Trouble seeing at night, headlight suggestions?

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Apr 6, 2021
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My car is from 2010 and the headlight housings are hazed over, I have polished them but it always comes back so I was wondering if I should replace the entire headlight assembly with some aftermarket ones or buy news ones with LEDs already in them.

It’s that time of year where I have to drive at night and on a mountain that seems to always be foggy where you can’t see crap.

My car did not come with leds, I have put leds in it before but when I do they won’t pass inspection, I worry that if I buy complete new headlight assembly they would not pass it. Regardless I can always switch the light bulbs before inspecting.

Just looking for suggestions.
 
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You need to properly restore them and then coat with a UV blocker. Polishing doesn't last long.
Yes, the UV blocker is critical. Headlights lenses came with a sealed outer surface and this is what wears away causing the haze. When we restore them, sure, they look great because the haze gets removed as well as any of the remaining sealer leaving just the unprotected plastic now. That's why it takes years (typically) for lights to haze over when new but once you restore them, the haziness returns in months .... unless you protect them. That can be with a sealant or even automotive wax (will need applied routinely though).
 
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If you want to choose an LED, I suggest the higher end"Beamtech" products on Amazon. They make quality LED's, many of which can be "clocked" in position (rotated for position) for an accurate beam cutoff and a nice beam pattern. Do a little searching on Amazon, because they often offer a set of 9005 and 9006 purchased together for a steep discount.


Or the better versions that can be rotated in place:

 
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My car is from 2010 and the headlight housings are hazed over, I have polished them but it always comes back so I was wondering if I should replace the entire headlight assembly with some aftermarket ones or buy news ones with LEDs already in them.

It’s that time of year where I have to drive at night and on a mountain that seems to always be foggy where you can’t see crap.

My car did not come with leds, I have put leds in it before but when I do they won’t pass inspection, I worry that if I buy complete new headlight assembly they would not pass it. Regardless I can always switch the light bulbs before inspecting.

Just looking for suggestions.
Depending on how much you want to spend...

in addition to a new set of headlights, you may want to do a LED projector retrofit.
 
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If it were me, I would replace with OEM headlight assemblies. Often times, the reflective coating fails on the inside. I had a 2006 Hyundai Tucson. At around eight years old, mine started yellowing. I tried the 3M restoration kit. It did not do a whole lot of good. The reflectors were failing and some of the plastic lens was discoloring on the inside. Wasting more money on restoration was out of the question. Aftermarket replacement assemblies are mostly junk.
 
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If the fixtures are servicable, replace the bulbs with 9012/9011. Almost double the output, legitimate performance, accurate focus, street legal. Only a slight mod is needed to snip, or grind off a tab on the connector.

Read about them here and here. Those guys sometimes trip over the line into dogma, but at least they genuinely know their stuff, unlike most amateur internet photometrists with their finely califbrated eyeball instruments, or the snake oil lighting salesmen.

Best case would be to replace the fixtures as well.

Edit: I should also add that there is no free lunch. Greater performance does sacrifice lifespan, but the two can be balanced. Bulbs, like oil and brake fluid, are not actually "lifetime" fill, lose performance over time, and are considered by the knowledgeable to the consumable items, so finite lifespans are no deterrent to seeking higher performance.
 
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Check if you can get glass replacement lenses for your headlights. They are available for some vehicles made into the 2000s. Helix is a decent brand. No idea if they have them for a Corolla.
 
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Go to Toyota and buy OEM headlamp assemblies. If you like the beam pattern the Stock puts out?
Get the "SPORT" version for a black bezel.
Also, does your Corolla have fog lights?
Anything else is a compromise. Most of the LED headlamps I see that are worth anything are for 2011+ I see some ****ty ones for a 2010, again you want to see good, not "look" ricey.
 
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If the fixtures are servicable, replace the bulbs with 9012/9011. Almost double the output, legitimate performance, accurate focus, street legal. Only a slight mod is needed to snip, or grind off a tab on the connector.

Read about them here and here. Those guys sometimes trip over the line into dogma, but at least they genuinely know their stuff, unlike most amateur internet photometrists with their finely califbrated eyeball instruments, or the snake oil lighting salesmen.

Best case would be to replace the fixtures as well.

Edit: I should also add that there is no free lunch. Greater performance does sacrifice lifespan, but the two can be balanced. Bulbs, like oil and brake fluid, are not actually "lifetime" fill, lose performance over time, and are considered by the knowledgeable to the consumable items, so finite lifespans are no deterrent to seeking higher performance.
Went from 9005 halogen to Diode Dynamics SL1 LED’s to 9011 halogens in my 300… the 9011’s were by far the best.
 

TiGeo

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Cleaning/restoring the outer lens and an over-driven halogen bulb like the Osram Nightbreaker Laser would be a nice upgrade but in the end, hard to fight with LED. Retrofit bulbs as long as they are of an appropriate quality and the diodes are in the location of the filment on the halogen bulb work well and don't as much as folks online like to tout blind everyone. A simple slight downward adjustment on the housings if you get flicked is all it usually takes. The key is the design..this isn't 2010, LED retrofit bulbs have come a long way. Checkout Lasfit bulbs - I know you said you had inspection issues so no help on that...see my first sentence then. Most of the folks agitated by it either have had folks with 1) HID kit retrofits (which will scatter the light even the shielded bulbs) 2) have had bad LED kits with many diodes outside of the area on the stalk they should be or 3) have never actually seen/driven/tested a proper LED retrofit kit. I tested the crap out of mine and it works great and doesn't blind anyone with a nice cutoff and is worlds above the factory halogens my car came with. Hell...even Osram has LED retrofit bulbs that meet the standards to run in halogen housings in Europe legally....
 
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Most of the folks agitated by it either have had folks with 1) HID kit retrofits (which will scatter the light even the shielded bulbs) 2) have had bad LED kits with many diodes outside of the area on the stalk they should be or 3) have never actually seen/driven/tested a proper LED retrofit kit.

Or 4), seen comments like "I upgraded to LEDs and now I don't even need to use my high beams anymore"..

Yea, let's think about that a minute...
 
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I’ve come to the age that…driving at night sucks. And worst in foul weather.
However we can only do the best we can do.

Restore the lenses, aim the headlight housings properly and if you don’t like the brightness of the bulbs, change them.
Also, make sure your windshield is clean inside & out and the wipers are doing as good of a cleaning/sweeping job as you expect. If not, change them too.
 

TiGeo

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Or 4), seen comments like "I upgraded to LEDs and now I don't even need to use my high beams anymore"..

Yea, let's think about that a minute...
That too. hahaha But that's going to go back to my #2. I get blinded by just about everyone on the road nowadays in SUVs/CUVs/car with factoyr/DOT legal LED headlights in my low-to-the-ground car. Thank God for self-dimming rear view mirrors.

Which one is the factory LED and which is the retrofit bulbs in the photo?

20200429_212659.jpg
 
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