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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 16, 2021 at 8:13 AM
    #5401
    anthonynoriega

    anthonynoriega I just wanna disappear and find nothing.

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    Good lord that is a lot of great and very in depth information.
    The wife and I recently drove towards Seattle from Boise in rain and in the dark and it was like I didnt even have headlights. Freaking terrible and it was kinda of scary at one point trying to get through the fog.

    With that being said, in the Idaho environment where it does get pretty cold (thankfully I have a garage to park in).
    Would anyone have a recommendation with experience for 2019 SR5 stock upgrade, both headlights and fog lights?
    I think the high beams are pretty good as they are, but if I upgrade the headlight, it feels like I need to upgrade the high beams as well?
    Cost is also part of this equation... dont have the scratch to upgrade the entire headlamp, so just looking for bulbs at this time.
     
  2. Nov 16, 2021 at 8:31 AM
    #5402
    Toy_Runner

    Toy_Runner Well-Known Member

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    Philips H9 for the lowbeams, same H9's for the highs, they're about the best Crash has tested.

    For fogs, in the lighting subforum Crash has an excellent foglight thread. But basically diode dynamics SS3 Pro in selective yellow for fog and ice/snow. Over the Sport model, the Pro runs hot enough (and the selective yellow model has a hotter lens due to filtering losses) to guarantee its not going to freeze over and be able to keep the lens clear. The Max model offers a sharper cutoff and higher intensity, and also runs hot enough to keep the lens clear, but it'a $200 more than the pro's. If you want to upgrade high beams, you need to add auxilisry driving lights, and there is also a great thread (much shorter so far than the fog light thread) with test data, and pics from crash and other forum members.
     
  3. Nov 16, 2021 at 4:40 PM
    #5403
    6MTPro

    6MTPro Well-Known Member

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  4. Nov 17, 2021 at 6:20 AM
    #5404
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    Like Toy_Runner said, Philips H9's are the best cost vs performance ratio and widely available at most local stores but does require some small trimming of one tab, very easy. Otherwise if you want to stick with an H11 specifically (output performance performance best to still great) the Tungsram Platinum (replacement for Tungsram Megalight Ultra), Philips Racing Vision and Osram Nightbreaker Laser are great bulbs that isn't too far off the performance of the H9 and is a slightly whiter light.

    As for your fog lights. Unfortunately since you have the SR5 your have the H16 fog lights that are almost worthless, more of a running light at best. You have 2 options IMO:
    - Option 1 - Find used H11 Tacoma Fog Lights. The mounting is the same and the plug is the same for the bulb as well, wiring is capable of the additional load as well. Do not use an H9 in the fog light as it does not have a glare cap, use one of the above H11's I mentioned or just use the H11 you pull from the Low Beam. The H11 fog lights can be used from a 2012-current Tacoma, only one version available. They are the "wide" pattern fog lights that are probably one of the best OEM halogen fog lights out there which is why I still haven't felt the need to upgrade to the Diode Dynamics SS3's though I have them on other vehicles.
    - Option 2 - Get yourself the best aftermarket option out there that likely won't be beat for quite a while. Enter the world of Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Lights! For your weather and environment I would recommend getting the SS3 Pro or Max with the yellow lens. The Sport model is great too but the light does not produce enough heat to effectively melt snow and ice. The Pro's are a really good price point (especially with upcoming sales, keep an eye out here for @memario1214 to post about his sale). The MAX is insane if you can justify the price. The Selective Yellow (yellow) cuts through rain, snow, fog and dust like you wouldn't believe!

    There are other aftermarket options. But in my opinion they aren't worth stressing over as the performance per dollar for the DD SS3's can't be beat. If you do look into other aftermarket options that are yellow, beware that Yellow and Selective Yellow are completely different! Most "yellow" options are simply just a lens that does not filter out the blue wavelengths which is why some look greenish yellow. Diode Dynamics guys are more nerdy than most of us and understand proper lighting, hence why their lights are a TRUE Selective Yellow and why they are so well regarded. Plus they are made in the freakin US of A and have the best customer service I have experienced with any company!!!! Win Win there!!

    Hopefully this helps without having to go through 270+ pages.

    EDIT: See edit above to H11 recommendations, I forgot the Tungsram Megalight Ultra is no longer widely available hence the Tungsram Platinum is the replacement and even slightly better. This edit is for people who may reference this post in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  5. Nov 17, 2021 at 9:08 PM
    #5405
    Beer Snob

    Beer Snob Well-Known Member

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    Ok. So I was in the market for new headlights today. My wife wants to get me a set for Christmas. Doing my research, I was looking at the AlphaRex or Morimotos.

    Stumbled on this thread and wow. Just fricken wow. @crashnburn80 this is unreal. Thank you.

