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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. May 7, 2021 at 5:58 PM
    #4821
    xxTacocaTxx

    xxTacocaTxx Well Unknown Member

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    ThreeOhThree.co
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    RCI skid plates Mobtown sliders Lots of patches MESO Ultimate Turns, LED map and dome light, and Total Tail stage 2
    I have no comment about the front turn signals, but I have the @MESO total tail stage 2 kit for the rear blinkers and brake lights, and it has worked great. Super bright, and as an added bonus, it relocates the turn signal to where the reverse lights are, and uses amber LEDs. Check out the video at the link if that doesn't make sense. It shows stock and modified blinkers.

    No clue why Toyota switched to having red blinkers on the third gen after using amber for the first and second gen.
     
  2. May 7, 2021 at 7:43 PM
    #4822
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    That is confusing. Most typically it is American brands that use red signals. Amber is the more appropriate and safer color choice for a signal.
     
    xxTacocaTxx and Loan Wolve like this.
  3. May 7, 2021 at 7:55 PM
    #4823
    Loan Wolve

    Loan Wolve ‘18 DCSB OR 4x4

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    It honestly drives me bonkers. I chucked out the cash for the Meso Total Tails to convert mine to yellow.
     
    #4TOY4ME and crashnburn80 [OP] like this.
  4. May 8, 2021 at 8:25 AM
    #4824
    slowboater

    slowboater Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys (and gals). I haven't run at night yet so I can't comment on brightness. But, I switched from the H11 to the H9's yesterday for my dims. It was dead easy and took me maybe 5 minutes to do the entire job. The little green thingy pops off super easy. One of them went flying and now lives under the washer fluid bottle. :)
     
  5. May 8, 2021 at 8:40 AM
    #4825
    daveeasa

    daveeasa Slowest crimp in the West

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    We need a crash YouTube demonstration of how it’s done without launching as a projectile :)

    In the meantime I added a snippet and a photo to my post on the subject.
     
  6. May 8, 2021 at 9:12 AM
    #4826
    sandiegohasthebesttacos

    sandiegohasthebesttacos Well-Known Member

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    i've lost so many plastic clips and bolts to the engine bay over the years haha
     
  7. May 8, 2021 at 5:46 PM
    #4827
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Go Hawks!
  8. May 10, 2021 at 4:54 PM
    #4828
    RebleAZ

    RebleAZ Well-Known Member

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    Toytec Aluma Series Lift, Nitto Ridge Grappler 285/75/16.
    This is a lot of info and a lot of work that is beyond me. That said, nice work. Now which ones took the lead?
     
  9. May 10, 2021 at 5:13 PM
    #4829
    daveeasa

    daveeasa Slowest crimp in the West

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    Cliffs notes:

    If you have Toyota OEM LED headlights already, you're all set.
    If you have halogen headlights, purchase Philips H9's (same spec as high beam bulb) for your low beams and pop out the green plastic H11 specific part in the center so you can connect them. Rock Auto has them for $6 each. Use the same bulb in both high and low beams, done and done.
     
  10. May 11, 2021 at 8:15 AM
    #4830
    slowboater

    slowboater Well-Known Member

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    Why doesn't OP copy and paste this to the top of the original post? :)
     
    Watkinseli91 and Loan Wolve like this.
  11. May 11, 2021 at 10:02 AM
    #4831
    Loan Wolve

    Loan Wolve ‘18 DCSB OR 4x4

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    I think a BLUF would stop a lot of questions for people who don’t read beyond the first couple posts & are data overwhelmed.
     
  12. May 11, 2021 at 10:27 AM
    #4832
    daveeasa

    daveeasa Slowest crimp in the West

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    There are likely many reasons but a few important ones:
    1. Crash's mission would appear to be the provider of scientific factual data for others to come to their own conclusions. He operates much like a reporter, bringing you the facts to present the full picture but not spoon feeding you a conclusion. I believe this is one major reason his posts are so trustworthy across such a broad range of topics.
    2. The summary I presented is opinionated and overly brief. Hikari's and Morimoto 2stroke LED bulbs may deserve a mention (I'm highly against LED bulbs in halogen projectors, more so than crash). High efficiency H11's probably also deserve a mention.
    3. I would never expect Crash to copy and paste someone else's post verbatim, outside of perhaps step-by-step howto's. The entire style of my summary is very different than just about every post crash has made in this thread and elsewhere. Ironically, I'm often criticized for writing overly verbose paragraphs / wall-o-text (see below for an example.)
    4. Some rather recent developments (summarized below) which haven't yet made it into the first few posts.
    Recent developments:

