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Anyone know of a good "HID 101?"

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by tbkfan, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Sep 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM
    #1
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    I would really like to upgrade the lighting on my 2011 DC TRD Sport. I have been lurking around a few HID forums and haven't come across a good primer or tutorial on the basics of HID. I also have a few questions specific to HID's as it applies to a 2011 Taco. If you know any good tutorials, or can provide any answers/insights to the following list of questions, it would be greatly appreciated. My overall objective here is to improve lighting for off-roading. I could care less how "cool" or "not cool" it looks. Eventually I will probably put a nice big steel bumper on with a couple of extra lights, but until then I just want to get the most out of the stock config. Being primarily a work truck, I want to keep most of my mods as stock/incognito as possible for the time being.

    1. I am told that there is a big difference between just putting in ballasts and lamps and installing a complete set up that includes lenses and reflectors designed to focus the light from an HID properly. Any real truth to this? How is the stock Taco lens/relector assembly in this regard? Obviously the price difference would be huge, but are the stock Taco headlight and fog light assemblies pretty decent? From what I have heard, a typical bulb/ballast kit will put out incredible light, but because it isn't focused properly, the distance is not great and the annoyance to other drivers can be severe.
    2. I have also seen a lot of discussion about 35W vs. 45W vs. 55W. Obviously I want the brightest light for off-roading purposes, but don't want to be blinding other drivers. I assume these systems still operate high-low beam?? So if I put in a 55W system, how bright is low beam, compared to typical halogen low beams? Does anyone make a tri-beam system?? That would be super cool....
    3. What brands are proven reliable? I have heard some of the cheaper kits are pretty problematic. I want rock-solid reliability and willing to pay more to get it.
    4. What color temp is best for off-roading? Visibility of obstacles and being able to discern variations in terrain would be the main consideration.
    5. I have done the foglights anytime mod and would be swapping the fogs out as well. I think I would go all the same color temp for off-roading purposes, but for actual fog is there another color temp that would work better and should I consider a second set of bulbs for the fogs for seasonal/on-road use?
    6. My other thought was if I put in a super bright set in the headlights, instead of switching to low-beams when approaching other cars (which still might be pretty blinding), I could switch off the headlights all together when approaching other cars and rely on the fogs alone which are mounted so much lower they would be less of a problem for other drivers. If I put a good set of HIDS in the fog lights, I would probably get sufficient coverage to not even need the headlights when approaching other cars.... maybe???

    I know, that is a lot of questions for one post, but maybe there are others out there that have a lot of the same questions.
     
  2. Sep 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM
    #2
    Rucas

    Rucas 1st gen > 2nd gen

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    I honestly am not a fan, of HID's for on road use but ill try to answer some of your questions. I had them in my 2nd gen. :eek:
    maby someone will correct me on some things
     
  3. Sep 24, 2011 at 8:49 AM
    #3
    Rucas

    Rucas 1st gen > 2nd gen

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    haha probablly too many questions to answer, or too much to read. People probablly just open, go "ok. nevermind" and on to the next thread.
    I had some time to kill so i didnt mind taking the time to answer.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2011 at 6:58 PM
    #4
    FY01CPO

    FY01CPO Well-Known Member

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    black tube steps, side marker turn signals, 15% tint and window strip, EGR vent shades, fighter pilot/cockpit mod, console and glove box auto on LED, anytime fog light mod, 3000k HID fogs, bed mat wing nut mod, locking bed storage bin mod, smoked tail lights, plasti-dipped rims, blacked out emblems, black tail pipe, tail gate hose clamp, rear seat utility/dog shelf with rear center console access door.
    FWIW, yellow is 3000k (I guess 2000k would be yellow too but I don't know if they sell those for our application). I am getting mine (fogs only) in a few days and will try to remember to post about my experience driving with them. I hope they don't blind other drivers because I use the fog light anytime mod as my DRLs.

    I agree with the other guys about the headlights needing to be projector type to really be effective. I don't plan on converting mine if the fogs do well.

    Didn't know that info about the HIDs being illegal. I learn something new everyday.
     
  5. Sep 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM
    #5
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    I'd really like to hear how they work out for you. What wattage are you putting in? I'd be most interested in how effective they are for off-road use. How much more light do they give you on the trail at night? To me just changing the fogs might be the way to go if you can get super bright ones in the fogs, that way you can just not use them on road, or switch them off when approaching other traffic.