    GE Megalight Ultra H11 +130% Light Car Headlight Bulbs (Twin) 53110XNU https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRS9LBR

    Since these are unavailable now, which should I get? I’m sure it’s in this thread somewhere but damn, there are a lot of pages to go through.
     
    crashnburn80 [OP] likes this.
  6. Nov 17, 2021 at 10:19 PM
    #5406
    mynameistory

    mynameistory Well-Known Member

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    Interesting product by Morimoto at SEMA:

    Classic car, truck, big rig and classic conversion crowd, the wait is almost over!

    Meet the Holley RetroBright by Morimoto, a "period correct" LED headlight assembly. These are designed to fit the shallow buckets of the classic cars and big rigs like the Peterbilt 359 and Kenworth W900A. If you want a modern upgrade to your lighting but can't stand the Modern LED look, these were built specifically for you!

    Holley chose Morimoto with this task for good reason. Morimoto is the industry leader in automotive lighting and specialize in high quality engineered optics. What does this mean? While most LED companies just slap an LED chip behind a lens and call it good, Morimoto's master engineer spends a great deal of time specifically designing where in the beam pattern the light needs to be distributed for the safest driving experience.

    The RetroBright will be available in 5.75", 7" round, 5x7 and 4x6. They will come in your choice of a classic 3000k output color to match the color of your current halogen lights or a more modern 5700k for a pure white look.

    There will be 2 adapters available as well-one to easily hook between newer style plugs and the older "center ground" ones, and an adapter to wire these in for a quad low/high beam. The RetroBright will have a sharp enough cutoff line from its superior engineering that you can get away with running all 4 on low beam without bothering others on the road for maximum light output.

    The Holley RetroBright will go live on www.btslighting.com on Nov 19/21 with first orders shipping out the first week of December.

    BTS Lighting is the only company focused on big rigs. We see a great market for these in the 359 and W900A, as well as the 379/389 with the united pacific housings as they tend to suffer from the buckets loosening too often from the heavy LED assemblies. The RetroBright will be lighter and slow these issues.

    It will be asked, over and over so we will address this here. No, these are not heated and as of right now there is no plan to make them heated.

    Please reach out to us if you have any questions about this product, or any other we carry.

    FB_IMG_1637216238508.jpg FB_IMG_1637216245519.jpg FB_IMG_1637216249512.jpg FB_IMG_1637216254229.jpg FB_IMG_1637216260094.jpg FB_IMG_1637216263537.jpg FB_IMG_1637216266786.jpg FB_IMG_1637216269616.jpg
     
  7. Nov 17, 2021 at 10:44 PM
    #5407
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Go Hawks!
    Do you have a cite to source this info?
     
  8. Nov 17, 2021 at 11:47 PM
    #5408
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    If looking for LED assemblies, the OEM LED is what I would recommend covered in post #3626 here. These are the highest quality product with best beam pattern. They will require a basic adapter harness. The Morimotos are higher in output intensity, but have several flaws including a critical lack of uplight, you can see them in review in post #4548 here.

    For replacement bulbs, GE was bought out by Tungsram, so the product is now called Tungsram Megalight +130. However the Tungsram Platinum H11s tested even better. I just realized this isn't linked on the front page, I'll update it. See post #5003.

    The Platinums are amazing for an H11, but you can get slightly better performance with a simple H9 swap into the low beam Philips H9s are tested as best, with the Hella Performance 2.0s coming in a close second while also being whiter in color temp.
     
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  9. Nov 18, 2021 at 12:18 AM
    #5409
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I really like this concept. A 3000k LED headlight will draw market attention if it performs well. Though ideally it really should be ~3500k like a performance halogen, stock halogens are typically ~3200k, so 3000k flat would be a bit yellow. But hopefully they are just being generic in terminology. I'm pretty interested in seeing where this product goes and how it performs.

    Although I have never head of any big rigs buyers reference BTS. What I do regularly see in that market is JW Speaker and Trucklite, both of which offer heated versions of their headlights. If they want to seriously serve long distance trucking, heated headlights are a must.

    A post I found on their site:
    upload_2021-11-18_0-0-46.jpg
     
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  10. Nov 18, 2021 at 3:34 AM
    #5410
    Beer Snob

    Beer Snob Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @crashnburn80 This was on page 251. I made to page 7 before I decided to post.

    Would these be the same for the high beams? Just planning on bulb replacement now. I believe the highs are H9.

    Planning on the platinum H11 for low beam.
     
    TacoFergie likes this.
  11. Nov 18, 2021 at 4:15 AM
    #5411
    mynameistory

    mynameistory Well-Known Member

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    The first place I saw them was in their SEMA teaser, at about 1:20.

    https://youtu.be/yuAXJ0xooYw

    Couldn't find much written info except for that excerpt by BTS on Facebook, which is what I copy/pasted. They don't have much application for modern trucks, and lack of heat will make them a non-starter for some folks. I've got an old project Volkswagen that they'd be perfect for though. It spends 100% of its time in the garage not running, so I've got other things ahead of headlights to worry about :rofl:. I also looked around at other 7" series lights like KC Gravity etc. But most or all others are 5000K+, and I really like that retro 3000K.
     
