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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. Sep 4, 2022 at 4:41 PM
    #5801
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions Vendor

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    From someone with a tiny finger on the pulse of 3rd gen OEM LED upgrades, the volume is steady. Now, I’m sure not everyone who buys a harness completes the upgrade but it certainly seems that there is no delta V going on with the rate of harness sales. That tells me something given the rather high cost of OEM LED assemblies compared to drop in LED bulbs in the halogen projectors. You expect the early adopters to spend but when the initial excitement has faded, the success of any product truly depends on how good it is (or at least how good it is perceived to be).

    I’ve even seen a small but steady trickle on the 4 runner harnesses, which reminds me that I have to get the full plug and play done.

    I think halogen projectors will go down in history next to carob chips, hand weights, and the scrunchie. I won’t miss them.
     
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  2. Sep 4, 2022 at 10:16 PM
    #5802
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Welcome to the forum. This is not your usual truck forum lighting community, science, optical engineering and measured data are held above all else, especially above marketing from LED vendors. There is a substantial well educated lighting community here. The threads post date is older yes, but it is constantly updated as posted in bold at the very top of the original post with links to the updated info. Last update was in July of this year. So yes, the original post is very old and dated, however the information linked at the top is not. It contains detailed info on the latest generation of products across pnp LEDs, the latest halogen technology as well as the best replacement full LED assemblies. Rather than create a new post for every product, I've continued one thread for all products under this umbrella. This gives a great comparison and evolution history and allows people one place to follow to get all the updates rather than scattered in a bunch of threads.

    Yes, halogens are absolutely better than LED in halogen assemblies designed for a halogen bulb, as proven countless times. Replacement LEDs are not optically compatible with halogen assemblies, to argue otherwise just demonstrates severe lack of optics knowledge. This is a very stereotypical soundtrack of an LED company. Everyone in the professional lighting industry knows this. There is a reason why this thread is referenced all over the place, because it is truly independent. I personally fund this thread and countless other lighting threads to bring real independent data to this community, rather than try and make a buck pushing a product. While you might dismiss the notions as old, you might note that the worlds top automotive lighting expert has referenced this exact thread in interviews as a good example of why pnp LEDs don't really work, despite LED vendors claiming they do. You can read the interview here with the godfather of automotive lighting. You might also check out the SAE fog thread and see that I was personally responsible for causing a recall on Baja's failed SAE fogs.

    As for the products you sell:
    You can see GTR here. <- This is downright embarrassing to sell. No serious lighting professional would carry this product.
    You can see Diode Dynamics here. <- Not recommended, despite their claims of compliance in an F150 assembly.
    You can see Morimoto 2stroke 3.0 here. <-Best focused LED on the market and the only one recommended

    Your house brand 'Alpha 2' 65w LEDs fall into the same stereotypical flaws as nearly all uninformed LED companies, prioritizing output above all else. The performance will be poor, just like everyone else that takes this approach. The emitters are way to large and will lack focus. With that power level, your PCB is also going to have to be thicker than optimal, causing further loss of focus. The double combined loss of focus is going to cause a catastrophic shift to foreground light, and loss of distance light. Exactly the opposite of how a headlight is supposed to work. People will think it is brighter, since people judge light on foreground, meaning they will now comfortably outdrive their headlights putting themselves in danger.
    upload_2022-9-4_22-1-37.jpg
    Even the output shots on your website are predictably horrible. You have massive increases in foreground light with clear loss in distance light. This leads people to think the product is better but you've actually completely altered the headlight pattern. Foreground light should be minimized while distance light is maximized. You have effectively made the vehicle lighting less safe while also misleading the driver to believe it is safer.
    upload_2022-9-4_22-6-18.jpg

    If you stuck to performance halogens, not only would the light shine further giving serious lighting performance advantage, you wouldn't blow out your night vision with massive amounts of foreground light. If you want to send me a product to compare I'll gladly share how it stacks up. But everything on your website and product design looks like the run-of-the-mill stereotypical LED product that fails to acknowledge precision optical engineering as the number one contributor to actual product performance. In that category for LED, so far no-one does it better than Morimoto. But even the best LEDs are easily beat out by far less expensive halogens from Tungsram and Philips.
     
  3. Sep 5, 2022 at 9:23 AM
    #5803
    replica9000

    replica9000 Insert witty title here.

