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It's Official
16 Tundra, 14 RAV4,
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everybody! I have another in-depth review for you guys. After rocking the “OE Lexus” look of Philips HID bulbs and halogen fogs all late winter/spring/early summer, I’m tired of it. I need to do something with my fog lights; the stock halogens just aren’t doing it anymore. Enter the Morimoto XB LED (Type T) Fog Lights sold by a site vendor, The Retrofit Source. These are full housing replacements, with optics designed to utilize the 3 LEDs, resulting in controlled, usable light. The current draw is 9w, which is significantly less than the 55w current draw of H11 bulbs! Coming from The Retrofit Source (TRS), I had high expectations for this product, as their reputation in the automotive lighting world speaks for itself. Lets check them out.


Packaging: The LEDs were packaged very well. The box they are shipped in fits the XB LED product box like a glove – good job TRS. Keying in on the product box, this is a very attractive design. I really like how the whole box is flat black, with the gloss black checkered design.


^I knew I was getting "B Stock" ones, so your box won't say that. I emailed with The Retrofit Source about them, and they let me know that not every product they receive meets their strict quality control standards that they test for at their main facility in Atlanta. This speaks to the transparency of the company, and also speaks to the high quality standards they set for themselves. They told me there was a speck of dust in the light, but it was so miniscule I wouldn’t be able to see it with my naked eye. They also said they found it with special lights that highlight imperfections. Well, they were right – I couldn’t see anything wrong with them, and I looked hard. So feel confident that when you buy your XB LED Fog Lights: they made it through stringent quality control testing done in-house by TRS.

More packaging pics:




There are markings on the outside of the box so that you can confirm you have the proper fog lights for your application.



Overall, the box the product comes in doesn’t affect how good or bad the product is, but after spending the money, I love to see well thought out packaging that provides that first impression that has you thinking, “oh yea – I’m already glad I bought these.” This does just that.

Form fit foam to protect the fog lights without a lot of (if any) room for jostling. What comes in the box: the two fog lights, two screws, and two plugs (pins are already attached to the fog light wires). Oh, and I want to add that you get a The Retrofit Source decal/sticker in every order from them. I’ve always loved that about TRS.




Initial Impressions: The fog lights are definitely of high quality; there’s no doubt about that. The whole backside seems to be a lightweight metal. They weren’t nearly as heavy as I thought they were going to be.



The two plug prongs that are already attached to the leads for the fog lights are very secure, with the automotive weatherproof connections already attached.


Additionally, the designation LH RH was built into the metal, which is nice. Yes, the side orientation labeling is expected, but it could have been done cheaper, say with a sticker or something. But no corners were cut with this product!



I really like how this kit comes with a plug that you pull the tabs through. This ensures the “bump” on the plug lines up with the car’s plug, and “clicks”. That way there is no issues with maintaining a secure connection.



A small touch that really screamed quality to me was inside the lens, above the projector-type thing; there is a piece of metal with the word “Morimoto” stamped into it. This small detail is awesome, and helps contribute to the overall trend for this product, which is quality. I found it to also be functional: you want that black “Morimoto” to be at the top of the circle when installing the XB LED fogs.



Here are some other various close-up, detail pictures of the Morimoto XB LED Fog Lights:



What is all comes down to:




Install: For the installation, I followed Glex’s how-to thread (Thanks for that Glex!). Like him, I ended up having to cut the two tabs that slide into the space on the car (you’ll see what I mean when you take your OE fog housings out). However, to get it to line up with ease, I ended up cutting my tabs more than Glex cut his. See pic:



Cutting the tabs took me literally 15 seconds per light. I’ve heard some people were able to help the tabs line up and push all the way in so that the fog light lens is centered in the hole in the bumper, but I figured it was faster to just cut them rather than struggling to get them to line up correctly (especially since they will be coming in and out a few times for my review). The install is very easy. I wasn’t sure what the “proper” way was to pull the metal prongs through the plug, so I got them started by hand, and then used needle nose pliers to seat them all the way and it worked out very nicely. One great thing about the plug they provide is it only has one “bump” that clicks into the car’s plug. This is nice so once you align the prongs properly, you can always unplug it and you already know the correct way to plug the fog lights back into the car. Once you set up the prongs in the right order and insert them into the plug, no more worrying about if you have the polarity correct. Great little touch here.

I did have to aim them slightly. I aimed the XB LED fog lights to come in under the low beams, and made the top edge of the XB LED’s cutoff mesh with the low beam’s light pattern on the road. Sometimes I look at them and think I aimed them too high, and other times I think I aimed them too low. So I think that means I aimed them perfect. Lol!


How they look: Wow, these things ROCK! The light is very controlled. In fact, I would say they glare less than the OE halogen fog lights. Did I say wide? These things are crazy wide! On my initial wish list for this product, I wanted to see a very wide light beam. The XB LED fog light delivers. They are perfect for lighting up curbs when looking through the side window. They throw a lot of light on the road. The light is also slightly narrower than the halogen, but also much wider. So it’s a trade off. You’ll see in the pictures that follow.

For reference, these pictures were taken with my low beams having rebased Philips 85122 capsules. These are rated at 4300k, but have color shifted to be “cooler”. I would say they are approximately 4500k-4700k. Depending on the pictures, you will see the XB LED Fog Lights being slightly “cooler” than my low beams. That is because the XB LED’s kelvin rating is 5000k, and that is exactly what I would rate them at. So they should look slightly “cooler” than my low beams. On to the pictures! (Click the yellow bar on top to enlarge the picture).













