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Headlight upgrade

753 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  L3g10n
2016 VT and I am wanting to upgrade my headlights. Previous owner had replaced the headlights with some cheap aftermarket ones (Junyan I belive they are called) and the beam pattern is horrible. Way too many dead spots in the pattern and I drive alot in the dark. What do you guys recommend for headlight replacement? I have talked to someone about some custom ones but I have also looked at the KDM ones offered by SoCal. I just want to be able to actually see when I'm driving lol. TIA
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2016 VT and I am wanting to upgrade my headlights. Previous owner had replaced the headlights with some cheap aftermarket ones (Junyan I belive they are called) and the beam pattern is horrible. Way too many dead spots in the pattern and I drive alot in the dark. What do you guys recommend for headlight replacement? I have talked to someone about some custom ones but I have also looked at the KDM ones offered by SoCal. I just want to be able to actually see when I'm driving lol. TIA
I believe I saw your post in the FB owner's group - if so, you have the Spec-D aftermarket assemblies (or possibly a copy of them), which do have an endless litany of build quality complaints - including that they use even worse projector lenses than the OEM projectors, and that's saying something because the OEM projector lenses are also pretty bad - plastic lenses are not great for focusing light!

Unfortunately the KDM-spec headlight assemblies use the same plastic projector lens as the US-spec OEM projector headlight assemblies, so you're not going to get any better beam pattern from the KDM version than you will from the US version - the only real way to get a better beam pattern is to open them up and projector swap to a good Morimoto or one of the other reputable brands.

That said, the OEM projector headlights -while they may not look as cool as the Spec-Ds from the outside- are certainly better quality in general, and before I swapped my assemblies I drove for well over a year with no real complaints on US-spec OEM projector headlights with good H11B LED low beam lamps (BPS Lighting UltraV H11B) and good H7 LED high beams (Lasfit H7 L1 Plus). If you're looking to save money, pick up a set of used OEM projector headlights, swap to LED lamps, and make sure to adjust them properly and you'll at least have a better experience with them than you're having with your Spec-D/Spec-D copies.

Here's a photo of the low-beam pattern from US-spec OEM projector headlight assemblies with the BPS UltraV H11B LEDs. Doesn't hold a candle to my current setup, but it wasn't bad:
Automotive lighting Automotive design Grille Tints and shades Automotive exterior


Current low-beam pattern with KDM-spec housings that have been fully opened up, painted, and projector-swapped to Morimoto HID projectors + Morimoto XB-35 5000K HID kit:
Cloud Automotive lighting Hood Sky Building


And the high-beam reflectors were also matched to the low-beam projectors while the assemblies were opened up, so low+high beam pattern (still running Lasfit H7 L1 Plus LEDs in the high beam position) is now:
Automotive lighting Road surface Street light Cloud Headlamp


Definitely worthwhile to do or have done by someone, as there's no longer any thought of "outrunning" the headlights, which I always felt slightly uncomfortable about on the OEM projector setup, but on the other hand it's a PITA to do, so if you're not committed to doing it or having it done, stick with OEM (US or KDM, doesn't matter) projector headlight assemblies and good LED lamps. It is worth noting that it is not generally advisable to convert to HID lamps without also opening up your headlights and swapping your projector lenses, as the high heat of HID has a very high likelihood of melting the plastic OEM projector lens. If you want to go HID and have it be reliable, do it right - otherwise stick with LED or halogen lamps.
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Now this is the kind of info I was looking for! Yeah that was prolly me on fb lol. Sounds like I am going to be better off just ordering a custom set then. I don't want to go into the headlights myself unless it's a last resort. Thanks for the info man and that beam pattern looks awesome!
Did you talk to Kat Fish on FB about the custom route? I don't know the dude personally but a few of the other members I know and have a reasonable degree of trust for say he does good work... and a relatively basic projector swap shouldn't be too outlandish of a cost - the kit for mine cost about $400 including the projectors, relays, ballasts, lamps, butyl sealant, and anti-flicker capacitor; then you can usually pick up a used set of OEM projector headlight assemblies for $2-300 unless you do want the KDM option, then you're looking at $800-$1100 for a set of those since they're not common here in the US and therefore unlikely to find a used set. I will say that they're awesome (that's what mine are) but the minor differences between the two versions (namely, no side marker light, white reflector instead of yellow, slightly brighter LED halo/strip) are not worth the extra cost, particularly if you're having a set customized anyway.
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legion what temp did you get for those bps ultrav h11b ?
AFAIK they only offer the UltraV in 6500K: H11B UltraV Series LED Headlight Bulbs 10000 Lumens
I think their other H11B the "Perfect Fit" is listed at 6000/6500K
A bit unfortunate really, as that's just not a great temperature for long-distance throw; everything was technically visible but sort of washed out with very little contrast (though it admittedly looked great from the front); that's why I went to 5000K on my HIDs, way better downroad performance and contrast so I can actually tell whether that's just a bump down there or a pothole I'm gonna need to dodge 😬
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gotcha - yeah i was looking at lumens not temp, lol
Ahhh LOL that'll do it. The lumen output listing on LEDs is always a little dodgy - I really liked the BPS product but the simple reality is that as an LED assembly heats up the output goes down, so that 10,000 lumen spec is like... yes, sure, I believe that on paper at first startup but after maybe 30 minutes of run time when it's reached full operating temperature it's going to drop off until it reaches relative equilibrium. I don't have a light meter anymore to have been able to measure the dropoff when I had them, but by eyeball I'd definitely have said that output dropped by about 10-15% after significant run time. Definitely still better than some LEDs I've had in the past though!
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