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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I've been spending a few hours researching upgrades to the headlights on my '23 Crosstrek Premium and was hoping for some pointers. I've scoured the forums and I do understand that running LED bulbs in a reflector housing is a huge no for safety reasons, so we will not being going with this option. However, I do need better visibility at night since I'll be sharing the car with my significant other who currently drives an SUV with LED headlights and auto-leveling and she needs the same amount of visibility for those long road trips at night.


Option 1: I can upgrade the halogen bulbs but I hear they burn out quickly which can quickly turn into a safety issue driving at night.

Option 2: Run Xenon bulbs made for a reflector housing using this kit. From what I have read, the bulbs are shorter and won't create that glare that blinds oncoming traffic. If there is an alternative option other than replacing the entire headlight assembly, please do share. I went with a Crosstrek Premium because I wanted the MT and unfortunately, the Limited which does have LEDs only comes in CVT.

I'm leaning towards option 2 but not sure if this would be safe for street use, even with shorter bulbs. If anyone is running the deAutoLed system, please share your experience.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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"Option 1: I can upgrade the halogen bulbs but I hear they burn out quickly which can quickly turn into a safety issue driving at night."

i guess that depends on much you drive at night and if you use your headlights in the daytime. i have used upgraded halogens on both of my crosstreks. the current set is 15 months old. i carry an extra set in my car in case one burns out on a road trip
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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I've used a deautokey kit for my 2016 Crosstrek. Here is a video;

If I had to do it today, I would use DiodeDynamics SL1s which are LEDs. These are illegal, so make sure your low beams do not enter other drivers windows.
 
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Option 3: Diode Dynamics. They're arguably the highest-quality LED manufacturer around.
Option 4: retrofit (FoxBeamLighting)
Option 5: get a pair of OEM LEDs from a junkyard, a harness from Fox, install.

There's no cheap way to get a good conversion without dazzling other drivers. Especially not with reflector headlamps.
 

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Thanks erader. Which halogen bulbs did you upgrade to? Mind sharing pictures?
you're welcome. you're right: the brighter the halogen bulb the shorter the life. i leave my headlights on auto. the bulbs are not cheap but they are guaranteed for a year. so if you pay full pop keep the receipt. i buy mine on ebay at about 30% off so i forgo the warranty

 

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Ksanaa,
you could do what Bluefoton wrote. It will be expensive and the installation will not be easy. You will not dazzle other drivers eyes if your low beams don't enter their windows.
You can buy these from Amazon;
If you're not happy, Amazon will take them back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone! After back and forth with Diode Dynamics, I have decided to go with the SL1 in the lowbeams, LED fog lights and LED C-Lights.
 

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I used Diode Dynamics SL1s in the fogs in a 2016 Crosstrek. I wrecked that Crosstrek, in the front, a year and a half ago and gave the emitters to a cousin. They're now over 6 years and still working. Good luck.
 

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^ WHat @CRAZYHAWK said, forgot about them. I had HIRs for a while on my 2008 before doing a projector swap. Well worth the money - the filament is where it should be (the beam pattern remains exactly as designed), yet they offer significant boost in lumens. Actual mesured lumens, not Ebay eleventy-bazillion-lumens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks CRAZYHAWK! This was a response from DD but take it as you want with it coming from the mfg. I did watch the video and I'm hoping that a LED solution will be approved for reflector use. If I decide to not run LEDs in the low beams, I at least need to upgrade the fog lights to LEDs for more visibility at night.

We designed the SL1/SLF LED bulbs with the objective of eliminating glare. Most LEDs typically spread as much light as possible in all directions, making it rather difficult to control the beam patterns. Our SL1, however, was designed to mimic the beam patterns of a traditional halogen bulb, meaning that it is perfectly suited for a reflector housing and will not blind oncoming traffic. This is accomplished through the placement of the LEDs. Our LEDs are located in the same position, and are the same size, as the filament in a factory halogen.
 

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Thanks CRAZYHAWK! This was a response from DD but take it as you want with it coming from the mfg. I did watch the video and I'm hoping that a LED solution will be approved for reflector use. If I decide to not run LEDs in the low beams, I at least need to upgrade the fog lights to LEDs for more visibility at night.

We designed the SL1/SLF LED bulbs with the objective of eliminating glare. Most LEDs typically spread as much light as possible in all directions, making it rather difficult to control the beam patterns. Our SL1, however, was designed to mimic the beam patterns of a traditional halogen bulb, meaning that it is perfectly suited for a reflector housing and will not blind oncoming traffic. This is accomplished through the placement of the LEDs. Our LEDs are located in the same position, and are the same size, as the filament in a factory halogen.
Buy the SL1s and put them in the lows. If you are not happy with the results, swap with the fogs. If you like them buy another pair for the fogs.
These emitters claim to have a similar beam pattern;
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
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Thanks CRAZYHAWK! This was a response from DD but take it as you want with it coming from the mfg. I did watch the video and I'm hoping that a LED solution will be approved for reflector use. If I decide to not run LEDs in the low beams, I at least need to upgrade the fog lights to LEDs for more visibility at night.

We designed the SL1/SLF LED bulbs with the objective of eliminating glare. Most LEDs typically spread as much light as possible in all directions, making it rather difficult to control the beam patterns. Our SL1, however, was designed to mimic the beam patterns of a traditional halogen bulb, meaning that it is perfectly suited for a reflector housing and will not blind oncoming traffic. This is accomplished through the placement of the LEDs. Our LEDs are located in the same position, and are the same size, as the filament in a factory halogen.
It’s honestly a little disappointing that DD would send out an email like that, since they’ve gotten in trouble with federal regulators in the past for suggesting that their LED driving lights be used in traffic situations, when they’re actually not street legal. They had to issue a recall for their lights last year because of that.
 

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It's a carefully written statement. All retrofits of LED bulbs/HID capsules into headlamp housings are illegal, it's an umbrella regulation (for good reasons) with no room for exceptions or caveats. However, this does not negate the possibility that well-designed LEDs (which are an absolute minority of what's on the market) will actually meet or exceed DOT or ECE regulations as far as beam throw and glare is concerned. Thus, retrofitting with DD's LEDs remains illegal regardless of whether the resulting beam pattern meets, or fails DOT standards.

From what seemed to have been observed, Impreza/Crosstrek reflector headlamps, with DD SL1s, indeed exhibit a good beam pattern without excessive glare. Definitely not worse than older OEM Subaru reflector HIDs. But since individual performance characteristics of retrofits are ignored by the law, they can't be advertised as being OK for street use.
 

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Yeah, some LED headlight retrofits are definitely not as bad as others, but I don’t think it’s technically possible to put an LED in a halogen housing and not have potential issues once you get out on the road. Even if a design were perfect in static testing, which is pretty darn unlikely, that’s not going to automatically translate to on-the-road conditions, and the halogen housings are not going to have the leveling tech that is needed to keep other drivers safe.
 
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