Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/4/20 8:20 a.m.

LED bulbs aren’t just the future, they’re the present–and Little British Car Co. carries the lighting hardware needed to update older machines. The company’s catalog includes LED conversions for everything from gauge lights to turn signals. We installed its 7-inch LED headlights and LED taillight bulbs in our Sunbeam Tiger.

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wrenchklutz
wrenchklutz New Reader
1/27/21 8:58 p.m.

I looked at doing this with my Alfa but after doing some research, I decided to go with halogens and relays.  The buckets and lenses for our incandescent or halogen lights weren't designed for the way LED's are made.  It's like trying to wear somebody else's eyeglasses.  The only way to get proper throw of light down the road is to replace the entire light with a unit that was designed to work together.  There's a thread on Jalopnik that was basically written by Daniel Stern, an expert on car lighting, that goes into great detail about all this: https://jalopnik.com/why-most-led-headlight-upgrades-dont-really-work-an-ex-1843070472

One upgrade that does work is installing relays to supply the power to the headlights.  On lots of older cars, all the power for the lights goes through the headlight switch.  By changing that so that the headlight power goes through relays, the output will be better and you might save yourself from having to buy a new headlight switch ($400 from Centerline). 

malibuguy
malibuguy HalfDork
1/27/21 9:40 p.m.

Yeah aftermarket PnP LEDs in halogen housings almost never work as well as they should, usually kinda pokey beam pattern, often increased glare and alot of foreground, which is amplified by the bluer light.  Which makes it harder to see down the road.

Some of the higher-end PnP LEDs work pretty well, such as the Morimoto 2stroke 3.0, Diode Dynamics (which are American made) and GTR lighting.

Usually a reputable full LED replacement housing ( like JW speaker) is your best bet for a substantial light output upgrade in terms of pattern and lumally just do not look right in a classic car.

I built a set of HID projector retrofits for my old Malibu Im not a fan of the look as I rather have fluted lenses but not much you can do with 4x6 aftermarket or not, let alone have classic looks.

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