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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
Umbra_of_Chaos
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Ccfl vs standard LED

So I've done alot of researching and just get mixed reviews on the subject so I figure just to ask the question myself, what are better aftermarket halo (dual) headlights, CCFLs or standard LEDs? I was almost fully convinced that CCFLs were loaded with issues and just crappy compared to normal LEDs but the guy I talked with at a aftermarket shop begged to differ so I'm back to square one.
Anyone with personal experiences with either or both? Maybe pictures?? Feed back would be clutch!! Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
Sankekur
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The guy at the shop doesn't know what he is taking about, the LED ones are miles better than the CCFL ones, I have had 3 sets in about six months and all of them when poof, apart from the reliability the LED ones are also a lot brighter and actually properly visible in the day.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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^^^ THAT ^^^^



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Old 04-23-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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Here's your comparison:

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:31 AM   #5
Umbra_of_Chaos
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Just with those last three posts, I'm sold on LEDs again.
Now a more important question is where do I find the best quality ones. Does anyone have one they recommend above all or will pretty much any brand do fine?
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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Orion V2 or Khoaltys
They're all good
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
chris 320d
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id go for ccfl.i got a set of leds and took them straight back out could see the led bulbs made car look cheap imo.got ccfls and havnt had any problems in 6 months and they look great like oem
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:33 PM   #8
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i had ccfl for 2 months, didn't had any problems. But now I've upgraded to Orion V2 and they are a lot better than CCFL AEs.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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Been running CCFL's for over 6 years and after a couple issues (ballasts) early on I've had the same setup for over 4 years still running strong. After seeing LED versions IN PERSON (not with the doctored pics that float around a LOT here on the forums with different apature settings and shutter speeds to make them look "right") I can say without a doubt that the CCFL looks cleaner. LED versions are blurry from a distance, too bright for my tastes but everyone is different on that, and when you get up close you see the individual LEDs. When/if the LED versions are fixed to address the "spacing" problem with the individual LEDs then I'll consider picking up a set but they'll still need a rheostat to take care of that "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME" issue with the brightness.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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I just bought a set of CCFL AE's and am about to put them on. I bought the ones with the plastic ribbed sleeve over the CCFL tube. When they are off, they look perfectly like OEM. The LED ones all have a yellow look (the LED color when off) or some do not use crystal plastic (use milky plastic to hide the individual LED's and to blur the image of each LED). I care about how my car looks when the lights are off as well, and the CCFL look way better than any of the LED when off.

In general, CCFL are the same tubes used in the BMW NAV display (backlight), all of your laptops, and most all LCD TV's. They really shouldn't burn out (typically 20, 000 Hrs on full time). Just as a reference: My car has 40,000 Mi and my car computer averages 18MPH (I live in a city). That means my car has been "ON" for 2222 Hours since new. That is no where near 20,000Hrs. The LED's life is highly dependent on being cool. I work in the lighting industry, and for all of our high brightness LED ribbons, we use a big aluminum heat sink (1" x 1/8" AL bar) to attempt to keep the LED cool so they will last anywhere near the 50,000 claimed hours. None of the LED angel eye kits use any heat sink! I would not count on the LED angel Eyes (especially the bright ones) to last anywhere near as long as a CCFL tube. The ballasts supplied with the CCFL are pretty cheap, and I could see them not lasting as long as they should.

So, from my perspective, I would rather change a ballast than have to keep cracking open my headlight assy to replace a ring with some crapped out LED's. If you really wanted to do this right, you would use a fiber optic ring (like BMW OEM) with a proper LED fiber optic driver (which have big old heat sinks to keep the LED's cool). That would be the "high end" route but it would cost a bundle..

Try pulling the LED band out of the plastic ring for a high brightness AE kit, hooking it up and leaving it to run for an hour. Then feel the LEDs. If the back side is hotter than 60 deg C, they wont last long. With LED it is the heat on the back side that matters, the light has no heat, it has to get rid of the heat out the part that is soldered to the ribbon/board. If it cant do that, it wont last long. There is no air flow under that plastic headlight cover. CCFL's love heat, their enemy is cool (which is why in really cold climates, they take longer to warm up to full brightness). At least temperature has no impact on life for the CCFL. It has a huge impact on the life of an LED.

Just my thoughts. If you are doing LED AE's you better go for the max warranty and hope the company is still around when they start failing.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:47 PM   #11
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Meh, my LED rings have been fine for 2+ hour long road trips with and without my headlights on.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:24 AM   #12
waynedude
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P.S. infinite012, I love your fog light retrofit and ZKW lens retrofit! Why do USA light standards have to screw up the perfectly "sharp" cutoff they use in Europe? Cheers to a way to recover that sharpness! And you are so right on the "crazyness of putting HID in a standard reflector"!
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:49 AM   #13
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CCFL rings are more of an older style and is still popular among some customers who are looking for angel eyes without the LED beaded effect when up close. Here are a few pictures of both the City Vision CCFL Angel Eyes and City Vision LED Angel Eyes for you guys to check out!

City Vision CCFL Angel Eyes



City Vision LED Angel Eyes
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