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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. Dec 29, 2019 at 4:09 PM
    #2281
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    The low-beam LED on the RAV4 has either two or three "modules" while the new Tacoma light has five just for the lows. Maybe it's a space thing, I don't know, but it's inexcusable to put shitty lights on any car these days. As far as my gf's new Forester goes, the lights are excellent. I drove it back from Loma Linda to Culver City in the rain and they were fab. No fatigue. Very effective. She's been driving home from Disneyland, where she's been playing music, and simply raves that she can finally see again, driving at night - and in the rain. Now that I finally have Mike Egger's harness, which I photographed and posted in the LED 2020 thread, I think New Year's Day will be a good, rainless day to do the swap. I'll bring home a white seamless and shoot you some projection images then too.
     
    OmegaMan73 likes this.
  2. Dec 29, 2019 at 4:21 PM
    #2282
    Ausram

    Ausram Active Member

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    How do you like the ecotechne? Have heard about some QC and finish issues but love how they look.
     
  3. Dec 29, 2019 at 5:42 PM
    #2283
    mynameistory

    mynameistory Well-Known Member

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    I love it, but I did know about the fit and finish issues others had before I purchased it. That's why I ordered it bare-metal and then addressed all of the problems before having a local powdercoater do their thing. Take a look at my thread here if you're interested:

    https://www.4runners.com/threads/ecotechne-roof-rack-installation-5th-gen.7090/
     
    Ausram and crashnburn80 [OP] like this.
  4. Dec 30, 2019 at 8:32 AM
    #2284
    CaliTaco718

    CaliTaco718 Instagram: socalmike9000

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    Hey guys,

    Super noob here looking for a modest upgrade to my halogen headlights.

    Just to confirm, I need to get a set of low beam AND high beam H11 sets, correct?

    I don't wanna go LED after reading a lot of the reviews regarding output etc but Im3not ready to shell out hundreds on HIDs either.

    Diode dynamics looks pretty official but 150x2 (for low and high) is just too much right now.

    Looking at the Phillips extreme vision on Amazon.. I had the crystal vision on my 2011 ford edge projector housing and was satisfied.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  5. Dec 30, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    #2285
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    You would NOT want the Crystal Vision if they're the ones that are fully blue tinted. You'd want the Xtreme Vision instead.
     
    crashnburn80 [OP] likes this.
  6. Dec 30, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    #2286
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

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    Low beams and fog lights are H11. High beams are H9.
    You can do an H9 conversion for the low beams as noted in earlier posts.
     
    xxTacocaTxx likes this.
  7. Dec 30, 2019 at 9:41 AM
    #2287
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Go Hawks!

    See the recommendations in post #2 of this thread below. Crystal vision has a blue coating that will give you whiter light but the coating filters out output, meaning while the light is whiter, there is less of it, which is not good. The bulbs I tested were all for peak performance, I did not test the Philips Xtreme +100s, which is more of a middle of the road performance bulb. It won't give as bright of an output as some of the others, but it also has a much longer lifespan as well. It would still be a good improvement over stock.

    The best plug and play for the H11s is the GE Xenon +120, followed closely by the GE Megalight +130. The Megalight are quite a bit less expensive than the Xenons, which is the only reason I mention them as some are turned away by the Xenons price. Doing the Philips H9 swap is very cheap by comparison and provides the highest intensity output, but you do need to trim a plastic tab on the bulb for it to fit, and it is a bit tricker to seat in the mount, but completely doable.

    As for the high beam, the German Philips H9 (stock bulb) is already the best halogen bulb available for that location.

     
  8. Dec 30, 2019 at 9:51 AM
    #2288
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

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    Quick question on this, as I did the H9 conversion yesterday. Will one notice dimming in the H9's if the battery is below 12.4 volts? I noticed the H9's flicker more than my H11's did when I start the truck. I can't imagine a 10 watt difference could do that, but perhaps i'm reaching a wattage threshold for the battery and it is nearing its death...
     
  9. Dec 30, 2019 at 9:58 AM
    #2289
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I could potentially see that. Keep in mind the Philips H9s max out the +/-15% legal wattage allotment, so they are actually just over 74w, not the labeled 65w. 65w x 1.15 = 74.75w legal max. With significantly higher output and higher power draw, I could see the bulbs appearing to flicker more when starting the truck.
     
  10. Dec 30, 2019 at 9:59 AM
    #2290
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

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    Will the light output while driving still be higher (than the H11's) if the draw is higher on a lower voltage (than stock) battery?
     
