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Headlight upgrade recommendations

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by DanerZone, Jun 9, 2023.

  1. Jun 9, 2023 at 1:13 PM
    #1
    DanerZone

    DanerZone [OP] Active Member

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    Question for the Crew: Any Recommendations on upgrading headlights? I will be replacing my headlight housing on my 2006 Tacoma real soon. As they are as yellow as grandmas teeth. Wanted to see if anyone has any great recommendations on where to buy from?
    I see a lot of people recommending Retrofit or RGB Halo’s. But some say the retrofit OEM pair is the best.
    Any and all headlight recommendations would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Jun 9, 2023 at 1:15 PM
    #2
    AllTacosFloat

    AllTacosFloat Stupid is as stupid does

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    Retro fit or not OEM is the best you can get.
     
  3. Jun 9, 2023 at 1:16 PM
    #3
    AllTacosFloat

    AllTacosFloat Stupid is as stupid does

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  4. Jun 9, 2023 at 4:34 PM
    #4
    RockfordTaco2006

    RockfordTaco2006 Well-Known Member

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    OEM is expensive and they are old looking. I just got a set of LED DRL No name brand Taiwan made from Extreme Terrain, They are kinda shitty to be honest but I do like the look of them a lot. I'll try them till they fail.....

    People talk about TYC off Rock Auto....I wonder which set is better

    TYC 20657800SET Set; Includes Bulbs and Sockets
    Left & Right; Base Model; w/o Sport Package; Type 2

    or

    TYC 20657890SET Includes Bulb & Socket
    Fits Left & Right; Crew Cab Pickup; Standard Cab Pickup; Pre Runner; w/ Sport Package; Type 1
    or Left & Right; Extended Cab Pickup; Pre Runner; X-Runner; w/ Sport Package; Type 1

    This is what I got
    IMG_1872.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2023
    DanerZone[OP] likes this.
  5. Jun 9, 2023 at 4:41 PM
    #5
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Never answer an anonymous letter

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    A few OE parts from fancy trucks
    CeraKote restorer is what your headlight casings need. It's at least inexpensive enough to try.

    Then go with the data In post 3 that @AllTacosFloat linked.

    If you actually seek usable light, not just style.
     
    SlickFly and AllTacosFloat like this.
  6. Jun 9, 2023 at 4:55 PM
    #6
    RockfordTaco2006

    RockfordTaco2006 Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything beyond the first post to really look at in that thread? I ask cause it's 243 pages long and I don't want to read it all.
     
  7. Jun 9, 2023 at 5:17 PM
    #7
    SomeGuy_GRM

    SomeGuy_GRM Well-Known Member

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    OEM is the best.
    TYC and Depo are cheaper alternatives that don't totally suck.
    Spyder and Alpha Rex also make good lights, but some people don't like the light patterns.
    Spyder can often be found relatively cheap, so they're what I bought when my originals started to literally fall apart.
     
    jackn7, KLiK and DanerZone[OP] like this.
  8. Jun 9, 2023 at 5:45 PM
    #8
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    20somethingwidataco and KLiK like this.
  9. Jun 10, 2023 at 3:17 PM
    #9
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    Go on Amazon and find some DEPO blacked out housings that retain the use of OEM style reflector housing.
    Supposedly the actual factory kind of that is marginally better, but costs a ton more.

    Do the Headlight Services ground-switched harness mod upgrade to safely run more power to the bulbs, and put better bulbs. I forget if they're 100/80w.
    That or supposedly they came out with years ago stock power draw bulbs (that still wear out a bit faster) that do provide more/better lighting at the cost of being a more expensive bulb. Headlight Services should also sell or have info on what those are.

    Coat the lens.
    Make sure they're aimed.
    Consider sealing with silicone against moisture or be prepared to deal with it if one does leak later on.
    Like it did in my case. It leaked quick. I want to buy another pair then return the leaky one because seller doesn't want to do shit about it (defective production)

    2G Taco has real estate space for a big reflector, similar to an old LandCruiser, to have a good performing headlight.
    Other vehicles can't do that because they don't have a big headlight.

    And that is the cheapest way.

    If after that you want to look at projector retrofit mods, or something like AlphaRex, to try and figure out if they actually perform better and not just look cooler, you can
    but that route is going to be expensive as shit

    I once had a car that I upgrade projectors. Bosch/AL E46 gen2 bi-xenon. Clear lens. $200 set of Osram CBI's. Because that's one of the very few projectors that would actually fit in that headlight, and had a higher level of performance. They worked well.
    I believe the forum for that is HIDPlanet.
    There is info there comparing different projectors which one is better than another.
    And nowadays you also have LED versions coming out, that have the vehicle set up differently to not freak out sensing lower voltage draw inherent to LED's (more efficient) as well as the cooling fins (and usually a fan) necessary to vent out the heat that LED's also naturally create.
    Which again, is more money, research, customization, etc.
    bi-xenon meaning a motor that flips down a shield to open up letting more light come out the main beam, in addition to a halogen high beam also turning on, for vehicles that fit multiple light units in their housing.

