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Any & All LED/HID Questions!

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Xenon Depot, May 1, 2020.

  1. May 8, 2020 at 9:52 AM
    #21
    Xenon Depot

    Xenon Depot [OP] Support

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    The H9 halogen bulb is a great swap for a Low-cost upgrade. It'll fit identically like the H11 will, but you will need to do some very slight trimming on a couple Tabs. See the photo attached for Reference!

    image (23).jpg

    The H9 Halogen upgrade is a 65w bulb rather than a traditional 55w bulb, leading to a very easy boost in performance! Now note, the trade-off is longevity due to the harder running bulb, but this should not be a deal-breaker for you. They still should last some time and offer better output than your OEM Phillips H11!

    LED Bulb swaps in these housings are not bad, so long as the right bulb goes in there and is Installed/Positioned properly! When you think of "That Guy" on the roads, 99% of the time it's going to be Chad with his Alibaba $20 LEDs, or someone who took the advice of their local Napa employees and went with some Ebay bulbs on the shelf. There really is a bit of Homework that needs to be done before you install a set to make sure they'll work out best for you! Next time I'm in the office, I'll have to grab a Taco housing and throw a few different LEDs in there and post up the comparisons, I think you'll be very surprised at how much of a difference it makes! :)

    The Thread that @Too Stroked mentioned is dated back from 2016, and while that doesn't sound like a long time ago, that is AGES in the LED/HID market. Bulbs have come a very long ways since then, so much so that LED bulbs are beginning to out-perform HID Kits in terms of Output with Identical Beam patterns through Projection units! There seems to be new products and designs every couple weeks, so the Aftermarket is really getting up there! It's just going to take time for that long-lasting stigma of being "That Guy" to die down and hit the realization that LEDs are stepping up their game and really improving the Glare situation!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  2. May 8, 2020 at 12:29 PM
    #22
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

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    I'll tag @crashnburn80 so he can offer his thoughts here.
     
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  3. May 8, 2020 at 12:33 PM
    #23
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

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    Here's the very latest - and continuously updated - thread on 3rd gen headlights from @crashnburn80. Unfortunately, LED's in housings designed for halogen bulbs still suck.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/3rd-gen-hid-vs-led-vs-halogen-h11-projector-headlights.589465/
     
  4. May 8, 2020 at 2:42 PM
    #24
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    In the thread linked above by @Too Stroked, specifically check out posts #2 and #3 which have regular updated test results from as recent as 5 weeks ago (and more to come over the next week). If you want a very detailed engineering explanation of LEDs iteration with a projector and the optical challenges, see post #2312 in that same thread.
     
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  5. May 8, 2020 at 3:28 PM
    #25
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

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    The big "fix" that drop in LED manufacturers all tout these days is multiple emitters (LED chips) facing in opposite directions at the same position as the filament in a halogen bulb. When somebody says that the LEDs need to be "properly positioned," they're saying that you need to adjust the bulb so the LEDs are oriented side to side as opposed to up and down so as to "eliminate glare."

    First of all, nobody should ever have to "adjust" a bulb as it sits in a housing to achieve proper performance. (Did you ever have to adjust a halogen bulb?) And what do you think the chances of getting the emitters adjusted exactly horizontal are? (Answer: Not very good.)

    Second, think about how a halogen filament works. It's pretty much a 360 degree "orb" of light. This light is bounces off the reflector bowl and is directed out through the lens in a very specific pattern that not only puts light where you want it, but doesn't put light where it will distract oncoming drivers. (This is called glare.) The important point I want to make here is that the light bounces off all 360 degrees of the reflector bowl.

    Getting back to drop in LED bulbs, remember the two emitters facing in opposite directions? The light from these bounces off only 180 degrees (at best) of the reflector bowl. The reason the emitters have to be adjusted to the horizontal position is that in this position they will bounce light off the left and right sides of the reflector bowl. Although this gives you decent intermediate foreground lighting, it misses the immediate foreground and long distance portions of the desired pattern. (Those would be covered if you oriented the emitters up and down, but would also cause massive glare for oncoming drivers.)

    So what have the LED manufacturers done to address the above issue? They keep putting more and more powerful LEDs into their bulbs (which they claim as progress) and also claim that this 180 degree coverage is a performance breakthrough. The truth is, they're just putting Band Aids on the real problem.

    Here's the inconvenient truth about automotive lighting. The key to true better performance is putting more light where you need it and less light into the eyes of oncoming drivers. This is why a good HID projector system is so good. It puts a ton of light on the ground where you can use it and because of a very distinct cutoff, doesn't dazzle oncoming drivers with glare.

    And finally, don't judge any light by how it looks looking at it. Hell, my pocket LED flashlight with a few AAA batteries will blind you if you look directly into it, but it has absolutely no distance projection. Anybody showing you pictures looking into a light and attempting to prove it's "brighter" is full of crap. The only real test is looking from the driver's seat out.
     
