SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently replaced my headlight assemblies with some aftermarket assemblies and also upgraded to LED bulbs for the parking, low beams, and high beams. I'm greatly satisfied with the output of the bulbs, but the beam pattern is awful. I was expecting a nice, even pattern but instead, I ended up with these hideous bright spots. I thought this might be related to the LED bulb upgrades, but when I put the halogen bulbs back in, I got the same awful pattern (see photos below). I don't have a reference to what they should look like because my assemblies were so cloudy and bulbs so dull before that I never really noticed the low beam pattern. The LED high beams seem to provide a great beam pattern, however. Were the headlights for the 2008 S60 (non-projector) just crappy?

Here's a photo that was taken immediately after installing the LED bulbs (tape lines are approximately where lights should be hitting with a straight line across the top).
Automotive tire Wood Rectangle Grey Window


Here's a photo of the LED lights projected onto a roadway.
Automotive lighting Cloud Rectangle Sky Automotive tire


Here's a photo of the halogen bulbs projected onto a fence.
Rectangle Wood Flooring Wood stain Floor
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2005 S60 T5 M66 - 4C Deleted
Joined
·
996 Posts
The Halogen housing P2 headlights were pretty bad from what I remember. One of the first things I did to my halogen car when I got it 10 years ago was to put in a PnP HID kit and it drastically improved light output, but the pattern was still pretty sad. It wasn't good enough to any more modern standards (early 2010's), so I found a set of R headlights and bi-xenon swapped them with the OEM HID ballasts. The poor output you're seeing from the LEDs look like poor performance from the low beam LEDs, not filling the reflector housings. If you provide a link or picture of the bulbs, this will probably make a lot more sense. If the LED bulbs only have 2 LEDs 180 degrees apart, there will be dark spots in the reflector.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cejones1927

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
In my experience (my S60 is a 2004, so pre face lift) HID do much better in the halogen housings than LEDs do. That said, I currently run a pair of the highest model AUXITO LED low and high beam bulbs. They provide decent output (though nothing like HID does) and similar beam pattern. You honestly need an LED specific housing or projector for them. Some people have retrofit Morimoto bi LED projectors into their factory housings with good results.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
I recently replaced my headlight assemblies with some aftermarket assemblies and also upgraded to LED bulbs for the parking, low beams, and high beams. I'm greatly satisfied with the output of the bulbs, but the beam pattern is awful. I was expecting a nice, even pattern but instead, I ended up with these hideous bright spots. I thought this might be related to the LED bulb upgrades, but when I put the halogen bulbs back in, I got the same awful pattern (see photos below). I don't have a reference to what they should look like because my assemblies were so cloudy and bulbs so dull before that I never really noticed the low beam pattern. The LED high beams seem to provide a great beam pattern, however. Were the headlights for the 2008 S60 (non-projector) just crappy?

Here's a photo that was taken immediately after installing the LED bulbs (tape lines are approximately where lights should be hitting with a straight line across the top).
View attachment 156031

Here's a photo of the LED lights projected onto a roadway.
View attachment 156032

Here's a photo of the halogen bulbs projected onto a fence.
View attachment 156034
LED headlights do not work well at all in halogen reflector assemblies due to physics. Your best bet for improvement is to replace the entire light assembly or run a high efficacy halogen bulb.

As an added bonus you won't look like a tool driving down the road blinding everyone with your LEDs in reflector housings.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
I know on the new cars the passenger side is aimed higher so you can see more down the shoulder of the road without blinding others... I wonder if they did that even back then?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Halogen housing P2 headlights were pretty bad from what I remember. One of the first things I did to my halogen car when I got it 10 years ago was to put in a PnP HID kit and it drastically improved light output, but the pattern was still pretty sad. It wasn't good enough to any more modern standards (early 2010's), so I found a set of R headlights and bi-xenon swapped them with the OEM HID ballasts. The poor output you're seeing from the LEDs look like poor performance from the low beam LEDs, not filling the reflector housings. If you provide a link or picture of the bulbs, this will probably make a lot more sense. If the LED bulbs only have 2 LEDs 180 degrees apart, there will be dark spots in the reflector.
Here’s the link to the bulbs I bought. I bought the same for both high and low beams.


