I purchased the Stedi Copper Head H1 LED headlight conversion kit to install in my 2006 Subaru Forester. Unfortunately, this did present a few challenges:
- The Stedi harness has negative and positive spade terminal connections for the headlights, but the Forester only has a positive connection (negative via the body).
- The Stedi LED 'bulb' is very long, and only just fits in the Subaru headlight enclosure.
- There is no space inside the headlight enclosure for the driver module.
- Drill a hole through the headlight back cover for cables to allow us to mount the driver outside of the enclosure.
- Coat the inside of the back cover with a conductive material for the negative connection.
First up, remove the air intake and battery so that you can easily access both heatlights. Next, remove the headlight covers. Drill a hole (around 12mm, if I recall correctly) through the centre of the headlight cover:
With a hole drilled through the cover, I then coated the back inside of the cover with conductive copper tape:
You can get copper tape fairly easily from eBay. However, if you are unwilling or unable to get this tape, don't worry, I'll come back to that momentarily.
Feed the spade terminals from the back of the headlight cover through the drilled hole to the front of the cover. Feed the headlight 'bulb' connection from the front of the cover through to the back of the cover:
Connect the positive (red) spade terminal to the car's existing headlight bulb connection. Cover the connection with heatshrink or electrical tape to prevent shorting:
If using copper tape, tape the negative connection to the copper backing. Otherwise, find a method to securely connect the terminal to the braided heatsink of the bulb (e.g. soldering).
Fit the bulb in to the bulb holder, and tuck the heatsink braids down the sides of the bulb:
Re-fit the headlight back cover to the car. The bulb braid should press up firmly against the inside of the headlight cover, which makes acceptable contact with the copper tape (if used). Use strong double-sided tape to hold the driver module on to the back of the headlight cover:
This isn't the cleanest install, but has lasted a year so far without issue across sealed and unsealed roads.
June 2019 update
Since this original installation, I have run in to a rather serious design flaw with these lights. The PCBs that hold the LEDs are not actually fastened to the body of the light assembly. They are held in place by an adhesive thermal paste. This contact also provides the negative connection for the lights. Over time the modules have seperated at the front tip of the assembly, while still maintaining electrical contact. This has meant that the modules have overheated and burnt out.
I contacted Stedi about this issue, who insist that their 'propriatery' ashesive thermal paste should be up to the task. To their credit, they were prompt in resolution of this issue once I had proven the fault, sending me a replacement unit within the week. This replacement, however, had the solder joints to the PCB crack within a week of use. After resoldering, this only lasted about two to three months before detatching as the original unit had.
I have now replaced these with around $30 units from eBay, which have the LED PCB fastened with a screw to the main body, and appear to have comparable, if not brighter, light output. While doing this replacement, I also noticed that the negative connection is available as a spade terminal inside the light housing. It is clipped to the metal surround of the socket and can be released with some wiggling with pliers. It's too early to say if these eBay units will survive the long run, but so far so good.