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I am contemplating purchasing a new vehicle with led headlights. If the led light become defective are they replaceable like their halogen counterparts ?

To clarify what I am asking. Are the bulbs individual units or does the complete assembly require replacement?

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    I can see that you have tagged 'toyota' and 'corolla' , but you should add that and more details to your question to make it clear. For example, does 'new' mean a 2022 model or an older model that is just new to you.
    – HandyHowie
    Mar 25, 2022 at 9:30
  • @HandyHowie Yes it is a 2022 model
    – Old_Fossil
    Mar 25, 2022 at 9:40
  • To get good answers, edit your question and add all the information.
    – HandyHowie
    Mar 25, 2022 at 9:48
  • It's not clear what exact model you have but some of them have just a "headlight" where the entire assembly needs to be replaced. For a 2022 model, however, it seems like you'd still be under warranty. The bad news? The replacement part is ~US$1100!! Yikes!
    – jwh20
    Mar 25, 2022 at 15:27
  • The exact model is the 2022 corolla base model with 6 speed manual shift . I think it is the 6m one if memory serves. I was asking the question for when the vehicle is off warranty years down the line so I don't get a heart attack in the event I ever have replace it.
    – Old_Fossil
    Mar 26, 2022 at 3:51

2 Answers 2

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Individual LEDs are not as bright as a halogen or xenon bulb, so you need a lot of them packed together to create enough light. This is why all the LED headlights I can think of are integrated assemblies, there's no bulb to replace. With LEDs the thinking is that they are so reliable they'll never need replacement.

In reality stuff breaks, much of the time they will last the life of the car, some percentage of the time they will partially or completely fail. As comments mention above a replacement is over a grand, which is why you'll find a wide variety of repair services available which will cost a fraction of replacing the unit.

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This is something that is a small but minor problem.

LED headlights last a long time. By "long", I mean order of magnitude more than any other competing technology like halogen or Xenon lights.

With LED headlights, swapping only the emitter (or emitters, more than one may be used) is something that isn't usually done. Emitters are not always entirely compatible with all possible replacements so you may need to have a completely identical emitter, aligning that emitter perfectly is hard, and this would require repair procedures that aren't explained by the car manufacturer. It may be doable at a cost of either huge amount of money (more than replacing the entire LED headlight unit would cost), or a huge amount of your time (if you do the repair yourself).

However, with LED headlights what you can do is replace the entire headlight unit. It will have some cost, let's say 500 euros/dollars/pounds. This is the preferable way since it's almost always the cheapest if you don't want to do the soldering work yourself (and are able to find an identical emitter for sale). However, at some point of time when the car becomes very old, it's possible the car manufacturer no longer produces spare parts, so you may find yourself in a situation that you can't find replacement LED headlights units for sale. So I understand if you have a 20 year old car that's still going strong otherwise but a headlight unit has failed, and parts are no longer available, it may be useful to attempt to repair the headlight unit yourself.

With LED matrix lights, it's probably no longer reasonable to repair a failed headlight unit.

Note also that 99% of headlight unit failures are something else, like a car crash. I hit a deer, causing massive damage to my car bumper, headlight washers and the headlight unit. The entire LED front right headlight unit was replaced, paid by insurance.

I don't think it's useful to be concerned about LED emitter failing. That happens very rarely, 99% of the cases where you need to replace a headlight unit are something entirely else like a car crash. The lifetime of most LEDs when well-cooled is 100 000 hours, or 4 million kilometers at a speed of 40 km/h.

Of course, there could be another failure, like if the car manufacturer has used low-quality electrolytic capacitors in the headlight power electronics. That's not a failure of the LED emitter, but rather another kind of failure inside the headlight unit. In this case, it may be actually cheaper to just solder in new electrolytic capacitors.

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