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Old 05-23-2020, 01:27 PM #1
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Low Beam Headlight Confusion

I'll try and make this short. I know this is probably the 1,000,001st thread about this but to be honest the volume of information is now what is giving me trouble.

I just want better low beams on my brand new 2020 4Runner. I have looked at the following threads:
I am nowhere near understanding what I should do.
  1. I do not want to do a manual conversion or take a knife to my new truck
  2. I'd like to have a brighter nighttime experience as I can take my pride away and admit that as I get older its harder for me to drive at night.
  3. I'd rather not deal with glare but I absolutely don't want to glare oncoming drivers.

I'm going back and forth on what to do.

First I loved the overall look of those Morimoto XB's but $1.3k for headlights is a bit much. Especially since some people in the above threads love them and others hate them. I'll make it clear, I don't have a problem buying them but I do have a problem if they are not any better for what I'm looking for.

Second, I thought about those GTR Ultra 2s. In the comparison images, they sure do look like they shine very well and as far if not further than the halogen ones (a big argument for sticking w/ the halogen instead of LED is due to LED not shining as far but boy that one image sure makes the GTKs look like they shine further). On top of that, some people say they fit, others say they don't.

Third, due to my overwhelming frustration at this point I'm just trying to find the best replacement for my current stocks. Just plug and play of the same type of bulb. I cannot find anything that suggests one that doesn't immediately get confusing. Oh, I read of GE Xenons and Megalight H11 +130 blah blah blah but when I go to buy them I get "Doesn't fit vehicle" or "currently unavailable / discontinued".

Help please?
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:06 PM #2
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Lots of people are doing the simple H11 to H9 bulb upgrade.
Extremely affordable and effective is the general consensus going from H11 to H9.
I haven't personally done this yet, but am thinking about it too.

Last edited by zoomzoom; 05-23-2020 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:34 PM #3
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I went LED's all around. and no one is flashing me and when I drove to a friends he said they arent that bright as I passed him.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:10 PM #4
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Recently bought a 17 limited and have been looking at the same threads hesitating to pull the trigger on something. Not a ton of night driving but from everything it seems that the H9 is the only sure bet. Surprised nobody has made a plug and play option for HID even if that meant replacing the projector or entire headlight.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:04 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Par02 View Post

Second, I thought about those GTR Ultra 2s. In the comparison images, they sure do look like they shine very well and as far if not further than the halogen ones (a big argument for sticking w/ the halogen instead of LED is due to LED not shining as far but boy that one image sure makes the GTKs look like they shine further). On top of that, some people say they fit, others say they don't.
The original production run of the GTR Ultra2's did not fit inside the dust caps of the 4Runner. They stopped production, and they weren't available for many months because of this while they redesigned them. The new production runs do fit the 4Runner. I just put them in a couple months back after waiting about 2 months for them to return to stock. That's the reason some say they fit and some don't. Any order at this point should be the new production without issue.
They aren't quite as bright as an HID conversion, but significantly better than stock. I just updated my installation with a follow up review and comparison in The Idiot Thread - GTR Ultra2 LED Low Beam

Another route people seem to be taking is to replace the fog lights instead as it provides a significantly better light than you can get in an H9/H11 replacemnt. The Baja Design Conversion is very nice, though the Diode Dynamics SS3's are rated as well at half the price and DOT legal. Diode Dynamics is running 20% off (code USA20) for the holiday weekend. You'll get more light out of running these all the time than you would with anything that's going to fit in the headlight housing. Glare shouldn't be a problem unless you misalign them and start lighting up into the trees alongside the road.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:52 PM #6
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Thanks to everyone w/ replies. It would be nice to see just basic links to highly rated halogen apples-to-apples replacements. So many types I have honestly no idea what I'm looking at when I look to buy some.

