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Lighting FAQ - Please Read Before Posting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Viet2100, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Mar 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM
    #1
    Viet2100

    Viet2100 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Delray Beach, FL
    Vehicle:
    2007 Infiniti G35S
    Bulb Sizes

    High & low beam headlamp
    9003/HB2/H4

    Parking light
    2827
    4157NA

    Front turn signal
    4157NA

    Rear turn signal
    3157A

    Tail light
    3157

    Stop light
    3157

    High mount stop light
    168

    Fog/Driving light
    9145/H10

    License plate
    168

    Back up light
    921

    Front sidemarker
    2827/168

    Map light
    168

    Dome light
    DE3022

    Dash Gauges
    PLCC-2 SMT LEDs

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    ADJUSTMENT

    If your factory head lights are pointing rather high, you can adjust them. Also, usually after installing an HID kit, you would most likely have to do some aiming, as well.

    To adjust the height, use a long philips head screw driver to adjust it. The adjustment knob for the height is the one on the bottom closest to the fender (referring to the driver's side head light). To adjust up, you would turn your screw driver clockwise. To adjust down, turn the screw driver counter-clock wise.

    [​IMG]

    To adjust the headlights from left to right, you would take off the black plastic cover off of the adjustment knob that is placed right in the middle of your headlight. You would adjust it the same way as the height adjustment knob.

    [​IMG]

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    HEAD LIGHTS

    The Black Head Light Mod


    [​IMG]

    A DIY:

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lighting/65226-how-black-head-light-mod.html


    HID

    1. What are HIDs?
    The best way to describe an HID head light is to compare it to a more conventional halogen headlight. A halogen bulb consists of a wire filament surrounded by an inert gas. When electrical current is applied to the filament, it glows brightly to produce light. Contrast that with an HID bulb which has no filament, but instead consists of xenon gas, mercury, and metal halide salts. The xenon gas is ignited by an arc of high-voltage current and glows brightly. Also, the high voltage is supplied by a ballast, so in these respects it is like a fluorescent light. HIDs are original equipment generally found on luxury and exotic cars but are progressively finding their way into the mainstream.

    2. Why install HIDs?
    If chosen properly, the improved light output of HIDs will give you a better field of vision and thus improved safety. Plus, let us admit it, they look cool.

    3. What is meant by color temperature?
    The Kelvin (K) is the unit of color temperature. 4100K is the brightest, most natural white light similar to that of daytime sunlight, and therefore the HID color temperature used most in the OEM automotive industry. When you look at the light coming directly out of an HID headlight, it possesses a bit of a blue or purple hue which most people recognize as the expensive, elegant look characteristic of HIDs. For this reason, some HID kit manufacturers produce 5400K, 6500K, 8000K, etc. bulbs that give an even more distinct blue hue but at the expense of overall light output. For comparison, most halogen headlights have a color temperature around 3200K which gives them a yellowish appearance compared to HIDs.

    [​IMG]

    Blue light is more fatiguing to the eyes, both to oncoming traffic and to the driver. Oncoming cars will see your lights for only a brief time, but as the driver, you must deal with it for the duration of your drive. The bluer the tint cast on the road and surrounding area, the more quickly your eyes become tired. It is a personal choice and I recognize and respect that some install HIDs mostly for the look. However, very blue headlights might get you the wrong kind of attention from law enforcement. Personally, I would like to benefit from my investment in the way of increased visibility and safety. Be aware that most of the 6500K and higher bulbs are produced by inferior manufacturers to capitalize on the maketability of "the bigger number must be better". Their 8000K bulbs may not measure 8000K. Do not be fooled.

    4. What are some good quality brands to look for?
    Generally speaking, Philips or Osram (division of Sylvania) kits are recommended because they are the brands used by the major automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer). They count on quality components because dependability is critical to auto manufacturers. Other brands may use bulbs or ballasts of inferior manufacture that are prone to early failure. Perhaps even more sinister, some kits tout their use of Philips or Osram ballasts while they covertly use cheap bulbs of unknown origin that burn out quickly. So it is a good idea to check the brands you buy. They likely will not be branded by Philips or Osram directly, rather they are usually rebranded by another company. If the seller does not specify who makes their components, it is a gamble. A low price is very tempting (believe me, I'm the same way), so my best advice is to solicit opinions and do your research before buying.

