Switch to LED head lamps or No

Latetom

Observer
I am thinking of changing out the factory installed head lamps for new LED lamps in our 2014 Toyota 4Runner.

Have found almost no information on LED. One article in Consumer Report which said, "no".

Heck, I can't even find out from Toyota if they recommend this change and if they do what lamps do they recommendation.

Anyone who can point me in the right direction I would be much debt to.
 

Dopesick

Does a bear..........
The majority of people are gonna say: "No. Don't do it. The reflector housings are not designed for LED lighting. You'll need to do a complete retrofit.".

Well, most of them are right. There is a difference in the reflector housings and designing of lights, per source, for correct patterns. - There is also a bunch of idiots, that just throw bulbs, or LED replacements into the housings, without realigning the lamp assembly - Which to be fair, you should check the aim after every single bulb change, be they stock or other types.

That said, the outcome might surprise you! I picked up LED lamps from http://www.opt-7.com, and once installing them and finding a dark level parking area, proper adjusted the lamp housings. All came out pretty damn nice. A good solid boost in vision and light output, without blinding oncoming traffic.

So, Yes they are bright as all hell. They however are no more worse off than newer "bright" headlights on other makes of vehicles. I get the occasional lowered car flashing their highbeams at me, and to be fair, that happened before with my Sylvania Silverstar bulbs too.
 
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Justin Cook

Member
On a personal level, I highly recommend it; I'm not sure what headlight numbers you have (I come up with H11 low-beam and 9005 high-beam?) but I swapped out my Sylvania UltraStar 9004 headlights for LasFit LC6 9004 LED headlamps over a year ago and freaking love them. I ran the UltraStars because they're whiter and brighter than stock headlamps, but I generally had to change them once a year or more because offroad vibration is rough on hot halogen lamps plus my old headlight housings (I've replaced them by now) were constantly full of condensation and cold water+hot bulb=no bueno. Well, these LED lamps are still going strong after 16 months and lots of vibration/long run times (their color spectrum stands out well even in the daytime, so I often run them during the day) and the downroad range is wayyyyy better than any halogen I've ever run.

I will say that the high-beam function (mine are high- and low-beam in a single unit, looks like yours are two separate fixtures, which might help) isn't the greatest... it's a bright, broad wash which is good, but I feel like the halogens would get me more of a useful hotspot downroad. I solved the problem with twin 4" LED spots up on my rollbar and a nice little 24" LED bar on my front bumper relay'd off my high beam switch, so it's not an issue for me... just something to be aware of.

There is something to be said for the fact that your stock headlight reflector is not designed for the spectrum or particular optical cast characteristics of an LED replacement bulb, but honestly the improvement you're going to see from a relatively small investment is going to amaze you. You may well need to adjust the aim of your assembly downward after installation, since the LED cast tends to be more broad than a stock halogen... so you'll get more light going upward than you did with stock. But, you know, just spend ten minutes getting the aim right after installing them and, yeah, you'll be amazed.

tl;dr: Do it. Do it now. Your eyes will thank you, as will your alternator and your entire electrical system.
 

thedaddybadger

SE Expedition Society
I am thinking of changing out the factory installed head lamps for new LED lamps in our 2014 Toyota 4Runner.

Have found almost no information on LED. One article in Consumer Report which said, "no".

Heck, I can't even find out from Toyota if they recommend this change and if they do what lamps do they recommendation.

Anyone who can point me in the right direction I would be much debt to.
Absolutely. Go to XenonDepot.com (or call them). Tell them Dan from Peach State Overland sent you. Great product built to take some abuse.
 

highwest

Active member
There’s a user on TacomaWorld who’s done a very extensive (real data) analysis of halogen vs HID vs LED, it’s worth a read. As I recall, the LEDs had the least throw/distance. From my limited experience of OEM LEDs in one of my cars, I tend to agree. I ended up with ultra bright halogens in my Tacoma and they seem great... also way cheaper than either HID or LED.
 

Latetom

Observer
Thank you to everyone.

highwest, I have now read the post you recommended twice. Lighting is not an easy subject. Yes, I have changed out my interior lights to LED's and they are so much better than the factory bulbs. For what it is worth a great majority of my home lights are LED going back ten years ago when I had LEDs installed during a remodel. I am a LED fan. But having read several articles am not sold on LED for a 2014 4Runner -- housing, etc.

