the original older style 2005 tail lights on the right (passenger side).

Here you can see the OEM 2006+ LED tail lights on the left (driver’s side) and the original older style 2005 tail lights on the right (passenger side).

The new tail lights are beautiful, bright and very high quality!

The new tail lights are beautiful, bright and very high quality!

 

If you want to do other LED bulb upgrades to your car like LED rear blinkers, LED reverse lights, LED License Plate Lights or interior lighting on your 350z, check out Black Top Racing for all kinds of vehicle specific LED packages for your Z!

We only recommend GTR Lighting for high power LED bulb replacements because we only recommend the best!

We only recommend GTR Lighting for high power LED bulb replacements because we only recommend the best!

The Difference Between H16 and 5202 Bulbs

If you go to the PIAA.com website store and look at their H16 replacement halogen light bulbs for cars and trucks you will see this picture. PIAA, an automotive lighting superpower in the aftermarket world, is one of the few replacement light bulb companies out there who has gotten this right!

According to PIAA.com H16 is not the same as 5202!

According to PIAA.com H16 is not the same as 5202!

The H16 automotive light bulb is part of the H9/H11 bulb family and it is very similar to H8, H9, H11 and H15. It is characterized by having a traditional right-angled style connector input base, a large rubber o-ring below the metal tabs and 3 metal tabs spaced evenly apart around the base to lock it in place. The biggest difference between H8, H9, H11 and H16 are both the wattage levels that they run at and whether or not they have a painted on reflector cap at the top of the glass tube. H16 is most commonly used in fog lights, whereas the H11 is most commonly used in headlights. Therefore, you’ll see H11 bulbs that look almost identical to H16 bulbs but have higher wattages than H16 and they will also have a slightly different pin configuration, but with some manipulation you could swap an H16 and H11 around if you really wanted to.

So where did the confusion for H16 and 5202 bulbs come from? Well, first of all until very recently there were hardly any vehicles out there that used an H16 bulb in America. Then, I’m guessing some uninformed light bulb manufacturer in Asia somewhere one day decided that they didn’t know what a real H16 bulb was and there was some confusion. One thing led to another and they started classifying 5202 light bulbs as H16, 5202, 9009, etc… This is wrong!! You will never see a Sylvania or Philips or other OEM bulb labeled as H16 that looks like a 5202. Here are some popular LED versions of these different bulbs:

5202 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:

 

H11 / H16 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:

I hope you learned something new about different types of replacement automotive bulbs from this article and really the goal here is to educate people on different lighting products so you can make the right decision next time you spend your hard earned money. From an enthusiast standpoint, the last thing you need is to order a part for your vehicle, it shows up and it’s the wrong thing…. ugh.

So if you have a 2014 Toyota Tundra and you’re trying to find some cool LED fog lights for your stock H16 fog light bulbs, try one of these!

New LED Headlight Technology Explained

If you’re like most enthusiasts, you want to know what’s new and exciting coming to the marketplace and new headlight and fog light technology is no exception! I want to show you some information about a wild new product that I believe (within 4 years time or less) will revolutionize the automotive forward-lighting industry! Most car people have already heard of, and many have tried, the HID conversion kit available from many different places. Today they are commonplace at car shows and city streets. Until now an HID conversion kit has been pretty much the only product available for noticeably brighter headlights and fog lights, but just announced at SEMA in November of 2013 was the newest product in headlight upgrades. Introducing the LED headlight conversion kit!

LED Headlight Conversion Kits are Just Getting Started!

LED Headlight Conversion Kits are Just Getting Started!

Right now when this post is being made I have seen different types of LED headlight conversion kits that range anywhere from 4,000K – 7,000K and anywhere from 1,200 Lumen per bulb all the way up to 4,000 Lumen per bulb! This is a pretty stark array of options and one of the things to remember is that this product is quite new.  Right now most manufacturers only have one color available, but I think this year you’re going to see different places offering 5,000K 6,000K and possibly 8,000K as color options, but unlike HID kits there wills till probably only be one power level available for each style of LED headlight kit.

