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Old 08-12-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
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Headlights

I have to replace a headlight sealed beam, figured now would be a good time to up grade. What's out there for replacements that actually work better than asealed beam. What are the best deal out there. I don't need $100 replacements.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:23 PM   #2
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from what ive found cheap LED and cheap housings result in cheap performance.. I ran the cheap 3-rows-of-lights in my DEV bus and after 3 years.. (where a good part of one the bus wasnt driven).. they were getting foggy and did nothing but spew light..



my $100 total(for housings and bulbs) lights on my red bus and the newest ones on my DEV bus actually let me see at night without blinding other drivers..
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:58 PM   #3
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:17 PM   #4
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For the sake of everyone else on the road, PLEASE don't use those godawful unfocussed crappy plastic LED lights, or even worse the so-called "HID conversion kits", that just vomit photons all over the place and dazzle every oncoming driver. You need accurately-focused headlights that put all their light exactly and only where you need it, and none anywhere else. That pretty much means only buying good European E-Code lights such as those made by Hella, Cibie and Narwa. A pair of Hella conversion headlights is the best investment you can make for night driving safety, especially if you run them through relays. Daniel Stern can explain it better than me: https://www.danielsternlighting.com/

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Old 08-13-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
For the sake of everyone else on the road, PLEASE don't use those godawful unfocussed crappy plastic LED lights, or even worse the so-called "HID conversion kits", that just vomit photons all over the place and dazzle every oncoming driver. You need accurately-focused headlights that put all their light exactly and only where you need it, and none anywhere else. That pretty much means only buying good European E-Code lights such as those made by Hella, Cibie and Narwa. A pair of Hella conversion headlights is the best investment you can make for night driving safety, especially if you run them through relays. Daniel Stern can explain it better than me: https://www.danielsternlighting.com/

John

THIS!!!


my first set on the DEV bus was those crappy lights.. and they lit up everything except the road... my new lights are plastic but they arew focused and actually aimable with real cutoffs..

on the IH 3800 hoods we are somewhat limited by the depth of our buckets for some of the lights out there.. the nost common cheapest lights people buy are the ones with 3 rows of LED's.. 6 come on "low beam" and all 15 on "high beam". but there is no "beam" with those.. they are just 15 bulbs splattering light everywhere.. they are worthless.. I tossed them in the back of my bus on this trip im on in case my brand new lights failed due to heat etc. (never know with new LED's). but thats all they will ever be are spares.


if you have the room for real E-code Projectors those are probably the BEST option.. I had daniel sterns on my wrangler TJ.. or maybe they were JW speaker.. those were the best.. didnt find ones i could use on my 3800 though..
-Christopher
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:48 PM   #6
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Guess most of those responding failed to note his last line: " I don't need $100 replacements."
But the best light replacements are the high priced euro brands...
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Guess most of those responding failed to note his last line: " I don't need $100 replacements."
But the best light replacements are the high priced euro brands...

I think people noticed but warned that the cheap ones do nothing but blind other drivers and not light up the road....
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I think people noticed but warned that the cheap ones do nothing but blind other drivers and not light up the road....
So are my choices only stock or expensive? Nothing inbetween that works better than a sealed beam and doesn't cost $100. I'm heading to get another $10 sealed beam for now.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:20 PM   #9
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If you use sealed-beam lights, at least run them through relays to assure they get full voltage, and make sure they are properly aimed to minimize scatter and glare. One easy way to know if your lights will dazzle other drivers is to crouch down in front of them and see exactly where their vertical cutoff is - it should always be lower than a typical car's driver head height.

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Old 08-13-2019, 04:08 PM   #10
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I have used these on my bus for the past two years- they worked very well.

https://www.amazon.com/Rectangle-Hea...gateway&sr=8-4

I did not blind any oncoming cars, trucks, or even people. They are not as bright as many of the cars that I saw coming toward me while traveling - but are much better than the halogen lamps that came with the bus. I could see much better at night.

Two sealed lights for less than $50. was a good deal.

My opinion and I am sticking to it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:18 PM   #11
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I run these on F-700 RV i also pair them with Sylvania silverstar bulbs

https://www.ebay.com/itm/H6052-6054-...el!45645!US!-1

great lights for the money.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
If you use sealed-beam lights, at least run them through relays to assure they get full voltage, and make sure they are properly aimed to minimize scatter and glare. One easy way to know if your lights will dazzle other drivers is to crouch down in front of them and see exactly where their vertical cutoff is - it should always be lower than a typical car's driver head height.

