View original topic: GW high efficiency headlight bulbs - any good?
nohong Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:38 am

Has anyone tried the Go Westy 'high efficiency' stock-wattage headlight bulbs?

H4 low beams:

H3 high beams

4Gears4Tires Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:52 am

It's not going to compare to the modern LED bulbs.

jimf909 Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:10 am

The GW lamps are probably fine. If you're trying to improve lighting with stock DOT rectangular Vanagon headlights this may be your first, best next step.

nohong Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:44 am

@jimf909 Yeap I've got square headlights (and like it that way). I actually just bit the bullet and got the Bus Depot e-code low beams. I have relays and was previously running 100W high beams (and stock 55/60W DOT low beams).

I got the Bus Depot upgrade to 100W low beams before doing the proper background research, so if I went ahead as planned I'd be running 400W total and now understand I'd be liable to over-current the white high-beam wire and associated fusebox connection. Boo.

Thus, now I'm looking for a lower current setup.

Option (1) Stock 55W high beams and 90/100 lows. It would keep me at the same 310W I'm at now, but still is more current than the 2.5mm white wire is rated for, and idk about the fusebox connection. Just bc cause I'm doing it now doesnt mean it's a good idea.

Option (2) LEDs all around or high beams only. But I'm hesitant to go for a random amazon LED short of someone attesting to a specific product. I did see that someone recommended a Cougar H4, but it's out of stock.

Option (3) back to stock wattage. Seems a bit disappointing for having just done an upgrade (tho I do understand the e-codes are supposed to have better pattern) The GW 'high efficiency' halogen bulbs seemed like they could be a good option here, claiming higher light output at stock wattage.

@4gears4tires Have you tried those LEDs?

So I'm at anybody got H3 and H4 LED bulbs they recommend?

Anybody got experience with GW's 'high efficiency' H3 and H4 bulbs?

oasis Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:43 am

I only have a general tidbit of advice on LEDs -- make sure you have a good specific "bulb" for a good specific application.

On my Thing, I switched from OEM headlights to Hella H4 headlights. Loved them. But, I am all about LEDs so I took the next step and swapped out my H4 bulbs for LEDs.

They were brighter but they were unfocused. The diodes were not hitting reflective portion of the headlight unit the same way. Oncoming cars hated me while I got a greater scatter pattern with nothing but open road ahead of me.

I tried a different brand with a different diode setup. Low beams focused down. No one hated me but they were useless over 20 MPH. High beams were pretty good.

I tried yet another brand. They were different but my complaint was more like the first set of LEDs. I eventually went back to my H4s.

My experience only ...

nohong Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:34 pm

@oasis, That's more or less what I have been hearing alluded to. What a bummer. Thanks for sharing that experience - and saving me from it.

4Gears4Tires Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:13 am

nohong wrote: @4gears4tires Have you tried those LEDs?

Those are the exact bulbs I am running. I pulled it from my purchase history.

Steve M. Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:58 am

i saw in one of the descriptions for the bulbs they said there were more filament in the bulb-the high beam bulb I think.
You'd have to get a bulb to count the number of coils, not sure if you can see it from a picture.

Ronzo_volvo_guy Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:10 am


In general, LEDs are great for their advantages, the biggest of which is drawing a quarter of the current of an incandescent...the problem with LEDs is, there is a lot of junk out there...if the emitter(s) is/are not precisely at the focal point of the reflector (designed for a VERY specific location), your emitter still puts out the light, but the Reflector and Lens send it God knows where, and that typically winds up being less than what you expected, lighting in: an unfocused blob of light which isn't really where its supposed to be, not to mention being unusable because it might blind oncoming drivers (whereas a properly directed beam would not!).

Then there is the temperature issue...when they heat up, LEDs drop significantly in efficiency, so light output drops way off...some LEDs handle this with passive and some with active cooling (heat-sinks/fans), but on some, the cooling arrangement is so huge that they don't fit into the fixtures...

I have been studying this for a while, and have found one of the best, and most objective comparison (for H3, 4, 7) was this automotive quality engineer's site ( ) he posts a lot of product evaluations, not only lighting, and performs these scientifically and objectively, and presents these well (no he is not my brother in law!).

So I don't make any specific recommendations, but after watching his videos, at least you know what things to check for, and what questions to ask of a seller!


Steve M. Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:17 am

If you live up north and get snow and ice on your head lights the LED's will not provide heat output to melt any ice buildup.
That is if the Halogen can with wind chill factor being what it is while driving.

I think some mfg. is making heated LED Lights for that purpose, but couldn't you get some resr window defroster wiring and make one for your headlights?

4Gears4Tires Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:30 am

Retrofit volvo/bmw headlight wipers?

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