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I Just Want To See Better Driving At Night…

LEDs are significantly “whiter” and “cleaner” than the “old” halogen sealed beams. The comparison here is obvious.

One of two things is happening…either my advanced age is having an effect on my night vision, or I am spoiled by the super-bright headlights on newer cars.  Regardless, I knew that there had to be a better alternative to the Sylvania Halogen sealed beams in Sparky, the 924S944.com 924S.  So I sought answers at the altar of the Oracle of Google, and there I found Headlight Experts in Irvine, CA.  LED was the answer I was seeking, and there is no limit to the possibilities in LED solutions.

LED technology is fairly new when it comes to automotive headlights, although it has been around for markers, signals and tail lights for quite some time. Lexus, I am told, was the pioneer in LED low-beam headlights in 2006, followed by all-LED headlights in the Audi R8 for everywhere except North America.  In 2009, the Cadillac Escalade Platinum became the first car in the North American Market with all-LED headlights.  So with that little history lesson, suffice to say that LED headlights are pretty new and development has progressed pretty quickly since the ’10’s.

Retrofitting LED headlights into older cars has become a pretty active aftermarket industry.  So in my quest to update my 924S to brighter, cleaner light, I sought a headlight that would 1) be similar in appearance to the round headlight, 2) would provide more-than-adequate light, and 3) be “plug and play” without having to redo wiring, install other components, etc.  Headlight Experts had what I was looking for in a 7″ round headlight reflector with LED bulbs that plug directly to the factory plugs.  For $199, I bought it.

Installation was a snap – like changing sealed beams – but I have detailed the installation here with photos.  I am very satisfied with the finished product, and now I can’t wait to get out tonight and see what they do in the dark.  They look slightly different than factory, but they are hidden when off!

This link will take you directly to the kit that I bought!  

Installation

 

You can see the difference between the Sylvania Halogen Sealed Beam on the passenger side and the new LED on the driver side.
The kit comes with two headlight reflectors with two halogen bulbs installed. Remove the halogens and install the included LED bulbs in their place.
Unlike the halogens or sealed beams with the connector on the back of the bulb, the LED requires special electronics to make them work – magic, as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, there is a cable with a small electronics (magic) box that has the proper connector on the end – and it plugs into the factory harness connector.
Begin by turning on the headlights with the key in the ignition in the “on” position. The lights will come up. Then turn the ignition off. The markers and tail lights will stay on, but the headlights will turn off in the “up” position.
Remove the single screw holding the headlight trim in place. The surround will come off, revealing the headlight mounting.
There are three screws through tabs that hold the sealed beam in place. Beware that there are two adjuster screws for adjusting the aim of the headlights – leave them alone. Unscrew the three screws in the tabs and remove the silver ring holding the sealed beam in place.
I cheated and only removed the bottom two tab screws, leaving the top in place. From there I snuck the sealed beam bulb out from under the ring and unplugged it.
Sliding the new unit under the ring into place, I plugged the cable from the LED bulb into the factory connector.
With the headlight housing in place, all that was left was to replace the trim.
Two new LED headlights installed!

Kevin Duffy, Author and Chief Geek View All

Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.

2 thoughts on “I Just Want To See Better Driving At Night… Leave a comment

  1. Hey dude great write up 😁 just a quick question do you have any issues with beam alignment? Or do those replacement headlight units have a bespoke led reflector housing? 🤔 I’ve fitted led bulbs similar to this on my 924 using the oem headlight unit and while I’ve adjusted them so they arent blinding anyone, the beam. Pattern is very scattered

    Thanks!

    • I tried it out last night and they seem to be spot-on, although the high beams seem to be aimed a little higher than I would like. You have to be sure to align the LED bulb with the LED panels in the right orientation – the low beam ones point UP and the high beams point DOWN.

      To answer your question, the reflector housings are standard 7″ replacement halogens with the clip-in halogen bulb. The units came with the halogen installed, and I changed them with the LEDs that are supplied with the kit.

      I am very happy with the amount and direction of the light, and I have not had any high-beam-flashers to this point, so I think that they are alright!

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