Brighter lights?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by Davidude, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Davidude

    Davidude Junior Member

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    I'm looking to upgrade the brightness of my low level lights of my 02 Prius. My headlight housings are clean, but these lights only help people see me in the dark, I'm still blind as a bat.

    Any simple suggestions for a brighter bulb that won't blind other drivers? Considering new cars now have a blue hue, I'm having worse and worse visibility at night because other people's OEM lights blind me. I have a small lightbar I connected to my fog lights (never use those), but I'd like something I can have on all the time, without fear of a cop giving me a ticket. I've been stopped twice for cops to inspect my lightbar, never while it's on.

    Is it safe to simply buy something from Amazon that supposedly fits my car?
     
  2. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I performed an HID projector retrofit on my '07 Prius. I bought the cheapest universal kit on theretrofitsource.com, which was around $150 or something like that. I went with 4300 degree K lamps, which are not blue at all. They are a very nice white color and the improvement over stock halogen lights is very good. Since these HID bulbs shine through projectors specifically designed to not blind others and put most of the light where you need it, no one ever flashes me or otherwise complains about my lights. the installation was a bit involved, but nothing super difficult. The headlight assembly has to be removed and baked in the oven to be taken apart so the projectors can be installed in the existing housing.. After that the wiring and aiming needs to be done. Then you have really nice much improved lighting system that is kind to other drivers and kind to you by lighting the way much better than the stock halogen lights.
     
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  3. Davidude

    Davidude Junior Member

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  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Note that HID conversions aren't street legal, though enforcement is currently very rare.
     
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  5. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    No, that one does not include a projector. I got this one. It includes projectors, shrouds, wire harness, ballasts and bulbs. Very simple to install, but does require some work like opening the housings. It's not as hard as it seems. Harness is top notch and so are the other components.

    As was noted, it probably is not street legal, but it's a hell of a lot better than sticking (also illegal) bright LED or HID bulbs right into those housing sans properly designed projectors. It's also better than being in danger of an accident because the driver can't see very well because of the poor stock lights. I chose to go "rouge" and retrofit. I am very happy with results and it's been over 6 months now. Not a single issue with the law so far and not a single flash from oncoming traffic. Lights are bright, but are pointed on the road, have a cut off line above which no light shines. It's a great improvement and is less offensive than most new factory lights that are definitely blinding, especially if cresting a hill.
     
    #5 VFerdman, Jun 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  6. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    Here is a link to my thread where I have pictures and discussion of the kit I installed.
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    How old are the actual bulbs in yours? They can dim over time and most people don't even notice until they've lost about 50% intensity.

    Sometimes the answer is just a new set of bulbs. You can also look into HIR bulbs, which won't be as bright as HIDs but will be brighter than the stock bulbs. They cost a little more and often have reduced lifetimes, but... they're brighter and not "outlaw."

    HID+projector retrofits can have decent practical results as VFerdman relates. However, it'll still be missing two important safety features: automatic leveling and automatic failsafe. The first feature should be self-explanatory. The second exists to force an individual headlight to shut down if any fault is detected in either the burner or the automatic leveling system.

    If you need it to stand up to law enforcement scrutiny, stay away from HIDs. The way the regulations are written, if the car didn't have HIDs when it left the factory, then it can never legally have them.
     
  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    You can buy higher output replacement bulbs for what you have now. The tradeoff is a shorter bulb life.
     
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  9. GatorJZ

    GatorJZ Member

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    No, it's not. These LED retrofits are illegal in most states and are dangerous unless you are replacing the entire assembly with reflectors designed for the LEDs.

    Read here:
    Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply
     
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  10. NoThrowningRocks

    NoThrowningRocks New Member

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    What is the best way to clean "fogged" headlamps? I used mechanic's hand degreaser (some "lifehack" I came across) but it didn't stay clear very long. Lights were noticeably brighter while it was working, however.
     
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  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    You can do the same thing again to clear them. You have to apply a UV blocker. It's the UV portion of sunlight that causes it to fog white. When you polished them before, you polished off the last traces of the factory UV coating- that's why it frosted up again so fast.

    So scrub 'em again and clearcoat them to buy more time.
     
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  12. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I successfully used Mother's Aluminum polish on my '06 Matrix headlights. IT worked great and FAST! It literally took no more than 7 minutes including an iced tea break between the two sides. At this price and time investment I don't really care how long it lasts. When they fog up again, I will get another iced tea and spend another 7 minutes. My can of Mother's didn't even get a slight dent in the amount I used, so I think that $5.99 will last for the lifetime of the car.
     
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  13. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I have success with powerbulbs.com. They ship to the US. Just note that the higher powered bulbs will have a shorter lifespan (mine lasted around 11 months. So I was essentially replacing them once a year. Note that for my car, I have DRLs so they were running at reduced intensity all the time. You might experience a longer life than I did since US cars have a DRL OFF position).
     
  14. GatorJZ

    GatorJZ Member

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    Buy a 3M headlight restoration kit on Amazon...this type of kit is the only way to properly prepare your headlights. The BEST coating solution is Opti-Lens by Optimum. It is expensive, but if you get onto the detailing websites' mailing lists (i.e. Autogeek or Autopia), they frequently send out 25% off discount coupons. WARNING (again): It is EXPENSIVE. It is also super easy to apply, provides a permanent solution, the syringe tube contains enough product to do several sets and it has indefinite shelf life if stored properly.
     
    #14 GatorJZ, Jul 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  15. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    For that price, I would just polish the headlight lenses for a few minutes every year or so. I have an older polish kit that has pre-loaded pads that attach to a drill. Squirt water on the lens, polish for a few minutes and the lenses are crystal clear. One pad does two lights, and I think there were at least 6 pads in the kit.
     
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  16. lech auto air conditionin

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    Polishing with mothers chrome polish or polishing with old style course cutting polish for lacquer paint the stuff they usually don’t sell anymore hard to fine . Both work perfectly I’ve used both of them and then using spar varnish in a spray can if you use the one in the can that’s thick cut it with 50% mineral spirits. Very cheap and last about two years before you have to do it again. The bright Sylvania lightbulbs their newest extra bright I drive with my lights on all day long from morning tonight 30,000 miles a year the lights burn out about every four months they have a one-year warranty so I replaced them three times under warranty. And then A little over a year ago I switch to LED’s that were even brighter and they’ve been in my car for over a year without burning out.
     
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