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3rd Gen LED and HID Lighting upgrades Discussion (POLL)

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Parker315, Oct 17, 2018.

?

Whats Your Preference

  1. LED

    116 vote(s)
    35.0%
  2. HID

    51 vote(s)
    15.4%
  3. Combination of both HID and LED (Ex: HID low beams & LED HB and Fog)

    107 vote(s)
    32.3%
  4. HID and Stock Halogen

    23 vote(s)
    6.9%
  5. OEM Halogen All The Way Round

    34 vote(s)
    10.3%
  1. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:05 PM
    #1
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    TTC (Texas Toyota Coalition) Member #127
    led-vs-hid-lighting.jpg


    What’s up Everyone and thanks for dropping in.


    So, currently, there is a well know thread regarding the topic of LED Lighting conversion. The thread has become somewhat flooded and I've noticed that even though all of the right information is there it can be very difficult to sort through all the data especially new members looking into this topic. Also, I want to associate HID’s with this thread because HID’s are still a top contender in the market of vehicle lighting.

    First off, LED lighting has really come a really long way since the first post on the original LED lighting thread, which was updated back in June of 2016. It hasn't yet been updated and it doesn’t appear that it ever will be. It is definitely not what you want for upgrades as of 2018. Those of you that have followed that thread you have seen the evolution of lighting and how quickly the technology changes. There are 1000's lighting products on the market and 100's of different companies providing these products. So how do you find "the best" lighting products if you're looking to convert your Tacoma? Well, before we jump right in. Let's ask a few simple questions and provide some informative information to help you choose what’s right for you.

    Why LED? Why HID? What's the difference? What's better?

    All of these questions have been asked many times on the other thread and I've received many PM's asking me these same questions. They are great questions and honestly, I don't have ALL the right answers. However, I want to do my best to provide legitimate information on both. There is a lot of Science behind both of these lighting technologies. Both of which I don't even fully grasp the concept of and some of it I feel is irrelevant to this topic. Most people just want a straight answer and that is "which ones better." Unfortunately, it's not always that simple. Let’s vaguely discuss what is a HID and what is an LED without getting to technical.

    Understanding HID Lighting. What’s HID?
    High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting replaces the filament of a light bulb with a capsule of gas. The light emanates from an arc discharge between two closely spaced electrodes. This discharge is hermetically sealed inside a small quartz glass tubular capsule. HID lights require a ballast, which carefully regulates the voltage supplied to the capsule of gas. The amount of light produced is greater than a standard halogen bulb while consuming less power; this light more closely approximates the color temperature of natural daylight.

    In all HID lamps, light is produced by passing a current through a metal vapor. Free electrons colliding with an atom in the vapor momentarily knock an electron into a higher orbit of the atom. When the displaced electron falls back to its former level, a quantum of radiation is emitted. The wavelength of radiation depends on the energy zone of the disturbed electron and on the type of metal vapor used in the arc tube.

    HID bulbs produce 5 percent of their output when First ignited, requiring a few seconds (usually 15-20) to reach full output. Also, if power to the lamp is lost or turned off, the arc tube must cool before the arc can be re-struck and light produced. Halcyon HID lights require approximately 5-10 seconds before they can be re-lit.

    Understanding LED Lighting. What’s LED?
    Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) are light sources utilizing diodes that emit light when connected in a circuit. The effect is a form of electroluminescence where LEDs release a large number of photons outward; the LED is housed in a plastic bulb, which concentrates the light source.

    The most important part of an LED is the semiconductor chip located in the center of the light source. The chip has two regions separated by a junction. The "p" region is dominated by positive electric charges and the "n" region is dominated by negative electric charges. The junction acts as a barrier to the flow of electrons between the "p" and the "n" regions. When sufficient voltage is applied to the semi-conductor chip, the electrons are able to cross the junction into the "p" region.

    When the sufficient voltage is applied to the semi-conductor chip, electrons can move easily across the junction where they are immediately attracted to the positive forces in the "p" region. When an electron moves sufficiently close to a positive charge in the "p" region, the two charges “re-combine”.

    Each time an electron recombines with a positive charge, electric potential energy is converted into electromagnetic energy. For each recombination of a negative and a positive charge, a quantum of electromagnetic energy is emitted in the form of a photon of light. This photon has a frequency determined by the characteristics of a semiconductor material (usually a combination of the chemical elements gallium, arsenic, and phosphorus). LED's that emit different colors are made of different semiconductor materials. Said simply, LED's are tiny "bulbs" fit into an electrical circuit. However, unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don't have a filament. LED's are illuminated solely by the management of electrons in a semiconductor material, making them energy efficient and extremely resilient over long periods of time.