    I can see what others are saying about just throwing bulbs in without changing the whole housing. My question is, if I were to go with 35W in the main headlights, would that be a severe nuisance to other drivers when on lo-beam? And then when switched to hi-beam, will I get more distance and overall light output than that of a good halogen for off road purposes? There would be no point in switching to 35W if it is not a significant upgrade from standard halogens. If that were the case, I would just stick with switching the fogs only.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2011 at 11:22 PM
    #6
    FY01CPO

    FY01CPO Well-Known Member

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    black tube steps, side marker turn signals, 15% tint and window strip, EGR vent shades, fighter pilot/cockpit mod, console and glove box auto on LED, anytime fog light mod, 3000k HID fogs, bed mat wing nut mod, locking bed storage bin mod, smoked tail lights, plasti-dipped rims, blacked out emblems, black tail pipe, tail gate hose clamp, rear seat utility/dog shelf with rear center console access door.
    They are supposed to arrive here this week. I will be sure to let you know how they are and will post pics. I think they are the 35W ones. They got good reviews on Amazon. I could have used them last week when the fog was pretty thick. I had to turn off my headlights one time because even in lo-beam, they were reflecting back pretty bad.
     
  7. Sep 25, 2011 at 11:39 PM
    #7
    Warhorseforever

    Warhorseforever Will The Thrill

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  8. Sep 26, 2011 at 8:48 AM
    #8
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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  9. Sep 26, 2011 at 8:49 AM
    #9
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks. That was the kind of "HID 101" I was looking for.

    In that thread it says that most people do a low-beam conversion. To me that would be the "irritating to other drivers" approach since low-beam is what we switch to when other cars are approaching. Isn't that approach totally ass-backwards??? (I guess its the way to go if you are just trying to look cool)

    Why wouldn't a guy change the high-beams to HID? The only times I want super bright, massive flood, long-distance lighting are when I am:

    1) Off roading - no oncoming motorists to consider
    2) When I am on a dark deserted highway with no oncoming traffic

    In situation 2, when a car comes over the hill, I automatically switch to low-beam. So If I were to do a low-beam conversion as has been suggested, I would switch from high-beam halogens, to low-beam HID's. Thats like switching from high-output to even higher output... That would piss some people off now wouldn't it?

    So here is what I am thinking, feel free to blast holes in my logic:

    1) Switch my fogs to the highest wattage HID's I can get my hands on.
    2) Get two sets of bulbs for the fogs. One at around 4K for good weather and a set of 2K for fog and bad weather.
    3) Switch my headlight high-beams to the highest wattage HID's I can find at about 4K.
    4) Leave the low-beams as they are - stock.

    This way I don't cause trouble for fellow motorists since when I am sharing the road with others, I run low-beams. No harm, no foul. When I am all alone on a dark road, I turn on the fog and the high-beam HID's and light up my world, nobody is there to complain. Same situation when I am on a trail at night with nobody up ahead, light em up!

    Does this not make sense and possibly be a good alternative to adding light bars at this point? I mean, down the road, when this truck becomes more of a toy and less of a daily work vehicle, I will probably add a wicked steel bumper and light bar, but for now, I could keep the stock look, but get way more light output for my off-road adventuring and not become a nusiance on the road while doing so.
     
  10. Sep 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM
    #10
    tbkfan

    tbkfan [OP] Active Member

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    Prologue to my previous post...

    I don't see a way to do a high beam only conversion on a taco.

    So my modified plan is to just change the fogs to the brightest HID's I can find so I can use them in select situations when other drivers won't be affected. If I do go with a 45W conversion for the main headlights, is the low beam, that bad??
     
  11. Sep 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM
    #11
    Warhorseforever

    Warhorseforever Will The Thrill

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  12. Sep 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM
    #12
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    I think the reason for low beam only option is that HID at low beam is still way more light than halogens on high beam and low beam combined. You just have to remember to not switch to highs, as there is nothing there anymore!

    Other options I have seen:

    1) HID low with a halogen high bulb. You don't want a HID high bulb because HID takes like 15-30 seconds to achieve max. brightness. Halogen bulbs are instant on, don't need to 'warm-up'.

    2) Bi-Xenon bulb with a moving part that changes the focus point of the light to go into the high beam section of the lens.
     
  13. Sep 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM
    #13
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    The only HID parts that are really "reliable" are the OEM makers, including bulbs.

    Putting HID kits in halogen housings is... ugh, nevermind. :(
     
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