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Headlight Revolution S-V.4 LED Review

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by RedWings44, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Nov 22, 2020 at 6:23 AM
    #1
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been using the S-V.4 from Headlight Revolution since July and recently put my stock halogens back in for the winter. I haven't seen an in-depth review yet (even though there are a couple of threads on them) and they have not been tested in the megathread, so here's my review.

    Disclaimers:
    I do not claim to be an automotive engineer, nor an expert in lighting. The information here is based off of my research, experience, and overall opinion of this product. I do not have any Lux readings, power draw numbers, etc.

    The headlights I am comparing to are the stock halogen lights. To my knowledge, they are the original lights from when the truck rolled off the assembly line in late 2016. Lights, especially halogen lights, dim over time, although I believe the difference is likely negligible as of now. But, I also understand the stock bulbs aren't the best to begin with. I have not tried upgrading to any other halogens, nor tried an H9 upgrade, or anything like that.

    These lights are not to be confused with the Supernova V.4. Headlight Revolution actually put out a video addressing this very thing.

    Statement of opinion: these headlight housings are not that great to begin with. The best halogen headlights I've used were on my last truck, which was a GMC, so I am admittedly harsh on these headlight housings to begin with. I never had LEDs in that truck, however. That being said, they're also far from the worst headlights I've ever used. The 2014 Ford Explorer and pretty much any Jeep Wrangler come to mind for that. But I digress.

    Background:
    I began looking into LEDs for the same reasons people commonly look into them. I didn't like the yellow look of halogens on such a new vehicle. However, I wanted something plug and play, so HIDs were out automatically, and I didn't want to be "that guy" on the road. So I did some research and that led me to Headlight Revolution. I learned that they are an affiliate (or likely even the same company) of GTR Lighting. So no surprise that they rated the GTR Lighting Ultra 2 as the highest Lux output from the Tacoma housings. However, what spoke volumes to me was that they still recommended the S-V.4 over the GTR Lighting bulb when I asked them specifically. Near as I can tell, the S-V.4 may be an in-house brand. I did not locate any brand name on the box other than S-V.4 and as they stated, it is not to be confused with the Supernova V.4.

    Despite all that, HR had good information which coincides with what's found in the megathread such as the best lighting output comes from an LED chip that mimics the positioning of the halogen filament. These seem to do that pretty well. More on that in a bit.

    Installation:
    These were relatively easy to install since they are plug and play. There is a collar on them which is adjustable by an allen wrench that comes with the lights. 3 of the 4 lights were perfectly adjusted while the 4th required a little adjusting of the collar. Like any LEDs, these work best in the vertical position, otherwise you'll definitely produce excess glare, not get the proper hotspots, and possibly have a terrible output to begin eith. With the high beams, I lined them up with the ridges in the reflector. The low beams I just positioned up and down. You can tell this by locating the position of the cord coming off the lights, which is always located at the bottom when vertically aligned.

    The drivers easily tucked away and weren't an issue. Initially I had one fall down below the washer fluid reservoir and was banging on the front bumper. I tucked it in a bit better and it was never an issue after that.

    Review:
    I installed these back July after having the truck since April. I immediately noticed a difference in light output and really enjoyed the white light. I don't know the exact spectrum of light, but I believe it is around the 5-5500K range. I think there's something to be said about the spectrum of light and the environment you're in. The yellow is definitely easier on the eyes, but I was able to see a lot more things with the LEDs.

    The biggest benefit I've seen from these has to do with how easy it is to spot deer. Given that I commute 90 miles a day to work and much of that is at night this time of year, that's very important. These also shine much better to the sides of the truck than the halogens.

    It should be noted that with the projector beams, I have the exact same cutoff with the LED as with the halogens. I also note the same beam pattern as well, including the sides of the truck, however the LED shows more light. In my amount of time using them, I have never been flashed by oncoming traffic (except, of course when I forgot to turn my brights off). What's more is my father-in-law, who isn't a fan of cars running LEDs/HIDs, didn't even realize I had installed them until riding with me about a month ago. He had just assumed they were the stock bulbs up until then. He then said he'd hate to be on the other side of them, but took it back when I reminded him that he had been.

    The high beams are where I think things even out a little bit between the halogens and the S-V.4. With the halogens, the brights are much brighter than the low beams. With the S-V.4, I'd say the brights are about equal to the output of the halogen brights with the difference being the spectrum of light emitted. But, as I stated before, this allowed me to pick out things, such as deer, far better than my halogens did.

