Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I've got a 2006 highlander and I wanted to upgrade the bulbs in my headlights to get better visibility at night. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to trade off too much life span for brightness and I'm not sure where to start looking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6 4WD
Joined
·
45 Posts
Hi everyone. I've got a 2006 highlander and I wanted to upgrade the bulbs in my headlights to get better visibility at night. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to trade off too much life span for brightness and I'm not sure where to start looking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
If you want to go the non-LED route, you should try out HIR bulbs from either OSRAM or Phillips. I swapped out my original 60w high beams for OSRAM 65w HIR1 bulbs and there was a noticeable improvement in brightness along with an ever so slightly whiter colour. You need to use a nail clipper to trim the HIR bulbs to fit in standard 9005/9006 sockets but there are tutorials out there that describe it in better detail and with pictures. For my low beam (9006) bulbs I went with Hikari's standard LED bulbs. They're in the colour cool white and offer much more coverage at night. I was worried they were going to scatter light everywhere and blind drivers, but I haven't even been flashed in the year I've had them and have never let me down so far - great, bright, focused light for 50 bucks! I have an 02 so my headlight assembly is slightly different than yours, but I can't see it being that substantial. Hope this helps!

Edit: (I got it all on Amazon.ca)

289028

289029
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
First pic shows stock light on left, led on right.m (headlight only) 2nd is night view of both leds on low beams. Super bright. Can finally see. Had them on for almost a year now, no issues at all from lights.

SEALIGHT 9005/HB3 High beam 9006/HB4 Low Beam LED Headlight Bulbs Combo Package CSP Chips 6000K https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K43XKDF


Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Hi everyone. I've got a 2006 highlander and I wanted to upgrade the bulbs in my headlights to get better visibility at night. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to trade off too much life span for brightness and I'm not sure where to start looking. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
The first question always has to be "How old are your existing bulbs?"

If you have more than 30K miles on them, they're noticeably dimmer than they were when new.

The second question for a vehicle this old has to be "When was the last time you polished the lenses?"

If you've never done it, they're yellow. I use this. I use a power buffer, but you can do by hand with an old tee shirt too.
These two maintenance items will restore your car to as-new.

I buy cheap OEM equivalent halogen bulbs and change them yearly. Is it awe inspiring? No. But it's adequate and totally reliable. $8 new OEM bulb will usually be better than 2 year old $20 bulb.

I haven't tried LEDs for headlights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
The first question always has to be "How old are your existing bulbs?"

If you have more than 30K miles on them, they're noticeably dimmer than they were when new.

The second question for a vehicle this old has to be "When was the last time you polished the lenses?"

If you've never done it, they're yellow. I use this. I use a power buffer, but you can do by hand with an old tee shirt too.
These two maintenance items will restore your car to as-new.

I buy cheap OEM equivalent halogen bulbs and change them yearly. Is it awe inspiring? No. But it's adequate and totally reliable. $8 new OEM bulb will usually be better than 2 year old $20 bulb.

I haven't tried LEDs for headlights.
I have used the product you have linked with decent results. Using a kit with a drill got me better results. It still is a bit hazy though. The next thing might be to bake the lights open and clean from the inside as I think moisture got inside the lens and clouded the interior.

LEDs made a world of difference for me, and are loved by my father (whose eyesight is fading by the months) although I still have to tackle with adjusting the beam. I do not know if the leds I purchased work with all projectors or if 1st gen had halogen projectors only but regardless I see much better out of them than oem lights.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2003 Highlander
Joined
·
619 Posts
2003 V6 AWD 344k miles. Original owner.
Can I continue my rant here?
What I mean is I have started a letter writing campaign to my state DOT and will continue this to the feds and my state legislators. I am not the only one fed up with this and it is time to make a stand.
I'm referring to Overly Bright Headlights!
What in the world has happened recently?
You know what I'm talking about. Being blinded by oncoming headlights. Especially the white-blue versions now being marketed to unsuspecting car/truck buyers.
I've had enough.
Oh and don't get me started on the recent new pickups. These farmtrucks have grown to new astronomical tallness.
This puts headlight level right in the face of oncoming traffic. Boom- it's like facing a 747 jetliner with it's landing lights on. Sheese.
Oh and farmtruck morons can't seem to find the off switch for the fog light option. I counted 5 out of 6 this morning on my way to work. They ride around with them blazing even in daylight. Has no one clued you in on the proper use. A European invention. Designed to enable drivers to at least crawl along city streets when the fog is really thick. The low flat beam needs to reflect off of curbs, buildings etc. to give some aid in feeling your way home at 10 mph. Farmtruck-morons...they do nothing at 80 mph on the open expressway. Except tick off other drivers!
That's my rant. Haya....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
What needs adjusting? The low beam shot looks pretty perfect. I'm having a think about buying those.
Some of the LEDs come with a adjustable ring in the end to adjust beam pattern. I'm sure there is also some adjustment to do from the highlander to adjust beam direction. After 60k miles we had to adjust our rav4 using a Philips screwdriver as the light beam fell onto the ground and had to be raised a little back up to the road.

