Ram Promaster Forum banner

Upgrade to LED headlights?

99565 221
Hi,
Just wondering what people think of the LED headlight "upgrades" for the ProMaster?

Some examples listed here: http://www.carid.com/2014-ram-promaster-led-headlight-conversion-kits/

I'm thinking its always nice to have some more headlight reach, but the main thing to me is that it looks like changing headlamps on the PM is a hour long sort of job that involves pulling out the whole headlight assembly. This would be a real pain to do (or try to find someone to do) on a rainy night in the middle of nowhere. I'm thinking that maybe its worth it to do the replacement with LEDs and the life of the LEDs should be long enough that you will never be stuck doing it on the road under less than ideal conditions?

It looks like if you want to do both high and low beams that the bill is going to be about $300, which seems like a lot.

And, you are just taking their word for it that 1) performance is better, and 2) life is longer, 3) that the pattern won't have other drivers flashing their high beams at you for over bright headlamps.

Has anyone tried one of these kits?

Are there better options than the ones at the link above?

Is this a good idea?

Gary
181 - 200 of 222 Posts

· Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
4,573 Posts
About a year ago, faced with another H7 replacement (they were happening on one side or another about every 8-9 months) I decided to upgrade to Aukee LEDs.

Others had done it and after reading their reports I "made the move." No RTV, just 2 small screws that hold the mounting plate to the headlight (solidly)!

With the adapter in place, if a new LED bulb does go bad, I can just remove it from the adapter, and install the new one. Un-RTVing not required. I keep a spare pair in the van.

They are rated similarly to the regular headlights. Subjectively, I would say they are 10% brighter and much whiter, for great visibility. I feel like I'm a bit kinder to my fellow driver by not blinding them as I approach or follow them! It appears there are no hard and fast laws, but being on the receiving end of some ridiculously bright LEDs, I feel comfortable with my choice. I installed 'em and did not have to aim them. I have had no "turn your headlights down" flashes from oncoming drivers. (I do get that once in a while with my factory Challenger low beam headlights)

An added bonus was that I spent under $70 for highs and lows, not $300-$500, but.... to each his own!

Link to the how to install with screws here: Simple H7 LED low beam conversion Thanks to those who did it first!!!
 

· Registered
2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
Joined
·
893 Posts
Direct replacement, no screws needed. Do need to reverse the wires. Easy to do: look for the little retaining tab, flex with a small screwdriver, pull out and then push back in in reverse.

LASFIT H7 LED Bulbs Mini Size, 6000K White Flip Chips All-in-One Conversion Kit, Fanless No Adapter Required Easy Install H7 Bulb, Halogen Replacement Kit, Pack of 2 https://a.co/d/cUyUOIl
 

· Registered
2021 ePro w/Tesla motor-1.2kw solar
Joined
·
55 Posts
So the discussion is around 60 USD LED headlights that are 110% of halogen OEM, that take some fiddling around vs plug and play LED headlights that are 300% brighter than halogen, and cost 300 bucks. Hmmm that seems like an easy choice to an old buzzard like me. Both are likely to last the life of the van, right?
I'm not happy with the nighttime performace of the lighting package. Pulls too much power (especially for an electric van) and puts out far too little light.
t
 

· Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
4,573 Posts
Old buzzard here too... some perspective:
  • fiddling around took about 5 minutes per bulb.
  • 95% of Promasters have standard lighting... apparently they see no need for a 300% increase.

Does anyone really need 3 times the legally aproved Promaster lighting for on the road driving?
 

· Premium Member
2021 3500 Extended
Joined
·
757 Posts
Direct replacement, no screws needed. Do need to reverse the wires. Easy to do: look for the little retaining tab, flex with a small screwdriver, pull out and then push back in in reverse.

LASFIT H7 LED Bulbs Mini Size, 6000K White Flip Chips All-in-One Conversion Kit, Fanless No Adapter Required Easy Install H7 Bulb, Halogen Replacement Kit, Pack of 2 https://a.co/d/cUyUOIl
I am ordering these, but I can't remember if they go in the low beam sockets or the high?

One other thing....the older I get, the worse the off-white/yellow halogens are for my eyes to see details. The white light from LED's are much easier for me to see where I am going.
 

