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 Black Top Racing 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 Black Top Racing has to offer.

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 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.

Jeep Wrangler Specific LED Fog Lights? Yes! They’re here!

On April, 3rd 2013, American manufacturer JW Speaker Corp. announced they are working on a new LED fog light product designed specifically for the Jeep Wrangler JK:

“As promised, we unveiled our latest Jeep product at Easter Jeep Safari last week! Introducing the new drop-in replacement LED Jeep fog light…a little something we’re calling the Model 6145!”

The new 1,100 Lumen Jeep-Specific LED fog light from JW Speaker, Model #6145.

The new 1,100 Lumen Jeep-Specific LED fog light from JW Speaker, Model #6145.

JW Speaker also said “On the flickering side of things, we’ve tested the new fog light with the Jeep PWM duty cycle and frequency and we’re pleased to say that no flickering was present” so there is no worry about the strobe effect like the issues found when using the LED headlights on the JK’s. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem anyway, seeing as though no LED fog lights (from Truck-Lite OR JW Speaker) have ever had flashing or flickering issues.

The new foglights are a drop-in factory replacement!

The new foglights are a drop-in factory replacement!

These new fog lights come with the same type of mounting setup that the factory Wrangler fog lights use so they will be a direct drop-in replacement for the stock bumper OR any other type of aftermarket bumper designed to take the factory fog light housings. In fact, the JW Speaker 6145 Jeep Fog Lights will fit more than JUST the JK Wrangler. These new lights will also fit the following vehicles:


* 2007-2012 Jeep Wrangler
* 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
* 2009-2012 Dodge Journey
* 2011-2012 Dodge Charger
* 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum
* 2005 Chrysler 300
* 2006-2010 PT Cruiser

This wide array of applicable vehicles is a coincidence after JW decided to make fog lights for the Jeep Wrangler JK they discovered that it will also fit other vehicles that happen to use the exact same fog light housing from Chrysler.

JW Speaker also states on the Facebook page that “The price hasn’t been finalized yet, but our network of authorized dealers will have pricing for the June release.”

You can find more information and pictures about these exciting new lights at the Headlight Revolution here.

JW Speaker 6145 1,100 Lumen Headlights Installed and look great!

JW Speaker 6145 1,100 Lumen Headlights Installed and look great!

Nissan 350z LED Driving Lights – Vehicle Specific

Nissan 350z LED Driving Lights

Nissan 350z LED Driving Lights

 

 

 

 

Finally, there’s a product available to add a classy and super-bright LED driving light to your Nissan 350z. The kit (made by GTR Lighting) comes with everything involved to do the install, including vehicle specific brackets to hold the DRLs in place. Just remove your bumper and install the lights and you’re good to go!

Here is a video showing you exactly how to install the lights with step by step instructions to help you make it REALLY easy!

Components to the LED Kit

Components to the LED Kit

Installing Nissan 350z Puddle Light LED Logo Projectors!

Nissan 350z Ghost Shadow Lights

Nissan 350z Ghost Shadow Lights

 

 

 

 

If you have a Nissan Z car, you might be interested in this new product from GTR Lighting. If you’re looking for something special to set your Nissan apart in the crowd, you should consider an LED GOBO stands for “Go Between Optics” and this is an miniature version that is designed to be installed in the door of your 350z (or any Nissan Z car!). The GTR Lighting Nissan Z LED Logo Projector cannot be found from anyone else, but that’s OK – because nobody makes a better style of door puddle light projector, so why look anywhere else? These projectors have a simple 2 wire hookup and can be wired to a switch or the door trigger of your 350z.

Nissan Z LED Logo Projector from GTR Lighting

Nissan Z LED Logo Projector from GTR Lighting

In this article I’m going to show you how to install the projector housing into your 2003+ Nissan 350z inner door panels!