    Prior to a couple of weeks ago, the suggestion for using H9's was to modify the base of the bulb. I found this a little challenging at first but not too hard once I used a new blade which was sharper. Still I found it imperfect because it left some marks in the bulb base, so I sought out parts to build my own harness. I ordered several of disappointing quality, and phoned (ok, messaged) my friends for help. Thanks to puppypunter's suggestion, I believe the modification to remove the center plastic part, covered in this post, is a simpler alternative to modifying the base of an h9 bulb which is likely the most significant reason against choosing H9's. I also now have what I hope are good quality H9 connectors coming to me to then resell to others wishing for the proper center plastic part so everything looks legit on their $40k trucks. This update is a week or two old (i.e. it's fresh) and hasn't been reflected in the first post, my connectors are probably on a boat in the pacific somewhere. Meanwhile, Crash has been testing the 2nd gen morimoto assembly and prior to that the 4runner assembly, so he's been hard at work gathering data which I think everyone can benefit from.

    Additionally, availability of high efficiency halogen H11's seems to me to have decreased over the past year (perhaps due to global supply chain trouble, perhaps due to decreasing demand as the masses stuff in poor performing LED bulbs). It used to be a bit easier to get the +130's I like, now they are quite difficult to find. The +120's have been in stock a fair bit at Walmart of all places, but this uncertainty about being able to purchase in the future, coupled with the ease of H9 use noted above, makes me less bullish on high efficiency H11's although that was my initial choice. I do prefer the whiter color of my +130's but the extra headache offsets that preference. Add in the fact that Amazon, when out of stock on the +120 nightbreaker H11's, will auto-redirect to a different base so a link which was good at one point in time may result in a purchase of an incompatible bulb. The high efficiency H11 route is a surprising amount of extra headache, cost, and wait and trending in the wrong direction, which is unfortunate.

    The morimoto 2 stroke 3.0 LED bulbs are rather new-ish and the xb v2 replacement assemblies are also rather new. How they play into the overall recommendations is a little uncertain and perhaps may depend on how they hold up over time based on reviews of those who opt for them. Not having to ever replace a bulb has some real value, though bulb swaps in the Tacoma are darn easy. Meanwhile, Hikari's still aren't dirt cheap and may not last forever, though they are decent bang for the buck. Also, the morimoto xb v2's outperform OEM LED in output intensity so that review is worth a read. I believe crash still would still prefer OEM LED to xb v2 himself, but I doubt he'd ever get there because he would likely prioritize melting snow and would therefore stick with halogen projectors and h9's.

    The beauty of the H9 bulb with the quick center plastic removal is that it's the cheapest possible option _and_ also the highest performing option outside of swapping the entire assembly for OEM LED or xb v2. It can be assumed that anyone spending upwards of $1000 will be doing a bit more than a paragraph of reading on the subject, hence the easy TLDR recommendation to just stick in some H9's and swap them out when they start to dim with use.

    Now, with all that said, if this were my thread, I would probably add a single sentence at the start of the 1st post with a blanket statement that the first mod anyone should do if they have a Tacoma with stock osram H11 bulbs is to swap to Philips H9 and remove the center plastic, then continue reading to decide if any additional changes are desired. I think it should be possible for crash to convey that sentiment while staying true to his style.
     
    travadol, Dtax, tclavell and 4 others like this.
  13. May 11, 2021 at 10:55 AM
    #4833
    slowboater

    slowboater Well-Known Member

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    And @daveeasa

    I super appreciate all the cool info. But, if I'm interested in an upgrade - I'm not going to read through 242 pages of a thread and crunch data. @crashnburn80 is a scientist and I think this is amazing. But, at the end of the day we're usually not doing science just for science's sake and are trying to reach conclusions. So, I like summaries. :)

    Personally, I don't see any advantage to having an extra piece of wire with the 'proper connectors'. If anything it's just another connection to cause a potential problem on my $40k truck. Popping off the green piece that doesn't have any real purpose is a perfect solution.

    PS: I also appreciate the info on LEDs. I would have considered them but hadn't thought about the implications of no heat on the lamps for winter driving.
     
    daveeasa likes this.
  14. May 11, 2021 at 1:00 PM
    #4834
    Loan Wolve

    Loan Wolve ‘18 DCSB OR 4x4

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    I personally like the data (nerd) and am very appreciative of the opportunity to review after he posts. I look forward to seeing how different products perform.
     
