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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a set of GE Nighthawk LED headlights from Amazon. These headlights are rebranded Truck-Lite 27450c headlights. (Philips also rebrands a version of the same light)

For the past decade I've been running Hella H4 E-code housings with Hella 100/80 xenon bulbs. I compared those with the new LED headlights, and also brought in a brand new Toyota headlamp as a comparison for those still running the original sealed beams.

I'll show the comparison and then give my review of the LEDs.

All three lights side by side (Toyota, Hella, LED):



Toyota OEM sealed beam:



Hella H4 E-code:



GE Nighthawk LED:

 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #2
All comparison photos have a fixed exposure and settings, so the camera isn't changing ANYTHING you see.

Both sides with Hella E-codes in. The city lights are also LED, and "natural white" (5600k-5800k), but because the incandescent headlights are so much more yellow, it makes the city lights look bluish. You'll notice later that they don't look blue when paired with the LED headlights.






For the comparisons the Hella E-code is on the driver's side (LHD) and the comparison light is on the passenger side.

Hella versus Toyota OEM:



 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #5
So, my review of the GE LEDs is mixed. I'll break it down by build quality, light color/quality, and light throw.

Build Quality: A+. These things are VERY well built and you can tell quality components were used throughout. They're leaps and bounds ahead of the Hella housings and obviously the disposable OEM sealed beams are no competition.

Light color/quality: B+. The color is spot on 5600k-5800k, so they look like any other modern factory HID equipped car. That's a good thing and helps to modernize the look of the car at night. On the downside, the split lighting can look a little goofy (low beam from top 2/3rds). And when close to a wall it creates a GE "Bat signal" as seen here:



Light throw: B-. There's no way around it, but to say that they have more of a bright central beam that you can see on the ground. It definitely shines more light to the sides than my Hella E-codes, but there's a distinctive bright patch in the center of the throw from each bulb and that's somewhat distracting. I'd need more time with them in and driving around in real world situations to see if you get used to it or not. It's also a flat horizontal cut-off, unlike E-codes, which are flat with a wedge of light angled up toward the passenger shoulder.


Overall, I would recommend them, but be prepared for a slightly different light throw versus other options out there.
 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #7
Great review. What if you never had the Hella's? Would you say the GE LED's are far superior than OEM?
I included the OEM sealed beam in the comparison. OEM doesn't even compare to the Hellas, let alone the LEDs. Stock sealed beams are the worst of the worst. Poor glass fluting + poor incandescent lighting = barely lights the road. It was already outdated tech when the MkII came out.
 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #9
Nice review.
Now let's talk about price. . How much they run you? Would you day they are worth it to get them over the hella?
Thanks.

I was able to get them through Amazon with a coupon for $100 off each. So the final price for a pair was right at $300. They're definitely pricey, but not unrealistic compared to some other options out there for the MR2.

If you were going to run Hellas with 55w bulbs, then I'd say they're definitely worth it. If you wanted to run Hellas with 80w bulbs like I was then it's a much closer call, and comes down to light color and light cast to the sides, both of which are better on the LED lamps.
 

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Question: In the 3rd picture of this thread, showing the Hella H4 E-Code housing, what is that little triangular section on the right side (left side of the light)? Is that what gives the light it's shape/cutoff, and which side should it be on? For instance, assuming that light housing is used on the driver's side (LHD), should it be to the left (oncoming traffic) or right (toward the middle of the car)? Thanks!
 

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1994 SMG N/A
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That is probably what gives it the cutoff it has. It doesn't matter which side you put it on since both sides will be identical and both sides will have the upward flare/tick to the right to light up road signs and whatnot.

nbvolks, just wondering if you've had the chance of driving in front of your car. I'm curious about the amount of glare it has.
 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #12
Yep, that gives the Hella its "European-code" cut-off. As was said, a pair have the same cut-off on the same side and it's directed up and to the shoulder to illuminate signs.

I have not driven in front of the car, but I did walk about 30 yards in front and looked back. There was no glare (or no more than previous lights). These bulbs are true DOT approved "on road use" lights, so there should not be an issue.
 

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I <3 E85
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Thanks.

I was able to get them through Amazon with a coupon for $100 off each. So the final price for a pair was right at $300. They're definitely pricey, but not unrealistic compared to some other options out there for the MR2.

If you were going to run Hellas with 55w bulbs, then I'd say they're definitely worth it. If you wanted to run Hellas with 80w bulbs like I was then it's a much closer call, and comes down to light color and light cast to the sides, both of which are better on the LED lamps.
Is that coupon deal still running?
 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Some more data:

I came across a Jeep forum that compares a few options. They use 7" round headlights, but the variation in light quality should remain the same for our 200mm units. I've pulled three relevant comparisons for this. Hella H4 w/ 70/65watt bubls, the Truck-lite LED (same as GE Nighthawks), and Hella 90mm projector unit with halogen lights (same as what would be in the Rogue Rev 6 lights). The guy doing the comparisons measured lux at set intervals (25, 50, 75 yards) measured 12" off the ground. Here's the results:



Hella H4 w/ 70/65w bulb:

Lux readings Lowbeam/Highbeam:

25Right-65/ 49 * 25Left-11/ 5

50Right-4/ 29 * 50Left-3/ 4

75Right-1/ 17 * 75Left-0/ 5

25 feet dead center 583/ 970


Truck-lite LED (GE Nighthawk):

Lux readings Lowbeam/Highbeam:

25Right-26/ 39 * 25Left-24/ 24

50Right-3/ 23 * 50Left-4/ 15

75Right-1/ 13 * 75Left-1/ 7

25 feet dead center 416/ 1870

8 LUX at 125 yards center

90mm Hella projector, w/ halogens:

Lux readings Lowbeam/Highbeam:

25Right-86/ 94 * 25Left-21/ 21

50Right-23/ 46 * 50Left-9/ 17

75Right-10/ 25 * 75Left-5/ 11

25 feet dead center 715/ 966

14 LUX at 109 yards at center


The thread these are all from is here with these three tests being on page 1, 16, and 29, respectively.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/headlight-shootout-1166827/
 

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Crazy OEM nut.
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Nathan,

If I'm reading this correctly, the GE Nighthawks and Hella H4's are about the same. If anything, the NightHawks are slightly worse.

JD
It took me a second to think through what those numbers are saying, but it makes sense if you think about it. The LED headlamps have more of a focused light, and the low beams won't put a ton of light lower down in the 25ft-25yard range because of the split design of the housing. In reality that's fine because there's enough light overall to identify anything at that short of a range. It does slightly beat (or match) at the 50 yard and beyond measurements though.

You can see though that the 25ft center measure takes a hit in low beam, for the reasons mentioned above, but look at that high beam number...holy crap! It's nearly double the Hella H4 and the projectors!

Another thing to keep in mind regarding those particular tests, is that they were done with Jeeps, which obviously have headlights that sit much higher than ours. Since ours sit lower, you could effectively bring all those measurements in a little, meaning across the board, the 25 yard measurements should go up and everything beyond that goes down, since we don't have the height to start with to throw that much light down range.

*edit* and also remember those are Hella H4s with higher wattage bulbs that had direct power and relays. So H4s with standard 55w bulbs or even with higher wattage bulbs that use the stock wiring, will not have the performance reflected in that test.
 
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