The Ultra 2 Series from GTR Lighting is the latest addition to their product line, and we couldn't wait to try them out. Despite facing backorders, we finally got our hands on a set and put them to the test. Initially, we were a bit skeptical after watching a review by Headlight Revolution, but after running them through our lab tests, we were amazed at their impressive performance, though it may vary based on the application.
Their output and lumen count are reminiscent of DDM Tuning's SaberPro 50w, but with a sleeker design and superior build quality. Plus, the lifetime warranty justifies the higher price point. We'll elaborate more on that later.
REFLECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
The Ultra Series 2 LEDs from GTR Lighting are an excellent choice for reflector-style headlights. They have earned a remarkable 4.8 rating on our brightness/distance scale, which doesn't even consider their higher lumen output compared to other LED products. Installing them as low-beam or main-beam lights provides a staggering 188% MORE lux (distance) than standard halogen bulbs, and approximately 144% more than the best halogen kit we've tested (OSRAM Night Breaker 200). This equates to a lux/distance increase of about 1.5 to 2 times the original amount.
Using these LEDs in high-beam headlights will result in around 94% additional distance, which is a typical result for most premium LEDs we've tested. While the increase in distance is not as substantial as for low beams, LEDs provide a brighter and whiter light that can help with visibility at night. Moreover, instant-on high beams provide the maximum possible light output instantly.
One common problem with aftermarket headlights is excessive glare, but the Ultra Series 2 LEDs produce a near-perfect beam pattern in our experience, indicating that GTR Lighting has conducted some R&D to ensure they work well in reflectors. These LEDs are highly recommended for reflector headlight applications.
PROJECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
If your vehicle is equipped with halogen projectors, you may want to consider alternative products that perform better. While the Ultra Series 2 LEDs don't quite measure up in this case, they still perform decently, scoring a 4.0 and offering almost double the distance for low beam output. However, in high-beam specific projector tests, they fell short and produced only marginally more usable output than halogen bulbs, which is a common limitation of LEDs due to their design. Unfortunately, LEDs are unable to reach the high-beam section of the projector bowl as effectively as halogens.
REFLECTOR STYLE FOG LIGHT TEST RESULTS
The design of fog light reflectors can differ significantly, but in our testing, we focused on the most common circular style (Hella), and the Ultra Series 2 LEDs performed exceptionally well. They ranked in the top 10 (#8 as of this review), providing 2X the distance (103%) and nearly 3X the lumens, which not only offer ample foreground and side lighting but also a significant increase in distance visibility.
If you're looking for an upgrade for your fog lights, these LEDs come highly recommended. However, it's important to note that their higher price point may be a consideration for some.
We always appreciate finding an LED product that emits light under 5500k. This is because they produce less blue tone and more pure white light, which is easier on the eyes and provides better visibility. The Ultra Series 2 LEDs we tested emit light at 5450k, which is a great overall color temperature. While there is a very slight hint of blue, the beam is almost pure white, providing very usable light that's great for all weather conditions. Additionally, the color is close to typical OEM DRL systems, making it a great choice if you're looking to match them up. Overall, we highly recommend the Ultra Series 2 for their color temperature and excellent lighting performance.
While we don't currently factor lumens into our scoring, we couldn't help but be impressed by the Ultra Series 2 LEDs' output. They claim a high 6700 "real" lumens, but when we tested them after just 2 minutes of runtime, we measured an effective 9150 lumens for the pair. To put that in perspective, a standard halogen bulb typically outputs just 3280 lumens, while a high-wattage aftermarket halogen bulb might produce around 3812 lumens. That's already a big jump, but 9150 lumens is in a completely different league altogether, nearly triple the amount of light! While lumens aren't the only measure of a headlight's performance, these numbers speak for themselves and are truly impressive.
POWER DROP: A
After warming up, the power drop is relatively low, at approximately 4.5%*.
*During our testing, we measure the lumens of the LED product at various stages, including initial startup (when it is at its brightest), 2 minutes after starting (when it has warmed up slightly), and 30 minutes after starting (when it has fully warmed up). The power drop between the 2-minute mark and the 30-minute mark is approximately 4.5%.
