[C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

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Narardaru
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[C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Narardaru »

Hello!

Since I do many miles at night with my 2017 Citroen C5 X7, I have always wondered about upgrading my normal halogen headbulbs for the low beams (H7).

I have read around the forum about the topics regarding the headlight upgrades possible for this car, of course the most obvious one is trying to upgrade to the original xenon lights. I already have headlight washers optioned in my car, but as far as I've understood reading the posts on the forum, this job is a big hastle that it might not be worth it in the end.

I'm currently with Nightbreakers but they keep (night)breaking every month or so, which is my experience with them in other cars that they've been used in.

So my question is, has someone tried putting LEDs in this car's headlamps? The bulbs that I have in mind are road-legal Philips Ultinon which by every review seem to be a sizeable ugrade from even the brighest halogens with a very good cut-off line. My only issue that is stopping me from ordering them right away is that I do not know if LEDs even fit in this type of light, taking in consideration the not-so-common type of connector for the low beams (maybe the high beams too, luckily I still haven't had the need to change them). I do not really want to experiment with these expensive LED bulbs to buy a set only to find out that they are not compatible with my lights.

Has anyone had any luck with putting LEDs in their halogen illuminating C5 X7s?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Lqkas »

I would only upgrade to Xenons (D1S type) if I was unable to change to LED globes for regulatory or legal issues, otherwise it is not worth it. My 2015 Exclusive came with Xenons and I initially put new quality D1S Xenons when I bought the car in late 2022 because the Xenons the car had at the time were too dull. Even then, the new Xenons were not really good enough for driving at night on Australian roads. I swapped them out for plug and play LED replacements as recommended by my mechanic at the time, and they are much better. No issues with CANBUS compatibility. The headlights are properly aligned and aren't so bright as to dazzle other drivers so they are legal in Australia.
I have no experience with Philips Ultinon LEDs. Philips have information available on their website that lists which car models their LEDs are CANBUS compatible with. Interestingly, Citroen C3, C4, Berlingo and Peugeot 208, 308, 3008 and 5008 are on the list, but C5, 407 and 508 are not.
Maybe you can buy them on the condition that the seller will give you a refund if you get a CANBUS error with them?
If you are going to replace the H7 halogen with any other LED I would suggest getting one of the newer generation that are CANBUS compatible and designed for use as 'plug and play' in halogen reflector housings that don't require an adaptor to fit in the housing. They are more likely to comply with regulations.
6000K hue is better as anything higher I think has too much blue colour in the light, especially anything above 6500K.
There is a huge range different types and brands of LED globes available for H7 fittings on places like Ebay, AliExpress, Amazon etc. Quality with the different models and brands of LED varies greatly. Some just work well for a couple of months and then their brightness fades. Many don't come close to matching the lumen output that they claim.
I have replaced all the halogen globes on the C5 with LEDs and have not had any error or issues and all are still working a year later. I just made sure to check the description and reviews for CANBUS compatibility. I think every LED I bought was marketed as CANBUS compatible with 95% or 99% of vehicles.
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Paul-R
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Paul-R »

On a purely practical note, I have been struggling to see how I could fit and retain an LED bulb (an Ultinon 9000 H7) in a halogen headlamp shell. The standard halogen H7 bulb is held in place by a plastic plug which combines being both a electrical plug and the retainer for the bulb. There is physically no space for the Ultinon 9000 in this plug unless you're prepared to modify it radically which I am not. I have tried many different retainers for an H7 bulb but not fit securely in the headlamp shell.
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Narardaru
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Narardaru »

Lqkas wrote: 06 Dec 2023, 08:03 I would only upgrade to Xenons (D1S type) if I was unable to change to LED globes for regulatory or legal issues, otherwise it is not worth it. My 2015 Exclusive came with Xenons and I initially put new quality D1S Xenons when I bought the car in late 2022 because the Xenons the car had at the time were too dull. Even then, the new Xenons were not really good enough for driving at night on Australian roads. I swapped them out for plug and play LED replacements as recommended by my mechanic at the time, and they are much better. No issues with CANBUS compatibility. The headlights are properly aligned and aren't so bright as to dazzle other drivers so they are legal in Australia.
I have no experience with Philips Ultinon LEDs. Philips have information available on their website that lists which car models their LEDs are CANBUS compatible with. Interestingly, Citroen C3, C4, Berlingo and Peugeot 208, 308, 3008 and 5008 are on the list, but C5, 407 and 508 are not.
Maybe you can buy them on the condition that the seller will give you a refund if you get a CANBUS error with them?
If you are going to replace the H7 halogen with any other LED I would suggest getting one of the newer generation that are CANBUS compatible and designed for use as 'plug and play' in halogen reflector housings that don't require an adaptor to fit in the housing. They are more likely to comply with regulations.
6000K hue is better as anything higher I think has too much blue colour in the light, especially anything above 6500K.
There is a huge range different types and brands of LED globes available for H7 fittings on places like Ebay, AliExpress, Amazon etc. Quality with the different models and brands of LED varies greatly. Some just work well for a couple of months and then their brightness fades. Many don't come close to matching the lumen output that…
Yep, almost all of them nowadays are error free, but even if there is a chance to have an error, they sell a separate module (some type of smart resistance) that fixes the issues.

