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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone tried replacing stock halogen projector low beams with LED's? I have tried two models and both produce poor light brighness, even though advertised as 4000 lumens. The same company high beams look very bright, but light from LED's through the low beam projectors seem to be "squashed", for lack of a better word. No real projection down the road.

I am now trying some "adjustable focus" led's for the low beams. Anyone had any experience with these on other subaru projector headlights?

Any thoughts are welcome.

By the way, I have the premium which has projector halogen low beams and reflector halogen high beams.
Coming from a Forester with LED's, what a sad downgrade these headlights have become ...:(
 

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Anyone tried replacing stock halogen projector low beams with LED's? I have tried two models and both produce poor light brighness, even though advertised as 4000 lumens. The same company high beams look very bright, but light from LED's through the low beam projectors seem to be "squashed", for lack of a better word. No real projection down the road.

I am now trying some "adjustable focus" led's for the low beams. Anyone had any experience with these on other subaru projector headlights?

Any thoughts are welcome.

By the way, I have the premium which has projector halogen low beams and reflector halogen high beams.
Coming from a Forester with LED's, what a sad downgrade these headlights have become ...:(
I would forget the LED's and switch to a HID kit from a reputable company. I know I will get flamed for even suggesting it, but they work great in certain applications. The kits probably won't be available yet, but they will provide more light than either the LED bulb alone or the existing Halogens.

Here is an example, BUT this is not for the Ascent. The link is for the Forester.

https://www.xenondepot.com/2018-forester-h11-hid-kit-p/332k-0000-h11-hid-kit.htm
 

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I just did my premium’s low beams with these the day before yesterday. The beam pattern is nearly identical to the halogens as far as I can tell and they appear significantly brighter. I wish I had taken before/after pics now. Only bulbs left to do now are high beams and turn signals!

BEAMTECH H11 LED Headlight Bulb, 50W 6500K 8000Lumens Extremely Brigh H8 H9 CSP Chips Conversion Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XHDYTGL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_XUaLBbSARNYT8
 

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also tried the beamtech's

Tried the same Beamtech leds you listed. Much better than the Sealight, both 3000 lumen and 4000 lumen, which were unacceptable on the low beams (H11). Better than the Sylvania ultra H11, but still a spread out beam pattern. I think my eyes prefer a hotspot in the center of the pattern. But I will see how I adjust to a few more day's use in different weather conditions.

I will keep them for now, but might go with HID. I've got the Beamtech Highbeams coming in, and I know they will work well, as the Sealight 9005 LED's I currently have seem plenty bright. But just want to see if Beamteck 9005' are any better.
 

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I have the beamtech's that others have gotten from Amazon... they are obviously way brighter and light up the road more than the stock halogens. But as mentioned, it has a spread out pattern. If that bothers you (and other drivers for that matter), then diode dynamics claims to have a focused one but it's $150 for a pair of S1 H11's and it's on 6-8 week backorder. Diode dynamics has a great reputation for their lighting products. I went ahead and ordered 2 pairs, one for my wife's car as well. I'm waiting now.


https://www.diodedynamics.com/h11-sl1-led-headlight-pair.html
 

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I keep seeing post about “this LED Brand Sucks” or this “LED is better” but hardly anyone has posted some photos for us to see or compare. I believe most of these companies are manufactured by same plant in China (just my opinion). Anyway I went Beamtech H11 LEDs because they looked durable and to be honest they where able to have them delivered same day to my door. Here are some pics of my Premium with the Beamtech LEDs. The fog lights where installed by my dealership after purchase (FYI they come already LED).
 

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I keep seeing post about “this LED Brand Sucks” or this “LED is better” but hardly anyone has posted some photos for us to see or compare. I believe most of these companies are manufactured by same plant in China (just my opinion). Anyway I went Beamtech H11 LEDs because they looked durable and to be honest they where able to have them delivered same day to my door. Here are some pics of my Premium with the Beamtech LEDs. The fog lights where installed by my dealership after purchase (FYI they come already LED).
Looks great! How much was it to have the fog lights to installed by your dealer?
 

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These are the ones I have in my 2018 GMC Canyon and they are bright. Also love that they don't have the fan, but instead have a large passive heat sink.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CNMF7MB/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1

The ones I took out of my 2017 Outback and will put in my 2019 Ascent tonight are very similar (though they are the XenonDepot brand) and have worked well in both my 2011 Outback and my 2017 Outback. They light up the night when I'm out in the boonies. I have the same type in the brights as well, which are HB3s

I'll let you know how they work when I get them installed!
 
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I keep seeing post about “this LED Brand Sucks” or this “LED is better” but hardly anyone has posted some photos for us to see or compare. I believe most of these companies are manufactured by same plant in China (just my opinion). Anyway I went Beamtech H11 LEDs because they looked durable and to be honest they where able to have them delivered same day to my door. Here are some pics of my Premium with the Beamtech LEDs. The fog lights where installed by my dealership after purchase (FYI they come already LED).
Looks great! How much was it to have the fog lights to installed by your dealer?

$458.56 for parts and labor! The fog lights run about $386 (my dealer offers %15 off on parts if you purchased the vehicle from them) and $100 for 1 hour of labor!

Honestly I thinks it’s a little on the pricey side, the only reason I let them install them is I wanted it covered by the 3yr B2B warranty. I looked at the service Manuel and installing the lights yourself is rather simple, no need to route wires as Subaru was enough to have it already wired.
 

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Oh, btw when the LEDs are listed as 4,000 Lumens, that is per pair! So that's only 2,000 each, which IIRC the stock Halogens are at least 1100, so not much brighter. Hence the 6,000 lumen pair I have. Huge difference!
 

