Best headlight bulb

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by nicoj36, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Portland, OR
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Plug-in Base
    Sure, but HID bulbs need a very expensive ballast.
  2. CivicSky

    CivicSky Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    San Deigo
    2010 Prius
    I tried 3 different brands:
    1) DDM 30W 5000K HID with battery rely harness. Lifetime warrenty and used for 8 years without problem.
    2) SL1 H11 LED 5000K bulbs by Diode Dynamics. Good quality & have transplanted to my wife's car ($150 pair and have been using for 2+ years)
    3) Lasfit D4S LED 5000K. ($80 pair during last Christmas sales) Good color and bright.
  3. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith New Member

    Jul 26, 2021
    2010 Prius
    Sorry for the long post. It got away from me. Lol

    I don't know if I'd recommend them purely because of their high cost, but I've been happy with my GTR Lighting Ultra 2.0 LED bulbs from Headlight Revolution. Extremely bright, good color to my eye(6000K - cool but not blue), and a very good beam pattern. But at almost $500 for the 4 bulbs you would need, I would recommend thinking twice about buying them, then three times, then about ten times more.

    Here's the thing about LEDs: Not all are created equal by any means. Like most all modern vehicles, Priuses use reflector and/or projector lenses in their headlight assemblies. (My 2010 uses reflectors for the low beams and projectors for high.) These assemblies are built for the light source to come from a very specific point. No LED bulb can do this perfectly, but some are much better than others. If the light is emitted from the wrong point, the beam pattern will be all messed up. This is when oncoming drivers get blinded and/or the new LED bulbs appear dimmer than the halogen bulbs they replaced.

    Something else to note: There is no such thing as a road legal LED bulb that goes into a halogen socket. Even the stupidly expensive bulbs I have are technically not road legal.

    Two other things to consider with LED bulbs are the quality of the diodes and the size and quality of the heat dissipation. There are a handful of quality diode manufacturers and a ton of cheap copies. Cheap diodes will have inconsistent color, inconsistent output, and inconsistent life. Poor heat dissipation will cause even quality diodes to fail long before they should. Most of the good high output LED headlight bulbs have aluminum heatsinks and fans to dissipate the heat. (BTW, color temperature has absolutely nothing to do with heat failures. That comment gave me a laugh.)

    If you decide to get either LED bulbs or go for an HID kit, one of the first tests you should do after install is to put your car in front of a flat wall, preferably a white or light colored one. A white garage door works great for this. Turn on the low beams. There should be a distinct cutoff of the light a little higher than the top of the headlight. How much depends on the distance from the wall and the angle of the car, so just look for a clean horizontal cutoff. Very bright below the cutoff, almost nothing above. Within the lit area, there should be two stronger areas straight ahead of the car, but there shouldn't be a huge difference between the bright areas and the not quite so bright areas. There should be more light to the right of the car than to the left.

    On high beam, there should still be a sharp cutoff, but it will be somewhat higher than the low beam cutoff. There will also be quite a bit more light cast to the sides, especially on the right(to help illuminate the ditch). If you install very high intensity bulbs, I also think you have the responsibility to have your headlights professionally aimed so as not to blind other drivers.

    If you install new bulbs and you have massive hot or dark areas all over the place, you've got crap bulbs. If the beam goes noticeably above the cutoff in parts, you've got crap bulbs. (Or you've installed them incorrectly and the light isn't coming from the right spot.)

    While I think they way overcharge for their stuff, Headlight Revolution does have some good videos showing quality bulbs(their own, of course lol) and cheap Amazon bulbs that are terrible, and what happens when you put those bulbs in factory headlight assemblies.

    tldr: If you buy cheap bulbs on Amazon you're more than likely going to get crap.

    Pixel 4a ?