Paul-R wrote: 06 Dec 2023, 10:42 On a purely practical note, I have been struggling to see how I could fit and retain an LED bulb (an Ultinon 9000 H7) in a halogen headlamp shell. The standard halogen H7 bulb is held in place by a plastic plug which combines being both a electrical plug and the retainer for the bulb. There is physically no space for the Ultinon 9000 in this plug unless you're prepared to modify it radically which I am not. I have tried many different retainers for an H7 bulb but not fit securely in the headlamp shell.
This is my exact worry. I have seen some random pictures and videos of this headlamp with LED bulbs, but none of them explain how they’ve managed to install them. The compatibility list of Phillips doesn’t mention this car if it is compatible or not, nor the Peugeot 508 (although idk if it’s the same headlight). They do sell a lot of adapters for all kinds of headlight, but how can I know which adapter is right for me - spend 100 euro on a bunch of plastic that only (hopefully) only 10 euro worth of it is going to be used.

My hope was someone that has installed LED aftermarket bulbs in their halogen C5 to shed some light how have they managed to do so with this type of uncommon connector which is also the retaining clip.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Narardaru wrote: 05 Dec 2023, 22:56The bulbs that I have in mind are road-legal Philips Ultinon
Philips Ultinon are NOT European or UK Road Legal and replacing any halogen headlamp bulb with an LED is not legal as they are currently not approved for road public use.

https://www.powerbulbs.com/store/search ... %20ultinon

They are even starting to clamp down on these in the USA. Testing is not currently checked in all states and accidents as a result of blinding lights from on-coming vehicles is on the up being covered in the news a lot.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Narardaru »

GiveMeABreak wrote: 06 Dec 2023, 11:10
Narardaru wrote: 05 Dec 2023, 22:56The bulbs that I have in mind are road-legal Philips Ultinon
Philips Ultinon are NOT European or UK Road Legal and replacing any halogen headlamp bulb with an LED is not legal as they are currently not approved for road public use.

https://www.powerbulbs.com/store/search ... %20ultinon

They are even starting to clamp down on these in the USA. Testing is not currently checked in all states and accidents as a result of blinding lights from on-coming vehicles is on the up being covered in the news a lot.

Thank you for your response, but I disagree to some extent as, these are approved as I saw in their website as well as a document that they have deep in their site which has the approval for one of their series (I forgot which one right now) https://www.philips.com/c-e/au/road-leg ... d.amp.html . As well as especially in Bulgaria, where I am from, they have the approval and I can post the document but it’s in Bulgarian, so not much point haha. I’ve also asked my insurance company and they said they’re OK.

But that still leaves the issue with installation which currently I don’t see how it will work without some modification of the clip.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by myglaren »

Use DeepL to translate your document from Bulgarian to English.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by GiveMeABreak »

They only state: "**It is your own responsibility to ensure that the use of the LED retrofit lights complies with applicable local legal requirements." And they would not on this vehicle.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Jay-Bruce »

Not too long after getting our X7, I found it's halogen dipped beams to be WOEFULLY DIM so I very quickly fitted a set of cheapy eBay special Xenons in the dip slot, and higher rated halogens in the main and cornering lamps. It passed four of the five MOTs in our tenure with it in that config not an eyelid batted, and one MOT with those lights fitted, the examiner said it's passed, and I'm impressed at how quickly you fitted those aftermarket lights because I wouldn't have been able to pass it with them, nudge nudge wink wink.

The xenons are weird, they pick up the reflectors on roadsigns far far far away, and provide DECENT, but not OUTSTANDING illuminaiton in general. Oncoming traffic has never flashed at me complaining of being dazzled, unlike our newly acquired Discovery TD5 with the facelifted twin optic headlights, but only generic halogen bulbs, in which a few wallopers have flashed their full beams at me when I've been on Dips, and I've relied in kind by turning night into day for them with the full beam, no additional spotlights or driving lights required.

Were I in the market for a headlight upgrade today, I'd go LED, I didn't go LED back then as the LED lights were dim by comparison to Xenons, and had similar, undesirable, un controlled & scattering beam patterns to Xenons. However, the latest ones, like the ultinons you mention, have a small but crazy bright light source in pretty much the same place as a halogen has it's filament, meaning they work with the car's optics to give you pretty much a stock light pattern. By contrast, early LEDs or most Xenon after market kits, including current ones, where the light source is a different shape, throw out LOADS OF LIGHT, but in an almost uncontrolled pattern that dazzles oncoming motorists.

So yeah, I'd say go for the LEDs, and it would be worth looking at Auto Bulb Direct, as they have their in-house brand of kits called Twenty-Twenty, which get glowing reviews, boom-boom, and cost about two-thirds the price of the same size of kit from other manufacturers such as Osram or Philips.

One last thing on legality, even uprated halogens are illegal, go to say halfords, and they have standard bulbs, minor upgrade road bulbs, super bright offroad use only bulbs... So I wouldn't worry too much about the legality / certification of your lighting, as long as you have a pragmatic MOT guy, and a decent, non offensive / dazzling light pattern, you should be OK.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Halfords sell uprated halogens like all motor factors - but these are still stated as road legal versions or not on the packaging. The ones they sell for off-road use clearly state this.