There are currently 2 styles of LED headlight conversion kits available: With Reflector and without Reflector. This (in my opinion) is the most important part of the whole product. Let me show you why:

The first style (the original type of LED headlight conversion kit) uses a giant LED chip on a flat surface and creates light in a chaotic and uncontrolled manner:

This LED headlight style with no reflector is an old model.

This LED headlight style with no reflector is an old model.

The new style of LED headlight conversion kits (released November 2013) are made by GTR Lighting and use a reflector around the large LED chip. What this does is focus the beam pattern and make it operate more like the original headlight bulb.

The new style of LED headlight has a hidden fan and a reflector around the LED chips.

The new style of LED headlight has a hidden fan and a reflector around the LED chips.

There are 3 main differences between the old style and the new style:
#1: The LED chips have an integrated rocker type reflector around each LED to help focus the light inside the housing, thus creating a more usable light. Just because an LED headlight kit is technically brighter than another due to having a higher Lumen rating, doesn’t mean it will work well. The trick is focusing the light – what use is a lot of light if it’s everywhere except where you need it?

#2: Hidden/Protected low profile fan – On the old style of LED headlight the fan was exposed and unsightly. On the new style from GTR Lighting you can’t see the fan, it’s hidden inside the heat sink and protected by a shroud. This makes them more reliable.

#3: The older style of LED headlights didn’t have a waterproof connection, and the new style does. Make sure whatever style you’re purchasing comes with a single waterproof connection! These things get mounted in places that likely will get wet!

You NEED to be using LED headlights with the reflector. Here's why:

You NEED to be using LED headlights with the reflector. Here’s why:

Difference between HID and LED Conversion Kits

For a long time if you wanted to update your headlights to something brighter or a different color than stock the only option was to install an HID conversion kit, and this product has really been the only decent option for about 10 years now. In late 2013 a new product was announced by GTR Lighting that is set to shape the headlight landscape for the foreseeable future! I’d like to introduce to you the LED conversion kit and hopefully explain to you what the difference between this new LED kit product is when compared to an HID kit.

This infographic shows the main differences between HID and LED headlight conversion kits.

This infographic shows the main differences between HID and LED headlight conversion kits.

 

Here are the main points broken down even further:

1. First of all, HID and LED aren’t necessarily better than one another, they’re just different. You need to understand both products then decide what you want.

2. As of right now each brand is only offering 1 power level, where with HID you can get 15w, 35w, 55w, 75w and 100w. I imagine this will change in the future, but right now LED is only available in one size per manufacturer.

3. As of right now LED headlight kits are only offered in two color choices: 5,000K or 6,000K and most manufacturers are only offering one color. If you want a special color like gold or purple, maybe HID is more your style.

4. HID bulbs take anywhere from 4 to 15 seconds to fully “warm up” and get to their full light output level. On the contrary LED headlight kits are “instant on” and require no warmup time.

5. Single beam HID kits and single beam LED kits are equally plug and play as another. HID bulbs are smaller, so in some cases they’re easier to install. But when it comes to dual beam kits, LED is way easier to install. A dual beam (aka Bi-Xenon) will require a relay harness ran to the battery, and ballasts mounted and wired up at each headlight. The same bulb in an LED kit will be plug and play just like it’s single beam counterpart.

6. A lot of people are concerned about adding heat to their housings when doing headlight upgrades, especially when looking at replacing a low power bulb in a fog light with an HID. Now with LED it’s not an issue. LED headlight kits are almost half as hot as an HID bulb.

7. LED bulbs draw 2.33 amps at 23 watts and HID bulbs draw 4 amps at 35 watts. This is not really an issue for modern vehicles, but if you’re considering an install on an older vehicle with a weak electrical system, this power saving from the LED headlight might be desirable.

8. Considering that you wouldn’t ever have a defective bulb, by the time you went through one LED headlight kit bulb you could have gone through up to 15 HID kit bulbs. The longevity of LED is HUGE compared with HID.

