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Discussion Starter #1
I have been through all kinds of headlight bulbs over the years. The blue and green tinted bulbs from Japan were the first thing I used back in the day. Then came the HID stuff. Hard to find quality HID kits these days, most are cheap and don’t last like they did when I first bought them. Some of my ballasts I have laying around are close to 15 years old.

Anyways I’ve moved into LED stuff for the headlights in the past 3-4 years. From when they first came out to what’s available now, it has gotten so much better. Now the light pattern is great without having a ton of upward glare. Mainly to do with the design of the led chips and their placement. I had bought some entry level leds for $40 from Hikari, found on Amazon. I’d say if I’d bought $40 bright halogen bulbs they’d only last 6 months to a year when I’ve bought them in the past. These cheap leds lasted a little over a year. I bought the more expensive ones with a warranty this time around, $103 with extended warranty, for 3 years. If I get the 3 years out of them I’ll be happy enough.

I get to see different leds in customers vehicles all the time. So I get to see what works well and what doesn’t. The ones with 3 or 4 sides leds suck. The ones with two sided large Cree style leds work ok, but usually don’t produce a wide beam. Usually it’s a narrow long beam. Not bad, but the newer ones are better.

What is current is the use of Phillips Lumiled leds placed in a row to be in the same position as a regular halogen bulb with tungsten filament. They have more spread and shine in the right spots on the reflector.

The led headlight bulbs get a bad wrap from incorrect installation or from improper adjustment. Also the cheap ones don’t have the led in the right spot so they make lots of glare and don’t shine on the road where they should.

If they are aimed correctly they are not any worse than a bright halogen bulb. At least when I have the ones in my car turned on I can go down the street to look at them and they don’t really look like some of them I see. Probably because they aren’t aimed high up. They do make driving on back roads nice when there are no street lights.

Here’s what these things look like. They work like a regular 9007. Has a decent cut off and the high beam actually works on these. Some other bulbs don’t have the leds placed in the correct spot so low and high beam performance isn’t great. These shine pretty far on high beam. Again it has to be aimed correctly.

19724

19725
 

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I've looked into them for the Cobalt, albeit briefly. Diode Dynamic's SL1 bulb is absolutely excellent, but they don't sell any of them in the "dual-filament" style like a 9007. Now they barely sell them at all, thanks to all the terrible ones you mentioned above causing LED drop-in headlight bulbs to actually be made illegal now. That all happened between the time my brother bought a pair of SL1s for his '01 Buick Century's low beams, and the time I went to install them (due to how the lights were designed, the bulbs absolutely did not fit - one side did, once I did some clearancing to the housing...but the other side never would have. Wish I'd have looked at both before I started...). Once I was back to looking at the site, they suddenly didn't exist for the car anymore - that's when I found out about all that shit. The good bulbs got screwed because of all the cheap garbage.

That said - yep, two-sided "bulbs" are going to be the best bet - but they really should be clockable, as well, so you can make sure those things are at 3 and 9 o'clock. Ideally, you'd want to ensure the vehicle has a good light output pattern with the stock bulbs to begin with, otherwise you're just going to make a bad situation much, much worse for oncoming (due to no fault of the new bulb). I had my brother check this before he ordered the SL1s - the Buick had a surprisingly decent pattern. I think I might have him look into the Morimoto 2-Stroke or the GTR Lighting Ultra 2.0, as they have what I consider to be a "barrel" design - the fan is inline, whereas the DD SL1s would not fit because the fan is off to the side, and thus would crash into the housing.

My Cobalt, meanwhile, is still running an ancient DDM Tuning Bi-Xenon kit. Oddly enough, the Cobalt seems to have a headlight design that doesn't result in simply blinding the rest of existence, so that works well enough for me still. If they do end up eventually failing, it looks like they make an Ultra 2.0 for the 9007 bulbs. I'm just not sure if they work for high/low functions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked at the older Morimoto leds and found their high beam is in the wrong position, at least for the 9004/9007 bulbs. Their hid stuff is pretty good, although quite over priced for the technology. I’m not really sure how the beam pattern and output is with the new ZES chips. I’m sure is pretty good. But at double the cost of the Hikari ones. Wonder how Morimoto handles their warranty, as I haven’t used their products.
 
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