Step 1: Remove the door panel from the car. To do this you must remove the trim silver trim piece on the door pull, and the black plastic trim piece behind the door handle. Also you need to remove the window switch/power locks trim piece. Then you will need to use an extension and a socket to remove the bolts behind the cover panels:

This image shows the steps to take to remove the 350z door panel. Click on it for a larger view!

This image shows the steps to take to remove the 350z door panel. Click on it for a larger view!

Step 2: From underneath, pull on the plastic door panel to release the push-pin type clips that hold the door panel onto the car. There are about 8 little plastic clips around the perimeter of the panel, take the panel off and set it onto a flat surface so you can work on the back side of it:

Tug on the door panel to release the clips, then lay the panel down.

Tug on the door panel to release the clips, then lay the panel down.

Step 3: Unpack the GTR Lighting LED Logo Projector kit box and use the collar-ring to find a suitable place on the inside of the door panel where the projector will fit. Then use the supplied hole saw and drill a hole:

Find a good spot where the logo will fit, mark it and drill the hole.

Find a good spot where the logo will fit, mark it and drill the hole.

Step 4: Now that the hole is drilled, slide the projector both and wiring into the hole, and use the collar-ring over it and tighten it so it does not move and it sits almost flush with the door panel. Before you fully tighten up the projector and the collar ring, hook it up to 12v to test the light and make sure the orientation looks good on the ground with the door open.

The last step is to secure the projector and run the wiring.

The last step is to secure the projector and run the wiring.

Step 5: Lastly, you will have to wire up the projector to either an external switch or the door pin trigger wire. To wire the projector up to a switch simply run the two small wires (red and black) through the rubber door boot and into the car. To wire the projector to the door pin trigger, first wire the red positive wire up to constant +12v, which can be found at the power door locks wire connector. Then, run a ground wire into the car and connect it to the black wire on the projector. You can connect the ground wire to the door pin trigger which is covered by a little rubber boot inside the inner door frame. If you don’t understand how to do the wiring please seek professional help at your local install shop, or find an authorized GTR Lighting dealer.

Finally installed and they look great!

Finally installed and they look great!

Enjoy your new lights! If you want to buy this product you can find them here:
Nissan 350z LED Logo Projectors

2013 Mustang LED Driving Fog Lights

New LED Driving Lights for Mustang

The newest version of the Ford Mustang uses a redesigned grill-mounted LED fog/driving light.

At the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV the Ford Motor Company had no shortage of real estate, and within their massive display space, which also featured Ken Block signing autographs all day, were several 2013 Ford Mustang cars with newly designed LED Driving / Fog Lights.

The Mothers RTR Spec 3, 3d Carbon Boy Racer and the SEMA “Powered By Women” were 3 of the custom builds featured in the Ford display area. Each one was a 2013 Ford Mustang, and none of the build sheets said anything about the new grill-mounted LED driving lights.

SEMA Powered by Women Project Build with custom halo headlights:

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build

New driving Lights

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build

Powered by Women Mustang Build Sheet

Powered by Women Mustang Build

RTR Spec 3 Ford Mustang Project Car:

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

RTR Spec 3 Mustang build for SEMA

3d Carbon “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon "Boy Racer" Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon "Boy Racer" Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon "Boy Racer" Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon "Boy Racer" Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

3d Carbon “Boy Racer” Ford Mustang Build for SEMA:

If you want to get some LED driving or fog lights for you PRE-2013 Mustang, check out this list of available LED fog light products HERE.

A Very Useful LED Flasher Module

GTR Lighting LED Flasher Module

LED Flasher module by GTR Lighting – designed for your brake lights to grab other drivers’ attention!

This description is for a LED flasher module commonly called the “F1 Flasher” and it’s designed for LED 3rd brake lights on cars and trucks.

If you search online long enough you will find a never-ending list of different flash or strobing products to customize your vehicle lighting. You can get “wig-wags” that flash light bulbs back and forth, you can get momentary or always-on flashers, it really just depends on what you are really trying to accomplish. One product that I have found that I really like is the new waterproof LED flasher module that is designed to be used on your LED 3rd brake lights. Some people have even used this product on their entire braking light system which works well also because the flasher can handle up to 10 amps of current draw. If all of your rear-facing lights on your car are LED then this isn’t a problem because it will likely be far below 10 amps.

