Headlight Bulbs

Discussion in 'Thunderbird' started by Bucky, Jun 18, 2022.

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  1. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2014
    Hi all,
    Do you get those headlight bulbs with blue tint on them, as you see on lots of cars.
    Can i get them for commander, and if so what make are they.
  2. David Downes

    David Downes Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    Hi Bucky,

    The only way to get that proper blue-white light from a headlight, is with LED bulbs. You can go to halfords and look at all kinds of so called xenon drop-in headlamps, but as blue as the lens they put on the bulb itself, it'll still look yellow.

    Fortunately, you can get LED drop-in H4 headlamps for the commander. The issue is finding ones that will work. I made a post about this years ago, and I did eventually get ones that did the job: https://www.thetriumphforum.com/threads/led-headlights-for-thunderbird-achieved.10747/

    ... I think you'd probably agree, this is the kind of thing you're looking for in terms of colour. And I can promise you, the visibility at night is essentially incomparable to the stock bulbs, they're great.

    The ones I bought at the time (5 years ago) unfortunately have not been available for some time now. So my only advice would be to buy up a bunch from amazon, and see if any of them fit inside the (rather cramped) headlight casing. The biggest obstacle being the depth of the rear end of the bulb. The LEDs need heatsinks, as they get HOT and most put that at the back of the bulb, increasing the depth, and reducing the room you have to get the lead on, and all back together inside the casing.

    I know for example that these ones don't fit, as I tried them 5 years ago and returned them:

    On the other hand, these ones probably would fit, but I wouldn't recommend buying them:
    ... because they're cheap, and there's naff all in terms of heatsink fitted to them, they'll likely overheat and damage something.

    These ones probably look most like the ones that I got:
    ... they have a decent heatsink on them, and they're not TOO much deeper than a standard bulb, they achieve this by having a wide (but shallow) heatsink, and the cable comes off to the side. You'll probably still struggle a bit to get it all bundled back into the casing, but ... if you achieve it, you'll get what you want.

    The good news if you do get there, is that I can say they look great aesthetically, and the improved vis is even better still. Better than that, when I did finally get it achieved, I was nervous as hell that they'd overheat and either melt my loom, burn out some other component, damage the casing, or just break after a couple of months. Fortunately, it's been 5 years now, and they're still in there, working as well as they ever did.

    Good luck
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