· Registered
2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
Joined
·
893 Posts
I am ordering these, but I can't remember if they go in the low beam sockets or the high?
I used them in both positions.

Just a heads up on the install. I tried several times to clip the new bulbs in with the socket attached to the bulb. Mostly failed to get them seated properly (alignment not right or shifted while driving). Solution? Take the socket off the bulb, orient and seat the bult before clipping in, then push the socket back on (after swapping wires, of course). Then, in my case, due to earlier fubars, align the assembly. Alignment shouldn't be needed if done properly the first time.
 

· Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
So the discussion is around 60 USD LED headlights that are 110% of halogen OEM, that take some fiddling around vs plug and play LED headlights that are 300% brighter than halogen, and cost 300 bucks. Hmmm that seems like an easy choice to an old buzzard like me. Both are likely to last the life of the van, right?
I'm not happy with the nighttime performace of the lighting package. Pulls too much power (especially for an electric van) and puts out far too little light.
t
I'm not sure which choice is the supposed easy one?
Nor do I know why those are the only two choices?
I put in bright bulbs that cost far less than $300 and glued them in the same way everyone else was doing, and it didn't take fiddling around. The extra time was to go to the hardware store and buy the RTV. And wait for it to dry but I can do other things in that time.
Old buzzard here too... some perspective:
  • fiddling around took about 5 minutes per bulb.
  • 95% of Promasters have standard lighting... apparently they see no need for a 300% increase.

Does anyone really need 3 times the legally aproved Promaster lighting for on the road driving?
Idk about "3 times", but the original lights were very unsafe, when the speed limit is 50, everyone is riding my a$$ at 40, and I can only see far enough to drive 25.
 

· Registered
2019 118" Silver
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
Like others here, I felt the stock setup was merely adequate, not good. Since I rarely drive at night anymore it hasn’t been a problem but I just had cataract surgery and have to say that the stock setup is pretty good now, especially compared to before the surgery.

In fact I’m very surprised at how dark and sepia-toned my vision had gotten and realize I should have had it done at least three or four years ago when told it was already pretty bad. Just saying this here in case anyone else is in the same boat. That said I’m still leaning toward LED replacements for the obvious reason, better light = good.
 

· Super Moderator
2018 136" HR
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
I don't think the aftermarket led headlight will last the life time of the van. The manufacturer claim those crazy led bulb life but that is just in ideal laboratory condition. That is why none of them warranty it for more than an year, Arvin's warranty is 2 yr.
I recently tried out led headlight using Kip's wire tie method. My thought is it looks a little bit brighter than my aftermaket hella 70w bulb($12 pair). The issue I have is the beam is pointing much higher so I will need to adjust the low beam down. But that will effect the high beam since Promaster only have one elevation adjuster for both high and low beam. So if I make the low beam correct, the high beam will be too low or you are force to upgrade the high beam to led to compensate for it.
Also I found the white color don't do well in rainy/fog condition too. I end up change back up to my 70w bulbs.

Arvin have a great product here that is hassle free and plug and play. If you want brighter light and willing to pay for it, its an excellent option.
 

· Registered
2019 118" Silver
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
@Uvan - agree regarding LED longevity, have had numerous home type LEDs die long before any advertised lifespan. In fact many of them didn’t even last as long as incandescent bulbs. A group I got a couple years ago started flickering after only a few months of occasional use, then went dim and had to be tossed. Guess some are made so cheaply, though not cheap to buy, there’s no way they can last!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
89 Posts
Your assessment is correct on direct fit bulbs being marginally brighter than stock halogens. When specifying my own in-house H7 bulbs I talked to several direct fit H7 bulbs manufacturers. Some even say they have "2000-4000 lumens per bulb" but when I asked them for videos measuring their bulbs with a lumen meter, they came back with 1200 lumen readings. That said, passively cooled direct fit H7 bulbs are convenient, but they simply can't match high-power LEDs with large heat sinks and fans.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
89 Posts
@Uvan - agree regarding LED longevity, have had numerous home type LEDs die long before any advertised lifespan. In fact many of them didn’t even last as long as incandescent bulbs. A group I got a couple years ago started flickering after only a few months of occasional use, then went dim and had to be tossed. Guess some are made so cheaply, though not cheap to buy, there’s no way they can last!
The weak point of these high-powered H7 bulbs is the fan. Once the fan burns out, the tremendous heat generated by the LED elements overheats. The reason I have a 2-year warranty on my bulbs is the fan reliability. This is why I chose a balance of power and longevity at 5k lumens per bulb rather than something way higher than 9k lumens - bright enough to add high visibility and value, but not insanely hot to negatively impact fan life.
 

· Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
4,573 Posts
Sorry but I feel some responsibility for the safety of my fellow driver. I believe that three times the factory brightness is overdoing it from the perspective of an oncoming driver.

Perhaps using them for the high beams, which should be dimmed when approaching oncoming vehicles, would be OK.

My 1200-1500 lumen LED headlights are better for my driving vision than the 1100 lumen factory lights, AND good for other drivers too! Just MHO... I would advise others to follow a more reasonable upgrade. Most of the install time is removing the headlight module... screws and LEDs are the easy part!
 

· Registered
2021 ePro w/Tesla motor-1.2kw solar
Joined
·
55 Posts
I hear you Eddie.
Maybe it depends on where you live and what cars you already drive. In the city (closest is Seattle) it seems like there is little need for bright lights, the place is already pretty well lit up. Even when traveling cross country, we drive mostly during the day, so there is little need-most nights- for really good headlights. But we live in the country, on Whidbey Island, which is rural, and we use "brights" often, and even when we have the brights off, we still need to see deer and coyote crossing the road at night. Also I have a newer model car with seriously bright factory LED lights, as are most new model cars. It has at least 2X the brightness of the stock Promaster, and maybe 3X.
I think that it's more about the aiming of the headlights, than the brightness in lumens, that matter to oncoming drivers. If the headlights are aimed correctly, down and to the right, there should be no more glare from a 2x or 3x brightness bulb, than factory stock. If there is more glare, I would check the LED installation to make sure the LED die is actually in the exact same location as the stock bulb, and retest the alignment using the actual aiming specifications.

I think Arvin has done a great job designing the holder, and the proper LED, interviewing suppliers and the whole buying experience (look at his Amazon reviews).

He does charge a premium for that engineering, for a solution that doesn't require glue to hold it in the socket, and for sourcing a long life LED supplier. That is worth something to me, and I believe should be rewarded for helping out the Promaster community with honest products.
I putting my order in soon (after I get the 4kW inverter changed out to a 2kW inverter). It's just not worth messing around with such an important thing on my van for the difference in dollars. I don't like coming back to glue jobs that might ultimately fail at an inopportune time.

Tim

P.S. As a power electronics engineer, I'm in agreement with the lifetime issue brought up here, as far as specification vs. actual life goes. As we all know with electronics, heat kills, and these guys tend to run hot. That's why the bright ones need a fan. Hopefully Arvin will offer just the LED (and fan unit) for failed units, outside of warranty period, so the replacement job can be super-rapid.
 

· Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
Joined
·
5,760 Posts
I hear you Eddie.
Maybe it depends on where you live and what cars you already drive. In the city (closest is Seattle) it seems like there is little need for bright lights, the place is already pretty well lit up. Even when traveling cross country, we drive mostly during the day, so there is little need-most nights- for really good headlights. But we live in the country, on Whidbey Island, which is rural, and we use "brights" often, and even when we have the brights off, we still need to see deer and coyote crossing the road at night. Also I have a newer model car with seriously bright factory LED lights, as are most new model cars. It has at least 2X the brightness of the stock Promaster, and maybe 3X.
I think that it's more about the aiming of the headlights, than the brightness in lumens, that matter to oncoming drivers. If the headlights are aimed correctly, down and to the right, there should be no more glare from a 2x or 3x brightness bulb, than factory stock. If there is more glare, I would check the LED installation to make sure the LED die is actually in the exact same location as the stock bulb, and retest the alignment using the actual aiming specifications.

I think Arvin has done a great job designing the holder, and the proper LED, interviewing suppliers and the whole buying experience (look at his Amazon reviews).

He does charge a premium for that engineering, for a solution that doesn't require glue to hold it in the socket, and for sourcing a long life LED supplier. That is worth something to me, and I believe should be rewarded for helping out the Promaster community with honest products.
I putting my order in soon (after I get the 4kW inverter changed out to a 2kW inverter). It's just not worth messing around with such an important thing on my van for the difference in dollars. I don't like coming back to glue jobs that might ultimately fail at an inopportune time.

