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LED headlights?


neilp
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One of my sealed beam units is rusty inside and doesn't throw much light as a result. I'm thinking about LED replacement options - has anyone done this? Happy with the results? A link to the part you used would be great!

TIA

Neil

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Just buy an H6054 sealed beam replacement. Easy plug & play. To go to LED or HID you will need a new lens assy.

An easy step up is a 200mm "E" spec lens with an H4 bulb in it. Here is a source for these...http://classicgarage.com/20recheadrep.html

The LED lights are bright but poorly focused. With a traditional lamp or an HID the light source is a small point and its is easy to focus. A high powered LED has the source spread out over 1/2" or more and harder to focus.   Quality and price vary greatly.

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I can give you some pre and some post-installation impressions myself, as I've ordered the parts to do it on my '89 Dolphin (should be the same chassis as yours).

The lights I purchased were these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-5x7-7x6-Led-Hi-Lo-Beam-Headlights-for-Ford-GMC-Chevrolet-Jeep-Cherokee-XJ/162824101580?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I would recommend buying some like this type (some go as high as like $200 per unit) because of the light pattern; and not buy the cheap ones which are just a collection of LED's without a pattern, you'll be blinding other drivers.  I am NOT recommending that you buy the exact ones I did, but I am suggesting you buy some that have proper beam positioning; I won't know if these are really good or crap until I use them.

I tried to install them, and they fit quite snug into the housing, but they did fit very tightly.  When connecting the harness, only the low-beam worked (or it could have been the high beam, I don't remember, it was day time).  Upon checking further, it appears that Toyota has a strange circuitry whereby aftermarket lights do just that, and require a relay and harness.  

Then, I bought the relay, I bought this one:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-9003-LED-Headlight-Conversion-Harness-Wiring-Two-Relay-Design-Ceramic-Socket/163770325418?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I checked the connections, and seems like the answer to the problem I had, so I will install these within the next couple of weeks and report on the effectiveness.  I am not suggesting that you buy these specific relays, just be aware you probably will need them.

Primarily, I wanted to make you aware of the harness issue Toyotas have, just so you can avoid the waste of time I encountered. 

I found I really needed brighter lights on a dark and stormy night where I could not see the road well over a combination of heavy rain, reflection from the road, and poor road signage; I think they are a must for our rigs.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the great info. I did see something about that wiring issue on an Amazon listing. I don't really plan on driving much at night but I've installed LEDs on other vehicles and the improvement was quite shocking. Do you need two of the wiring / relay kits or does one do both sides?

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16 minutes ago, neilp said:

Thanks for the great info. I did see something about that wiring issue on an Amazon listing. I don't really plan on driving much at night but I've installed LEDs on other vehicles and the improvement was quite shocking. Do you need two of the wiring / relay kits or does one do both sides?

One wiring kit covers both headlights.

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24 minutes ago, neilp said:

Thanks for the great info. I did see something about that wiring issue on an Amazon listing. I don't really plan on driving much at night but I've installed LEDs on other vehicles and the improvement was quite shocking. Do you need two of the wiring / relay kits or does one do both sides?

I also didn't plan on driving around too much at night.  I usually start looking for a boondocking spot way before sundown but after having to move from a Planet Fitness parking lot a couple of times at 2AM and other times where it's run into the evening before I reach a boondocking spot on a questionable gravel road I started to get an appreciation for how important good lights are.

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My Tacoma has H4 bulbs My 90 watt high beams I guarantee will out proform any LED on the market. They do make E spect replacements  for the original lamps little pricey but less than high end LED's.

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  • 4 months later...

My headlights are quite dim......I want to replace them......would this work?

SYLVANIA - 9003 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb, High Beam, Low Beam and Fog Replacement Bulb (Contains 2 Bulbs)

https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-XtraVision-Performance-Headlight-Replacement/dp/B0012UK3M2/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Toyota%7C76&Model=Pickup%7C230&Year=1993%7C1993&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&newVehicle=1&s=automotive&vehicleId=3&vehicleType=automotive

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1 hour ago, BBC3 said:

My headlights are quite dim......I want to replace them......would this work?