  11. Dec 30, 2019 at 10:15 AM
    #2291
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Halogens increase output exponentially to the power of 3.4 with voltage increase, meaning the opposite is true for a voltage decrease. Example running some basic math (example taken from another one of my posts):

    Calculated: (14.65v/14.02v)^3.4=1.16 aka a 16% increase for the ~.6v change.

    So you will get a loss in output if not running at proper voltage. That said the percentage loss with be equivalent with the stock bulb or the H9, it just might be more noticeable on the H9 since the actual loss will be greater since the H9s are higher in output.

    But, all that aside, once your truck is running you should be running off alternator power, not battery power. If your voltage is low when the truck is running, then your alternator is failing. Toyota seems to have put very poor batteries in the Tacomas though, seems they fail right around year 3-4. I was pretty shocked to have mine die so early. So being you have a 2106 I'm betting your stock battery is about to die.

    I'd suggest a Northstar 24F battery as the ultimate replacement. You can get rebranded versions from Batteries Plus Bulbs under the X2 Power by NorthStar label, buy online and pickup in store for 10-20% off. However being an AGM battery and having a 3rd Gen where the charge voltage is not adjustable does mean for ideal battery operation it would need to be wall charged occasionally, which may make it not suitable for all 3rd Gen owners. More info here:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-northstar-agm-battery-voltage-booster-upgrade.604478/
     
    xxTacocaTxx and SpeySquatch like this.
  12. Dec 30, 2019 at 10:19 AM
    #2292
    CaliTaco718

    CaliTaco718 Instagram: socalmike9000

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    Right those are the ones with the blue coating. The extreme vision doesn't have them but still good output I suppose.
     
  13. Dec 30, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    #2293
    SpeySquatch

    SpeySquatch Function over Form

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    Thank you. I am surprised my battery has lasted this long. I do not think it is the alternator.
     
  14. Dec 30, 2019 at 10:47 AM
    #2294
    CaliTaco718

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    Thanks for the detailed response! I'm gonna check out those GEs.

    I think it would be weird to keep halogens for the high beams so will look for some better looking H9s.
     
  15. Dec 30, 2019 at 11:34 AM
    #2295
    150k

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    Since this seems to be the de facto lighting thread...

    So, how good exactly is a HID projector retrofit?

    Before we answer this question, we must first examine this chart.

    We'll be looking specifically at points 11, 12, and 14, which form the hotspot. These points outline a region. This region roughly contains the highest-intensity light in the entire beam pattern. The more luminous intensity recorded at points 11, 12, and 14, the better we can see down the road...which...is the name of the game, right?

    So, without further ado, let's see how a $120 Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 projector stacks up against a bunch of common headlamps, mainly from the last 10-20 years:

    Point 11

    Point 12

    Point 14

    All raw data is available for inspection here.

    At this point you're probably asking yourself: "well, the projector retrofits look great in pictures, and they are super bright from behind the wheel!" Well, yes, they are, but they're bright in the wrong location.

    They're super bright at 4 degrees downward from the height of the lamps. If we assume that our headlamps are 36 inches off the ground (basically a F-150 or similar would have lamps that high), then that means our projector retrofit is flooding the area ~0 to 40 feet ahead of the vehicle with light (simple trig with a right triangle, 36 inch height, and 4 degree angle).

    Note how none of the OEM or OEM-replica lamps flood the foreground with light--they all keep a cap on how much light is directed 4 degrees below the horizontal--and they all beat the Morimoto Mini H1 7.0 in terms of how much light is projected in the hotspot.

    Foreground light is comforting, but ultimately useless. An abundance of foreground light misleads our eyes. And an abundance of foreground light can ultimately glare other drivers.

    I mean, just think about it! 30 MPH is 44 feet/second. What good is seeing the area 0-40 feet ahead of you at 30 MPH? You'll already have covered it in 1 second. Human reaction time is 1.5+ seconds...so you need to see what's 100+ feet ahead, not what's merely 40 feet ahead.

    So, with this, I hope that I've helped at least one person "see the light!" Ha!

    Ultimately, be very careful about choosing your "upgrades," and in most cases, using new OEM lamps to replace old ones will be a lot better than attempting a projector retrofit, despite what pictures and videos might tell us. If you're going to buy a new headlamp for a projector retrofit, you might as well just buy a new OEM headlamp and forget about the projector retrofit, as this will usually yield better performance!

    Remember: our eyes are easily misled, but the numbers don't lie :).
     
  16. Dec 30, 2019 at 12:58 PM
    #2296
    CaliTaco718

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    Very good write up and excellent points. I have no issue sticking with the same style bulb, I just want a whiter light to match the DRLs and give my truck a more modern look.
     
