Beardedjeff
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:50 am
Delivery Date: 30 Oct 2015

Real LED Fog Lights

Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:00 pm

OK, full disclosure first. I am an engineer at JW Speaker (maker of these lights), so yes, I think these are awesome.

Now the rest of the story:
I'm a recent Leaf owner (2013 SV w/QC) who has been lurking on the forums here for a bit. I totally get the desire to upgrade our lights to LED. After all, we all have to be at least a BIT geeky to own Leaf's in the first place. I see many great posts about ways to upgrade your High beams, Fogs etc to LED but the Vehicle Lighting Engineer part of me cries a little bit everytime I see a post about putting in those LED retrofit bulbs. Let me start out with one blanket statement, those LED bulbs are NOT LEGAL for on-road use, but when has that ever stopped any car modification?? :?:

SO, enter my employer, JW Speaker: Maker of the finest LED vehicle lighting. 100% designed and made in the good ole' USA. You may not recognize the name exactly, but you've seen our stuff around (some pretty big OEM customers)

While tearing apart my new-to-me-leaf (i'm an engineer remember) I noticed that the factory fog lights were VERY similar in shape to one of our standard products, the 6145 JEEP Fog (for various Wrangler models) so I investigated further, and lo and behold, they were very nearly drop-ins.
I undertook the full project this weekend and produced a basic write-up of how to retrofit these into your lovely leaf!
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Step 1:
Remove bottom cover, or at least the front of it so you can reach up to grab your factory fogs
Step 2:
Remove fog lights. These are actually really easy to remove. At the VERY top of each fog light is a single 10mm head bolt. LOOSEN this (not remove) and then pull BACK on the whole fog assembly. It comes out really easy, like field dressing a deer
Step 3:
Have some beer
Step 4:
Marvel at how close in size and shape the factory fogs are to your new awesome JW Speaker fog lights
Step 5:
Remove 3 screws from each fog light that hold the light to the mounting bracket.
Step 6:
Remove JW Speaker fog from ITS bracket. Loosen the aiming screw not the back until you can pop it out. Then use the nearest flathead screwdriver to gently pry the mounting boss of the light out of the bracket. Set light aside
Step 7:
More beer
Step 8:
Look at how closely the new bracket almost fits the old one. There will be two tabs on the factory bracket you need to Dremel off, as well as some clearancing side-to-side
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Step 9:
Take a file or Dremel with a small sanding bit and elongate the mounting holes on your really expensive new JW Speaker fogs to fit factory bracket
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Step 10:
Attach new Speaker bracket to factory mounting bracket with the 3 screws from earlier.
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Step 11:
Pop JW Speaker fog in from the FRONT of the mounting bracket. It make take some persuasion but it will pop right back into place.
Step 12:
Go to fridge for more beer
Step 13:
Put aiming screw back into the bracket on your new fog. Tighten it until it looks about level or so.
Step 14:
Pop whole assembly BACK into bumper. Tighten top 10mm bolt to hold it all back into place.
Step 15:
The hardest part... Cut the factory connector off and splice in new JW Speaker connect. Black wires to black wires, Red to the other colors (like a white and purple IIRC)
Pop on lights and then use adjusting screws to set the fog levels the way you want. You'll notice they have a really nice sharp horizontal cutoff that merges well with LED low beams.

VIOLA!! (I'll get night shots some other time)
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I'm not an instruction manual expert so I apologize if these are hard to follow. I did my best

Now for the nitty gritty: Where do you buy these? Online is the easiest. Just google search JW Speaker 6145. They're not cheap (unless you work there like me... hello engineering samples) They come in both black and chrome. I went with black, but i would probably do chrome next time to match the headlights a little better

Now, I get that these are expensive! BUT, they are 100% Street LEGAL!!! with DOT markings and ECE for you Euro-folk. Believe it or not there are strict regulations when it comes to light pattern, intensity, color etc to keep lights legal. We know what we're doing when it comes to lighting. The 6145 feature proprietary D-Lens optics that produce a great fog pattern with a 100% horizontal cutoff for fog use. You can certainly buy cheaper chinese knock-offs, but every time you do an American company is hurt and a Bald Eagle dies.
http://www.jwspeaker.com/products/led-jeep-fog-lights-model-6145/

Questions!?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7396
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:28 pm

"Real" fog lights are yellow-amber lights that penetrate fog and make it easier to see in it. White lights are "driving lights" and when used in fog they reflect off the white fog and back into your eyes, making things worse. They are also a hazard to other vehicles because they usually dump too much light into the eyes of oncoming drivers, accomplishing nothing but annoyance. You should be marketing these lights as driving lights to enhance the terrible Leaf high beams, if they can be aimed high enough and wired to the High beam circuit. In the meantime I'll still be looking for "REAL LED Fog Lights"...
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.