    Build:
    These are pretty much your standard LED build featuring a fan on the heat sync. I believe these lights are designed to run at a lower power if they get too hot, but I've never run into that even at 90°F+ outside.

    I attempted to measure the width of the LED chips since that is the place LEDs are handicapped the most. However, this proved difficult because the LEDs are recessed in the frame so far and I did not have the tool to take apart the frame to measure it without the frame. So, therefore, I had to improvise. The reading I got was approximately 2.54 mm. That's slightly narrower than the 2.6 mm in the Hikaris from the megathread, which were the only aftermarket LEDs recommended in there that weren't dedicated LED housings. However, I do not have the same calipers used in the megathread that allow for measurements in recessed areas so my measurement needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    In theory, the place that you'd likely notice the difference in width of the LED vs Halogen will be the width of the beam pattern (assuming proper alignment). However, I could not visually see any difference.

    Adverse conditions:
    These are the best bulbs I've ever used in the rain. At least in my personal vehicle. The halogen beams tend to "disappear" into the road during the rain, but these seem to allow me to see much better. This also lines up with my work vehicle which has factory LEDs which have also been much better in the rain and snow than halogens in the same model.

    I have not run into much snow or fog with the S-V.4, but I've been impressed with what little I have seen. I am removing these for winter, however. For those who are wondering why, LEDs don't produce the same heat from the light as halogens. The heat they generally produce is in the power unit itself and is cooled via the heat sync. This means that the bulbs are largely unable to clear the housings of frost, slush, snow, etc. I've actually run into this issue on my old truck when the high beams weren't running. The low beams melted it all away, while the high beams iced over due to the driving conditions.

    I have had them clear some frost off of the housing, however, I have not taken any temperature readings. But, according to the megathread, the LEDs tested there produced a light beam of 6°F above ambient and given that the temperature was in the high 20's where I was at, it makes sense that the LED would be able to melt that away. However, halogens can produce 50°F or more above ambient so they are the clear winner for winter driving in adverse conditions without a separate heat source.

    Photos:
    These photos were taken on the same stretch of road at the same time of day. The pavement was dry and there was no moon, nor other traffic to assist with lighting. These photos were taken using the Samsung Galaxy S10+ in pro mode with as close to the same settings as possible. It was approximately 54°F out for the LED photo and 35°F for the halogen photo. Both were taken about 35 minutes into my commute.

    White Balance: 4700K
    Iso: 3200
    Aperture: F1.5 1/50 speed
    For whatever reason I was not able to adjust the contrast manually. The LED photo was taken with -1.3 while the halogen was taken at -1.7 despite my best effort to make them match.

    Low beams:
    20201114_053543.jpg 20201018_053525.jpg

    High beams:
    20201114_053548.jpg 20201018_053528.jpg

    Comparison:
    I was working with what I had at the time, so these aren't the best visual references and I apologize.

    Compared to H11:
    20201113_114037.jpg 20201113_114046.jpg

    Compared to H9:
    20201113_114234.jpg 20201113_114258.jpg

    Close up of the LED chip:
    20201113_114100.jpg

    Adjustable collar:
    20201121_173205.jpg

    TL;DR/Conclusion:
    Personally, I love these lights. I'm interested to see what the results are compared to other LEDs when they are reviewed in the megathread. I actually ended up putting these back in my truck until deer season is over after being so disappointed with the stock bulbs. If you have any questions, let me know. I think I included everything.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  2. Nov 22, 2020 at 6:36 AM
    #2
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    TRD Pro suspension, DV8 OR front slimline bumper & Engine Skid Plate, RCI OR high clearance bumper, Spidertrax 1.25" Wheel Spacers, 265/75 16 GY Duratracs, wrapped the OEM wheels, OR Roof Rack, Extang Exceed Hard top Tri fold tonneau.
    Very thorough write up!
     
    RedWings44 [OP] likes this.
  3. Nov 22, 2020 at 6:54 AM
    #3
    auskip07

    auskip07 Well-Known Member

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    Looking on their site i cant find theses exact style do you have a link?
     
  4. Nov 22, 2020 at 7:05 AM
    #4
    Midnight beauty

    Midnight beauty New Member

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    How much did they cost and where did you get them from?
     