  17. Dec 30, 2019 at 1:26 PM
    #2297
    Sasquatchian

    Sasquatchian Well-Known Member

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    Here's a quote from Virgil, one of the knowledgeable moderators over at the Candlepower automotive sub-forum about a question regarding Morimoto's "testing" procedures, which sort of ties in to the above post as well.

    "There are plenty of red (and "reddish") flags here. For one thing, testing out of that part of the world is notoriously unreliable -- there is a strong tendency for lamps to "pass" when they should fail...because the test lab feels loyalty to whoever paid for the test, because there's a connection between the test lab and the maker of the lamp (or just because the lab wants to keep getting business from that maker or that customer)...because lab practices and equipment are not what they should be...because the requirements are not correctly understood or applied. This doesn't happen all the time/every time, but it does happen frequently enough that responsible companies have full testing done by reputable labs with a track record of providing legitimate test results even when that means telling a maker or customer that the device fails.

    Speaking of "full testing": the linked tests are very far from complete. There are whole categories of test missing: water and dirt ingress resistance. Vibration resistance. Thermal cycling tolerance. Lens durability (resistance to chemical attack, physical abrasion, ultraviolet exposure, etc). Basically all the tests that show if the lamps will be piles of fallen-apart junk in a year or two. Those tests are important with prices like you're talking about spending.

    (0.6D, 1.3R) is one of many test points in the low beam pattern. It is not appropriate or realistic to try to judge whole beam patterns by comparing the intensity at one single test point. Looking at these incomplete tests and assuming (for the sake of argument) that they're legitimate: the LED headlamps' performance looks OK, not awesome and not awful. It's easy to get stars in your eyes because "Oooh, cool, all the newest cars have LED headlamps, they must be better", and there's plenty of marketing efforts to set that hook and reel in your money. But the fact is there are good, bad, and mediocre headlamps of every possible description. Some halogen headlamps are better than some LED headlamps, many (but not all) HID headlamps are better than many (but not all) halogen headlamps, some LED headlamps are better than certain HID headlamps and vice versa, etc. Morimoto's stuff does not have the track record you seem to perceive in terms of its (real) quality and (real) performance. It has gradually been improving, but it still has a pretty long ways to go. These units you're considering will be largely outperformed in any/all realistic terms by a new set of the stock GM headlamps with their HID low beams and halogen high beams (whoever told you you have halogen low beams as standard equipment was not telling the truth). And the performance advantage of the stock lamps will grow even larger with a set of upgraded low beam bulbs (these). And, very consistently, the durability and build quality of the GM lamps is far superior to the aftermarket units, too.

    Whichever headlamps you wind up choosing, it is crucially important that they must be aimed correctly and carefully using an optical aiming machine (looks like a scope or big video camera that gets placed in front of one lamp at a time) -- NOT with a "shine on the wall" type of method, which is a loose approximation at best."
     
    crashnburn80 [OP] likes this.
  18. Dec 30, 2019 at 1:41 PM
    #2298
    MrMccrackin

    MrMccrackin Well-Known Member

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    My OCD got the best of me, so I pulled the adapters and flipped the female terminals so Red was to Red!

    I took a photo of the adaptor for you this time.

    The female plug I trimmed off the hook that’s facing the camera so it’s flat and can pass into the stock H11 male.

    The male plug adapter I trimmed the center of the two prongs so it will pass into the H9 bulb.

    1135218E-051A-499C-AE0E-93AE5775C211.jpg
     
  19. Dec 30, 2019 at 2:52 PM
    #2299
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Weird to keep halogens as high beams? Or are you just referring to the stock halogen color? The Philips H9s were the highest performing H9s I tested.

    If looking for whiter, you might consider Hella H9 Performance 2.0 bulbs in post #1577 here. They come in just under the Philips H9s in my lux measurement but are whiter in color at about 3500k.

    Great post! I would not recommend Morimoto parts for a retrofit. I would definitely suggest if investing in a project like that to use OEM components.
     
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  20. Dec 30, 2019 at 3:12 PM
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    150k

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    It is interesting to note that the peak intensity of the HID retrofit projector is less than that of a 9007 headlamp from the 90s. Note that the HID projector isn't behind a lens yet, so this is a theoretical peak intensity we're measuring. The 9007 headlamp is running at 12.8 volts (government test standard). Most cars feed more than 12.8 volts to the lamps; if not, then you got a bad alternator. And yet even with the halogen headlamp being handicapped, and the HID projector being advantaged...we get...this:

    Never judge a book/headlamp by its cover.

    upload_2019-12-30_18-11-45.jpg
     

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