SYLVANIA - 9003 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb, High Beam, Low Beam and Fog Replacement Bulb (Contains 2 Bulbs)

 

 I think you'll find them excellent assuming your headlights are receiving full voltage and have a good (often ignored) ground.

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Without replacing the existing headlamp assemblies with H4's lamps no.

Edited by Maineah
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Stage 1 a set new H6054 Halagon lights, check grounds.

Stage 2 add a relay to stage 1 lamps...https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-HEADLIGHT-2-HEAD-LAMP-RELAY-SOCKET-PLUG-WIRING-HARNESS-FIX-DIM-LIGHTS/262426012429?epid=1068229017&hash=item3d19cf2b0d:g:FGgAAOSwQNRXLlAl

Stage3 Full boat. E spec Leadlight lens. H4 bulbs, keep the stage2 relay

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I run 90 watt H4's in my Tacoma on the stock wiring it costs me about 6 watts so I'm down to 84 watts I can live with that.

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7 hours ago, Derek up North said:

30+ year old wiring might well appreciate the addition of a relay kit.

I can tell you it was a lot larger gauge than it is now!

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/11/2019 at 10:11 AM, WME said:

Just buy an H6054 sealed beam replacement. Easy plug & play. To go to LED or HID you will need a new lens assy.

An easy step up is a 200mm "E" spec lens with an H4 bulb in it. Here is a source for these...http://classicgarage.com/20recheadrep.html

The LED lights are bright but poorly focused. With a traditional lamp or an HID the light source is a small point and its is easy to focus. A high powered LED has the source spread out over 1/2" or more and harder to focus.   Quality and price vary greatly.

 

It's been a while since this topic has been active but I'm looking to upgrade my horrible head lights on my 1897 Toyota.

I clicked the link you posted and there are 3 options. 

 

  • Would all of these options be plug and play? I don't have any experience with headlights and the electrical stuff so I'm looking for an easy swap out with much better lighting
  • Which ones would you recommend? I just want a real nice bright light that is easy to assemble and lets me finally see in the dark.

 

Thanks,

Nico 

 

 

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All 3 will be almost PnP. You will also need a relay kit to ensure full voltage at the light...https://www.ebay.com/itm/373542811783?hash=item56f8e2f887:g:7PQAAOSwHstgeUhi

I prefer an E-spec lens. What e-spec light does it has a right side kick up that throws more light ahead on the right and reduces glare to oncomming drivers

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In that case i will just order two of these since it says "E-Code": https://classicgarage.com/withbulbshield.html

Does it make sense to pay for one of the higher wattage bulb options?

Will also order one of the relays. I'm not 100% clear yet on where to plug in the vehicle headlight socket (is it in the existing plug that currently is attached to one of the headlights or another socket somewhere else?) but I'm pretty sure I can find that out by watching a few youtube videos.

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Just try the new lights with the relay kit. If you get high wattage bulbs you must get the relay kit. 30 year old wiring isn't up to the increased load.

The relay kit had 3 main connectors 2 for the headlights and 1 that plugs into one of the old light sockets for the control signal.

 

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KonCon I have played with many different types of lights and I have to say that LED and HID have always disappointed me in aftermarket applications.  So I think you are going the right direction with upgraded housings and halogen bulbs!  

 

HID need projector assemblies to be effective and I have yet to see an LED setup as bright as Halogens.   Now for marker and turn lights, LED has come a long way!   

 

Now our trucks had sealed beam units that simply put, suck.  Upgrade the housings to a good set, like AutoPals, or Hella Vision Plus if you can afford them.  Get a headlight relay harness.  And then time to go hunting for bulbs.  I like to get rally bulbs out of the UK.  I ran 120/180watt H4 bulbs for years in one of my old cars.  But because the yellow halogen light isn't harsh on the eyes, I didn't ever get flashed.  Unless I had high beams on....   Here is the relay kit I got.  

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164250022471

 

I have the first part well documented in a DIY headlight thread.  I need to get pictures and post up the relay part of it.  

