Switch to LED head lamps or No

Buddha.

Finally in expo white.
About five years ago I bought a set for my old Chevy. They sucked, 4 hotspots and no cutoff. Not even bright. I returned them.
I tried again with my newer Chevy. 40$/ set bulbs. At first I was getting flashed once or twice on my hour long commute. I adjusted them down and haven’t been flashed since. There’s definitely a sharp cutoff, no hotspots and the road signs get lit up almost as far away as if my high beams were on. I don’t even use my ************ light bar much anymore, my low beams have more distance. The light bar has more spread but you can only tell when close to stuff, like off roading a narrow trail.
They still have that fuzzed out look when you look at the headlights from a distance that tells you they’re LED. Some new cars are much more annoying with bright projector LEDs that make it look like they’re flashing they’re high beams when the hit bumps in the road.
 

Victory 4x4

Supporting Sponsor / Approved Vendor
I've been running some Auxbeam LEDs in my 3rd gen Taco housings for a couple of years now. After spending some time aligning everything they have a great pattern and cut off and don't blind other drivers in low. Highbeams are pretty much spilling light everywhere, but that is kind of the trade-off using non-led specific housings. I would not go back to halogen.
~Daryl

 

billiebob

Well-known member
I'll never understand the need for brighter lights so you can clearly see that oncoming car you blinded cross the centerline.
 

smokeysevin

Observer
If you live somewhere that requires extra lighting, run properly patterned and adjusted auxiliary lights, you can keep the extra light output for when you need it and you won't blind people unnecessarily since you can kill the aux lights when you are driving around others.

Think of it this way, with high output scattered lights you can never dim them when you have traffic coming since you have no way to reduce the lights output. If you run aux lighting and proper headlights, you can kill the extra lights so you don't blind oncoming traffic while keeping your standard headlights on.

I switch between driving my tundra and a 2019 WRX during the week, in the WRX all too often I get absolutely blinded by older vehicles with hid or led swaps in standard housing. It the truck its less bad but still enough to dazzle me. By contrast, both my tundra (led projector swap) and the WRX (factory led projectors) have a very sharp cutoff, very little light bleed, and are properly adjusted. That means that even with the truck being higher than stock, the lights don't dazzle people.

I speak from experience when I say I have tried basically every setup out there, the quality of light from the led projector retrofit is lightyears ahead of everything else. Next best was higher wattage halogen bulbs with an uprated harness. Very low on the list was a 55w hid drop in bulb and led drop in bulb. No matter what you do with a reflector housing, you are still at the mercy of how the bulb works in the stock housing. With a projector it all comes down to the lens geometry and effectively removes the reflector from the equation. This is where your gain comes from, since the stock toyota housing is pretty bad the aftermarket ones are even worse (again, I have tried this previously and speak from experience)

Before anyone says "you bought the wrong LED bulbs" I was running high quality morimoto replacement bulbs. They output lots of light, just not where you want it which makes driving in real darkness less nice.

For the sake of anyone on the road with you, please... just do it right or leave it alone. Your eyes will thank you as will anyone else's eyes around you.

Sean
 

tennesseewj

Observer
If you live somewhere that requires extra lighting, run properly patterned and adjusted auxiliary lights, you can keep the extra light output for when you need it and you won't blind people unnecessarily since you can kill the aux lights when you are driving around others.

Think of it this way, with high output scattered lights you can never dim them when you have traffic coming since you have no way to reduce the lights output. If you run aux lighting and proper headlights, you can kill the extra lights so you don't blind oncoming traffic while keeping your standard headlights on.

I switch between driving my tundra and a 2019 WRX during the week, in the WRX all too often I get absolutely blinded by older vehicles with hid or led swaps in standard housing. It the truck its less bad but still enough to dazzle me. By contrast, both my tundra (led projector swap) and the WRX (factory led projectors) have a very sharp cutoff, very little light bleed, and are properly adjusted. That means that even with the truck being higher than stock, the lights don't dazzle people.

I speak from experience when I say I have tried basically every setup out there, the quality of light from the led projector retrofit is lightyears ahead of everything else. Next best was higher wattage halogen bulbs with an uprated harness. Very low on the list was a 55w hid drop in bulb and led drop in bulb. No matter what you do with a reflector housing, you are still at the mercy of how the bulb works in the stock housing. With a projector it all comes down to the lens geometry and effectively removes the reflector from the equation. This is where your gain comes from, since the stock toyota housing is pretty bad the aftermarket ones are even worse (again, I have tried this previously and speak from experience)

Before anyone says "you bought the wrong LED bulbs" I was running high quality morimoto replacement bulbs. They output lots of light, just not where you want it which makes driving in real darkness less nice.

For the sake of anyone on the road with you, please... just do it right or leave it alone. Your eyes will thank you as will anyone else's eyes around you.

Sean
Do you have a good write-up or similar resource for a proper LED projector upgrade? I'm interested in doing in one but I absolutely loathe poorly done versions.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

smokeysevin

Observer
Post number 2 in my build thread has the details of my install. The guide I followed was from the retrofit source where I purchased my parts from.

My advise on a retrofit is to go slow and use lots of spring clamps when putting the lens back on.