    Woooooo that was a lot to take in now wasn't it?? Who would have thought light bulbs were so scientifically complicated. Let’s dumb it down a little, shall we?
    HID lighting
    Xenon HID headlights, or high-intensity discharge, are a common alternative to halogen bulbs. Instead of halogen, HID headlights use another gas - generally xenon. Passing xenon over an electrical charge allows these bulbs to burn much more brightly than the glowing filament design bulbs, which leads to efficiency savings and improvements in aesthetic and visibility. These headlights are usually brighter than LEDs and halogens, but they are significantly more fragile, and they are not solid state in the same way as LEDs. This means that HIDs will need to be replaced much more frequently than LEDs, and in some cases can even burn out before a standard halogen headlight would. HID headlights are a significant improvement on halogens, and depending on the color temperature, you can choose a light quality that suits your preferences. However, over time, these bulbs can start to burn at lower or higher temperatures, changing the quality of the light they emit, before burning out. HIDs will do a job, but they are problematic over time, and in many respects, LEDs represent a more sensible choice for both short and long-term use.



    LED Lighting
    LED lights produce similar improvements to HID headlights, but they go a step further in providing both clear, bright lighting and durability. By 2030, industry estimates project that as much as three quarters or 75% of all lighting sold will be LED-based, and car headlights are no different. Now that the component costs of LEDs are coming down year on year, more people are choosing to upgrade their headlights to LEDs, and they are not turning back. LED lights use a number of light-emitting diodes to convert electricity from your car into light, with significantly greater efficiency than both HID and halogen bulbs. Because they are solid state and built to last, these headlights can, in theory, be used for decades before they will need to be replaced, saving you the ongoing maintenance burden and costs associated with other bulbs. Furthermore, LED kits can be easily installed on your car, either by yourself or by a professional mechanic in just a few minutes. Once you’ve installed your LED headlights kit, you can expect high quality, warm, white light, illuminating significant portions of the road ahead when compared to basic halogen bulbs.

    So, now that you know what the basic differences are. Let's take a look at some very simple factors regarding this battle of the lights. There are more pros, cons, and benefits to each than what is listed here. However, these are your basic factors that most people are considering.

    HID vs LED chart.jpg

    So at this point, most of you might be say “ok100% LED all the way”. However, somethings to consider before making that choice to go to LED. Let me also clarify this. LED is a great option for ALL the following locations without a doubt and is 100% better than the OEM halogen bulbs.
    • Use in Turn signals
    • Use in Brake Lights
    • Use in License plate lights
    • Use in Side markers
    • Use in Interior lighting
    Those you can find a little easier and still get a satisfying outcome without much effort on the research side. However, the headlights are solely where all questions come into play. So, you need to consider some things before making a purchase.

    For example, depending on where you live and what temperatures can get down to in your area in the winter season, LED may not be the best route. The reason is that LED has low heat emission which will not be enough to melt ice on your headlight’s lenses in the bitterly cold winter. Now, I have only heard of this problem a small number of times, but I feel it is necessary to bring up and make sure you take into consideration when choosing bulbs.

    The second thing to consider is this. Yes, LED light output now days has gotten much better over the years and in most cases, the consumer/driver after converting to LED is very pleased when compared to the old OEM halogen that came in your Tacoma. Most companies have kind of dialed in the design to perform at its best, but as of now is still changing to correct certain aspects. Not all LED bulbs perform the same at all and are not consistent by any means. In fact, there is a huge difference from bulb to bulb and from headlight housing to housing. What may perform excellent in one vehicle may have a completely different result in another. This is where the perks of HID come in, as HID has a pretty consistent performance such as 9 times out of 10 if not 10/10, you put the bulb in and you get the same even spread of light and throw distance. With LED, it can change drastically. Because the LED vehicle lighting is still up incoming and still being modified. You need to find a quality company that produces quality lights and stays updated with technology.

    If you haven't already begun this search you will see that there are tons of companies and tons of product on the market. So how do you even begin to choose?? Honestly, it can be quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, on this topic, one thing you cannot trust is the good old google search for "Top Rated LED bulbs". I've noticed that these can be very inaccurate and in my own opinion, they appear to be paid for advertising by companies as marketing tactics or made the list based on the wrong criteria. What’s said to be number 1 on one of that list has been discredited and a bulb say ranked lower than 10 outperformed the number 1.
    ----------------

    Honestly, this is where TacomaWorld.com has done wonders for most, if not all, who are looking into lighting upgrades. It has helped me tremendously. Here you can get a first-hand look at the products that people have used in their Tacomas and what their experience has been so far. I personally have done several reviews and have changed out my bulbs at least 4 times since January 2018 to now. It’s all been because I found this forum and I've found some great products and some great companies that I otherwise would have never come across. The other reason I change is that I love lights and want the latest and greatest. So please, don't think that you will be changing out your bulbs constantly. Here you can find something that you can rely on and be very happy with for many years.