Although noone has flashed me, on the highlander, I would like to drop the beam a little lower as I think it's too high and might get in people's mid peripheral. On this note, I agree with hayabusa.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
'02 Highlander V6 4WD
Joined
·
45 Posts
Some of the LEDs come with a adjustable ring in the end to adjust beam pattern. I'm sure there is also some adjustment to do from the highlander to adjust beam direction. After 60k miles we had to adjust our rav4 using a Philips screwdriver as the light beam fell onto the ground and had to be raised a little back up to the road.

Although noone has flashed me, on the highlander, I would like to drop the beam a little lower as I think it's too high and might get in people's mid peripheral. On this note, I agree with hayabusa.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
I had to adjust the headlights to be significantly lower to match the projection height of the stock halogen, so I found it easier to install one LED at a time. I’m sure my car being 1.5 inches lower than stock also helps with light not being high up into people’s eyes and me not being flashed by others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
My theory is that the tall pickup truck phenomenon has more to do with small or low functioning genitalia than low IQ, but yeah, there is a lot of that.

I got interested in LED headlight bulb replacements a couple of years ago, but after doing my homework decided against due to risk of problems with beam control, heat management, overall reliability. Mylander's low beams look like they might be a good solution. Nice, sharp vertical cutoff. I like that they are fanless!

The head light aiming adjustments on the Gen1 HL are dirt simple. IIRC all you need is a #2 Philips screw driver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
The head light aiming adjustments on the Gen1 HL are dirt simple. IIRC all you need is a #2 Philips screw driver.
Good to know, thanks. The sealight leds I have are better than others I have tried. I had to return a few brands because they simply sucked. These sealight ones are also non polarity, can be turned 180° and installed in any direction which also changes the beam. I'm just happy they are still working. I do like to keep a pair of my used halogens in the glovebox just in case.


Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2003 Highlander
Joined
·
619 Posts
Ralph,
Laughed at "small or low functioning genitalia". Awesome.
Yes, and what is the deal with the fog lights on all the time? You notice that too?
My theory...the old farmtrucks did not usually have fog lamps. Now they come as part of an options package that includes, sunroof, fancy automated tailgate, massive HID headlights and folding aircraft-like ladder to get into the cab. Gomer would not know anything about fog lamps. So....Aw-heck he just turns them on anyways....Heehee.
Haya...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
99% of factory fog lamps are useless. Actually less than useless because they do (obviously) contribute to glare in the eyes of oncoming drivers, especially on wet pavement. I hate that.

I polished the lenses and replaced the low beam bulbs in my 06 HL within last two months.

Last night, driving an hour or so in pitch black, wet conditions -- with the usual less than clean headlights -- I reflected again on the "less than awesome" quality of my headlights.

I think I'm going to try out some LED low beams (no need to mess with the halogen high beams -- those are fine as is and LEDs have trouble with DRL mode.

My candidates are the low beam only version of the LEDs that mylander uses and these low beam LEDs units, also fanless, that offer a bit cleaner installation and apparently similar performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
Haya, are you referring to the 2 foot long led light bar mounted to the bumper of those pickups? I think they are sold with the 10" exhaust pipe they all have. It's very satisfying to go to the truck pull at the fair and watch them all break, btw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Yes do let us know Ralph. I'm no light expert, just wanted better light for my aging father. On our rav4, I purchased a brand called hikari and that's also doing well. Those leds have a mini fan and are not as bright as the sealights

When you cleaned the headlight buckets, did you open them up or just the outside lens. I really am thinking about opening them up to clean them better and reseal them. I hate that cloudy look.

Btw what happened to the OP?

