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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. Oct 3, 2019 at 4:18 PM
    #1561
    replica9000

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    I had the XD pro LEDs in my 4Runner. Maybe being side mounted makes them behave a little differently than they would in the Taco. I seemed to have a good hotspot and distance, but a narrow beam pattern. The Morimoto XB fogs kind of made up for that at short distance.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2019 at 4:52 PM
    #1562
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    The side entry 4Runner lights are an odd duck and known for poor performance. With a replacement LED you get one emitter facing directly forward which likely looks like a decent hot spot at shorter ranges, and one directly back into the bowl, but you also end up with the bar supporting the emitters directly across the bowl blocking part of the beam. I haven’t done any testing in that assembly.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2019 at 8:10 PM
    #1563
    TACO_ROCKET

    TACO_ROCKET Well-Known Member

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    I fully understand what you're saying, and I did read everything you wrote. The point I was making is that:
    A) you may be correct in theory, but without testing I refuse to accept the claim that LEDs can't offer a beam that is just as focused as a halogen. This is because the optics in an automotive headlight are a far cry from being on the same level as the optics in my Leopold scope, by which I mean that at a certain point, I doubt they are going to get significantly more focused. I don't think you'd realistically see a drastic difference between a high performance halogen filament and a magic singularity that puts out the same lumens.
    B) Even if a 1000 lumen singularity did focus the beam a significant amount, having a more focused beam gives more light at the hot spot, but at the cost of less light everywhere else. I have no interest at all in having a spotlight for my low beams. I very much like the flood light affect so I can see what's in the ditch and around corners as long as the hot spot adequately lights up what I need it to. A long throw is neat for bragging rights, but a shit-ton of light is what keeps me from hitting dumbass coyotes that decide to dart into the road.
    C) LED arrays aren't actually that much larger. They are getting smaller and smaller. Without looking at the newer options, I don't think it's fair to discount them. The LED swap I just did in my mustang appears to have a more focused beam than the halogens they replaced. Of course that's comparing a cheap LED (hikari) to a cheap halogen. Lets just say they do in fact offer slightly less focus (debatable). If they also offer over 300% total light output, that focus is going to be trivial, but the added ambient light and longer life will be significant.

    Perhaps. If only we knew someone with a fancy test rig all set up that could conduct an unbiased experiment... :rofl:

    Understood. They have links to ALL the products though, so I don't know that they'd benefit from promoting an inferior product.

    I only count the two I names in my post because the Morimoto is not a drop-in (thus is not fair to the halogens. My Fusion's OEM LEDs absolutely annihilate any halogen I've ever seen), and the multi-color is a joke. I don't expect you to test 50 different bulbs as that would be outrageously expensive in terms of both time and money. I don't expect you to test anything, in fact. I would certainly love to see some of the lights that perform better in projector tests for Bulbfacts done by an objective Tacoma owner, though. As a newly converted LED fanboy, I'm sure I come off as a "LED is better than everything, no questions asked" type, but that's not the case. It's just that the only tests I've seen that compare the best of both worlds has shown the LEDs to be superior. Due to the fact that those tests were [in most cases] done in a different housing with different bulbs at short range by someone that my or may not profit from skewing the numbers is why I'd love to see more testing. LED technology is advancing, and I think they deserve a shot at the title.

    :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
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  4. Oct 3, 2019 at 9:18 PM
    #1564
    ERod27

    ERod27 Well-Known Member

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    I say that if you want @crashnburn80 to test it. YOU provide him with all the equipment. Also, seems as if you know your fair share, yet don't want to do the test yourself? Go start your own thread with as much data as this one for specific LED info, and maybe you'll find the answers that you're looking for. :rofl::thumbsup::lalala:
     
  5. Oct 3, 2019 at 10:38 PM
    #1565
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    A) I think you severely underestimate the level of precision in the OEM assembly optics. The stock wattage GE bulbs that put out almost 2x the lux of stock, actually are lower power than stock, the nearly doubling the output comes from shrinking the light source. If you look at a standard bulb and the lower power GE bulb side-by-side, you might dismiss the filament size differences as negligible to unnoticeable to non-existent. But that is not the way the optics work. The smallest changes which are difficult for the human eye to discern can have a huge impact on focus and projection performance, as demonstrated by the GE bulbs. If changes so small you can barely see them double output, changes so large that double the width of the filament as many LEDs do, the focus and projection performance implications are severe. Here is a short article from Philips explains how this works:
    https://www.philips.co.uk/p-m-au/au...e-articles/article/improve-your-lights-easily

