VEHICLE SPECIFIC / HEADLIGHTS / LED LIGHTING / HALOGEN LIGHTING / OFF-ROAD LIGHTING

2019 Ram LED Headlight Bulb Buyer's Guide - 10 Best Bulbs for Reflector Halogen Ram Trucks!

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The new Ram trucks coming out today have 3 different headlight options. Reflector LED, Projector LED, or Reflector Halogen. The price difference between the trim levels can be quite staggering. Up to $67,000 for a top-tier trim level and as low as $38,000 for a base model with reflector halogen headlights!

If you took the more economical route, I’ve got good news for you! The headlights that come on the halogen reflector headlight housings have a lot of potentials when paired with the right LED headlight bulbs!

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My new Ram 1500 truck!

First, I went out and bought one myself! That’s right, I just picked up a brand new 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn with halogen reflector headlight housings. Then I went to work and the first thing I did was start swapping bulbs! I tested 15 different LED headlight bulbs in the new Ram truck and you can see my findings here:

We’ll start with the OEM halogen bulbs in low beams. They are a 55w h11 halogen bulb sporting the traditional-looking dim yellow light output color and mediocre brightness.

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The OEM halogen h11 headlight bulb produced a mere 390 maximum Lux at 25 feet. Lux is the “real world” usable light output at the brightest point in the beam pattern. You can compare the LED bulb Lux numbers below to understand how much brighter LED is to this original.

The Best LED Headlight Bulbs!

S-V.4: 1,740 Lux

THE WINNER! First, let me show you the best one I tested, it’s the new S-V.4 producing a practically PERFECT beam pattern and a massive amount of light! The S-V.4 draws 36 watts of energy and produces 3,600 raw lumens per LED bulb. They come with a 2-year warranty and are easily one of the best options on the market today. these bulbs were almost 600% brighter than the original halogen bulbs, AND retained the best OEM-style beam pattern as to not blind people on the road! Truly an incredible performance by this bulb.

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Most new Ram trucks come with LED headlights from the factory, but if yours didn’t, you’re in luck! The S-V.4 bulbs are WAY brighter than any other bulb on the new 2019 Dodge Ram, and brighter than the OEM LED options out there and way cheaper too! Plug and play, easy to install, and insanely bright!
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The original halogen bulb produced 390 max lux at 25 feet and the S-V.4 dominated every other bulb in the test by producing 1,740 max lux!! This is wildly brighter than even the next closest competitor!

NightEYE: 1,010 Lux

Next, let’s take a look at one of the more common brands you’ll find on Amazon. this is a generic bulb branded by a Chinese company called NightEYE. This is their $72 square-chip LED bulb claiming a ridiculous 6,000 Lumen of light output per bulb!! Talk about laughable. The S-V4 above only claims 3,600 Lumen per bulb and is almost twice as bright as these ones! this bulb was a little over 2 times brighter than the stock halogen bulb but the resulting beam pattern was a giant floodlight, dangerous to other motorists. See for yourself here:

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As you can see they claim ridiculous huge lumen numbers, but don’t produce good results.

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This beam pattern is actually MISSING a hot spot!! Look at the original halogen bulb and you’ll see right above the top of the beam, at the cut-off line, you’ll see a spot that is way brighter than the rest of the beam. This is called a hot-spot, and with a poorly engineered LED headlight bulb like this one, you just lose the hot spot entirely. This giant block of light will blind other drivers and your long-distance viewing ability will suffer greatly. The original halogen bulb produced 390 max lux at 25 feet and the NightEYE Novsight bulb produced 1,010 max lux at 25 feet. Yes this is significantly brighter than the original halogen bulb, but the beam pattern is practically unusable.

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Diode Dynamics SL1: 1,290 Lux

The next bulb in the testing lineup was the Diode Dynamics SL1 LED headlight bulb. This bulb was easy to install, was 4 times brighter than the stock halogen bulb, and produced a very bright, central hot spot in the beam pattern. I know the Diode Dynamics bulbs work well in projector headlight housings, so I was really looking forward to how it would work on this reflector headlight and it did pretty good. In the picture, the whole beam is pretty bright and the brightest portion in the top/center really blends in with everything else, but if you try hard you can make out the incredibly bright hot spot near the top. This bulb would do anyone very well with this truck application.