9. Right now the best LED headlight kits produce roughly 2,600 Lumens of light per bulb, whereas a standard 35w HID bulb can produce up to 3,500 Lumens of light. This is the biggest benefit to sticking with HID. However, in the near future we could be seeing LED conversion kits that more than double that of a traditional HID kit.

LED Foglight Kit installed

LED Foglight Kit installed

Even though HID kits are still brighter than LED, and they come in more colors, LED Conversion Kits still have their merits. The above picture displays a 2013 Dodge Journey running a set of GTR Lighting 5202 LED conversion kit bulbs. The comparison shows how much better it is than the original 5202 bulb.

 

A first look at the new LED Headlight Conversion Kits

We recently had an opportunity to install new 7×6 headlight housings and high power LED headlight bulbs into a 1995 Toyota Tacoma. This truck originally used H6054 sealed beam rectangular headlight housings, so the first step to installing the new LED headlight technology was to replace the original housings with new ones that can accept a replacement light bulb. To do this we put Vision X #VX-57 rectangular sealed beam housings in place. These new housings are DOT approved, and just fitted with the regular H4 halogen bulbs would be 30% brighter than the original sealed beam headlights.

After picking a set of housings, instead of using an HID kit or standard H4 halogen headlight bulbs we used a set of the new LED Headlight Conversion kits from GTR Lighting. These new high power LED bulbs are suitable to replace any version of original halogen light bulbs for cars and trucks, and our ’95 Tacoma with the new housings required the H4 version of this product:

GTR Lighting brand of H4 LED headlight bulbs.

To put it in perspective, the original sealed beam headlights put out approximately 900 Lumens of light and a 35w HID conversion kit would produce nearly 3,500 Lumens of light output. The new LED headlight conversion kit produces 2,200 Lumens of light on low beam and 2,600 Lumens  of light on high beam. So you can see that if you’re going for overall brightness then an HID conversion kit is still the brightest option, but the dual beam LED conversion kit bulbs are easier to install than a dual beam HID kit and much brighter than the stock bulbs. So there are some benefits to going with the LED bulbs, but it just depends on what you want to accomplish.

The first step was to replace the original sealed beam headlights with the new housings from Vision X:

Here are the stock sealed beam headlights.

Here are the stock sealed beam headlights.

The old headlight.

The old headlight.

The new headlight

The new headlight.

 

After getting the old sealed beam original headlights out and the new Vision X brand of 5×7 replacement housings installed, it was time to put in the new bulbs. The LED headlight conversion kit comes with 2 bulbs, a wire harness and a very small external driver. The new bulbs fit right in place with the housings, even though they stuck out a little bit on the back side. There was plenty of room for them and the fit was secure.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed. This picture shows the back side of the housing with the LED bulb fan and heat sink exposed. This is normal and as long as it’s not touching anything you’re fine.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed. This picture shows the new LED headlight conversion kit bulb installed inside of the housing. It sits in place of the original H4 headlight bulb but with one LED firing up and one LED firing down. It doesn’t interfere with anything in the housing and fits easily.

Here is a comparison of the two headlights. We have the new headlights shown versus the original headlights. The old headlights were fairly dim and had a yellow color to them. The new headlights are actually a 5,500K color but in pictures they look more blue than they really are. But they are brighter and whiter than stock headlights:

The headlight on the right is the original halogen sealed beam headlight. The white light on the left is the new housings with the new LED headlight bulbs.

The headlight on the right is the original halogen sealed beam headlight. The white light on the left is the new housings with the new LED headlight bulbs.

Here now you can see the finished product with both headlights outfitted with the new housings and LED headlights.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed.

LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed.

The final test was to go driving with the new headlights installed. The new headlight setup was DEFINITELY brighter than stock. There was more light on the road and the color was a perfect crisp white instead of a dull yellow color. We could see the street signs better and could see further down the road. Here is a comparison of low beam versus high beam on the highway with the new headlights:

Here you can see the low beam light output of the new headlight system going down the highway. The left to right output is good and the light is where you want it in the middle also. The important thing is that the beam pattern is a pretty good shape without any weird shadows or odd light output shapes.

