Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
DO NOT FIT THESE.

I work in light, and have been a specialist in LED technology and it’s use in light for nearly 25 years.

The reflector (or headlight bowl) is designed for a particular lamp source, is the lamp source size, position, and photo metric output. Change any of these factors and you will alter the beam spread.

Whilst the LEDs or HIDs maybe brighter on the retrofits, the reflectors and lenses are not designed for these, so the cut off angles are not there. The rules relating to the beam pattern of car headlights have been around for a while, are well documented, and developed for a reason.

Don't be selfish and fit these just so that YOU can see better, you will be causing glare to other road users. Glare is as disabling as looking at the sun. Please don't do it.

And to be honest I can't believe, in my humble opinion and without prejudice, that a company such as Alfaholics have been so stupid as to offer these without doing proper investigation (polar curve and photometric tests........a simple MOT is not sufficient) They even state on the website for their HIDS "very effective at moving traffic on the nurbergring"......... Well the reason for that is that you are glaring all the drivers in front, in their rear view mirrors, blinding them,so they would rather pull over than crash because of their stupid headlight conversion. The LED kit doesn’t even state it should NOT be used for road use. To be honest it shouldn’t be used for track use, let alone road use.

From an Alfa lover who works with light........don't.

I posted this content a few times, and had response posts from some at AH before, which soon disappears to no further comments. Yet they never seem to provide any evidence to say they investigated it, tested it, legalised it, or even considered the safety aspects of a safety critical item that effects more than the buyer of said product.etc....

My door is open to them to advice them FOC on how to investigate this further. I just hope they do, or even with others, and get a true understanding of what they are pedalling.

You really want brighter headlights....

here's my advice;

Make sure the reflectors are not flaking, pitted or rusted, you want to convert as much of the lamp lumens, to light output from the headlight.

Ignore lamp wattages, these are a measurement of power not light output (lumens or in the USA candelas). An aftermarket Chinese import 100watt rally grade light bulb, may have less lumens than a high quality lamp from a known manufacturer....... Like say Osram, Bosch, Philips, ring, hella (no I don't work for any of these).

Glass has a higher light output ratio than plastic, so a glass fronted headlight will covert more light than say a polycarbonate one.......... However... Modern reflector and lens designs and technology are way better than what was available when our 60's / 70's cars were new, so a modern polycarbonate headlight will be better than an origenal.

A conversion to H4 compatible headlight units would be a good idea, as there is more availability of very high quality and higher than standard output lamps available.

Bear in mind that the really high output H4 type lamps (eg osram night breaker), have a much shorter lifetime than standard h4 lamps, but this isn't a problem for me on classic cars, as they are not used as much as daily drivers. (The plus version of the above Osram lamp has gold contacts, which actually extends. He life).

Make sure the lamps are getting as much voltage as possible, install a relay to bypass all the headlight power from going through the column switch. And have a decent battery / alternator system.....look for 12.5+ volts on the lamp terminals.

You could change to higher colour temperature lamps 3000k plus, as the standard H1 lamps are very warm, this affects our photopic and scotopic vision, we see more detail and can react better, and some think need less light to see when using our colour cones, rather than our black and white rods (which operate at night, but have less resolution). However there is no point going above 4000kelvin, as lights above this colour temp range are purely for aesthetic, or to make people think you have HIDS.

Don't wear sunglasses at night.

Ps: I upgraded the lamps in the rear of my fuel and water temp gauges to LED versions, from the best manufacturer I know (called in a freebie favour), however they have made no difference (the poloar curve was all wrong.........too much light projected forwards, not sideways like the old filament lamp). The problems lies with how the light is distributed within the gauge.....so I need to ake them gauge apart and do more investigation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
There are similar options from superbrightleds.com for a much better price.

Keep in mind, most led bulbs are designed for projector style head lamps (modern style) and when used in reflector style head lamps (as the vintage Alfas use) you may get beam scatter. I have found some H4 led bulbs that work well in the Cibie e-code lamps and even keep the z-beam pattern. The H1 bulbs work too but not as well. It all comes down to how the led is placed and the blinds added to the led. The light output though is FAR better than halogen and at a fraction of the current draw. Plus the instant on is cool. I have replaced all the incandescent bulbs with leds. Head lights, tail lights, turn signals, parking and even interior and dash lighting. The only incandescent I have left of the fan switch light since it has three stages.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,442 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
FWIW, the LED kits are offered in the race section of the AH website. No disclaimer for street use but it would stand to reason that that was their intent...

Just curious, is there an advantage with the LEDs over the Xenon kit that AH offers for the same price: https://www.alfaholics.com/race-parts/105-series/electrics-lighting/alfaholics-xenon-hid-headlight-kit-120/

Do you have the same reservations using the Xenon bulbs as you do with the LEDs?
Same problems and issues for the HIDs as the LED replacements. One as bad as the other.
 

·
But Mad North-Northwest
Joined
·
9,859 Posts
Jamie's right. The reflector is designed around a very specific placement and orientation for the filament in the H4 bulb. Neither the retrofit xenon capsules or LED bulbs have the bright spot in the right place. I use LEDs all around my Alfas but not in the headlights.

Relays, a good set of bulbs (not those Silverstar-type blue envelope crap), and a good set of 7" reflectors (like Cibe) work very well in 101/105/115 Alfas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
FWIW, the LED kits are offered in the race section of the AH website. No disclaimer for street use but it would stand to reason that that was their intent...
It does also say that they use them on all their GTA-R builds, one would think these cars are generally getting road use. Otherwise why the air con and f-you stereos?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
The reason they use them on the GTAR which is also on the road............ maybe they don’t care.

Apparently they just stuck it through an MOT test and thought that was enough !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Check the newer LED bulbs, they are making relfector H4's now. Last time I will say it.
If a sealed beam unit is designed and made with an LED source, and has the relevant highway safety standards, that’s fine.
But an H4 fitment LED or HID, put in a standard 7” reflector won’t, as described above.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I fitted decent Osram night breaker bulbs to my GT Junior and spider, and also my Fulvia, with a direct feed from the battery, controlled by relay from the old loom, fantastic light output, which does not blind oncoming traffic, almost as good as the HIDs on my porsche and BMW and a fraction of the cost - wire, couple of relays and osram bulbs on special ofer from eurcarparts for £15. Obviously you need good reflectors and lens but all my cars had these in good condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,879 Posts
If a sealed beam unit is designed and made with an LED source, and has the relevant highway safety standards, that’s fine.
But an H4 fitment LED or HID, put in a standard 7” reflector won’t, as described above.....
I’m not sure what I’m missing here, always wanting to learn.

However, if a standard H4 reflector (glass headlamp) is “matched” best to a H4 incandescent bulb (filament position, focus etc.). Then why wouldn’t a H4 LED optimised to be in the right position to focus or spread the light, also be ok?

I’m (personally) really only interested in maximising the available light on the road (without blinding too many other drivers), reducing the current draw (if possible) and increasing longevity.

I have NOS Carello’s (script) and some std NEW H4 Hellas for my (RHD) Duetto resto
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
When fitted as standard, my understanding is that such super bright Xenon/LED headlights feature an automatic self levelling system, to keep the light shining (as much as possible) on the right place. Such self levelling is a legal requirement.

Using such bright headlights on the road without such a self levelling system is selfish, as you will tend to blind on-coming cars on undulating roads or if you carrying heavy luggage/passengers in the back.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top