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  6. May 8, 2020 at 4:11 PM
    #26
    jcampbell474

    jcampbell474 Active Member

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    Thank you for the reply! I spent some time in that thread and the first three posts. There's a ton of info there and that's not a bad thing. Your methodologies and conclusions are excellent!

    I find myself leaning more toward LED's not because they look cool, but for the longevity/low maintenance. However, I will not compromise for poor performance (distance, etc.) and being that guy w/aftermarket headlights.

    I tried to deduce what I could from your tests and explanations, but ultimately confused myself.

    Is the Phillips H9 is the best overall performing bulb for the OEM housing? How about the GE Nightbreaker or +130? Reviews for them on Amazon are not good. The primary driver appears to be longevity, but you're the expert. If so, they're immediately off of my list.

    Is there an LED option that comes in 2nd place (to halogen)? Bulb only, not the entire case. Hikari Ultra (for low and high)?

    Thanks again.
     
  7. May 8, 2020 at 4:26 PM
    #27
    El Duderino

    El Duderino Drove across the country twice in my socks

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    The H9 is going to be your best bet. Changing a a light takes a min or two per side and aren’t expensive to have an extra set sitting in your glove box in case one burns out. I have the ge +130 h11 and they put out a good amount of light. Once the current and back ups burn out I’ll switch to H9. H9 is already in the high beams and Toyota supplies a pretty good one that comes stock with it. It’s up to you what direction you want to go, the science is out there.
     
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  8. May 8, 2020 at 10:49 PM
    #28
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    The key to good performance is focus, and the way to enhance focus is by making the light source smaller. The GE H11 bulbs perform exceptionally well due to their ultra fine tight filament windings (paired with Xenon gas fill vs traditional halogen) that provide the smallest light source in an H11 halogen bulb leading to intense focus which drives higher output intensity. The 55w 1200 lumen rated GE H11s go toe to toe in peak output intensity against high power 65w 2100 lumen rated H9s, which is incredible. However this enhanced extreme performance does cost significant bulb life, the GEs are rated at only ~150 hours, which I’d expect to last roughly 9 months based on my usage data. The best performing GEs are the GE Xenon +120, which have less blue coatings that reduce performance. Note that GE brand is transitioning to the parent company labeling of Tungsram, but the product line is not changing. Take the Amazon reviews with a heavy dose of of salt. Many gripe about short bulb life expecting the bulbs to last 5-10 years like OEM, not understanding there is no way to make an H11 perform at such an extreme level without severely reducing bulb life. Many others also gripe on the Xenons about color stating they don't look like a Xenon (HID) bulb. Facepalm. They are called Xenons because they are filled with ultra high performance Xenon gas, not halogen gas. It isn't saying they are to look like HIDs, but many are expecting a 5000k color.

    Halogen bulb regulations specify an output regulation and then give a +/-15% allowance. Meaning a 65w H9 can legally pull a maximum of 74.75w, and significantly improve output over the 65w rating. How close you are willing to push that limit without going over of course depends somewhat on your manufacturing tolerances. After testing many H9s, Philips pushes the envelope the hardest coming in near 74.5w, higher than any other H9. It is also worth noting the 2100 lumen H9 rating is at 12.8v. But with the truck running, powered by the alternator, you will see 13.6-14v. Halogen output is exponentially related to voltage by the power of 3.4. Meaning if you take the average running voltage and call it 13.8v, then (13.8/12.8)^3.4=1.29. Aka while the vehicle is running it will produce 129% of the 2100 lumen rating, aka 2709 lumens. But that is also assuming running at 65w, and the Philips are running at 74w+, meaning output will be even higher. All that combined with the outstanding focus of a halogen is why the Philips are the best performing option for LED and Halogen.

    HID also does an excellent job at creating an incredibly small omni-directional light source, and is far brighter than a halogen bulb. So in terms of output performance, a decent HID will be higher output. The problem here is the projectors are designed for halogen bulbs, which means they are designed to allow uplight to illuminate overhead street signs (as are halogen reflector headlights). The Philips bulb upgrade in the low beam actually pushes the uplight to just beyond legal levels of intensity, meaning they technically produce too much glare. The one benefit they have going is long wavelength glare is less harmful to oncoming drivers than short wavelength glare from higher color temps. But in the case of HID in the halogen projector, the glare becomes extreme and the color temperature is much higher meaning it is significantly more impactful to oncoming drivers. There are no regulations preventing a 65w rated bulb used in the low beam, the Toyota Rav4 uses a 65w low beam bulb stock for some years. However HID or LED replacements in the halogen low beam are not legal.

