Hey guys,

I currently drive an X650 and it was no brainer for me to consider an all electric vehicle for work and keep the X for the weekends.. (The BMW averages about 19L/100km .. I drive it hard the way it's meant to be driven)

So I reserved my MODEL S last week... #141 Canada... just for those of you that are doing the reservation updates... (Feb 25th 2011)

The image above (sorry, tried attaching, didn't work) is the LED HEADLIGHTS for the 2011 Audi A8. My question is, wouldn't it be more efficient to use LEDs then regular HID lights? ... especially when we need to milk every bit of power...

Considering the headlights is one of the most important and mostly used devices in a car. Not sure about the specs of the A8 headlights but looks like AUDI is rolling towards LED headlights for all their future cars.. A7, A6 (2012) etc which leads me to believe that, they are better and more efficient :)

Please let me know what you guys think and if LED Headlights might be an option a year away.

p.s: please don't get confused with AUDI's daytime running LED lights... these are full LED Headlights

Timo | 1 mars 2011

Do you have any info about how much light those produce? Comparison to other headlights?

I pretty much don't care about wattage use, but LEDs make perfect sense for durability if you can produce enough light with them. LED lights last a lot longer than any other lightsource.

William13 | 1 mars 2011

The problem seems to be that the special customized shapes needed are currently very expensive.

Sudre | 1 mars 2011

I would prefer just the normal bulb and then I will go to...

if I want to upgrade to an LED.

That sight seems to stay at the cutting edge of LED tech at very reasonable prices.

Sudre | 1 mars 2011

I should have mentioned that night time replacement head lights are not there yet.

Brian H | 1 mars 2011

From the aviation site:

The 1600 is a wing-mounted LED (Light Emitting Diode) landing light with a built-in wig wag mode in addition to its standard operation as a landing/taxi light. The AeroSUN is a very intense light source that uses 8 high power LEDs to produce up to 1600 lumens of light using just 24 Watts of power."

Thets a hull lotta lumens!

Timo | 1 mars 2011

Based on chart I found here:

that 1600 is pretty normal high beam car light value. That 24W is only about half H4 wattage, so saved wattage is not as big as I expected. You probably do save in durability though.

jkirkebo | 2 mars 2011

1600 lumens is not much. My Oracle 35W HID flashlight puts out 3200 lumens, my 30W HID bike light around 1800 lumens.

HIDs seems to still be the way to go.

Peak Oil bruin | 3 mars 2011

Would appreciate LEDs, my residential watts coming from PV panels. That being said, I don't care for the cutesy Audi LED arrays

t7n7 | 4 mars 2011

first of all.. it's 1600lumens PER headlight TIMO. So what do you exactly mean, saved wattage is what you didn't expect? WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? Do your research... seriously... HIDs are normally 3200Lumens both channels. and if Audi engineered it.. it obviously has big savings... not to mention, it has better durability and a longer lifespan...

and since your using headlights almost everyday and for a good period of time, any bit of savings is a big thing.

Also... check this out if you have time:

That's my youtube channel, i work on cars and that's my project I worked on a few years back.... so I know what i'm talking about.

dashrb | 4 mars 2011

@t7n7, nice work.

Timo | 5 mars 2011

What did I expect? A bit better W/lumen performance. Wasn't that obvious? Strange. I don't find any bad grammar errors or unclear sentences in my writing. Odd that you didn't understand it, t7n7.

msiano17 | 5 mars 2011

guys relax, there is no reason to start attacking each other on the boards. we are here to discuss and debate not to attack each other's opinions or ideas.

plus t7n7 if you do know a lot about a subject then you educate us not condemn what we say.. correct and support with facts not bashing someone else

searcher | 6 mars 2011

Are you kidding msiano17, this is war,ha. It's ok though it just makes you tougher, smarter, better informed, more respectful, just look at some of my older post compared to now. You learn tactiturn above all. Just kidding msiano17 of course you are right.Often wonder what it's like in R&D though.

VolkerP | 7 mars 2011

Back to topic here. Thanks t7n7 for the initial post. I opened my eyes and noted an Audi with LED headlights only for the first time this week.
LED only headlight is surely a "wow" issue. Due to higher cost will be included in the premium models first. Energy savings are not pivotal at the moment.

