How to install H7 LED Headlight Bulbs with Adapters

On many Volkswagen and Audi cars the headlight bulbs are held in place with external clips that have the power wires built into them. This can make installing an aftermarket HID conversion kit difficult because the larger HID bulb doesn’t fit and the new HID bulbs already have wires coming out of them. This same problem exists when trying to install aftermarket LED bulbs, specifically H7 LED headlight bulbs on Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.

H7 Halogen bulb with base

This is what your bulb adapter probably looks like with the original halogen bulb installed.


H7 Halogen bulb with base

 

GTR Lighting has specific HID bulb adapters to solve this problem when upgrading to HID bulbs. You can find a list of all these adapters here. So could we use the same H7 adapter and make it work of H7 LED headlight bulbs?

H7 HID Bulb with adapter base

This is how the H7 HID bulbs fit. These adapters are specifically designed for HID bulbs, but can be modified to also work with GTR Lighting GEN 2 LED Headlight Bulbs.

H7 HID Bulb with adapter base

 

Here is what we found: The H7 HID Bulb Adapter, found here, can in fact be used to create proper H7 bulb fitment in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that have the metal clips to hold in the bulbs. With some slight modifications, this adapter worked great.

H7 LED Headlight bulb with adapter

H7 LED headlight bulb and adapter

The GTR Lighting GEN 2 LED headlight bulbs come apart easily. The thumb screw on top allows the color shield to come off, then you can twist off the H7 style adapter collar.

 

H7 LED headlight bulb

The H7 style adapter collar from the GTR Lighting GEN 2 LED headlight bulb fits in the HID bulb adapter.

H7 LED Headlight bulb with adapter

When you go to re-install this piece it hits the heat sink of the new LED bulb. These two tabs need to be trimmed.

Modified H7 bulb adapter

Using a bench grinder or a knife, cut down the two tabs on the bottom of the adapter so that they are much shorter and meet the angle of the heat sink on the back side of the LED headlight bulb.



H7 LED bulb with adapter

Here you can see the H7 style adapter collar re-installed on the bulb, with the HID bulb adapter (modified now) also installed. It gets sandwiched between the H7 adapter collar on the LED bulb and the heat sink.

 

H7 LED headlight bulb with adapter

This method should allow you to install H7 LED headlight bulbs into your car when a bulb adapter is required.

 

Wild New Headlight Technology – Lasers and LEDs!

Here is a new design from Audi

Here is a new design from Audi

The Feds don’t know what to make of Audi’s new LED headlamps!

Audi has built a better automotive lighting system, known as the matrix beam LED headlamps. Matrix LEDs promise better, more precise lighting for the driver, less blinding light to dazzle oncoming motorists, and a kind of mid-beams for roads with only a little traffic. The Matrix lighting technology is ready to go on the 2013 Audi A8 big luxury sedan, but don’t hold your breath if you live in the US — when Audi asked the National Highway Transportation Administration for a ruling, the NHTSA demurred, unsure how to fit the square peg of a variable-output, matrix headlamp array into the round hole they call low and high beams. The issue is that in America we’ve never seen a “Mid” beam before, only high and low.

Audi Matrix LED Headlights with "Mid-Beam".

Audi Matrix LED Headlights with “Mid-Beam”.

Audi’s matrix lighting, first shown on the Audi A2 concept car (above) at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, comprises multiple segments that can be turned on or off as conditions warrant. Some elements could be steerable to help drivers go around corners. Combine it with next-generation GPS and the steerable lamp could swivel before you even begin to turn the wheel. Not to mention these headlights may be paired with a photo light sensor that will automatically dim the headlights when approaching other cars on the road at night.

Matrix beams are just a start — the NHTSA needs to prepare itself for more new tech. Audi competitors BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Opel are working hard also on the field called “smart lighting systems”. BMW is even developing laser headlamps. No, not superheated beams like in the movies designed to obliterate other annoying drivers on the road ahead of you…, but white lighting that can be precisely modulated and, unlike death rays, hardly uses any energy.

LED headlamps are only just trickling onto the market — mostly on high-end cars — but now it seems a certain German automaker has plans for laser headlamps. “Laser light is the next logical step in car light development … for series production within a few years in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid,” says BMW. Lasers have the potential to be simultaneously more powerful, more efficient, and smaller than other headlamp types. Before you get too excited, though: the output of laser headlights will be modulated for safety so you can’t, for better or worse, come up close and bubble the paint of the car in front that won’t get out of the left-hand lane on the interstate.

Prototype Laser Headlights from BMW

Prototype Laser Headlights from BMW

The benefits of a laser headlamp are compelling: a near parallel beam of light (i.e. no glare) 1,000 times more intense than conventional LEDs but with less than half the energy consumption; 170 lumens of output per watt for laser headlamps, compared to 100 lumens per watt for LEDs. Both are phenomenally efficient compared to a standard household light bulb.

The history of headlamps of the past generation has gone from one extreme to another, from the yellowish tungsten glow of incandescent halogen headlamps, to the semi-updated quartz headlamps (longer-lived, brighter) and then to xenon or high-intensity discharge headlamps. Now all of a sudden we are moving into new technology faster than ever, first with full LED lighting, and an immediate quantum leap into lasers! Normally automakers develop and release these types of products in Europe first and the states later on down the road, so don’t hold your breath to see these headlights driving down the streets of Minneapolis, MN anytime soon.