I am getting ready to install a P-E Headlight Motor/Bulb controller.

At the same time, I am considering an upgrade to the lighting.  It's a difficult decision.

ON THE ONE HAND....  The low profile light offerings with the projector bulbs look pretty cool. 

ON THE OTHER HAND.... To install them, you have to cut up the headlight buckets, it's more work, and....  I kind of think that their good looks is only noticeable in the day - when you don't really need them to be visible.

So I'm considering just trying a replacement 7" round headlight.  There are a number (myriad, and I mean millions) of choices at varying prices, and varying types (LED, Halogen, High Intensity Discharge or HID, etc.).

ON THE THIRD HAND....  It's really hard to tell which 7" bulb or bulb system would give good performance, and which ones will even fit in the buckets.  Some of the bulbs (like stock Jeep bulbs) look too deep to fit into the standard 7" light buckets and likely wouldn't fit into our cars.

AND ON THE FOURTH HAND....  Some of the better 7" lighting systems seem to cost almost as much as the low profile projector systems offered by our vendors!

 

So it has proven to be a complex decision.  There were two bulb systems that I was looking at....  One was a Sylvania LED Sealed Beam at $182 (!!!) per bulb...

https://smile.amazon.com/SYLVA...PY3K2MGJ9MKJCGCX198D

The other is the Anzo 881036 at $300 a pair...

https://smile.amazon.com/AnzoU...utomotive&sr=1-1

 

Anyone have other suggestions?  HIDs?  Comments?

I know the P-E controller has a setting for HIDs, and I was originally enthusiastic about those type of lights, but I am hearing the beam pattern sometimes is less desirable than desired. 

The Anzos were higlly rated and had a good light pattern.  I'm not too keen on the logo in the middle, but again - no one will see it.  I think the Anzo's have glass lenses... it's hard to tell.  The Sylvanias are plastic lenses.

I'm also not too enthusiastic about anything with a "halo" ring - I think they would look really silly on our cars, and can't be seen in the daytime anyway with the lights down.

Thanks -

Rocky

Original Post

There's a  plethora of options now, as usual the more you are willing to pay the better the quality. I know Bill Moore used Vision X Vortex 7" on his conversion and the light out put is fantastic. There's quite a few old threads discussing various options, but the technology has come a long way in recent years. After a lot of research I upgraded just the bulbs on my F150 Raptor and it was literally like night and day. I'm not sure there is space for an LED bulb and heat sink in my 60mm Amerisport quads, but that would be my next upgrade.

Im heading to the beach for a few, but when I return I will show you what I put in my wifes MBZ 300D because the halogen were useless. Used a 7" LED unit that looked pretty much stock and learned the cutoff is real important or you blind people. Also learned it will never be perfect with these units but I got pretty close.

I learned you need to watch out how the outer glass surface is designed. When looking into the bulb face on, I learned the less design on the 7 o'clock - 9 o'clock position on the glass the better. This unit in the photos was very bad for oncoming traffic because the band on the left made the light reflected upward into the eyes of oncoming. I was later told that such design is made for Europe where they drive on the opposite side so that broad band lights up the left side of the road (side walk for instance). However the 35 watt Saber LED shown in the photo was excellent, its just the housing was not meant for the US. So here are some photos with the incorrect glass housing.IMG_0848IMG_E0880IMG_0909IMG_E0865

Attachments

Images (3)

This is the correct lens pattern where the ridges on the lens are on the 3 o'clock - 4 o'clock position (again when looking into the lens). So in the US driving on the right side of the road those ridges light up the right side of the road with a broad band of light and the light on the road and oncoming traffic has a straight cutoff. In the photo below I still had to adjust mine, but you get the idea showing how the lens pattern can alter the cutoff and the broad band. Overall I am real happy with these, dumped the useless halogen in the trash where they belong.

IMG_E1197IMG_E1222IMG_E0910 

Attachments

Images (3)

Your "before" photo is typically what happens when you try to put too bright a bulb in a US DOT housing. The lens was not designed for a bulb that's so bright or positioned so close to the lens. All that happens is you blind oncoming cars and you don't get much more illumination down the road where you need it. It's important to buy a housing/lens that's designed for the bulb that's in it. ECE (European) lenses have a much sharper (and lower) cut-off than US DOT lenses. I'm not aware of any countries in continental Europe where they drive on the opposite side of the road but I don't think it makes a difference. I think even the UK uses ECE headlamps.

I'm told the reason for the difference in headlamp lens design between the US and Europe is that US road signs are much higher than European road signs. US headlamps therefore, need to direct light higher on the right side of the vehicle. In order to prevent blinding oncoming traffic, the lenses are more diffused and they make us use bulbs with less wattage. Officially, ECE headlamps are illegal in the USA but I've never heard of anyone actually getting ticketed for having them. They don't blind oncoming traffic, as long as they're aimed properly, and they don't generate as much glare as DOT headlamps. They're legal in Canada though. I do know an importer who had a shipment of OEM Mercedes and Audi ECE headlamps confiscated by the DOT in the '80's!!!   

Most of the aftermarket LED headlamps I've seen have lenses much more toward the ECE design than US DOT. As with most other things, you get what you pay for.   

I've been looking for 4X6 LED Headlights for My Car for awhile. Big Procrastinator! LOL  It's amazing the Pricing, $50 to over $700! Plus many are Not DOT. Yes the cut off line is important! Not many reviews and it's kinda hard buying online site unseen. I have yet to find any on a Parts store shelf!  

