What's involved with HID to LED(Halogen) upgrade?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by GeneTherapist, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. GeneTherapist

    GeneTherapist Junior Member

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    So I want to upgrade to LED (Halogen lenses), the lenses on my HIDs are deteriorating and LEDs don't damage the lens over time.

    Do I just unplug the HID equipment and run the 12v lead to the LED bulbs that I'm buying? The Halogen lenses will just bolt right up?

    Any suggestions on LED bulbs? What's the highest output available? What's a step up from the lumens of a HID at half it's lifespan? Are all lumens the same, or can looks be deceiving?

    Not really sure which package I have, it has everything the package 6 Touring is supposed to, but doesn't say that anywhere on the title or in the car. VIN: JTDKB10U477623110
     
  2. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    You would need halogen headlight assemblies. And then you would need to convert the wiring to halogen version wiring. LED bulb that you would need would be H4 led bulb. You should get one that has very small area of light. Otherwise light will be scattered and you will be blinding other drives.

    But I don’t really get why you’re doing this. HID is better than those H4 led bulbs.
    What’s the part that’s deteriorating? Probably you can replace all HID parts for cheaper than doing this conversion.
     
  3. GeneTherapist

    GeneTherapist Junior Member

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    The lens is deteriorating, apparently Toyota had intended that the assembly and bulb be replaced all at once. The cost of the HID lens with bulb is $365 + shipping at the best price I can find.

    $115 Pair of Halogen Lenses
    $55 Pair of LED H4's with higher lumen output (the highest presently available.

    For one, I've been noticing during dusk that the output of headlights on newer cars has gotten so much stronger, that it is difficult to see. With LED technology maturing, the gap in brightness between newer cars and older cars is getting very wide, especially when there are so many bright light sources on the road at the same time. The Prius is also very low to the ground and I live in a rural area where everyone has a truck or SUV. I didn't have problems seeing in my Van, and it had old halogens, so that's likely to play a role too. I also never put RainX WW fluid in it either. I'll have to take another look at it. Maybe RainX diffuses light and is contributing to it. I've just started using the bug cleaner style of the stuff. Maybe it's out of season, or maybe they quit making it... it's not on store shelves anymore.

    I suppose the acid test will be checking the brightness at night from outside the car as well as from within. The lenses didn't really look all that faded when I washed the snow and salt off of them.
     
  4. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    What do you mean by “lens” deteriorating? If just the plastic in front of headlight assembly you can just sand the surface to get it clear again. Fading is mostly caused by UV-light from the sun so light type shouldn’t really matter. After it’s sanded clear you need to apply some protection to surface to keep it protected. Wax will protect it for some time, clear coat for longer.
     
  5. GeneTherapist

    GeneTherapist Junior Member

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    All the following aside, it turned out to be a foggy residue left by a high touch car wash when they cleaned the inside of my windows a few months ago just days after I had my windows done professionally and it hadn't been a nuisance because I wasn't driving at night. The rest may still be important for discussion purposes.

    Don't go around trying to help people with headlight sanding schemes... it's a waste of time and money and will only make things worse... they should put the people who started that dangerous lie in jail... it looks good for a week or two then degrades several times faster... the lens is worthless in a week. Never hit a deer in my life, then did that to my civic and hit three of them in the next year... Got new headlight lenses... didn't happen again.

    Let's say I just got brighter HIDS.... then the lenses would deteriorate faster due to the higher heat output and I'v be wasting more money on expensive lenses... On today's roads, especially driving a low car, it just makes sense to get the brightest, highest definition spectrum of light available, and I'm thinking that's going to be blue LEDs. Halogens actually have the best definition of all the bulbs as the fullness of the spectrum and the black body radiation of halogen and tungsten is similar to sunlight and conditions the eyes properly, but blue LEDs have specific vigilance enhancing properties.

    But! I think what's really going on at this point relates to how my windshield is interacting with the incoming light. It's clean, but there is a sharp hazyness to the glass as of late... I just got the car washed the night before and I've been using the RainX Antibug WWF. If I had to guess, I should stop using the RainX.
     
  6. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    No it’s not a scheme. And besides if you sand them yourself who is the scammer? Of course if you just sand the surface it will very quickly degrade as there is now nothing protecting it from UV-rays from sun. It’s clear plastic with clear coat that protects it from the factory. So why would sanding it and reapplying the clear coat be any worse than it’s from the factory? You can get the special clear coat designed for this use but many people have gotten good results with just normal clear coat spray bottle.

    You can clearly tell that the surface deteriorating happens because of suns UV-rays and not the light from the inside as it happens on outside not inside. And if you keep your car in garage (when you’re not driving) this doesn’t really happen at all.
     
  7. GeneTherapist

    GeneTherapist Junior Member

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    If I can't be trusted to sand them myself...

    Anyways, these are lenses, like for a camera, but for your car. A human simply isn't going to be able to reproduce the clarity that was created with a machine, thus there will be light loss and loss of direction. It's complicated. I followed the directions for the kit I purchased. Which iirc was just for removing wax that had gotten on the lens, not for full resurfacing, but it lost clarity and gave me a false sense of safety which for $60/pair would have saved me alot of time. Not to mention LED replacements don't damage the lens, and so never incur further repair costs or even more importantly, time.

    While UV may damage the lens, the different layers will respond differently to heat just as they do to UV. I bought the car about 6 months ago and the lenses were reconditioned. They aren't nearly as clear as new ones, though perhaps marginally better. though they did get waxed in a car wash. If I keep having to get them reconditioned, I might as well save the time and money and buy new ones.

    What I might pay for is a spray on to protect the lens from UV and dissipate heat. They diamond coat engine parts, I don't see why they can't just do that to headlights, or mandate it for safety reasons.
     
  8. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    No it’s not actually a lens as the light pattern is defined by the mirror behind the bulb. It’s there just to protect the mirror and bulb from dust. So when sanding your work doesn’t need to be perfect.

    Those kits are bad as if you don’t sand enough and then polish you get that shine but not clear effect.

    How were they reconditioned? Were they sanded enough? How were they protected? If it’s only wax protecting them they do need to be re waxed periodically and just car wash wax is not enough.
     
  9. GeneTherapist

    GeneTherapist Junior Member

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    I can't answer your questions, I didn't do it. But if you shine a light through bead of water on a piece of glass, it will distort the light. The mirror may shape the light that hits the lens, but the lens determines the distribution.

    I was reading that there adjustments, so perhaps I can reorient the lens a bit and stretch it's remaining lifespan.
     
  10. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    Person who reconditioned them just probably did bad job.

    It’s not really a lens as it’s not designed to affect the light pattern. If you hand sand it or even carefully use something like orbital sander you’re not going to create thickness differences that are big enough so there would be noticeable difference in light scattering.
     
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