Since this forum, like much of the internet, is full of bad, anecdotal, unproven opinions, rather than facts, I figured I'd do some beam comparisons for everyone.
I hope to help save people money, since most products we are buying sight-unseen, with return-shipping and restocking fees sometimes exceeding the cost of the product. There are also safety issues for other drivers on the road, or products that are almost guaranteed to get owners traffic tickets.
I haven't had a F150 for long, but soon after purchase, like all my other vehicles I've had, I purchased spare sets of lighting fixtures (headlight, tail, cargo housings, in some cases interior bulb housings) to hack up and add my own touch of real LED upgrades. Right now I have some spare housings that are not yet cut, and they can be used for testing.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the latest craze, and rightfully so. LEDs have become the most energy-efficient light source we have available today, and come in a wide range of color. Whites can look more white and reds can look more red.
One common problem with LEDs if that they degrade in performance as they heat up, and they emit most of their light in a tight beam out the front. Halogen bulb housings are designed to capture 360 degrees of even illumination, and reflect it out to the world. LEDs are flat light sources that usually have their own domes or other optics to help direct the light, but never as perfect as a glowing filament.
As started in the LED headlight thread at http://www.f150forum.com/f83/led-hea...-bulbs-310392/
, instead of derailing f1kbramig's thread, I have created a new thread here to post findings I get for the 2009-2014 F150 lighting assemblies I have in my possession.
I will be taking temperature, Wattage, and light-bounce measurements of products, and using a predefined set of camera exposure settings to capture images for comparison. This testing will NOT be in a 100% controlled environment, so scientific results are limited. Since my detached shop won't be built for a few more months and garage is full of boxes after a recent move, my testing will be indoors at this time. Once I find a good set of exposure settings on the camera, I encourage others to contribute if you have a camera with full manual-exposure control, and a tripod.
Basically, I'm fed up with throwing money away aftermarket products, only to find that stock still performed the best. I have cases full of old parts from the last 15 years of products from places like vleds, superbrightleds and ebay/amazon the most lately. Since then I've found that I am only happy with DIY approaches, but that shouldn't stop me from reporting on the products I've tried, or can test and return through satisfaction-guarantees.
I'm not sure how long this thread will stay alive, but I have ordered what some claim is the best LED drop-in headlight replacement for stock halogen housings. I will be comparing them in a few days to stock halogen bulbs, and OEM 2013-2014 HID headlights. Headlights, the most beneficial, but also potentially dangerous, lamps are a good starting point.
I will also add that I have nothing against installing aftermarket (illegal in most places) parts in vehicles, including drop-in bulbs, unless they negatively affect others on the road, or are an otherwise big safety hazard. The law does have an issue with modifications, and both police officers and vehicle-registration check personnel should fine whenever possible. The worst are headlight mods that should be immediately fined, and in my opinion increasing amounts for each future infraction for the same issue, since they cause glare, especially when foggy, raining, or otherwise wet. Retrofit or not, all mods and non-oem-spec'd bulbs are illegal where I am located. Also a big issue I see often enough are people running light bars on public roads, in traffic. I try to make my modifications an improvement, but not surpass the legal limit specified in my registered vehicles' jurisdiction (should pass DOT requirements, but will never be tested). If I found a drop-in hid or LED bulb that actually worked well in a halogen housing, on a specific vehicle, I would have no problem running it. Aiming headlights downward is not a solution.
Does anyone have any ideas for setting up a consistent testing zone? I'm all for community input.