Another successful event at SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV

Trade shows is one of the best places for popular brands to gain more exposure to the industry they are in.  We recently attended SEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, NV and as our second year, we could not help but express our appreciation to all of our fellow JDM supporters!

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Being our second year at SEMA Show, we certainly gained tons of exposure and met new faces from different parts of the world.  This year had a lot more show goers that are familiar with our brand and know how we are not just offering automotive lighting solutions but trying to change the game entirely!

We want to stop and fix the negative connotation about upgrading factory bulbs and show the world a lighting solution that will improve drive safety, vehicle appearance, and overall improve your driving experience.

At this year’s SEMA Show, we went ‘full pro’ with our booth.  We wanted to stand out this year from the competitor brands and wanted something more inviting to everybody.  We wanted something interactive to anybody interested in automotive lighting.  Our booth surpassed our expectations and we still are going to continue to improve.

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We also had a demo display where we would literally submerge various fanless LED headlight products to introduce new technology to the show goers.  Along with this demo, we also had an exclusive display to show our smaller LED replacement bulbs so that the show goers can test themselves or compare to a filament bulb that they use in their own vehicles

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One of the best highlights was running into a competitor brand, Headlight Revolution. We had the privilege of meeting Headlight Revolutions very own President, Chris Nelson, and VP of Sales Eric Nelson.  It was certainly an honor to meet with them.  We shared some very interesting information regarding the market trend in the automotive industry regarding LED lighting and have learned new things and how to approach the changes to come to car lighting.

 

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We shared a similar passion about changing the auto lighting industry and providing the world with a solution for car lighting.  Maybe one day, you can find our JDM products offered in the lineup of Headlight Revolutions.  Who knows?  Only time and the industry will tell.

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Aside from SEMA Show, we also went out to SEMA Ignited for the very first time.  Wow!  Was this show amazing!  We’ve been to many trade shows in Southern California and Las Vegas knows how to host an event!

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They had Nitro Circus, Drifting demonstrations, and the SEMA Cruise was the spark that started it all!  This show is a must for any auto enthusiast!

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This show was definitely a hit for our brand and we plan to attend SEMA 2019 and SEMA Ignited 2019!

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Most importantly, none of this would not have happened had it not been for the support from all of our brand supporters.  On behalf of our entire JDM Astar team….

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THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THE WORLD’S PREMIER CHOICE IN AUTOMOTIVE LED LIGHTING!

-JDM Astar Team

Innovating Heat Sink Cooling with 6S Series Headlights

We are at it again with yet another innovative design for aftermarket LED headlamp bulbs.  JDM ASTAR has introduced another heat sink type headlight to join others like our 4S and 8th Generation Headlights.

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The 6S headlights use a redesigned heat sink that offers improved and larger surface area for heat dissipation.  Rather than using standard aluminum, the 6S are built with the same aviation grade 6063 aluminum that are found on a variety of our existing LEDs today such as our 8th Generation Headlights or smaller bulbs like 3030 14-SMD Series LED bulbs.  This means that there will be a substantial increase in how much heat is radiated from the light source, through the aluminum body, and exhaust through the heat sink in order make cooling even faster.

So what is all the hype about with this new cooling fin heat sink that reminds us all of chopper ready to take off?

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Well, it’s not the traditional bulky unit that earlier designs offer.  We have been there before and have seen many cases where a fan or heat sink is a bit too wide to fit, or there is not enough depth to provide fitment for the cooling mechanism thus creating an even bigger problem.  Aside from the labor involved, you will also have to ship something back and we all know how much of a drag this can be.  When we buy stuff off Amazon, it better be right!

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The 6S headlights offer a bendable/mold-able heat sink.  The cooling fins use 6063 aluminum and are designed to be adjusted to cater to the clearance on your vehicles housing or area as well as allow fitment if the LED lamp.  The cooling fins will get extend to get air flow to improve radiation of heat.  This means the diodes will be able operate for a longer period of time, as well as provide thousands and thousands of hours of operating life.  So, if the 8th Gens were simply too big to fit, no worries, the 6S headlights still got you covered!