Beardedjeff
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:50 am
Delivery Date: 30 Oct 2015

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:14 pm

Well, yes and no.
"Light" itself doesn't begin to penetrate fog until you get into the IR regions (like a nice FLIR), and a yellow fog in combination with a 5000k headlight is actually more distracting as you have a really un-uniform color with sharp definition between light sources.
In the US where FMVSS requires you to run fogs in conjunction with low beams this doesn't really work out well. A more important factor in good fogs is keeping the light below the fog line, around 16" above the road surface usually, and not reflecting back into the drivers eyes. Thats why fogs are low and will have a horizon cutoff (like a DOT low beam). Simply putting any light low that throws light above the horizon line will be just as bad as high beams.
These 6145's do not make good high beams. High beams are a prescribed pattern that is no where near fog lights, there's more too it than just aiming them "up". We make plenty of good high beams... check out the TS3001's or the TS4000's or 4415's

I took some more pics tonight as it happens to be a nice foggy night that really lets you see beam patterns!

LOW BEAMS ONLY
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Low beams and new JW SPEAKER fogs
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HIGH BEAMS
note heavy glare back into drivers eyes. Really cool shot, you can see the beam pattern great!
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Side Shot
You can see the sharp horizontal cutoff that the D lenses give, prevents that glare-back off the fog into the drivers eyes
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forward on shot
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pncguy
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:24 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Oct 2015
Leaf Number: 335105
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:18 pm

I was about to ask why I would want these, but those photos are great! I especially like the side-on shot.

Can you take one like this with and without the fog lights? That would really show how they fill the road in front of you better than the normal low beams.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7396
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:29 pm

I'm tending to ignore this topic because the huge image files take forever to load with DSL, and make the page jump as they do. The nicer thing to do is use an image hosting site that lets you link thumbnail images that go full-sized when you click on them. Anyway, I come from an era when the yellow/amber fog lights were common, and they were just superior in actual fog and snow to white lights, however aimed. In a blizzard you could turn the headlights right off (leaving the parking lights ON for visibility!) and the fog lights would let you see very well even in "blinding" snow. The halogen yellow lights you could buy right before they went extinct were especially good.
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.

Beardedjeff
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:50 am
Delivery Date: 30 Oct 2015

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:41 am

pncguy wrote:I was about to ask why I would want these, but those photos are great! I especially like the side-on shot.

Can you take one like this with and without the fog lights? That would really show how they fill the road in front of you better than the normal low beams.


YES!

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pncguy
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:24 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Oct 2015
Leaf Number: 335105
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:27 am

Wow! That is pretty dramatic.

Thanks for taking the effort. This helps show why someone might want to upgrade.

User avatar
DuncanCunningham
Forum Supporter
Posts: 460
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:02 am
Delivery Date: 15 Apr 2015
Location: Bountiful, UT

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:33 am

how do they look to oncoming traffic? Would it distract other drivers and draw the attention of the city police? i know they are legal, but they don't know that until they stop you and have you test them out. Are there yellow LEDs for this line of products?
Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the show.
Waldorf: Who's a fool? You watched it.

2015 Leaf S (leased until May 2018, Bought out in Jan 2017)
2012 Leaf SL (purchased May 2015)

Beardedjeff
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:50 am
Delivery Date: 30 Oct 2015

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:58 am

DuncanCunningham wrote:how do they look to oncoming traffic? Would it distract other drivers and draw the attention of the city police? i know they are legal, but they don't know that until they stop you and have you test them out. Are there yellow LEDs for this line of products?


They look fine and 100% factory. As they are DOT they produce 0% light above horizon and therefor zero glare into oncoming traffic. Take a look from a picture from our catalog. You can see the beam pattern of these and how they have full cutoff

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As for yellow (or more correctly, SAE Selective Yellow) there isn't a great way to reproduce the spectral distribution in LED. There's far more to it than just a yellow LED! But who know's... :)

Arlington
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:47 am
Delivery Date: 29 Oct 2015
Leaf Number: 414434

Re: Real LED Fog Lights

Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:11 am

This is exactly the kind of lights I've wanted for my 2013 S with only "blanks" and headlights that don't do a good job of illuminating pedestrians in crosswalks. I judge that I need *exactly* this sort of light for
(1) DRL-like visiblity...just something to stand out, and even bouncing light forward off the pavement should help
(2) Fog - the low cutoff looks great
(3) Pedestrian-zone. the near-pavement coverage is *exactly* where it seems hard to see pedestrians in crosswalks (even at low speeds)
Thanks!

What is required to power them if I do not, currently, have a light in that lower position? If I open it up, will I find an empty harness? Or will I need to tap some other power circuit

Also, does the difference between the "older" 6145and the 6145 Jmatter to us Leaf people?

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