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2003 Highlander
Joined
·
619 Posts
mylander,
I have opened the HL headlight buckets a few times. It's one of those things that is hard to do if you don't know how. Easy if you know the tricks.
The tricks- remove retaining screws (and C-clips if any) then heat the bucket in the kitchen oven at no more than 350 deg for 5-6 min.
This softens the butyl rubber seal between the halves. (My Mrs, has an electric so I can't say whether it is the same for gas.)
Wear gloves! Pry with several screwdrivers. Once the halves start to part keep going steadily. If you let the halves snap back together then its like starting over. Ride herd on it til its fully apart. Reheat if you don't get it the first time...you probably won't, I didn't. You'll be thinking: This is impossible-This is impossible-This is impossible- then when it pops apart....Oh! That was easy.
It's sort of like shucking oysters. Easy, once you get the hang of it.
To reclose- reheat halves until rubber is soft and gooey again. Then select a screwdriver that fits into the seal channel. Respread and even out the goo. No additional sealant required. Push halves together and snug down retainer screws. Use 3-5 c-clamps or equal to hold halves together. Heat again. Remove. Retighted screws, then take clamps off once cooled. Take the Mrs. out to dinner in lieu of payment for use of her oven. Done.
Best of luck, Haya....
BTW- if you see moisture inside the buckets later. Not to fear. I drilled two 1/8 inch holes in the lowest point of the headlight lens. Yes the lens. The holes drain away moisture and are not visible once back in behind the bumper cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
mylander,
I have opened the HL headlight buckets a few times. It's one of those things that is hard to do if you don't know how. Easy if you know the tricks.
The tricks- remove retaining screws then heat the bucket in the kitchen oven at no more than 350 deg for 5-6 min.
This softens the butyl rubber seal between the halves. (My Mrs, has an electric so I can't say whether it is the same for gas.)
Wear gloves! Pry with several screwdrivers. Once the halves start to part keep going steadily. If you let the halves snap back together then its like starting over. Ride herd on it til its fully apart. Reheat if you don't get it the first time...you probably won't, I didn't. You'll be thinking: This is impossible-This is impossible-This is impossible- then when it pops apart....Oh! That was easy.
It's sort of like shucking oysters. Easy, once you get the hang of it.
To reclose- reheat halves until rubber is soft and gooey again. Then select a screwdriver that fits into the seal channel. Respread and even out the goo. No additional sealant required. Push halves together and snug down retainer screws. Use 3-5 c-clamps or equal to hold halves together. Heat again. Remove. Retighted screws, then take clamps off once cooled. Take the Mrs. out to dinner in lieu of payment for use of her oven. Done.
Best of luck, Haya....
BTW- if you see moisture inside the buckets later. Not to fear. I drilled two 1/8 inch holes in the lowest point of the headlight lens. Yes the lens. The holes drain away moisture and are not visible once back in behind the bumper cover.
Excellent tips! Just what I needed to know. Thanks haya

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Received the Sealight low beams yesterday, installed (& cleaned headlight lenses) and got my first impression last night. Easy night. Dry, full moon coming up. First impression is "wow!". There's a lot more light and it is of course much whiter. The beam pattern is identical to stock, so far as I can tell, and that's a good thing. No hot spots. No high intensity areas above the cutoff line when projected at a flat wall.

Standing in front of the car and looking into the glare at various elevations with one halogen and one LED installed, there is no doubt that the amount of undesirable glare is increased. As far as I can tell, this is simply due to the intensity and color of the source, nothing to do with focus or aiming. The whiter light makes scratches and pits much more obvious in the headlight lens -- these imperfections act as diffusers and contribute to glare. My headlights have 234K miles on them, I do polish, but just to get the surface yellowing off. I have never tried to get all the pits and scratches out (that would require starting with about 800 grit wet, with a rubber block, working towards about 2000, then polishing).

The driving experience is obviously better. No flashes from oncoming traffic. View of road and shoulder areas way better under all conditions. Road signs are lit up brighter by low beams (which means they throw more glare). The "reach" of the low beams is better than the old halogen bulbs, much more adequate for dark roads at highway speed.

The old halogen hi beams do the same thing they always did. The color contrast between the LED lows and the halogen high beams is amusing. The halogen light looks quite orange compared to the spread from the low beams.

So, mostly good news to start. They would be better if the color temperature were a bit warmer. I'll weigh in again when I've had a chance to drive them under crummier conditions (probably won't be long, lol).
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top