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The Diode Dynamics SL1 is a crowd favorite, made in the USA with a good track record for being powerful and reliable. I was very pleased to find this bulb perform well in this test.
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The OEM halogen bulb produces 390 max lux in this test and the Diode Dynamics SL1 produces 1,290 max lux at 25 feet – now that is a massive increase in light output. Also, you’ll see that the DD SL1 has a significantly more “warm” colored white light than the other bulbs used in this test. The theory here is that the more yellow in the color will help with driving in fog, snow, rain or dust.

Xenon Depot Xtreme LED: 1,090 Lux

The Xenon Depot Xtreme LED headlight bulbs had a focused hot spot but it was an overall scattered beam pattern compared to others and a little taller than others. What this bulb is missing in this particular headlight housing is a more concentrated hot spot, and less lighting down low. The light that hits the ground immediately in front of the truck will create excess foreground illumination which creates an effect that limits your long-distance visibility. These are some of the highest quality bulbs and we’ve seen them test much better in other applications, specifically projector headlights.

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The Xenon Depot Xtreme LED bulbs feature extremely high build quality with an innovative and unique flexible heat sink design unlike anything else I’ve seen.

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OEM Halogen bulb: 390 max lux. Xenon Depot LED bulb: 1,090 max lux. this beam lacks focus at the hot spot, has some shadowing in the sides and the lower portion of the beam, and is a little over 200% brighter than the OEM bulb.

VLEDS Micro Evolution: 1,100 Lux

The new Micro Evolution LED headlight bulbs from VLEDs claim 3,500 Lumen per bulb, but from the looks of this test, I’m not sure that’s accurate. Xtreme Depot claims 1,790 Lumen and their Lux number is almost identical to VLEDs in this test; Diode Dynamics claims 1,630 Lumen per bulb and they’ve got over 100 more Lux than VLEDs in this same test. So where do VLEDs get their Lumen numbers from? The beam pattern from this bulb left some things to be desired as well, not to be a bully but just look at it! The hot spot is 20% lower in the beam than where it should be (causing massive amounts of glare to other drivers) and the main body of the beam pattern has these kinds of “steps” on either side as it descends to the road. It’s definitely not the worst out there, by a long shot, but definitely not the best either.

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The Micro Evolution bulb is small… really small! It should fit just about any application out there. It seems to be built well but the difference between the claimed Lumen rating, and its actual usable Lux rating tells a different story.

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The original halogen bulbs created 390 maximum lux at 25 feet, and the VLEDs Micro Evolution LED bulbs created 1,100 maximum lux at 25 feet with a pure white, 6,000k – looking color.

Putco F1: 1,170 Lux

The beam pattern from the Putco F1 LED headlight bulb was one of the best of the whole lineup, it just wasn’t even close to the brightest. The color is a very nice looking 6,000K bright white color, the hot spot is well defined, and there are no shadows or weird shapes in the beam pattern. Just a full, smooth beam from top to bottom with little glare above the cutoff. These bulbs use a metal flexible heat sink that allows them to fit inside of almost any headlight housing on the road, they’re affordable and produce a good beam pattern. These ones are definitely worth looking at!

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The OEM Halogen bulb created 390 maximum Lux at 25 feet from the wall and the Putco F1 created 1,190 maximum lux at 25 feet away. This is almost exactly a 300% increase in brightness over stock, and it’s one of the best beam patterns I tested here.

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This bulb features Philips Z ES CSP style LED chips that mimic the beam pattern style of the original halogen filament light bulb. This allows them to create a great beam pattern in most applications.

Car Lighting District Helios: 920 Lux

The gold-colored CLD bulbs came in at about 2.5X the brightness of the original halogen bulb but the beam pattern was a problem. Not only was the hot spot ill-defined, but it also moved down in the beam pattern compared to the original halogen beam. My other complaint about this bulb, that in typical CREE XHP50 fashion, the beam pattern turned into a massive block of light, a giant glare-filled light output set to dazzle oncoming drivers. This is the type of bulb technology that gives all-LED headlight bulbs a bad name! See, the problem is that a great big single LED chip, albeit bright, doesn’t mimic the original incandescent filament light source well enough to retain a good beam pattern. This thing is kind of like having a small LED offroad light bar inside your headlight. No more driving beam, now you have a flood beam!

