The low beam in one of my headlights burnt out, and since it’s a 4×6 sealed beam unit, I have to replace the whole thing. I decided to replace both the driver and passenger side at the same time so that they match, and upgrade to LED units by GENSSI (4×6 G3) that also add the ability to have always on daytime running lights (DRL). (As opposed to always driving around with my low beams on.)
The (1995-1997) Chevy S-10 only has two headlight units and the factory sealed beam headlights (H6545) use a weird plug shape that is not the standard H4 (the ground plug is twisted about 45 degrees). They are rated at 65 watts on the high beam and 45 watts on the low beam, but for nighttime driving I have never been happy with their light output.
The GENSSI (4×6 G3) that I am replacing them with has a measured power consumption for one unit at 14.4 volts on my bench power supply of 1.8 A for high beam, 1.03 A for low beam, and 0.08A (8ma) for the DRL. This works out to 26 watts, 15 watts, and 1.1 watt for a single unit. The eBay auction page claimed 25, 20 and 1.1 watts for high/low/DRL, so the measured figures mostly match the online specifications, giving me hope that the specified lumen ratings may also be somewhat correct (Claimed at 2150/1800/57 lumens).
These units cost me $40 each, compared to the $15 replacement cost for a direct drop in Wagner H6546. However, the cost didn’t stop there, as I needed to pay an extra $30 for two adapters from the OEM socket to the H4 plug on the LED headlights. I could have just cut off the OEM connector and wired in a H4 socket for less money, but I decided to pay for the adapters to make the installation plug and play as well as retain backwards compatibility. Supposedly LED lights should last practically forever, but if I ever need to replace them in a hurry I want the ability to go back to the OEM 4×6 units which can be picked up at most auto-part stores.
The difference between the LED’s and the original headlights is quite apparent, as the LED’s are a “cooler” color temperature (white, not yellow) and brighter, which is why I am changing out both headlight units even though only one burnt out.
Here you can see a comparison of the new LED on the left and the original halogen on the right, shining on a garage door in the day and at night.
I paid an $80 premium for the LED lights as opposed to the cheap OEM halogen replacements. For that $80 I get a cooler color temperature (for a more modern look), more light (better nighttime visibility), minor energy savings, and the ability to wire in true daytime running lights if I decide to make the effort (not yet connected).