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3rd Gen HID vs LED vs Halogen H11 projector headlights

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by crashnburn80, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Nov 20, 2019 at 5:20 AM
    #1981
    johnnyroid

    johnnyroid Well-Known Member

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    I think you're on to something. I felt the same way about LED's initially ("I like the brightness and they match my DRL, and they look cool as opposed to halogens"), until I dug through this thread looking for the best LED option to replace halogens. OP, through his exhaustive research (and for that we/I thank you), has overwhelmingly changed my opinion, so while I love how LEDs "look", I'm much more concerned with actual light output in a practical sense (They're not for looks, rather for function). Now I take notice of other vehicles on the road who have obviously replaced OEM bulbs with some LED solution that looks bright as opposed to throwing brightness at a distance, and think of this thread. Same phenomenon as purchasing a new vehicle, and subconsciously taking notice of the number of the same model on the road as they travel.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2019 at 7:50 AM
    #1982
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about LED's myself, and have been following this thread closely. My wife just got a 2020 Rav4 with LED headlights. While they look bright from the front, when you're behind the wheel they aren't anything special. The LED's wash out the colors of everything and there isn't as much definition. I prefer the GE +130's I have in my 2019 Tacoma now, much more definition in colors. Comparing the throw and all would be like apples and oranges with them being different vehicles, but I don't want LED headlights now.
     
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  3. Nov 20, 2019 at 8:04 AM
    #1983
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    The 2020 RAV4 LED's got a Poor or Marginal rating on the IIHS tests, but since they do NOT check for aim for their tests, it's impossible to know if those low ratings are from the design of the lights or from poor aim. And these are not identical lights between the RAV and the Tacoma, it's not a save bet to assume they perform identically. Maybe it's possible to "downgrade" to the halogen projectors in the RAV, if they haven't changed the form factor.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2019 at 8:32 AM
    #1984
    Juggernaut

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    They don't check for aim... Nor should they in my humble opinion. Manufacturers should be judged on the product based on the condition it is being sold to the public in.

    Tested the H9s and it is noticeably brighter. It's easier to see the cutoff now and the lower than ideal aim (probably to be able to add weight in the bed). I'm leaving the aim stock for now as I may lift/level the truck in the future. Or my rear springs may naturally sag and adjust for me!

    Thanks Crash!
     
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  5. Nov 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    #1985
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    If you're testing headlight performance, then the first thing you have to do is check for aim. If you don't check for aim, all you're doing is checking the quality of the manufacturing process and on particular part that is quite variable. It's disingenuous to call it headlight performance without eliminating that crucial variable. And it IS headlight performance that they claim to be representing. And to further confuse the issue and to underscore my point, you can go through their ratings and find wildly different performance ratings for the exact same model lights, only in different trim levels of the same cars. Which one do you believe? That's why you need to start from a level playing field. It's a fatal flaw in their methodology.
     
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  6. Nov 20, 2019 at 9:56 AM
    #1986
    SRBenjamin

    SRBenjamin Well-Known Member

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    Well I dug up my light meter, and sure enough there's less light coming from the three types of LED's I tried. They look cool, but an H9 in the H11 projector is more than
    twice as bright than any of the LED's.
    I'll be waiting a couple of more years to see if LED's will improve further.

    Too bad. On my Scion Xb, the Philips LED H4's were much brighter than stock, and had a good pattern.

    My meter (Sper Scientific 840022) does correctly read LED's.

    Also, my stock aim points were way high. I adjusted to the E-code spec of
    10 meters with a 10cm drop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  7. Nov 20, 2019 at 3:58 PM
    #1987
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    I was basically only comparing the light color itself and stated that in my post. Otherwise it's comparing apples and oranges (to dissimilar items).

    They were poorly aimed when we got the car and I had to adjust them up a bit to illuminate the road to make them usable for driving. Again, I don't know if all 2020 Rav4's headlights are adjusted the same way from the factory, but these were aimed at a spot about 30' in front of the car.

    I just don't care for the washed out look everything has from the LED's and am content with my halagens.
     
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  8. Nov 20, 2019 at 4:41 PM
    #1988
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting. I'm wondering what you mean by "washed out"? What does that really mean? Are you not seeing colors how you think you're supposed to, or just certain colors not seeming right? I wonder if there might be an issue with color perception combined with the fact that many LED lights having chunks of the color spectrum just missing from there output even though they might measure to have a nominal 6000-6500 Kelvin output. When I get these new Tacoma lights, I'll measure the full spectrum and post screen shots here of their output. Have you ever been tested for or do you know about your personal color perception as it relates to degrees of color blindness that is far more prevalent in males than females.
     
  9. Nov 20, 2019 at 5:16 PM
    #1989
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm not color blind, they tested me for that before I joined the USAF and I worked in electronics for over 30 years (have to be able to tell wiring colors).

    When I say "washed out", the colors of everything seem not as defined from each other. Like there are chunks of the color spectrum missing. I have a couple D cell mag lights I've upgraded with LED bulbs and that light looks similar.

    I do a lot of driving on country roads and deer and other wildlife are always a concern. So I look at headlights with IDing deer and such as quickly as possible in mind. Not just how bright it is. I'll be interested in your findings.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2019 at 5:23 PM
    #1990
    Tullie D

    Tullie D Well-Known Member

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  11. Nov 20, 2019 at 5:26 PM
    #1991
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    It's sounding more then like the missing parts of the spectrum might be the issue. Now I'm curious to see if I'm going to have an issue. I know that I'm the opposite of being color blind and spending the last forty years as a photographer and the last 25 or so in digital and specializing in color correction and recognizing color, I'm very curious. I also know that this is not a hugely common complaint and it may be that you happen to by hyper sensitive to the deficiencies of these emitters. I guess I could go measure a RAV at the dealer tomorrow night and post those number.
     
