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Halogen -VS- LED Headlights with pictures

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by Paradox, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    I get a few emails every week from prospective Prius owners asking my opinion about package combination's, which Prius model to pick, accessories, etc. The question I probably receive the most is "Are the LED headlights worth getting the "Advanced Technology" package?" I typically ask a few questions about the future Prius owner's need for other features in the AT package and almost always end up saying "No", because, well, I don't think the AT package is worth the price just to get the LEDs.

    It's been hard for me to compare the halogen headlights with the LEDs because on paper the LEDs output fewer lumens than HIDs or Halogen lights. This should lead to decreased light output. But the combination of two projector beams provides much more light than the standard Prius halogen lights, as you can see in the below photos. I'll let Paradox, a moderator for the 2010 Prius forums do the rest of the talking for me:

    As promised in the LED Headlamp comparison thread, I went out a few minutes ago and took pictures of my Dads Prius III Halogen headlights and then took a picture of my Prius V's LED headlights. Now I had to take the pictures about 5 minutes apart, but this was the best I could do. I live in NYC and there are street lights everywhere so I had to go to a facility my job has a little away from the house where there are very few lights...

    I don't know squat about taking pictures but had some advice about settings so I set up my camera as recommended. The pics were taken in Manual, with ISO400, white balance set to daylight, no flash and an exposure time of 1 second. I also locked the exposure as described in the other thread.

    First we have the Halogen headlights:
    [​IMG]

    And next we have the LED Headlights:

    [​IMG]

    I think the difference is amazing when compared like this. I had never driven my dads car at night since he bought it. All my cars since 2000 have had HID's in them (except 2001 and half of 2002 when I had a Camaro SS) so I was taken back by how yellow the beam is. It's amazing how one can get so used to the white light of HID/LED's.

    The biggest difference naturally is the white light emmitted by the LED's as well as how the light is distributed much wider close to the car. It also looks to me as if the LED's have a bit of a wider spread at a distance. It's almost like the Halogens light up more straight down the middle and the LED's distribute the light evenly across the whole road without a brighter area detected left right or center.

    I'm sure there will still be much debate the pro's and con's of halogen vs LED but hey, that's what makes this all so much fun!

    Full discussion thread here
    50 people like this.
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    I knew I would forget to mention something! :rolleyes:

    I kept my fog lamps off so the picture of the LED's is with the LED's ONLY.

    Notice how they (the LED's) fill in the area on the left and right hand side close to the nose of the car compared to the Halogens? That must be in part to the 3rd flood light LED mounted above the 2 LED Projector beams...
  3. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Nice job--clearly shows how the LEDs are brighter & whiter. A more natural light color, and better light distribution.
  4. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    Hmm, don't mean to pick nits, but. The perspective of both pictures (really where each car was stopped) seems to be different. The darker narrow band of asphalt just past the hood is quite a bit further ahead in the LED picture - also witness the nearer lampost on the right cannot be seen in the halogen shot.

    So all things equal, the LED (V) car was further away from the end of the road as depicted. But still seems to illuminate the area better / clearer.

    I have the V, and very pleased with the clean, even, bright white illumination - although feel my lighting distance may need to be adjusted. And will have checked at my first service appt.

    Thanks for these pics!
  5. marcinpisz

    marcinpisz New Member

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    Thanks

    First of all I want to say, thanks for the pictures. Great job. I think it clearly shows a difference between the two light sets. I'm hoping there was no Photoshop involved, or any other sort of editing. As noted above, the cars are clearly not parked in the same spot as you can see the light post on the right in the below picture as well as the curb, or the above picture does not show both. Hence the car must be parked further away. If that's the case, then there is actually a big benefit to having LED headlamps, besides just having a luxury car look at night. This makes me reconsider not getting these lights. Presently driving a 1994 Honda Civic hatchback, I think it was a great automobile for its time. It fit my needs and my budget at a time, it's also relatively roomy, great handling and very good fuel economy. But with 420,000 km on it already, the time for replacement as soon. The biggest flaw with the car has been it's weak lights. Driving mostly on dark unlit highways, this cars is awful when oncoming traffic shines it's headlights at you. The headlamps do a great job at lighting the bottom of overpasses as I drive underneath. Not so great at lighting the road. This makes me exocentric about good headlamps in my next vehicle. LEDs on the Prius might suddenly be worth it. Would have to get a set of 15" wheels for winter so the car is drivable in bad weather. The Touring package 17" are not for the long hard Canadian winters. Have to see if the 15" can be put on the Prius that has 17" equipped tires.
  6. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    No sharp cutoff like the HIDs in the Lexus.
  7. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    Great comparison shots, Paradox!
    If only there was a set of HIDs to add to the mix!
  8. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah I know, I thought of that after the fact, I should have made a better note of where it was I stopped but it was kind of a get in there take the pics and get out of there moment. I'd say the LED pic was maybe 15' back further than the halogen shot...
  9. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Thanks




