How are my headlights supposed to be oriented inside the housing? What type of bulb should we use for a fog light on my car? What is better, a fan or a heat sink? These are all questions for which we have not seen a single source provide answers for and that is what we are doing for you today. We want to provide you with some tips when upgrading your vehicles factory lamps to high performance LED lighting.
One of the most common questions we hear every day is how your LED headlights should be positioned. Well, this can be different for some cars, and even if the model and maker is the same, it does not necessarily mean that the body is all the same. First, you should understand how your LED bulbs will insert into your housing to determine what the final result will be, once installed. JDM ASTAR offers adjustable LED replacement lamps that will allow you to correct the orientation. The position of the diodes (LED chips) should always be in a side to side orientation, meaning, you should have one set facing at 3 o’clock, and the other set facing at 9 o’clock. This will allow a nice and even 360 light distribution throughout the housing creating an even beam of light as well as evenly fill up the housing. We cannot stress enough how poor your headlights will appear if you have the incorrect orientation, not to mention the glare may cause to other drivers. The last thing you want to do is create a hazard when operating your car. Be very careful as there are many brands and vendors that will advise that the bulbs are designed to be this way, but, we have tested several types of housings, and style of lamps and have learned that the proper orientation for LED lighting is to face the diodes side to side unless you integrate a 3rd side that will provide an additional side of lighting to cover a high beam application.
For dual headlight setups, that provide low and high beams off one bulb, will use the same orientation side to side orientation but there will also be some type of shield or cover which should always be sitting below the diodes after you orient the bulb side to side. If the shield sits above the diodes then flip it around now! The shield or cover helps prevent light from shining down to ensure it does not reflect at a higher angle so the cover should always be sitting below the diodes. For those unique LED designs that have a 3rd side with diodes mounted, there will be an off set chip that sits closer to the fan or heat sink. It sits closer or deeper in the lamp housing to provide a higher light beam angle. The 3rd side will usually cover the high beam application which should always face downward. To summarize, LED designs with chips on two sides of the bulb should face left and right. LED designs with 3 sides should have the high beam side facing downward and the other two will face diagonally upward to where one chip sits at around 2 o’clock and the other 10 o’clock.
JDM ASTAR offers an option that allows an adjustment to the orientation in case your vehicle is one of those unique models that simply has the chuck lined up a certain way to where any type of LED replacement headlight will have bad orientation.
Another question we have been hearing a lot lately is what type of lamp is appropriate for your application. Well, of course, you should always consider heat as the number one factor as this is the most common reason why an LED fails prematurely. But what type of lamp should you be going for? A good tip is to simply check the wattage of the LED replacement. Here is a table to keep it simple and to show you what type of lamp you should be looking for when replacing a factory halogen bulb on your car. The table will give you a range of what you should be looking for to ensure that you buy the right LED bulb type for the appropriate application. We cannot tell you how many times we have seen a 9005 fog light type LED bulb being used in place of a low beam or high beam application. So next time you are in the market to replace a bulb that has gone out, just check the wattage.
To get the best results out of your LED light replacements to is to replicate the same or similar light distribution of the factory bulb. Most vehicles on the market have housings that are designed to distribute light from a bulb that emits light in a 360 degree orientation. This will provide optimal results both in how well the light fills the housing as well as project the light. There are some factors on the LED bulb that will help provide optimal results, but the ice breaker is where and how the light is emitted. Factory HID lamps are the only exception due to the design of the housing being different. Factory HID lamps can get away with using an LED replacement that does not offer 360 lighting, however, if the factory bulb is an incandescent, or halogen, then you definitely should be looking for an option that will provide lighting from more than one side. Next time you decide to upgrade the factory bulb to LED, call JDM ASTAR where you will not only get the appropriate LED replacement, but you will have a team of professionals that will provide friendly advice on how to get the most out of your LED replacements, and do it right the first time, and every time. . . .
-JDM ASTAR Team