How true David as they say you get what you pay for. Its almost impossible to find something rigged up where the housing was really made for a halogen bulb and have it shine perfect on the road. Am happy enough with mine though all for under $100. Brickdrifter I have been finding all these 7" fixtures are all pretty much universal, then you slip the LED unit in from the rear of the fixture and it locks into the fixture (photo). I got mine from octanelighting.com, although it seems their website is not working or maybe with covid even out of business now. The shop number is 855-962-8263. If I had to do this all over and was willing to spend the money I would have tried a fixed LED unit. I learned even those create bright and dark (empty) spots on the road, but still probably better than the cheap method.

How true David as they say you get what you pay for. Its almost impossible to find something rigged up where the housing was really made for a halogen bulb and have it shine perfect on the road. Am happy enough with mine though all for under $100. Brickdrifter I have been finding all these 7" fixtures are all pretty much universal, then you slip the LED unit in from the rear of the fixture and it locks into the fixture (photo). I got mine from octanelighting.com, although it seems their website is not working or maybe with covid even out of business now. The shop number is 855-962-8263. If I had to do this all over and was willing to spend the money I would have tried a fixed LED unit. I learned even those create bright and dark (empty) spots on the road, but still probably better than the cheap method.

ProductID11726

IMG_1200

Attachments

Images (2)
Last edited by does200

After I bought my glass units someone said these have a good glass pattern too, but who knows on all these lights till you buy. I have learned that some websites can be deceptive too trying to show how good their light is and the cutoff. Sometimes actual youtube search works good in seeing how various lights actually look from people that have bought different units. Just don't expect something perfect; although my wifes Jeep LED upgrade I did are spectacular but I don't think those would go in a Pantera. 

Autopal

Attachments

Images (1)
@frogmike posted:

Hi Rocky.  These were recommended and used by other Pantera owners.  I had the site bookmarked for a while now as I did plan to eventually get them.  Here's the link:  https://vintagecarleds.com/sho...h-led-headlight-kit/

They seem like a good product and look for a Pantera.  Regards, Mike

FWIW, I put the Vintage Car LED "VC5000 ULTIMATE 7 INCH LED HEADLIGHT KIT" in my Pantera a couple months ago.  Color: 6000Kelvin (Pure White) and upgraded to the German Hella H4 Lens.  They're expensive though at $409 for the pair (after the new customer discount). The discount code was "THANKS10" when I bought mine.  Their website mentions the discount, but I couldn't find it so I emailed them and they sent it to me. If you try the code and it doesn't work, shoot them an email and ask for the code.

Anyway, the headlights are awesome!  Bright white light and a nice cut line at the sides.  I bought them on the recommendation of another club member who had them on his Pantera.  I'm thinking of getting a set for my 66 Mustang too.

Last edited by garth66
@davidnunn posted:

Dapper Lighting has 4" x 6" headlights. I was told about Dapper Lighting by a guy who works at The Roadster Shop. They are very popular with the Hot Rod crowd. 

https://www.dapperlighting.com/products/foursix

This lights look good, But the problem is on the Pantera We need A headlight that has both Hi and Low beam in one. For someone with, lets say a 90s Camaro these way work well. Two Low beams and Two High Beams.  

After looking at a bunch of sites, I chose the Dapper OE7 LEDs, with the "vintage" lens.  On sale - just under $300 with shipping. 

Thanks all, but the discussion can continue...

 

I was leaning toward the HID option on the  Dapper V1 light, but the Applications Engineer talked me out of it.  High start-up current (vs. LED), 10-15 sec for the light to come up to full brightness, and the potential for the light output to gradually reduce over time.  Sounds like a PIA, and that the current generation LEDs are the way to go, in whatever package you choose.

Thanks to everyone who provided guidance.

 

Last edited by rocky

Looks like a nice choice in the end. Yes my shop said the HID could have more of a focused beam of light, but said the same downsides as you mention. When you get them in and adjust the beams against a wall, maybe post a photo against a wall? Would be nice to see.

Will do.  I think it will add to the knowledge base.  I just have to find a flat, dark wall.  My driveway slopes up about 10*….  It might make the comparison harder to judge if I do it at home.

 

Rocky

Yes you will need a good solid wall to adjust them correctly. There are procedures via google & youtube if you don't already know how. I used a wall at our community pool along with a tape measure, worked pretty good & doesn't need to be dark. I've done some adjusting on the walls at the rear of stores too such as Target, HomeDepot are usually empty at night. Good luck. Will be nice to see what you got.

Last edited by does200
@garth66 posted:

FWIW, I put the Vintage Car LED "VC5000 ULTIMATE 7 INCH LED HEADLIGHT KIT" in my Pantera a couple months ago."

Where did you mount the heat sink that's part of the cord to the plug behind the bulb?  Seems that would flop around in the headlight bucket.  I noticed their VCm3 – 7 INCH LED HEADLIGHT KIT has the heat sink built into the headlight housing.  Just curious how that part is dealt with.  Thanks, Mike

 

Attachments

Images (1)
@frogmike posted:

Where did you mount the heat sink that's part of the cord to the plug behind the bulb?  Seems that would flop around in the headlight bucket. 

 

I'll check tonight.  The body shop that repainted my Pantera actually installed the LED headlights when they were reassembling the car.

Also check the amperage of whatever bulbs you want to swap. Some lights want more amperage than the stock wires (and fuses) can supply. To make things more problematic, the Pantera (or at least our '72-1/2 L) has about 10 feet of extra wire- some not connected to anything up front, folded into a taped bundle along with several extra connectors under the hood hinge crossmember. All this stuff reduces voltage getting to the things that need it to work as designed.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×