The idea behind this flasher module is simple. You hit the brakes and your light flashes several times, very quickly, and then stays on steady until you release the brake pedal. When you hit the brake pedal again it will flash again and then stay on steadily until you let go; and again and again and again. This modulating brake light function will grab other drivers’ attention behind you and they will be more attentive to your driving, and your vehicle in general. This is really a safety product, but it’s pretty cool too!

The other think I like about it is that the install is fool proof and the product itself is water tight! There are only two wires to hook up. You cut your power wire in half, send one of the flasher module wires to one side and the other flasher module wire to the other side. Also the guts of this particular 3rd brake light LED strobe module are all potted in black silicone and will not let any moisture inside – this is particularly important because sometimes, where you will mount this product could possibly be exposed to the elements, depending on the installation:

GTR Lighting waterproof LED strobe

The internals of this LED strobe module are “potted” with silicone so no moisture can reach the circuit board.

LED Strobe Brakes

Easy install – wire two wires in series with the power wire for your OEM 3rd brake light wiring. How much more simple could it get?

Here’s a video demonstration of this product installed on a Jeep Grand Cherokee 3rd brake light:

Review of the JW Speaker TS3000 LED Offroad Light

JW Speaker TS3000

The newest and perhaps wildest LED off road lighting product on the market: The J.W. Speaker model TS3000.

Have you seen or heard anything about the new TS3000 LED Driving lamp from the American lighting manufacturer J.W. Speaker? It is pretty insane, and I want to tell you about it. If you’re trying to decide what type off auxiliary lighting to put on your rig, consider this. You’ve got all types of options, the most common is the old style of round halogen or HID offroad lights. Now today we’re seeing more and more LED products from Companies like JW Speaker and Vision X lighting. They are becoming the mainstay on the high end sport trucks, and the weekend mud warrior. JW Speaker Corp. out of Germantown, Wisconsin has released what may be the coolest LED off road light that’s ever existed. Here’s the thing: It shoots out light up to nearly 2,000 feet (600 meters)! That’s getting pretty close to a half mile of light output, which is pretty unheard of from any type of lighting product. Also, the light is available with different lenses (clear polycarbonate, blue polycarbonate or amber polycarbonate) and 2 different beam patterns: Pencil Beam or Driving Beam:

Speaker TS3000 Beam Pattern

The TS3000 is available in a Pencil Beam or a Driving Beam pattern, both are wildly bright!

This light is new, powerful and rugged, but some people have accused JW Speaker of creating an “Alien-Like” fixture, that some people don’t really like the idea of using. It breaks the traditional mold of what is normal or expected when it comes to off road lights and I think that’s why I like it. Really, it’s looks are the only thing that could possibly be held against it – and that’s just subjective! Here are some technical specs of the light:

  • Voltage input: 12v – 24v
  • Available in Driving or Pencil Beam
  • Clear Polycarbonate Lens
  • Driving beam is available in DOT-compliant and ECE-compliant configurations
  • Optional colored lenses available
  • 4-Year Manufacturer’s warranty
  • Integrated 2-Pin Deutsch Weather-Proof Socket
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Current Draw: 3.700 Amps @ 12V DC
  • Bracket and Housing Material: Silver Painted Die Cast Aluminum
LED Headlights and Driving Lights

Jeeps love JW Speaker Lighting Products!

Currently the bracket/housing is only available in stock in silver, but if you can wait about a month and a half JW Speaker’s factory in Wisconsin will custom-build you a light with black brackets instead, or you could just paint the silver one yourself… So the next time you’re shopping for a new reliable, rugged, cool and eye-catching offroad lighting product, take a moment to look into the JW Speaker TS3000 LED Off Road Light.