It's not just the MOT, it's the legal point if you cause an accident from dazzling - you wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

MOT:
“Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done, you must fail the headlamp.”
So your tester risks losing his testing licence if caught.

As we move on, most newer vehicle have LEDs now in some form, so there isn't likely to be much development for retrofits now I suspect and they won't be changing the law any time soon on this either as little point at this stage.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Whilst we're on the topic, even modern LED headlamps are not immune from being dazzling. This from the RAC:
Around 66% of motorists say they often struggle to tell whether the beam is on full or dipped.

Others said they’ve been forced to change the way they drive with 21% now relying on their wing mirrors more to avoid being dazzled.

Mr Williams added: “While regulations specify that all types of dipped headlights must fall between a maximum and minimum luminosity the night-time driving experience of motorists of all ages is very different with many saying dipped beams of some modern vehicles are too bright.”

The UK government, through its work at the United Nations, has secured support for a review into headlight requirements.

Preliminary proposals were put forward in 2017, with more progress expected for this year.
Here's some more info on those Philips Ultinon:
Why are aftermarket LED bulbs still on sale?
Because drivers are unclear on their legality and still willing to buy them, based on promises of superior illumination of the road.

One example that recently came to our attention concerned the new Philips Ultinon Pro9100 aftermarket LED bulb, which promises 350% greater illumination than the legal requirement for halogen bulbs.

The product packaging showing the bulb being used in a road car, and the bumf saying things like, “Their optimal light spectrum makes road signs more visible,” and “The perfect positioning of the LED chips in Philips Ultinon Pro9100 bulbs delivers light exactly where drivers need it, on the road without dazzling oncoming vehicles.”
ultinon.PNG
However, buried down at the bottom of the press release from the bulb retailer it says:

“The Philips Ultinon Pro9100 LED retrofit bulbs are non-ECE homologated for public roads and should be used off-road only. Drivers must comply with applicable local legal requirements.”

Regardless of the fact that aftermarket LED headlight bulbs are not legal for use on the road in the UK, motorists are still using them, companies are still supplying them and drivers without them are still suffering as a result of the dangerous levels of glare they can often produce.

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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Narardaru »

Hey guys!

Thank you for your replies. I still haven’t gotten to actually looking the the headlights in more detail since it’s cold and miserable and my hands are freezing, but I haven’t given up on my idea with this LED installation. I’m not sure about the xenon bulbs as have seen in many cars that they are far too bright and scattered for this type of housing.

I would like to add some interesting information that I received from contacting Philips Automotive support this is their reply:
Thank you for contacting Philips Automotive support. First of all, we would like to inform you that only Ultinon Pro6000 LEDs are approved in Bulgaria. Based on the information you have provided us, we inform you that your vehicle is not currently homologated with Ultinon Pro6000 LED technology. You can check the list of vehicles homologated with the Ultinon Pro6000 from this link: https://www.philips.bg/c-e/au/car-light ... 1682514264 Our compatibility list will be updated in the future and new models will be added, unfortunately we do not know which models will be added. We are constantly working on expanding the compatibility list to make LED technology available for as many vehicle models as possible and expect more vehicle models to be added and approved in the future. Regarding compatibility with the Ultinon Pro9100, if your vehicle is not listed with the product in question, it means that no physical test has been performed on your vehicle model and therefore we cannot certify correct operation and installation in your car. You can find this listing at this link: https://www.philips.com/c-dam/b2c/en_GB ... h-2023.pdf To ensure your complete satisfaction, we will forward your request to our technical department to find out if compatibility with your vehicle is possible. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
I will post here the reply from the technical department so it might be useful information regarding this topic and people reading this forum.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Jay-Bruce »

I am wondering if their "compatibility" is whether their bulbs with the bigger heat sinks fit inside the headlight housing? In another discussion about Headlights, someone has given me the nudge towards Auxbeam Q30 LED "bulbs" which are packaged to fit as normal, but pack a hell of a punch. https://auxbeam.com/collections/q30-ser ... 7-gd002076
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Paul-R »

They're a fair bit bluer than the Ultinons, 6500K against 5800K. I find the 5800K to be perfect.
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Re: [C5 X7] Headlight upgrade from halogen to LED

Post by Stickyfinger »

Jay-Bruce wrote: 07 Dec 2023, 12:20 unlike our newly acquired Discovery TD5 with the facelifted twin optic headlights, but only generic halogen bulbs, in which a few wallopers have flashed their full beams at me when I've been on Dips, and I've relied in kind by turning night into day for them with the full beam
New Land Rovers and Minis.......have headlamps that are terrible from other road users point of view....as a country boy I "see" a lot of them and can assure you that they are very noticeable as the worst on the road. You may find them great but they are "flashy and blinding" to the rest of us little people who have to suffer the utter wolloper in his new power wagon heading our way like a mobile WW2 search light.

Accept the flashes, you DO have shi£ headlamps from the other drivers seat....
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