2012 Prius: What headlights do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by VicVicVic, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. VicVicVic

    VicVicVic Junior Member

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    Hello. I will be getting my default 2012 Prius headlights replaced, and I am seeking recommendations. Ideally, I want something that is of good value - I can't set a budget because I know too little about how much I should spend. Also ideally, I want the brightest headlights I can legally have in California. Driving at night makes it a bit difficult because my headlights don't seem too bright; when I drive other people's cars, their default headlights seem to be much stronger.

    Thank you!
     
  2. putty

    putty Member

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    HID
     
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  3. RMB

    RMB Senior Member

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    Along with headlight HID/LED upgrade, perhaps time for a headlight cover polish/restoration? :cool: It's relatively cheap, $10-20 material and some muscle use?

    My 2014 is starting to get cloudy and haze, I assume your 2012 is a bit worst on the haze? I found the driver side headlight is a bit worst than passenger side, probably due to inverter is sitting at driver side. Reason? Few times after I washed my Prius I can see warm moisture condensing on the driver side headlight housing coming through the hood. Take a close look next time you wash your car with a warm engine. :LOL:
     
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  4. ilovegirls

    ilovegirls Member

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    Led headlight conversion. Brighter than halogen and legal with a nice cut off line.
     
  5. Kaynor09

    Kaynor09 Junior Member

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    I just installed a pair of Hikari Ultra LED's on my 2013 and they're AWESOME!!!!!!! They're 10 million times better than the standard bulbs. $90 on Amazon but Bulbfacts has a 10% off code :D
     
  6. gertsprius

    gertsprius Member

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    I just recently replaced my Halogen lights to LED and I used this brand that I found on here, I just can't remember the thread. They are Cougar Motor LED Headlights All-in-one conversion kit, i found them on amazon. This was the easiest thing I have ever done. It is just like putting in a new halogen bulb. It is a little more tricky because they have a cooling fan on the back of the bulb but with a little maneuvering they went in easy!

    I did this swap about a couple weeks ago maybe and I haven't had any problems with them at all and they are bright!
     
  7. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    I think we should each be careful to specify if we replaced highbeam bulbs or lowbeam bulbs. The lowbeams have to work correctly through the projector lenses. From the comments I have read on Amazon there seems to be some issues with some brands of the LED bulbs not fitting correctly or thowing a poor beam pattern on low beam. For folks who replaced with fan-cooled ballasts at the back of the LEDs, could you inform us about how loud or noticeable the fan noise was? Thanks in advance as I’m trying to decide which of these to get for our 2012 hatchback, particularly the low beams.
     
  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Depends on the threshold of the listener's ears. Some people said their prius is the loudest car when it comes to lack of sound dampening, or their tires are "LOUD." I drive the same car same tires and it's not loud.

    Now that that's out of my system, the fans in mine aren't loud. On EV you can hear them faintly with radio off windows up, but it would be LOUD for others. My biggest worry was if it interferes with radio reception. The radio is always on in my car and the fans don't interfere with the radio. One thing I recommend is to buy LEDs with more than one year warranty, they will cost more but will last longer. Mine were pricey but when it comes to fan noise, longevity, lumens YMMV so it comes down to quality & price.
     
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  9. Greenteapri

    Greenteapri Member

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    I just finished installing Morimorto Elite HID kit from the retro source tonight. Look for my thread soon.

    The illumination is amazing! It's like a sustained nuclear explosion flash, thirty to fourty feet in front of me. Two hundred percent better than stock.
     
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  10. tonynap

    tonynap New Member

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    RMB gives good advice with the restoration kit if you're not replacing the entire headlight assembly.

    If you're going to invest in LED or HID, don't put them behind hazy, pitted, grimy, seven year old oxidized lenses.
     
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  11. tylersimmons

    tylersimmons Member

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    Skip HID and go to LED swap. My brother just did an LED swap on his Mazda 3 with Hikari CREE “eye of the Megatron” from Amazon. They run $70 or so for 12000 lumens. They have a cheapest $40 option but they aren’t nearly as bright. After he installed them in the normal projectors, they are without a doubt brighter than my Factory LEDs on my 2012 gen 3. If I had halogens, this would be among the first mods I did
     
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  12. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Active Member

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    I prefer the inexpensive conventional route. I'm not sure that I want little fans running under a hot hood in the heat of summer. I've heard that many inexpensive LED's are poorly aimed and might not comply with DOT standards.

    I installed these inexpensive replacements.
     
  13. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I was under the impression that LED's don't get hot. So why would you need a fan???
     
  14. James Powers

    James Powers Active Member

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    Could be wrong but I believe the front is cooler but the back is what gets hot. Usually have a small fan, similar to the fan that sits on top of a processor inside a computer or the heatsink option. I've had bad luck with the fanless/heatsink LED's tho.. I use VLED's. Had them in since May of last year and have had no issues.
     
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  15. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I don't understand WHY you would need anything in the back. I guess there is a stepdown transformer?
    From 12v to 3v or 5 volts?
     
  16. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Active Member

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    Heat kills LED's.
     
  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    But LED's are not suppose to be hot.
    I just touched the LED light I have on my lamp that's been on for an hour, it is just barely warmish.
    Obviously, I'm missing something.
     
  18. James Powers

    James Powers Active Member

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    Excellent question and we have reached the limits of brains capacity to compute LOL :ROFLMAO:
     
  19. James Powers

    James Powers Active Member

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  20. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Active Member

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    LED's are semi conductor diodes. Transistors are "triodes." Processor chips used to be called IC's or integrated circuits made of many diodes and triodes. When they get hot, they deteriorate. Just look up when driving past a stop light and notice how many individual LED's are burnt out. They have long life's, as long as they are kept cool.

    The big advantage of using LED's for stop lights is that, unlike and incandescent light bulb which goes out entirely, there are remaining LED's that stay lit for the sake of safety.
     
    #20 Georgina Rudkus, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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