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2011 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
After looking around for an upgrade for my 2011 reflector housings, I decided to try the Diode Dynamics SL1’s. Overall, IMO they’re definitely an improvement over halogens but not as good as a projector retrofit. These are a good plug and play option for anyone looking for a boost in output.

Fitment: The fit was perfect and installation was as easy as changing a halogen bulb and everything easily fit behind the dust caps on the housings. It only takes about 10 min to swap the bulbs out.

Glare: The cut off was definitely a surprise (pictured below) and I haven’t been flashed or had a complaint after 2 months with them. My headlamp lenses are a bit hazed and have some micro cracks from whatever the previous owner did to them. But even with less than ideal lenses, the cutoff is pretty good and the glare is minimal. Better than an HID kit for sure, not as crisp as a projector. But for a plug and play setup I’m impressed.

Light: The output is definitely better than the halogen H11’s. It’s a nice white light with a slight blue tint. The beam pattern is a little centered, wish it was a little wider but I can’t complain. Overall, really happy with the output.

Fans: The built in cooking fans are a little on the loud side but I always have the radio on anyway so I don’t hear them often, just at start up as my Bluetooth hooks up to my phone.

Overall: I really like these. At some point I’m going to replace my housings to take care of the cracks and may do a projector retrofit when that happens. But, in the meantime, these are a great solution for anyone looking to improve their low beams.

FYI: The first picture is the SL1 Low beams and halogen bulbs in my fog lights (with yellow Lamin-X). The second picture is only the SL1’s on a wall about 20’ away.
 

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1999 Forester S
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477 Posts
Looks like a pretty narrow beam pattern on the low beams with a pretty significant hot spot that can be seen in both photos.

I remain unconvinced that these plug'n'play LEDs are worthwhile upgrades for the tradeoff in a downgraded beam pattern.
 

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2011 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
From 2 months of using them now, I’d say that yes, there are hot spots. But the area outside of those spots is still getting more light than with the halogens. So is it a perfect pattern? No, and that’s why I say they’re not as good as projectors. There’s more light across the pattern compared to halogens but the center is where its putting down the most light. But is there an overall increase in light across the pattern? Yes, so I’d say they’re worth it if you’re not planning on a retrofit for a while. It’s not a perfect plug and play but it’s the closest one by a long shot.
 

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Did you change the High Beams also? When I inquired with DD about the SL1, they said that the SL1 can't reduce the voltage to 60%(?) power for the DRL's. This isn't as important in the new Foz & OB's because they have the Konoji style DRL's, but for ours that use the highs at reduced power, it's an issue (because we'd essentially be driving around everywhere with our HB's on full blast).

They also mentioned they have a product in development which should hopefully come out in 2019 at some point that WILL allow for the reduced voltage. I'll be keeping an eye on that if I still have this car.
 
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