    So, getting back to the big question. We still have a dilemma. HID or LED? The short answer is that if you take the best performing LED bulb on the market and the best HID kit on the market chances are they are going to be fairly comparable with some minor differences. What it's going to really come down to between those two items is the following as a buyer is what's important to you...
    • Price
    • Performance
    • Ease of install
    • Life of the bulb
    • Output color
    • and warranty
    I haven’t used HID lighting in several years and LED has really been my go-to even before I knew much about lighting. Why? Well, easy to install, long life, instant on with no warm-up time, and instant gratification over halogen. Over the past year, I’ve come to learn more and more as I’ve tested several different LED products in my Tacoma. Up until recently, I’ve honestly been a die-hard LED fan and kind of shot down HID. The LED’s just performed so well in my opinion and from what I could see they really kicked ass. So why even mess with that big ballast and lower bulb life and fragile glass.

    That all changed here recently. I was in contact with a company that after emailing back and forth for a week, they asked if I wouldn’t mind testing some of their LED and HID products in the Tacoma and help them to dial in their lights for that vehicle. They had done this already for a few other different vehicle brands with great results. I accepted and man I was pretty blown away by the HID’s I received over what I had been using. There LED products also kicked ass over anything I had seen recently, but the HID's really performed.

    I have a full write up with video and pictures coming soon on these lights and this company comparing them to some other top-rated lighting products on the market that I had been using over the past several months. So, for that reason, I am not going to share too much of that right now. But I will post it here on this thread once I get it all together. So, stay tuned.

    Let's go ahead and list some product, that as of today, have been proven to be the best for use in the Tacoma.

    I will 100% be updating this List as new products come to the market and I see better products than what is listed
    I am in no way paid by or endorsed by companies for any product I list or suggest. I am solely providing product and company recommendations based on first hand and second-hand results. This is strictly based on what I've seen and is only a recommendation.

    Lighting products as of 10/2018​

    Projector LowBeam Housing
    -LED
    1. HIKARI Ultra LED H11 (H8,H9),Philips Lumileds
    2. XD (Xenon Depot) H11 XTREME LED PRO HEADLIGHT KIT (Adjustable)
    3. H11: MORIMOTO 2STROKE 2.0
    4. AuxBeam T1 Series and F-16 Series
    -HID (as far as I know)
    1. XD (Xenon Depot) H11 HID KIT | XTREME HID
    2. deAutoLED HID Kit
    3. H11: MORIMOTO ELITE
    Reflector HighBeam Housing
    -LED
    1. deAutoLED 45W (Adjustable) (New product, Link coming soon)
    2. XD (Xenon Depot) H11 XTREME LED PRO HEADLIGHT KIT (Adjustable)
    3. HIKARI Ultra LED H11 (H8,H9),Philips Lumileds
    4. HIKARI LED H11(H8,H9),CREE XHP50

    Reflector Fog Light Housing
    -LED
    You are going to find that a bolt on option for the fog lights typically will get you better results. Such as the Morimoto XD oval LED Fog replacements or even some other LED cub lights. The projector style cubs and oval lights seem to provide the best output, but you can use other styles as well. Here are some good options...
    1. OffRoadTown SAE Fog Lights - Can be paired with the CaliRaised Brackets
    2. TOYOTA (OVAL): MORIMOTO XB LED: Tacoma 2012-2018 - Direct Replacement
    3. KC LED G4 TOYOTA LED FOG LIGHT PAIR - Direct Replacement
    4. BajaDesigns Squadron Sport - Direct Replacement
    5. Rigid SAE Compliant D-Series w/Brackets
    ^^^^^^^^
    There are many other options than just the above. These 5 are the most used that I've seen and I listed the Offroad Town because I personally have them and they have been proven better and brighter than the Morimoto and they are more than half the cost of any others listed.