Here you can see the low beam light output of the new headlight system going down the highway. The left to right output is good and the light is where you want it in the middle also. The important thing is that the beam pattern is a pretty good shape without any weird shadows or odd light output shapes.

Here you can see the high beam output on this setup. The shape doesn't change a whole lot - there is a little more light at the top of the output pattern but the biggest difference is the sheer amount of light that is being projected. The high beam is brighter but it doesn't go that much further or higher. This will act differently from housing to housing though.

Here you can see the high beam output on this setup. The shape doesn’t change a whole lot – there is a little more light at the top of the output pattern but the biggest difference is the sheer amount of light that is being projected. The high beam is brighter but it doesn’t go that much further or higher. This will act differently from housing to housing though.

This project was easy and the results were as good as we though they were going to be. The output is awesome on them even though it’s not quite as bright as a full HID conversion kit – the tradeoff is that this kit is easier to install and cheaper than a 35w dual beam HID kit from the same manufacturer. The lights are easily twice as bright as stock or more, and the only real drawback is that on this application the high beam didn’t make a huge “wow factor” impression. It’s there, it’s brighter, but it doesn’t quite blow your socks off.

If you want to do this exact same setup, you’ll need the Vision X part number VX-57 and the GTR Lighting part number 7010273. These two together will work with any sealed beam style 5×7″ or 7×6″ rectangular headlight system. For other options on these headlights we recommend you check out this website for sealed beam headlight replacements and LED headlights.

Here is the product we used. The GTR Lighting H4 style LED headlight conversion kit and the Vision X 5x7" sealed beam headlight housings.

Here is the product we used. The GTR Lighting H4 style LED headlight conversion kit and the Vision X 5×7″ sealed beam headlight housings.

A Look at the 2014 Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

The new Corvette Stingray is a pretty wild machine… using carbon and nanotech technology to create a super strong chassis along with new wild and intelligent styling and a super powerful 450HP LT1 engine. In my opinion the icing on the cake are the wild new LED and HID bi-xenon headlights:

The new C7 headlights are pretty wild! Built in DRL and bi-xenon HID forward lighting.

The new C7 headlights are pretty wild! Built in DRL and bi-xenon HID forward lighting.

The first time I saw these headlights were at the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas where there were a BUNCH of these cars on display, and the first thing I thought of was similarity to the Ferrari 458 Italia headlights:

The Ferrari 458 has a similar style headlight to the new Stingray.

The Ferrari 458 has a similar style headlight to the new Stingray.

The fact that the Ferrari and Corvette share such a similar luxury design really shows the target the new Vette is trying to hit and with all the details and style that went into the new car it shows Chevrolet really knows what they are doing with this car!  After getting some really good looks at the new Corvette Stingray headlights this is what we can tell you about it:

1. Amber LED turn signals on the outside of each headlight

2. White LED DRL under each projector

3. Bi-Xenon 35w HID High and Low beam head lamp

4. Black housings

5. Corvette logo embossed on lens above projector

Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

Here is a quote from the Chevrolet.com website about all new head lamps:
“Frosted indirect high-intensity discharge headlamps are the eyes to the technological soul of the Stingray, emanating crisp color, brightness and efficiency. The new elements bear a sharper, more sinister shape, framed by edge-lit amber LED turn signals and black chrome housing. Bi-Xenon HID technology achieves high and low beams with a single light engine.”

Here is the photo gallery I put together from all of the Corvette Stingray cars we found at SEMA 2013:

The Next Big Thing: Curved LED Light Bars

An exciting new product showcased at this year’s SEMA show were curved LED light bars from Vision X, Rigid Industries, Putco, Bulldog and Baja Designs. These manufacturers have really stepped up this year to innovate an already innovative industry!  Vision X will have a double-row 5w LED product available from their Xmitter Prime Xtreme product line in various sizes all the way up to 50″ wide!

The new Xmitter Prime XP LED light bars from Vision X will be available in 2014 in several different lengths.

The new Xmitter Prime XP LED light bars from Vision X will be available in 2014 in several different lengths.