    As to the best replacement LED, see post #3 in the thread, the Hikari Ultras are the only replacement LED I would recommend. Remember lighting is all about focus, and without changing the light assembly, focus means making the light source as small as possible. The GEs excel because they do this better than anyone. In a halogen assembly the same holds true for LED. Many manufactures now have orientated the emitters to "replicate a halogen filament", but what they haven't done is shrank the width between the emitter faces to be equal to that of a halogen filament. They are not talking about all 3 dimensions, which is a major oversight. Most LEDs are far too wide, leading to significant losses in focus, resulting in reduced output intensity and distance projection, causing lost distance light as the pattern shifts to more foreground light, which is the last thing you want in a headlight. The Hikari Ultras have the smallest cross section of any of the tested LEDs, not surprisingly they then also have the best performance by far of any of the LEDs in the Tacoma projector. However they are still outperformed by the Philips H9.

    As to longevity, don't fall for the fallacy that LEDs last longer because they are LED. The Hikaris are good performers for LED, but I suspect they are overdriven to achieve their output results. Overdriving LEDs produces higher output for better performance but also causes them to prematurely fail. It seems based on amazon reviews and TW members first hand experience reported on the forum, that they last roughly 2 years before failure. The German Philips H9 is rated at ~550 hours. Based on my usage, I use 200 hours a year for headlights almost like clockwork, so even rounding significantly down say the Philips are good for 2-2.5 years. The Hikari LEDs are not any better than a superior performing halogen in terms of longevity. The halogens also cost $16/set vs the Hirari's $90+.

    Realistically swapping bulbs only a couple minutes and is super easy to schedule to coincide with an oil change or other regular maintenance. If you really wanted to eliminate headlight bulb changes altogether, then swapping to a complete LED headlight assembly would be the way to go, whether OEM or Morimoto. But your are looking well north of $1000+, which is over 62 years of H9 bulb swaps if you were to preemptively swap them every year, for a similar level of performance.
     
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  9. May 9, 2020 at 8:08 AM
    #29
    jcampbell474

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    Excellent! This clears up the confusion I brought upon myself perusing your main thread.

    I admit, I did have my eye on these. Nice to know that they are an 'approved' alternative, but I will now go w/the top performer.

    Excellent perspective. I've done most of the maintenance on my vehicles for years. Bulb changes are really not an inconvenience. Now that I think about it, not really sure why I was so adamant about not having to replace them frequently. Guess I'm getting old... :)

    Phillips H9 it is. I can't speak for anyone else, but this/your summary might be a good appendix to the main thread.

    Again, many thanks for your time and efforts.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  10. May 16, 2020 at 6:56 PM
    #30
    tacosteveo32811

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    I have a 2009 Tacoma and need to know what the best 6000k led headlight kit is for my truck. I bought one of those $15 led headlight sets off of ebay. Low beams are perfect except for the pattern. But they're brigh . High beams are absolute crap. I need a good set that wont break the bank. What do you recommend?
     
  11. May 16, 2020 at 7:39 PM
    #31
    El Duderino

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    None read thread below
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/why-leds-should-not-be-run-in-halogen-reflectors.454371/

    then follow this
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-ultimate-headlight-upgrade-h4-not-led-or-hid.398066/
     
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  12. May 17, 2020 at 1:58 PM
    #32
    avi8or_co

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    Figure out the bouncing HID bulbs yet..? My XD phillips HID going over a road with even small bumps bounce so much it wouldn't surprise me if on coming drivers get seizures...I used to agree that its the projector but after a few tests I highly doubt that as ANY other bulb, LED, Halogen, High power halogen has no issues.
     
  13. May 18, 2020 at 12:35 PM
    #33
    352bluetaco

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    Old Light.jpg Rock LIght.jpg
    My 2007 Tacoma PreRunner came with lighted factory running boards. I believe they have what are called puddle lights, which illuminate with you unlock the truck.

    I thought it would be cool to swap them out with LED rock lights. So I swapped one out to see how it would look.

    Now none of them puddle lights turn on. No blown fuses.

    Any suggestions Caleb?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  14. May 20, 2020 at 11:08 AM
    #34
    Jonny50604

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    Stupid question 2020 SR5 LED Hi beam Low Beam cant seem to find and current aftermarket compatible. Help...
     
  15. May 20, 2020 at 12:35 PM
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    352bluetaco

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  16. May 20, 2020 at 1:48 PM
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    El Duderino

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  17. May 20, 2020 at 3:00 PM
    #37
    Jonny50604

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    I Read that entire article very informative. I do understand that the current housing is not made for the construction of LEDS. However at this pint I am not ready top drop 1200 on a led housing. In this artical he recommed this led if any
    HIKARI Ultra LED Headlight Bulbs Conversion Kit -H11(H8,H9), Prime LED 12000lm 6K Cool White. The issue i seem to be running into on amazing it it says not compatible.
     
  18. May 20, 2020 at 4:49 PM
    #38
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Amazon's fitment guide isn't always accurate. Your truck takes H11 lows and H9 highs, the H11 LEDs listed above will fit both.
     
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