    If a LED drop-in bulb is still the direction you'd prefer to go for the reason of cost saving and easier installation, that is still perfectly fine.
    Here are some current recommendations:​
    1. XD (Xenon Depot) H11 XTREME LED PRO HEADLIGHT KIT (Adjustable)
    2. deAuto LED 45W (Adjustable) (New product, Link coming soon)
    3. HIKARI LED H11(H8,H9),CREE XHP50
    4. AuxBeam T1 Series and F-16 Series
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    saucedup, Tacoma/Taco, kkent and 9 others like this.
  2. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:12 PM
    #2
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    Here are some basic photos comparisons
    AuxBeam F-16 Fog and DRL’s
    [​IMG]

    Hikari Phillips Lumiled Fog and DRL’s
    [​IMG]
    ____________________

    [​IMG]



    HIKARI LED H11(H8,H9),CREE XHP50
    [​IMG]


    HIKARI Ultra LED H11 (H8,H9),Philips Lumileds
    [​IMG]


    (In the collage photo, it goes AuxBeam|HikariCree XHP50|Hikari Ultra Phillips LumiLED)
    [​IMG]


    Hikari Ultra Phillips LumiLED on the left and AuxBeam F-16 on the right.
    [​IMG]
    Hikari Ultra Phillips LumiLED on the left and Hikari Cree XHP50 on the right.
    [​IMG]

    Hikari Ultra Phillips LED on both driver and passenger low beam projector housing
    [​IMG]

    Here you will see a clear comparison to two different sets of HID kits and the Hikari Ultra Phillips LED in the LowBeam Projector housing of a 2017 Tacoma TRD Sport

    HID Set 1 on the Left > Hikari on Right.
    20181012_195159[1].jpg
    20181012_195341[1].jpg
    HID Set 2
    20181012_193656[1].jpg
    20181012_200457[1].jpg

    HID is proving a much better concentration of light as well as using the projector to its full capabilities. The square box on top and the rounded line on the bottom should be seen clearly. The LED is performing well, but not using the Projector properly. This is also due to the fact that this particular LED bulb is not adjustable and may not be sitting in the housing as designed to project/reflect the light properly.
    ____________________________________________

    https://youtu.be/0KbZBgrEk_w


    ____________________________________________
    I wanted to share a quick look at deAutoLED's 7440 LED front Turn signals. I have been testing out some product for them over the past two weeks. This is the first review video on their products and there will be a couple more to follow.
    This video is comparing Stock Halogen, JDM Astar, and deAutoLED. These lights really outmatched anything I've ever seen. deAutoLED has some quality products all backed by a lifetime warranty.


    Disclaimer: I am not paid by or endorsed by @deAutoLED.com This is a consumer review and test only.

    https://youtu.be/UtxbvQSd-JM



    HEADLIGHT ADJUSTMENT INFORMATION

    HOW TO AIM/ADJUST YOUR HEADLIGHTS

    The DOT standard for headlamps alignment is as follows: (this is the california standard which I'm sure is more then fine for everywhere else considering the stiffness of rules and regulations we are faced with)

    The standard states that a vehicle's headlights must be at 25ft away 2 1/2 inches below the given height of the headlight. Ok to start here's some stuff that will be needed.

    You'll need to have a completely leveled flatsurface and plenty of flat ground to back up 25ft away from the wall. The wall will need to be flat as well.

    Tools Needed:
    Tape Measure
    Masking/Painters Tape
    8mm wrench or ratchet
    Phillips Head Screwdriver


    (The Tape is necessary for all the markings you'll be doing)
    Cliff Notes:

    Mark 1 = Center of the Vehicle.
    Mark 2 = Height from the ground to the center of the Lens.
    Mark 3 = Height from 25ft away that lower arc of beam should be at. (See 2nd Arc Picture)
    Mark 4 = Distance from center of the Vehicle to the center of the Lens.

    NOTICE: If you follow these instructions you willhave a DOT approved alignment and will not beblinding oncoming drivers.


    1. Pull up to the wall and mark the center of your car on the wall and your car. Mark 1 In the Diagram.

    2. Measure the height from the ground to the center of your headlight (the center of the projector lens. Measure from Ground to Mark 2 and put Mark 2 on the wall.

    3. Measure from the center of the car to the center of the Lens. Mark 1 to Mark 4 and put Mark 4 on the wall.

    4.Measure from Mark 2 down 2 1/2 inches. Mark 2 Measure down 2 1/2 inches and put Mark 3 on the wall.
    Your tape on the wall should now look like that of the diagram in the picture.


    5. Use your tap measure and measure back 25ft from the wall and mark the ground at 25 ft away.

    6. Put the tap measure right up next to your tires and proceed to back up until your front tire is at the 25ft mark.IMPORTANT!!! Be sure to keep the center of your car aligned with the center mark on the wall if you don't do so then your marks are now useless. I find using the tap measure helps you back up straight because you can use it as a guide with it extended out for you to back up next to (sort of like a curb)

    7. Now adjust your lamps as needed as to align the lower section of the arc to line

    8. If your horizontal aim is off to much you can remove the cover that is on the bolt for the horizontal alignment and adjust as needed. (see picture of bolts location. The bolt is on the outside section of the lens cap towards the fender at the top of theheadlight.)
    Thats it your DONE!!!!!! being that you have now aligned your headlights to the DOT standard you can drive around worry free of blinding your fellow motorist.