    5. What is included with a HID conversion kit?A typical HID conversion kit includes:
    • 2 Bulbs
    • 2 Ballasts (with built-in igniter)
    • 1 Wiring Harnesses
    • 2 Relays

    The bulbs do not really need any more explanation. The ballasts are small boxes (usually one per bulb) that convert the vehicle's 12VDC into high voltage AC required to illuminate the xenon gas. Usually built into the ballast is the igniter initially required to start the bulb. The wiring harnesses allow you to plug directly into your exiting car wiring with a minimum of splicing wires. Relays are sometimes included as well, one per ballast. They use the 12V from the original bulbs to switch in a lower resistance path to 12V to power the ballasts. They aren't always needed.

    7. Should I replace both my high and low beams with HIDs?
    Most of us spend the majority of the time driving with our low beams on. Compared to the high beams, the lows usually leave the most to be desired. HID head light conversion kits aren't cheap. Quality kits typically cost $350-$500. For these reasons, most people opt for low-beam conversion kits only.

    8. Wow, HID kits are expensive. Cannot I get the same look and light output from the "HID-look" bulbs?
    Yeah, they do not exactly give them away, do they? You'll get a lot of strong opinions with this question. From what I've read, those who've taken the inexpensive route seem to prefer Naxos or Sylvania Silverstar bulbs. They are direct replacements for factory halogens, meaning they operate on direct 12V and therefore do not require a ballast/igniter. However, many argue that these produce a light that, while better than typical halogens, is not a true white compared to HIDs. They are a lot less expensive, though. You can find them for around $30 a pair online.

    These HID-look bulbs achieve their light output by drawing more power from the vehicle's electrical system. Some pull as much as 100W while most stock halogens draw around 50W (typical HIDs draw 35W). Also, while I haven't seen any reports of quality problems from the Naxos or Sylvania bulbs, some of the other bulbs have a nasty reputation for burning out quickly. Logically, it is probably because of the increased heat due to higher power consumption. Some users have also experienced damage to their light housings as a combination of cold weather and the increased heat from the bulbs (small bulb housings such as those used with some fog lights, in which the heat is concentrated within a small area).

    9. Are HIDs legal?
    Installing HIDs into a vehicle not originally equipped with them from the factory is technically illegal. Practically speaking, you stand little chance of being cited for them provided you educate yourself on the requirements of HID lighting and take the necessary steps to ensure you have the right equipment and adjustments to keep it safe. That is, make sure your vehicle's headlight assembly uses an appropriately designed projector lense (as opposed to a reflector), and of course that your headlights are properly aligned after installation. Many newer vehicles use projector lenses because stock halogen bulbs also benefit from the "light shaping," but having just any old projector lense does not necessarily ensure that the beam pattern will be correct. It is absolutely essential for HIDs to give the light output a sharp cutoff line to prevent blinding oncoming traffic. As HIDs become more popular, aftermarket projector housings are being produced for some vehicles.

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) states that improperly-installed HIDs are getting a lot of complaints. Vendors will usually include a disclaimer that they are intended for offroad use only, but it is no secret that people don't follow this rule. Now, there are a lot of aftermarket automotive parts that qualify as illegal but aren't strictly enforced. Logically, the safety implications of blinding oncoming drivers are more serious than, say, an exhaust that exceeds the legal noise level. So the DOT has actively gone after vendors of HID conversion kits, threatening monetary fines if they continue selling them, and consequently there are now fewer places to buy them.

    Places to purchase HID plug and play kits:

    DDMTuning
    VVME
    KBcarstuff

    Places to purchase OEM brand components for some plug and play kits or retrofits:

    The Retrofit Source
    HID Planet


    Projector Headlights

    There has been a few projector headlights manufactured overseas for the 2nd generation ('05+) Tacomas. Here are the ones available through eBay (they are all the same no matter where you buy them from, so why not at the best price?).

