Old Tundra Headlamp Upgrade

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4,758
Location
Los Gatos, CA
A while back I noticed the headlights were not too good on our old Tundra; it has just shy of 200K on the clock. Click-click-click on Amazon for some cheapo LED replacement lamps and Maguire's Restore Kit. The kit worked pretty well, I'd say. I've never done this before. I am very happy with the results. I love my old truck, as do my neighbors.

Tundra Light 04.jpeg


Tundra Light 02.jpg
 
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Messages
1,833
Location
Cincinnati, USA
and now you're probably illegally blinding other drivers. There are expensive housings that have the proper focus. There are no cheap LED lamp drop-ins that do. The restore kit was a good idea if you don't have the abrasive components to DIY without one, but a new incan bulb is the correct solution for an incan housing.
 
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1,151
Location
USA
Originally Posted by Dave9
and now you're probably illegally blinding other drivers. There are expensive housings that have the proper focus. There are no cheap LED lamp drop-ins that do. The restore kit was a good idea if you don't have the abrasive components to DIY without one, but a new incan bulb is the correct solution for an incan housing.
Finally SOME of the cheap kits have the proper light exit points on the bulb and diffuser that will allow the bulb to mimic a traditional incandescent. But you really have no assurance that the product is correct with no name stuff ! One thing you can do is have a friend or family out on the road pass you by a few times with the lights on at night.....what did they find?
 
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35,913
Location
ME
Let's see a picture with one halogen and one LED. Here was my car, came with LED, went back to incandescent: [Linked Image]
 
Perfect illustration of what's wrong with LED capsules. Jeff, put one of the old bulbs back in and compare, if it looks like this you might want to put in new incandescent bulbs. It won't be the cool kid blue light but will be safer for oncoming traffic.
Originally Posted by eljefino
[Linked Image]
 
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6,093
Location
Connecticut
I did this on a friend's 2008 Tacoma. It was easy enough to just re-aim the headlights down a bit so they wouldn't blind oncoming drivers. We found a quiet straight road near my house and tested it a few times. He has not been high-beamed yet and they've been in there about 6 months.
 

JeffKeryk

Thread starter
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4,758
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Thanks for all the comments. I will do an oncoming driver test. Sometimes you can overdo a good thing. I do believe the beam has shifted upward somewhat.
 
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2,820
Location
USA
Back up some and get a picture like eljefino did. It also may help to kill one light by unplugging or standing in front of it. What you are looking for is a sharp "cutoff" at the top like the one on the right of eljefino's picture. If it's like the one on the left of eljefino's picture you'd have to tilt it down so far to keep the top of the pattern out of other driver's eyes that you won't be able too see much.
 
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Messages
15,319
Location
Upper Midwest
There are a couple brodozers in my neighborhood that have lights like these. They are quite blinding to oncoming traffic, I have seen people give them a one-finger salute out the window as they pass. You can always tell the individuals that install these lamps just by the color, it is obvious even far down the road.
 
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65
Location
USA
I never understood the logic of aiming lamps downward to fix glare. It's like buying a brighter flashlight to see further, and then pointing the flashlight at your feet.
 
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275
Location
New York
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I do believe the beam has shifted upward somewhat.
It's not just the 'shifting upwards' that's a problem, from your photo it looks like there's little - if any - central 'hot spot' in the beams (see eljefino's pic). The hot spots are what give you light farther down the road when you're actually driving. You've likely lost a significant amount of light at the distances that actually matter when you're driving at speeds greater than 15mph at night - light that projects far enough to allow you to see and react to obstacles/hazards on the road. Also, if the headlamp assemblies are the original ones, they're almost 20 years old. It's not just the lens that degrades over time, the reflectors also degrade. The only real fix is to replace the assemblies. Ideally, you'd replace the headlamp assemblies with genuine OEM's, install a set of premium H4 halogen bulbs (e.g. Philips X-treme Vision or GE Nighthawk Xenons), ensure that the bulbs are getting full voltage (might need to use a quality aftermarket headlight harness), and get everything aimed correctly. Then if you still feel like you need more light at distance, you can install auxiliary high beams to supplement what you already have.
 

JeffKeryk

Thread starter
Messages
4,758
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Originally Posted by jeff78
It's not just the 'shifting upwards' that's a problem, from your photo it looks like there's little - if any - central 'hot spot' in the beams (see eljefino's pic).
The picture is pretty close to the fence... Thanks for your help. I will do more testing.
 

4WD

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13,857
Location
Texas
Not even thinking about the wash up on the lattice - but there is a central pattern seeming high. Find a medium dark sheet and secure to that spot. That aim should not be upward - level them out and go for a ride. What I do with mine is lower the driver light and have the RH side reach further - that will spot a deer on the shoulder and let you watch the relative shoulder position when a flamethrower is headed towards you.
 
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141
Location
New Hampshire
BITOG just referred me to this website last week. Danielsternlighting.com There is a lot of really great material on this website about headlights, bulbs, aiming and more. This is an information rich website.
 
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3,007
Location
Chicagoland
Those are creating a lot of glare it seems. Do you have a link for the bulbs? For LED's to even have a chance of working somewhat properly, the LED's themselves need to be as close to the center of the whole assembly as possible, mimicking where the halogen filament would be.
 

JeffKeryk

Thread starter
Messages
4,758
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Originally Posted by Skippy722
Those are creating a lot of glare it seems. Do you have a link for the bulbs? For LED's to even have a chance of working somewhat properly, the LED's themselves need to be as close to the center of the whole assembly as possible, mimicking where the halogen filament would be.
I appreciate your help. Catinbow LED H4
 
Messages
3,007
Location
Chicagoland
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Originally Posted by Skippy722
Those are creating a lot of glare it seems. Do you have a link for the bulbs? For LED's to even have a chance of working somewhat properly, the LED's themselves need to be as close to the center of the whole assembly as possible, mimicking where the halogen filament would be.
I appreciate your help. Catinbow LED H4
Oof... yeah, I wouldn't use those. Your headlights optics have no way to properly disperse those. This video shows and describes why they're not ideal.
 
Messages
6,943
Location
California
The only LEDs I would gamble with are the Diode Dynamics or Philips/Sylvania ones. Transport Canada has approved Sylvania's LED headlamp bulbs for on-road use as the primary forward lighting. DOT hasn't. But unless you know someone who lives in Canada near a CT who can angel you a set...
 
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