    UPDATED PICS:

    The lower arc is the lower section of the light beamas opposed to where it arc's upwards to the top arc section.

    Here's a diagram I drew up of how your's should look on the wall and how the lights should be aimed to that diagram.
    NOTE: The higher arc is not what you are trying to aim here its the lower arc that you are trying to aim to the correct height.
    [​IMG]

    Their are bolts on the back of the headlight that can adjust the horizontal aim on some and the vertical aim. 3rd gen Tacomas only have a vertical adjustment skew.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  3. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:33 PM
    #3
    toyotatacomaTRD

    toyotatacomaTRD Senior Member

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    Tons if good info! I wish this thread was around a few weeks ago. I had to sort through the other monster thread. After weighing all of the options I ended up with the xenondepot extreme pro's. They are a very big improvement over stock and they pop right in. I opted for them over something with a fan to hopefully have them be reliable for a long time. Excited to see what this thread brings.

    One thing I seem to notice. When someone has hids behind me I can always tell because it looks like they are loose because they are hopping around. Not sure if they all do that, but it drives me crazy.
     
    bshammer0 and Parker315 [OP] like this.
  4. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:34 PM
    #4
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    Thank you for your input sir. Actually, posts like this one are very much appreciated and accepted. I want people to post their first-hand experiences like this so others get the best information as possible. I have recently become a fan of HID and I am seeing what they really can offer.

    What I don't want to see here is it gets flooded with arguments or rude discrediting comments.

    Thank you very much for your time and response on this thread!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
    bshammer0 and Vbpiper like this.
  5. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:40 PM
    #5
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    You definitely made a good choice with the XD's as I am sure you are already aware. Thank you very much for your time and response on this thread! If you have some good photos to share please do add them. :thumbsup:
     
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  6. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:44 PM
    #6
    toyotatacomaTRD

    toyotatacomaTRD Senior Member

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    I don't have good pictures yet. But one tip to anyone installing. Put tape on the wall with the stock lights at their height, then test when you put in new bulbs. Then you'll know if they need to be adjusted so you're not blinding anyone. Best to replace bulbs responsibly.
     
    styk, Eximius2286 and Parker315 [OP] like this.
  7. Oct 17, 2018 at 1:50 PM
    #7
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    Yes, there are HID kits out there that do bounce around in the housing. It's important to go with a quality company and quality kit to reduce this issue. Good point to bring up and something you will not see with LED bulbs.

    The two kits I have that I am testing right now for a company do not bounce at all and I am currently running them as my LB's full time. They are absolutely incredible.
     
  8. Oct 17, 2018 at 2:43 PM
    #8
    Baja Designs

    Baja Designs ENTER: "BDForums" coupon for your forum discount! Vendor

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    Could you please add the "Direct Replacement" note next to our lights?

    Baja Designs 3rd Gen Fog Lights are Plug and Play and bolt directly into the factory location :)

    Here is an install video by @Rob Daman:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH6AOhHLYsY


    Quick video of the Wide Cornering pattern in Amber (sorry it's not a Tacoma)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyud4DZsLzI

    NOTE: The lights above are the Squadron Sport when they were 1,800 Lumens each. Squadron Sports are NOW 3,150 Lumens each.

    Baja Designs
    www.bajadesigns.com
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  9. Oct 17, 2018 at 2:55 PM
    #9
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    Absolutely!! Thanks for joining in on the thread. That's good information to provide. Please edit your comment and share some quality photos if you have them of these installed and in use.
     
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  10. Oct 17, 2018 at 2:58 PM
    #10
    RobP62

    RobP62 NVR20LD

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    Hey Brett, with your permission I'd like to add my review and installation post from back on the other conversion thread to give others a chance to see the differences.
     
  11. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:05 PM
    #11
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    Rob, hello sir!

    Yes absolutely, that's actually a phenomenal idea showing the XenonDepot lighting products. I remember that post and you did an excellent job.

    Please do :thumbsup:
     
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  12. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:25 PM
    #12
    Eximius2286

    Eximius2286 Well-Known Member

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    @Parker315 kudos on the post and doing your research. I've always been curious to know what the honest differences between the types of bulbs where. Thanks for taking the time post this up.
     
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  13. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:28 PM
    #13
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    TTC (Texas Toyota Coalition) Member #127
    Comments like this are what help me to stay motivated to provide you all with information and take the time to make posts like this.

    So, thank you very much for your positive feedback. :thumbsup: I'm glad I was able to help.
     