  5. Nov 22, 2020 at 7:07 AM
    #5
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    https://www.headlightrevolution.com...low-beam-1517TACO-LEDHEAD.LOW-V4_2?quantity=1

    There are separate links for high beam and fog lights, but they're all the same light. As stated in the megathread, LEDs are definitely not recommended in fog lights designed for halogens due to the uncontrolled glare. I have not tried these in the fog lights at all.

    Edit: they also have a YouTube channel with a playlist dedicated to the Tacoma, which was helpful. They are also pretty good about responding to comments if you have any questions or concerns.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    Supa White Taco and auskip07 like this.
  6. Nov 22, 2020 at 7:11 AM
    #6
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I purchased these from Headlight Revolution. They are currently going for $178 a pair. Not cheap, but far better than the $40 Amazon ones which do little as far as controlling the beam goes.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2020 at 7:28 AM
    #7
    Midnight beauty

    Midnight beauty New Member

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    Awesome, thanks. Great write up by the way.
     
    RedWings44 [OP] likes this.
  8. Nov 22, 2020 at 8:11 AM
    #8
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!
     
  9. Nov 23, 2020 at 2:02 AM
    #9
    mds08

    mds08 Senior member

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    Nice write up, looks like you found a nice set of LEDs. I feel the same way about my DD SL1s. I run the low and high beams with the fogs being a knock off Rigid Industries. I super happy with my set up and I like what you had to say about these. Sometimes a personal review is better imo.
     
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  10. Nov 23, 2020 at 6:00 AM
    #10
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, and I agree, which is why I felt the need to do it. I know not many people have the patience for reading that and you can't really leave that kind of review on the product website; but, there are people who do appreciate more information from someone with experience.
     
    Interbeing and mds08 like this.
  11. Nov 23, 2020 at 6:06 AM
    #11
    mds08

    mds08 Senior member

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    Agree wholeheartedly!
     
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  12. Nov 23, 2020 at 6:56 AM
    #12
    TurboFire10

    TurboFire10 Well-Known Member

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    They make a pretty good difference. Some say the older 3rd gen headlight housings aren’t meant for LED’s like the newer housings, but they’re still much improved with them!
     
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  13. Nov 23, 2020 at 9:57 AM
    #13
    mds08

    mds08 Senior member

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    My DD sl1 are a major improvement over the stock halogen and the ge mega 130s. The back dark country roads are extremely dark and my LEDs out preform the others I have used all day long.
     
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  14. Nov 23, 2020 at 12:15 PM
    #14
    dave82at

    dave82at Member

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    @mds08 Did you use the DD sl1 for low (H11) and high beam (H9) or did you go with another pulp for the low beam?
     
  15. Nov 23, 2020 at 3:29 PM
    #15
    mds08

    mds08 Senior member

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    All DD SL1s. I used h11 and h9.
     
  16. Nov 24, 2020 at 4:30 AM
    #16
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Agreed! Like I said, I think there's something to be said for the spectrum of light emitted, your environment, and what your eyes can pick up. Especially if the LED is properly installed. I just find that the yellow of the stock halogens are too easily absorbed in the surrounding environment to be as effective. Like I said, I especially like the ability for me to spot deer with the LEDs vs halogens.
     
  17. Nov 24, 2020 at 5:33 AM
    #17
    elbaldwino

    elbaldwino Well-Known Member

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    I too am running the DD sl1s however I just got a letter from DD saying they've been recalled because they put out too much glare for incoming traffic. They are offering to send people halogen bulbs in exchange for the LEDs. May have to give these a try.
     
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  18. Nov 24, 2020 at 7:21 AM
    #18
    RedWings44

    RedWings44 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Glare is the reason it's illegal to put LEDs or HIDs into halogen housings. However, as I said, I've never been flashed and the cutoff is same as stock from what I've found so I haven't run into any glare issues. I think you'll be pleased!
     
  19. Nov 24, 2020 at 7:49 AM
    #19
    pandonsf

    pandonsf Well-Known Member

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    I ran these for a few months, both low and high beam. Once i lifted the truck 3" i felt like i was blinding people so went back to halogens, definitely a big difference in light output.
     
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  20. Nov 24, 2020 at 9:36 AM
    #20
    SRBenjamin

    SRBenjamin Well-Known Member

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    H9 bulbs are brighter, closer to sunlight(CRI) an run less than $20.

    You just downgraded your lighting system at a cost of $180.:confused:

    But thanks for your time with this review.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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