John
Do they run through relays from the factory? If not, is the system inferior to what it should be?
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
If you use sealed-beam lights, at least run them through relays to assure they get full voltage, and make sure they are properly aimed to minimize scatter and glare. One easy way to know if your lights will dazzle other drivers is to crouch down in front of them and see exactly where their vertical cutoff is - it should always be lower than a typical car's driver head height.

John
I have to agree with this as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Do they run through relays from the factory? If not, is the system inferior to what it should be?
Almost always they are NOT powered though a relay. Mainly because the light switch has a circuit breaker built into it for and only for the head light circuit (NOT tail or markers lights)
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dog Rescuer View Post
I have used these on my bus for the past two years- they worked very well.

https://www.amazon.com/Rectangle-Hea...gateway&sr=8-4

I did not blind any oncoming cars, trucks, or even people. They are not as bright as many of the cars that I saw coming toward me while traveling - but are much better than the halogen lamps that came with the bus. I could see much better at night.

Two sealed lights for less than $50. was a good deal.

My opinion and I am sticking to it.

those are the ones that DO blind other drivers.. they are just as bright as other options but the light is being spewed everywhere..bot on the road... trust me I know because I purposely drove my cars and my pickup head on into the beams created by those and it was a mess... when driving the bus every road side even the high ones are illuminated by them which shows right there they blast light upward.. there was no focused light pattern on the street in front of me.. yeah they are better for me in the driver seat than sealed beam. but not for those around me...
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:05 PM   #15
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I know on all 3 of my busses the factory lights are NOT through a relay. if your bus is new enough to have DRLs the DRL circuit seems to have a relay on it but the normal lights dont..

-Christopher
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:22 PM   #16
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Proper adjustment and proper voltage are everything. NEVER assume you won't need to adjust, even with simple replacement. Also, make sure to check your connections, both in the wiring plug and at the ground. And if they aren't on a relay... They should be.

And yes, cheap cheesy LED replacements will blind others. OP may say they don't need $100 replacements, but you get what you pay for... Just sayin'... Choose wisely.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:43 PM   #17
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Adding relays where none previously existed isn't difficult. I use the standard cube relays that you can get anywhere, and the difference in light output is noticeable. The signal from the headlight switch goes to pin 86, the ground goes to pin 85, the 12V power goes to pin 30, and the headlights are on pin 87; pin 87a is NC and is not used in this application. Easy! Doing this assures that the headlights always get the full voltage from the alternator/batteries, and it will also prolong the life of the headlight switch because it only needs to carry less than an amp to pin 86. Just remember to fuse the 12V feed to pin 30, and use some heavyish wires to the headlights such as 10AWG.

John
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:53 AM   #18
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FWIW, I put 3k miles on my bus in 3 days. The lights were certainly adequate with the $11 sealed beams. I don't want cheesy Chinese gimmicks that don't brighten the distance in front. If my choice is $100 to get what I'd LIKE, or $22 to replace with factory bulbs, Then $22 it is for the time being.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Adding relays where none previously existed isn't difficult. I use the standard cube relays that you can get anywhere, and the difference in light output is noticeable. The signal from the headlight switch goes to pin 86, the ground goes to pin 85, the 12V power goes to pin 30, and the headlights are on pin 87; pin 87a is NC and is not used in this application. Easy! Doing this assures that the headlights always get the full voltage from the alternator/batteries, and it will also prolong the life of the headlight switch because it only needs to carry less than an amp to pin 86. Just remember to fuse the 12V feed to pin 30, and use some heavyish wires to the headlights such as 10AWG.

John
I happened to remember that I'd done a graphic for such a relay... Thought it might help. There are two styles, one has an 87a output, the other does not. Otherwise, they are the same relay. Only real difference is that the 87a output allows for switching between two output circuits -- such as high-beam / low beam... But use at least one per side to avoid overload.

This is the style (with 87a output) that GM typically uses for fuel pump circuits, only real difference is an unused terminal... Keep in mind, older applications have standard terminals, as opposed to newer applications having longer, narrower pins that tend to break and overheat more easily. I'm of the opinion the older relays are better-built as well. A U-Pull-It yard will probably let you have these for little or nothing all day long, and it makes it easier to get a factory-style wiring socket as well. When sourcing, look for 1986-1993 GM and you'll be better off.
Switched 12V Relay Schematic.JPG
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
FWIW, I put 3k miles on my bus in 3 days. The lights were certainly adequate with the $11 sealed beams. I don't want cheesy Chinese gimmicks that don't brighten the distance in front. If my choice is $100 to get what I'd LIKE, or $22 to replace with factory bulbs, Then $22 it is for the time being.

Yeah, that is what we did ... at least for the time being.
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