    1st Generation Projector Headlights:

    These use H1 type bulbs for the low beam and high beam. They come in chrome or black. They are also known to be the most difficult to install. You can put HIDs in these.

    [​IMG]

    2nd Generation Projector Headlights:

    These use CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) for their angel eyes. CCFLs are much brighter than LEDs and look more uniform. These are pretty much plug and play unlike the 1st generations. The low beam uses H7 style bulbs and the high beams use H1 style bulbs. These also come in black or chrome. You can put HIDs in these.

    [​IMG]

    3rd Generation Projector Headlights:

    These use LEDs for angel eyes and for the angled LEDs on the bottom corners. They come in chrome and black. These are just as hard to install as the 1st Gens and use H1 for both the high and low beam. You can put HIDs in these.

    [​IMG]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TAIL LIGHTS

    Just like head lights, there are many after market options for our tail lights. Be it an addition to your stock ones or new assemblies. Here are a few options.

    ***I am not saying it is O.K. to tint your tail lights. Please do so with care and do not go too dark. Some areas will be enforced more than others.***

    Tint Film:

    They come in different percentages of darkness. They will take a professional vinyl applicator or a lot of patience to install. If you ever need to remove them, they peel right off. eBay would be the best place to find these.

    [​IMG]

    VHT Nite-Shades:

    This spray tint comes in an aerosol can and can just be sprayed on. I have seen many people use this product on their tail lights on the road. They usually come out flat or dull. If sprayed correctly, they can come out glossy. You don't really need to add clear coat afterwards. But, if you would like a more glossy finish, some clear would not hurt it.

    A link to the DIY: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lighting/84694-how-tinting-tail-lights-right-way-pics.html

    [​IMG]

    Pactra Window Tint

    This spray tint is very similar to the VHT Nite-Shades, but comes in a much smaller can. It is designed to tint the windows on small R/C toys. For light tint, 1 can is enough. For a very dark outcome, I would recommend 2 cans. These come out extremely glossy if sprayed correctly. The only downside to these is that they fade after 3-4 months (depending if you park in a garage most of the time or out in the sun). To prevent the fading, just spray some clear. These can be found at any online/in-store hobby store.

    [​IMG]

    Covers

    AVS makes acrylic covers for our trucks. You can just velcro stick these to your stock tail lights and remove whenever you would like. They reduce your tail lights visibility by a lot and only come in one percentage of darkness.

    [​IMG]

    Car Paint

    This is the way I would ultimately recommend to do it. You can either take it to a body/paint shop to have it done. Basically, you mix clear with black. I have consistently used this mixture, 20% black and 80% clear. Some use 10% black and 90% clear. To achieve a darker tint, just spray on more coats until desired darkness. This gives you the best outcome because it is very glossy, and lasts much longer because you can wax it. A typical shop will charge anywhere from $50-$100. If you know a friend, it may be cheaper ;).

    [​IMG]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LIGHT BARS

    N-Fab

    [​IMG]

    Avid Off-Road

    [​IMG]

    Westin Bull Bar

    [​IMG]

    Aries Bull Bar

    [​IMG]

    WILL ADD MORE INFO LATER.
     
  2. Mar 30, 2010 at 8:46 PM
    #2
    gupster88

    gupster88 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome write up man! Definitely needs to be a sticky
     
  3. Mar 30, 2010 at 9:14 PM
    #3
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Interior back lighting FAQ Section.

    What kind of LEDs are in the gauges?

    They are PLCC2 Type.
    http://www.oznium.com/plcc-2

    How many?

    7 total for Needles
    7 for Speedo, Tach, Fuel, temp faces
    3 for Odo LCD
    2 each for 05-08 Turn signals 1 each for 09-10
    1 each for the rest of the warning lights
    8 for PRNDL

    What kind of LEDs in Radio:

    They are 1206 size but PLCC2s will work with some minor modification to the white plastic behind the LCD screen.

    How Many?
    52 for 05-08
    64 for 09-10 Radios

    What kind of LEDs for Steering Wheel controls?