    B) In a black and white world, yes, no-one wants a spot beam as a headlight. Fortunately no company has created light emitting singularities as viable headlight bulbs. Flood lights give you less projection, which gives you less distance and less time to react. You dismiss low beams as essentially not useful for detecting things at distance in the roadway, but that is what the majority of people drive with the majority of the time. The ability to spot obstacles sooner at advanced distances directly leads to safer driving conditions. And no I'm not talking just running a spot beam, as that is not how the performance halogen products of today work. Short range 'flood' lights from some drop in LEDs lead to real dangers in overdriving your headlights at speed.

    C) LEDs are WAY larger, as in 2x+ larger. You'll notice most all LED companies only compare 2 of the 3 dimensions, X & Y, but almost never talk about the width between the emitter faces, or the Z dimension, because it is terrible. In very small projector assemblies this width change leads to a significant loss of focus and projection. In larger assemblies like large reflectors the focus loss isn't quite as bad as the small assemblies because the larger distance reduces the relative angle change in the reflectors to be not as severe, so it is a bit more forgiving comparatively, however instead they emit massive amounts of horrendous glare to on coming drivers. Lighting performance is all about light control, and control is all about precision, and the current drop in LED products throw the precision out the window when they are nowhere close to the size of a halogen filament. If you want to drive with a flood light, that is definitely your prerogative, but the automotive lighting industry best practice is extending low beam distance projection for earlier obstacle detection and safer driving.

    The Bosch bulbs are produced in the same country, with the exact same packaging, the exact same style bulb, with the same marketing claims of the GE/Tungsram products. The rebranding is pretty obvious.

    You're missing the point. Inferior products may make less bad products look outstanding, or may be content fillers. It should be obvious to those with an understanding which products will perform poorly, but the point is they are being directly paid for their recommendations which is effectively a form of advertising. What if there was a hyper aggressive vendor that would do anything to get the number one recommendation? And when reading the review of this vendors product, it sounded way more like an advertisement than an actual unbiased review? And what if in that review they promoted "special discounts" to promote you to buy from that vendor, because maybe that vendor offers better kickbacks for referenced sales? But strangely they didn't do this for any other vendor. And what if that vendor had such a bad rep that they got banned from this forum. That would be akward...

    There are 3 replacement LED bulbs fully tested in this thread. XD LEDs in the original post, Diode Dynamics and Sylvania covered in post #3. I've shared short range test results for the Hikari's earlier, but didn't have the distance data. The 2nd set of Hikaris did arrive to my office today, so they will be included for distance testing soon. But these drop in products will be no match for properly engineered headlights like the SAE Morimotos, or the Toyota OEM LED Headlights (which will be included in this thread soon).

    LEDs are definitely the future and can be outstanding performers, in assemblies that were designed for them. If you think I am not an LED fan, you should check out my SAE foglight thread. In assemblies that were designed for halogens, LED don't perform as well, significant glare and loss of projection are real issues. Not saying it cannot get there in the future, but the products need to be way smaller than they are today.
     
  6. Oct 4, 2019 at 8:25 AM
    #1566
    TACO_ROCKET

    TACO_ROCKET Well-Known Member

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    I don't dismiss low beams at all. Trust me, I recognize the benefits of having a well lit road in front of me, but I also know that's not the only thing I want to see. There has only been one time I was wishing I had more time to react to an object in front of me due to poor lighting. I was in my '88 F-150 with those Halogens with a blue coating. The white light looked great, but that didn't help the black dog that was standing in the middle of the highway while I was doing 65mph at night. With the exception of that black dog and absolute shit headlights (and some potholes) I've been able to see any obstacles with adequate time to react because even mediocre headlights will light the road adequately, especially with many factory adjustments that have the beam hitting the road long before it runs out of lux. Having more light down the road is great, but having light in the ditches has been far more useful for me. I like to think I have a pretty good sense of what makes for good driving light, too. I've been driving professionally for a while now with countless different lighting options, often times with great haste.