  12. Nov 20, 2019 at 5:45 PM
    #1992
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's an age thing, I am 61 and set in my ways. Lol....
     
  13. Nov 20, 2019 at 6:01 PM
    #1993
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    Well, that is a distinct possibility. Our eyesight does change as we age. Overall, our color perception makes things very slightly warmer as lenses yellow. And of great importance to the lighting discussions here on TW, as a rule, your night vision diminishes with age as well, making good lighting doubly important as we get older. I already know that my long time g.f. has much poorer night vision than I do, and so far, at age 63, my night vision is still pretty good, but that will likely gradually get worse over time. Kinda why we don't like our parents and grandparents driving at night.
     
  14. Nov 20, 2019 at 7:10 PM
    #1994
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Hence the air quotes. And to get those HID shadows you'd have to install the HID bulb up-side-down, so that the capsule support arm is on the top vs the bottom where it is supposed to be. Ultimately their objective is to sell a product and I am sure they are very successful at doing it by making marketing videos.

    Just like halogens headlights, the quality of performance from an OEM LED headlight can vary significantly. I've shared this CR article before in the thread, but just because a vehicle has OEM LED headlights does not make it better:
    https://www.consumerreports.org/hea...-be-brighter-but-often-lack-clear-advantages/

    While good bulbs certainly won't fix a poor headlight, they will help enhance performance over the baseline that is tested against with a standard bulb.

    As to the LED color wash out, this is in part because the CRI of the lights is low and typically the color temperature is often high. Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures how accurately light source shows colors. Halogen light sources have a perfect 100 CRI, they show all colors accurately. Typically the CRI ratings that I have measured from automotive LED lights are around 68-75 CRI, which is subpar. The stance of the market seems to be though that it is good enough for a headlight. It is a bit frustrating as the technology exists to make them so much better, the LEDs I use in my home are 94 CRI, but I am sure it is a cost issue. The other side is that the typically high color temp bluer light isn't doing any favors with contrast. And in poor/wet weather the light scattering of short wavelength bluer light on wet surfaces can pose vision focusing challenges, which I've read tend to impact older individuals disproportionally more.
     
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  15. Nov 20, 2019 at 7:17 PM
    #1995
    abhamber

    abhamber Well-Known Member

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    As promised, here are some drone comparison shots. I would have loved to get comparison shots with similar weather conditions, but unfortunately that would have to wait for spring.

    The first three shots are with XD LED'sDJI_0030.jpg DJI_0026-2.jpg DJI_0032.jpg

    The last three are with a 35w Hyluxtek HID kit with 5500k morimoto bulbs

    DJI_0045.jpg DJI_0037.jpg DJI_0042.jpg

    As you can clearly see, distance projection is easily 2 - 3 times what the LEDs were able to project. I had to fly the drone extra high to capture the entire spread, and I still think I didn't capture all of it. The intensity loss at the max distance was minimal as well.
     
  16. Nov 20, 2019 at 11:26 PM
    #1996
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    This is an outstanding point that is so often overlooked and I could not agree with more. I refer to this as 'pattern saturation', where the beam pattern should be fully saturated with light in an even distribution out from the hot spot. But using LEDs in halogen assemblies causes significant alterations to the light distribution. I think this is actually the largest challenge for replacement LEDs in halogen reflectors as the light distribution is not nearly as smooth or well distributed as the halogen counterparts, as they are not an omnidirectional light source, leading to undesirable beam distribution patterns.

    Take a look at these examples (each running one headlight):

    Philips Gen1 H4 LED
    C856B22B-F7A2-4428-96A4-05A306BF8136.jpg

    Philips Gen2 H4 LED
    E94E5E57-CE92-41E5-9EE0-0A187E971AB8.jpg

    Stock standard OEM Osram H4 (yes this is one headlight)
    0EA0D5FF-2414-4FF7-98DE-647EFED89738.jpg


    If you look at peak lux readings, the peak readings were higher in both LEDs vs the stock standard OEM bulb. But the LED light distribution is awful and the pattern is highly irregular. Whereas the stock pattern has outstanding uniform smooth light distribution and is a far better beam pattern for real world use. Peak lux in this case is highly misleading. And then look at the cut offs, stock has a very nice flat cut off all the way across the beam, whereas the LEDs do not provide the same broad flat cut off line.
     
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  17. Nov 21, 2019 at 4:26 AM
    #1997
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    That is a nice technical explanation of what I was trying to describe. Much better than the term "washed out" I used. But it matches up with what I was seeing. I think a lot of people overlook the CRI of a light source. Myself, I like to see all of the colors accurately.
     
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  18. Nov 21, 2019 at 10:24 AM
    #1998
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I cover CRI in a bit greater detail in my residential lighting thread, where the market supports building significantly higher quality light from LEDs.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...lighting-using-leds-hirs-and-halogens.574930/
     
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  19. Nov 21, 2019 at 11:20 AM
    #1999
    MarkMN

    MarkMN Well-Known Member

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    Cool pictures from the drone! What a difference.
     
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  20. Nov 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM
    #2000
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, these drone shots underscore just how difficult it is to use any type of photography in comparing lighting. What's readily apparent is that the overall exposures are quite different between the images, which gives an entirely false sense of comparative luminosity and the AWB (auto white balance) gives a false sense of relative color. While it's an interesting overhead view that's not normally seen, it's pretty useless for the intended purpose.
     
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