WARNING: HID Bulbs Will Melt Subaru BRZ Fog Lights – Try These LEDs Instead!

Did you know HID lights will melt the fogs on your BRZ? We will show you what happened to our BRZ and show you 2 good high power LED options so you can STILL have upgraded fog lights.

 

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If you’re like us, we love the look and power of HID bulbs in our vehicles and will use them any chance we get. So when it came to updating the Subaru BRZ we went all out and put HIDs in the headlights and fog lights. The strength and intensity of HID lights make them a perfect safety upgrade in headlights and fog lights during poor weather conditions. However, we found out that HIDs were not an ideal choice for our Subaru BRZ fog lights. In the Subaru BRZ, the power of the HID bulbs was too great for the fog light housings; within a few days they began to melt.

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HID light sources provide the brightest illumination available and are considered the benchmark against which other forward lighting technologies are measured. HID light sources provide three to four times the light output of standard halogen light sources and promote better driving visibility by providing enhanced peripheral vision and improved down-road illumination. HID Bulbs use up to 65% less energy than conventional lighting and can last up to 10 times longer, but all of that light creates heat. I recommend never installing HID bulbs in Subaru BRZ fog lights. We had these 35w HIDs installed in the fog lights for 1 week until we noticed some bubbles forming on the lens. Then within another week we also noticed the chrome reflector starting to flake and melt. As soon as we could, we ordered new housings and replaced them with new LED lights instead.

So now what, are you stuck with dim, yellow light in your BRZ fog lights? Not to worry, we’ve found two great options from Black Top Racing that will look great and keep your fog light housings intact.

Their first option is a 950 lumen 80 watt LED bulb from GTR Lighting. These bulbs will give you the crisp, white light of HID, with the long life and simplicity of LED bulb replacement.

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Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Bulb in fog light housing.

 

Their second option is a complete LED Conversion Kit that boasts 2,200 lumens per bulb—that’s up to 2.5 times the output of standard halogen bulbs! Totally plug and play, this kit will give you the crisp, white 6000k look of HID without the higher HID price tag. Although the LED Conversion Kit doesn’t quite match the power level of HID, the LED Kit is a great choice where heat and melting issues arise. The LED bulbs in the Conversion Kit are molded from aluminum to conduct and dissipate heat through the bulb.  Also, an embedded fan in each bulb creates a forced-air cooling system to cool the bulb, prolong the bulb life, and protect your fog light housings.

 

LED bulb in housing.

LED bulb in housing.

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting  LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

So if you want to update your Subaru BRZ fog lights, learn from our mistake and looking into these other great options. And if your looking to make any other upgrades to your Subaru BRZ, take a look at all the other BRZ specific options Black Top Racing has to offer.

The Difference Between H16 and 5202 Bulbs

If you go to the PIAA.com website store and look at their H16 replacement halogen light bulbs for cars and trucks you will see this picture. PIAA, an automotive lighting superpower in the aftermarket world, is one of the few replacement light bulb companies out there who has gotten this right!

According to PIAA.com H16 is not the same as 5202!

According to PIAA.com H16 is not the same as 5202!

The H16 automotive light bulb is part of the H9/H11 bulb family and it is very similar to H8, H9, H11 and H15. It is characterized by having a traditional right-angled style connector input base, a large rubber o-ring below the metal tabs and 3 metal tabs spaced evenly apart around the base to lock it in place. The biggest difference between H8, H9, H11 and H16 are both the wattage levels that they run at and whether or not they have a painted on reflector cap at the top of the glass tube. H16 is most commonly used in fog lights, whereas the H11 is most commonly used in headlights. Therefore, you’ll see H11 bulbs that look almost identical to H16 bulbs but have higher wattages than H16 and they will also have a slightly different pin configuration, but with some manipulation you could swap an H16 and H11 around if you really wanted to.

So where did the confusion for H16 and 5202 bulbs come from? Well, first of all until very recently there were hardly any vehicles out there that used an H16 bulb in America. Then, I’m guessing some uninformed light bulb manufacturer in Asia somewhere one day decided that they didn’t know what a real H16 bulb was and there was some confusion. One thing led to another and they started classifying 5202 light bulbs as H16, 5202, 9009, etc… This is wrong!! You will never see a Sylvania or Philips or other OEM bulb labeled as H16 that looks like a 5202. Here are some popular LED versions of these different bulbs:

5202 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:

 

H11 / H16 LED Bulbs from GTR Lighting:

I hope you learned something new about different types of replacement automotive bulbs from this article and really the goal here is to educate people on different lighting products so you can make the right decision next time you spend your hard earned money. From an enthusiast standpoint, the last thing you need is to order a part for your vehicle, it shows up and it’s the wrong thing…. ugh.

So if you have a 2014 Toyota Tundra and you’re trying to find some cool LED fog lights for your stock H16 fog light bulbs, try one of these!