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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone that owns a Base or Premium trim Ascent give feedback on the Halogen headlight performance?

I am hoping Subaru adds the LED headlights to the lower trims in the future, but I would like to know if you find the low beam and high beam coverage acceptable? Has anyone been able to compare performance of the two headlight designs?

Thanks!
 

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They are what they are. I think "acceptable" is a good way to put it. I believe the bulbs can be replaced with the same LED bulbs that the upper trim models have, you just won't get the steering response or the auto-leveling. I'll see how the halogens do through the winter months. My thought is to replace the halogens with LED's when one of the halogens burns out. Although, I think the halogens with the LED daytime running lamps looks really cool.
 

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There's an entire assembly in the higher trim, including heat sinks mounted on the radiator. Those may be a part of the LED system.

I don't have the electronics and wiring part of the service manual yet, so I don't know for sure.
 

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They are what they are. I think "acceptable" is a good way to put it. I believe the bulbs can be replaced with the same LED bulbs that the upper trim models have, you just won't get the steering response or the auto-leveling. I'll see how the halogens do through the winter months. My thought is to replace the halogens with LED's when one of the halogens burns out. Although, I think the halogens with the LED daytime running lamps looks really cool.
I'd second this.

My experience with IIHS research has said that the halogens on the Outback, for example, are "acceptable" to "poor" believe it or not.

Whereas, the steering responsive LED's are good. And seem to show a lot more, and a cleaner light.
 

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I have a set of LED being delivered today.. the same set I replaced on the Our 17 Impreza sports before trading it in. I tried to find the stock bulb but couldn't do I had to trade it in with the LED bulb. I'll see how it compares later. ??

Updated, see my update here
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just wanted to update this with the link to the IIHS ratings for each set of headlights. The LED headlight equipped models (which also include high beam assist and steering responsive headlights) received "Good" ratings from the IIHS.

The halogen equipped models (which lack high beam assist and steering responsiveness) received a "Poor" rating from the IIHS. If you look at the data, the halogen high beams actually provide lighting fairly well straight ahead. The lack of steering response means performance on curves is poor and the low beams themselves do not meet optimal illumination numbers set by IIHS. The halogen models also received poor scores due to excessive glare.

IIHS Ratings 2019 Subaru Ascent

The data also shows that just a simple upgrade to LED bulbs would likely not be sufficient to mimic a "Good" rating (lack or steering responsive headlights will likely prevent good illumination in curves, and glare would also likely still be present).
 

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Some of these halogens in newer cars are amazing compared to cars from the 80s or 90s. Funny to think was is considered "poor" now. I had an 87 Buick a few years back and sometimes seemed it was better to drive without the headlights on moonlight dark road than to deal with glare and poor lighting from those weak lamps.

I won't typically out drive my headlights, so i find the standard halogen to be ok. When I get older and have trouble seeing or drive a lot of hours at night i might change my tune.
More important for me was upgrading the reverse lights as i have more trouble backing up at night than anything, especially when backing up a trailer and some $12 LEDs have made a world of difference for that.
 

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I've have a Premium and thinking about putting in LED headlights. I have been trying to research this and it seems the "experts" do not recommend putting in LED lights into a projector designed for halogen lamps. It seems that while you get whiter/brighter/wider light closer to the vehicle the downfield illumination is worse than halogen. I live in a rural area with few streetlights and I find the halogens more than adequate for my needs but I'm on the lookout for better. Any expert thoughts on the board about this?
 

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I've have a Premium and thinking about putting in LED headlights. I have been trying to research this and it seems the "experts" do not recommend putting in LED lights into a projector designed for halogen lamps. It seems that while you get whiter/brighter/wider light closer to the vehicle the downfield illumination is worse than halogen. I live in a rural area with few streetlights and I find the halogens more than adequate for my needs but I'm on the lookout for better. Any expert thoughts on the board about this?

Here are some photos of the Beamtech LED I am using, the light out put is a bit a wider but it seems to produce about the same distance of light. I also had foglights installed which helped and they come LED
 

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I've have a Premium and thinking about putting in LED headlights. I have been trying to research this and it seems the "experts" do not recommend putting in LED lights into a projector designed for halogen lamps. It seems that while you get whiter/brighter/wider light closer to the vehicle the downfield illumination is worse than halogen. I live in a rural area with few streetlights and I find the halogens more than adequate for my needs but I'm on the lookout for better. Any expert thoughts on the board about this?
I have not found that to be the case. I'm on my 4th set of LED upgrades in normal halogen projectors and they have all made huge improvements. I often drive in rural NM where the jackrabbits (especially during spring) are constantly running over the road, so early detection helps keep us both safe.

2015 GMC 2500 - Horrible halogen light performance. Added LEDs and they at least came up to "acceptable"
2011 Subaru Outback - huge gain in visibility, both wide and distance
2017 Subaru Outback - huge gain in visibility, both wide and distance
2019 Subaru Ascent - well, I didn't actually drive it at night with the halogens before I replaced them, but on my road trip to NM, they had the same visibility as my other 2 Outbacks!

I've had great luck with these:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B077D6DDVK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I much prefer the passive heat sinks vs the active fan (which is noisy and if/when it fails, your light dies).
 

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I have not found that to be the case. I'm on my 4th set of LED upgrades in normal halogen projectors and they have all made huge improvements. I often drive in rural NM where the jackrabbits (especially during spring) are constantly running over the road, so early detection helps keep us both safe.

2015 GMC 2500 - Horrible halogen light performance. Added LEDs and they at least came up to "acceptable"
2011 Subaru Outback - huge gain in visibility, both wide and distance
2017 Subaru Outback - huge gain in visibility, both wide and distance
2019 Subaru Ascent - well, I didn't actually drive it at night with the halogens before I replaced them, but on my road trip to NM, they had the same visibility as my other 2 Outbacks!

I've had great luck with these:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B077D6DDVK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I much prefer the passive heat sinks vs the active fan (which is noisy and if/when it fails, your light dies).
I'm thinking of changing m "Beamtech" Led to something else and have ordered a pair of 55w HID's from China. LOL

I'm still not 100% satisfied with my Beamtech even though it's much brighter than halogen OEM, I still don't think they are bright enough compared to other vehicles.
 

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I've found well designed LED replacement bulbs (such as the GTR GEN3) to be adequate - similar beam pattern to halogen, but just a whiter and perhaps slightly brighter light. Visually, it seems to give you a bit more "useful" light to your eyes. True that LEDs put into a halogen housing may not give you quite the same appearance as a stock OEM LED projector headlight setup. You could also look into an HID kit (I would personally advise going with a 35W HID as opposed to 55W setup - have been scattered reports elsewhere of the high wattage setup melting some wires).
Also, in my experience, a set of 35W HIDs is plenty bright in both a standard halogen reflector or halogen projector setup.
 

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I think I can just swap out the ballast to 35watt. Since ballast are pretty generic and isn't dependent on the bulb. (I think)
 
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