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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone completed this? I had the misfortune of taking on a deer over the weekend, and I need to replace the majority of my front end parts. I would love to upgrade my HID headlights to LED if possible. Will I need more that just the LED headlight assemblies and the wiring harness? Is there programming that has to be done? I have a 2019 RS AWD.

Thanks for your comments!
 

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I came here to ask the same thing. I have damage to our driver side headlight and when I looked up the part I noticed they also make LED headlights. I'm going to stop by the dealer and try to look at them side by side to see if it is worth the swap, but I'm curious if anyone else has done it.
 

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I think you mean downgrade... it's pretty well known that for the most part, factory HIDs are superior to factory LEDs still... I haven't driven the new Traverse at all so I can't say specifically that I know this to be true, I just wouldn't be too eager to jump on the LED bandwagon.
 

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I think you mean downgrade... it's pretty well known that for the most part, factory HIDs are superior to factory LEDs still... I haven't driven the new Traverse at all so I can't say specifically that I know this to be true, I just wouldn't be too eager to jump on the LED bandwagon.
Known to whom? HIDs are better than halogens in brightness and whiteness, but inferior in many ways to the new CREE LED headlamps.......especially on the '18+Traverse.

Halogens are mounted in reflector or projector assemblies, you can get increased performance substituting whiter and brighter but shorter lived Xenon versions in these same assemblies. Superior performance to HID projectors can sometimes be attained in vehicles with 4 headlamp systems using multifiliment bulbs in the 2 high beam headlamps which light all 4 headlamps on high beam.

HIDs are limited, mounted in 2 headlamp projector lens assemblies. These assembiles contain integral mechanical shutters (or curtains). A single HID lamp is used for both low and high beam......on low beam the shutter is lowered chopping off the upper portion and half the light output of the projected beam to simulate a low beam. The sharp meniscus formed with bright lower half and dark upper half of the beam on low is found to be annoying to many drivers. LEDs can be fitted but may not operate correctly when retrofitted in projector lenses depending upon construction....instead of a single high output CREE or better, many use multiple side mounted lower output LEDs which cannot provide a discrete point source necesssary for proper focus of the projector lens.

LEDs are mounted in proprietary assemblies with reflector lenses optimized for the point sourced of the LED(s). Higher lumen output of the CREE LEDs compared to the HIDs permit smaller reflector and lens assemblies which in turn permit multiple assemblies in the space of a single HID projector lamp. This is evident in the higher line 18+ Traverse and '19+ Silverados. These vehicles contain 6 LED lamp assemblies which provide 4 headlamps on low beam and 6 on high beam.....puts the output of 2 HID projectors to shame. This is especially important to me living in unlit roads areas and a main deciding factor when buying.

Test rode one of the first '18 Premiers at night and traded my '15 Traverse the next day. Had previously though the performance of my HIDs was impressive, but a comparison of the two HID projectors on my '16 Silverado against the six D lens LEDs on the Traverse proved pitiful. That was all that I needed to leave the '16 at the dealership and come home with a '19 Silverado.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I’m still waiting on a new hood for my Traverse. But on the positive side, I have been working with the dealer on the headlight change over and as of right now the only thing besides the LED headlights that I have needed was the headlight harness. According to the dealer the only difference is the plugs for the headlight bulbs. So if GM ever gets my hood shipped we should be back in business! I will keep you all posted on how we turn out.
 

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1. Known to whom? HIDs are better than halogens in brightness and whiteness, but inferior in many ways to the new CREE LED headlamps.......especially on the '18+Traverse.

2. Halogens are mounted in reflector or projector assemblies, you can get increased performance substituting whiter and brighter but shorter lived Xenon versions in these same assemblies. Superior performance to HID projectors can sometimes be attained in vehicles with 4 headlamp systems using multifiliment bulbs in the 2 high beam headlamps which light all 4 headlamps on high beam.

3. HIDs are limited, mounted in 2 headlamp projector lens assemblies. These assembiles contain integral mechanical shutters (or curtains). A single HID lamp is used for both low and high beam......on low beam the shutter is lowered chopping off the upper portion and half the light output of the projected beam to simulate a low beam. The sharp meniscus formed with bright lower half and dark upper half of the beam on low is found to be annoying to many drivers. LEDs can be fitted but may not operate correctly when retrofitted in projector lenses depending upon construction....instead of a single high output CREE or better, many use multiple side mounted lower output LEDs which cannot provide a discrete point source necesssary for proper focus of the projector lens.

