Tsiah
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jan 2017

LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:42 pm

The major differences between SV and SL models seems to be the LED headlights, heated back seat and the rear cargo cover. If I can get an SL for the same money, I'd prefer it but if an SV will save me enough money initially, I don't see the point in going to the SL trim.
Do the factory LED headlights provide any benefit over an after market LED replacement I could drop in place of the halogen lamps?
I can purchase a cargo cover later on and the heated rear seats don't do me much good right now as the kid who will spend the most of the time in the car(aside from me) is in a car seat for another 4 years and a booster after that.
That solar spoiler doesn't seem all that useful (maybe it maintains the 12v battery a little better)
Last edited by Tsiah on Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gshepherd
Forum Supporter
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:01 am
Delivery Date: 03 Jun 2016
Location: Seattle / Phoenix

Re: LED headlights

Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:19 pm

The SL OEM headlights are very good and DOT approved (so, perfectly street legal). They are complemented with halogen high beams with a compromised reflector design. The OEM LEDs are passively cooled with a large external heat sink.

The halogen headlights on the SV are fine, but a letdown if you are used to HID. They are dual filament H13 bulbs with a better high beam pattern than what the SL manages. The halogens also dim towards yellow as the LEAF 12V system runs at around 13V unless you run the wipers.

I upgraded my SV halogen to LED using a Hioshi conversion kit. No external ballast and the units fit completely inside the stock housings. They provide an excellent beam pattern and strong cutoff so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic. They give the same bright white light regardless of the LEAF's 12v drift. They are also set up to run high and low beams simultaneously when high beams are activated, giving much more light than the halogens that switch off the low beams when running high beams. Downsides: not DOT certified, so technically "for off road use only". Also the cooling fans create a low hum you can hear if the climate control is off. There are some other brands that have passive cooling and/or external ballasts, but I don't have any experience with them. Others here might chime in. Lots of threads about LED upgrades.

Edit: make sure to check headlight aim after any upgrades. You definitely do not want to be dazzling oncoming traffic with poorly aimed lights. The aiming procedure is floating around on this forum somewhere.
Last edited by gshepherd on Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2016 LEAF SV

Tsiah
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jan 2017

Re: LED headlights

Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:09 pm

My thinking is that the factory LEDs are probably crazy expensive to replace and if there's no real other advantage to the factory lights or any real reason to go to the higher trim level, I'll probably just look for an SV. :)

alozzy
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:57 pm

Pretty sure heated rear seats were standard on 2013/2014/2015 SVs. You haven't indicated what model year you want to purchase, but hope that info helps
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

gshepherd
Forum Supporter
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:01 am
Delivery Date: 03 Jun 2016
Location: Seattle / Phoenix

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:24 pm

For 2016, at least, the SL added heated rear seats, LED headlights, automatic headlights and auto-adjusting dash brightness, HomeLink auto-dimming mirror, and of course, leather seating surfaces. I really didn't want leather again. LED upgrades and HomeLink can be added easily enough. Someone on the forum has even added the auto headlight feature after the fact.

Yes, the LED chips are not cheap for the OEM headlights should a failure occur. There is even a sensor and annunciator light on the instrument cluster to tell you than an LED module has failed. Kind of hard to beat good ol' halogen for replacement cost. The LEDs save less than 1/4 mile of range at best, by my calculations.
2016 LEAF SV

BuckMkII
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:11 pm

alozzy wrote:Pretty sure heated rear seats were standard on 2013/2014/2015 SVs. You haven't indicated what model year you want to purchase, but hope that info helps

When I test-drove my 2013 SV, I tested all the heated seat switches. IIRC, in the front, both the seat bottom and back are heated, but in the back seat, only the seat bottom got hot.
2013 SV no QC, manufactured July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
on 9/29/17: AHr = 55.3; SOH = 84%; Hx = 81.6; ODO = 41,492
bar 12 lost 8/21/17

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6937
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:48 pm

They are complemented with halogen high beams with a compromised reflector design.


To say the least! The halogen High beams in both the SV and, AFAIK the SL, are TERRIBLE. It's not worth getting the LED "upgrade" because the halogen low beams are fine, and you still get the terrible high beams with the LED lights. Get whatever trim you prefer, and use aftermarket, fanless dual-beam LEDs.
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.

Tsiah
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jan 2017

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:21 pm

alozzy wrote:Pretty sure heated rear seats were standard on 2013/2014/2015 SVs. You haven't indicated what model year you want to purchase, but hope that info helps

I'm on the lookout for a 16.

Thanks for all the input everyone.
I figured the LED lights don't make enough of a difference in range to even bother counting those watts.

I can always add the auto dimming mirror and aftermarket LEDs later. I think I'll just plan on getting an SV unless I find a great deal on an SL. :D

alozzy
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:46 pm

If you are looking for a 2016, why not just lease a 2017 and take advantage of all the rebates and incentives out there just now. You haven't mentioned where you live, but in some states the local electric company has partnered with Nissan to give you up to $10K in rebates - in addition to any federal and state incentives:

https://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric ... incentives

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1225&hilit=rebate&start=490
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

Tsiah
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jan 2017

Re: LED headlights/ SV vs SL

Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:11 am

alozzy wrote:If you are looking for a 2016, why not just lease a 2017 and take advantage of all the rebates and incentives out there just now. You haven't mentioned where you live, but in some states the local electric company has partnered with Nissan to give you up to $10K in rebates - in addition to any federal and state incentives:

https://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric ... incentives

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1225&hilit=rebate&start=490

I live in Utah. There's no state tax incentive anymore.

Because a lease will cost more than a used purchase, that $10000 through my utility is only on a purchase. I'm not going to put thousands down out of pocket just to get a lease to an affordable monthly payment. Also, I drive 1500 miles a month. A lease with 18,000 miles/year is crazy expensive.

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