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    So I bought a couple sets of the Phillips X-tremeVision 9008XVB2 bulbs for my Father's 2019 F-250 almost 2 years ago. He complained the light output was awful and couldn't see well at night. After installing these bulbs, he said the output was better. I hadn't driven the truck at night with the original LL bulbs, but even with these better bulbs, the light output is still awful.

    Maybe I'm used to my 4Runner's OEM LEDs, but despite the F-250 having quad-beam headlamps, I felt like I was driving with only the DRLs on. The beam pattern seems very dim and narrow. Any Ford people here know if Ford has LED assemblies for these trucks? @Pugga
     
  4. Sep 5, 2022 at 10:03 AM
    #5804
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Unfortunately that generation F150 has awful headlights, given the lowest possible rating by IIHS. There are OEM LED for that Gen, but they are also just as bad, again receiving the worst possible rating from IIHS. The next Gen 150 has substantially better headlights. The F150s short and wide reflectors offer the absolute best case senario for PnP LED, hence why Diode Dynamics used them to try and show an LED could pass compliance. Best bulb would be the Tungsram Platinums, but it will only be a minor incremental improvement over the Philips Xtremes. This is one of the only vehicles I’d consider possibly trying the Morimoto PnP LEDs in the headlights. Diode dynamics claimed compliance with the SL1 and the latest Morimoto 2stroke 3.0 has better focus and optical design than Diode Dynamics SL1, however it is also 25%+ brighter so it could cause excessive glare and other compromises in the pattern typical with PnP LEDs. Another option is to consider the Morimoto headlights, though they are not perfect either. They lack uplight, so your vision is going to be restricted by the sharp cutoff blinding you to not see beyond your low beams. For this vehicle specifically, quality retrofits using OEM components is likely the best route.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
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  5. Sep 5, 2022 at 10:20 AM
    #5805
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Wait, my mistake. Initial google search showed the wrong bulb. Edited the bulb suggestions above.
     
  6. Sep 5, 2022 at 12:50 PM
    #5806
    replica9000

    replica9000 Insert witty title here.

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    I'm not sure my dad will keep the vehicle long enough to spend the money on new headlamps or retrofits. If the drop in LEDs give better performance without blinding oncoming traffic, that may be an option. It would also be nice to not need to replace the bulbs again, as it's a huge pain to replace bulbs on this truck.
     
  7. Sep 5, 2022 at 1:58 PM
    #5807
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    For a ‘19 F250 that came with factory halogen lights, you have some options. I wouldn’t go with a retrofit, Morimoto makes 2 LED housings that are plug and play but not cheap. The higher end option is $1,600 and has 4 LEDs in each light, very impressive output but a clean cut off line so no blinding oncoming traffic.
    They recently came out with a step down model that mimics the OEM LED housings with 2 LEDs per housing and its $800 for a pair. Again, crisp cutoff so no blinding traffic.
    Personally, I went with Headlight Revolutions V4 plug and play LED kit and have been running them since I had my ‘18 F250 (kept swapping them over every time I got a new truck). They’re now in their 3rd truck and going strong. I aimed the drivers side down a bit and I rarely get flashed. Every once in a while it happens, but it did with the halogens also, I think people see 4 lights on and assume you’re on your high beams. That kit was pushing $400 and I’m sure haven’t gotten any cheaper.
    Last option is a full blown OEM LED conversion but you’ll likely have several thousand into that endeavor and it does require some programming to be done at the dealer or through ForScan. The OEM LEDs are sweet but they be pricey.
     
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  8. Sep 5, 2022 at 11:36 PM
    #5808
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Wow. Facepalm. :anonymous:

    I am not a Ford follower, so I apologize for getting the headlight gens on the F150 mixed up. The 2015 F150 used single filament H11 bulbs for low beam in a dedicated assembly. The 2019 F150 uses dual filament H13/9008 bulbs for combined low and high beam in a combo assembly. Diode Dynamics specifically sought compliance in the H11 dedicated low beam F150 assembly. This is important because dual beam assemblies have significant glare issues when running a dual 'filament' PnP LED. The optics of the assembly are specifically designed around the filament being in an exact position which an LED is unable to replicate. In a dedicated low beam assembly, all light output is going to be directed in a low beam direction, so being slightly off will result in some increased glare and reduced focus, loss of distance light, increase in foreground light, etc. In a dual beam assembly, being a little off can result in light spill into the high beam reflectors (which are not present in a dedicated low beam assembly) meaning substantial glare that is unsafe and blinding to oncoming motorists, in addition to the other issues. This is one of the reasons Diode Dynamics never made a dual filament LED, you'll notice the SL1 was only ever offered as a single filament replacement bulb, and for good reason. I would not recommend a PnP LED in a dual beam housing. So scratch that Morimoto suggestion in the 2019 F150. If you had a 2015, that would be a very different story. Apologies for responding before coffee this morning.

