There is a certain hierarchy of headlight design and performance characteristics. Throughout history, there have been many different types of headlight reflector and primary lens designs that intimately govern your beam shape down the road, regardless of light source type.
Sealed or semi-sealed design with a primary lens-based beam structure.
This has been the traditional type of headlight design for most manufacturers since, basically, the beginning of time. The globe sits within a reflector cup (round or rectangle) and sends light through a primary lens that handles the beam formation.
As the light refracts and collects in the reflector, it is ultimately guided through the primary lens as it exits the light. As the light exits, it is deformed and shaped to be suitable as a headlight beam, but not perfectly.
As the light transmitted through the lens into a lateral line across the road, but you also get excessive stray light in the vertical plane. The light enters the vertical flutes and will somewhat shoot up the glass lens and can be seen on overhead signs and trees etc. This is generally not a huge deal with standard halogen bulbs which typically only have 1,000 Lumens. Modern light sources like LED which have much higher flux should never be retrofitted in this type of headlamp design. The high intensity is well beyond the beamforming capability of this style of the headlamp.
Solution- We recommend stepping into one of two options if you intend on upgrading to an LED globe. If you have a rectangle 7x5” type headlight, we would definitely recommend heading to a reflector based beam headlight housing like the following image. These are commonly referred to as free-form headlamps. This modern reflector based optical system distributes light far more efficiently with far great glare control.
If you are considering placing an LED globe into a standard semi-sealed beam headlight, we would strongly recommend stepping into a full projector replacement. Read below for the Projector benefits. A full replacement IRIS and Carbon also carry ADR compliance. Further reading on ADR compliance can be found here.
STEDI IRIS 7” replacement LED headlight.
Reflector based beam
When vehicles started to have more aesthetically modern features, manufacturers moved away from the common rectangle and round headlight shape and moved into a molded headlight design. Most manufacturers embraced using a reflector-based beam as mentioned earlier.
As long as the LED globe holds the same focal length, offset, and orientation, there should be minimal to no variation or discrepancy to the original beam shape. Every part of that beam should be maintained, including all stray light, as can be seen in the following two images, with the first having a standard halogen globe, and the second having our H4 copperhead.
The following headlight is one from a KUN26R Hilux.
There is some misconception that our globes will dazzle oncoming drivers and have stray light, where before the was “no” stray light. This is not the case. Our globes maintain the exact beam shape as stock and offer greater light intensity which could be misconstrued as the additional light that was not there before.
Projector style sphere
The most modern type of headlight is the Projector sphere. It captures all light within itself and will “project” it out through the spherical lens in a completely controlled fashion. In almost all cases, there will be a shutter inside that will give a crisp sharp line across the road with no possibility of stray light.
The following image shows our Iris headlight on low beam. Note the left-hand kick in the cut line. This left-hand kick is required for right-hand drive vehicles, and vice versa is required for left-hand drive vehicles.
We hear talk online about globes not being suitable for projectors and dazzling oncoming drivers. This can be an issue of globe focal length, however, it is more often than not, a case of the vehicle being out of aim. The headlights need to be re-aimed after lifting or loading up the rear, or any other change in the vehicles fore or aft rake.
We have developed a globe that is optimized for the projector sphere, which completely takes advantage of the way the light refracts within the assembly. Because the globe is optimized for the projector sphere, it WILL NOT work in a typical reflector housing.
You will see a number of differences in the following image of a PX2 Ranger H11 low beam emitter.
The headlight is set up on a stand approximately 3m away from a wall and a standard 55w halogen, our H11 copperhead, and H11 Project globe are pictured. As you can well and truly see, the standard halogen globe is hugely sub-par in performance.
There is a square halo above the beam cut that is a by-product of a 360deg emitting globe. This square halo comes from the bottom of the inside of the projector lens. Our Projector specific globe allows 100% of the emitted light to hit the internal top part of the projector which will allow more light to transfer down on to the ground. The delivered performance down the road is hugely improved, whilst still offering a lower current draw than a stock halogen globe.
The following image is our H11 Project globe fitted to an XLT Ranger.