4. LEDs are mounted in proprietary assemblies with reflector lenses optimized for the point sourced of the LED(s). Higher lumen output of the CREE LEDs compared to the HIDs permit smaller reflector and lens assemblies which in turn permit multiple assemblies in the space of a single HID projector lamp. This is evident in the higher line 18+ Traverse and '19+ Silverados. These vehicles contain 6 LED lamp assemblies which provide 4 headlamps on low beam and 6 on high beam.....puts the output of 2 HID projectors to shame. This is especially important to me living in unlit roads areas and a main deciding factor when buying.

5. Test rode one of the first '18 Premiers at night and traded my '15 Traverse the next day. Had previously though the performance of my HIDs was impressive, but a comparison of the two HID projectors on my '16 Silverado against the six D lens LEDs on the Traverse proved pitiful. That was all that I needed to leave the '16 at the dealership and come home with a '19 Silverado.
1. Known to anyone who studies lighting in vehicles specifically. Most vehicles that have an LED lighting "upgrade" over HIDs have been known to perform worse. Read the forums, look on HIDPlanet and The Retrofit Source for comparisons, heck even the NHTSA or whichever government entity does the testing routinely gives the LED headlights poor ratings while most factory HIDs are much better. Since you are an expert, I'm sure this isn't news to you, but LEDs are directional and insanely bright for the power drawn, the challenge has been getting the correct optics because they are nothing like the optics used for halogen and HID bulbs.

2. This is false on most levels and really vague. Rebased HID bulbs (which is all most H-whatever HID bulbs are) do not have the same type of filament or location of the filament as the halogen bulb they replaced. This is why most of those headlights have horrific beam patterns and are blinding other drivers. As a lighting junkie I would NEVER advise using PNP HID bulbs. Also, yes, cheap aftermarket rebased bulbs and ballasts are short-lived, but factory components and quality D series bulbs driven at the proper wattage will not have any shorter life than comparable halogen bulbs. For your multifilament bulb comment, you will need to provide a specific example. I'm not saying it can't be done but generally factory halogen setups (even with all of the filaments running) will not outperform a high quality HID projector.

3. The shutter is raised in low beam mode... the cutoff (we aren't talking about knees or liquids here!) sharpness can be an issue to some drivers, hence why most manufacturers use fresnel lenses to help make that transition more gradual. Lose some brightness, gain some comfort. You are buying into the marketing a little too much... one ultra powerful LED chip does not mean it is better than multiple smaller, less powerful chips. It is all in how the lens or reflectors are shaped, how much power they draw, how much cooling they require (large LEDs often require active cooling which is a failure point).

4. Lumens are misleading, check out Headlight Revolution or The Retrofit Source's youtube videos. Raw lumens are great for marketing but don't tell you how that chip performs in that application, for that you need to measure the lux at a set distance. Plenty of LED bulbs put out huge numbers 5' from the vehicle, but go to 30' and that number dies off because the beam pattern is crap and the light is dispersed in areas where it is not needed. Case in point, my dad bought a brand new '20 Sierra with the factory LED setup like you talk about. They are good headlights, much better than my Traverse halogens. But my wife's Pilot with an FX-R 3.0 projector retrofit wipes the floor in width, consistency, brightness, etc. Low beam and high beam. My mom's Mercedes GLC300 with an LED projector low beam and LED reflector high beam also is superior.

5. I have not driven a Traverse with the LED headlights, it very well could be a great setup so I have no comment on that.
 

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Well I’m still waiting on a new hood for my Traverse. But on the positive side, I have been working with the dealer on the headlight change over and as of right now the only thing besides the LED headlights that I have needed was the headlight harness. According to the dealer the only difference is the plugs for the headlight bulbs. So if GM ever gets my hood shipped we should be back in business! I will keep you all posted on how we turn out.
What's the cost, this could be great info for other owners, especially as the 2nd gens become more affordable and more people look to modify them.
 
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I'm not huge fan of the LED headlights. They have weird lines that are projected out. They are different colors that produce the lines on the ground out front. I miss my projector HID because it was a smooth clean light. I have a ram truck with projector headlights and one halogen bulb recently went out. I replaced that with a LED bulb and it is night and day difference. I wish the traverse kept the projector lighting and upfitted with LED behind that.
 