    See previous comments on Morimoto's LED replacement assemblies. They are covered in extreme detail in this thread, but they lack compliant uplight. While many headlight pages/posts like to show that super clean and sharp cut off line, there is a reason OEM manufactures don't have that. It severely limits your vision and makes your headlights less effective, this is even worse if your headlights are very high intensity. An extreme cut off with high contrast makes your eyes unable to see beyond the low beam cut off line. You are effectively blinded by your own lights and vision distance is severely limited. All OEM headlights have uplight, reduced light output above the cutoff line so that you can see beyond the low beams, at reduced levels that are safe for oncoming motorists. The Morimoto lights do not, it is a significant design flaw typical in most all aftermarket headlights. Also see the comments on the F150 OEM LEDs, they are some of the worst OEM LED headlights on the market for that Gen. Definitely not something you should put money toward.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2022 at 4:54 AM
    #5809
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I get what you're saying about the crisp cutoffs and that's one of the reasons I'm not a real big fan of them. I know the sharp cutoff was sought after with projectors for a bit, good to see that's changing.
    One thing I will say about plug and play LED's in a halogen housing is, not all LED's are created equal. In general, I agree with not just throwing an LED in a housing intended for a halogen, but one of the reasons I went with the kit I did was HR tested several LED's in the Super Duty housing and compared them side by side. Overall, the kit I bought gave the best beam pattern with the least scatter in that particular housing. It was surprising to see how much variation you get with different LED's in the same housing. Generally, I'd agree not to throw LEDs in a housing meant for a halogen but there are ones that work if you do your homework. I've been running my setup for several years now and I don't get flashed and they work very well in poor weather conditions also (heavy rain and snow).
     
  10. Sep 6, 2022 at 10:16 PM
    #5810
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    But it is not changing. OEMs have always had compliant uplight and will always continue to do so. Aftermarket units typically do not, they continue to promote the sharp cut off. The cut off makes for great looking marketing photos, even though it actually reduces the headlight's functionality.

    Very true, not all PnP LEDs are equal. However I hope you realize HR is not at all a credible source for any real lighting information, it is a sales machine based on often misleading product reviews to always favor house owned brands while pretending to appear as an independent 3rd party. Wheel Pros, the company that now owns TRS, Headlight Revolution, GTR, Morimoto literally calls HR the online "Influencer" division to increases sales. Pretty sneaky when the independent 3rd party is actually owned by the same lighting company of products they include in their reviews and surprisingly always declare as best. Obviously their goal is to funnel sales back into their own products with people looking for 'independent' online reviews. It is WAY worse than you think.

    Case and point. Headlight Revolutions claims the GTR Ultra 2 as nearly the best bulb ever.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO8Nuj6tPy4&t=111s

    How it actually performs: Headlight Revolution GTR Ultra 2
    It is literally the worst LED in this thread and appears to be designed by someone with not the slightest clue at all on optical engineering or automotive lighting. The product is so flawed from every standpoint it does not at all mimic a halogen, no optical engineer would suggest this product. Yet, here is HR promoting it as the very best, because it is GTR. And Wheel Pros owns both TRS and the sub-brands of HR and GTR making sure that HR is cleverly designing videos to convince people to buy their own brand products like GTR. It is a highly refined snake oil machine. And that is one of the reasons I personally started funding these threads.

    If you want PnP LEDs the only one you should consider is Morimoto 2stroke 3.0, but I wouldn't recommend LEDs in a dual filament housing, however they will be substantially better in terms of focus and less glare than what you are running now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
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  11. Sep 6, 2022 at 10:38 PM
    #5811
    smikec

    smikec Well-Known Member

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    I used to just shake my head and avert my gaze to avoid getting blinded

    But ever since the standard answer or justification seems to be that drop-in LED users have is "I don't get flashed, so I'm good", now I flash those MFs. I guess that is what they need.