Rigid Industries also debuted new curved LED light bars in a new “RDS” series light developed from the E-Series platform available in different lengths up to 54″.

Rigid Industries new Curved LED Light Bar

Rigid Industries new Curved LED Light Bar

Putco not only debuted an entirely new lineup of American made LED light bars this year but they also started the lineup with a curved variant:

The new Putco LED light bars come with a curved option.

The new Putco LED light bars come with a curved option.

Bulldog launched a new light bar line at the 2012 SEMA Show and this year (2013) they added a new single-row LED and dual-row LED curved light bar to the product line. The resemblance between Bulldog, Rigid Industries and the gambit of Chinese manufacturers still makes it difficult to differentiate the products when installed on vehicles, but it’s awesome seeing more and more product manufacturers (like Bulldog) making their parts within the USA.

New curved LED light bars from Bulldog are the only thing that seems different about the product line this year.

New curved LED light bars from Bulldog are the only thing that seems different about the product line this year.

Last but not least, Baja Designs announced that their OnX LED light bar product line will now be available in a 30″ curved variant. 30″ isn’t big enough to fit on most trucks, but it should work on a race car or ATV pretty well:

30" curved light bars now available from Baja Designs.

30″ curved light bars now available from Baja Designs.

Take a moment to check out the photo gallery of all the curved light bar products we saw at the show and see for yourself where the future of lighting technology is headed, and if you need advice on your next LED Light Bar product purchase, check out Headlight Revolution.

New Jeep Wranglers Will Come Equipped with Factory-Option LED Headlights!

At the 2013 SEMA Tradeshow in Las Vegas showcased every major automobile manufacturer in the world, and their new toys and Mopar/Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep was no exception. The Mopar booth in the South Hall at the SEMA Show had several new Jeeps and they all had LED headlights. 3 of the Jeeps were sporting the Truck-Lite 27270C LED headlights, but ONLY ONE was sporting a new Jeep branded LED headlight – which signifies the turning of the tide in non-luxury vehicles finally getting OEM LED headlights:

Future Jeep JK owners will have the option of a factory installed LED headlight option.

Future Jeep JK owners will have the option of a factory installed LED headlight option.

This new Jeep branded LED headlight product slightly resembles the Peterson Manufacturing 701C by the way the center gray section is shaped, but the embossing on the bottom of the lens clearly says Truck-Lite. It’s hard to say if this is an old version of a prototype headlight, or a new design of the 27270C from Truck-Lite designed specifically for Mopar.

Here is the Peterson Manufacturing 701C 7″ Round LED Headlight product to show you the similarities in design of the new Jeep headlight:

This is the unit from Peterson Manufacturing that Jeep chose to use for their Jeep options.

This is the unit from Peterson Manufacturing that Jeep chose to use for their Jeep options.

For contrast, here is the Truck-Lite 27270C. Why does the Jeep branded headlight say Truck-Lite but look like the Peterson Manufacturing product? The Jeep branded headlight seems to have the reflector of the Truck-Lite lamp, but the center section of the Peterson lamp.

For contrast, here is the Truck-Lite 27270C. Why does the Jeep branded headlight say Truck-Lite but look like the Peterson Manufacturing product? The Jeep branded headlight seems to have the reflector of the Truck-Lite lamp, but the center section of the Peterson lamp.

 

It’s interesting that Jeep chose to use the Truck-Lite product instead of the JW Speaker 8700 LED headlight which outperforms all other similar LED headlights on the market. This tells us that Jeep knows it’s customers don’t want to shell out $1,000 for a set of re-branded JW Speaker lights and they went the exact opposite direction by using one of the cheapest options on the market.

Now, on the other hand, Harley Davidson is already using the JW Speaker product for their “Day Maker” factory LED headlight option. It would be strange if Harley and Jeep used the same factory option LED headlight.

It will be exciting to see what the final product looks like, or if we’re already looking at it here, it’s strange that the official product LOOKS LIKE the Peterson product yet branded as Truck-Lite… Time will tell!

Factory Mopar LED headlights debuted at SEMA 2013.

Factory Mopar LED headlights debuted at SEMA 2013.