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I have a 2019 3LT AWD Traverse. I feel the headlights illuminate just fine and the upper side of the beam is not super sharp...meaning I don't feel there's a distinct line between lit and unlit road in front of me. But I am interested in having bright headlights. I'm not super techy. How do I know what kind of lights I have?
 

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I have a 2019 3LT AWD Traverse. I feel the headlights illuminate just fine and the upper side of the beam is not super sharp...meaning I don't feel there's a distinct line between lit and unlit road in front of me. But I am interested in having bright headlights. I'm not super techy. How do I know what kind of lights I have?
Per the brochure, it looks like they all have HID headlights until you get to Premier or High Country. See attached brochure.
 

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1. Known to anyone who studies lighting in vehicles specifically. Most vehicles that have an LED lighting "upgrade" over HIDs have been known to perform worse. Read the forums, look on HIDPlanet and The Retrofit Source for comparisons, heck even the NHTSA or whichever government entity does the testing routinely gives the LED headlights poor ratings while most factory HIDs are much better. Since you are an expert, I'm sure this isn't news to you, but LEDs are directional and insanely bright for the power drawn, the challenge has been getting the correct optics because they are nothing like the optics used for halogen and HID bulbs.

2. This is false on most levels and really vague. Rebased HID bulbs (which is all most H-whatever HID bulbs are) do not have the same type of filament or location of the filament as the halogen bulb they replaced. This is why most of those headlights have horrific beam patterns and are blinding other drivers. As a lighting junkie I would NEVER advise using PNP HID bulbs. Also, yes, cheap aftermarket rebased bulbs and ballasts are short-lived, but factory components and quality D series bulbs driven at the proper wattage will not have any shorter life than comparable halogen bulbs. For your multifilament bulb comment, you will need to provide a specific example. I'm not saying it can't be done but generally factory halogen setups (even with all of the filaments running) will not outperform a high quality HID projector.

3. The shutter is raised in low beam mode... the cutoff (we aren't talking about knees or liquids here!) sharpness can be an issue to some drivers, hence why most manufacturers use fresnel lenses to help make that transition more gradual. Lose some brightness, gain some comfort. You are buying into the marketing a little too much... one ultra powerful LED chip does not mean it is better than multiple smaller, less powerful chips. It is all in how the lens or reflectors are shaped, how much power they draw, how much cooling they require (large LEDs often require active cooling which is a failure point).

4. Lumens are misleading, check out Headlight Revolution or The Retrofit Source's youtube videos. Raw lumens are great for marketing but don't tell you how that chip performs in that application, for that you need to measure the lux at a set distance. Plenty of LED bulbs put out huge numbers 5' from the vehicle, but go to 30' and that number dies off because the beam pattern is crap and the light is dispersed in areas where it is not needed. Case in point, my dad bought a brand new '20 Sierra with the factory LED setup like you talk about. They are good headlights, much better than my Traverse halogens. But my wife's Pilot with an FX-R 3.0 projector retrofit wipes the floor in width, consistency, brightness, etc. Low beam and high beam. My mom's Mercedes GLC300 with an LED projector low beam and LED reflector high beam also is superior.

5. I have not driven a Traverse with the LED headlights, it very well could be a great setup so I have no comment on that.
Spoken by someone trying to justify use of cheapo POS finite lifesapan HID projectors instead of going the extra bucks for an upscale model with a superior setup.

Past 50 years, had them all, had tungsten, had halogen, had xenon, had HID and have LEDs....notice the automotive equipment progression mirrors a technology increase advantage? Can't mount an LED properly in a projector housing and expect it to focus properly...the 6 "D" lens assembly in the upscale Traverses, as in the new Silverados, is far superior to the cheaper HID alternative.

And the only scientific proof that really matters is to sit your a$$ in the seat of a SAME MODEL vehicle with HIDs and then the same model with stock LEDs for comparison. Then drive on unlit back roads where the only difference between following the road and smashing into a tree is the headlamps.......and your eyes will provide the all scientific proof you need. I've had a Traverse with projectors and I've had a Silverado with HID projectors and there is simply no comparison when illuminating a landscape in total darkness, driven with and observed the operation of both. And so I put my bucks where my mouth is to get new vehciles with stock LEDs in dedicated stock LED housings.
 

