Headlights improve, but base models leave drivers in the dark

gathermewool

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8,786
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New England
Nick1994: I did the same mod on my previous '08 Civic and was very impressed with the results. HIR bulbs are the way to go, if you don't want to waste money on poor HID retro's that blind everyone else on the road.
 
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6,226
Location
KY
I love the HIDs in my 2er and X1; ditto for the Hella E Codes in my Wrangler. The halogens in the ti and Clubman are just barely adequate.
 
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1,092
Location
Minneapolis
I do wish pickup owners would refrain from just throwing whatever amazon/ebay/fleamarket led or hid kits in. They're unbearable for the rest of us, and I can tell they don't really work. It's just an arms race.
 
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2,995
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Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted by Nick1994
Originally Posted by Kira
Yo, Nick1994, You said, "...supposed to take 9005 bulbs, but I bought 9011 bulbs and trimmed them." What did you trim? I'm thinking an alignment (orientation) notch or pin.
You've just got to trim the plastic tabs so they look like your original ones and they'll pop right in. You can use wire cutters to trim them. Here's a picture I found online.
That is similar to the H11 to H9 mod I did for my Ram. The stock H11's are just awful. The difference was night and day with the H9's.
 
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3,514
Location
Chicagoland
Originally Posted by Nick1994
The headlights are great in my base model Sonata. It's supposed to take 9005 bulbs, but I bought 9011 bulbs and trimmed them. They're great!
Did the same thing to my 300, except I didn't even need to trim them! Night and day difference from the 9005's.
 

2015Corolla

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39
Location
Tennessee
Originally Posted by antonmnster
I do wish pickup owners would refrain from just throwing whatever amazon/ebay/fleamarket led or hid kits in. They're unbearable for the rest of us, and I can tell they don't really work. It's just an arms race.
Police should be pulling them over. It's a safety hazard.
 
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1,104
Location
PA,US
The factory headlights in my Nissan Frontier were AWFUL, and almost dangerous. 9007 bulb, so its one bulb for low and high beam. I replaced them with retrofit projector headlights with HID bulbs. Total cost was about $850 (I also opted for the LED Halo rings). It could have been much less if I did the work myself, and if I used the factory headlights. Next time I probably will I just wanted to make sure everything worked. Once you have a car with great headlights, its hard driving anything else. My GTI has projector HIDs that will turn based on steering input and its amazing. Every car needs this.
 
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51
Location
Florida
My Challenger has factory projector HIDs and projector fog lights too. Talk about a sharp cut off. They light up the road and not the eyeballs of oncoming cars. I told myself after my last car that I will never own another car without HID projectors. I live out in the country and could use all the light I can get. The thing that sucks is, I don't want to spend another $10k for an upgraded model when all I really want are good lights. I was pricing new (leftover) 2018 Rams and the $55k trucks on up get the projectors. I'd rather spend $30k on a crew cab 4x4 with halogens, then simply buy the OEM projectors and do the swap myself in 30 minutes. They're all over ebay. There's a company that even makes a small wiring harness to make the projector high beam shutter function properly.
 
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10,055
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OH
It would be nice if ALL vehicles came with one pair of decently lit headlights, and get rid of all the other useless lights, like the DRLs that stay on when the headlights are on, or those stupid and useless "mad eyebrow" lights...
 
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3,283
Location
West Michigan
Originally Posted by wallyuwl
The reflector halogens on the F150 are awful. You need to go to 502A Lariat package to get LED from factory. Replacing with LED bulbs is a big improvement. I would like to see them go back to offering projector housings on XLT trim.
I dunno, I'm pretty happy with my 2011 F150 lights. I am running Philips XV bulbs with 12awg relay wiring... with 20/20 peepers...
 
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6,226
Location
KY
The only good thing about sealed beams was the fact that it was incredibly easy to swap in a pair of excellent Cibie or Hella E Code headlamps.
 
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7,326
Location
California
Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
Actually it is the supplier that puts effort into this. The car company usually puts pressure on suppliers to reduce cost. Economies of scale do matter, thus high profit, high volume lines, like Toyota Camry get far more attention to design than say Nissan. Nissan also treats it's suppliers really poorly, demanding price cuts to the point where suppliers loose money. There is a reason the lowly Toyota Corolla has luxury LED headlights. .
It also doesn't hurt that Toyota owns a stake in Koito, a major Japanese automotive lighting vendor and Toyoda Gosei who also supplies LEDs to the automotive market. VAG and Mercedes have a long-time relationship with Hella and Automotive Lighting, a Bosch-Magnetti Marelli joint venture.Toyota and VAG/Mercedes have been the first early adopters of LED headlamps, starting with the Lexus LS600hL/S-Class/A8 and their 3rd/4th generation designs are either focused on cost-point but superior performance(Corolla) or high-end functionality(current S-Class/A8 with multi-LED arrays).
 
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7,326
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California
Originally Posted by 2015Corolla
Originally Posted by antonmnster
I do wish pickup owners would refrain from just throwing whatever amazon/ebay/fleamarket led or hid kits in. They're unbearable for the rest of us, and I can tell they don't really work. It's just an arms race.
Police should be pulling them over. It's a safety hazard.
Those HID/LED "retrofit" kits and el cheapo light bars the bros put on should be made illegal. Of course, since pickups are a mostly American/3rd world country thing(with the Hilux/Navara/Isuzu D-Max) and very few of them sold in Europe, there's little incentive to make their front lighting ECE/DOT homologated.
 
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546
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Near Mobile
My last car, '03 Avalon,had 9005 bulbs for high and low beams and the lights were great. /quote] Sorry, should have said '13 Avalon.
 
Last edited:
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...
Originally Posted by nthach
Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
Actually it is the supplier that puts effort into this. The car company usually puts pressure on suppliers to reduce cost. Economies of scale do matter, thus high profit, high volume lines, like Toyota Camry get far more attention to design than say Nissan. Nissan also treats it's suppliers really poorly, demanding price cuts to the point where suppliers loose money. There is a reason the lowly Toyota Corolla has luxury LED headlights. .
It also doesn't hurt that Toyota owns a stake in Koito, a major Japanese automotive lighting vendor and Toyoda Gosei who also supplies LEDs to the automotive market. VAG and Mercedes have a long-time relationship with Hella and Automotive Lighting, a Bosch-Magnetti Marelli joint venture.Toyota and VAG/Mercedes have been the first early adopters of LED headlamps, starting with the Lexus LS600hL/S-Class/A8 and their 3rd/4th generation designs are either focused on cost-point but superior performance(Corolla) or high-end functionality(current S-Class/A8 with multi-LED arrays).
The Japanese keiretsu is a very efficient way of maximizing the process. If one looks at the Toyota family it starts with their own banks then the steel mills and on down the line.
 
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28,129
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted by MCompact
The only good thing about sealed beams was the fact that it was incredibly easy to swap in a pair of excellent Cibie or Hella E Code headlamps.
You'd be surprised how well a good set of sealed beam halogens can actually illuminate what you need to see. Now, that doesn't mean there's no place for those upgrades you mentioned.
 
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1,945
Location
GA
my Mazda6 is awful at night too; I needed to add fog lights its improvement is still at bare minimum
 
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