I think car designers are in a torment here. They need to keep the bulky headlights as the "eyes" in a car's "face". At least for the premium and middle class cars. But LED elements can be built quite more compact. Audi arranged the LEDs in a conventional looking headlight. I assume they deliberately didn't explore the new design possibilities. All Audi models must share a "brand face" regardless of technology, not only the top models A8, A7, A6.

So I expect we'll see compact LED only headlight in small car classes (where customers go for price, not for great looks) and in some design studies (where it is OK to look - alien). Gradually, customers will be accompanied to the new look and car manufacturers will use it more courageously in the higher class cars.

I think Tesla is not daring to "look different" with Model S when it comes out. Would be quite a stab to have every Joe's wife comment on your new Model S "How awful, it has no headlights!" Conclusion, LED headlights might be an option but will be integrated in a "conventional" looking headlight.

Volker.Berlin | 7 mars 2011

@VolkerP, I agree with most of what you said, but

Would be quite a stab to have every Joe's wife comment on your new Model S "How awful, it has no headlights!"

I do not think that this would be an issue in the real world. Cars that hide their headlights during the day have been around for quite a while, and generally have been perceived as very slick if not beautiful, e.g., the old Mazda MX5, Mazda 323F, Volvo 480, Opel GT. The only problem was that the mechanism to fold away the headlights is hard (i.e., expensive) to design such that it reliably works through a car's entire lifetime. My gut feeling would agree with your suspicion, but these examples have already proven that "no big headlights" is no big problem from a design perspective.

Brian H | 7 mars 2011

Reponse to Joe's wife: "How awful! No brain lights!"

Timo | 7 mars 2011

One reason why car lights have common look is both practicality and safety. Two lights at certain semi-standard height and width can help determining distances in dark roads. It is a lot harder to tell how far away a motorcycle is than a passenger car. I think there are laws of how close together lights can be, so every possible arrangement just isn't possible.

t7n7 | 7 mars 2011

@dashrb , thanks!

my apologies for coming across rude... didn't mean to. As for the headlights... VolkerP got it right on.... eventually it will trickle down to normal cars.

if they can save space from traditional headlights.... they would be able to make a more aerodynamic body... etc. I can see Audi taking advantage of this in the future... only makes sense!

Kallisman | 7 mars 2011

I read somewhere, in a magazine I think, that the big suppliers of car lighting have already stopped R&D on HID and focus on LED now. So we will probably see more and better LED lights soon.

jkirkebo | 7 mars 2011

There's not much more R&D to be done on HIDs anymore, it's a mature technology. My e-bike have 3 HID lights...

rj | 9 mars 2011

My friend has an Audi Q5 with LED daylight running lights. He's had the LEDs fail 2x. On installation of third set, the dealer told him Audi having many problems with them. (I have no idea what the problems are.)

VolkerP | 10 mars 2011

was it a partial or complete blackout? Audi Q5 daylight running lights are 5 to 6 LED units. If they fail all together, I assume the power supply unit failed. I understand that several single LEDs may fail in a unit of 6 before the car maker would accept it as his fault and exchange the unit.

Roblab | 26 mars 2011

Ah, my favorite subject!
Many years ago all headlights were round and about 8" across. Then someone designed rectangular headlights, and everyone said, "How neat. Now they can make the car more aerodynamic". The next year they were putting rectangular lights on the new cars, in vertical pairs.
And then we have Pickup Trucks. These bad boys are allowed to be jacked up, loaded up, and driven with the main beam right into the eyes of oncoming traffic. The lights sit at about 6 feet, and the headlights are never re-aligned for safe driving. And don't forget to turn on the no-pattern fog lights down under the bumper which are aimed up into the oncoming traffic.
Then there are the guys who are afraid of the dark and drive with the high beams on at all times. Or are simply unaware that they even have any control over the lights.
And then, we have the issue of Daytime Running Lights, which are high beams with a little less power to the filament, but they still shine in your eyes.
I think the issue is NOT what kind of a light generator you have, but where you put the light. Most people don't know, don't care, and wouldn't know how to adjust headlights or replace a bulb. LEDs don't fix the basic problem.