    I do wonder how different a projector is.
    For example, on a street car, I can see why having a cutoff is fine. The car is on a flat road, with stiff suspension staying flat.
    The Tacoma however has a softer ride, more bodyroll, and capability to go off road where the surface is not flat.
    In which case I imagine the cutoff would be constantly shaking around, leaving visible only what is underneath the cutoff, and everything above it black
    as opposed to a halogen just throwing light out there
    and being easy to repair keeping cheap spare bulbs in the glovebox, without dealing with ballasts. Though good ballasts usually last at least 10yr, as do HID bulbs such as D1S, D2S, D3S (green stick made environmentally more friendly mercury-free)

    I may be wrong, considering the amount of OEM's that now do use those types of lights as standard in their truck
    the 3rd gen projector has a reputation for being bad; I don't think that speaks to all projector lights
    just that projector in particular being shitty, which does happen.
    For example, the vehicle I upgrade projector on; the stock one was shitty, and what I put in was better

    Also, being a truck, you have more room for modification
    especially if you have a bumper
    for example, lets say you have good headlights.
    They are still not aux driving lights. Which is why race cars have them.
    You have the option to add those separate. Like putting Diode Dynamics on the bumper or ditch light brackets.
    To have the capability of a far out pencil beam type of driving light manually engaged in certain situations.

    I forget the exact prices. But harness, $100. DEPO lights, $100. Bulbs, $15.
    Much cheaper than $1000+ Alpharex
     
  10. Jun 10, 2023 at 3:52 PM
    #10
    BlkDakDave

    BlkDakDave Well-Known Member

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    With a couple of $50 gift cards I bought these last February. They are DEPO lights from Auto Parts Giant sold through Evan Fischer. I can't say how they are, they've been stashed in my shop since they arrived. My house flooded from a broken pipe in late February and we've only moved back in a month ago. Although, it's getting closer for the install. I'm keeping the OEM lights and most likely will try the projector retro fit.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009DJKDG0?ie=UTF8&th=1
     
    Bennett2010 likes this.
  11. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:06 AM
    #11
    Geeves77

    Geeves77 Well-Known Member

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  12. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:07 AM
    #12
    20somethingwidataco

    20somethingwidataco Yes, my avatar is a real car.

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    Ultimate headlight mod, or retrofits. Anything else is trash. I.e aftermarket headlights like tacomabeast, ebay specials etc. Leds in stock housings will practically get you banned from this forum
     
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    #12
  13. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:22 AM
    #13
    b_r_o

    b_r_o Beef jerky time

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    If you don't want to read why are you here?

    But yes, most of the pertinent info is on the first page. It's very good write up with actual data based results

    Long story short, as far as halogen housings are concerned, anything less than OEM is a downgrade
     
  14. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:26 AM
    #14
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy old, forgetful, and decomposing

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    Just installed these OEM smoked headlights on my 07 (came on the 09-2011 Sport but will fit the 2005-2011 Sport and Offroad. Got them online from Boch Toyota South... OEM part# 81150-04173 / 81110-14173.

    DSCN0751.jpg
     
  15. Jun 13, 2023 at 6:16 PM
    #15
    10thMTNgrunt

    10thMTNgrunt This is the way, step inside.

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    I have the 15 TRD Pro version of these, can’t go wrong with the OEM smoked/chrome delete look:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2023
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  16. Jun 13, 2023 at 6:51 PM
    #16
    gkomo

    gkomo Well-Known Member

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    OEM with the ‘ultimate headlight mod’. Fantastic light output with OEM quality. Can’t beat it.
     
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  17. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:12 PM
    #17
    dborrer

    dborrer Well-Known Member

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    My $0.02:
    Having purchased some Spyder "projectors" a few year back, they faded and yellow'd weeks to a month out of warranty. I forgot which on-liner I threw away my money to, but they were only happy enough to offer me a discount on a new set... (insert your favorite FU emoji here)

    I then tied completely sanding down and clear painting back, ect... which lasted another year maybe, and back to shit....

    Unless you really want that look by going full Custom (too bad BX Built went caput....) Buy OEM.
    Just show your dealer the price on line at any of the on-liners, and your dealer should give you a pretty good deal right there and can have them the next day.

    Buy once, Cry once...

    I performed the Post #3 above, and also did the same as Post #14... got to improve the early 2nd gen look some! (I'm 2006)

    I went with this Osram NB 200 and I'm super impressed with the result.
    That said, (PM'ing with @crashnburn80 ) "Philips Racing Vision +200s are better. With the wiring harness the Osram Superbright 100/90w are better still."

    Good luck and have fun!

    Spyder housing.jpg
    OEM housing.jpg
    OSRAM NB200.jpg
     
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  18. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:27 PM
    #18
    jackn7

    jackn7 Old Man Tan Taco

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    Just some stuff...
    I bought a set of after market headlights a year ago, but didn’t install them after doing some reading. Read all the horror stories about everybody’s headlights leaking. Decided I would bite the bullet and buy oem. The passenger side leaked. Hopefully you have better luck than me. Good luck brother.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2023
  19. Jun 13, 2023 at 7:46 PM
    #19
    MARSHBUSTER

    MARSHBUSTER Well-Known Member

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    How much were these for the set?
     
  20. Jun 15, 2023 at 8:02 AM
    #20
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy old, forgetful, and decomposing

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    Icon Stage 8, ECGS Bushing, Timbren bump stops, Crown braided/extended brake lines, Overland Custom Design sway bar links, rear differential breather extension, oil filter drain hose, a/c drain hose extension & reroute, front windows tint, Cat Security, XPEL headlight/fog & grill protection, OEM block heater, RCBS illuminated 4X4 switch, Sherpa Grand Teton/Crows nest, Baja Designs S8 light bar, Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro fog lights
    $440 plus shipping... came out to $529. Had a shop install Xpel UV protection film afterwards. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2023
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