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I'm not huge fan of the LED headlights. They have weird lines that are projected out. They are different colors that produce the lines on the ground out front. I miss my projector HID because it was a smooth clean light. I have a ram truck with projector headlights and one halogen bulb recently went out. I replaced that with a LED bulb and it is night and day difference. I wish the traverse kept the projector lighting and upfitted with LED behind that.
? No weird patterns in my stock Premier "D" lens LEDs.

Can't simply stick an LED in a projector lens or just any reflector housing and expect it to work properly. You'll get the brightness, but iyou will get poor focus and maybe a defraction pattern on the ground. Projector housings need a point light source like a filament or electric arc, COB LEDs are not a point source and useful only in a reflector housing, not just replacement in any reflector housing, but in one specifically designed for that model LED OR conversely behind a specifically designed reflector with shaped lens like the "D" lenses in the 18+ Traverse,
 

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Spoken by someone trying to justify use of cheapo POS finite lifesapan HID projectors instead of going the extra bucks for an upscale model with a superior setup.

Past 50 years, had them all, had tungsten, had halogen, had xenon, had HID and have LEDs....notice the automotive equipment progression mirrors a technology increase advantage? Can't mount an LED properly in a projector housing and expect it to focus properly...the 6 "D" lens assembly in the upscale Traverses, as in the new Silverados, is far superior to the cheaper HID alternative.

And the only scientific proof that really matters is to sit your a$$ in the seat of a SAME MODEL vehicle with HIDs and then the same model with stock LEDs for comparison. Then drive on unlit back roads where the only difference between following the road and smashing into a tree is the headlamps.......and your eyes will provide the all scientific proof you need. I've had a Traverse with projectors and I've had a Silverado with HID projectors and there is simply no comparison when illuminating a landscape in total darkness, driven with and observed the operation of both. And so I put my bucks where my mouth is to get new vehciles with stock LEDs in dedicated stock LED housings.
I know, my posts are famous for being unintelligible, poorly thought out, and lacking any technical reasoning or evidence.

Clearly you won't listen to logic or well known facts in an industry, because you are the type that ALWAYS knows better. Age doesn't equal knowledge in everything, it's OK to admit you aren't an expert in everything. So enjoy your headlights and I'll enjoy mine!
 
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4. Lumens are misleading, check out Headlight Revolution or The Retrofit Source's youtube videos. Raw lumens are great for marketing but don't tell you how that chip performs in that application, for that you need to measure the lux at a set distance.
Unfortunately, neither HR nor its parent company, TRS, seem to realize that HID light sources cannot be accurately metered with a lux meter. A very basic fact, but one that escaped them.

HR even goes out of its way to present incorrect lux readings.

9083
 

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Unfortunately, neither HR nor its parent company, TRS, seem to realize that HID light sources cannot be accurately metered with a lux meter. A very basic fact, but one that escaped them.

HR even goes out of its way to present incorrect lux readings.

View attachment 9083
They are providing the best information on the internet about plug and play bulbs and retrofit kits, nothing is perfect but it's better than the people who buy cheap amazon bulbs that say they product 10,000 lumens per bulb. Almost more importantly is that they show the beam patterns so the buying public can verify which bulbs do and do not produce a correct beam pattern.
 

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Incandescent Bulb design vs LED bulb design.

Here is a really good description of normal headlight design and beam focusing.

It also describes the importance of proper LED bulb design to ensure accurate focusing.

Well worth the read in order to better understand the whole Incandescent vs LED bulbs and performance.

The included Video is also very informative.

Diode Dynamics are not the only LED bulb manufacturer that follows precise bulb design.

One only needs to do a bit of homework to buy bulbs that work for reasonable price.
 
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Well I’m still waiting on a new hood for my Traverse. But on the positive side, I have been working with the dealer on the headlight change over and as of right now the only thing besides the LED headlights that I have needed was the headlight harness. According to the dealer the only difference is the plugs for the headlight bulbs. So if GM ever gets my hood shipped we should be back in business! I will keep you all posted on how we turn out.
So did you every finish the changeover? Would like some more info if you did, like how easy was the harness swap, do the headlights line up exactly when replacing or do you need to have them aimed? Were there any issues with error codes? Thanks!
 
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