We were thrilled to receive the 2Stroke 3.0 Stroke LEDs in our lab for testing, as they promised to be a significant upgrade from the older 2.0 model. We initially viewed Morimoto's promotional videos with a hint of skepticism, but we have found in the past that their claims tend to hold up under scrutiny.
As an unbiased testing group committed to delivering accurate results, we purchased a set of 2Stroke 3.0s to ensure that our review was based on genuine experience rather than cherry-picked information. So, let's dive into our findings!
REFLECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
The 2Stroke 3.0s are a true game-changer for reflector style headlights. Their use of OSRAM's smallest size diodes and the particularly low spacing from side to side make them stand out from the competition. But what sets them apart in terms of performance? It all boils down to the beam pattern and hotspot. A good spread of light and a long throw of light from the headlight are essential for optimal performance. We've put these headlights to the test and are excited to share our test results with you. So, keep reading to learn more!
We were blown away by the performance of the Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0 LED headlights in our testing. The low beam peak lux was measured at 1022 at 25 feet, which is 174% more than our control halogen bulb at 373 lux. The light throw was over 2.5 times more, making it an impressive upgrade.
Although they didn't quite take the top spot in our beam score, the beam pattern was near perfect and exceeded our expectations. We highly recommend the Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0 LEDs to anyone looking to upgrade their headlights.
We initially set our beam score at 5 stars, but after testing the Morimoto LEDs, they have raised the bar in terms of beam pattern. We were so impressed with their performance that we could hardly tell the difference between them and the original halogen bulbs, except for the upgraded color and output, of course.
When it comes to high beam performance, the 2Stroke 3.0s are on par with other top LEDs, with a peak lux of 1821 (compared to 876 from a halogen bulb at 55w). This means you can see about twice the distance, or get 108% additional throw. If you use your high beams often, we highly recommend this upgrade. Unlike generic and cheaper LEDs, the 2Stroke 3.0s don't disappoint in the high-beam category. The beam pattern is also great in the high beams, maintaining a tight and strong hotspot like halogen bulbs, which puts the light exactly where it's needed the most. Overall, the 2Stroke 3.0s are a great option for anyone looking to upgrade their headlights.
PROJECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
While we were impressed with the diode design of the 2Stroke 3.0s for reflector style headlights, we found that they fell short in various projectors due to the handle design. Unfortunately, they didn't perform as well as we had hoped.
When it comes to low beam performance, they only managed to bring in 314 lux (compared to 230 lux with halogen bulbs). In high beam projectors, both standalone and bi-halogen, they produced less light than halogen bulbs. However, this is a common issue with LED products due to the design of projectors, and only a few LED products we tested actually outperformed halogen.
The beam pattern was acceptable, but we noticed a lot of cut into the beam, which created a dark spot at the bottom of the beam and obscured important areas down the road. While the 2Stroke 3.0s may not be the best choice for projectors, we still recommend them for reflector style headlights.
Morimoto has always been known for their exceptional color temperature, and the 2Stroke 3.0s are no exception. Although they claim to have the same 5500k as the previous model, we found the 3.0s to be closer to 5300k, which is still discernable from the 2.0s that measured around 5250k.
What we love about the 2Stroke 3.0s is their lower color temperature, which produces a pure white tone without any noticeable blue hues. In fact, these LEDs have very little blue at all, which is a rarity in the LED world.
Many experts agree that a lower kelvin color temperature is ideal for driving in inclement weather. While there is some debate on the best color temperature for headlights, factory LEDs typically come in around 5250k, with some brands opting for a bluer hue to stand out. Regardless, we can confidently say that the 2Stroke 3.0s provide excellent color temperature performance.
Morimoto chose to prioritize beam output over lumens, which is a refreshing change from the current trend in the market. The 2Stroke 3.0s produce 2025 lumens per bulb or slightly over 4000lm per kit, as we measured after 5 minutes of runtime with mild cooling. It's important to note that they do not match the output of products such as the DDM Tuning SaberPro 50w model, which delivers over 6000lm per bulb. However, the 2Stroke 3.0s excel in the area where it matters most - the beam.
It is worth noting that their claimed output was 2600lm per bulb, which was not achieved in our testing. While various testing procedures can yield different results, we believe our lumen test may be a bit generous overall.
POWER DROP: B
The power drop is relatively low at about 5.9% from warm-up*.
*Lumens are tested at initial startup (typically much higher as expected), 2 minutes (initial warm up), and 30 minutes (full warm up). The 5.9% value comes from the difference between 2 minutes and 30 minutes.
LED CHIPS, POWER/CANBUS, TEMPERATURE, & NOISE
Morimoto has once again used OSRAM LED diodes for their 2Stroke 3.0s, featuring the brand new Oslon Black Flat S model. While we're unsure if Morimoto has exclusivity with these diodes, we predict that others will likely follow suit in the near future, much like the Philips Lumileds trend.
