Options for replacing 3rd gen DRL/high beam with LED or HID? - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
User Tag List

 10Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
TitaniumVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 779
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Thanks: 103
Thanked 115 Times in 89 Posts
Groans: 5
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Options for replacing 3rd gen DRL/high beam with LED or HID?

Has anyone found a good option for replacing the day time running lights on a 3rd gen Touring or Sport with an LED bulb? My understanding is that most 9005 LEDs won't work since our DRLs are actually high beam bulbs that are driven at 50% power during the day. I hate the yellow stock bulbs, and would like to find a replacement that's more pure white (5000K ish color).


If LED's not viable, is there a good HID option instead? Would I need a bi-xenon HID?
TitaniumVT is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 12:53 AM
Learners License
 
Juan Carlo Gonzalez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Groans: 0
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Garage
iTrader: 0 reviews
I just removed the fuse for the DRL and thats it.
GerryB likes this.
Juan Carlo Gonzalez is offline  
post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 10:10 AM
Registered User
 
tickerguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,443
Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Thanks: 19
Thanked 517 Times in 394 Posts
Groans: 4
Groaned at 7 Times in 7 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
There are no reasonably-legal and more-importantly safe options to do so without fairly-serious wiring changes.

The DRLs are the highs at 50% voltage. This results in far less than 50% brightness. If you underdrive LEDs by 50% they will be far too bright and in compromised-light conditions (e.g. dusk, dawn time, etc) you are very likely to blind oncoming drivers. HIDs will either be damaged (due to excessive current draw, if they have a constant-wattage ballast) and blind people reliably or fail to ignite entirely at that voltage.

The only *safe* way to do this is to come up with a comparator circuit that detects the DRL .vs. High Beam voltage differential and either switches in the lamps (for highs) or switches in a separate DRL lamp (for DRLs) that can run on the half-voltage. I am aware of no available option to do this, but it's doable if you wish to do the circuitry for it yourself along with protecting it from the environment under the hood. This is a fairly material undertaking however. If you're going to use HID then you also need a shutter mechanism driven by the HIGH signal and for the lamps themselves to be energized whenever the headlights are on (lows or highs) since HIDs take a fair bit of time to come up to full brightness and when you select HIGH you need them immediately; in addition short-cycling HIDs is very bad for them and will dramatically reduce their service life.
tickerguy is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to tickerguy For This Useful Post:
TitaniumVT (10-08-2016)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
TitaniumVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 779
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Thanks: 103
Thanked 115 Times in 89 Posts
Groans: 5
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Thanks @tickerguy. Sigh...I wish there were better option. The easiest thing for now might be to swap out the stock halogen bulbs for "whiter" halogen bulbs like the Philips Crystal Vision Ultra.. It won't get me to the level of whiteness I want (5000K is what I'd ideally be aiming for), but they'd be slightly whiter than stock. Not sure it's worth the effort, however.


With more cars combining the highs/DRL, hopefully manufacturers will come out with more suitable dual voltage LED replacements in the next few years.
TitaniumVT is offline  
post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 01:58 PM
Registered User
 
tickerguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,443
Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Thanks: 19
Thanked 517 Times in 394 Posts
Groans: 4
Groaned at 7 Times in 7 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Replacing the H11s with H9s for low beams in the stock projector housing is *reasonably* safe (beam pattern will not be impacted), materially brighter, somewhat whiter (by about 200K), only marginally increases wattage (and has no notable increase in heat dissipation) but you will sacrifice bulb life (by about half.) The increased output comes from driving the filament harder but at the cost of service life. It is technically illegal since this combination was never OEM certified but unlikely to get you either ticketed or in liability trouble since it will not cause glare and looks OEM without a VERY close and detailed inspection. It's also cheap to do, instantly reversible and you can keep a spare bulb in the trunk in the event you have one burn out while on the road somewhere. You need to trim both the tab on the lamp face and in the socket with a Dremel, but it's a ~5 minute mod. Note that H9s are fairly common in Euro-spec cars. DO NOT put these bulbs in a fog housing or any non-projector lowbeam (ever) as the H9 lacks a forward light shield and will glare like crazy in those lamps; doing so is extremely unsafe and you deserve all the tickets you WILL get if you do that. That lack of a forward shield, incidentally, is WHY the tabs are different.