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  14. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:29 PM
    #14
    RobP62

    RobP62 NVR20LD

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    Thank you! You Da Man! Once again, the lighting OG has put together a freakin' mind blowing review on here. You definitely make this site a better place to be for information. You Son are a a lighting Yoda!!! :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

    - Here's my original post, in it's entirety from June 2, 2018:

    Sup guys? So I had a chance to get both the High Beam and Low Beam Xenon Depot Extreme Pro H11 LED kits adjusted and installed today. Here's a link to the bulbs this review is about:

    http://www.xenondepot.com/H11-Xtreme-LED-kit-pro-p/xt-led-h11-pro.htm

    Some things to think about for those of you just coming into the thread at this point. About mid way through a lot of testing was done by a lot of people and these guys went to great lengths to provide some of the best reviews I have ever seen. Their contributions are what have carried this thread to nearly 3k posts. I myself was schooled in this thread, and made my decisions based on those reviews. I really appreciate all they have done for everyone. I suspect because of them the 3k post mark will continue to grow. This technology continues to evolve and continues to get better. So to all of them I say "Thank you" !

    Also for the new guys coming in, my review for the Hikari Philips LEDs in the High Beam and Low Beam slots showing before and after adjusting the vertical (up) position is here:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/led-lighting-conversion.436865/page-119#post-17566761

    This is not my final review of the Xenon Depot LEDs. Heat and durability tests will follow.

    Just so we are clear, I did not readjust the vertical because I wanted to be able to compare these to the Hikari's I had in there as is, in a real world, my world, situation. For those of you that are new, I drive city, highway, county and finally country roads. The deer here in Maryland are proliferant and seeing them before it's too late can save your life. The OEM Halogens were ok but after seeing the reviews in this thread I knew there were better options.

    So this final installation review will just be about the Xenon Depot Xtreme Pro LEDs. It's been a while since my Hikari review so now everything is green and grown in which will also change how the photos look. It's crazy how that can happen here is just a couple months.

    I want to start with some up close shots to show off some things. Sorry about the dirty windshield and forgetting to turn off the garage security light. The mosquitos were tearing me up. Also, it was a little foggy and with the A/C on in the truck it was making the windshield a mess. If these pics are not adequate say so and I will reshoot them when the weather is better. Right now it is pouring rain.

    So if you saw my previous Xenon Depot Extreme Pro H11 post you were there for the install. At the time though I didn't get into the low beam install because I thought there wasn't enough room. Steve from @XenonDepot assured me they would work and to prove it he sent me another kit. He was right. They do fit, and fit fine.

    Naturally I had to move the reservoir out of the way by removing the two 10mm bolt screws and pulling it back towards the air box. No biggie. I did the same thing for the Hikari's.

    [​IMG]
    Yes it's a tight fit but after positioning the heat sink fins all inward I had no problems.

    [​IMG]

    Once I got the low beam bulb fins how I liked them I worked on the high beam.

    [​IMG]

    I pulled all the wiring inboard and hung the drivers from the cross brace with a wire tie. This puts the drivers out in the open for better ventilation.

    The drivers side has more room than the passenger side so things over there look a little nicer. Of course when you have bear paw hands and fingers like sausages anything like this always looks a little worse than if someone with normal sized hands does it. Overall I am very pleased with my results.

    [​IMG]

    I should also point out that I left myself room to stick a long flat head screw driver down to the adjustment knob should I want to adjust them vertically.

    The install is pretty straight forward. I did make sure that all the diodes were at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock, even on the low beams. You can tell when they are correct because they align with the back of the led and it's evident when the holes drilled into the top of the assembly shown here are at 12 o'clock. I'm talking about the area just behind the blue gasket with the black wire coming out of:

    [​IMG]

    Again, due the size of my hands and me wanting these to be as perfect as possible, including separating the fins (heat sink) as much and as uniform as possible, it does take longer than 5 minutes LOL. I was actually out there a couple of hours.

    Right, again, for the new guys, in case you missed it in my previous post, these LEDs are adjustable. There is a tiny set screw, and with the provided allen wrench (and two extra screws) you are able to "clock" the diodes so they are exactly at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock shown here:

    [​IMG]

    This allows you to position them in the high beam at the perfect position, with the diodes at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock as shown here:

    [​IMG]

    Install complete it was time for some cool beverages and to wait for dark so I could get out there and take some night time pics.

    First is color. These things are white hot white! Not blue, not yellow, WHITE! These following shots are me outside the truck and the truck is a good 30 or 40 feet away from the garage. Because my driveway falls off downhill at about where I parked the lights appear very high. I assure you and you will see in the rest of the below pics they are not.

