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Wanted LED headlights

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by carlostacoma, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Jul 10, 2019 at 6:33 PM
    #1
    carlostacoma

    carlostacoma [OP] New Member

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    Hello, brand new to this forum. I'm looking for quality LED headlights for my teenage son's 1996 Tacoma. I have not found anything that looks trustworthy. Do they exist? Thanks
     
  2. Jul 10, 2019 at 6:38 PM
    #2
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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  3. Jul 10, 2019 at 6:45 PM
    #3
    carlostacoma

    carlostacoma [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, too bad. I put some in my 2000 Jeep Wrangler and what a huge difference it made.
     
  4. Jul 11, 2019 at 4:04 AM
    #4
    Taco critter

    Taco critter Mall crawler proud , patw and ,ttc#0247

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    Welcome, check
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  5. Jul 11, 2019 at 9:02 AM
    #5
    DashMaple

    DashMaple Well-Known Member

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  6. Jul 11, 2019 at 9:13 AM
    #6
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    NO. They don't exist. Okay, technically high quality LED bulbs DO exist, but the physics of putting LED lights in housings designed for halogen bulbs is where it breaks down.

    I know it was already posted, but it warrants another post to reiterate:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/why-leds-should-not-be-run-in-halogen-reflectors.454371/

    And so you don't have to actually click the link:

    "LEDs do not uniformily illuminate the reflector or internal projectors reflector housing. They are only shining light to the sides. Uniform lighting is critical in uniform beam pattern projection. The worst thing you could do is not illuminate the upper portion of the reflector/projector most responsible for projecting distance down road."
     
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  7. Jul 11, 2019 at 9:17 AM
    #7
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    That's a good point, I believe they are sealed beams. I missed the 1996 part because I can't read good, lol.

    @carlostacoma, I believe E-code sealed beam lights will be your best option for an upgrade over stock. Hella E-codes...
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/95-97-headlights-h4-conversion.481648/#post-14696241
     
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  8. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    #8
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Factory 96 came with H6054 sealed headlights (that is "sealed beam" - meaning the reflector and the bulb comes as a one unit). It is a real pain in the ass to replace burned H6054 in early Tacoma (requires removing front grill). H4 conversion is a solution to replace H6054 sealed beam lamp with "200mm Rectangular lamp" which happens to have the same physical dimension as H6054 and accepts separate H4 bulb which happens to have the same electrical connection as H6054. There are two benefits of that conversion. Even cheap Autopal 100mm lamps have better light pattern than H6054 (which complies with USA regulations from 1974), and you have a flexibility of using good quality H4 bulbs. If H4 bulb burns replacing it is as easy as adding a windshield washer fluid - can be done at the stop at gas station. The best performing 200mm rectangular reflector is Hella E-code with superior cut off, uniform lighting and hot spots for distance.

    Of course you will be very tempted to install a LED bulb that is claimed by a seller (and other marketing BS) that is better and 100% drop-in replacement for incandescent bulb, but after reading posts wrote by crashnburn80 you will be smart enough to skip that idea. Reflector shape and glass engraving is specifically designed for high quality H4 incandescent bulb that has tolerances for filament placing with 0.1 mm or less. So when converting from H6-54 sealed beam to 200mm rectangular reflector don't use no-name o Chinese "H4-like shaped" bulbs, but stick with recognized names like Phillips or Silvania (Osram).
     
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  9. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:11 AM
    #9
    se7enine

    se7enine MCMLXXIX

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    I have no personal experience but heard these are a better option than using an LED bulb in a halogen housing.
    Truck-lites. Expensive though.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:27 AM
    #10
    Wulf

    Wulf life in the fat lane

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    I highly recommend e code H4 housings. I used Autopal ones.

     
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  11. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:34 AM
    #11
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    From the spec what I read they are about 23W Led at low beam and 46 at high beam so they better give some lumens out. But there is still major problem with aftermarket LED lights (this one is not an exception unfortunately): they don't emit enough infrared light to melt the snow accumulating on the glass and when dirty they'll scatter the light all over the place. In Europe there is a legal requirement that any high output headlights (i.e. HID or LED) have a self cleaning mechanism (sprayers or wipers) and will not allow for snow accumulation. That condition renders any LED conversion useless unless additional devices are mounted there.
     
  12. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:36 AM
    #12
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I do to. I have Hella set still in the box waiting for a big rock to go through my Autopal currently installed.:cool:
     
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  13. Jul 11, 2019 at 10:54 AM
    #13
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    There is an important distinction to make, you will not find any 'good' LEDs for a halogen housing. However, since your Tacoma came with sealed beams, you can replace the entire housing with an SAE compliance or E-code compliant unit. Since you are replacing the entire housing, all the optics will be correctly designed to work with the LED light source.

    Some examples:
    JW Speaker (e-code LED assemblies)
    Rigid Industries (SAE DOT assemblies)

    Those are the manufacture websites, you can find them for a fair amount less through online retailers like Amazon and others. There are others out there as well, and a ton of garbage. You want to look for something that says specifically SAE/DOT compliant. The JW Speaker ones are the first I've seen that are E-code compliant, which is the European pattern compliance that produces less glare with sharper cut offs and more light on the roadway.

    The Hella E-code assemblies with the basic bulb upgrade listed below will significantly outperform the LED options. That was an older post though, the recomended H4 bulb for best stock low beam is now Philips +150 racing vision. The +130 and +150 both have a blue coating on the high beam filament which does reduce high beam performance. The best performing bulb with out a performance reducing blue coating on the high beam is the GE Xenon +120.

    If you scroll down to the charts in the lower part of the H4 headlight thread, you can see the lux comparison numbers from the various bulbs for low beam.
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-ultimate-headlight-upgrade-h4-not-led-or-hid.398066/

    Note that TruckLite and JWSpeaker make heated LED headlight models. More pricey of course.
     
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  14. Jul 11, 2019 at 11:58 AM
    #14
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne ColoradoTinyJohnson

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  15. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:31 PM
    #15
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    A bunch of those lights are a definite no, which will perform awful and have terrible glare. Just because it is a replacement light assembly does not mean it is an actual SAE headlight. You want to be sure the light is SAE/DOT complaint and listed as such so that it actually has a compliant headlight pattern, many of those are not.
     
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  16. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:35 PM
    #16
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I was always wondering why not make use of the heat coming out of LED chips and direct them to the front glass instead of radiating it to the back of the lamp.


    I would add that some of them show good results but they use H6054 as a base for comparison, which is an "ancient technology", so of course they look good - any 99 cents LED flash light from HF will be better comparing to H6054 (exaggerating of course). But these LED will look quite shy when placed next to Hella E-code with 120+ halogen H4.

    There is one plus of LED headlights: they look cool, so if you want to use your truck as a front lawn ornament, sure go for it :rofl:.
     
  17. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:36 PM
    #17
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne ColoradoTinyJohnson

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    Don't tell anyone with projector retrofits then. Might as well just leave the stock headlights in.
     
  18. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:40 PM
    #18
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Proper projector retrofits are an entirely different story than China light bars installed as headlights that are in the posted links.
     
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  19. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:54 PM
    #19
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne ColoradoTinyJohnson

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    you're making an awfully big assumption there, based on your prejudices.
     
  20. Jul 11, 2019 at 12:59 PM
    #20
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    The dude has done his research, first hand. He has several extremley lengthy threads that details his methods and reasoning. He isn't just pulling this out of his ass.
     

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