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For headlights, it is best to stick with the factory option. The reflectors in your headlight were designed for halogen headlight bulbs so those are best considering the engineering resources to optimize its use for halogen bulbs.

This thread on legality also echoes some of my thoughts on the unfortunately-common bulb changing modification: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f428/aftermarket-hid-high-intensity-discharge-lights-legal-3600962/


IMO, if you will inevitably swap bulbs using the stock headlamp assemblies, don't waste your money on HID's and get LED's. The LED bulbs, based on limited pictures I've seen, seem to have better use of factory reflector housings than HID bulbs, which spew light everywhere and can actually worsen vision at night.

Another thing to add since you're asking about bulbs, Kelvin color temperature doesn't mean higher light output, it just means higher color rating. Color choice for human eyesight is probably best kept at around 3200K to 6000K, though I personally think 6000K is unnecessarily-blue for fashion reasons. Also, please don't be the fool who gets 8000K or higher color temperature bulbs thinking it is brighter, you will actually end up seeing less.
 

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being lazy, i'd go with led, because hid requires a ballast for higher voltage, and leds can be direct replacements. and because led produces more light (i.e. less heat) for the same wattage (and is usually lower wattage anyway), it's less likely to melt your light housings.

leds pump out roughly 10x as much light per watt, so you can easily use half the power, and still get 4x the light output.

as for colour, like what AWDfreak said... with one extra thought: blue light actually makes it more difficult to focus, which is why pilots and hunters like yellow/orange glasses. so blasting lots of blue light down the road isn't a great idea, unless you're hunting smurfs at night.
 

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My 2014 came with HID from the factory and they are amazing, I will never own halogen headlamps again !. I am curious about LED but don't have and input though.
 

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i'm thinking of maybe replacing my halogen highbeams with leds (the lowbeams are factory hid).

for me, the issues seem to be: the legality of extra bright lights (the law is obtuse and contradictory), how the led works at reduced voltage (the highbeams are the factory daytime running lights, dropped down to ~8v), and the reliability of the little built-in fans (all the led headlights seem to have them) over the 10-12 years that i hope to keep the car.

all 3 seem to boil down to "suck it and see".
 

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HID vs LED

My 2014 came with HID from the factory and they are amazing, I will never own halogen headlamps again !. I am curious about LED but don't have and input though.

You must have a non-US model. I wanted HID's but weren't available in the US. I had HID's in my two Acura's for fourteen years, and they were incredible. Bought a 16 Crosstrek that had halogens and hated them. Upgraded to the 18 Crosstrek two weeks ago and got the full LED headlights. They are great, and just look about the same as HID's. Early LED's for a few years ago weren't bright enough, but today LED's look like HID's driving, both great bulbs. LED's will replace HID's for everything in the future because they are cheaper, last longer, easier to replace, etc. I never had a ballast issue with my Acura's, only changed the bulbs after six years because they do get duller like halogens. Time will tell how well LED's will hold up. They look easy enough to replace though when and if the time comes. People write reviews comparing the HID and LED bulbs and use the line for LED's that there is no warm-up time like HID's have. I say who cares about that, when you first turn on HID's, they have the blue color and go to a bright white light in about 30 seconds. I personally think they look neat doing that, and anybody who actually has an issue with that is nuts.
 

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this is my first car with hid lights. so far, i like them.

i'm finding the daytime running lights (the halogen highbeams on reduced voltage) a little dim, based on how many cars cut me off, presumably because they don't notice the glare in their rearview mirror. normally, i would just turn on my lowbeam headlights during the day, which would be brighter, but the automatic light feature is nifty, and it seems like a better idea to burn out the (cheaper) halogen higheams than the hid lowbeams. (congrats to the engineering team at subaru, for doing something reasonable.)

i'm a little nervous about the cost of replacement hid bulbs, and the ominous warning in the owner's manual about letting a mechanic replace the bulb. (you're kidding, right?) which means i'd rather not burn them out. so for the moment, i'm only going to experiment with led replacements for the halogen highbeams, which is a (cheaper) technology that i more or less understand. and bonus, i think it'll look better in terms of colour, too!
 

