Passat B8 Halogen DRL and Fog lights to LED upgrade

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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:53 pm
Passat model: B8 GT DSG 230bhp
Location: Loch Lomond

Passat B8 Halogen DRL and Fog lights to LED upgrade

Post by smilie121 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:38 pm


This is a guide of what I did to change my halogen DRL's and fog lights to LED's. Headlight one posting soon.

I am very happy with the results and was surprised the difference the fogs alone had over the halogens.

First some info before you jump in.

If like me you want better light and improved look, then you have probably spent time trying to see what can be done but got fed up with lumens numbers and claims and abbreviations of technology. Its hard to trust someone that wants to sell you their bulb labelling it as the best and latest. 95% out there are going to be terrible. So I have done a lot of research and suggest you do too so you can speak with conviction. Make sure you read and watch some unbiased guides rather than websites trying to sell you the product they are boasting ... a good starting point is headlight revolution on YouTube.

Recognise also, the Halogen setup on the B8 Passat is a reflector bowl - not projectors. This makes it even more difficult to get results with any bulb other than halogen. Whilst projectors and reflectors are designed to the same thing, projectors are way better and our beloved B8 has reflector bowls - boo! So to save typing up a few explanations please view this YouTube video:

Paying attention to 4:10 to 5:00 about filament positioning and why its very important in a bowl reflector. Then 8.48 briefly for beam pattern. There are lots more on that in more of his showdown video's. Do go and get some homework done.

So at the time of writing this, based on the information and products available, I have chosen the following:

1 - CREE LED for DRL's and Side Lights (They CANNOT - repeat - CANNOT compete with HID kits)
2 - The newer Philips LED kind as pictured below for my Fog's
3 - 55watt HID kid for dipped beam - guide coming shortly
4 - Still undecided on main beam but will try and report back after trying some pricey LED's

Whilst the newer Philips LED is currently cutting edge, some claim its not got quite the spread of, but is *almost* equivalent to a 35watt HID kit. This was in reflector housings. The Philips LED bulbs can range from £30 to £160 online whether its unbranded, no brand or branded Philips. One reviewer noted and demonstrated no difference between unbranded and the most expensive. Measurements confirmed the LED's were in the same position on the bulb whether it was a cheaper one or more expensive and that it appeared to come from the same factory looking at design and materials. I went for the cheaper set as I chose them for my turn / fog lights.

Lastly if the bulb has a fan, leave it alone, its old hat, noisy and WILL fail. The newer Philips LED's do not output as much heat despite being brighter and the newer design have a thicker copper plate which dissipates heat much more quickly than aluminium.

Other LEDS to mention are COB - larger cluster of LEDS - older tech with big claims but measured at short distances and SMD (several models of this diode but ALL are superseded by CREE)


So the Guide

The fogs are H11 (H8 H9) and kit I got was £34 of ebay - labelled as "H11 H8 H9 LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit Philips 6000k Cool White IN9Q"
The DRLs are W21W 7440 and the kit got was £25 of ebay - labelled as "100w Super Bright W21W 582 7440 Cree Led Smd Reverse Light Lamp Bulb White 8000k"

Whilst having SMD labelled they are all CREE LED as you can see in the pictures and assume he has mentioned it for search terms catchment.

Tools needed are some plastic and metal pry tools are pictured and a TX25 driver.

Full sized image URLS:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Plastic and Metal pry tools - probably about £5 both sets delivered - bought a while ago

The Kit itself. Plenty of cable ties and 2x sticky pads inside - I wasn't going to waste my time with the pads

H8 Halogen and Led comparison

W21W Halogen and LED comparison



Front guard removal - using 2 pry tools directed outward from the middle of the bumper, just enough to get your fingers behind the upper plastic piece. Arrows shown. Now using two hands and easy does it, un-pop the clips from the top to the outside then the bottom. It has pillars that side sideways into the outer part of the bumper. Where it connects in the middle of the bumper did require a bit of force. I was lucky enough not to break any clips.

Remove 2 x TX25 screws highlighted by 2 blue arrows. Green arrow is level adjuster, leave alone. Lamp swings out as it has 2 pins that sit in the outer piece of the bumper

Not a lot of cable to play with so rest the lamp on something that wont scratch it

Installation is simple - quarter and other half turn and bulbs come out, check they work before going any further

Rear of fog light and canbus canceller

Cable tied to original VW wires to save them tangling my own

This is them installed - front cover still off hence being so dirty

The result. Note HID's are fitted also

Without fogs (HID already installed)

With Fogs (HID already installed)

Unfortunately I do not have the photo's of led fog lights combined with the halogen headlamps as it showed the difference the best. But chances are if you have a halogen setup the pictures will show you the difference to expect if you get the same products. Of course others may vary.

Any eagle eyed board members may notice the fog guards are not fully on in the front shot of the car. I was testing / checking to see how it looked in case i needed to pull them back off and save another ball ache.


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