    The first couple of pics not only show how clearly you can see the cut off line, but, I also want to point out that there are two boxes of light above the cut off. If you look at the OEM halogen bulbs you will see they also have these "boxes". It was pointed out that these are to help illuminate overhead roadway signs but not cast glare into oncoming traffic. Plain and simple, the Hikari's do not have this feature.

    [​IMG]

    Here's another shot with me closer to the garage to help emphasize them:

    [​IMG]

    (Note, the dark area at the top of this photo is the windshield tint strip and nothing else)

    Here's a shot of both the Lows and Highs with me outside of the truck. The angle of the shot, and the truck skews the pattern a little.

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind the fog lights on the 3rd gen turn off when you turn on the high beams yet look at how nice the low beam pattern is spread out to the bottom of the garage door there on the left. Again, skewed by the angle so the right is a little higher.

    Here is a really nice up close shot to show off how evenly the light pattern cast is from the high beams.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, enough of the up close shots and light patterns. Those shots all prove that the light is bright, white and evenly distributed. Now lets look at some real world shots.

    Here is that lane behind my house that is approximately a football field long until where it turns left and disappears farther into the woods.

    Just Low Beams, no fogs, no DRLs:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the same setting and position with the high beams added to the mix:

    [​IMG]

    Pretty bad ass if you ask me. It's so very smooth and evenly dispersed.

    Let's look at some shots out on the road now. Notice how in all these roadway shots that the light cut off is definitely low enough not to be obtrusive to oncoming traffic.

    This next shot is of the road I pull out of the driveway onto. It goes downhill to a culvert and turns left. That distance is also about a football field away. Can you see the culvert and turn? You can cheat and look for the reflectors.

    [​IMG]

    How about now? Is this better with the high beams on?

    [​IMG]

    That could save your life there! This is why having the correct lighting makes all the difference up in the woods at my house.

    Here's another example of the same type of setting. There is a area on the left that is protected by the state, and on the right is a horse farm and pasture that is only 20' away from the road. Deer love to cross here day and night.

    [​IMG]

    The road on the left ahead of this spot is about 4 football fields away. Now can you see it?

    [​IMG]

    Again, it's all about seeing those big green eyeballs before it's too late!

    Here's a pic below of the same road, I drove to the end of and turned around and I am heading back to my house. I just wanted to show this one because the field on the right is a co-op fruit and vegetable farm. We've made that turn onto the road at this point and have come up on herds of deer just standing everywhere, including the center of the road. They like to graze in the field, especially on foggy nights. Again, being able to see those big green eyeballs in time is a life saver.

    They also love to cross at the house with the white picket fence at the edge of the field and the only thing that helps you to see them is the dark of their body against the white fence, if your lights are bright enough. If not, well, you can go much slower. The speed limit by the way on all these roads is 50 mph.

    [​IMG]

    Now my summary. But first go back and look at the photos again. And again, this is the link to the bulbs:

    http://www.xenondepot.com/H11-Xtreme-LED-kit-pro-p/xt-led-h11-pro.htm

    Ok, so what do we know and have seen?

    1) We know these LEDs have a drilled, flexible heat sink and not any fans for cooling. There are two camps on which is better but a major advantage heat sinks have over fans is when you are making water crossings, even though your fans are IP67 rated, they are still running under water. I suppose those tiny fans can withstand that dirty, muddy water. Some guys are firm believers that less moving parts is always better. I am one of those guys. Now, as far as heat goes. I did some preliminary tests with a laser thermometer and the temps I was getting after being on for 20 minutes during the day were under 120 degrees right at the last piece of the heat sink before it gets to the back of the bulb assembly. They were cooler at the ends of the fins. What I want to do is drive the truck for like an hour and then take a temp measurement. Stay tuned for that. Likely tomorrow. Just an FYI though, after 20 minutes I was able to touch the heat sink fins and the drivers. No problem.

    2) We know these LEDs can be adjusted by simply loosening a set screw and turning the mounting tabs. This "clocking" makes it possible to assure that these bulbs are oriented with the diodes at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. The shaft or "blade" that they are mounted to is also thinner than most bulbs I have seen. This clocking ability and the thin blade design aspects of this LED make these bulbs closely resemble an incandescent bulb which casts light in a 360 degree radius. This is exactly the attributes you want in an LED bulb. Especially in the high beam socket/housing of the 3rd gen Tacoma. However I am sure any headlight assembly would benefit from these bulbs.

    3) The low beam bulbs when adjusted correctly cast the "light boxes" which illuminate overhead signs just like OEM Halogen bulbs do, except these are brighter and whiter.

    4) The high beams when adjusted correctly cast very uniform light patterns and provide a excellent source of light extremely far down the road.