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HIDS vs. LEDS

I didn't know your vehicle was only low beam HID's. My last car, Acura TL, had bi-xenon, low and high beams like my new Crosstrek is low and high beam LED's. If the high beam housing is projector, then I would go with LED's, and the color would be a very close match to your low beam HID's. You can change the HID bulbs yourself but you need to disconnect the battery because of voltage shock, 25,000 volts approx. are used when you first turn on your HID's, and that can kill. HID bulbs are light halogen, you don't touch the glass, only with gloves. Since my Acura was a pain to change the bulbs because you had to take the bumper off to get to them easily, I had my mechanic do it. Since I love bright headlights, I bought OSRAM hid replacement bulbs, better then the stock, still 4,300 kelvin which looks great but they were the nightbreakers, $190 for two bulbs. Bought from Retrofit source online. There was a two year warranty. Since I drive more at night then day, I wanted bright reliable bulbs. I'm researching replacement fog lights for my Subaru, they are H16, but only 19 watts and are very dull. Going to replace with led yellow bulbs, which will cut through fog, snow, and rain better then white.
 

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Hi...sorry to come into this thread, but I couldn't remember how to start a new one.
I was at my dealer last night and someone was leaving with a brand new 2018 XV. The headlights and fog lights looked....well non-led!! WTF? So then I went into the show room to look inside one. (I figured it would be loaded up with LEDs on the interior. NOPE) Kind of annoyed with that! My car is creeping up on 28K miles and I'm getting the 30K itch. But this light thing really pisses me off!
(OK...tantrum over.)
Cheers,
Keith
 

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Only the Limited trim level gets the LED headlights. All lower trim levels get the old-fashioned halogen bulbs.

Unfortunately, this does include the 6-speed manuals.
 

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WHAT?!? WTF?!? I'm actually shocked at that. You figure it would be easier and more cost effective to have the lamps to all 1 standard! They better be interchangable with LEDs. In this day and age, incadescent lamps are a complete waste of energy...they burn out faster...they put off SO much more heat.
How F-ing stupid is Subaru! (On this count anyway!)
"Thanks" for the info.
-Keith
 

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Actually, incandescent lamps do still have a good reason to stay around.

Because they "waste" more energy via expelling heat, they are less prone to freezing over in cold and/or winter conditions. One such example was when a traffic signal was switched to LED's, they froze over as, although they are more energy-efficient, they lacked the heat required to keep the traffic signals defrosted.

So for cold weather, winter weather, etc., incandescent lamps do have an advantage.
 

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Now I ALWAYS take what you say with great enthusiasm. But in this case I need to disagree. I only live in VA where it doesn't get THAT cold. But we have had several deep-freeze rain/sleet events. These old-fashioned incandescent dinosaurs did NOTHING to keep the headlights from freezing. (Now a couple of my 1970 collectible cars where the snow/ice lay on the actual glass of the lamp, it does melt it off)
It really pisses me off that we, manual transmission junkies, are treated like we're buying these because they are the bottom of the barrel for pricing!!!
Thanks,
Keith
 

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Well, I did say "less prone" and not "immune" to freezing over.

And yeah, there are features like having a moonroof, LED lights, etc. that I would absolutely LOVE to have, but can't have due to the American-stigma for manual trasnmission vehicles being limited to those who are perceived as being on a tight budget. Of course, the manual transmission is the priority over those features, so we still went with the 5MT despite the loss of features.
 

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I know this might sound stupid to some, but this non-LED lighting both on the exterior/interior for the manual transmission XVs, might be forcing me to look to other car manufacturers for my next everyday driver purchase. This is my 2nd Subie and it's approaching 30K miles which is when I always get a new car. I really thought I would never change. (Now if all of these lamps were SIMPLE swith outs? Then it would not be an issue. But I have NO clue nor the confidence NOR DESIRE to remove the front bumper/etc just to change out the f-ing headlights and foglights!)
AUGHH!
 

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Well, if it makes you feel better, Mazda is the only mainstream brand that even allows for top-of-the-line trim level with a manual transmission (on select models). Any other brand that offers such high-end features with a stick shift is going to be Porsche.
 

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^^^
That's good to know. Thanks.
Mazda's designs, IMO, are the nicest looking SUV's on the road. (Even some of the luxury brands don't catch my eye. Mazda's always do as of late.)

**On a side note, my service mgr at the dealership told me the that Outback in Canada is available with a manual T. But that American dealers are not allowed to do warranty repairs on them when needed. He said there's been talk about getting that changed though.**
-Keith
 
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