What to know: the GTR Lighting Ultra Series 2 LED Bulb
I'm so excited that this bulb is finally here. We've been waiting on this thing for a year in development, and it's here. We've tested it, and it blew away the competition. You guys are not going to believe how bright this thing is.
Shown below is the new GTR lighting Ultra Series Two LED headlight bulb. You might be familiar with the original Ultra series. At the time, it was the best of the best. Since it was released a while ago, some improvements came to the industry as a whole.
The Ultra2 is a LED headlight bulb replacement just like any other. You take out your original incandescent halogen light bulb, pop in the corresponding LED headlight bulb, and turn it on.
But this one's different.
For the first time, this bulb uses a multi-core flipped chip LED array, specifically designed for automotive applications. In the past, we would use whatever LED chip technology the manufacturer had lying around. We'd throw it on a PCB that might work, and we'd figure out what works. But today, this LED chip is made for a headlight.
Nothing else in the industry has an automotive-specific LED chip like the Ultra2, which is why it does so much better than the others. It's designed in a balanced way to maximize brightness but still stay cool for maximum longevity.
The heatsink (above) fits any application.
The connectors are better than they've ever been. It's the best of the best. If you've got nice wheels on your truck, an excellent paint job, sound system, you want the best, detailed lighting from the Ultra2. It's that simple.
All About The Lumens
A big reason why everybody is so confused when looking at LED headlight bulbs is the lumen ratings. Some places say 1800 lumens; others say 10,000. Well, the GTR lighting Ultra Series 2 bulbs come in at 3,900 lumens per bulb. The Auxbeam T1 (above) says on their website 8,000 lumens, but the GTR lighting bulb is brighter.
The LasFit LA series bulbs (below) come in at 7,600 lumens, but the GTR bulbs are brighter.
The NightEye bulbs come in at 8,000 lumens, but the GTR bulbs are brighter. How's that possible? How come the GTR Lighting Ultra2 only comes in at 3,900 lumens but does twice as much light output in a projector headlight as these?
Well, it's simple. It's all too common with aftermarket lighting that the manufacturer will take a random chip off the shelf, a random heatsink, and they'll literally pull them out of a parts bin and just put them together. Then they'll put them in a headlight and see what works. That's not what happened with the GTR lighting bulbs.
We Do Lighting Better Because We Test
They took the LED chip, figured out (through engineering) what kind of a heatsink they need to use to keep it at the right temperature and as bright as possible for as long as possible.
Then, they looked at the optical alignment of the LED chips inside the housing. A lot of these bulbs have random placement of the LED chips. It's not thought out, which is why they're cheaper.
I mean, if I said, "Hey, I needed to make me a light bulb as cheap as possible," are you going to go through all the steps to do the testing? Are you going to engineer it to work well? Are you going to make sure it's as perfect as possible? Are you going to use the highest quality products?
No. If you had to make a cheap LED headlight bulb, you're going to cut some corners. That's not what we see with the LED headlight bulbs from GTR Lighting. They're created to be the best of the best; that's what you get.
Your original halogen light bulb draws 55 to 65 Watts of power. The new GTR Lighting Ultra Series 2 draws 42 Watts of power. This fact means that it's safe for any vehicle application because it draws less power. It used to be that people would be concerned about putting brighter lights on their stock wiring for fear of melting.
Still, the LED headlight bulbs from GTR Lighting are more efficient than your original bulbs, so they draw less energy, therefore, less heat.
The LED chip used in the GTR Lighting Ultra2s comes in at a high CRI 6,000K color, so you're not going to have any weird hues like green, dark shadows, or yellow like a lot of the other bulbs on the market. This means that no matter what you put in, you're going to get high-quality light that's going to be super bright in front of your vehicle.
They also work on any car or any truck. Not only do they use anywhere from 11 volts to 30 volts of input power (meaning you can install them on anything) they're also small enough to fit in a projector headlight, a low beam, a high beam, a headlight, or a fog light. Anywhere you have a regular incandescent light bulb, you can use the GTR lighting Ultra2.
Nowadays, it's common knowledge that the brightest and best-LED headlight bulbs cool with a heatsink with a built-in fan. The thought used to be that the fan would be a failure point and that you're going to have more problems if your bulb has a fan in it. We found that when using the right kind of fan, it's just not a problem. Secondly, a fan-cooled heatsink gets colder than a passively cooled heat sink.
That's important because, with LED headlight bulbs, you need a balanced approach. If you have a LED chip setup that is super, super-bright, and a heatsink that's not very good, you're going to overpower that bulb, and it's just going to fail. Now, if you have a massive heatsink and a LED that's not very bright, well, that's just not designed right. It would help if you had the right size heatsink for the correct size LED chip, and that's what you get here.
Something else that's important when picking your next set of LED headlight bulbs is adjustable collars. Typically speaking, when you install a LED headlight bulb, it's essential to have the LEDs facing nine o'clock and three o'clock or perfectly horizontal.
However, if your headlight is a certain way where the bulb fits in at an angle and your mounting collar isn't adjustable, that's going to be a problem.