    PLCC2 (3)

    What kind of LEDs for the passenger Airbag lights?

    these are a mixture of 3mm and 5mm through hole LEDs. You can use 5mm LEDs in each spot. (4 again if i remember right)

    What kind of LEDs for the Driver window controls?
    These are also 5mm through hole. dont remember at all how many.

    Can the over head console temp/compass control be changed?

    No, The Overhead console is a VFD display (think 80s VCR). The color is light green and turned orange from color embedded in the lens.

    Can the Clock be changed?

    Yes. the Clock is also a VFD, but the color is on the back of the lens that covers it. You can remove the lens and sand the orange off the back. Then use a colored tint to make the color you want.

    The 2010 Clock is LED and contains 3 PLCC2 LEDs.

    ****--> Can the Climate controls be changed?

    NO, well, sort of. The Climate controls are lit with good ol fashioned incandescent bulbs. the color is on the face of the climate controls under the paint. The only way to do it is to sand the face down till you get the orange off. then repaint the silver with the icons back on. One person tried it and the icons came out like shit. You can use Red LEDs and they look pretty good since amber is a combo of yellow and red wavelength light. if there is only red light you will get red. some have put VERY bright leds of other color and had minimal success. I tried this and was not happy with the results. until i can get the icons repainted i wont be doing any color other than red.

    Here is what it takes to change the climate controls:

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/li...ate-control-back-light-face-color-change.html

    Can the Shifter labels be changed?

    Yes. the bulb is incandescent, but they used the good ol fashioned bulb condom here. So it can easily be replaced with a colored LED.

    Can you light the 4x4 switch?

    See the RCBS Sticky in this section.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2010 at 10:05 PM
    #4
    yosh2000

    yosh2000 Well-Known Member

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    nice post viet!! good info and great idea! now guys like us dont have to type everything over and over all the time...just put this thread in your sig and refer to that!

    FYI...
    - 64 for the 09+ radios (correct on the 05-08 ones!)
    - 3 per side for the steering wheel controls.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2010 at 10:01 AM
    #5
    clankey

    clankey Well-Known Member

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    Roof Rack, Soft Tonneau, Running Boards, DDM HID's, Skid Plate, 3" lift, 275/70R17 BFG AT TA's
    Great post but I still dont see an answer to my problem.

    I jsut installed a set of DDM H4 kit and h10 fog kit. They all work great with the exception of the high beam. When I switch on the high the light is really dim and no even close to the low beam. I am wondering if I should try taking off the metal shield on the bulb?

    Anyone have the same issue or a good suggestion?
     
  6. Apr 5, 2010 at 1:43 PM
    #6
    Viet2100

    Viet2100 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Leave the shield on. If you plugged everything together correctly, it should work. That is, if there isn't an issue with the kit itself. Can you take a picture of the bulb?
     
  7. Apr 5, 2010 at 4:18 PM
    #7
    Capita

    Capita Well-Known Member

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    Awesome post. Very happy to see my truck picture with the Nfab light bar. You just made my evening. Thanks Viet2100 :) Awesome reading material. Thanks
     
  8. Apr 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM
    #8
    astral

    astral On my second taco now....

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    Great post. I would add that in most states if the tint on the tail lights is at all dark, it will render the red reflector useless and will not be legal. Some vehicles have red reflectors separate from the tail lights, but Tacomas do not. Also, depending on how dark it is tinted, the light output may not be as high as required by law. Not heavily enforced, but I have stopped cars for it.
     
  9. May 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM
    #9
    Goshawk

    Goshawk Well-Known Member

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    I just purchased a set of the Spyder Projector headlights (Black w/neon and halos) and you stated that they can be used with HID kits. My lights came with a bulb that uses a H4 bulb and Spyder says that they can be used with HID kits but at 35 watt only and not 55 watt. If you use the 55 watt kit it will tend to melt the projector lens. Unless there have been changes I am unaware of I would use only 35 watt bulbs. I purchased these projectors two weeks ago.
     
  10. May 4, 2010 at 6:27 PM
    #10
    yosh2000

    yosh2000 Well-Known Member

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    ^ yes, if you use the 55W, it will most likely melt the chrome on the projector bowl (which is why the suggest against it)....but im willing to bet that even the 35w kits will melt the bowl over time. also, double check to make sure that they really do use an H4 bulb, as most of those headlights use H3 or whatever the foglight bulbs are.
     