Brian H | 23 juin 2011

anern is a spammer. IMO.

sunpialia | 20 mai 2013

LED lights are also shatter proof and free from Mercury, making them much safer for home and the environment.

c.bussert67 | 21 mai 2013

LED headlights are the way to go. But not very cost effective yet. I stick LEDs in anything I can. I like the site for this stuff. When it came time to upgrade the headlights in my 67 mustang though, I had already done the HID thing, I wanted LEDs and I found these... Truck-lite 7" round LED headlights.
They weren't cheap, but once I got them installed I found they were worth every penny! They are brighter, and better focused than any lamp. Plus they pull less than 2.5 amps on a 12V power supply, which comes out to be around 26W. They run cool as can be. No heat from the light is weird, where normal headlights can warm your hand up on cold nights if you hold them in front of a standard headlight.
I think optically, LEDs are superior to lamps, as well as life and vibration. It's also nice not having fiddle with 20kV HIDs.
LEDs: 12v, instant on, instant off.

GeekEV | 21 mai 2013

Has anyone figured out the bulb size/form-factor the Model S uses yet?


Annabelle LL | 19 août 2013

yes it's that simple, the only problem is if you don't have the led hooked to the +/- wire properly with respect to polarity. one lead (on the led) should be longer, that one should be hooked up to the + side, if you get this wrong, don't worry you won't damage the led, just switch the leads

motion sensor led floodlight
led high bay

DR R | 20 août 2013

I have a 2012 Audi A7 the optional LED headlights for extra $... they are very cool looking and light up the road very well...the LED running lights produce a line beneath them.....i also get extra illumination in the direction upon turning ....which i believe comes from the headlight cluster.....very satisfied with them........I love my MS ....would have liked the LED headlights on it also....but sometimes life just isn't fair....

gooshjkc | 20 août 2013

I, too, suggested this on a different post. I'm thinking three reasons on my TM didn't offer it or put it in the MS. First, they didn't have a contract with a LED headlight provider. Or second, they wanted to keep the cost down as much as possible. Lastly, their taking a page out of Apple handbook and saving it for an upgrade later.

jaqes1 | 28 août 2013

I always like the concept of using LED lights because Led lights are energy efficient and low maintenance. I have been working in the LED industry since I started my career. So I am aware about all the facts. Now a days most of the luxury car manufacturers using LED lights for headlight as well as rear light.

Robert Hodgen | 28 août 2013

One thing you can do while waiting for replacement LED headlights is install LED lights in your home. We've replaced just about all of our bulbs with LEDs. The prices have come way down from just a year ago. Home Depot sells "Cree" 40w and 60w bulbs from $9. They have a very natural warm color temperature. I figure the electricity we save in the home offsets a good portion of charging our EVs.

Brian H | 28 août 2013

Nowadays is one word in English. As 3 words, makes no sense.

Performance 71 | 28 août 2013


Why don't You leave the members alone in here? In every forum (not only here), I can see You're always picking at people for their grammar and everything else.. Who do You think You are, excactly? Get on on with Your life and let people in here discuss and use the language they want to use..

Have a nice evening..

ian | 28 août 2013

@Model S 71 - He can't help it. He's a former online editor. It's in his nature to correct spelling and grammatical errors. While he can be annoying from time to time, he means well and is a valuable member here.

Just don't get into a climate change debate with him. ;-)


Brian H | 28 août 2013

Jaqes is a French tag. I take it he's not familiar with all English idioms, and 'nowadays' is one such. MYOB.

zeduled | 4 juillet 2014

Ah, my favorite subject!, it is very good reputation here,
for LED headlight, it is better, we like led downlight a lot for car shop.

hansvanraaij | 9 Janvier 2016

Hello CnJsSigP ,

Can you tell me which Led headlights I need for my Tesla Model S with halogen bulbs?

Best Regards

Hans | 9 Janvier 2016

@hansvanraaij - This is a really old thread (2014) and there are no LED headlights for the Model S. Currently they are a HID design. Early cars in 2012 and 2013 without the Tech package had Halogen headlights, but these were dropped around August 2013, with HID the standard. It is possible to upgrade from the Halogens to the HID, but the cost is not cheap.