Drawing only 22.6 watts per bulb, the power consumption is modest, which is advantageous for keeping the diodes cool, in addition to the on-board cooling system. Morimoto's claim of 22 watts per bulb was spot on.
In our tests, the 2Stroke 3.0s did not produce any errors in various CANBUS vehicles, unlike their predecessor, the 2.0s, which needed decoders to work correctly. However, we still recommend using decoders for vehicles like the Ram, newer GMC or Ford, and others, as results may vary. In the case of EU vehicles, success can vary between users even when everything appears to be compatible. When in doubt, using a set of decoders or anti-flicker modules can help to smooth out uneven power and prevent potential flickering, bulb-out errors, and may even prolong the LED product's lifespan.
The bulbs run slightly warmer than other LEDs due to their unique cooling design that cools from the front side of the headlight, rather than the rear like other LEDs. This cooling design is advantageous, as there is typically more space inside the headlight for cooling. Additionally, the air passing in front of the headlight as you drive provides additional cooling. In colder climates where snow and ice are common, the 2Stroke 3.0s can warm up the headlight and prevent icing, though they don't warm up as much as a halogen bulb.
If used outside of a housing, the fan can be quite noisy. However, once installed, they're usually silent. Just make sure to secure them inside the headlight or fog-light to avoid reverberation, as the fan spins at a higher than normal RPM.
DIMMABILITY & DRL
The 2Stroke 3.0s exceeded our expectations when it came to their ability to operate at low voltages. While most LEDs struggle below 8 volts, which is required by DRL systems to dim the bulb, the 3.0s continued to dim down all the way to 3.5 volts while maintaining a usable lumen/output count. Other LEDs may dim down to 5 or 6 volts, but their output is often too dim to be useful during the day. The 3.0s, on the other hand, maintain their brightness even at low voltages.
In fact, we later discovered that the 3.0s are specifically designed to function correctly in a DRL, providing the proper output in both low and high beams. This is crucial in avoiding glare in a high-beam setup. If you're looking to replace a halogen in a daytime running light, the 2Stroke 3.0s are the LEDs you want.
After running the 2Stroke 3.0 LEDs on our lifespan test bench for over a year, we were impressed with their durability and performance. Our tests showed that they held up well, with a lifespan of approximately 4200 hours at over 75% output, earning them an A rating. Even after 7500 hours, they still maintained 70% output, indicating that they continued to provide useable light. While they did experience some degradation, they remained operational for an extended period, demonstrating their longevity and reliability.
CLOCKING/ROTATABILITY & SIZE
The 2Stroke 3.0s are one of the few LED products available that offer the unique feature of clocking or rotating, allowing for precise alignment by rotating them in any increment. This is an essential feature for some vehicles to achieve a perfect beam.
While the size of these LEDs is comparable to other products on the market, they come with a slimmer heat sink compared to the previous generation. The cable now exits from the side rather than the rear, which was a space constraint for many users.
The 2Stroke 3.0s come with an impressive 3-year warranty from Morimoto, which is one of the best warranties in the industry. Morimoto is known for providing exceptional customer service and is highly respected in the headlight expert community. Although the expected product life of these LEDs should extend well beyond three years, having this type of coverage is always beneficial in case of unexpected issues.
CONCLUSION & COST
At a price point of $205 per set, you might wonder if the 2Stroke 3.0s are worth the investment.
But for those seeking an LED bulb that replicates the exact performance of a halogen bulb, these are the ones to go for. With their flawless beam pattern, ideal color temperature, top-quality casing, exceptional dimming capabilities, and optimized cooling system, these bulbs are unlike any other LED bulbs we have seen so far. As a result, we highly recommend them for anyone who is a true headlight enthusiast.
Full Test Details & Facts for Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0*
- Low beam Reflector Lux (per): 1022
- High beam Reflector Lux (per): 1821
- Low beam Projector Lux Hotspot (per): 314
- High beam Projector Lux (per): 373
- Lumens per Kit: 4050
- Low Beam Refl. Pattern Rating: 5.0 stars
- Lifespan Rating: A (4200hrs)
- Lumens Drop (2-30min): 4.9%
- Low Beam Reflector Glare Lux: N/A
- Tested Kelvin: 5300k
- Running Temp: 132°F (56°C)
- Rotatable (H7): Yes, 1° increments
- Bulb Dimensions: 34mm, 42mm, 44mm (Max Width, Base to Rear, Diode Handle)
- Ext. Driver Size: 52x30x18mm (WxLxD)
- Noise: 68db
- LEDs/bulb: 8/ea color (16 total)
- Direction: Flat
- Driver Type: External, non-removable
- Wattage (per): 22.6
- Cooling Type: Fan
- DRL/High-beam Dimmable: Yes+
- CANBUS Compatible: Yes
- Radio Frequency Interfearance: N/A
- Warranty: 3 Years
*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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