    If I can get an improvement in every area of my headlight beam, I'll take it, absolutely. I'd never want to sacrifice peripheral light for the sake of a more focused beam, though.

    I don't think it's the precision that I'm having an issue with. I think it's the importance of that shrinking of the light emitter beyond a certain point. I certainly can see how the old LEDs with giant diodes would be a mess, but the newer ones with smaller diodes and overall designs that play well with projectors seem to be much more effective at getting the light where it needs to be.

    Doh! I missed the Sylvanias somehow. I'm not surprised they didn't perform that well. I also searched the thread for "Hikari." The results were very... illuminating. :D

    I look forward to seeing how they do at longer range. From what I can tell, though, all the guys running the Hikari and Supernova headlights in their tacos seem to be quite pleased with the light output. Given the improved aesthetics, longer life, and at least an improvement over stock, I'd still call them a winner even if they don't beat out the best halogen in the min/max competition.

    You make quite a few comments about not running them in reflectors due to glare. As I said, I put the cheaper versions in my Mustang, which obviously has reflectors, and they look fine. The pattern does looks like it might have a few more strays than the stock halogens with a glare cap, but not something I think is gonna blind anyone. I'll post some pics. Maybe you can tell me I'm an idiot that can't interpret proper headlight patterns. The deal with the fog light, IMO, is probably something specific to certain reflector designs, and not something all reflectors would suffer from. I may be completely wrong on that, though.:notsure:

    20191002_182414.jpg 20191002_183615.jpg 20191002_190734.jpg

    The pics LOOK like they have a less defined cutoff, but that's just because I'm so close to the board that the LED hot spot is washed out.
     
  7. Oct 4, 2019 at 8:56 AM
    #1567
    TACO_ROCKET

    TACO_ROCKET Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I'm outside the loop on this one...
     
  8. Oct 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM
    #1568
    Joe671

    Joe671 Well-Known Member

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    Interested to see how "the eye of Megatron" perform at distance.
     
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  9. Oct 4, 2019 at 11:23 AM
    #1569
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Old giant diodes that didn't even resemble a filament are certainly far worse than more modern smaller ones today. Here is output shorts of one of those LEDs that used to be super popular on the forum at the time, which everyone talked about as a great upgrade on the right vs a higher output halogen on the left. Pattern, performance and glare of those older LEDs were abysmal.

    [​IMG]


    Diode size isn't as much of an issue now though, it is the space between the opposing faces of the diodes that still needs to be improved. This is what drives the focus. You could certainly prefer to not shrink the light source beyond stock size if you didn't want a more focused beam for extended projection, but the light source should be at least stock size for the correct optical geometry, and the drop in LEDs of today are not, they are still too large. With reduced focus, the way to make the distance performance less bad is throw more lumens at the issue. However, in a reflector this compounds the problem of creating a bunch of glare as well, without addressing the actual problem.

    Your mustang lights definitely suffer from high glare. Look at the top of the board in the halogen only pic. It is dark as it should be, as light should not be going into that region. In your side-by-side comparison pic, the top of the board is well lit, as are the walls and everything around the LED side. That is glare. And while you may find it helpful to you to light everything around the car, it is also blinding to oncoming drivers. If the light is going where it is not supposed to, that is also less light going where it is actually supposed to, meaning the light is wasted, which is the lack of focus. And that lack of focus reduces distance projection. The side-by-side comparison also appear the light isn't as well defined, which makes it more shorter range flood. So while the LEDs look impressive up close, with wasted light and lack of focus the beam does not carry as far. I know photographing this stuff is very challenging, I spend a lot of time doing it. The products are getting better though, and quality LED manufactures continue to work on ways to improve focus. There is a low signal to noise ratio though, many aftermarket brands are often way more focused on raw output rather than optical focus, projection and glare.
     
  10. Oct 4, 2019 at 11:28 AM
    #1570
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    I’ve got these on my desk waiting for testing.

    Projection distance testing for the Hikaris, and testing Hella’s ‘performance’ H9s.

