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2008 SORENTO EX
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi boys and girls...anyone here that has a 1.5G (2007-2009) Sorento suffering from LED headlight envy? If you are like me, you dread those H11b bulbs. First, they aren't easiest to find AND for some reason, they can be 2x more expensive than the standard H11 bulb...even for the standard bulb...why?

I was looking into using LED, but because of the cover cap, significant modifications are needed...especially, if it has an external driver. There are aftermarket HID, but again...modifications.

Some may ask...why not use the standard H11 bulb with an adapter hardness...similar to what has been done on Sedonas and other Kias/Hyundais that use the H11b headlight bulb. Well, I attempted to do this, BUT because of the design of the Sorento headlight housing, clearance is an issue...and you can't re-index the bulb ring because it is asymmetrical. Overall clearance is tight, so all those Youtube videos that show refitting H11 bulbs (halogen or LED) to H11b housings don't quite work for the 1.5G Sorentos.

However, I came across these:


I know nothing about them...but it looks promising and should be a direct fit...just FYI. Wondering if I should try them or just wait and see...
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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With a projector headlight one can use H11 LED bulb in place of H11B just like I did in my Sportage. Minor mod is necessary thou for the bulb connector.
I used Katana bulbs and they are great.
 

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We don't use the H11/H11b units here, but general experience using LED replacements for the ones we do use seems to be "don't bother" due to poor performance and alignment issues.
I've not tried aftermarket retrofitting LED's to incandescent headlamp assemblies for quite some time, so things may have improved, but my experience is similar especially with regards alignment.

Every morning on my commute to work a good part of my trip is on secondary roads and have a number of oncoming cars blinding me with their lights, which I can tell by the color that they're not incandescent, and when they get closer I can see that their vintage did not leave the factory with HID or LED's.
 

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2008 SORENTO EX
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
We don't use the H11/H11b units here, but general experience using LED replacements for the ones we do use seems to be "don't bother" due to poor performance and alignment issues.
Interesting...so what do Sorentos (1/1.5 Gen) use for headlights on the other side of the pond?
 

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2008 SORENTO EX
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've not tried aftermarket retrofitting LED's to incandescent headlamp assemblies for quite some time, so things may have improved, but my experience is similar especially with regards alignment.

Every morning on my commute to work a good part of my trip is on secondary roads and have a number of oncoming cars blinding me with their lights, which I can tell by the color that they're not incandescent, and when they get closer I can see that their vintage did not leave the factory with HID or LED's.
They have gotten better, especially for projector type headlights. My wife's '16 CRV uses the standard H11 with projectors. I got a set of GTR Ultra 2 (not cheap)...and they work perfectly...great beam pattern, no glare. They work just like the halogens except they are whiter and brighter.
 

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2008 SORENTO EX
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
With a projector headlight one can use H11 LED bulb in place of H11B just like I did in my Sportage. Minor mod is necessary thou for the bulb connector.
I used Katana bulbs and they are great.
Yes, I've looked into this as well, but on the Sorento headlight housing...space is very limited and tight. The LEDs that require an external driver...forget it. They say that you can 'stuff' it into the headlight housing...I don't see how. Also, with the exception of maybe one LED brand...most of them 'stick' out too far to use the cover cap...usually because of the cooling fan. You can't leave the cover cap off or you'll get water/dirt inside the housing...ask me how I know this. Maybe a deeper cover cap from another module of KIA might work (someone mentioned Sedona), but there is no aftermarket available.
 

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08 2.5 CRDI Sorento Titan Auto
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Interesting...so what do Sorentos (1/1.5 Gen) use for headlights on the other side of the pond?
H1 for High and H7 for Low (same for all Mk1 Sorentos even though they changed the design for facelift).

Like These (Really cheap version that I would not use! ? )
 

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2008 SORENTO EX
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Discussion Starter #11
H1 for High and H7 for Low (same for all Mk1 Sorentos even though they changed the design for facelift).

Like These (Really cheap version that I would not use! ? )
Thanks.

So, H7 for low beam...nice, you have many more options available. One question though, the H7 bulb...I assume they are plugged in (electrical) from inside the headlight housing with a cover cap? If so, that still limits the LED options, BUT there are many more Halogen options for H7 than H11b.

(...wonder if I can get a Sorento (BL) headlight housing(s) from Europe to here...wonder if the main electrical plug is the same...???...hmmm)
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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Yes, I've looked into this as well, but on the Sorento headlight housing...space is very limited and tight. The LEDs that require an external driver...forget it. They say that you can 'stuff' it into the headlight housing...I don't see how. Also, with the exception of maybe one LED brand...most of them 'stick' out too far to use the cover cap...usually because of the cooling fan. You can't leave the cover cap off or you'll get water/dirt inside the housing...ask me how I know this. Maybe a deeper cover cap from another module of KIA might work (someone mentioned Sedona), but there is no aftermarket available.
I had to drill a 1" hole in dust covers and used rubber grommets to get the wires thru and out along with external driver that Katana bulbs come with.
 

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Sportage LX AWD 2014, Forte LX+ 2014
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I've not tried aftermarket retrofitting LED's to incandescent headlamp assemblies for quite some time, so things may have improved, but my experience is similar especially with regards alignment.

Every morning on my commute to work a good part of my trip is on secondary roads and have a number of oncoming cars blinding me with their lights, which I can tell by the color that they're not incandescent, and when they get closer I can see that their vintage did not leave the factory with HID or LED's.
This is very common around here as well.
I did have to make sure bulb orientation was correct when in and secured but this didn't affect light pattern or alignment at all compared to stock halogen bulbs, LEDs were brighter thou and that's it.
 

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2008 SORENTO EX
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
This is very common around here as well.
I did have to make sure bulb orientation was correct when in and secured but this didn't affect light pattern or alignment at all compared to stock halogen bulbs, LEDs were brighter thou and that's it.
Yes. When I first installed the LED in my wife's CRV and tired them...my first impression was 'CRAP, I just wasted $$$'. But after carefully reading the installation directions and get the orientation/alignment right...SHAZAM! Let there be light!
 
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