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Originally Posted by Friggin Idiot View Post
The original production run of the GTR Ultra2's did not fit inside the dust caps of the 4Runner. They stopped production, and they weren't available for many months because of this while they redesigned them. The new production runs do fit the 4Runner. I just put them in a couple months back after waiting about 2 months for them to return to stock. That's the reason some say they fit and some don't. Any order at this point should be the new production without issue.
They aren't quite as bright as an HID conversion, but significantly better than stock. I just updated my installation with a follow up review and comparison in The Idiot Thread - GTR Ultra2 LED Low Beam

Another route people seem to be taking is to replace the fog lights instead as it provides a significantly better light than you can get in an H9/H11 replacemnt. The Baja Design Conversion is very nice, though the Diode Dynamics SS3's are rated as well at half the price and DOT legal. Diode Dynamics is running 20% off (code USA20) for the holiday weekend. You'll get more light out of running these all the time than you would with anything that's going to fit in the headlight housing. Glare shouldn't be a problem unless you misalign them and start lighting up into the trees alongside the road.
Thank you for the specific info um... Idiot? I dont want to call you that.. I'll use Friggen

Anyway, your blog is what made me look at the GTR's specifically for the LED option. I was worried about the fitting but you make good sense with what you said above.

As for the fogs, ya I bought the Diode Dynamics SS3 LED Pro yellows due to that 20% last night so I am happy about that (except it'll be about 3-4 weeks to get them). But I did go yellow so not sure if that will help with the overall brightness that I am trying to get.

I really dont want to do any "conversion". I'd much rather just plug and play... I might do the GTR Ultra 2's now that the "fit" issue has been resolved... hopefully someone has them on sale.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:16 PM #7
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I too have the Diode Dynamics yellow fog lights. For my low beams I have these and love them.

H11: Morimoto Elite
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:32 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehahn84 View Post
I too have the Diode Dynamics yellow fog lights. For my low beams I have these and love them.

H11: Morimoto Elite
So that Morimoto Elite... is that a kit? Is that the H11 HID conversion thing everyone talks about? Did you just plug them in or did you have to do something else to get them to work?
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:36 PM #9
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Thanks for the info. Iím wanting to replace my low beams without doing HID or LED
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:02 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friggin Idiot View Post
GTR Ultra2 LED Low Beam
Are these the ones you got? GTR Lighting Ultra 2 LED Headlight Bulbs | Headlight Revolution
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:32 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Par02 View Post
Thanks to everyone w/ replies. It would be nice to see just basic links to highly rated halogen apples-to-apples replacements. So many types I have honestly no idea what I'm looking at when I look to buy some.

Thank you for the specific info um... Idiot? I dont want to call you that.. I'll use Friggen

Anyway, your blog is what made me look at the GTR's specifically for the LED option. I was worried about the fitting but you make good sense with what you said above.

As for the fogs, ya I bought the Diode Dynamics SS3 LED Pro yellows due to that 20% last night so I am happy about that (except it'll be about 3-4 weeks to get them). But I did go yellow so not sure if that will help with the overall brightness that I am trying to get.

I really dont want to do any "conversion". I'd much rather just plug and play... I might do the GTR Ultra 2's now that the "fit" issue has been resolved... hopefully someone has them on sale.
Glad to hear it! I had just recently posted the update, and I know people don't always go back to check for those. No worries on the name, everyone just goes with Friggin because calling me Idiot seems derogatory. It's part of what makes the name fun!

You'll really appreciate the yellow on the SS3's when you're in dense fog or white-out conditions. The white HID's I had seemed to reflect so much that it made me look up the Antman Fog Light Mod (starts at Post #44) so that I could turn off the headlights but still run the fogs.


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Yeap, same thing. Only difference was that I ordered them through GTR's Website. Shouldn't make a difference since Headlight Revolution, GTR, XenonDepot, RetroFit Source, and a couple others are all now owned by the same company. I only did it from GTR because they weren't yet listed on the other sites because of the aforementioned production/fitment issues.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:34 PM #12
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I did the H9 & 9006 conversion in my new 2020. So much better and no worrying about ballasts and all that jazz. Did the OEM led fog lights too. It's super easy, just make sure you have a good set of narrow clippers and a file.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:59 PM #13
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Itís a plug and play HID upgrade kit. If you can screw in a lightbulb you can do this. Some people run the ballasts straight from the factory wiring and thatís the easiest, I run a relay kit off the battery.

