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I do a load of night driving during my commute, clocking 4 hours a day during the winter. I have been using the Sliverstar Ultra bulbs, but due to my night drives, I am blowing though a pair every 6 months or so. I recently found out by actually checking the packaging that the lifespan of the bulbs is 150 hours, and at $50 a set, is both expensive and ecologically dubious.

I have seen threads and done some research on LED replacement bulbs that will be a simple swap in the same headlight housing. However, I am not clear on what can actually be used. Some have SAE and/or DOT certification. However, I have also read that these are super conservative guidelines. Some are said not to fit in the housing without intervention. The most Highly rated/recommended LED headlight replacements I have seen come with an "Offroad use only" disclaimer.

What is actually required to use drop in non HID-LED lights without getting a ticket/being a hazard to other drivers? Does anyone have any brand/model recommendations?

  • Are you touching or otherwise contaminating the halogen bulbs when you replace them? They should last a lot longer than 6 months. What wears them out is heat cycles, not just hours. – Nick Mar 20 '17 at 13:40
  • I have been very cautious with the replacements. The last few have been put in while wearing rubber gloves, making contact with the plastic base only. – Simianspaceman Mar 20 '17 at 13:42
  • Unfortunately, in the US, most if not all states consider any modifications to the stock lights beyond replacing the bulb as "illegal". I commend you on researching this ahead of time, though as most people put cheap HID bulbs in their halogen housings and blithely blind everyone in front of them. Fortunately for them, I've never seen nor heard of anyone being ticketed for it. The issue you need to consider is glare. danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/… Try some out and get in someone else's car and approach and compare your car to other vehicles – Nick Mar 20 '17 at 13:43
  • It's unscientific, but better than just slapping some in there, looking at the "cut off" and saying "looks good to me" without putting yourself on the receiving end. What you could also try is looking for replacement housings (in different trims, or shared vehicles) if possible that have projector housings or otherwise support HID or LED bulbs. Or--retrofit projectors into your housings (a surprisingly popular thing). – Nick Mar 20 '17 at 13:48
  • Thanks! Just replacing the bulb is EXACTLY what i am looking to do. HID conversions tend to be costly, and labor intensive. There are many places that sell Non-HID LED replacements (many of which use the some kind of Cree led array). I am wondering if any are actually able to be used with out being "that guy" on the road. Thanks for the link i will check it out. – Simianspaceman Mar 20 '17 at 13:51

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