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Gbody LED Headlight Choices: What You Need to Know

There’s plenty of selections when you are in the market for new (better/brighter) headlights for your Buick Grand National, Turbo T, Regal T-type or Limited.
Replacing the 30+ year old stock halogen headlights is usually a good option when you drive the car at night.
Of course, there are so many different choices available, it’s hard to tell which ones are the right ones for your Gbody Regal.

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We grabbed a bunch of info and images from those being sold on ebay currently, from various sellers, for comparisons sake.
(note, all of these are basic level options, with low to mid range prices, which we believe are what most Gbody owners are looking at)
You can see the visually different setups that are being offered, but are any of them actually good?

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You may like the visual queues or looks of a specific LED light, but if it’s not effective to shine light on the road in front of you, is that really something that you’re ok with?

We will give you a rundown on the specs of what you need to know, so you can compare all of the different ones out there, to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.

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Most basic LED lights are priced about $100-ish ($65-$150) for a set of 4 (2 low beam, 2 high beam).
This is pretty much a case of you get what you pay for.
There are more expensive kits available, and run from $200-$1200, and some even more.
Are the $1200 lights the best?
The people that have actually bought them (some of your fellow Turbo Buick owners) say yes, they’re absolutely worth it.
But how many of us Turbo Regal owners can actually justify spending that amount on them?

You can get a decent set, if you just know what to look for, by comparing apples to apples, when you’re doing the research on them.

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The correct size for 1978-1987 Buick Regals: 4″ x 6″
Stock specs:
Low beam: H4656 (3 contact lugs, 35 watt, 12.8 volts, 2.7 amp).
High beam: H4651 (2 contact lugs, 50 watt, 12.8 volts, 3.9 amp).

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LED versions of these headlights come in many diff styles, looks and features:
Projector, daytime running lights DRL, halo, angel eye.
Some look like a bunch “bug eyes,” others have long strips (that look like bars), some have a combination of both.
Some have what looks like just a single big round bulb, others have up to 15 small round lights.
Some use Cree LED technology, others use multiple (non-cree) LED bulbs/chips.
Some use an H4 style plug (9003) bulbs.

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The useable light pattern (“lighting performance”) that any of these project will depend on what type and quantity of bulbs are used, and where they are positioned at within the lens itself.
(make sure you ALWAYS adjust the beam patterns, as LED’s tend to blind other drivers! Pointing them downward, moreso than you would a halogen bulb, is generally the preferred way)

Low beam lights may have an extra “high beam” light within them, or not.
They may also use the same LED for both low and high beams, or may not do anything different at all when the high beams are turned on.

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Be warned that LED headlights, generally, do not project a light beam that reaches out as far as the halogens will (even when the high beams are on). That’s just the nature of the beast.
They do, however, provide much more light in front of the vehicle, and on the sides of the car (think: curbs or sidewalks on a regular street), than halogens ever could.
(proper adjustment of the LED’s can supply adequate distance vision, without blinding oncoming traffic, if done correctly)

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There could be extra lights (or a strip) that is used for DRL (Daytime Running Lights).

Some units have a built-in turn signal within them (which may activate as a circular halo effect, or another bulb that flashes, or even arrow shaped lights that come on).

It is important that if you buy a kit, make sure you get adapter plugs for the H4 bulbs, since this will be required to properly wire up the new LED lights, to your factory OEM headlight wiring.
(or you can always just “re-pin” the factory wiring plug to achieve the correct wiring pattern for the new head lights)

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Some lenses (the clear front part) come in plastic or glass options.
(pros/cons: the plastic may melt or turn a yellow color over time; the glass version is heavier)
(either of these choices may have a plastic or metal base housing)
Some lenses have a chrome face or black face option.
Some housings have a chrome or black face trim ring attached.

Housing material: diecast aluminum heat sink body is one option.
(this will aid in removing the heat generated, which is the killer of LED’s)

Lens material: PMMA Lens (which is basically a clear plastic)
(PolyMethyl MethAcrylate, a synthetic resin produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate)

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Wattage (for each light) usually is anywhere 40-150 watts.
160-600 watts (total) when all 4 headlights are on.
(the higher the number, the more power they use)
(generally, more watts = brighter lights, but not always, SEE “lumens” below)

LED Color (Color Temperature): generally is 6000k-6500k (white)
The range of color runs from 3000k to 12000k (yellow to purple).
SEE the chart below for the scale of colors.

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Operating voltage: DC 9-32 volts (meaning fits 12V, 24V vehicles)
(Buick Regals use a 12 volt operating system)

Certifications for most LED headlights include: DOT, SAE, E9, CAPA
(DOT = Department of Transportation, meaning they are road worthy items here in the USA)
(SAE = mainly for the aerospace industry)
(E9 = a Spain rating system, based on the Economic Commission for Europe “ECE” which is basically the DOT for European Countries)
(CAPA = Certified Automotive Parts Association, they make sure aftermarket parts are reputable)

Beam Pattern: Most (but not all) LED headlights use a flood light type beam for the low beams (the regular head lights), and a spot beam for the high beam lights.

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Luminous Flux (“lumens”):
(the higher the number, the brighter the lights will be)
THIS FIGURE will determine how BRIGHT the lights are.
The high beam lights, usually, are brighter than the low beam lights (but not always).
High Beam: specs run 5000-12000 Lumen.
Low Beam: specs run 3000-10000 Lumen.
(note that some kits have both low and high beam lights that are the same lumen spec; they might be the exact same light/bulb, but simply have different plugs on the backside. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on the lumens the lights give off)

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General specifications for most LED headlights:
Sealed beams, waterproof level: IP 67-68.
Lifespan: approximately 5,000 to 80,000 hours.

Most come with some type of warranty (6 months – 5 years).

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To compliment your LED Headlights, consider switching over ALL of the other incandescent lights in your entire GM Gbody vehicle to LED bulbs! Check out the below site to read the details about the kits that are offered!

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Nowadays, most kits have very easy installation, and mostly are just plug and play, but you should verify with your specific kit.

Switching out your low beam and high beam Original OE headlights can be an enlightening situation!
Choose the versions that are best for your specific Buick Regal wisely!

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Come back tomorrow to this website, and you’ll see another selection of LED headlights that WE decided to use on our own Buick Grand National!
(including a “how-to install” write up and review on them!)
See it HERE!
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