LED CHIPS, POWER/CANBUS, TEMPERATURE, & NOISE
The LED chips used in these bulbs are manufactured by Elec-Tech, a prominent diode maker based in China. Their chips have been gaining popularity and consistently perform well with minimal variance, unlike cheaper alternatives that tend to vary more.
Compared to the typical LED kit, these bulbs have a higher power draw of 38.2 watts per bulb. However, this is still about 10 watts less than a 55w halogen bulb, which helps keep the headlights cooler. It's important to note that the headlights shouldn't be too cool as it could result in ice formation during colder weather conditions.
DIMMABILITY & DRL
The dimmability of these LEDs is similar to other LED products, but it's important to note that they are not recommended for use with a DRL. If you require a DRL compatible LED, we suggest checking out the Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0 LEDs, which are specifically designed for this purpose.
The Ultra 2 LEDs surpassed our expectations in terms of durability and performance during their lifespan test on our bench. They proved to be incredibly resilient, maintaining over 75% output for over 5000 hours, which is why they received an S (Superior) rating. Even after running for 7500 hours, they were still producing 70% output, indicating that they continued to provide ample light. Although they experienced some degradation, they remained functional for an extended period, highlighting their exceptional longevity and reliability.
CLOCKING/ROTATABILITY & SIZE
One of the standout features of the Ultra 2 LEDs is the adjustable collar, which allows for precise beam alignment to ensure optimal light output. This feature is particularly important because every headlight is unique, and the ability to customize the beam pattern helps to ensure the best performance possible.
The Ultra 2 LEDs offer more than just exceptional performance - they also provide peace of mind with their lifetime warranty, a feature that is rare among other LED products in the market. This warranty is a testament to the longevity and durability of these LEDs, which can outlast the lifespan of the vehicle they are installed in. GTR Lighting is confident in their product and is willing to replace any defective parts, with only a small shipping cost to be covered by the customer. This is a much more cost-effective solution compared to purchasing a brand new set of LEDs, making the Ultra 2 LEDs a worthwhile investment.
CONCLUSION & COST
When it comes to LED products, it can be challenging to find the right balance between cost and quality. The Ultra 2's by GTR Lighting may come with a higher price tag, but they deliver outstanding performance and reliability that is well worth the investment. At first, we had our doubts about the price point, but after putting them through our rigorous lifespan tests, we were pleasantly surprised by their longevity and performance.
We understand that many consumers are concerned about reliability issues with cheaper products, but with the Ultra 2's, you can rest assured that they will not disappoint. They excel in every area and are hands down the best all-around LED product we have tested yet. From their precision beam ability to their exceptional output, they are truly a top pick in the LED market.
Moreover, their lifetime warranty is simply unheard of in the LED industry. We believe that GTR Lighting can offer such a generous warranty because of the product's long lifespan. In fact, they may even outlast your vehicle! And in the unlikely event that anything does go wrong, GTR Lighting is committed to standing behind their product and will replace any faulty parts promptly. So while they may seem a bit expensive at first glance, the Ultra 2's are an investment in peace of mind and reliability that you won't regret.
Full Test Details & Facts for GTR Lighting Ultra 2*
- Low beam Reflector Lux (per): 1072
- High beam Reflector Lux (per): 1702
- Low beam Projector Lux Hotspot (per): 452
- High beam Projector Lux (per): 501
- Lumens per Kit: 9150
- Low Beam Refl. Pattern Rating: 4.5 stars
- Lifespan Rating: S (5000hrs+)
- Lumens Drop (2-30min): 4.5%
- Low Beam Reflector Glare Lux: N/A
- Tested Kelvin: 5450k
- Running Temp: 119°F (48°C)
- Rotatable (H7): Yes, 1° increments
- Bulb Dimensions: 35mm, 35mm, 44mm (Max Width, Base to Rear, Diode Handle)
- Ext. Driver Size: 47x33x16mm (WxLxD)
- Noise: 61db
- LEDs/bulb: 6/ea color (12 total)
- Direction: Flat
- Driver Type: External, non-removable
- Wattage (per): 38.2
- Cooling Type: Fan
- DRL/High-beam Dimmable: Yes (4v min, non-PWM only)
- CANBUS Compatible: Yes
- Radio Frequency Interfearance: N/A
- Warranty: Lifetime
*Facts listed above are based on current testing processes at the time of this review, see how we test for details on our latest testing procedures. Test procedure 2.0 (25').
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