I had decided to go with either the GE Megalite +130 bulbs or XD Philips HID and finally decided on the Philips. Then I read the note at the bottom of the post and Philip has stop selling this bulb. I am now investigating other Philip HID bulbs.

Probably anything I install will be an improvement but being anal I want the best; not sure there is any where close to a consensus on what is the best.

Again, thanks to everyone.
 

VanWaLife

Active member
I just put JWspeaker 8910 evolution 2 LED's in my '85 Toyota pickup. My plan had been to wait until the technology stabilizes and comes down in cost, but after yet another rainy night-time drive with very poor visibility I made the switch. My research suggested JWspeaker and Truck-lite are the best brands for complete housing replacements. But you gotta watch out because not all options have heaters, so you can get ice build-up if you live in a cold climate. Not sure if this is also true of the LED bulb options. If I had a more modern vehicle with better stock headlights, I probably would have waited for better technology to come around. The 8910's are remarkable, with a very crisp cut-off for the low beams.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I don't mind LEDs when they come from the manufacturer with them but the aftermarket ones seem brighter. I'll never understand why people want to blind the oncoming traffic. I guess Darwanism will win.

I'd say no too. Buy some good halogen lights for $20 each.
 

Latetom

Observer
VanWaLife, a quick internet search and as you note both JWspeaker and Truck-lite get good reviews.
Best I can tell JWSpeaker doesn't make a head lamp for a 2014 Toyota 4Runner -- I will call them on Monday.
Will also call Truck-lite since they are closed until Monday.
JWSpeaker are the most expensive head lamps I have come across.
Thanks for the info
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
There’s a user on TacomaWorld who’s done a very extensive (real data) analysis of halogen vs HID vs LED, it’s worth a read. As I recall, the LEDs had the least throw/distance. From my limited experience of OEM LEDs in one of my cars, I tend to agree. I ended up with ultra bright halogens in my Tacoma and they seem great... also way cheaper than either HID or LED.
Of course the wrong light source in a housing designed for halogens will have less throw. That isn't because it is an LED, it's because the reflector and lens isn't designed for an LED.

Halogens may look like they "throw" more but it's really just scatter due to the larger light source from a long filament being harder to accurately align with the reflector rather than a point of light like a LED or HID.
 
The thing about installing LED headlights comes down to three things: what you pay for them, warranty, and research. Headlight Revolution is a good source for all of those criteria. The person who started that site tested dozens of bulbs and only recommends the best. He also has completed dedicated research in most of the late model vehicles, specifically the 4Runner. There are pictures of various bulbs in the 4Runner housings.

Morimoto, Putco, and others are some of the best. Don't be surprised when you pay $150+ for a set of bulbs, but the results are worth it.

Personally I have Putco LED's in my '01 Tundra, and upgraded my Wife's '15 Corolla (With factory LED low beam) to Putco High beam and Fog lights. Her car has incredible light output with double the distance for high beams over the factory halogen. Although I'm not 100% pleased with my H4's, Putco has since redesigned the reflector on the bulb itself which I haven't has the money to upgrade to yet.

These bulbs have also worked flawlessly in -40 temps here in Alaska.

 
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If I'm correct in my assumption, the '14 4Runner has projector headlights anyways, which the whole reflector vs projector argument is null and void. Regardless of what bulb you put in, (i.e. HID, LED, Halogen) the cut off line from the housing itself will never change.
 
As a manufacturer under federal scrutiny, Toyota would never recommend "upgrades" that haven't been authorized by the government. The reason some of their vehicles have LED and some don't is because of that reason alone.
 

Ducstrom

Well-known member
I did go from halogen to LED on my superduty. Waste of money. I bought ones that could be indexed within the housing, they throw light everywhere. There is no 'aiming' them. There was no cut off line anymore and I was being highbeamed during the day. They lasted 1 week before I went back to the halogens.
Wife has a Grand Cherokee with the projector halogens and I swapped HID bulbs in there. Made a huge difference, in a good way, on her vehicle.
I'd say it comes down to the specific design of each housing and how it reacts with an LED bulb shoved in there. If your highbeams are different bulbs from your low beams I could see you getting away with it, otherwise I'd just leave the headlights alone and ad auxillary lighting.
 

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