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Which LED Bulbs for Headlights

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by DangerPudge, Aug 11, 2021.

  1. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:30 AM
    #1
    DangerPudge

    DangerPudge [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm certain this has been talked to death, and yes, I searched. The trouble with the search on this topic is that it is so vast it may as well just be looking through the site manually. Moreover, a lot of the debate seems to be a bit dated and the LED bulb industry has finally established itself better in mainstream applications. Direct experience is always good to have.

    Here's my situation:

    I use my lights 100% of the time. Any time the truck is running the headlights are on. That's not an issue I have up for debate. Because the lights are always on, they obviously burn out in a shorter time, and if I'm offroad and the lights are on all the time, that shortens the life even further.

    I 100% understand and accept that an LED bulb in the factory reflector is not ideal and is unlikely to produce the same output as the OEMs. That's fine as my truck has a lot of lights on it which easily outperform even the high beams by a rather wide margin. If I really need light, I've got it. And... I grew up driving in the 80s so any light still seems like amazing light to me. LOL

    The longevity of an LED along with its superior vibration tolerance when operated is what I'm after. While I don't expect the performance to be amazing, if I could get it to perform similar to OEM that'd be the bees knees.
     
  2. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:37 AM
    #2
    TacoTyusday

    TacoTyusday Well-Known Member

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    Is there a question?

    I too use LED bulbs my headlights, though they're aftermarket with projector housings.

    I found there are two types of LED bulbs...those that have reflectors on two sides, which are the easiest to find. I got better light output with the LED's that have 6 or 8sided LED chips, here's a link for an example. This way, the light output more mimics a halogen bulb that has full coverage. eliminated some dark spots that I had with the 2-sided LED's in my projectors, I imagine it would do similar with your stock reflectors.

    https://www.amazon.com/Headlight-20...ided+led+headlight+bulb&qid=1628707006&sr=8-5
     
  3. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:42 AM
    #3
    Island Cruiser

    Island Cruiser TVita

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    The problem not only lies on longevity and you wanting the most light output, but also consider other drivers on the road having to put up with the light scatter. If you indeed searched, you would have come across numerous recommendations for the Ultimate Headlight Upgrade Mod by @crashnburn80 . That sounds like it’s everything you’re looking for.
     
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  4. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:43 AM
    #4
    TacoTyusday

    TacoTyusday Well-Known Member

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    On the contrary, I think that would be the opposite. Doesn't his Ultimate Headlight Upgrade result in a shorter lifespan of the bulb itself by upping the wattage to the bulb? I could be wrong though.

    Hope you're doing well and that grille is treating you right!
     
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  5. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:50 AM
    #5
    Island Cruiser

    Island Cruiser TVita

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    Oh yeah I think it might. But it seems the OP has already accepted short lifespans for his headlight bulbs.

    And yeah man as good as it will! Now I look different than most “Pro’s” on the island lol!
     
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  6. Aug 11, 2021 at 11:54 AM
    #6
    TacoTyusday

    TacoTyusday Well-Known Member

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    From what I read, sounds like he wants longer longevity/durability, which LED would provide. But you're entirely correct on the light scattering of LED's in halogen reflectors. Only reason I was cool with putting them in my projectors is there's a distinct cutoff and I have it angled pretty low to avoid blinding oncoming drivers lol. If more light is needed...well I've got lighting for that :)
     
  7. Aug 11, 2021 at 12:31 PM
    #7
    DangerPudge

    DangerPudge [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You are correct that I prefer longevity to ultimate performance. As near as OEM as I can get would be great. I just need a good, proven set of 'bulbs'. I've had plenty of LEDs in the past that did not hold up very well at all.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2021 at 12:39 PM
    #8
    Travlr

    Travlr Doomsday Daily Driver

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    Yeah... I don't like LEDs at all. They are extremely bright to oncoming traffic and you always get flashed, and behnd the wheel they are surprisingly dim. I don't know, maybe different people have different vision, but my halogens light up the road much better. And I've had vehicles for decades with original bulbs, so reliability isn't an issue.

    Good luck in your quest...
     
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  9. Aug 11, 2021 at 1:52 PM
    #9
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

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    I'll defer to our resident lighting expert @crashnburn80 to point you in the right direction. There are one or two drop in LED bulbs that he's tested and finds somewhat acceptable. They do not put out more light than the Ultimate Headlight Upgrade, but they should last longer. More importantly for the OP, they don't have the glare issues the cheap LED bulbs seem to all come with.
     
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  10. Aug 11, 2021 at 2:11 PM
    #10
    XSplicer62

    XSplicer62 Well-Known Member

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  11. Aug 11, 2021 at 2:19 PM
    #11
    Key-Rei

    Key-Rei Well-Known Member

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    I had Pathfinder fan-less H4 DOT legal headlights in my truck for a long time, they had appropriate cut off, wasn't perfect but obviously good enough to meet DOT in whatever configuration it was tested in, rarely rarely ever got flashed for "highbeams" but there was some small light leakage, wanting to simply and get a better cutoff and hopefully useable high beams I recently swapped in some H4/9003 LED bulbs from SuperBrightLEDs.com

    The color is the same, ice/white, cut off is a fair bit better I would say the same lumen output but the positioning is better so the light goes where it needs to and not where it doesn't better than the pathfinders did and they're much less complicated on the tail end so I'll be keeping them, highbeams work with these instead of like the pathfinders that would shoot way too high on high beam.

    If you off-road I highly recommend getting fanless bulbs as dust and water kills those pathetic tini computer fans *FAST*.
     
  12. Aug 11, 2021 at 10:26 PM
    #12
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Running LEDs in a dual filament configuration like 9003/H4 in a reflector housing is the most challenging setup for LED as the multi-pattern reflectors and imprecise LED configuration typically results in light bleed into the high beam reflectors causing glare, blinding to oncoming drivers, and uneven light distribution. LEDs are also federally illegal in halogen headlight assemblies. While that holds true for all headlights, in a projector housing (like 3rd Gen) the cut off shield prevents that blinding glare that will occur in reflector housing (like 2nd Gen).

    I'd suggest Philips Racing Vision GT200 +200 bulbs with a 400 hour bulb life. They will drastically outperform any LEDs on the market without blinding glare. I typically go through 200 hours a year for bulbs, but that is turning them off during the day. So life will be short. If truly set on LED, I'd look at the latest Philips Ultinon LED h4s. They really are not that great, but better than most any other H4 LED out there in terms of proper design and glare control. Check out post #1996 here comparing them to stock, the pattern and light saturation is not at all the same as a halogen which is to be expected due to the complications I mentioned earlier..
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  13. Aug 12, 2021 at 10:47 AM
    #13
    dtaco10

    dtaco10 Well-Known Member

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    What bout these?
    https://www.amazon.com/HIKARI-Acme-X-Brightness-Driving-Vision-dp-B08S38C2BG/dp/B08S38C2BG
     
  14. Aug 12, 2021 at 10:49 AM
    #14
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Definitely extreme hard no. They don't even attempt to put glare shields on those units. Those will have ridiculous insane glare like the LEDs from 5-10 years ago.
     
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  15. Aug 12, 2021 at 10:12 PM
    #15
    steveo27

    steveo27 Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
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