Link to bulb: http://www.xenondepot.com/h4-philips.../12953bwx2.htm
I had the opportunity to test out a new Philips H4 LED Headlight bulb that XenonDepot carries. Philips claims that itís a direct replacement for a halogen bulb and that it projects an identical beam pattern as a halogen bulb. The result: Philipsí claim is accurate. But this bulb is so much more than just a halogen H4 replacement!
Iíve had stock/OEM halogen bulbs in both vehicles (Highlander and Tacoma) and switched to a brighter (shorter life) halogen in the Tacoma about 7 years ago. With their shorter life, Iíve gone through several sets. Knowing that the brighter bulbs have such a short lifespan, I turned to trying out LED headlights in the last year. Note that Iím using my stock headlight housings with reflector bowls from the factory designed for halogen bulbs. The last LEDs I tried didnít have a proper cutoff line and casted a bright beam at vehicles on my right. I removed them a short time after installing them for that reason alone. I shared that because I donít appreciate being blinded by glaring headlights, and I wonít blind others out of respect. Thus, when I review a bulb for glare, it better live up to my expectations.
As luck would have it, an opportunity arose to test out Philipsí new H4 LED bulb. I will say that I had my doubts after trying out the last set of LED headlight bulbs. Once I received the bulbs, I studied them to see how they handled the cutoff beam problem. This led me to inspect the H4 halogen bulbs more closely to see how the cutoffs were accomplished (no, itís not all done in the reflector of the headlight). Halogen bulbs have a shield under the bulb tilted down on the driverís side that allows light to reflect higher/further on the right side of the vehicle (here in N America, anyway). Philips added shields along/below the low beam LEDs on their bulbs to produce an identical cutoff as the halogen bulbsÖeven placing the shield slightly lower on the driverís side to replicate the halogen shield height. And let me add that these are not cheaply made bulbs as you can probably tell from the pictures. After analyzing these, I started to get excited even though I was still reserved from my disappointment with the last generic LED headlights.
So it was time to install them and go for a ride (Iíll get to the install further down since theyíre basically plug n play). Turned the headlights on and they were as white as could be, or so it seemed to me. And that cutoff pattern looked identical to the halogens. More driving just led to more excitement. These are the brightest H4 LED, and certainly the whitest H4 LED bulbs I have ever tried. I will also say that the pictures (via iPhone) donít really do them justice. They are much brighter than the bulbs I was previously running.
The kelvin value to me is misleading. Iíve heard that Philips bulbs with higher kelvin values appear whiter than other bulbs, and now I believe it. The generic LEDs I tried before were 6000K and did appear bluish on the road (and shows in the comparison pics). The Philips are 6200K, yet they appear more like 5000K IMO. And I wonít even mention the color comparison to the yellow OEM bulbs other than to say the pictures speak for themselves. There really is no comparison to describe the vast difference between OEM halogen bulbs to the Philips H4 LED.
The biggest claim by Philips is that these bulbs reproduce the beam pattern of a H4 Halogen bulb. Not only did I find that to be completely true, they also appear to have a sharper cutoff with less glare than OEM halogens. The beam pattern on a wall only shows half the story. On the road, it becomes very clear.
I see no need to ever get HID bulbs and retrofitting a headlight after using the new Philips LEDs. What a perfect plug n play solution!
Comparisons with generic LED Ė Low Beam:
Comparisons with generic LED Ė High Beam:
Generic LED at 6000K:
Philips LED at 6200K:
Shots of the bulbs themselves:
Install was easy. The package contains the two bulbs with removable heat sinks, two control modules, and a bunch of black zip ties (as seen above in the pics).
H4 bulbs are placed in the headlight housing (can only go in one way due to 3 tabs positioned on the base flange), held in place with a clip mounted to the headlight housing, have a rubber cover that goes over the bulb base and slides onto the headlight housing, then plugged in via the standard 3 prong headlight plug.
To install the Philips H4 LED bulb, the heat sink unscrews from the bulb and is removed completely by sliding it off the bulb wire.
Install the bulb in the housing and clip in place:
Slide the rubber boot over the wire and install on the housing. Note: install it with the little rubber grip fins on the sides to prevent blocking the air flow through the bottom and top of the heat sink.
Slide the heat sink back over the wire and screw it on until itís tight. Two things to note are that the threads are fine, so youíll be screwing it on a while. And when you tighten it (hand tight), it will be situated with the heat sink openings at the top and bottom (as designed by Philips).
Next is to install the control module. For now, I simply zip tied them where I had room. Because I ran the zip ties around the front cross member above the headlights with somewhat thin edges, I installed some thicker duct tape to make those edges a little duller. No idea if the zip ties would have eventually been worn through, but I felt better about it by softening those metal edges. Might find a more permanent mounting solution, but for the time being the zip ties serve their intended purpose.
The last step is to simply plug the vehicleís headlight plug into the matching control module wire and plug the other control module lead into the headlight plug (push them together then screw the nut over it until tightÖself-explanatory when you see them.)
Test to make sure you got everything connected. And youíre done!
Note: For the Tacoma, I removed the water bottle on the passenger side to give me lots of room. On the driverís side, my battery left enough room to work next to it without removal. For the Highlander, there is plenty of room (unlimited really).