LED 7" Headlight Conversion - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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LED 7" Headlight Conversion

Anyone have experience with changing out their 7" sealed beams for 7" LED headlights?

I am looking into putting LED's on my Alfa and wondering what others have done. There are plenty of different choices on Summit Racing's site alone.

What did you end up doing, how did it work out and what would you suggest going forward?


Thanks,
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Gary
74 Spider - Completed; Tuning Weber's
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 05:46 AM
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No experience with LED's. I changed the headlights on my '91 Spider to Euro lights from the old IAP; along with their headlight relay kit. This setup seems to work quite well, and I try to never let an oncoming vehicle see the high beams.

LED headlights are the hot new thing. Other than the extreme "whiteness" of the light, is the llumination of things at night really better?. I kinda wonder if LED's are really cheaper to produce but are foisted on the public as an improvement that can be sold for a higher price.

No offense to the original poster, I get highly exercised over excessively bright and/or mis-used lights. End of rant.

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Originally Posted by Luscombe1940 View Post
Anyone have experience with changing out their 7" sealed beams for 7" LED headlights?

I am looking into putting LED's on my Alfa and wondering what others have done. There are plenty of different choices on Summit Racing's site alone.

What did you end up doing, how did it work out and what would you suggest going forward?


Thanks,


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George Schweikle

1976 Spider (Dedicated Autocrosser, "SPICA, No Carbs")
1991 Spider Veloce (Retirement cruiser)
Scuderia Non Originale
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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ConeDriver,

I appreciate the response and feel similar about blinding oncoming vehicles with bright lights.

During my restoration, I installed relays, heavier gauge wires and a direct feed from the alternator to the headlights to get the max current to the lights.
The appeal of LED headlights to me, is the reduced current draw and the brighter whiter light. Lots of deer in my part of the country so great lighting while driving at night is an absolute requirement. One deer collision would total my Spider.

Prices for drop in 7" LED headlights are all over the map. Summit Racing has them from $50 a light to $200/light. I know there are other sources and that some products are better than others. Just wondering if anyone else has been down this rabbit hole and how you navigated.
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74 Spider - Completed; Tuning Weber's
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 10:10 AM
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What does "whiter" mean in this context? My gut tells me that many people see "bluer" as "whiter," and blue is not an advantage. Read some of the articles (based on actual science rather than anecdotal evidence) on Daniel Stern Lighting's website explaining that blue light causes more glare and dazzle, and focuses in front of the retina (causing less distinct vision) than more yellow light. While I have no experience with LED headlights, I'll observe that many LED lights, in general, tend more toward the blue.

[FONT="Century Gothic"][B]Bob Farace[/B]
[COLOR="DarkGreen"]1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce[/COLOR]
[I]Director, Connecticut branch, Scuderia Non Originale[/I][/FONT]
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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I have JW Speaker LED's on my Jeep with supplemental LED fog lights. On low beams the top of the beam is clipped similar to the Euro Hella Halogens of old. The fog lights light up the ground right in front of the jeep (it is lifted 3 inches) and the low beams from the headlights light a clear path down the road and off to the side. The highbeams are actually much less intrusive on oncoming traffic as they are specifically focused straight ahead of the vehicle. I tried a pair of the JW Speaker clones on another vehicle...they were $200 vs $750 for JW Speakers and the difference in light/beam focus was obvious. You will get what you pay for. The clones are all plastic and the JW Speaker has an aluminum back shell. Ordered JW Speaker LED Fronts for my spider last week.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikex2 View Post
I have JW Speaker LED's on my Jeep with supplemental LED fog lights. On low beams the top of the beam is clipped similar to the Euro Hella Halogens of old. The fog lights light up the ground right in front of the jeep (it is lifted 3 inches) and the low beams from the headlights light a clear path down the road and off to the side. The highbeams are actually much less intrusive on oncoming traffic as they are specifically focused straight ahead of the vehicle. I tried a pair of the JW Speaker clones on another vehicle...they were $200 vs $750 for JW Speakers and the difference in light/beam focus was obvious. You will get what you pay for. The clones are all plastic and the JW Speaker has an aluminium back shell. Ordered JW Speaker LED Fronts for my spider last week.
Thanks Mikex2,

I totally get the, you get what you pay for. When I restored my 74 I was careful to select quality and avoid the buy cheap, buy twice, syndrome.
The 7" LED headlight conversion is still a bit of a mystery to me. There are many to choose from and they are not equal. The reason for my post was to see what others, like yourself, have purchased and how that worked out. I have not looked at the JW speaker models yet. The price is a bit of a shocker. $750 a pair is a lot. I plan on making the conversion and will report back, I am hopeful I can find a good set that doesn't break the bank.

I appreciate your post.

Gary
74 Spider - Completed; Tuning Weber's
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 08:15 PM
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Luscombe1940:

Precisely tonight I took my 87 Spider for a drive. It was very dark and I was very aware of how crummy are the low beam HL compared to anything on the road today.
I too, would like to improve the situation but also cannot spend loco amounts of money on this. In my view and for my purpose, the LED maybe have better illumination without straining the electrical system, like you say.
Could you please let me know what your results are?
Thanks a lot.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 09:31 PM
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I would look around very thoroughly and read the technical specs very carefully. There are myriads of LED conversions out there and most of them are junk.

I have 3 sets (6 lights; 20,000 lumens total) of LED lights on my BMW motorcycle (important to be seen) and they throw a ton of light way down the road when they are at full power (I use them mostly at low power to radically change the visual presentation of the bike and am very careful about switching them to full power anytime other than daylight). The lighting pattern really matters, so make sure that is well described in the technical specifications.

Pure light power isn't worth much as the beam pattern may be the wrong pattern, or in cheaper lights may not really have a pattern at all.

I tried some aftermarket bulb conversions on another vehicle, and 2 of the 4 bulbs were DOA. I have a set from another manufacturer waiting for my 66 Super, but my goals are current reduction as I'm not concerned much about the light quality since I live in San Diego which is well lit, and I don't like driving a little car at night anyway.

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Originally Posted by Luscombe1940 View Post
Thanks Mikex2,

I totally get the, you get what you pay for. When I restored my 74 I was careful to select quality and avoid the buy cheap, buy twice, syndrome.
The 7" LED headlight conversion is still a bit of a mystery to me. There are many to choose from and they are not equal. The reason for my post was to see what others, like yourself, have purchased and how that worked out. I have not looked at the JW speaker models yet. The price is a bit of a shocker. $750 a pair is a lot. I plan on making the conversion and will report back, I am hopeful I can find a good set that doesn't break the bank.

I appreciate your post.

Mike
1969 GTV 1750
1966 Super
San Diego, CA

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