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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone upgrade their low beam headlights to LED on a 2013 Outback? I'm looking for about 4000 to 5000K. My main concern is if I will need any additional harnesses for antiflicker etc, and will it fit? Will the dust housing still close as LED's usually have a larger footprint for heat dissipation behind. Also, are any adjustments needed since the 2013 has projector headlights and I don't want them "misaligned". The dealer would install them as long as they are plug and play and they don't have to do anything extra.
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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1) Plug and play: probably not. Alignment is problematic with any emitter that's not 360' output, and in the exact same plane as the original tungsten filament. HID's generally glare terribly unless you change the cutoff flap, and LED's are mounted in 2, possibly 3 or 4 spots and have to be rotated once in place to find some kind of sweet spot that comes close to the proper pattern. The arrangement on the Gen-4 Outback doesn't afford you an easy opportunity to release a set screw, rotate for something that comes close to acceptable, and then tighten back up to keep it there.

2) While LED's run at lower power than tungsten, that heat MUST be channeled away from the emitter, or it will fry. It'll skip the technicals on why, but if you restrict airflow it will short-life. You'd have to skip the rear cover.

3) I agree about 4k. Frankly, I'm not a fan of 6k and above, but that's what the aftermarket seems to prefer, so that's what they make. I'd be perfectly happy with 3.5k if it was available.

4) Low beams aren't used for DRL, so no issues about PWM for reduced voltage operation. I doubt that any anti-flicker hardware would be required.
 
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Fresh Out of Outbacks!
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Given the quality of retrofits, this is a fair question. It may well be that none installed by anyone to date were actually an upgrade.

The heat issue is a very big deal- I have yet to see an LED kit that allowed the continued use of caps to prevent dust/moisture/insect intrusion in the bucket assemblies.

More than a few have inadvertently been converted to "indoor cars," not really fit for use in weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info!. It helped me decide that going with a replacement halogen was probably the best idea. If I were installing the bulb, I may have risked an LED, but as you know, replacing the low beams on a 2013 outback requires the tire to be removed, or double jointed hand acrobatics through the wheel well for access, so I am having the dealer install. Vosla +120 H7 and purchased from Candlepower Inc. Heard good reviews for both, the seller and the bulb, which is made in Germany, so hoping it is a quality bulb.
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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Candlepower is a good source. There was a time when I'd order directly from Europe to get some of these ECE approved / non-DOT product, but the last few items have come from Candlepower.
 

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2013 OB 2.5 Limited CVT, 2-3" ADF lift, and more
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Good choice! Putting an LED bulb in a projector designed for a halogen is not a good way to go, especially in a low beam headlight that everyone else is subjected to. There are some good options now to use LED bulbs in fog and high beam reflector housings if you want to do something else. (although there is a caveat with our dual high beam/DRL function) Some people will put an HID kit in the low beams which is a step up. But the best thing to do for actual benefits without blinding others is a HID projector swap if you are trying to get that performance. Thats what I did on my 2013. OR, for the the most bang for your buck with the least amount of hassle, just go with one of the best halogens you can get! Hope you are happy with the choice.

Thanks for the info!. It helped me decide that going with a replacement halogen was probably the best idea. If I were installing the bulb, I may have risked an LED, but as you know, replacing the low beams on a 2013 outback requires the tire to be removed, or double jointed hand acrobatics through the wheel well for access, so I am having the dealer install. Vosla +120 H7 and purchased from Candlepower Inc. Heard good reviews for both, the seller and the bulb, which is made in Germany, so hoping it is a quality bulb.
 

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2013 Outback Wagon limited
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HI cpereiar, ! Do you have a link or specifics for the halogen you bought? I have a 2013 OB that needs better vision!
THanks

Good choice! Putting an LED bulb in a projector designed for a halogen is not a good way to go, especially in a low beam headlight that everyone else is subjected to. There are some good options now to use LED bulbs in fog and high beam reflector housings if you want to do something else. (although there is a caveat with our dual high beam/DRL function) Some people will put an HID kit in the low beams which is a step up. But the best thing to do for actual benefits without blinding others is a HID projector swap if you are trying to get that performance. Thats what I did on my 2013. OR, for the the most bang for your buck with the least amount of hassle, just go with one of the best halogens you can get! Hope you are happy with the choice.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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skip the LED they have beam pattern issues and also may nor may not last.

I did a Miromoto HID retrofit to both my 2010 Outback and 2014 Legacy. Best decision ever made bar none for lighting.

each kit costs about $200 from Miromoto directly...
 

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I know LED’s have had a bad wrap because of their directional pattern, but I replaced my halogen bulbs in GMC Sierra with Sealight LED’s and they made a worlds of a difference. Plus I was able to seal it back up with the dust cover. I haven’t tested their durability since they are only a few months old.
The lights in my 2020 OB are still to new to replace, but I will try LED’s in the future for it as I do prefer LED’s over HID’s.

Will these work on the the 2013 ?
https://sealight-led.com/sealight-x2-9005-hb3-high-beam-9006-hb4-low-beam-combo.html


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