First, as a follow up to my previous post, here are the temperatures that I took:
- Fan version - 110 degrees at hottest spot between ballast and housing.
- No fan version - 113 degrees
- OEM bulb - 116 degrees
I updated my previous post to reflect this.
Now for the update and my final decsion. Tonight, I did some night testing and here's what I found.
I did confirm that the fanless bulb I installed did flicker slightly in the driver side, even more noticeable than the fan version in the passenger side (the fan version in the driver side didn't flicker noticeably). I also believe that the fanless version isn't quite as bright as the fan version, but that might be because...
In addition to the flicker mentioned, the fanless version scatters the light more than the fan version. Here some pics (headlights only on, JWSpeaker fogs lights are off):
Fanless on left, fan version on right
Fanless version only
Fan version only
You can also see there is a dim spot near the middle with the fanless version. The color matches the JWSpeaker fogs lights a bit more than the fan version, but the scatter isn't good in my opinion (even though the JWS fogs help slightly).
My personal verdict/opinion:
I think I am going to stick with the fan version for now. I prefer the best light pattern and I can barely
hear the fans running when the lights stay on after I get out of the vehicle to confirm they still work.
If you want my advice, here's how to decide for yourself:
Go with the fanless version if:
Go with the fan version if:
- Don't mind the light scattering
- You don't trust the idea of the fan running all the time that the lights are on
- Want an easier install (no ballast to mount)
- You want a better light pattern
- Don't mind the idea of the fan running (keep in mind, your computer fan runs for a long, long time under possibly dustier conditions and there is the theory that if the fan fails, the light will shut off as a safety factor)
- Don't mind the additional installation of the ballast
With both, it looks like you will have to use a CANBUS canceler to prevent the flickering (just like an HID kit would need). I have some of the CANBUS units and that will be my next test, possibly this weekend.
I honestly think at this time, the aftermarket LED light technology isn't quite where it needs to be considering the shortcomings outlined. I wouldn't expect it to take too long for them to get better. I am no expert, but here is how I think the improvements should be to make them perfect...
- Be able to clock the light unit to be optimal to the reflector. That may help the scatter/dim spot of the fanless version. I did see that there is a version out there that allows for this, but I cannot recall where and I am unsure if it would totally solve the problem.
- Have a true 360 degree light output like an incandescent bulb. The scattering in the fanless version seems to be due to the two small LED elements not providing complete coverage, again, like an incandescent bulb. The fan version has a larger LED element with a reflector, which may be what helps lessen the scattering. Again, not an expert. Just sort of assuming.
- Not need a fan, ballast, or CANBUS canceler.
I will be going back to SEMA this November and I will be speaking with the suppliers there about this. Perhaps by then a better version will be available. I will confirm and report back later what I find, and I will also try to confirm if the fan version has a safety shutoff if the fan fails.
Hope this helps someone but please remember that all of my posts and opinions are YMMV, and are just from my personal observations. Did I mention that I am far from an expert on this?
Originally Posted by Chunderboy
Thanks bro.. Along the same lines, have you done any research on the nightbreaker ultras? I have read some good reviews considering they are halogen
Nope, never heard of them before. Interesting! I think I will keep trying to find the right LED headlights but if I get tired of the chase, I might give them a shot!