LED Fog Light Bulbs

ZeeOSix

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I'm looking to put some LED lights in my 2005 Tacoma fog lights - been thinking about it for a while and time to do it. Seems the way to go is the blade type LED lights that more closely mimic an old fashioned halogen filament bulb. The OEM fog lights use a 42W halogen bulb, and they run pretty hot - the lenses on the fog lights get pretty hot if they are ran all the time at night. LEDs should run a lot cooler and put out more light.

The factory fog lights have a distinct cut-off light beam pattern, and I want to retain that. So has anyone tried the blade type LEDs, and if so did they work close enough to an old fashioned halogen filament type bulb to retain the original light pattern?

Blade Type LED.

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Non-Blade Type LED (with projector lens on the end which defeats the fog light reflector pattern).

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Here's the light pattern on the Tacoma. First photo is just the low beams, and second photo is the low beams with fog lights. You can see the fog lights have a distinct cut-off at the top of their pattern.

Will using a flat blade LED bulb design retain most of this cut-off pattern? Anyone have any experience using the flat blade style LEDs in fog lights?

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I sort of did. I bought a set of halogen projector housings and then some led drop-ins. My goal was to find a good combination of housing and bulb, and if I did, keep and install. I think I made a post about it 1-2 years ago. The results were tricky. and I would note it was a hard test because the housing was a smaller housing, making it even more sensitive to deviations. I did side-by-side workbench tests between halogen and led.

In the end, the led appeared to output more light, and the general shape of the pattern was retained. If i just looked for that flat beam of light, it was there, and most of the cutoff was defined. However, there was also more light…. Everywhere… including outside of the pattern where it shouldn’t be. The definition between inside and outside the cutoff wasn’t enough…. Though the definition was clear, there was still a lot more light that just leaked out of the light regardless of cutoff. I sent it back. Maybe in a larger housing they’d be better contained?

i will say that KC makes an LED fog lamp with bracket specifically for the Tacoma. They are not cheap, but the focus and cutoff is legit, they are SAE registered, and they actually use a threaded adjustment screw for aiming it properly.
 
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Also, one thing the taco beam pattern shows, that is very rare in aftermarket, and will be lost with led, is the near field to far field distribution. Do you see how the cutoff is also the most intense point? It takes more light up towards the cutoff to provide even lighting from bumper to outward limits. Most aftermarkets don’t do that- they look like a stripe of light across the door, resulting in too much light up close and not enough out away. I would expect an LED to mess that up. The KCs, I think, actually do seem to have some degree of that figured out, but, it’s not perfect, and they aren’t cheap. They overpower the foreground of my headlamps. On a taco where they are further off the ground, they will probably be better.
 

ZeeOSix

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I'm tempted to try these out. They have and adjustable bulb so you can rotate the blade vertical inside the lamp housing. My Tacoma would not potion the blade vertical if the bulb was not adjustable. There's reviewer's photo that makes it look like his fog lights have a distinct cut-off at the top with these installed.


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I also upgraded to LED's for my fogs.
Some things I've noticed over halogen bulbs:
-faster start up - especially when compared to the halogen headlamps.
-cool running - leading to cool light assemblies
-brighter light.

For anyone considering it, I'd suggest making the upgrade.
It's cheap and will make a noticeable difference.
(y)
 

ZeeOSix

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Good grief no! A brighter light should always be more yellow/amber. 6000K color temperature is only going to be better for two things, causing a white wall of glare in front of you during fog, and contributing to blinding other motorists when they shouldn't be on at all because no fog.
I want them manly for more light when on the back roads where there aren't any street lights, etc. And if these bulbs retain the fog light pattern due to the blade design, they won't be blinding on-coming motorists any more than the stock bulbs - and way less than some of these new cars with HID headlights from the factory.
 

ZeeOSix

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I also upgraded to LED's for my fogs.
Some things I've noticed over halogen bulbs:
-faster start up - especially when compared to the halogen headlamps.
-cool running - leading to cool light assemblies
-brighter light.
I touched the fog light lens on my Tacoma with the stock 42W halogens and it was so hot I couldn't touch it for more than ~3 seconds. :oops:
 

ZeeOSix

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I’ve tried plug n play LED fog lights and have been disappointed every time.
Did you try any that had the blade design to closer mimic the element in a regular halogen bulb?
 
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Did you try any that had the blade design to closer mimic the element in a regular halogen bulb?
Yes, my Durango had “reflector” style fog lights. Both the non-blade and blade style resulted in a wall of glare so bad even my light bar is more contained! The non-blade style were “better” on account of not being as powerful, but the blade ones would light up overhead highway signs.

My 300 had factory led fog lights that put out a nice, super wide but well cut off line of light that was actually usable, those I liked.
 

ZeeOSix

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My 300 had factory led fog lights that put out a nice, super wide but well cut off line of light that was actually usable, those I liked.
You can see how my Tacoma factory fog lights have a cut-off beam in post #1. I ordered those adjustable LED bulbs (link in post #4), so will report back in a week or so on how they do. Maybe the blade style didn't work well in your housings because the blade wasn't perfectly verticle in the housing. The ones I got coming are unique because you can adjust the blade to be vertical, which I will have to do on my Tacoma because the connector is at about 4 o'clock (when viewed from the back) when the bulb is installed. On fixed blade style LEDs, that would also put the blade on a 10 to 4 o'clock plane.
 
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I'm tempted to try these out. They have and adjustable bulb so you can rotate the blade vertical inside the lamp housing. My Tacoma would not potion the blade vertical if the bulb was not adjustable. There's reviewer's photo that makes it look like his fog lights have a distinct cut-off at the top with these installed.


View attachment 111608
this one is really quite bad. Here’s what I see.

1. Sloppy cutoff. The crisp line you are seeing is a piece of plastic over the chicken wire. The light is continuing to creep well upward.

2. Look at the tree on the right side. There’s plenty of glare heading upward.

3. See the light on the ceiling, and the icicle lights. not only is there light up there, it’s poorly controlled and splotchy.

the guy on the net who posted THIS as the picture proving his lights are well-suited for the housings, does not understand enough to be a discerning evaluator. sorry. :(

m
 

ZeeOSix

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this one is really quite bad. Here’s what I see.

1. Sloppy cutoff. The crisp line you are seeing is a piece of plastic over the chicken wire. The light is continuing to creep well upward.

2. Look at the tree on the right side. There’s plenty of glare heading upward.

3. See the light on the ceiling, and the icicle lights. not only is there light up there, it’s poorly controlled and splotchy.

the guy on the net who posted THIS as the picture proving his lights are well-suited for the housings, does not understand enough to be a discerning evaluator. sorry. :(

m
I can say that my stock Tacoma fog lights also throw some light up pretty high above the cut-off line I show in post #1. It's mostly apparent when driving on pitch black backroads and the fog lights are turned on/off while watching for lighting changes on the surroundings. Even they are not perfect. If the flat blade LEDs I bought have a similar cut-off line as the stock halogens, then I'd say that's going to be about as good as it gets.
 
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Are you looking for foreground lighting, which is what fogs are designed to do, or something farther forward?
 

ZeeOSix

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Are you looking for foreground lighting, which is what fogs are designed to do, or something farther forward?
Some of both, but mosty foreground and more side ditch lighting which the Tacoma fog lights do. If there's a distinct cut-off I can raise the fog lights some to extend the cut-off out a bit farther too.
 
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