LeftieBiker
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 1:23 pm

Anyway, the reason I came to post here today was this: given that almost no one complains about the Leaf's Low beams (and many of us actually think or thought that they are LED) I believe that the theory behind this topic, which says that because of lower voltage or just innate inferiority the halogen bulbs have to go, is flawed. I now think that the issue is with the specific halogen H13 bulbs that Nissan uses in the Leaf, and only with the High beam element at that. Since the LED upgrade is not plug & play in this case, I think I'm going to look for a better quality set of H13 bulbs, and try that "upgrade" first. I'll report what I find. Has anyone else here ever tried this?
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

nerys
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 1:45 pm

Ahhh so led is default for 11 and 12 sv but optional from 13 onwards. There is the confusion.
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Agkirk
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 1:59 pm

OrientExpress, You handled this last flurry with great aplomb.
Thanks for the Leaf headlight primer.
I had no trouble determining what I needed for my 2015 Leaf model S, after reading all of this topics responses.
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OrientExpress
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 2:58 pm

Thanks for all of the comments. The take away that I got is that there is is an advantage for taking responsibility to know what options and trim your car came with when you bought the car rather some time later.

I also wanted to give you all some background on why the halogen equipped headlights that come with the LEAF are so crappy. It's really not the bulbs fault for this situation. Nissan uses Philips lighting as its OEM supplier, and the H9 or H13 are used across all of their model range, not just the LEAF. They are also the bulb that is sold at retail outlets under the Phillips brand.

However the quirk with the LEAF vs. say a Sentra or other Nissan car is that the LEAFs vehicle electrical system (not the traction electrical system) runs at a very constant 12 volts. Contrast that to other ICE vehicles that use an alternator to power the cars electrical system. When those vehicles motor is running, they actually run their electrical system at about 14 volts. While the halogen lamps are rated at 12 volts, they are designed to operate best at 14 volts. So what is happening is that the halogen lamps on a LEAF are being operated in an under voltage condition, so naturally they are dimmer (and have a warmer color temperature) then if they were getting the full 14 volts. This will be true for a halogen bulb from any vendor, even the ones that have a higher nominal color temperature.

The nice thing about the LED upgrades is that they have a much wider operational voltage range that they can operate nominally, and their lumen output is much higher than a like halogen bulb. So even if they operate at 12 instead of 14 volts, their light output will be higher, and a LED emitter's color temperature is constant across the service voltage of the bulb assembly. This provides a better lighting experience.

Now there are still other factors that play into a headlight's performance, mainly the headlight design (is the design a reflector or projector? Is the headlamp designed to work with dual filaments, or is a Bi-xenon design), If it is a reflector, is the focal point of the reflector and the bulb's emitter (filament, gas capsule, or LED emitter) tuned to a common focal point.

Reflector designs are inferior to projector designs, but they are cheaper to manufacture and are typically used in dual lamp designs, or in low cost designs like the LEAFs H13 headlight. The focal point for these reflectors are designed for Halogen bulbs and have a wider tolerance focal point because of the nature of a halogen bulb filament. There is even more slop in the focal point in a dual filament design like the H13 on the LEAF S and SV. When used with one of these reflector designs, the light from a Xenon HID upgrade kits typically has a blurred look to it because the HID bulb is longer by necessity so it is out of focus. LED bulbs have a much sharper focus to them because they can mimic a halogen bulbs focal point actually better than a halogen bulb can. So in may ways a LED upgrade kit will give the best performance from a inherently poor reflector design like that in the LEAF.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 3:35 pm

The take away that I got is that there is is an advantage for taking responsibility to know what options and trim your car came with when you bought the car rather some time later.


What a surprise - it's not your fault at all! You fail to consider the lack of knowledge and the misinformation given by Nissan salespeople, of course. I knew I didn't have the "LED Option" but I was also told that this was an LED upgrade to *all of the lights* and I'm fairly sure that I was told that my SV had LED low beams. If this was a change from MY 2011-2012 to MY 2013 then it's likely the salespeople simply didn't know about it. Anyway, you aren't going to take any responsibility and it's only half (or less) your fault, anyway, so I'll drop it. It would be nice if you'd also stop implying that I'm an ignorant newbie. I'm old enough to have been replacing sealed beam headlights when they were the new tech.

As for the voltage theory, perhaps you can explain why the Leaf's Halogen Low beams have a nice, reasonably bright, full pattern. It would also be helpful if you or someone else would share any experiences with other brands/models of halogen bulbs in this application. With so many of these cars being leased, we still need an actual Plug & Play solution to the terrible halogen High beam problem.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

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OrientExpress
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 4:02 pm

To follow up to my discussion of headlight design, here is a fun-fact:

Sealed beam headlamps were introduced in the United States in 1939, and became mandatory from the following year until the 1984 model year.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Sun May 31, 2015 4:55 pm

I'll take that for an "I don't know."
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:52 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:Rather than reply with similar condescension
LeftieBiker wrote:What a surprise - it's not your fault at all!
LeftieBiker wrote:I'll take that for an "I don't know."

Come now, Leftie, I know you're frustrated that your bulbs aren't going to fit the way you expected, but taking it all out on OE is just not nice.

OE took the time to write a great description of how the upgrade works with the clear assumption that you must have H9 high beams for the upgrade to work out well. Was it perfect? No, but he did take the time to address the instructions accordingly.
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AutoHaulersinc
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Re: LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:38 am

Agkirk wrote:nerys

Thanks for the great tutorial on posting pictures. I gave it a try and it worked great.
Awaiting the pin release tool so I can disassemble the OEM connector and pull the wires through the cap, then I'll post a DIY for the 2015 LEAF S and H13 LED. Tried one and things looked better than the halogens.


this was a great write up for up S owners, I see in your post that the bulbs you got were 3600LM but all the bulbs I am shopping for on eBay are 6000LM- 7200LM - really want the exact ones you got since you have been there/done that
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Nubo
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Re: UPDATED- LEAF LED High-Beam upgrade

Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:28 am

LeftieBiker wrote: As for the voltage theory, perhaps you can explain why the Leaf's Halogen Low beams have a nice, reasonably bright, full pattern.


The voltage "theory" is spot on. The dead giveaway is the color temperature of the high beams. It's quite yellow compared to other cars using the same bulbs. Color temperature has nothing to do with reflector design, but is a clear indication that the bulb is being under-driven. And, as a consequence, much less bright than it could be. Incandescent bulbs are voltage-dependent. The output is strongly affected by even a fairly small change in voltage. Per the link I give at the bottom,

"Headlamp bulb light output is severely compromised with decreased voltage. The drop in light output is not linear, it is exponential with the power 3.4."

Interestingly, bulb life is even more strongly (exponentially) affected. Check the following chart:

Image

You can see that even a 10% voltage reduction from nominal can result in 30% loss of output. The good news is the LEAF's OEM high-beams will probably last forever :lol:

LEDs are not voltage-dependent, but rather current-dependent. They aren't affected by voltage drop (within reason) as long as they can get enough current to drive the LEDs to the desired output.

As to why the high-beams are more affected, I would speculate that part of the problem is in the wiring harness. Use of thin-gauge wire will cause a voltage drop, and this is dependent upon the load. Since high beams draw more power, the voltage drop will be more pronounced. I suspect the high beams could be improved by re-wiring their circuit with heavier gauge wiring.

Lots more info here about headlamp voltage drop and how to improve it:

http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech ... elays.html
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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