I viewed several videos from Headlight Revolution and followed all the guidance, but like you said, maybe it’s an issue of not filling the reflector housing fully.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In my experience (my S60 is a 2004, so pre face lift) HID do much better in the halogen housings than LEDs do. That said, I currently run a pair of the highest model AUXITO LED low and high beam bulbs. They provide decent output (though nothing like HID does) and similar beam pattern. You honestly need an LED specific housing or projector for them. Some people have retrofit Morimoto bi LED projectors into their factory housings with good results.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
Thanks for the feedback! I thought about upgrading to HID several years ago and didn’t even consider that when I replaced my assemblies. I was just tired of replacing bulb after bulb because the low beams are on constantly. So, my mind immediately went to LED. What’s your take on HIDs and how often they need to be replaced?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LED headlights do not work well at all in halogen reflector assemblies due to physics. Your best bet for improvement is to replace the entire light assembly or run a high efficacy halogen bulb.

As an added bonus you won't look like a tool driving down the road blinding everyone with your LEDs in reflector housings.
I definitely have them angled lower than they should be for that exact reason - I don’t want to blind anyone. The flip side of that though is that I’m definitely not getting the necessary even spread down-road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know on the new cars the passenger side is aimed higher so you can see more down the shoulder of the road without blinding others... I wonder if they did that even back then?
I didn’t notice a difference between the two when I was measuring from the aiming dot on each assembly down to the ground. There may’ve been the slightest difference, but if there was, I obviously wasn’t able to decipher it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
I definitely have them angled lower than they should be for that exact reason - I don’t want to blind anyone. The flip side of that though is that I’m definitely not getting the necessary even spread down-road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
LED bulbs have varying quality in terms of filament placement. Aftermarket housings generally have pretty poor beam patterns, lower reflector quailty. COmbining the two is not a great recipe.

If you want to stay with glass headlights (e.g. especially if the car is parked outside year around) I know of some european code genuine Volvo headlights that might be available at the end of the summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
Thanks for the feedback! I thought about upgrading to HID several years ago and didn’t even consider that when I replaced my assemblies. I was just tired of replacing bulb after bulb because the low beams are on constantly. So, my mind immediately went to LED. What’s your take on HIDs and how often they need to be replaced?
Well in my experience HID seems to be the brightest option with the furthest throw, of course it's an actual bulb lit 360 degrees around it, unlike most LED bulbs on the market. In its proper housing, I'd imagine LED is king. HID should last you 2-3 years in most cases, and the color will shift before it fully dies. When I ran aftermarket HID on my P2, I disabled the DRLs using VIDA since they cause the bulbs to double ignite which isn't good for them. My counter to that before DRL was disabled was to turn the lights knob to the parking lights (middle position) then turn the knob either to on our back to DRL position. LEDs don't have that worry.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well in my experience HID seems to be the brightest option with the furthest throw, of course it's an actual bulb lit 360 degrees around it, unlike most LED bulbs on the market. In its proper housing, I'd imagine LED is king. HID should last you 2-3 years in most cases, and the color will shift before it fully dies. When I ran aftermarket HID on my P2, I disabled the DRLs using VIDA since they cause the bulbs to double ignite which isn't good for them. My counter to that before DRL was disabled was to turn the lights knob to the parking lights (middle position) then turn the knob either to on our back to DRL position. LEDs don't have that worry.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
Good to know! I don't have VIDA, but I've always wondered if there was a way to disable them. Now I wish I would've thought to check here before doing all these upgrades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
What year is your S60?
From what I've seen, the early cars with glass headlights aren't as bad with LED bulb upgrades as the refresh cars - 2005 and up with the clear plastic lens, like my 2007. I've tried some different LED bulbs, and the beam pattern was WAY too spotty for my taste. I haven't tried a good halogen bulb upgrade yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What year is your S60?
From what I've seen, the early cars with glass headlights aren't as bad with LED bulb upgrades as the refresh cars - 2005 and up with the clear plastic lens, like my 2007. I've tried some different LED bulbs, and the beam pattern was WAY too spotty for my taste. I haven't tried a good halogen bulb upgrade yet.
Mine is a 2008 and it definitely has the plastic lens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
For US cars, only 01'-04' had glass lenses. Facelift cars had projectors with plastic lenses.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,059 Posts
Stock halogen 05+ reflector versus bi-xenon projector (not Volvo xenon reflector). Identical camera exposure. Low beam xenon and high beam xenon + LED high beam. Nice to be able to see at night and not blind people.

 
  • Like
Reactions: cejones1927
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top