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You could always add an LED light bar to the underside of the coach overhang. Relay it in tandem with your high beam switch or put it on a separate toggle setup.

Plenty of light when you need it. Also great for those people who won’t dim their high beams when approaching you. 

Cost is reasonable. Great bang for the $.

 

https://www.nilight.com/products/led-light-bar-northpole-light-44-288w-waterproof-cree-spot-flood-combo-led-light-bar-led-off-road-lights-driving-fog-light-with-mounting-bracket-for-off-road-truck-car-atv-suv-jeep?variant=25336732297&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgoX_9dLU9QIVgqGGCh28ewbrEAQYByABEgJRivD_BwE

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If you are switching to LED's the wiring is more than sufficient they draw a good bit less current. Even a 100 watt H4 is fine with a #16 wire. Now you lamps are sealed beams so they are what they are. In order to use an H4 the lamps will not work meaning they will have to be replaced with a lamp for an H4. Beware of cheap Chinese replacements there photometrics suck. The MH is not a race car and blubs in general have improved a new set of head lamps alone will brighten your night. I live in rural Maine the average speed around here on back roads is like 50! Yes I have 100 watt H4's (with no wiring mods) in my Tacoma the deer and moose thank me.

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many of the old basic sealed beams had a 35 watt low beam.  on my 4wd xtra cab i bought a new pair of napa sealed beams oe fit 55 watts low beam. 65 watts on high beam . mi son said there better then the bulb lights on his late model tacoma. they work well for me. Just checked napa has plug and play LED sealed beams. close to 160 ea 

Edited by 5Toyota
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I wanted to try out an LED upgrade on mine since the old schools were almost useless. I find most of the LED upgrades pretty ugly but these weren't too bad. This did require a ground upgrade harness as well as an inline resistor to keep the high beam indication light on the dash functional. They are nice and bright and have a good cutoff line in the light. The high beam is not much brighter than the low, but I will also be putting some auxiliary offroad lights on the bumper. I haven't put a bunch of time on these since the project isn't finished, but the hour drive I did on them was great compared to the originals! 

 

 

 

IMG_6990.JPG.27bacd2b91758806a4ed03db85cc42de.JPG

 

IMG_6365.JPG.d9ea9826ffc93cbd13d3cdd874e13961.JPG

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So I bought the relay on ebay that was recommended and installed everything yesterday. Unfortunately the lights to not work when plugged in through the relay. When I plug in the original cable, everything works but not with the relay. Is the thing broken or is there something I missed. Plugging in was somewhat self explanatory so I don't think I made some major error there. 

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Which relay kit?

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Unsure of which relay setup you've got, but the troubleshooting should be generic across most.

The relay kit should work like this; Battery + to B + on relay, Gnd on relay to gnd/battery -, socket from truck wiring to relay plug, socket from headlight to output socket on relay.

Make sure all of your ground connections are tight with good continuity. Multimeter is your friend.

With everything plugged in according to instructions, unplug one of the headlights from the relay, put your meter leads on the socket, turn on the headlight switch, check for 12vdc+ on the relay output. If you have voltage on the output check the headlights, if no voltage check the relay, and the truck wiring to the relay.

Assuming the headlights operate on original wiring, but not on the relay setup, I imagine the relay isnt reveiving 12v signal and closing to pass power to the headlights.

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Thanks for the explanation. Please disregard what I said about self explanatory. Might help to look at wiring colors. I won't say more but I'll try again and let you know 😂 🤦‍♂️ 

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You have many grounds, make sure they are all clean and tight.

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Thanks everyone. Got it to work. Only problem now is that the screws that hold the headlight on the driver side in place are completely rusty and the Philipps part is broken. Tried to get them out with one of these grabit speed out bits but I was not successful. Any idea how to get these out so I can put the window new headlight in? 

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Personally I think relays are over kill. I have 100 watt H4's in my 2011 Tacoma plug and play into stock wiring. The wiring was even a bit heaver in the older Toyotas. They are fused at 10 amp each side.

 

 

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