All of the different GTR Lighting Ultra Series 2 LED headlight bulbs are adjustable with some mechanism. The eight seven twists so you can get it aligned perfectly. The H11 has a set screw inside where you undo it and clock the collar to precisely the position you need. The H4 has a straightforward push and twist type adjustment also.
All of the different bulbs that fit any application are adjustable to get the perfect beam pattern. If you want to know more about why that's important, check out our other video where we talk about exactly what happens. If your bulbs are misaligned, and you put the bulbs in, and you think, "Wow, these aren't as bright as I thought they're going to be," chances are you need to index them. They need a little bit of adjustment to be perfect for your headlight.
Everything about this bulb is carefully designed from top to bottom. You've got these great-looking Torx bits, this custom-designed Ultra shell, and these black O-rings instead of that ugly bright red color. The heatsink design is smooth and cool looking.
You've got this turbine-style fan cover with the GTR logo, and then, one of my favorite parts, this flat cord that comes between the bulb and the driver (shown below). This way, if you have to pass it through anything, it'll fit better. The driver itself perfectly matches the rest of the bulb with the GTR and the Ultra logos.
I'm telling you, you'll be hard-pressed to find any wiring connector that's better than these. Even the H13 bulbs, which are notorious for having bad connectors, use the OEM style Delphi connectors.
It doesn't get any better than that. If you want to buy a bulb, plug it in, have no problems, and the best light output in the world, then the GTR Lighting Ultra2s are going to do that for you.
You can probably tell by now that I love these bulbs, and that's because I've already tested them. I'm going to show you why by putting these bulbs in a Tacoma projector headlight. It's not just about the technology and the way they look; they've got to perform. And these do.
When we test, we take the original headlight housing off your car or truck with the original halogen bulb. Then, we use a digital Lux meter to measure the usable brightness at a fixed point in our studio. From there, we know who's telling the truth about lumens and who isn't.
Realistically, the GTR Lighting LED headlight bulbs should come in at a lower lux than these because they have a lower advertised lumen rating. We'll see what the truth is in just a second.
Next, we're going to take out your halogen bulb, plug in the new LED headlight bulbs, and measure the light output brightness with a digital Lux Meter.
Let's start with your original halogen bulb.
This is how a typical projector halogen headlight looks. Everybody knows that these come in at around 1000 lumens, and at this test, we measured the brightest spot on the wall at only 250 maximum Lux. One thousand lumens makes 250 lux. Keep that in mind when we talk about the other bulbs.
On the Auxbeam website, they say that their Auxbeam T1 LED headlight bulb comes in at 8,000 lumens (shown below). Now, to give them some credit, that's probably the combined lumen of both bulbs, so let's call the Auxbeam T1 4,000 lumens.
This is an adjustable bulb, so at its worst, it came in at only 270 lux, which is about the same as stock, and at its best, it came in at 330 maximum lux, so it is a little bit brighter than stock.
In my opinion, the beam pattern leaves a little to be desired. It's not as wide as the original halogen bulb, and you've got some weird shadows and shakes in the beam pattern.
This bulb goes to show how important it is to have your bulb aligned correctly. We can get all kinds of different shapes out of it by twisting the bulb and changing the orientation. Coming in at a maximum Lux of only 330, I think we can do better.
The next bulb we tested was an LED from Night Eye.
The beam pattern here replicates well compared to the old halogen bulb, but there's just no brightness. The Night Eye website says these are 8,000 lumens. Again, they're probably combining both bulbs into one rating, so even if this was a 4,000-lumen bulb, it still only comes in at 330 maximum Lux. That's not much brighter than the stock halogen.
The Lasfit LA series headlight bulb (below) has a vast beam pattern but not a whole lot of brightness to it in this particular test. The website says 7,600 lumens which, again, they're probably doubling. It's perhaps 3,800 lumens, and this one came in at 350 maximum lux. All three of these LED headlight bulbs we've tested so far are coming in about the same brightness, about one and a half times brighter than stock.
Now, this is what I'm talking about. There are no weird shadows. It's got this insanely bright hot spot, the beam pattern is almost perfect, and out of the box, it's aligned correctly for any headlight.
The GTR Lighting LED headlight bulb rates at 3,900 lumens, and yet it comes in at 670 maximum lux. How come this bulb, which rates at about the same lumen as all the others, comes in almost three times brighter than stock and two times brighter than the other LED headlight bulbs?
Something's not right, and this is precisely why I love this bulb. You can't go wrong with this beam pattern, and the brightness is a massive upgrade.
You're going to love the Ultra2.
We didn't just pick these bulbs at random. You guys have asked us to test these many times in the comments of our other videos. So what it comes down to is, the GTR Ultra2 is almost three times brighter than the halogen bulb in this test and two times more luminous than all of these in this test.
However, the most important thing is that the beam pattern is way better.
Did you notice how much more full the beam pattern was on the GTR bulb versus these other ones? That same type of result carries through on every kind of headlight housing out there. We've done the testing.
Check out our other videos where we test the GTR Ultra2 against the most powerful halogen light bulbs. We also test it against HIDs and put it in a 25 brand LED headlight shootout, where we tested two different housings in this one.
Here at Headlight Revolution, we do lighting better because we test. If you want to learn more about automotive lighting and see how this bulb stacks up in different housings, make sure you subscribe to our channel for more videos.