    E6556DC6-3C21-4918-A12C-9CBCDFFAC82E.jpg
     
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  11. Oct 4, 2019 at 12:17 PM
    #1571
    Joe671

    Joe671 Well-Known Member

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    Nice. Interested in seeing how those H9's perform as well.
     
  12. Oct 4, 2019 at 1:17 PM
    #1572
    TACO_ROCKET

    TACO_ROCKET Well-Known Member

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    If I weren't already gearing up for a full blown youtube series launch of electronic off-road traction aid systems, I probably would.

    splash.jpg
    The top of the board in the halogen pic is dark because the bulbs put out such a low amount of orange light that the board just doesn't appear to be well lit. The headlights were still throwing the same amount of light up there, proportionally. I'm pretty sure a much brighter halogen would've thrown more light to the top of the board as well. I think a lot of that is from my old lenses that probably scatter a lot of light. The LED only pic is kinda skewed because I forgot to turn off the overhead light. The "not as well defined" light in the hotspot is a product of my photography. Both of the actual hot spots from both bulbs are washed out. They are nearly identical in person, and both are well defined. You can almost make out the actual shape of the filament vs the individual LED diodes within the hot spots. I think the LED hot spot is slightly wider, though. When I utilize the oh-so-fancy "adjustability," I can separate the reflections of the opposing diodes. They are misaligned horizontally (adjusting affects the vertical alignment) by a little bit, presumably due to the fact that the board is thicker than the halogen filament as you said. The "glare" I was looking at is the stray beams on the LED side in the red circles. The upper part in the green box and the part above the cutoff in blue boxes do look to be slightly brighter on the LED side, but not by that much, and imo might be enhanced by the white light on the white board. I had my face in the light of both of these, and neither of them would bother me to be driving into. It also doesn't seem to light up road signs any more than my Fusion's factor LEDs did, either. The light that's hitting the surrounding stuff is a long way from being bright enough to bother anyone. This is a pitch black garage, and that stuff is only two feet away. Both sides do throw a lot more light to the wrong areas than a modern projector would, but I don't see a high performance halogen being much better in this regard for this application. That might be something I'm willing to test though. $30 for the sake of science seems to a fair price to find out if high performance halogens are better than LEDs in a battered 30 year old reflector. Although, I'd probably feel more comfortable with the light from an LED hitting the back of those cloudy old lenses than those beams of hellfire coming out of the 130+ monsters. Lol. I might not need to worry about it for long, though. I plan on swapping those out for some nice clear one piece assemblies.
     
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  13. Oct 4, 2019 at 3:20 PM
    #1573
    skierd

    skierd Well-Known Member

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    “Here’s a pile of evidence and testing that shows your opinion is wrong.”

    “yeah but I still feel like I’m right. So I’m right.”

    So far all the testing I’ve seen, here and elsewhere, on drop in LED headlights have them all soundly beat by a $14 pair of Phillips H9 bulbs in terms of lighting performance. I’ll gladly shout it from the rooftops when that changes, but until then I prefer seeing along with not blinding oncoming traffic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  14. Oct 4, 2019 at 4:20 PM
    #1574
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    There are many other media channels that go into drop in LED headlight glare in significantly more detail than I cover, that use scientific industry standard US FVMSS 108 headlight tests from standardized points in the beam to provide quantifiable data comparisons against industry requirements. Here is one you could follow. Debating subjectively that the LED increased glare doesn't really bother person X doesn't really leave much room for anything constructive. The FVMSS 108 test is just not something I'm inclined to put that much time and effort into, if you want to debate LED glare someone that is running these comprehensive tests would be able to provide you with solid counter data. Spoiler alert, the conclusions are the drop-in products are not there yet.

    upload_2019-10-4_15-50-1.jpg


    Keep in mind, glare may not look so bad when you spend time in a garage staring at lights (even from behind the lights), as your eyes quickly get adjusted to seeing something very bright very close. There are also specified critical glare windows that are aimed at oncoming cars, it isn't just total light above the cut off. Short wavelength LED light glare isn't doing any favors either, as human eyes cannot focus on blue light, causing eyes to strain and harming the oncoming drivers night vision.

