I would really like to upgrade the lighting on my 2011 DC TRD Sport. I have been lurking around a few HID forums and haven't come across a good primer or tutorial on the basics of HID. I also have a few questions specific to HID's as it applies to a 2011 Taco. If you know any good tutorials, or can provide any answers/insights to the following list of questions, it would be greatly appreciated. My overall objective here is to improve lighting for off-roading. I could care less how "cool" or "not cool" it looks. Eventually I will probably put a nice big steel bumper on with a couple of extra lights, but until then I just want to get the most out of the stock config. Being primarily a work truck, I want to keep most of my mods as stock/incognito as possible for the time being.
1. I am told that there is a big difference between just putting in ballasts and lamps and installing a complete set up that includes lenses and reflectors designed to focus the light from an HID properly. Any real truth to this? How is the stock Taco lens/relector assembly in this regard? Obviously the price difference would be huge, but are the stock Taco headlight and fog light assemblies pretty decent? From what I have heard, a typical bulb/ballast kit will put out incredible light, but because it isn't focused properly, the distance is not great and the annoyance to other drivers can be severe.
2. I have also seen a lot of discussion about 35W vs. 45W vs. 55W. Obviously I want the brightest light for off-roading purposes, but don't want to be blinding other drivers. I assume these systems still operate high-low beam?? So if I put in a 55W system, how bright is low beam, compared to typical halogen low beams? Does anyone make a tri-beam system?? That would be super cool....
3. What brands are proven reliable? I have heard some of the cheaper kits are pretty problematic. I want rock-solid reliability and willing to pay more to get it.
4. What color temp is best for off-roading? Visibility of obstacles and being able to discern variations in terrain would be the main consideration.
5. I have done the foglights anytime mod and would be swapping the fogs out as well. I think I would go all the same color temp for off-roading purposes, but for actual fog is there another color temp that would work better and should I consider a second set of bulbs for the fogs for seasonal/on-road use?
6. My other thought was if I put in a super bright set in the headlights, instead of switching to low-beams when approaching other cars (which still might be pretty blinding), I could switch off the headlights all together when approaching other cars and rely on the fogs alone which are mounted so much lower they would be less of a problem for other drivers. If I put a good set of HIDS in the fog lights, I would probably get sufficient coverage to not even need the headlights when approaching other cars.... maybe???
I know, that is a lot of questions for one post, but maybe there are others out there that have a lot of the same questions.