  11. May 4, 2010 at 8:48 PM
    #11
    Goshawk

    Goshawk Well-Known Member

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    I actually pulled the low beam side out to check what bulb was being used in the Spyder and it cross referenced to the H4 bulb. I hope I didn't come across as a know it all as that was NOT my intention it was more to be helpful because I checked with Spyder and they said the 35 watts were ok...
    The other reason the H1 won't work is due to the wiring harness...SUPPOSEDLY the H4 bulb harness is the correct one to plug right into the Tacoma's existing harness...We'll see if that pans out later this week when I receive my bulbs....I do know that the H1 harness kit does not plug into the stock harness because they sent me the H1 bubs by mistake and no way would they plug and play...
    Great post by the way and again was just throwing my two cents worth in and did not mean any harm in any way...
     
  12. May 21, 2010 at 8:13 AM
    #12
    rjclemen

    rjclemen Well-Known Member

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    Tint, Bed Cover, HIDs, stubby antenna, double din system, debagded, All Terrain bedside stickers.
    I tried adjusting my headlights yesterday and they dont seem to want to adjust at all. I am turning the adjustment screw the correct direction and everything bu they still just stay. Any clues?
     
  13. Jun 3, 2010 at 8:54 AM
    #13
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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  14. Jun 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM
    #14
    Viet2100

    Viet2100 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    How far are you from the wall?
     
  15. Jun 7, 2010 at 6:11 PM
    #15
    imtwistd

    imtwistd Going nowhere as fast as possible

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    AllPro offroad front LT with Fox 2.5 shox and AllPro expedtion rear springs with Fox piggy back res shox, TRD skid plate, Toyota roof rack, Undercover tonnuea cover, Pro comp 3" lift, 4 Pro comp 8" offroad lights, 17" XD Series "SPY", Nfab tube steps and light bar, Fitch Fuel, Flexalite fan, Unichip, URD cai, TRD supercharger, URD y-pipe, Banks monster cat back, debadged, projection head lighs, LED tail lights and a loud stereo, Stainless Steel Brake Lines front and rear, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Walboro 255 fuel pump, KC rock guards on my Pro Comp 8" lights
  16. Jun 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM
    #16
    Viet2100

    Viet2100 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As high as you want. I don't recommend going above 6000K. And, stick with 35 watt. 55 will eventually melt it.
     
  17. Jun 8, 2010 at 4:27 AM
    #17
    imtwistd

    imtwistd Going nowhere as fast as possible

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    AllPro offroad front LT with Fox 2.5 shox and AllPro expedtion rear springs with Fox piggy back res shox, TRD skid plate, Toyota roof rack, Undercover tonnuea cover, Pro comp 3" lift, 4 Pro comp 8" offroad lights, 17" XD Series "SPY", Nfab tube steps and light bar, Fitch Fuel, Flexalite fan, Unichip, URD cai, TRD supercharger, URD y-pipe, Banks monster cat back, debadged, projection head lighs, LED tail lights and a loud stereo, Stainless Steel Brake Lines front and rear, Doug Thorley long tube headers, Walboro 255 fuel pump, KC rock guards on my Pro Comp 8" lights
    cool thanx
     
  18. Jun 24, 2010 at 4:02 PM
    #18
    skipper

    skipper Member

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    On the 09 tacoma is there an way to have the dash lights turn on and off when the head lights turn on and off? WITHOUT ADJUSTING THE POT.
     
  19. Jul 15, 2010 at 11:09 AM
    #19
    671taco

    671taco Well-Known Member

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    i installed 6k 35w hids today. my harness were actually two separate harnesses, each one had its own fuse and relay..is that normal? also on the box its marked hi/low bi xenon but high beams dont work. it clicks but stays at low beam..or which i think is low beam..these are pretty bright.
    why doesnt it work? or is it possible that its just a regular xenon hid because it says on the box. help.

    some pics. it lights up my whole road
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jul 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM
    #20
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    do you have them installed upside down maybe? the metal sheild should be facing down with the opening at the top
     
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