Tim

P.S. As a power electronics engineer, I'm in agreement with the lifetime issue brought up here, as far as specification vs. actual life goes. As we all know with electronics, heat kills, and these guys tend to run hot. That's why the bright ones need a fan. Hopefully Arvin will offer just the LED (and fan unit) for failed units, outside of warranty period, so the replacement job can be super-rapid.
Ya just don’t need them to see the “Growlers” ,,, Those ya can hear coming eh?

I thought I was just getting old, but now many new vehicle low beams seem very bright to me.
 

· Registered
2019 118" Silver
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
@RV8R - Oncoming cars are bright to me too, especially after cataract surgery but instead of the bright haloes from cataracts it's intraocular lens flare (streaks) from headlights, street lights, flashlights, etc. Something like the image below but with the flares mainly at about 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock in both eyes. It may go away (or at least diminish) over time but no guarantees. I'll still take the brighter, more colorful world now over the darkening, sepia world of cataracts. Drove from my Aunt's in Atlanta back to my father's 40 minutes north of there late Thanksgiving evening and noticed the brain seems to be adapting to the flares and trying to filter them out automatically. They were definitely evident when focused on but didn't block being able to see the road and traffic, at least not dangerously so.

Bottle Entertainment Microphone Music artist Fun
 

· Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
Joined
·
5,760 Posts
@RV8R - Oncoming cars are bright to me too, especially after cataract surgery but instead of the bright haloes from cataracts it's intraocular lens flare (streaks) from headlights, street lights, flashlights, etc. Something like the image below but with the flares mainly at about 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock in both eyes. It may go away (or at least diminish) over time but no guarantees. I'll still take the brighter, more colorful world now over the darkening, sepia world of cataracts. Drove from my Aunt's in Atlanta back to my father's 40 minutes north of there late Thanksgiving evening and noticed the brain seems to be adapting to the flares and trying to filter them out automatically. They were definitely evident when focused on but didn't block being able to see the road and traffic, at least not dangerously so.

View attachment 91900
So, is that from artificial “new” lens ?

Remember in the 70s when this stuff was Science Fiction?

Flash photography Font Poster Event Action film



Now A Days ,,, the only thing that is fantasy is the price tag ,,, What can I get these days for 6 Million ?
 

· Registered
2019 118" Silver
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
So, is that from artificial “new” lens ?

Remember in the 70s when this stuff was Science Fiction?

(image cut)

Now A Days ,,, the only thing that is fantasy is the price tag ,,, What can I get these days for 6 Million ?
Yes, plastic replacements like below. I think the flares are caused by light hitting the two opposite points where the plastic clips connect. Once the lenses settle in all the way those areas are often covered up or at least more shielded from direct light hitting them.

Gesture Wood Thumb Jewellery Parasite


That show was something back in the 70's, then the Bionic Woman came along a few years later.

Hard to believe how far things have come in some ways - it used to take hours with a month-long recovery for cataract surgery, now it only takes about 10-15 minutes to swap the old lens for the new one and I walked out seeing things reasonably well in the left eye. The next day I had 20/20 vision in that eye. Three weeks later the right eye was done with 20/25 the next day. It's taken longer for it to calm down but it looks like it will be plenty sharp as well.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
89 Posts
Sorry but I feel some responsibility for the safety of my fellow driver. I believe that three times the factory brightness is overdoing it from the perspective of an oncoming driver.

Perhaps using them for the high beams, which should be dimmed when approaching oncoming vehicles, would be OK.

My 1200-1500 lumen LED headlights are better for my driving vision than the 1100 lumen factory lights, AND good for other drivers too! Just MHO... I would advise others to follow a more reasonable upgrade. Most of the install time is removing the headlight module... screws and LEDs are the easy part!
Hi Eddie - I hear you on this, and also felt that it was my responsibility to provide guidance in order to mitigate as much negative glare to oncoming drivers. That said my OpenGlass H7 bulbs are low glare with crisper beam cutoffs so that you can aim them properly. The kit even provides the tools necessary to vertically aim your beams for step 3, which is "Aiming The ProMaster Low Beam Light".

Cheers,
Arvin
 
181 - 200 of 222 Posts
Top