    For your new housings, be sure to buy OEM. Anything else will be a downgrade.
     
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  15. Oct 4, 2019 at 5:15 PM
    #1575
    NMTrailRider

    NMTrailRider Well-Known Member

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    I have a hunch the glare on those LED’s is going to be absolutely obscene for someone driving toward you on a two lane country road at 3am (assuming those are drop in’s in a halogen housing).
     
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  16. Oct 4, 2019 at 5:25 PM
    #1576
    TACO_ROCKET

    TACO_ROCKET Well-Known Member

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    I dont think the glare coming out of the mustang's headlights is as much a product of the LEDs, but rather the old headlight design. I highly highly doubt a brighter halogen would have less glare. My guess is that those headlights were designed around the assumption that there was never going to be a bulb in them that is 5x brighter than stock.
     
  17. Oct 4, 2019 at 5:39 PM
    #1577
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    If your lenses are hazed then it certainly isn’t helping. But if your lights are 5x brighter, then you have 5x the glare if they were the exact same size as a halogen filament. If they are larger, the geometry will be incorrect leading to compounding further increases in glare, leading to awful glare levels. This isn’t just true for old headlights, it is all reflector headlights where The LED is larger than the filament (which is all drop in LEDs). This is why focusing on smaller is better, output is increased and glare is decreased.
     
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  18. Oct 4, 2019 at 7:49 PM
    #1578
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Hella H9 2.0 Performance bulbs

    Few reputable brands say H9 and High Performance on the same package.
    2781EDAB-184C-4778-9B90-3AD7D2C20DF0.jpg

    Hella manufactures bulbs in Korea and China, these are from Korea. Any true performance bulb should not have a blue coating over the filament, as blue coatings reduce output. The Hellas are coated.

    Hella top, Philips bottom
    897CB47F-3D34-4869-AE37-DE1C749A7269.jpg

    Hella specs the color temp as 3700k, meaning the coating is lighter than products like Silverstar that are typically over 4000k. The higher the temp the more yellow long wavelength light is filtered out, which reduces overall output. While difficult to tell in the photo, the Hella filament does look a couple winds shorter than the Philips, and smaller light sources improve projection performance.

    Hella 2.0 H9 vs Philips H9
    5CD75060-FA4C-4D8E-BBEA-1BB82CBEE9A0.jpg

    The Hella is a little whiter, but not as much as expected. Output is actually a bit better than I was expecting though. The Hellas draw 73.7w vs the Philips 74w.

    38365C93-E838-44C2-A7EF-6AF63F9C120A.jpg

    You can see that the Hellas are closer to 3500k, not the spec’d 3700k. The Philips bulbs still come in higher by approx 6%.

    Here you can see the affect of the blue coating filtering down the long wavelength output. Long wavelength light in the spectrum takes roughly a 10% loss due to the coating.
    DB502B22-514E-4D08-AF09-6A33A6B87BEC.jpg

    This is why you want to avoid coatings in performance bulbs. This coating is fairly light, coatings to achieve higher color temps take larger losses.

    The Hella H9 performance 2.0s are not as white as some other H11 performance options, but they do just barely beat out the GE Xenon +120 in peak lux. Being a coated H9 and a what is claimed to be a performance filament H9, I would expect much shorter bulb life than the Philips. Some may say the slightly whiter color temp is worth it, personally I’d rather have the 6% more output and longer life. But I’m just providing data for others to decide what best fits their needs.

    To be clear, for the low beam these Hella H9 2.0 Performance bulbs are a massive upgrade over stock H11s, but the Philips are just a little better.

    Hella H9 2.0 vs stock H11
    1220 lx vs 623 lx
    6A9559A4-270A-418C-BE2B-38B42A910E2E.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  19. Oct 4, 2019 at 9:04 PM
    #1579
    replica9000

    replica9000 ./$0|./$0&

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    The Philips H9 bulbs I bought had a ever so slight blue coating on them, barely noticeable. I don't recall anyone mentioning that with those bulbs.
     
  20. Oct 4, 2019 at 9:05 PM
    #1580
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 [OP] Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Really? The Philips standard H9s are non-coated.
     

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