Quote:
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So that Morimoto Elite... is that a kit? Is that the H11 HID conversion thing everyone talks about? Did you just plug them in or did you have to do something else to get them to work?
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:26 PM #14
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Itís a plug and play HID upgrade kit. If you can screw in a lightbulb you can do this. Some people run the ballasts straight from the factory wiring and thatís the easiest, I run a relay kit off the battery.
Darnit. I was all ready to buy the GTRs but this intrigues me.

The link you sent has 4 different fields for options. I have to admit, I have no clue which to choose for mine. 2020 4Runner ORP.

And you say as easy as a lightbulb but then you say you run a relay kit. Why did you do that instead of going the easy way? Is there a step by step installation video or anything? The install guide makes my eyes hurt :P
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:08 PM #15
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Quote:
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Darnit. I was all ready to buy the GTRs but this intrigues me.

The link you sent has 4 different fields for options. I have to admit, I have no clue which to choose for mine. 2020 4Runner ORP.

And you say as easy as a lightbulb but then you say you run a relay kit. Why did you do that instead of going the easy way? Is there a step by step installation video or anything? The install guide makes my eyes hurt :P
An HID setup has several parts: bulb, ballast, relay (optional), projector
Bulb is self explanatory. Ballast is basically a voltage converter, the 12-14v of the truck into tens of thousands of volts to spark over the gap in the HID bulb.
The relay provides a more steady power source directly from the battery to the ballast, required in the event that the vehicle wiring can't support the amperage draw of the ballast (not a problem in our trucks). The projector is the glass and mirror housing for the bulb which focuses and aims the light.

There are 3 different ways to utilize an HID setup in the 4Runner
1) Plug-n-Play Kit
These are available from XenonDepot, Retrofit Source, and other places for $150+. They include a bulb which will fit into the factory projector. Meaning you only need to drill a hole into the dust cover cap to run wires through from the truck headlight connector to the ballast then back to the bulb. The ballast will need to be mounted (screw or double sided tape) somewhere close to the headlight. Because these use the Toyota projector, which was designed for a halogen bulb not an HID bulb, they do not have a great cut off and can easily dazzle oncoming drivers if not aimed low enough.

2) Projector Retrofit/Conversion
This is pretty much the same as above with the added work of ungluing the headlight assembly and changing the projector to one designed to work with HID bulbs. It involves quite a bit more work, but will have a sharp cut-off and project light very well.

3) Housing Replacement
Basically you're paying someone else to do the above for you, mount it all in a housing, and ship it to you. Rather expensive ~$1300+, and has lots of customization options. Kustom54 type of work. There are also housing replacements which add more projectors and pack them with LEDs instead of HID.

Most people opt for option 1 as it's the simplest and can be done in an afternoon with minimal ability required.
Option 2 is more involved, you have to heat the glue which seals the headlight up in the oven in order to get the headlight open, then add new adhesive in order to seal it again. Seal it improperly and you'll forever have a condensation problem in your headlights. Can also add things like demon eyes and switchback halos to the install as well.
Option 3 is out there, but most don't want to deal with the price tag associated with it.

I did have option 1 installed for almost 4 years. My kit is still functional and now installed in a 4Runner in Cali. The bulbs were reaching the end of their life, and were growing less bright than they used to be. I didn't want the reoccurring cost of replacing $75-200 bulbs every 3-4 years given the amount of night time driving I do. I am also very willing to take a slightly less intense light as I have Baja Design fog lights and 20" light bar should I need more light. To each their own. I've tried one, found something I didn't care for and wanted to try something different. I will say the LED installation is significantly simpler!
The Idiot Thread - XenonDepot HID Low Beam Plug-n-Play Kit
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