Ordered an LED kit from Ebay after reading some good things on some miata forums.
My reason for doing this was reducing the load on the electrical system to free up more for other accessories. Mostly, my amp in the fairing which is cutting out during big bass hits due to voltage depression under load (voltage drop over the wiring harness is only .3V, so it's not the wires). Anyhow, back on topic:
The install is fairly easy, save for the lack of space in the stock headlight bucket.
The kit arrives in a well protected foam packed box:
The instructions are useless but unnecessary. The emitters are large, larger than I've seen in this kind of package and have no lens over the top of the emitters. This is a good thing, the light will act more like the filament in a standard headlight bulb this way, and not be diffused onto the reflector causing more light 'loss' or 'spill' than wanted. (there there is some, read on):
First step was removing the bulb, which is fairly straight forward so I won't document it here.
The bulb comes right out of the package and goes into the headlight housing:
Next, remove the dust/water grommet off the old bulb and install it over the tail of the LED:
Now you can install the little fan/heat-sink:
Next, you need to make sure there's sufficient space in the headlight bucket. The little fan will sit just about .75" from the bottom of the bucket. You can see and feel it through the back of the HL opening:
Now you can hook-up the little driver box:
Hook up the corresponding wires on the box to the light, and do a quick key-on check to make sure it lights up and the fan spins. Now you can try to get the headlight back in and re-arrange and keep checking until it seats without any kind of undue force. Install the screws and check through the back of the headlight to make sure the fan is clear of obstruction. Do another key-on test to make sure the fan spins.
Now you can enjoy your new headlight!
Random note: I'm not sure the fan will do anything. The plate attached at the back has very little mass or surface area, and so I don't see it having much effect either. I think it's only function is to make people think it's higher-powered than it truly is (made in China, afterall) and/or to deal with stagnant air. I'm not anticipating any issues, and if I have any I'll update to reflect those. I intend to test at some point without the fan to see if it does anything meaningful. Wish I had a temperature probe..
Comparison of silverstar bulb versus the LED. The light is whiter, but does not cast any blue light. The 'spill' is wider and the cutoff isn't as defined as the stock bulb. I'm not sure what effect this will have on driving in traffic, but I'm sure it can be mitigated with proper adjustment. I did notice the 'hot spot' is a tad higher, but after removal and re-install (for these photos) it's about even which bodes well for the alignment and lens effect of the stock headlight housing. I'm looking forward to testing out on some dark roads with the increased spill, as I anticipate it being more of a benefit by lighting up the side of the road better, and also illuminating signage further ahead.
The increased spill is likely due to the very large emitter which is round and flat versus a long skinny element.
Low beam silverstar bulb:
Low beam silverstar bulb with engine running:
LED light (did not change with engine on/off):
For the nerds: Camera settings F4.0, ISO 100, 1/30th exposure for all pictures. Taken from a tripod set at the fender, APS-C size sensor at 35mm (not equivalent).