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Do LED headlights increase EV miles?

9262 Views 19 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  mhguy
Hello. Has anyone who's installed LED head lights in their 1st Gen volt noticed any boost in EV miles at night? I'm not too concerned about brightness, though I do prefer the 5-6k light temperature.

On that same topic, any recommendations on a reliable brand/model for LED head lights? I've read about some bad experiences with their heat sinks being undersized resulting in premature failure. Also sizing issues as LED's are usually larger.

PS: I know that technically LED lights retrofits are not DOT approved (And I don't care :rolleyes:)
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I have replaced all (100%) of the incandescent bulbs of my 1995 Buick Regal to LEDs (including the headlamps and every single interior and exterior lamp) in 2010, and it isn't a cost saver. It does make the car more visible at night and during our rainy seasons, so it increases the safety feature and prevents accidents due to poor atmospheric illumination. That is worth the cost! The second benefit is that it will never need any bulb replacements under normal use for the life of the car. I sold the Regal in December 2015 (I had it since December 1994), so it is still running after my 21 years of ownership. The new owner loves the Regal, and really appreciates the higher visibility.

Last menth (February) I completed the 100% replacement of all the lights in my present 2009 Chevy Equinox (also the headlights and every interior and exterior lamp), and it is much more visible even with the DRL on. I am happy with the cost and work investment, and it will help protect me and my wife from possible accidents due to poor illumination, too. So this is a added safety issue for me, and will not save money in gasoline.

All my LEDs were purchased from one distributor, Formula-J87 ( and they will sell a set according to the vehicle you have, including the two generations of the Chevy Volt. They sell great brands, not the cheap Chinese knockoffs, and offer a warranty on any products. One of the red tail LEDs for my Regal was a DOA, and they sent me a replacement. I found them at eBay and bought my Regal lamps this way, but now I buy directly from their store. Here are their eBay reviews:
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One more thing to add, I know you realize that they are illegal to use, likely because they are brighter than halogen by watt. If they are 4x efficiency, that means a 30w LED is putting out more than twice the light (making them look favorable in comparisons). This is like using offroad 120 watt halogens or brighter. Be sure to test it by someone else driving past you in the Volt to see what you are inflicting on other drivers. Overly bright headlights are a safety hazard for other cars, however, they might not be terrible depending on reflector design.
My 1995 Buick Regal (see my past postings) and my 2009 Chevy Equinox have LEDs for the headlights, and are brighter and whiter than the factory lamps. But I also polished the headlight housings to keep the light clear and straight. I see many modern cars with the plastic headlight housings due to sunlight damage, turning cloudy or yellow and dispersing the bright light in all directions instead of focused down the highway lane as it was designed to do. So if anyone replaced their lamps for HIDs or LEDs, they must also have the headlight housings polished, too.
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