Headlight Upgrades for new style 2015 Ford F150

The new U-Shaped headlight housings coming on the 2015 Ford F-150 are definitely a unique new style, they even have an aftermarket style flair to them that many enthusiasts are already falling in love with. Gone are the days of having to replace your headlight housings with aftermarket units in order to have an aggressive look!

This new U-Shaped F150 headlight will come in an LED version, designed by OSRAM, with built in high power LEDs, or you can get the less expensive option that comes with halogen bulbs. If your truck has the halogen bulb option, you’ve still got options! You can upgrade to LED or HID headlight bulbs by using the products outlined in this article. Aftermarket LED conversion kits are still not brighter than HID, but they do turn on instantly, they last longer than HID and they are significantly easier to install.

Here are the products that you can use to upgrade these new headlights, fog lights, and tail lights:

2015 F-150 U-Shaped Headlight Bulb Upgrades:
Low Beam: H11
H11 LED Conversion Kit Upgrade
H11 HID Conversion Kit Upgrade

High Beam: HB3/9005
HB3/9005 LED Conversion Kit Upgrade
HB3/9005 HID Conversion Kit Upgrade

Fog Lights: H11
H11 LED Conversion Kit Upgrade
H11 HID Conversion Kit Upgrade

Rear Parking Light / Brake Light / Turn Signal Bulb: Red 3157
3157 LED Bulb Upgrade

Reverse Light Bulb: White 3157
3157 LED Bulb Upgrade

Here are some close-up shots of the stock headlights so you can double check, if your headlights look like these, then the products listed above will work for your truck:

Will the JW Speaker 8700 be the new Jeep LED Headlight Option

Most Jeep enthusiasts know what types of LED headlights are available for their vehicle, and arguably the most popular option in recent years has been the JW Speaker model 8700 LED Headlight. This model of the available Jeep headlight options has the most futuristic and unique look, and the best light output of any other 7″ round LED Headlight on the market, so it’s no wonder that they are the most popular.

Because it has become such a popular product in the Jeep community, it’s no wonder it has caught the eye of Jeep corporate. At last year’s SEMA show (2013) the Mopar booth had Truck-Lite LED headlights branded with the Jeep logo.

Now in 2014 at the Jeep booth they have JW Speaker 8700 LED headlights, factory equipped with H13 connectors, and the Jeep logo branded on the inner bezel. Why does Jeep keep debuting different LED headlights at their booth with the Jeep logo? My guess is they are just feeling the water for the market, throwing options at the wall to see what sticks and to see what people like.

Here are the pictures from the Jeep booth, showing the JW Speaker LED headlights marketed in the Jeep booth at SEMA 2014:

If you like the sound of a Jeep with LED Headlights, you can get your own at Headlight Revolution here. All you need is the JW Speaker 8700 and the adapter harnesses.

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 Kit

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:

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.

LED Headlights for the 350z? Maybe not such a good idea…

I love the Z cars, especially the Nissan 350z, and when I saw that someone was making a FULL LED headlight assembly for the 350z I just had to check it out. I was really excited to ditch the factory projector HID headlights for some low power consumption / super-bright LED headlights for our Z car but I was SADLY disappointed! While the picture on the eBay auction looks promising the actual product experience was an epic failure…

They look awesome in pictures and cost about $275/pair. Just don't turn them on!

They look awesome in pictures and cost about $275/pair. Just don’t turn them on!

Here are the main reasons why these headlights were absolutely a waste of money:

1. CRAP light output – these were about half as bright as stock halogen headlights!

2. LED failure out of the box – one of the parking lights was dead immediately along with one of the low beam LEDs.

3. Poor construction – within 4 days of having them on the car the lenses were starting to show stress marks and moisture was building up inside the housing.

4. NOT WATERPROOF! Don’t believe what the sellers are saying, these are absolutely NOT waterproof!

5. VERY difficult to install! You will really need to understand how 12v automotive wiring works in order to even get these things to turn on properly!

So let’s start off with the biggest issue, the light output is garbage… When looking at the lights head-on they seem to be super bright, but when putting them into practice on the road they just didn’t do anything. In rainy or foggy weather they were down-right dangerous to use! You could kind of see where you were going in the dark on clear-sky nights but it was about half as bright as a regular stock halogen low beam headlight. Not only do they not focus the light output well but they create a lot of glare for other drivers.

LED Headlights installed - they look great but are unsafe to use on the road at night!

LED Headlights installed – they look great but are unsafe to use on the road at night!

In pictures they look incredibly bright, but the actual "on the road" light output is almost non-existent!

In pictures they look incredibly bright, but the actual “on the road” light output is almost non-existent!

The INSTANT these were installed there was an LED failure. Each headlight connects to the parking light wiring to turn on 3 small LEDs on the outside edge of each headlight, and right away one of the six didn’t work. I found that it was due to a poor wiring connection inside (all connections are crimped, not soldered within the construction) but to get to it I would have had to dismantle the entire headlight and it wasn’t worth the trouble so I left it.

Within 24 hours one of the main low-beam LED’s had quit working. I cannot confirm if it burnt out or if the connection became disconnected, either way it was really pathetic. Within 5 days of driving the car the passenger side low beam quit working almost all together. All that was left was a few of the LEDs would come on slightly. I opened up the housing to check it out and found nothing visibly wrong, so either something on the circuit board failed, or all the LED chips failed – it’s hard to say which happened for sure.

