The company I work for makes equipment that uses LEDs for illumination. LEDs can do a great job, but they need different focusing optics than conventional light bulbs. The headlight reflector needs to be designed to match the light source that is being used. You can't put any other bulb in there, be it an LED or a bulb with a filament and get the intended result, unless the new source is positioned in the same place as the original, and also disburses light around the reflector in the same way as the bulb for which the reflector was designed. That means that it is unlikely that a drop-in LED replacement bulb will yield the same results as the original bulb, unless the LED manufacturer can simulate the optical characteristics of the original bulb precisely, which due to the heat sinking requirements of high power LEDs, and the fact that LEDs emit light out of only one side, as opposed to all around like a light bulb filament, will be very difficult.
The various cars and motorcycles that are now available with LED headlights are only succesful because they are using optics designed to work with LEDs. The same is true of after-market auxiliary LED lights from places such as Clearwater. Those reflectors you see surrounding each individual LED in a Clearwater light are each designed to work with the specific LEDs being used, because that's what they have to do to get the great results they are getting.
Cree makes excellent high power LEDs, but I suspect they expect the bulbs they are selling to be used in new installations with optics designed specifically for them, not to retrofit existing headlight bulbs.
Well, most of this was disclosed in the original post.
But if you want to get more in-depth on this....
As far as LED's being built for a certain enclosure and/or reflector, well, this goes without saying, and, hence my (almost) rant and my pointing out the Cree's distance to the reflector etc. I even posted an image of this for that reason.
One huge thing you failed to color-in is why LED's (in housings made for LED's) are so successful (like Erica's, Darla's etc) ....vs these 3rd party aftermarket fitted ones. (drum roll......) the #1 reason....
Focusing w correct housing is right up there of course, but none of this is possible without the Hi-Powered LED's, and they won't work without controlling or getting rid of the heat.
Hi-powered LED's do put out some heat, not a lot per-say or what we are use to, but LED's themselves have a much smaller tolerance to heat. So when a housing/fixture is built from scratch for Hi-Power LED, it's done the correct way -along- with the focusing compliment that you (and I prior) mentioned. Main difference, the proper heat-sinks, fans etc. to get the output lumen's needed.
My application (post#1); max lumens per LED watt is almost 100. So for every watt of LED power, you get just shy of 100 lumens. This is the maximum efficiency out there right now. The one's I'm using are 3600lm, draw 40w as mentioned in post#1.
On a grand scale of LED. My neighboring Syracuse (NY); Ephesus Corp
. is making all the Hi-Powered LED's for the new Vikings Stadium in Minnesota
, due to open in 2016. The field lighting, which normally was handled by Metal Halides in other Stadiums, now has finally come of age to LED!. I think Arizona has retrofitted some of their MH's to LED, but as far as ground up, and 100% built and designed for it, this gem of a Stadium will be King.