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  12. Nov 18, 2021 at 4:38 AM
    #5412
    joncure

    joncure Well-Known Member

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    So I just did the H11 fog light swap. The original H16 fogs were poor performing. I did put H9 bulbs in however. What specifically does the glare cap do on the H11 vs the non-capped H9?

    I also felt I needed to adjust the projection angle of the fogs by about a foot or so higher. Now the fog lights illuminate much more of the immediate road and shoulder area than the factory beam adjustment. The newly adjusted fog beam cut off is still well below the low beam cut off. Fog light visibility was significantly increased however I have yet to test them in any serious fog—we’ll see what happens then.
     
  13. Nov 18, 2021 at 7:04 AM
    #5413
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    The "glare cap" is designed to reduce glare when the light housing does not have a built in glare cap. The OEM Tacoma fog lights (H16 and H11) do NOT have built in glare caps. If an H9 is used in either housing you will have a lot more glare (ie oncoming traffic distraction). I tested it myself just to see and there is a considerable amount of glare with the H9 in comparison to an H11, I didn't take any pictures though. Essentially the reason the H9 causes glare in this type of housing is because there is nothing blocking light coming from the filament in a directly forward direction. Whereas the H11 will block that with the painted on glare cap.

    I haven't seen a direct output comparison of the OEM H16 fog light housing with an H11 bulb compared to the OEM H11 fog light housing using the same bulb. But the OEM H11 is known as the wide angle fog light, so I would assume it is overall a higher performing fog light if the bulb choice was equal.

    In this picture from left to right is an H11 (glare cap circled in red), H9 (arrow to tab that requires trimming) and H9 with the tab trimmed for use with an H11 plug.

    upload_2021-11-18_8-58-31.jpg

    This picture (courtesy of Crash from his "ultimate fog light test") is a Tacoma H11 Fog light (left) and Subaru Outback Fog light (right). The yellow arrow indicates the built in glare glare cap I am referring to.

    upload_2021-11-18_8-59-25.jpg
     
  14. Nov 18, 2021 at 7:12 AM
    #5414
    joncure

    joncure Well-Known Member

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    Great reply, thanks!

    To summarize; glare capped fog bulb is designed as a courtesy to reduce glare for oncoming traffic?
     
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  15. Nov 18, 2021 at 7:55 AM
    #5415
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge that is the main and only purpose. Some people have tried using specific high temp glass paint to make their own glare cap, but I don't know how successful it has been. Nor do I think it's worth the price and effort, at least for an H9 compared to high performance H11's that come within a few percent of the H9 performacne.
     
  16. Nov 18, 2021 at 8:21 AM
    #5416
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    I am VERY curious how the 5x7 will stack up in performance compared to Hella ECE with a good bulb for my MR2!! I don't care for the busy style of most LED housings. It really looks out of place on many vehicles that use sealed beams and especially on cars with pop up headlights it makes draws your focus on what is out of place. Maybe I'm just getting old though. haha

    IMG_2544.jpg
     
  17. Nov 18, 2021 at 8:25 AM
    #5417
    GarlicFarts

    GarlicFarts Bang Ding Ow

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    + to add - do not just drop in H11 halogen bulbs. They'll fit. They'll melt the housing. Ask me how I know :spy:

    I'd recommend pods, and the Cali Raised bracket to get there. I have the knock off bracket on mine. Learn from two mistakes - get the cali raised fog bracket, not the Amazon special. Worth the extra 30-40$ or whatever it was.

    I would have but mine was time restraint - wanted it in the next couple days, cali raised was a week or so out. Should have waited and gotten it.
     
  18. Nov 18, 2021 at 8:34 AM
    #5418
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

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    Good call on the H11 in the H16 housing. I have seen that reported before, but I don't think it's widely known.

    As for the bracket you speak of is useful if you use Rigid SAE Fog pods. But it is not needed for Diode Dynamics SS3's as they can be ordered with vehicle specific mounts. @anthonynoriega
     
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  19. Nov 18, 2021 at 8:47 AM
    #5419
    GarlicFarts

    GarlicFarts Bang Ding Ow

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    Ahhh that's right - fair point. Yes - I put in pod lights.

    Won't lie ... they're harbor freight .... BUT my headlights are amber so do the trick in the fog, the fogs + ditch lights are used for off road/snow, not for on road + fog.
     
  20. Nov 18, 2021 at 9:41 AM
    #5420
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    @joncure Yes, and it helps reduce glare coming back to the driver that’s reflected off of snow, rain, and fog. I ran h9’s in my fogs for half a season. While the light output was fantastic to the sides, the excessive glare made them blinding and unusable in rain, fog, and snow. I currently have tungsram platinum h11’s in my fogs and in today’s blowing flurries on my way to work they were great, with great light to the sides and little upward glare. H9’s in the fogs looked like using high beams in terms of glare and reflection off of precipitation.
     
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