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SOA Response to Poor IIHS Halogen Results

For what it’s worth, I sent the below email to SOA:

With the release yesterday of the IIHS poor results for the Ascent Halogen Headlights, does or will Subaru offer a headlight upgrade kit for the Base and Premium models? Thanks!

Here is their response:

Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

We are aware of the IIHS test results. As with all test results, we will explore how to improve upon our products. Safety is and will always be of the utmost importance for Subaru. We are always looking for feedback from our customers and owners regarding our products and services, with the intention of always improving our products. We strive to put out the best product to best suit the needs of our owners. Should any future corrections become available, we will certainly let you know.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

Sincerely,

Amber Anglin
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Retailer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
 

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For what it’s worth, I sent the below email to SOA:

With the release yesterday of the IIHS poor results for the Ascent Halogen Headlights, does or will Subaru offer a headlight upgrade kit for the Base and Premium models? Thanks!

Here is their response:

Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

We are aware of the IIHS test results. As with all test results, we will explore how to improve upon our products. Safety is and will always be of the utmost importance for Subaru. We are always looking for feedback from our customers and owners regarding our products and services, with the intention of always improving our products. We strive to put out the best product to best suit the needs of our owners. Should any future corrections become available, we will certainly let you know.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

Sincerely,

Amber Anglin
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Retailer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)

Awesome to see a response, maybe if enough of us over the next months raise our concerns about the halogen headlights they will come up with a upgrade.
 

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Should of, at a minimum, been an option on all Ascents. Especially since all have the Eyesight safety features standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi denissh

I just ordered the low (H11) and high (9005) beam HIKARI LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kits. I will take pics of the Beamtechs I have now installed in the Ascent with constant aperature and shutter speed and constant light balance, and compare the two.

I am really hoping the HIKARI are much better!
 

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For what it’s worth, I sent the below email to SOA:

With the release yesterday of the IIHS poor results for the Ascent Halogen Headlights, does or will Subaru offer a headlight upgrade kit for the Base and Premium models? Thanks!

Here is their response:

Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

We are aware of the IIHS test results. As with all test results, we will explore how to improve upon our products. Safety is and will always be of the utmost importance for Subaru. We are always looking for feedback from our customers and owners regarding our products and services, with the intention of always improving our products. We strive to put out the best product to best suit the needs of our owners. Should any future corrections become available, we will certainly let you know.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

Sincerely,

Amber Anglin
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Retailer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
In Subaruese, that simply means better lighting will be available down the road in the model years following 2019.


The most significant issue with after market LED's or HID's are the amount of glare caused by using those particular bulbs in the original halogen housing. A car enthusiast on another forum brought up some glare statistics for vehicles with OEM LED's.

"The curve-adaptive headlights on the Advance trim (2019 Acura RDX) provide useful illumination for several to dozens more feet at all measured locations, BUT...

They also exceed glare thresholds by as much as 89.7% (!) vs. only 8.2% for all other trims. For reference, the Ridgeline's LED headlights did not exceed any glare thresholds.

So, the headlights on the Advance trim provide more illumination (better for the driver), but a lot more glare (offensive and dangerous to oncoming traffic).

What I don't know is just how significant 89.7% above a glare threshold really is. It may be like someone being 89.7% higher at risk of some incredibly rare disease making the 89.7% number appear more concerning than it needs to be. I'm sure many of these aftermarket LED and HID headlights exceed glare thresholds by 1,000% or more!

EDIT 1: Glare appears to be light present at a height of 43" (typical eye height of oncoming traffic?) vs. 10" (for visibility).

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ra...ght-evaluation

EDIT 2: Ford F-150's and Silverados with LED headlights are particularly offensive to me at night. Now I know why. The Fords exceed glare thresholds by as much as 187.9% while the Silverados exceed glare thresholds by as much as 542.5%!"


The Subaru Ascent ratings for the Touring & Limited and then the Base & Premium.
 

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I would have to agree with the above sentiment of look into A good HID kit if you’re feeling that LED is not bright enough to your liking. Indeed there might be some glare since the projector in the base and premium is optimized for a halogen bulb. In my (limited) experience, though, the cutoffs in a well designed projector housing still tend to “work” although they may not be quite as crisp or distinct. Technically, going this route (putting HID into a halogen housing without an appropriate retrofit) is illegal.

The other alternative is to look at LED bulbs that mimic the shape of the halogen filament. Try taking a look at the GTR Gen3 LEDs. Also, there are quite a few LED headlight bulb shootout videos floating around out there that will compare and contrast the light output, beam pattern, etc. to help you in your quest. Here’s one from last year:

https://youtu.be/SQF5ESBHLrw
 

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tried the HIKARI $89 led kit

Tried the HIKARI Ultra LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit -H11,Philips Lumileds 12000lm last night. I replaced the Beamtech 4000 lumen low beams with these. I will take pictures in the next couple days and post them here.

These low beams are very bright. VASTLY better than the $39 Sealight and Beamtech. The lighting is great side to side and in front of the car. I will be keeping them if other drivers don't flash me.
These are finally what I was looking for!

My only concern is they might bother oncoming drivers. Last night on my trip home on a two lane road, no one flashed me out of 20 or so drivers, so that is a good sign. But the lights were so bright it illuminated street signs down the road the way normally only high beams would. Because of the sharp cutoff maybe cars as they approach me sense the light dimming as they ride up over the cutoff the closer they get.

My wife is taking the car tonight to Boston and will be driving home on rural streets and on the turnpike after dark. I will ask her is anyone flashed their high beams at her.
 
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