I also wouldn't do red shrouds again but that is a preference thing.

In the interest of unbiased information, I only mention trs is because I have purchased from then in the past. Feel free to buy from whoever. I was very happy with the morimoto bi-led projectors but they take some wiring to make work.

Sean
 
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Latetom

Observer
Mrmrswelch,
I am not a big poster -- but 118 posts not 1. If you check on my posts I have asked many more questions on what people think or recommend than make recommendations. I am not a mechanic and have noted that many times. I do give my recommendations on carnets, routes, border crossing, and other like topics. But again, I have asked many more questions than given advise.
And thank you to all who have responded with information or recommendations.
 

skrypj

Well-known member
I have a 2011 Lexus GX. The low beams are HID's and the highs were 9005 halogens. The first thing I did was swap the 9005's for a 9011. The 9011 is about 20% more lumens than the 9005. That was a solid and noticable improvement. The 9011's are identical to the 9005's and the only difference is that one of the tabs on the base is slightly larger, so you can just use a pair of nippers to trim it back and they pop right in without any change to the beam pattern. I believe the same is true for 9006 and 9012 bulbs. The 9012 is brighter and should drop in with some minor trimming of the tab.

Then, a few months ago, Amazon had the Sealight 9005 LED bulbs on sale. I had seen a lot of reviews on the Sealight's and everyone raved about them so I decided to pull the trigger. Are they bright? Absolutely. Extremely bright. The thing I don't love about them is the color and light quality. They are very white and what I find is that they cause excessive glare on road signs, in the snow, and even just on the lines on the road. So while they probably light the road up better, the ultimate effect for me is that they cause night vision issues and they effect is about the same as the 9011's. Unless you are driving down a completely featureless road, it may not be an improvement.

I think that the people who rave about the LED's are using them in Halogen reflector housing that are complete crap to begin with. The F150 base halogen headlights are notoriously poor. So when someone slaps in a $45 set of LED they probably do seem to be a massive improvement. But, if your car already has a decent set of headlight, like my lexus did right from the factory, you may not find a huge benefit.

The single best headlights I have ever had were a set of Morimoto MiniD2S 4.0 projectors with a 50 Watt ballast that I retrofitted into my Jeep Liberty. Ultra bright, super clean cutoff for the low beam, and an incredibly wide and even beam pattern.
 
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Watt maker

Active member
I have a 2014 4runner and installed some Headlight Revolution LEDs in the low beam location. The type I purchased are clockable and it definitely took some time to get both sides just right in terms of pattern and light output. In all honesty, a good set of HIDs would probably perform the best in the stock housings but I’ve had terrible luck with HIDs in the past. I would say the LEDs in the OEM housings light up the road better than the factory bulbs but not as good as I was hoping for.

In my 2008 4runner, I have some ebay OEM replacement housings and the pattern and output was terrible with the factory bulbs (was kind of expected with cheap housings) but the HR LEDs totally corrected both issues right out of the box. Very good pattern with great throw. Totally blew me away which convinced me to purchase some for my 5th gen.

On a different level, I swapped in some OEM LED headlights and the performance is perfect. One of the best upgrades on that truck.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
You definitely have to find the correct LEDs.
They are not all the same. The good ones are designed in such a way that they mimic the element characteristics of a halogen, but with a diode.

Check out BulbFacts for the latest info and reviews.

I run Hikari Ultras (H13) in my Superduty.
They were highly recommended at the time I switched over, 3-4 years ago.
The beam pattern itself is identical to that of the OEM halogens. Broad, with a sharp cutoff.
The light output is considerably better, especially on low beams.
High beams are improved slightly for distance, but the fill is much better than the halogens.

All the while drawing a fraction of the amperage the halogens draw.
 

ZoeSanderson

New member
What did you end up doing? My friend recently bought an old car, and I want to give him a surprise. But, unfortunately, the car isn't in good shape. He's spent a lot of money on that one, and he's struggling for now. I want to give him a present, so I've decided to buy him some light for his car or redecorate his home. If some of you can suggest something, please hit me up! I would love to read your messages. For now, I think I'm gonna stick with this night light amazon. I guess I've found the best gift for a person who likes ambient light and is afraid of the dark. They offer a lifetime warranty and high-quality products.
 
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mtn_climber

New member
I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the data and trying to decide whether to swap out bulbs or the entire headlights on my '16 4Runner Trail. Ultimately I went with swapping bulbs (H11 -> H9) as there was no truly perfect option based on my requirements (total output over stock, heating, etc.). The difference is very significant and noticeable, across urban and rural settings.

I cannot stress looking at empirical data rather than relying on "looking brighter". The later is absolutely the case with HIDs and LEDs placed into stock projectors. However, the relative brightness does not always equate into better down road/trail acuity. Additionally, as was indicated in a previous response, the IR heating aspects of halogen bulbs are far, far greater than HIDs or LEDs. Therefore, if you're like me and drive in mix freezing conditions, having a bulb that appreciatively heats the lens is a necessity.

If you like data, the link below provides more than a couple hours worth of information, with an easy to digest summary/recommendation. The post also has a link to similar tests for fog lights.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
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.
keep the stock lights, far better quality, LED conversions are mostly garbage or incredibly over priced
 
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