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Discussion Starter #1
Wife has a 1985 300D with the poor-ass halogen, just wondering if anyone has any experiences in changing to LED lights. There is the solid plastic panel behind the headlights on the engine bay side as shown in the photo, but I am wondering if that may retain too much heat. Although the LED front is usually low temp I think the rear of the bulb can get a bit hot. Any experiences in switching over? If so, do the LED reflect to broadly blinding other cars even if they are aimed downward?
 

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1985 300 TD 1981 300 SD
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You should be fine without cutting the back of the lamp mounting bracket although I did cut mine to make it simpler to replace halogen bulbs. Now might I suggest if you haven't bought led lamps yet to check out Truck-lite 7" led lamps (27270C) , they're good quality and are available on Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should be fine without cutting the back of the lamp mounting bracket although I did cut mine to make it simpler to replace halogen bulbs. Now might I suggest if you haven't bought led lamps yet to check out Truck-lite 7" led lamps (27270C) , they're good quality and are available on Amazon.
Thanks for the info. Did you install the 27270C on yours? I didn't get any yet. Still working with a shop to potentially use these 7" units in the link below and attach a 50W LED in the bulb in the rear of the bulb:

DDM Tuning: HID and LED Lighting
 

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1985 300 TD 1981 300 SD
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I went with the 27004 halogens since they suited my requirements.
I'm always leery of conversion lamps since there is a difference in reflectors and optics between lighting styles, ( halogen, hid & led) it is preferable to use a lamp that was designed for it's light source
As a reference I've worked in the design and manufacture of automotive lighting systems for the last 25 years and we supply to most of the major oem's. I don't work for Truck-lite but we have used their 7" lamps for our Mack Truck builds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks but there must be something better than halogens, but I do understand how things may not go all that well depending on the reflectors, bulbs, etc. About a couple years ago I upgraded my wifes 2016 Jeep stock halogens with the OEM Jeep 2017 LED and they made such a tremendous difference, plus the cutoff was perfect (attached). I suppose those could fit in her 85 MBZ, but I think they cost something close to $600 for the pair. But that give me a thought, I went and put one of her 2016 halogen that I took from the Jeep into her MBZ and it really wasn't that much difference than the Sylvania halogen in the MBZ so that's out. I think I will just get a pair of the LED and see what happens because they really aren't that expensive (at least compared to those Jeep ones).
 

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2008 AMG CLK63 Conv., 2012 R350 4-Matic, Wife's 2015 C300 sedan
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To get a bit testical for a moment, the back of your incandescent bulb (i.e. halogen) headlight usually has a parabolic reflector that, um, reflects the light forward. The reflector has a focal point which is the point at which the light source needs to be to throw the maximum amount of light forwards where you want it. If the light source isn't at that focal point it won't throw the optimal amount of light forwards.

A halogen bulb is effectively a single point source of light. The design of the parabola is such that it's focus is the same distance from the back of the reflector as that theoretical single point of light.

A multi-facet LED "bulb" isn't a single source point and the distance from the back of the reflector to the light panels may not be the same as the halogen bulb you're replacing. QED an LED "bulb" may be a slightly (or significantly) sub-optimal replacement for the halogen. The upsides are that they tend to last longer, use less current (or produce more lumens for the same current), and produce less heat.
 

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Thanks but there must be something better than halogens, but I do understand how things may not go all that well depending on the reflectors, bulbs, etc. About a couple years ago I upgraded my wifes 2016 Jeep stock halogens with the OEM Jeep 2017 LED and they made such a tremendous difference, plus the cutoff was perfect (attached). I suppose those could fit in her 85 MBZ, but I think they cost something close to $600 for the pair. But that give me a thought, I went and put one of her 2016 halogen that I took from the Jeep into her MBZ and it really wasn't that much difference than the Sylvania halogen in the MBZ so that's out. I think I will just get a pair of the LED and see what happens because they really aren't that expensive (at least compared to those Jeep ones).
I found this kind of funny because both the old stock halogen and new led lamps in your Jeep are ours, like I said we supply to the oem.
 

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To get a bit testical for a moment, the back of your incandescent bulb (i.e. halogen) headlight usually has a parabolic reflector that, um, reflects the light forward. The reflector has a focal point which is the point at which the light source needs to be to throw the maximum amount of light forwards where you want it. If the light source isn't at that focal point it won't throw the optimal amount of light forwards.

A halogen bulb is effectively a single point source of light. The design of the parabola is such that it's focus is the same distance from the back of the reflector as that theoretical single point of light.

A multi-facet LED "bulb" isn't a single source point and the distance from the back of the reflector to the light panels may not be the same as the halogen bulb you're replacing. QED an LED "bulb" may be a slightly (or significantly) sub-optimal replacement for the halogen. The upsides are that they tend to last longer, use less current (or produce more lumens for the same current), and produce less heat.
Yeah we were talking about complete lamps designed for their light source not just bulb replacement although I did say lamps in one sentence when I should have said bulbs., but thanks.
 

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^ If the complete lamp is replaced, like replacing a sealed beam with a halogen or vice versa, nowadays an LED complete lamp, it won't be a problem (hopefully).

I found LED bulbs with two illumination areas pretty useless, the four-panel ones bearable.

