Halogens vs. LEDs Review
I’ve wanted these for quite some time, but the hefty price tag always scared me away. Suffice to say, a pair of these headlamps have been sitting in my amazon cart for over a year, where I’ve watched the price fluctuate, hoping to see a major dip where I would swoop in and have them delivered with free two-day shipping. For once things worked out exactly as I hoped. Each headlamp dropped in price by 15% and that was enough. One day later (thanks Amazon) a small, heavy box was waiting at my door when I came home. Finally!
The first thing I noticed after removing the lamps was how beefy they are. These are solid, heavy, and everything from the braided cable with a dust cover to the brushed steel trim ring spoke of surprising quality for a part that is practically invisible when in use. The second thing that stood out to me was the unusual black bar bisecting the lens. That’s certainly different. To be quite honest... I wasn’t a fan. But function over form is the name of the game, and I’d already heard plenty of people bestowing praise upon the split high/low setup used here by GE. I decided to withhold judgment.
Looking them over I thought about the claims I’d found when researching these lights. Exceptional throw paired with a wide dispersal pattern. Custom reflector unit for an evenly distributed beam with no “hot spots” or artifacts. A high beam that would make midnight forest-service road hooning a possibility...
Well... They looked the part. As much as any lamp assembly could.
It was time to test them out. That meant removing the old Halogen lamps, which is incredibly easy to do. Headlights go up!
The next step is removing the black plastic headlight shroud, held in place by four screws. Grab your JIS screwdriver (jdm, yo) and reveal the hidden inner workings of the NA Miata’s most recognizable feature. Inside, there are three screws holding the mounting ring in place, which in turn holds the lamp in place. Loosen the screws—don’t remove them—and you can twist the mounting ring and pull it off. Only thing to watch out for is that you don’t loosen one of the two screws that controls adjustments in the X and Y axis. Unplug the connecter and the terrible OE lamp should fall to the ground, where it belongs.
With the lamp removed, I channeled my inner Svend and gave the entire area a much needed deep clean. So much dust! I polished the rusty trim ring, and took care of the corrosion on the electrical connector. Some carb cleaner took care of the really nasty sections that had accumulated 24 years worth of gunk sliding down through the crack between headlight cover and hood.
Sad Miata is sad.
Doing each side one at a time, I installed a new LED lamp and got all the trim in place.
Repeated the above on the other side and altogether after twenty minutes of work (and photography) the installation was finished. Super simple.
High beams utilize the top and bottom halves, low beams use just the top half. Here you can see how they look compared to no light.
I was going to do a big comparison between these, stock lights, hella E codes, ebay LEDs and all the other leading brands but... There’s no point. GE blows them all out of the water. As they should, costing on average $230 per side, versus the $10 or so for new Halogens, and $50 per hella E code. Price however, is the ONLY complaint I have with these. The beam pattern is fantastic, lighting up the shoulders immeasurably better with the wider spread. The throw is about the same distance, and almost too bright near the end of its reach, but I’m 99%sure sure that’s only because I need to adjust the lamps a bit—aiming them higher up—because of how low I am at the moment. The high beams? Sweet mother of God. I no longer feel like I need additional rally style pod lighting or light bars for nighttime offroading. I’ve got two tiny suns to keep me on the right path. The high beams give off light a lot further up then I’m used to, which could be handy if deer start climbing trees I suppose.
As you can tell, I’m a believer. If I buy any other vehicles with 7" round or 5x7" headlamps... These are going in immediately. I’ve found nothing else that even comes close to these, and I spent hours upon hours researching just that the last two years. These lights are also used by longhaul truckers for what it’s worth. Anyways, if you can get over the strange looks and high cost, I recommend them. 10/10 A+