Halogen to H19 LED upgrade in headlights: Key points to keep in mind

I have performed this on my Kia Carens but these points should help with any kind of LED upgrade in any car.

BHPian dreamkiller_18 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Nowadays the manufacturers are putting in whatnot limitations to make sure that customers do not do aftermarket upgrades to different systems. Some examples are head-units embedded with climate control features ( MG Hector ) speaker configurations disabled from head-units using engineering modes ( KIA ) and similar stuff etc. H19 is also one of them, so that you pay more for the higher model of the same vehicle which comes at a high premium.

Earlier the headlights came with mostly H4 bulbs which were user-replaceable. H19 is usually not available aftermarket from major brands at this time as it is a new standard and mostly dedicated to OEMs. H19 is available from some OEM providers like Osram, excelite and Philips but only halogen is available so people cannot upgrade from OEM manufacturers.

Thanks to Chinese manufacturers who come to the rescue here. H19 has a very specific design with 2 additional probes which makes the H4 bulb difficult to fit all the way in the reflectors causing uneven beam pattern.

Before we go ahead with the upgrade the model of the car which I have used here is the Kia Carens 1.4 T-GDI Prestige Plus model. However, this guide will help you with any LED upgrade. Along with this, I will also share some of my recommendations which I checked in the market. It’s upto you if you want to buy from these resellers. This is just to share an idea of pricing. ** no promotions**.

H19 Halogen to H19 LED reasons

When I purchased this vehicle from KIA, after doing my first long trip on the highway I was very sure that I had a pathetic headlight throw and that they were very much in need of an upgrade. So I started exploring my options.


I had options available like the Blaupunkt, Genome, excelite ( Kia/Hyundai OEM ). These were the best as per my research in build quality and brightness.

These were also the only plug-and-play in the market as they come with the H19 holder. We will see how it differs from the H4 later in the images.


I went for Excelite 130W 6000K Temp and got it in 6200INR with an MRP of 12399INR sounded like a good deal to me. I purchased from Pal Motors Delhi as I have had previous very good experiences with them for my Swift damping and speaker upgrades.

Excelite is a product of DHlighting Korea. It’s an OEM which provides lighting to KIA and Hyundai globally. They are located in Faridabad for India Operations. So you can get good pricing across Delhi for this. I sourced this from Pal Motors Delhi. They have the following configurations and the price difference between Pune and Delhi is easily 1-2k on the same model of LED. ( I can share the contact information for Pal Motors if needed ) Price range from 4200INR to 7200INR.

  • Excelite available temps are 4300k, 5000k, 6000k
  • Wattages are – 70W, 110W, 130W and 180W
  • Lumens 20000 for 130W pair which I doubt

Models available as below


It is a German brand however in India all products are imported from China. For Blaupunkt, the trademark in India is used by someone sitting in Delhi.

Blaupunkt available temps are 4300k and 6000k

  • 80w 6000k
  • 110w 4300k
  • 110w 6000k

Genome car accessories Pune, are manufacturers of DRLs, Projectors and LEDs. I liked their build quality but dropped it because they were overpriced for me. https://www.instagram.com/genomecaraccessories/ You can find their contact number on their Instagram page.


Aozoom is another Indian manufacturer based in Delhi with Chinese imports and branding. This is brighter however it may cost you a bit of a premium, 150W goes till 7500INR.

Points to be careful of for any LED upgrade:

  • Always make sure that you don’t go over and above your manufacturer wattage rating, so you don’t burn out your headlight assembly and can avoid CAN-BUS errors.
  • The LED you are using is as near as possible to the halogen in diameter and length. Also, the LED placement on the led unit replicates the halogen. As you know that your reflector is not for an LED, so the size of the LED should replicate a halogen bulb to make sure that you get the best possible throw and reflection. ( see the linked videos for proper assistance)
  • Stay within the RTO limitations so that you may be able to claim insurance when needed. CMVR 1989 Act says not to go above 60W for each bulb on the Headlamp.
  • The LEDs are said to be 80% brighter and cooler than halogens. I somewhat disagree but this is what is available on the internet. So you have enough space to go below your halogen wattages.
  • Do proper alignment to get the best out of your headlight upgrade so it does not hurt the incoming traffic as well.

The upgrade

There are some very good installers in Pune but I wanted to do this as a DIY myself. It did not take me much time to open the headlight back dust cover and put in the bulbs. I have attached some images of the holder which will help you understand the difference and the 2 probes placement which is why the H4 bulb cannot go in fully and gives you a scattered beam pattern when fitted in an H19 holder.

If you can get H19 holder from anywhere you can fit any LED into your reflector as this is the only difference in all the aftermarket LEDs. This holder is provided by most of the manufacturers who on their box say it’s for H19. Do note that some manufacturers will supply you with an H4 and say it will fit. But you yourself will see how different the beam pattern is when the holder is a mismatch.

Do remember your reflector is built for a halogen and fitting an LED may have its drawbacks. Like insurance claims, heating and condensation if not fitted properly. Fan can cause condensation in the long run in some headlights only during winters when it’s colder or rainy weather.

H19 Holder

You will have to first attach the holder in the lock position and the bulb can get into the holder in only one position make sure to check this out when installing. Make sure the position of the LED is vertical in the reflector adjust as per the below diagram.

Installation Method

Holder lock mechanism:

Specifications of the Led Bulb:

I have preferred that it should have a CREE LED for a longer life. However, I will update here soon on how long it lasts.


As you know the reflectors are not made for LEDs so this is a miss or hit case mostly whenever you upgrade. However, if you pay attention to the specifics of adjusting the headlights carefully after installation. You will find the performance at par or even better than the OEM-provided LEDs.

The high beam cutting and throw can be somewhat disappointing. I have adjusted mine with the adjuster screw located on the headlight assembly itself to the lowest possible throw so I only see the roads and don’t blind others. I use the headlight leveller button in the cabin if I need to move this higher anytime when needed. However when you have a superb low beam throw who needs a high beam too often. ( Personal preference ).

If you need extreme cutouts on beam pattern go for projectors which include opening the headlight housing and installation by pros. Genome Accessories have good success rate on this one. However, Osram CBI Pro projectors are good as well on KIA Carens. The only reason to go for LEDs is to keep the warranty intact and I did not want to open my headlight assembly yet. Also, I wanted to save some money. Projectors can cost you anywhere around 22-32k.

I have loaded multiple images with and without adjustment of LED for you guys to decide yourself on the throw. Right side image is always halogen in the below images.

Bulb image: Do note mine is a H/L LED with both high and low beams and 2 LEDs on each side. Some vehicles may have separate High and low-beam bulb setups.

See the LED placement and how it replicates the filament of Halogen. Some LEDs like Philips Ultinon do have a small reflector as well on the LED itself to concentrate the beam pattern. Never tried Philips because of its high cost and difficult warranty coverage in India.

Low beam comparison without adjustment ( left led / right halogen

High beam comparison without adjustment ( left led / right halogen)

Low beam comparison after adjustment of headlight ( left led / right halogen)

High beam comparison after adjustment of headlight ( left led / right halogen)

I would also like to share some of the video links which will help you decide on which LED bulbs to choose from and how you can do any headlight adjustments yourselves from headlight revolution.

Do note that the adjustment is not the leveller which is next to the steering wheel but the vertical and horizontal adjustment screws available on the headlight assembly itself.

Headlight adjustment screw on headlamp assembly. There will be 2. Vertical and horizontal ones. Easy to identify it has this teeth pattern.

Thank you for reading till the end. Please do share your experience on how your upgrade goes.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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