Replacing the 9005 high beams with 9011s requires the same sort of surgery on the tab on the bulb but nothing on the socket (they're interchangeable electrically); this again does NOT change the light pattern, will also materially increase output, give you a slightly whiter light (by a couple hundred K) and *again* shorten bulb life. It will not materially increase DRL output when driven at half-power, so it's not dangerous to other drivers at or near dusk/dawn as an LED high-beam retrofit is. As with the H9/H11 mod its technically illegal but unlikely to get you either ticketed or in liability trouble since it does no violence to the beam pattern, does not result in DRLs being glare-crazy beasts and you don't use highs at night when traffic is oncoming anyway (since they will *ALWAYS* blast an oncoming driver in any event by definition.)

If you're unhappy with the factory lighting that's an option that isn't going to blind oncoming drivers and *probably* won't get you either ticketed or into liability trouble, but will materially improve night-time visibility of the road. It's also inexpensive (about $30 or so for both sets) and is *dramatically* superior to the garbage sold as "Siverstars", "Crystal Vision" and the like (which actually have LESS output than factory headlight bulbs and thus HURT nighttime visibility!)

DO check your headlight aim in any event as they can drift over time or even be wrong from the factory -- blasting oncoming drivers is extremely dangerous, illegal (and can get you ticketed) and if you cause an accident by doing it you're in a world of hurt.
tickerguy is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to tickerguy For This Useful Post:
TitaniumVT (10-08-2016)
post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 09:48 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: FL
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Thanks: 21
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Groans: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by tickerguy View Post
If you're unhappy with the factory lighting that's an option that isn't going to blind oncoming drivers and *probably* won't get you either ticketed or into liability trouble, but will materially improve night-time visibility of the road. It's also inexpensive (about $30 or so for both sets) and is *dramatically* superior to the garbage sold as "Siverstars", "Crystal Vision" and the like (which actually have LESS output than factory headlight bulbs and thus HURT nighttime visibility!)
So, basically something like the PIAA Night Tech High Performance are over priced and probably not worth it? What brand would be best to go with? I don't care about them looking white really, I just want the output to be better, especially what works well in the rain(stock sucks so bad in the rain and that's where I really want better).

Hodor
jenjen777 is offline  
post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 11:09 AM
Registered User
 
tickerguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,443
Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Thanks: 19
Thanked 517 Times in 394 Posts
Groans: 4
Groaned at 7 Times in 7 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenjen777 View Post
So, basically something like the PIAA Night Tech High Performance are over priced and probably not worth it? What brand would be best to go with? I don't care about them looking white really, I just want the output to be better, especially what works well in the rain(stock sucks so bad in the rain and that's where I really want better).
ANY "coated" bulb (without a clear envelope) will have LESS light output (by definition you're absorbing some of the light!) The PIAA lamps are in this category (note the color-masking coating on the bulb.) So are the "CrystalVision", "Silverstar" and similar. All of those may put "whiter" light on the road, but they put LESS light on the road in total!

DO NOT buy the "amped up" H9s you can find on the Internet (100w specifically -- Hella makes those along with a few others) as those are radically illegal and unsafe in that they may melt your wiring, lamp housing or both. H9s from reputable manufacturers (Philips or Sylvania to name two) are legit products, have the same filament placement as a H11 and will provide both a slightly whiter output (yet still in the "slightly yellow shifted" area that provides the best visibility for the human eye) *and* materially higher output while being safe to run in your housing from a glare, wiring and heat standpoint.

And.... since you need make no changes to the car (wiring, sockets, etc) you're only out $20 if you don't like 'em.
jenjen777 and ZackDickey like this.
tickerguy is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to tickerguy For This Useful Post:
jenjen777 (10-09-2016)
post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
TitaniumVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 779
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Thanks: 103
Thanked 115 Times in 89 Posts
Groans: 5
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Interesting idea, Tickerguy. I wasn't aware an H9 conversion was possible. After watching a couple of YouTube videos on how to do this, it looks like it's only the bulb that needs to be modified, while the stock headlamp housing and connector remain fully intact. That makes this upgrade instantly reversible, with no ill effects if you want brighter light output but don't want to go with HID/LED.