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Aside from cooling, the 6S Headlights also offer high thermal resistant diodes that are also found on our existing designs.  The lamp uses a total of 8 CSP (Chip Scale Package) surface mount diodes with 4 on each side.  For those dual headlamp bulbs, they will use 16 CSP diodes with 8 being dedicated to the low beam function and 8 for the high beams.  With CSP diodes as the light source, you can expect things to be lit!  That is an understatement.  Combined with an internal smart driven IC module, the 6S Headlights provide a whomping 4000 lumens per bulb competing with that of our 8th Gens!

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But wait…there is still more!

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Ability to adjust an aftermarket LED headlight today is almost a certain need with how headlamp housings are being manufactured on vehicle housings today especially with aftermarket!  Some include projectors and others are reflectors.  The 6S headlights, once again, have got you covered!  By loosening the set screw that is by the collar of the LED lamp, it will allow you to free up the bulb and clock the direction of the light sources.  Focus, light concentration, and beam pattern will all be able to adjust through rotation of the bulb.  Once you hit that ‘sweet spot’, mark your LEDs and repeat the same steps with the opposite side and voila!  You will have a beam pattern that is the same, if not similar, to the factory halogen headlamp bulbs.  If you are not sure which way to direct the diodes, check out our blog article titled “Which way should the chips face on your LED headlights?” There you will get all details needed on the suggested bulb orientation.

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So if you ever dealt with the headache of fitting the bulky fan or a large heat sink of your new aftermarket LEDs, consider the 6S headlights so you can bend that heat sink around and allow the bulb to easily adapt and avoid any modifications to the housing.

 

With the many fan style LED headlights cluttering up marketplaces like Amazon, eBay(and now Wish!), it is surprise if the 6S headlights sit right up next to the 8th Gens as one of the leading designs in aftermarket LED lighting auto industry!

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Stop by JDMASTAR.COM and pick up your 6S headlights today and remember….

 

“LED JDM Astar light your way!”

Headlights that fit your budget….Welcome the G4 series headlights!

g4 2.jpgUpgrading to aftermarket LED lighting on your car can come off as a bit of a concern for some.  It can certainly look intimidating, at first, especially for those that may not have the experience or tools to work on their cars.

When automotive LED made its way into the industry, costs very high and as the market began to grow, competition went up and so many brands or sellers began to offer the actual value of the product they are selling and in order to continue offering such a competitive price, they must take short cuts on quality in order to meet the demand.

This exposed the LED market and eventually gave aftermarket LEDs a bad rep.  Nowadays, any time you see an inexpensive LED headlight option on Amazon, you are very cautious about buying yet alone installing them to your vehicle.

JDM Astar is here to help address that concern for those worried about short cuts on quality or risking a bulb failure that leads to hefty repairs on your cars.  Short cuts or low quality is just not part of what we do.  JDM Astar innovates and we WILL continue to innovate in order to create a foundation of what an aftermarket LED brand should represent.

With competition growing online, we have released a budget-friendly option that will provide quality, reliability, and give you the results you long for and need.  JDM has introduced the G4 headlights to their lineup of replacement headlights.

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The G4 series headlights sets the foundation for starter LED headlight kits. They offer aviation grade aluminum that increases density and allows more heat to radiate through the body of the bulb thus increasing how fast the diodes cool down.  Combined with a high velocity fan that clocks at 1200RPM, you will have an LED lamp that will sustain itself without any concern of overheating the diodes or damaging the driver’s circuit.  With a reduced load draw, compared to most low end headlights from foreign or unknown brands, you will achieve higher efficiency thus minimizing how much heat is generated by the diodes.

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Now of course, cooling mechanism is one of the factors that ensures your LEDs operate long but another factor is the light source.  The light source is key as we have come across many sources that claim to carry genuine diodes from branded manufacturers, but when you check the facts, you realize that they are falsely advertising what they use on there products. If don’t believe us, look up the cheapest LED headlight and check the light source manufactures lineup of diodes they offer. You’d be surprise what you will find with just a little bit of research!

A good example would be claiming your lamp is using CREE chips.  CREE is a manufacturer in the US and there costs for parts are not exactly competitive so this would reflect on the cost of the LED lamp you are buying and is typically combined with high grade components such as heat sinks, and Smart IC Drivers(whether external or internal).  Remember, if you hear a popular brand is being used as the light source with your LEDs, but costs are a bit too low, then be cautious and possibly steer away from that as you certainly do not want to experience the headache it may cause yet alone the risk of damaging your vehicles housing and/or wiring.

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The G4 headlights JDM Astar offers use customized type diodes and is exclusive from JDM Astar.  We are proud of this design and we call these diodes AEC chips which are a replication of what we use on our 8th Generation headlights, the Luxeon ZES chips.  Think of our AEC chips as a JDM brand version of ZES.  High quality, and value that fits the budget!  They offer high thermal resistance, low wattage consumption, and high load capacity all with a strong intensity rating of 4,000 lumens per lamp and lux readings averaging 4,150(@ 1 meter).

Next time you are on the market for your starter LED headlight kit, reach out to us!  We can guide you and find the perfect LED headlight that will surpass expectations all while saving you money so you can upgrade even more lights on your car!

JDM ASTAR….lighting up your world, one car at a time!

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Using aftermarket LED headlights on Toyota’s with DRL/High Beam applications

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Daytime running lights are a lamps that are automatically controlled by your vehicles system and typically run during the day and is shared to the same high beam bulb but at a reduced intensity.  Some cars have dedicated daytime running lights that are separate from the headlamp applications.  If your vehicle’s DRL is separate then your car is one of the lucky few that will never run into a flickering problem on the DRL system when running aftermarket LED headlamps.

For those that have experienced a dreadful flicker on their Toyota, this article may be geared towards your situation.

First, you must understand how a daytime running light system works.  You know what it is, but how does it turn on?

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Most vehicles will be programmed to meet certain conditions in order for the DRL system to actually turn on.  The headlight switch must be set to AUTO, gear must be in DRIVE or not PARK, and there will usually be a sensor on the vehicle’s dashboard which detects light.  Once the conditions are met, your vehicles system will immediately supply a reduced current to dim the factory high beam bulb.  This applies to most Toyota’s with DRL’s and high beams on the same circuit.  To understand if your vehicle runs high beams and DRLs on the same lamps, you may either physical test the lamps or consult the owner’s manual.  You may also reach out to JDM Astar for any guidance.

Once the DRL system engages, BOOM!  You get the fast flicker on your LED headlights!

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So how do you fix this flickering issue as it is not controlled by a CANBUS system that is monitoring the lamps for problems?

Well, the fix is very simple and after extensive research and testing of various model Toyota’s with DRL systems, we have determined that Toyota runs a pulsing system where the voltage supplied is roughly 10V-12V but pulses on and off very fast which causes an LED lamp, that is sensitive to power, to light up and shut off quickly.  This only works with older model lamps like incandescent or halogen as it will never allow the burning filament, of a factory bulb, to light up to full intensity or shut off completely.  The pulsing signal keeps the bulb in a dim state.  We now have a solution for you to allow you to run aftermarket LED headlights!

JDM Astar offers a decoder module that is actually designed for CANBUS but will also bypass voltage changes that pulse on DRL systems shared with high beam headlamps.

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How does the decoder work?

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Our decoder features a built-in capacitor. A capacitor will hold a small amount of charge that will allow the current supplied to the headlight bulb to be steady thus preventing the pulsing voltage from having any effect on the diodes of the LED lamp.  Since LEDs are very sensitive to power, a pulsing voltage will also cause the diodes to flicker at the same rate that it’s pulsing.  A capacitor will also simulate a much larger amperage which will also take care of a lamp out indicator that is either triggered by the vehicles circuit, or in some cases, a CANBUS system.

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If your Toyota happens to have a high beam lamp and DRL running on the same bulb and circuit then make sure you pick up a decoder harness from JDM ASTAR.  They are plug & play and will save you a headache, as well as a traffic stop citation.  If you ever have any questions or need guidance, contact us.  Our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be glad to assist you on resolving flickering issues on your Toyota and remember….

“LED JDM ASTAR light your way on the road!”

-JDM ASTAR Team

Which way should the chips face on your LED headlights?

This is a question that we are starting to see more and more and we are sure that this has made its way into your mind at one point.  We have had our fair share of poor light patterns from off branded LED’s and have seen surprising results with even premium headlights from reputable brands that shine even worse.  Before we get into this, you must understand that the vehicle manufacturer of your car, truck, or SUV have scientifically measured the lamp housing to determine what is the best light source to include and how it will project the light pattern without jeopardizing safety and improve driving visibility and noticeability.  These are all things that are in mind when your lamp housings are being designed.

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Bottom line, your lamp housings are designed for what they came with.  Cars that come with HID’s probably come with projector housings, and vehicles with reflective housings will have a halogen, incandescent, or something new we have not seen.  This means that your aftermarket LED lighting system may not project the same type of pattern or amount of light.  Factory halogen bulbs shine light in a true 360 orientation to evenly distribute light throughout the lamp housing and really take advantage of the reflective properties of the fixture.  So, if the lamp housings are designed for halogens, and projectors for HID’s, how do you obtain a safe and usable light pattern when going to aftermarket LED?

With our LED headlight products, we have designed our LED lamps to provide the best light disbursement inside the lamp housing by shining light in two different directions; side to side or 3 o’clock & 9 o’clock.  Most vehicles housings will provide optimal results when using a side to side orientation or having the LED chips face left to right.  Some of our other designs cater more to the intensity of the light beam and may feature an extra side where diodes are mounted. We address the proper orientation through the following chart.  We show the proper orientation for dual beam and single beam LED headlights and provide a side view to show how the bulb should be positioned inside the housing.  The orientation is the same for most aftermarket LED headlights that are single or dual beam setups.

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Here are few things to consider when going to LED:

  • 2-sided LED headlights for single beams should have the LED chips facing left to right.
  • 2-sided LED Headlights for dual beam applications will have a shield which should always be sitting below the low beams chips. The orientation must be side to side for optimal results.
  • Headlights that use a unique triangular design or have 3 sides, to cater more to light intensity, will feature a 3rd side for high beams which should always be facing in a downward position or a 6 o’clock orientation.

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Now the real question is, how do you get around changing the orientation when the headlights are positioned incorrectly once installed and no way to adjust.  With options like our 8th Generation headlights, you can now obtain optimal results through an adjustable collar feature.  We have also integrated this feature on dual beam LED headlights such as our G series, or 7S headlights.  We have an option to cater not just to one car, but every car in the world so if your pattern is bit off, stop by our site or give us call.  We will help you obtain the best results possible so that you may go about your day with your loved ones.  Your safety is priority and our priority is your safety so LED us light your way down the road…..”

 

-JDM ASTAR Team

Using LED with a CAN Bus System

You have heard once before, and you will hear it again.  “What is a CAN bus system?”  A CAN bus is a “Controller Area Network” vehicle bus which interconnects components inside a vehicle.  A CAN bus is like an on board diagnostics system that runs upon turning the ignition and while the vehicle’s operating.  The system also monitors your vehicles applications such as lighting.  A CAN Bus system is equipped with the vehicle to alert a driver of a problem with the normal functionality of an application or their vehicle.  A lot of 3rd parties indicate that it only monitors your lighting applications, which they do, but they also monitor everything else that may be considered a safety hazard should the part, component, or application fail or begin to malfunction in a manner that is considered abnormal.  A CAN bus system can be frustrating or cause malfunctions but they are an essential system to have on your vehicle.  We created this article to help you understand how to make your lamps function properly without a worry of a dreadful lamp out indicator or flicker.