    Dtax likes this.
  15. May 11, 2021 at 2:55 PM
    #4835
    Shadow-D

    Shadow-D Well-Known Member

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    The Taco Garage TRD Pro grill w/Smoked Raptor Lights The Taco Garage smoked sequential mirror turn signals The Taco Garage Dashtop Multi Mount Cali Raised Side Projecting LED Pods Ditch lights ROADFAR Tonneau Cover JDMCAR Glove Box Organizer Grille Badge EMBLEM Tri-color Yellow, Orange & Red Tacoma blackout for tailgate Yaesu FTM300DR The Taco Garage Taco sauce Only decal on fuel door
    I have a couple of thoughts regarding LED lights and this is based from my experience both as a former uses and an amateur radio operator...
    1) They may seem to be brighter but what you are seeing is more light scatter from improperly focused light and not more light where you need it. This also causes unwanted and dangerous glare to oncoming traffic.
    2) They don't produce the heat that helps clear ice and snow off your headlight lenses.
    3) LEDs tend to give off unwanted RF interference, I.E. try listening to your favorite radio station with the lights off and you will hear it just fine but if you are a fair distance away but it's still clear, once you turn on the headlights the radio station becomes staticky. Same is true for ham radios but more pronounced. I've had to not use my ham radio on several occasions at night do to the static produced by the RF interference caused by LEDs.

    When the time comes, I will be looking at either factory 2020 LED headlight assemblies, H9's in either basic or high performance or H11 high performance bulbs. I will not use aftermarket LED's again, period.
     
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  16. May 11, 2021 at 3:32 PM
    #4836
    travadol

    travadol Well-Known Member

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    I was itching to get some aftermarket LED drop-ins for my Tacoma after reading all the reviews and data in this thread. I went with the previously recommended Hikari Ultras and really liked the colour temperature. (Note: my previous two vehicles had OEM HIDs in them so going to the Tacoma's stock H11s left me extremely underwhelmed.) During a cold snap this winter, the Hikaris began to fail (as did my MESO Total Tails... so basically every exterior aftermarket LED failed) and I was done. Chucked them out and went with Hella H9s and haven't looked back. Yeah, the colour temp isn't 5000k, but they have a proper up-light and they light up the roadway incredibly well.
     
    Aws123 likes this.
  17. May 11, 2021 at 7:56 PM
    #4837
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    All the relevant info in the thread is contained in the first 3 posts (minus the Morimoto v2.0 and latest Philips LEDs which I still need to update and add). The semi-BLUF links are contained at the very top of the original post in bold, perhaps I should also also make them in red so they are not so easily overlooked. Admittedly it could be better.

    I prefer to present data, comparisons and my thoughts but let people draw their own conclusions on what is the best fit for them. There are a lot of options for 3rd Gen, far more than 2nd Gen where the recommendations are more prescriptive. Philips H9 is the best performance option in the halogen projectors. But then some want slightly whiter light -> Hella Performance 2.0s. Some want truly plug and play -> Tungsram Xenon +120. Some feel the slight performance loss and slightly whiter light of the Tungsram +130 at a notably lower cost than the Xenons is a better value. Great! Still some really want that 6000k LED white without paying for new assemblies, in which case there are a limited few decent LED options each with their own set of pros/cons. And that’s without getting into LED assemblies.

    It would likely be better to consolidate the summery/recommendations in a single post rather than have it separated for halogens vs LEDs in post #2 and #3. Something I’ll consider when updating to include the latest products tested.
     
  18. May 12, 2021 at 6:30 AM
    #4838
    Shadow-D

    Shadow-D Well-Known Member

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    Good to know about the Total Tails. I've been trying for the last few weeks to get them but they have been out of stock everywhere. Now I might rethink the idea.
     
  19. May 12, 2021 at 6:37 AM
    #4839
    Saturnine

    Saturnine I am a meat popsicle

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    I wouldn't take one person's experience as gospel. I have LEDs throughout and they've been through the Canadian winter without issue.
     
  20. May 12, 2021 at 6:42 AM
    #4840
    Shadow-D

    Shadow-D Well-Known Member

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    The Taco Garage TRD Pro grill w/Smoked Raptor Lights The Taco Garage smoked sequential mirror turn signals The Taco Garage Dashtop Multi Mount Cali Raised Side Projecting LED Pods Ditch lights ROADFAR Tonneau Cover JDMCAR Glove Box Organizer Grille Badge EMBLEM Tri-color Yellow, Orange & Red Tacoma blackout for tailgate Yaesu FTM300DR The Taco Garage Taco sauce Only decal on fuel door
    Oh my idea of rethinking something is stop trying to buy and do more research to see if there are more similar complaints. I'm not saying I won't get them but I need to look into this some more before I do.
     

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