    Never had to do that before. But, I'm sure most are like "my lights are so awesome, that guy flashed me, he thinks I have my high beams on, but sucker don't know I'm running awesome lowbeams"

    You can tell immediately that an LED is in the wrong housing on the road
    Perhaps not completely tacoma related, since fortunately the projector shield on our trucks minimize that.
    But many other vehicles on the road it is a bigger issue.

    Worse, is running LEDs in OEM "fogs", and running them with no inclement conditions. That is atrocious

    Don't be that guy
    You might think you're cool, but you're not
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
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  12. Sep 6, 2022 at 10:46 PM
    #5812
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Yep, I can't tell you how many conversations I've had like that. Thing is most people don't understand headlight optics, nor should they need to. They are sold a misleading product by an LED vendor they trusted and are told it will increase their headlight performance and they believe it, without fully understanding it. Some scenarios are better/worse than others, but there is good reason NHTSA started going after the manufactures and forcing recalls on their illegal PnP LED headlight products.
     
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  13. Sep 6, 2022 at 10:49 PM
    #5813
    smikec

    smikec Well-Known Member

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    WTF does the NHTSA know?
    The guy on youtube says it's awesome

    /sarcasm

    Look, I'm sure at some point, the technology will get there.
    But we're inundated with cheap Amazon products that aren't there.
    and perhaps worse, there are very expensive products that currently are also not there, but getting closer

    I will be amongst the first to be happy to purchase an LED drop-in product that matches performance in a halogen designed housing.

    @BTS Lighting - send Crash your product. Talking the talk is one thing, walking it .... well.
    Just think of all the sales if you're right. Count me in.

    S
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
  14. Sep 8, 2022 at 11:47 AM
    #5814
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Big news in the aftermarket lighting world. Wheel Pros, aka TRS, aka Morimoto did not renew/lost their exclusivity contract with CoPlus (the makers of Morimoto XB headlight assemblies). 6776A7B7-1622-4C76-88FA-F95EDE174A66.jpg
    D51AF264-B541-4B6C-9341-318983EA1C5B.jpg
    02FE4C47-5C98-4959-8584-44E05793803A.jpg
    22532C6B-342F-4749-87D1-B3325B8C4858.jpg
     
  15. Sep 8, 2022 at 5:17 PM
    #5815
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    Interesting. Headlights have now made the 2022 Tundra a top safety-plus pick for full sized pickup trucks by the iihs. This comes from Tim over at Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk. Despite the heavy marketing for aftermarket and vanity lighting, headlights do mater in the bigger picture.
     
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  16. Sep 8, 2022 at 6:02 PM
    #5816
    replica9000

    replica9000 Insert witty title here.

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    The 2021+ Highlander is on that list too. My wife has a 2020 xle, and apparently she has the poor rated headlights due to glare, and not having high beam assist or curve adaptive lights. I guess you need to buy a platinum Highlander for the good lights, or buy a newer model.
     
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  17. Sep 8, 2022 at 6:19 PM
    #5817
    Canadian Caber

    Canadian Caber R.I.P Layne Staley 67-2002

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    Apparently the 22 Tundra has the same rating for all trim levels. I guess due to the fact the headlights are the same throughout.
     
  18. Sep 9, 2022 at 7:54 AM
    #5818
    FLAK-TAC

    FLAK-TAC Well-Known Member

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    Quick question, how much better are the OEM led’s vs the v2 Morimoto’s? Mori’s are on sale right now for a pretty good price!
     
  19. Sep 9, 2022 at 7:59 AM
    #5819
    tclavell

    tclavell Assistant to the Assistant Manager

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    not a scientific answer here but I have the v2 Morimoto's. They are great but it takes some getting used to with the extremely sharp cutoff. I have no experience with OEM LED but in reading the tests and feedback, OEM LED is going to be your best performing headlight.
     
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  20. Sep 9, 2022 at 8:03 AM
    #5820
    FLAK-TAC

    FLAK-TAC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I’ve read a ton of reviews but still not 100%convinced on the Mori’s. They sound like they work great and look cool with the amber Dre’s but at the end of the day the OEM’s are a better headlight in the respects of night driving. I saw the price and it got my wheels turning I guess.
     
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