Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Mentioned: 170 Post(s)
Quoted: 965 Post(s)
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.
2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)