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The main reason why a CAN bus system cannot detect an LED bulb is due to the power draw (current) of the lamp application or resistance change.  By upgrading your lighting application, whether interior or exterior, you are decreasing the power draw substantially.  It may vary between vehicles, but a CAN bus system (or any similar system) is designed to function a certain amount of power (current), voltage, resistance or amperage of the different applications on the vehicle including lights and by installing an LED bulb, it may recognize the bulb as a fault or opened circuit.(burnt out bulb)  These type of systems are not designed to work with the current of an LED replacement.  They will not be able to distinguish the difference between an actual ‘burnt out’ halogen bulb, and a new upgraded LED so an error code or lamp out indicator may be triggered.  Some cases it will cut power to the application which will result in a sudden flicker then shutting off.  So how do you solve or avoid this malfunction?

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The solution is very simple, for most vehicles.  JDM Astar offers “error-free” LED replacements in various sizes from 921 (T15), 1156 bayonet size, and all the way to bulb sizes for headlamps.  They come equipped with built-in decoders.  A decoder (or anti-flicker harness) is a module that is designed to counter or fix CAN bus related problems and they feature a built-in capacitor to keep the LED’s charged (prevents flickering).  The decoder will also increase amperage which will allow the system to detect the lamp (prevents lamp out indicator).  There is also added resistance to allow the vehicle’s circuit normal functionality and ensure the LED’s are receiving proper current.

You can also take the simple route and add resistors which will allow the bulb to simulate a much larger current draw which for most cars will fix a problem triggered by the system.

Another great option is to use an “Error Free” LED which for the most part is designed for vehicles equipped with CAN bus.  With Error Free LED’s, they will feature resistors within the bulbs circuit to allow a larger current draw, however, this type of setup has its limitations on how much can be drawn.  There are certain makers and/or model vehicles that are programmed to detect a much larger current than what a CAN bus-ready LED bulb has to offer.  They may still trigger an error code so then the proper load must be applied to the vehicles circuit by wiring in a resistor.  You can do this by installing resistors to the ground and lead wires.  Resistors will draw out the difference in power to simulate the power draw of your halogen bulb.

If your vehicle is built with a CAN bus system, then don’t worry.  We have an arsenal of solutions waiting for you to resolve any minor issue with your vehicle’s CAN bus system and LED replacements.  If you run into a problem, we are here to help.  We can help you find the perfect LED replacement so that you will have an error-free experience.

-JDM Astar Team

How to Upgrade Backup Lights On Volkswagen Golf

How to: Install/Replace backup lights on Volkswagen Golf MK7 (2015+) USDM

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of either replacing the backup light bulb or upgrade to an aftermarket LED bulb.

In this tutorial we are going to swap out our factory 921 halogen bulbs to our GX3020 CANBUS model.

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Recommended tools: Trim Remover / Pry Tool / Panel Remover Tool

Parts Used: GX3020 CANBUS LED (921 LED replacement bulb)

  1. Open the trunk hatch and there will be two covers.

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1a. Locate trim indentation, and using your pry tool, pull away the panel to expose lamp housing.

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2. Locate the backup light bulb socket. To remove socket, twist 1/4 turn counter-clockwise to unlock and carefully pull out the entire socket and bulb.

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2a. Use gloves to prevent direct contact to the glass surface of the bulb.  If the bulb hot, use a towel or heat resistant gloves to remove from the receptacle.

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Here is a side by side view to compare the stock bulb and the LED replacement.

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3. Install LED bulb onto the receptacle or socket and insert the entire unit back to the lamp housing.

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Always check the aftermarket parts dimensions and make sure the housing allows you to fit the replacement.  As you can see here, we were right on point in fitting the aftermarket LED replacement.

Test the bulb replacements before finalizing installation to ensure installation was done correctly. If there are no errors you can reverse the steps to put everything back together and begin troubleshooting.

Here is a photo showing a comparison to the incandescent bulb (left) versus the GX3020 (Right)

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What we found about this installation:

During the installation we have learned that the backup light circuit only has to be complete (like a fuse) for the error code to be prevented. We installed a CANBUS error free bulb and a NON CANBUS bulb and both were compatible with no error messages being triggered.

We replaced the bulb holder (socket), without any bulbs installed, and only then did we encounter a bulb out error.

Volkswagen Golf equipped with an Entertainment System.

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Volkswagen Golf’s without Entertainment System

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