Since I don't drive at nigh nearly as much as I used to Uber driving, and therefore don't get through as many bulbs, I've switched back to halogens on the R350. The CLK63 got an LED conversion because the original wires inside the headlight units lost all their insulation. I spliced in LEDs as a stop-gap until I get new units.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys, I went and bought these where the 35W LED fits into the back of this lamp as shown. At first test in the daylight at the shop with one light inserted into the passenger side it showed quite a bit of improvement and it seemed like a sharp cutoff too (in other words the light seemed to focus center and low rather than all over the place). Will do a night time comparison too because that will be the truth & will try a photo. We tried a 50W LED but it was too deep to fit and would need to cut open the back housing in the engine bay. But plugging in the 50 vs 35 didn't look like that much difference anyway. Nice to see your note on the Jeep LED headlights. Its night and day vs the original halogen they had used. Seems in 2017 they upgraded all headlights to LED so the replacement worked great in my 2016 Jeep, and they even did overkill with newer Jeeps now having LED in the bumpers & fenders too. Anyway, have 30 days to decide if I want to keep these for the MBZ and return if I don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's some shots at night with the drivers side halogen still in and the passenger side with the new LED. The LED is definitely broader and whiter than the halogen. In the one shot with both lights shining on the wall the LED light is spilling over into the halogen light making the halogen appear brighter than it is. I think I can only tell the worthiness of these is to get the other LED in tomorrow and drive it around.
 

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I would suggest putting a blanket or jacket over each headlight in turn, then taking photos.

The dipped beam being higher on the left suggests you're using right hand drive headlights. Is that the case?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would suggest putting a blanket or jacket over each headlight in turn, then taking photos.

The dipped beam being higher on the left suggests you're using right hand drive headlights. Is that the case?
Yes heres a shot where I stood in front to block the LED so that only the halogen shines on the wall. The halogen is definitely more focused, almost too much so that it basically illuminates two yellow dots when I'm driving down the road. I am not sure how to distinguish left hand drive or right hand drive headlights. I don't see any label on the headlights for right or left, although its a left hand drive car (US). Although the LED beam is broader and not as focused as the halogen, I am hoping that putting in the other LED may help overlap both LED beams and may not look as erratic as the one LED alone. Plus I would need to fiddle with some adjusting as well. Will get it in and check tonight. Love these MBZ, so easy to work on.
 

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On a left hand drive (US), drive in the right lane, car the dip beam should be flat on the left so as not to dazzle oncoming drivers. On older cars and still some new(er) ones, the beam is higher on the right so as to illuminate more of the side of the road / sidewalk / hedge / whatever nearest to the side of the road you're driving on. On some newer cars the dip beam is flat across the whole width.

In the civilized world, we drive on the left of course, so the opposite is true.

The sketch below illustrates the idea. Please DO NOT take this as 100% accurate by any means, it's just to illustrate the idea.

Here's a useful linkey on how to set your beams:

 

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Discussion Starter #16
On a left hand drive (US), drive in the right lane, car the dip beam should be flat on the left so as not to dazzle oncoming drivers. On older cars and still some new(er) ones, the beam is higher on the right so as to illuminate more of the side of the road / sidewalk / hedge / whatever nearest to the side of the road you're driving on. On some newer cars the dip beam is flat across the whole width.

In the civilized world, we drive on the left of course, so the opposite is true.

The sketch below illustrates the idea. Please DO NOT take this as 100% accurate by any means, it's just to illustrate the idea.

Here's a useful linkey on how to set your beams:

Interesting because looking at the wall in the above photo "Passenger alone LED" the wall shows a bit higher height reflection on the outer left side of the wall and the right outer side of the wall seems more flat (although both of these outer side reflections are a bit less intense than the main light, they are there nonetheless). Here is a front shot of the passenger side light and looking straight at the bulb on the left side of the bulb it does show a different pattern. Both lights have this same surface pattern on the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well with two of the LED in, the brightness when driving is much better than the halogens. But stepping down the road and looking back at the car it seems kind of blinding even with the beams adjusted downward. But in a few days I am going to have the wife drive it while I drive my MBZ on the opposite side of the road and see if it is blinding or not. When shining on the wall the cut off looks ok though.
 

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Just my two cents, but I own and am on Volvo, BMW, Porsche, and Triumph forums and the LED/HID lighting subject comes up all the time and people are always searching for brighter lights. LED just doesn't seem to work in housings designed for Halogen bulbs, nor do HID bulbs in housing designed for Halogen bulbs. Cut offs are wrong and light scatters. The blue tinted bulbs while "looking" brighter actually filter out light that is actually usable by the human eyes. Unless building a completely custom headlight using a custom projector unit everything seems to show that the "Best" upgrades are an upgraded headlight harness and replacement lenses that let you use an H4 bulb like Hella or the much more reasonable AutoPal with upgraded halogen bulbs.

Now this may be a subject similar to "what is the best oil" but I have tried many different methods and find E Codes or the upgraded lenses with an upgraded harness with relays and better bulbs to be the best solution.
AutoPal1.jpg
 

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I hate to throw shade here (pardon the pun), but “custom” LEDs in halogen housings are the reason I’ve started wearing night driving glasses that block blue light (pardon that pun, too).

And factory LEDs on Jeeps. Awful for oncoming drivers.

isn’t there a halogen solution that works? E codes?
 

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If people on here have not yet discovered Daniel Stern's web site I recommend it. There is a lot of good technical information on the site. Education is key. Learning how light reflects inside different housing, know things like Lumens, Candlepower, degrees Kelvin or the "color" of the light (5500K to 6000K being normal daylight from the sun), ETC...


But I am also the type that will argue that there is no way Pennzoil can make a fully synthetic oil (made in the laboratory base PAOs) from natural gas (fossil fuel from the earth) Most consumers just blindly buy what companies shove down their throats.

But I digress.

Stay with the stock housings or E codes, upgrade to a better harness with relays to reduce voltage/current drop to the lights, use a high quality halogen bulb or even a slightly higher wattage and call it a day.
 
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