    Never. In what way would it ever benefit me if after my editing people ran out and bought all LED headlights... :confused:

    Tooks the pics and put them up here, that's it except for a quick reduction in size by half since the original filesize of each picture was almost 6 mb.
  10. jsharpe

    jsharpe Member

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    Although it doesn't show in the photo here, the vertical cutoff of the low beam LED's in my V is very dramatic. While I'm sure it's nice for oncoming drivers or city situations, going from high beams which apparently have no vertical cutoff to the lowbeams when approaching traffic (either oncoming or from behind) is practically like turning off the lights. Sure there is fantastic illumination right in front of the car but just a bit further down the road it's black.:eek: My impression is that the vertical aiming of the LED's is actually within spec but I would prefer that they they were adjusted a tiny bit further up which still shouldn't annoy other drivers but would reduce the radical change between the high and low beams.

    p.s. I've also done the white bulb change-out described in a different thread and am very pleased with the overall result. The replacement bulbs aren't quite as white as the LED's but are much closer than the original yellow ones and I don't feel I've given up anything in terms of rural night driving as compared to the HID BiXenons on our other cars.
  11. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    Jim,
    Agree with you completely. The LEDs are fantastic, but the cutoff is dramatic. I don't do much night driving on dark roads, but when I do it's very noticeable. Have to believe it would be a problem on a very dark road driving 40+ - easy to outdrive the illumination. And the high beam difference is dramatic.

    Would be interested in the specs from a safety standard standpoint. And wonder if Hacks will figure out a workaround adjustment...
  12. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    That's what I mean by the more obvious vertical cutoff of the HIDs in the Lexus. If the Lexus were in the photo, it'd show in the photo. Unfortunately, nobody has been able to explain why this is. Height differential? Different projection lens?
  13. jay_man2

    jay_man2 jay_man_also

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    Great pictures. Nobody can accuse this thread of this:

    [​IMG]
  14. scottwyden

    scottwyden new jersey photographer

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    Makes me wish even more that the LED headlights were an option with the solar package
  15. tino_ale

    tino_ale New Member

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    You did a GREAT job with these beamshots. Thanks a lot.

    While the cuttoff might be very visible against a close target, these pictures are very clear in showing how it is not a problem at all in real life. Halogen do not allow us to see any more detail or subject far away, that's all I need to know.
  16. cairo94507

    cairo94507 Member

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    Thanks for posting those; I was wondering about the difference too. Now if we could get Halogen, HID and LED all next to each other that would be very cool.
  17. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll toss my camera back in the car and take some pics tomorrow morning on the way into work of the cutoff.

    IMO, it is VERY well defined, much more defined than the HID's that were in my 2006...

    I'll also try and take pictures again jsut like I did last night but have the photos with the car in the exact same spot somewhere, so one is not a little further back than the other. :)

    And then for the hell of it, I'll take a picture of the LED's with my foglamps on as well. They are stock foglamps but not stock bulbs... Stream and I both have the PIAA's in our cars, and they are amazing.
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  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Very nice. Thanks for taking the time to do it! That's the thing about halogens. No matter how bright they are, they're quite yellow. It's a nice softer light for sure but the LEDs give off a more natural light
  19. PriusCho

    PriusCho New Member

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    Is it possible to just simply swap out the lights to the LEDs? I'm sure we will see some used parts down the road, just have to wait, and get them to replace.
  20. nola_Prius

    nola_Prius New Member

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    Did your 2006 have projectors?
    I wonder if having two projector lenses in each housing produces
    a sharper cutoff compared to only having one lens in each housing.

    Do the two lenses cause the sharpness of the cutoff to run longer
    horizontally? On single projector lensed headlights, isn't the "middle section" of the horizontal cutoff usually where it is sharpest? Since there are TWO lenses in each housing, is that simply widening the sharpest, "middle" section of the cutoff?




    I'd love to see that. I plan to install some good fogs soon.
    1 person likes this.
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