While the conversion would work for the Mazda 6 low beams (which are H11), it looks like this mod won't work for the DRL/high beams, which are 9005 bulbs and are in a non-projector housing. In the foreseeable term, switching to a whiter bulb like the Crystal Vision might be the only feasible option to get less yellow output. Having said that, since in the DRL position, the bulbs are being driven at 50% voltage, even the whiter bulbs may look more yellow than they should. On Amazon, people are complaining that their upgraded DRLs look at yellow as stock.
TitaniumVT is offline  
post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 02:57 PM
Registered User
 
tickerguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,443
Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 876 Post(s)
Thanks: 19
Thanked 517 Times in 394 Posts
Groans: 4
Groaned at 7 Times in 7 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumVT View Post
Interesting idea, Tickerguy. I wasn't aware an H9 conversion was possible. After watching a couple of YouTube videos on how to do this, it looks like it's only the bulb that needs to be modified, while the stock headlamp housing and connector remain fully intact. That makes this upgrade instantly reversible, with no ill effects if you want brighter light output but don't want to go with HID/LED.


While the conversion would work for the Mazda 6 low beams (which are H11), it looks like this mod won't work for the DRL/high beams, which are 9005 bulbs and are in a non-projector housing. In the foreseeable term, switching to a whiter bulb like the Crystal Vision might be the only feasible option to get less yellow output. Having said that, since in the DRL position, the bulbs are being driven at 50% voltage, even the whiter bulbs may look more yellow than they should. On Amazon, people are complaining that their upgraded DRLs look at yellow as stock.
No, it DOES work for the DRL/highs; you don't NEED a front glare shield on the highs (there isn't one on the 9005 in fact) since you never (I hope!) use them in the presence of oncoming traffic (they'll blind you anyway, upgraded or not.) The higher-output sub for the 9005 is the 9011. The DRL circuit underdrive is at a low enough output that you won't be able to tell the difference in DRL mode between 9005s and 9011, so there's no glare problem during dusk hours either.

Both require no change to the housing or wiring; the H9 requires you grind off part of one of the bulb locking tabs and a key in the socket (on the bulb); the plug on the car remains unmolested and mates properly. The 9011 is connector-compatible and requires only part of a tab be ground off, and the tabs on 9005s and 9011s are both plastic so it's easier than with the H9s!

Again this is not "street legal" or DOT approved, but in both cases you're replacing a bulb with one that has the filament of the same size, in the same place and orientation (thus will produce the exact same pattern) and it draws a similar amount of power (identical in the case of the 9011 .vs. 9005.) The difference and reason for the higher lumen output is that the filaments in the H9 and 9011 burn hotter and are more efficient, thus emitting more light (and about the same amount of heat) but last about half as long as the H11 or 9005 (nothing's free!) And again, as in the case of the H9, you do NOT want to buy any of the "fancy" or "uprated" 9011s (there are both "counterfeit" and other screwball 9011s out there and just like the 100W H11s they will likely melt your housing, the wiring or BOTH *and* may not have the correct beam pattern -- so don't try it!)

And just to say it again, do *not* do this with the factory halogen fogs (or for that matter in any car with non-projector lowbeams!); those use H11s but absolutely require the front bulb paint or they will glare like crazy and blast oncoming drivers, and the H9 bulb doesn't have one. If you want upgraded fogs the best option is the Morimoto LED model; they have the correct bar pattern and don't blast oncoming drivers, are very bright but sadly aren't available in a yellow-colored version - they're sunlight-white in color temperature.

If you're going to do this conversion use the standard, off-the-shelf bulbs from a reputable supplier (Philips is a solid brand that produces spec-compliant products and you can get them on Amazon.)

Here's a link to someone who walked through it on the Toyota 4-Runner, which uses the same bulbs the Mazda 6 does. The 6s low beams are projectors (I don't know if the Toyota 4-Runner is) which means there's zero issues with glare on the lows, and of course for the highs it's a non-factor because you already have an unshielded-tip bulb in there and don't run highs when there is oncoming traffic anyway. How To: Headlight Bulb Conversion (H11 to H9 & 9005 to 9011) - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum
jenjen777 and ZackDickey like this.
tickerguy is online now  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to tickerguy For This Useful Post:
jenjen777 (10-09-2016), MazdaRex (12-26-2016), soopa76 (06-05-2017), TitaniumVT (10-10-2016), ZackDickey (01-24-2017)
post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
TitaniumVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 779
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Thanks: 103
Thanked 115 Times in 89 Posts
Groans: 5
Groaned at 8 Times in 6 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
Wow! What a thorough and well reasoned response, @tickerguy. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge on this subject - the level of detail you provided is greatly appreciated.
ZackDickey likes this.

Last edited by TitaniumVT; 10-10-2016 at 02:27 AM.
TitaniumVT is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome