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Barmaley 01-12-2019 09:05 PM

Energy Efficiency, headlights and electrical systems
I am looking to upgrade my headlights to LED. Just looked at Amazon offering and found that: very few people care about efficiency of head lights. NOBODY (!!!) talks about CRI (quality of spectrum). Nobody offers most pleasant 5400-5600K color temperature.

I wonder - what is KWH of electricity at $3 per gallon on W220? I assume is should be about 3-5 times as land rate (in PA about $0.11KWH).
Does it worth to worry about efficacy of LED headlights?

Does somebody want to share their experience with LED conversion?

Dave2302 01-13-2019 02:03 AM


:big laugh:

KW / hrs and LED Bulbs :rolleyes:

My advice is DONT DO IT !!

Either use OEM Halogen System or OEM Xenon Parts, or you will end up with an "old shed" of an MB with a ton of bulb error messages popping up on the Dash.

Just my 10p worth ............

:flamewar: :devil ...........

If you are really that bothered about a little energy inefficiency regarding fuel consumed to run a few watts of lighting then I might suggest not owning a V8 or V12 Benz, but fact is the whole world has gone mad on this subject thanks to a load of mis information & propaganda about CO Emissions etc etc etc by people who really shouldn't have the amount of free time needed to campaign such utter garbage in the first place :(

Rant Over :wink

The most common cause of poor Headlamps is the silvering on the reflectors burns off over the years.

If you search for posts by @cowboyt and use terms like "Depo & Morimoto Projectors" he is da man for quality information on how to upgrade Headlamps :)


Astro14 01-13-2019 04:08 AM

Well, let's see...

1HP = 750 watts (roughly).

So, saving 40 watts on each headlamp (80w total) nets you about 1/10 of a HP a 300+ HP engine...

Which works out to about ZERO savings in gasoline.

But, you'll get to experience the joy of warnings and malfunctions as the SAMs don't recognize the voltage drop across the LEDs. Unless of course, a resistor is added in the LED to create the same load, in which case, your LED lights use exactly the same amount of electric power as the original bulbs.

Barmaley 01-13-2019 04:33 AM


The idea to convert to LED want not to save few dollars of gas, but get brighter lights! LEDs are brighter - this is the fact. Converting fluorescent or HID commercial/industrial lights to LEDs is what I am doing for living! I do it for schools, hospitals and warehouses, not for cars. Another advantage of LED is that they last much longer!

About compatibility issue - is a driver designed properly and draws about the same current from the car as HID then no messages should be on the dash. This is why I was looking for somebody having experience converting to LED for advice of this brand is tuned for Mercedes use.

About efficiency. There are so many different brands of LED conversion kits of ebay that is it hard to choose the right one! I found that there are lights starting from 80Lm/w to 150lm/w. Then it is easy to figure out is it worth to pay few dollars more for a better efficacy lights. especially I still think that a car is an expensive electric maker! So I was not trying to convert to LED to save energy, but in the conversion process I was thinking about the right LED selection.

I think that if I buy a bulb and it will not fit well in the car and I will just revert back to HID then I instantly fix the issue. In other words trying an LED bulb should not damage the car - am I correct on this?

I still interested just for curiosity to find out the cost of electricity generation in my car.

Dave2302 01-13-2019 06:02 AM


It's still a DON'T DO IT, your Car and in particular W220 SAM units don't like LED Bulbs .....................

When your lights start flashing on and off, error messages etc then you'll get the picture ;)

Certain brands of LED Bulbs have been personally seen to have blown SAM Units in a local guys CL which uses the same SAM's as W220

Your Car / Money / Choice :wink

"CAN Bus Friendly" does not mean they are Mercedes Benz SAM unit friendly !!

I have Projectors with Xenons in my W220, and Projectors with Halogens in my SLK and C Class, all in perfect condition and properly adjusted...............

Due to my age my eyesight is now getting poor at night, our roads are twisty, rainy, tree and rock lined and pitch black at night due to no light pollution, and I'm not noted for driving at slow speeds, yet still I can see perfectly well with HID's and Halogens.

That applies to all my MB's

wallyp 01-13-2019 06:56 AM

While you can get LED bulbs that will replace a standard halogen bulb, the light pattern sucks, which is far more important to me than some theoretical energy saving.

I do not believe that you will find an LED bulb that will replace an HID bulb.

Huachipato 01-14-2019 07:54 AM

I sometimes wish this car was "dumb" like my Cobra. Unfortunately - the W220 is too smart in some ways.

I've done this to the Cobra - and I've seen how the electrical system is less stressed and everything is brighter now that every single bulb is either HID or LED. I've thought about different ways to do this on the W220 though - and I don't think it is worth it. Everything you do will be with the addition of a resistor to offset any electrical benefits you may have gained. Just doesn't seem worth it.

tusabes 01-14-2019 12:02 PM

Led headlights do not project the correct beam pattern so while you get more light at less wattage it is a scattered beam that just blinds incoming drivers and does Not let you see better down the road !!

You need a properly focused beam pattern

Barmaley 01-14-2019 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by tusabes (Post 17664660)
Led headlights do not project the correct beam pattern so while you get more light at less wattage it is a scattered beam that just blinds incoming drivers and does Not let you see better down the road !!

You need a properly focused beam pattern

I think it was the most convincing argument for me NOT to install LED headlights :)

cowboyt 01-14-2019 05:39 PM

Been there, done that, with the LED attempt. This was in the project 2000 S500, which originally came with the reflector HID's. I had bought a set of AL Bosch OEM headlamp assemblies (again, the reflector type), which were actually for halogens. I tried H7 halogens in there just for fun. Worked, was OK, much like the *reflector* HID's (remember, pre-facelift). So, I tried a pair of H7 LED's in there. Those were a bit better than the halogens. But the *projector* HID's...they *TOTALLY ANNIHILATE* the LED's in W220's. Seriously, they do. I've done the head-to-head comparisons.

Will you "hurt" your car with an LED attempt? No. Will you get the results you want? Very, very doubtful. But give 'er a whirl.

Why do the projector HID's *totally annihilate* the LED's? Reason is what tusabes said. The beam pattern with the halogens in the new AL Bosch housings was properly focused, just not bright enough for me. The LED's were a bit brighter, and the beam pattern was wider, but the light didn't get thrown down the road quite as well, even compared to the halogens. The HID's are both bright and throw light waaay down the road.

Why do the halogens equal the *reflector* HID's? Personally, I doubt that the reflectors were all that good for the HID bulbs; experience has taught me that they really do need projectors. And with projectors, HID's really...well, shine.

Far as I'm concerned, projector HID's are *the* way to go in a W220. I will put your LED's up any evening against the project 2000 S500, the '03 S600, or the E320 CDI, all of which I've retrofitted with projector HID's. Since I'm not driving the '03 S430 as much, I can now do the Morimoto/Hella Gen 3 retrofit on that car as well (it's got un-modded DEPO assemblies now). Dad's car will get the same Morimoto/Hella Gen 3 treatment.

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