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The Helios LED bulb from CLD is about what you would expect from a single large SMD style LED chip like the XHP50 used in this application. Large and in charge, tons of light, but no focus. It’s not even really that bright compared to some of the other options tested. The original halogen bulb beam created 390 maximum lux at 25 feet from the wall, and this CLD Helios LED created only 920 maximum lux at 25 feet. CLD claims these bulbs produce a laughable 12,000 Lumens… LOL. Either they’re lying to us, or their design is massively inefficient.

Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0: 1,240 Lux

The long-awaited Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 LED headlight bulb is here and it’s pretty good! In this test, this bulb created a 217% increase in light output over the original bulb, the color is great, they are super easy to install and the beam pattern isn’t too bad. The thing I look for in evaluating the beam pattern has to do with the definition of the hot spot (should be high and tight in the center), the shadows and weird shapes (or lack thereof) in the beam pattern on the wall, and the height of the beam. The beam shouldn’t be very tall, the taller the beam pattern the more foreground light you get which sacrifices your long-distance vision.

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The Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 LED headlight bulbs are a great fit in the new 2019 Ram reflector halogen headlight. It’s able to be adjusted easily to clock perfectly in the housing and I love the color!

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The original halogen bulb created 390 maximum lux (max usable brightness) at 25 feet and the new Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 LED headlight bulbs came in at 1,240 max lux.

CrystaLux G9: 1,210 Lux

The CrystaLux G9 bulbs use a flexible metal heat sink similar to the one found on the PutCo F1 but the material is different. The LED chips are the popular Luxeon Z ES models and overall this bulb has a high build quality. The majority of the brightness was on the top half of the beam pattern and the hot spot itself was right up there next to the cutoff line. This bulb had a higher-than-average beam pattern and it was brighter than some but nowhere near the brightest of the group.

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This LED headlight bulb from Crystalux has a low profile design to fit almost any headlight application and in all fairness, it’s a pretty good option.

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The beam pattern from the CrystaLux LED bulbs was very good. Nice clean color, good hotspot and a tight overall beam pattern vertically. It has some shading in the beam, so it’s not as good as it could be and those lines and shadows could become a distraction while driving. The original halogen bulbs created 390 max lux and these bulbs came in at 1,210 max lux in this particular test.

DDM Tuning RaptorLED: 1,000 Lux

The DDM Tuning Raptor LED headlight bulb is probably the worst one I tested in this batch! Super cheap-feeling bulb, the usable light output was greater than stock by a lot, but the beam pattern was so terrible!! See for yourself below. Somehow they managed to put the hot spot in THE CENTER of the beam pattern… The amount of stray beams of light, shadows, and streaks in this output is flat-out dangerous. This WILL blind another driver on the road and in my humble opinion, DDM Tuning should pull these bulbs off Amazon as soon as possible! DANGER WILL ROBINSON

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You can find most DDM Tuning LED headlight bulbs on Amazon at a discount, and this “Raptor” bulb is no different. Coming in at a whopping $64, and claiming a ridiculous 5,500 Lumens of light output! More like 500 lumens…

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Isn’t this just terrible? Go back up and look at the original halogen bulb, then come back here. What a terrible change. I seriously feel sorry for anyone who spends their hard-earned money on this product. The original halogen bulbs created 390 maximum lux in our 2019 Ram test and these DDM Tuning Raptor LED bulbs came in at 1,000 Lux. The worst beam pattern, and one of the worst brightness levels too… RUN!

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The DDM Tuning Raptor LED headlight bulb is one you want to stay away from for your 2019 Ram truck. It is built poorly with old technology, it feels cheap, and the beam pattern it creates is downright dangerous!

 

Disclaimer:

Street legal in the USA for Fog Light use.  Not compliant with DOT / FMVSS108 and not street legal in the USA for Headlights.  Certain specialty vehicles strictly limited to off-street use and not having DOT registration or license plates may use these products exclusively off-streets. International street legality varies by country. This usage regulation is not unique to a specific bulb, ALL LED and HID bulbs from all other brands, regardless of marketing claims, are prohibited from street use in halogen headlights in the USA.