Here is the driver's side showing one burnt out low beam LED chip and one almost burnt out parking light LED.

Here is the driver’s side showing one burnt out low beam LED chip and one almost burnt out parking light LED.

Here is the passenger side low beam showing that SOME of the LEDs are still on but only glowing.

Here is the passenger side low beam showing that SOME of the LEDs are still on but only glowing.

One of the more disappointing things about these headlights is the fact that they seem like they COULD have been built really well but just weren’t… The housings themselves looked really nice and the design seems to be well thought out but the individual LEDs were all very cheap, the lenses showed signs of stress damage after less then a week of use, moisture started getting inside the lenses and the way they “seal up” in the back is just pathetic!

The back side of the housings use a rubber cap instead of the factory dust cover. This rubber cap has 3 holes coming out of it, a ground, low beam + and high beam + but this rubber cap does not stay in place! It fits very loose, and when it falls off it exposes the bare circuit board that controls everything – I have a feeling this is why the passenger side light completely failed. Aside from all that, the last issue (and certainly not a small one) is that the black paint on the inside already started to chip off in places and show chrome underneath – 5 DAYS AND THE PAINT FELL OFF!

Here is the inside of the housing showing the hot-glued LEDs in place and the bare circuit board with no protection - just flopping around with every bump in the road and no way to protect from water.

Here is the inside of the housing showing the hot-glued LEDs in place and the bare circuit board with no protection – just flopping around with every bump in the road and no way to protect from water.

Here's the wiring coming out and the loose-fitting rubber cap where the factory dust cap should have gone. This cap falls off very easily and does not seal very tight when it IS installed.

Here’s the wiring coming out and the loose-fitting rubber cap where the factory dust cap should have gone. This cap falls off very easily and does not seal very tight when it IS installed.

Again, these headlights are NOT waterproof. Even the seal around the lens isn’t done very well. The wiring comes out of weird places in the headlight and none of the components are encapsulated. We had these headlights installed for less then a week and EVERYTHING on them failed, largely due to not being waterproof. We even got some moisture inside the passenger side headlight housing. I guess one option would be to never wash the headlights and never drive the car in the rain…

Here you can see one part of the seam where the sealant wasn't done very well and moisture is getting into the headlight after only 4 days of being installed!

Here you can see one part of the seam where the sealant wasn’t done very well and moisture is getting into the headlight after only 4 days of being installed!

Here is where the wiring exits the headlight to hook up to the parking light wiring on the car. The silicone job looks messy and you can peel it back with your fingernail. It is not done very well at all.

Here is where the wiring exits the headlight to hook up to the parking light wiring on the car. The silicone job looks messy and you can peel it back with your fingernail. It is not done very well at all.

Lastly about these headlights, if you are not sufficient with automotive 12v electrical wiring you should not even think of buying these headlights, or if you do you should pay a professional install shop to do the install. Instead of having all the right connectors all you get are bare wires coming out – a total of 5 wires per headlight – 2 for the parking lights and 3 for the high/low headlight function. It may not sound like much but it will be left up to you (with no instructions) to test the original factory wiring and figure out how it all goes together.

Basically what it all comes down to is that it’s too bad that such a cool idea for LED headlights was created, but executed so poorly! I so badly wanted these to work but I’m afraid it was a waste of $275 that could have gone towards a nice set of 2006+ OEM HID headlights. Bottom line – if you want to see them and don’t care if they every work, fine – buy them. But if you actually need them to work for more than a week AND need to see where you’re going – STAY AWAY! Honestly for betting lighting performance I would just recommend you upgrade your stock headlights, which are very well built, with an HID conversion kit for ultimate light output. Don’t waste your money on these 350z LED headlights!

Are LED Headlights Legal?

Many consumers are concerned with whether or not the headlights they are interested in will pass an inspection or be considered “DOT Approved”. It’s a safe bet that if your headlights are rated as “DOT approved” then yes they are legal to use. Many headlight products seem like they are just as good as others because of a certain Lumen rating or quality control, but a true head light should have two main characteristics:

1. Have a separate low beam and high beam (or only one beam)

2. Have some kind of focus of the beam pattern so it doesn’t blind other drivers

JW Speaker 8900

LED Projector Headlights from JW Speaker are among the best in the world!

If the LED headlights you are looking at do not advertise that they are certified or approved by the DOT then chances are they are not truly legal to use on the road. Another good indicator on whether or not the headlights you’re looking to buy are good quality is if they say “SAE Certified”:
SAE is an international professional organization of engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries dedicated to continuing education and standards development. It exists to advance the interests of the mobility and related industries through development of performance standards and administration of quality assurance, accreditation, and certification programs as well as related activities for the benefit of industry, government, and the general public.

If a product is listed as “SAE Certified” it means that it was sent to the SAE for testing and certification and the stamp basically means “This is a really high quality product!”. If a product is listed as “DOT Approved” or “DOT Certified” it just means that the manufacturers built it to spec and regulation to meet certain standards. Nothing needs to be submitted to the DOT to achieve this certification, it’s actually up to the manufacturer to determine whether or not their product meets the requirements.

Right now there are only a handful of companies that are producing LED headlights, such as JW Speaker, Truck-Lite, Pilot Automotive, GTR Lighting, United Pacific, Oracle and maybe a couple others. That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head. So, do your own research and look at what the manufacturer’s say about their own products. If they say it’s SAE Approved and DOT Certified, then take their word for it!