    5) The price of these bulbs when you catch a sale (like today, 20% off $200 + free shipping) make them competitively priced with other widely used bulbs. Less than some.

    6) Installation is plug-n-play and besides the heat sink set up, can take up to two hours for some people. Less for others.

    7) Looking at the photos above, we know that these bulbs are more than adequate for illuminating any on or off road scenario where maximum light is needed.

    8) I personally know that the Xenon Depot customer service is freakin' awesome. Steve and I talked on the phone a couple of times and I felt satisfied each time. Customer service and satisfaction is key with me. I am older and know what those use to stand for. I feel like Xenon Depot, Steve/Danny do too as well.

    I still want to do some temp tests and some long term durability tests but so far I am completely satisfied with these bulbs and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

    Well, it's nearly 3:00 am EST so I think I am done for the night. Stay tuned for updates though.
    Thanks,
    Rob
    - End of original post.

    So a little over 4 months and I am still very happy with these lights and they have performed flawlessly. I recently learned from @toyotatacomaTRD that Xenon Depot stopped drilling the heat sink and are now claiming that the LEDs are 10% brighter. Mine are good and I am happy so I am moving on to the turn signals. I want to increase our safety and since I can't make it louder I'm gonna make it brighter :thumbsup:

    It's a technology that is ever changing but I think right now we are at the peak and anything you get in the ranges we are posting reviews on will always be better than the OEM Halogens. After you gt new HIDs or LEDs you'll find yourself driving down the road looking at the headlights and lights in general of all the cars around you and you'll be compelled to wanna help them to.......

    Dare I say it.......... see the light. :anonymous:
     
  15. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:35 PM
    #15
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    YES!!! :bowdown::bowdown:
    You sir are the man and that post alone will provide people with some great information. Thanks Brother!
     
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  16. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:36 PM
    #16
    bshammer0

    bshammer0 Well-Known Member

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    Great write-up and thread! I just installed the xenon depot LEDs in my low beams and they are certainly bright, my challenge is the reflectiveness of the color temp in rain / fog and the shorter throw distance.

    Everyones eyes are different but to me if the lights are too bright in color temp it ends up messing with my eyes in that when adjusting to super bright lights your pupils contract. When this happens, peripheral vision outside the throw of the lights degrades. With a warmer tone (esp for low beams) you can maintain the somewhat dilated pupils that occurs in lower light situations while being able to see further with the right lights

    Which probably means I just need an HID in a warmer 4K tone or something vs the ones I have
     
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  17. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:38 PM
    #17
    BGXtobe

    BGXtobe Well-Known Member

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    With the Hikari Ultra Phillips LED Have you had any issues with blinding other drivers? Im interested in getting these I just don't want them to be too bright where I have people flashing their lights at me all the time
     
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  18. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:38 PM
    #18
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    Why does it say 5-10 minute warmup time? My HIDs are full in about 5 seconds.

    Interesting write up but having compared LED and HID in my truck, there really isn't one. Its more than the bulb its the projector and the reflector housing.
     
  19. Oct 17, 2018 at 3:55 PM
    #19
    Parker315

    Parker315 [OP] Modding on a Budget | TTC Member #0127

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    You hit the nail on the head that everyone's eyes are very much different. Everyone is going to see light differently than the next, react to light differently, and that would pertain to the color of light as well. This also could be due to the LED light causing somewhat of a glare or hotspots on the road which you wouldn't have much of with HID lighting. The color temp may solve your issues, but you may also benefit from having HID's rather than LED in your Low Beam Housing. You have a great set of LED lights thought, that's no question.

    I never had an issue with flashing when I was using those LED bulbs in my LB Projectors. I would get the occasional flash, but it was few and far between. Mostly, it was from very low sitting vehicals. I also had my headlights adjusted upwards about a few mm's from the stock position

    Wow, if that's truly the case. Please link to the HID kit you are using because I'd love to check it out. That's next level for sure unless I just need to test more. I have yet to see an HID get to full brightness in less than 20 seconds. I can now say the same about LED and HID. I mentioned that in post #2 when comparing LED and HID. HID really impressed me. I am running a combination of HID and LED now, but its only been this way for about 1 week.
     
  20. Oct 17, 2018 at 4:11 PM
    #20
    RobP62

    RobP62 NVR20LD

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    Yes, everyone's eyes are definitely different. Mine do well in fog or snow and even with the high beams on. I'm a nocturnal freak of nature though.

    I originally had to adjust my headlights up about 3 inches to get the distance I thought was sufficient for me. No one flashed me back either.

    I just lifted my truck almost 3" but retained a little rake (see, again freak) and now I think I need to adjust them again.
     
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