Now, let’s take a look with my Denso powered HID low beams off. These pictures are just the XB LED Fog Lights on:




^See how far out I had to stand to capture both edges of the XB LED Fog Lights? They are WIDE! Love it.









Here are some driving pictures:




^Sorry for the blurry picture. The camera almost flew out of my hand when I stuck it out my window while moving and I must have put a fingerprint on the lens when I clinched it.




Compare to Stock/OEM: So now that you all have seen what the XB LED Fog Lights are all about, are they that much better than stock? YES! They are much better than stock in every way. I took various pictures comparing the XB LED Fog Lights to the Stock reflectors with OE Halogen bulbs in there. What a difference.

So we’ll start out comparing the housings themselves:



The smaller footprint is evident. So not only is the light better, the housing is smaller, and looks way cooler!

Now some output pictures with just the fog lights on with no low beams.





Some pictures with my Denso powered Philips 85122 low beams:




^Look at the difference of width between the halogen and XB LED.





As the pictures show, the XB LED Fog Lights have an extremely wide throw, along with that color that complements HIDs very nicely. Some of the pictures also show the XB LED Fogs being slightly narrower in terms of beam height. That is accurate in my observations. Like I said before, it’s a trade off. As I was going through the pictures for this review, I was surprised how at a distance the XB LEDs are pretty close in beam height, specifically the pictures against the hill. That hill is about 25 feet or so away, so I’m glad to see the beam fills out with distance. Here is how the light looks right up close against a surface.

Left is halogen in the fog light, right is the XB LED Fog Light:


^See, slightly narrower light from the XB LED. Good to know the internal lens diffuses it with distance. To me, this is a cool comparison picture since it shows how the halogen fog light’s width stops a little bit before the stock halogen projectors wide cutoff, whereas the XB LED Fog Light goes WAY past the halogen projector’s cut off. Also, I am literally 16” off the garage door in this picture. Look how wide the XB LED Fog Light is even with the vehicle that close to a wall. This is one of my favorite pictures I took.

Ending the comparison, the XB LED Fog Light blows the stock fog light out of the water. There is no competition.

Side Note: I’ve seen this mentioned on other threads, so I figure I’ll address it. On the pic below, do you see the gap of light from the front of the car and where the XB LED beam comes in on the road? That is an attribute of these. The cause is the projector, or lens, in the XB LED focuses the light where it is beneficial. The reality is that the area directly in front of the bumper is not at all visible from the drivers seat – even when sitting up and looking for it. To me, not illuminating this portion of the road makes sense, since that means the full power and lumens of the XB LED fogs can be placed exactly where the driver can benefit from them. Sort of like focusing the XB LEDs directly where they are beneficial. As all these pictures show, this design pays off.



Additional Information: One of the biggest questions others have, me included, is how are these going to match the HID kit I already have. Well, like I mentioned earlier, these are rated at 5000k. I would say the 5000k color is the most popular HID kit color, so I took some pictures showing how they match.





They match the Philips 85122 bulb VERY closely, but they match the 5000k bulb PERFECTLY. On the road, as you have seen in the previous pictures, the Philips 85122 bulbs are slightly yellower than the XB LED Fog Lights, so if you have the Philips bulbs, these XB LED fogs are probably going to be the closest match you are going to get. On the road with 5000k bulbs, the match is perfect. The color of the light beam from the HIDs and the XB LED fogs cannot be distinguished from one another.

Final Thoughts: I am extremely happy with the XB LED Fog Lights. I actually have had them for a few weeks, since I wanted to do a bit of driving with them before posting the review in order to relay as much factual information about them as I possibly could. This is a fantastic product for those looking to upgrade your fog lights. They run cool, draw less, and perform better than the stock fog lights. They even look cooler when they are off during the day. As you can probably guess, the thing I am most happy about is their width – what an improvement from stock, as the pictures show. However, the benefit over stock extends over every measurable category in my opinion. The light beam is very smooth; there are no hotspots at all. Just a very smooth spread with clean cutoffs. Lastly, the quality that you would expect to accompany this product is there: from the packaging to the lights to the wires to the plugs. I actually think the value is very good for the price: you get complete housings designed to work with the LEDs inside, which equals form and function.

Alas, my last two pictures:







I want to say thank you to everybody who read my review, and I hope you now have a very good idea about this product. I’m sure questions came up as you were reading. Please, feel free to post questions or comments! I will do my best to answer them. As with the rest of my reviews, I have over 200 pictures that went into this review, so if you have picture requests, there is a good chance I have them. If not, I will do what I can to get you them! Thanks again!
 

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Mr. Roo
Lexus IS300
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11,107 Posts
Excellent review GA! Not only do they perform great, they look very nice as well! :thumbsup:

I didn't know that they had these in B-stock though.... what made these B-stock?
 

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It's Official
16 Tundra, 14 RAV4,
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! You're right, they perform and look phenomenal!!

Re: B stock: I was told one of the lights had a speck of dust in them. They look perfectly awesome to me :). In reality, that just speaks to the QC that TRS has in place - top notch.

I don't know if the B Stock is on their website, but I worked it out with TRS. They may wait until they have more B Stock ones and then post them up on the website, I have no clue. I know they've hardly had any out of all the sets they've sold, so it may be a while lol.
 

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15 Highlander Plat
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Great review GA. Did you have to adjust the aim on them or do they come pre adjusted for our cars?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great review GA. Did you have to adjust the aim on them or do they come pre adjusted for our cars?

Thanks
Thank you! They do need to be aimed, although they come very close. The main reason why I aimed mine was because they weren't even. It is very easy, and once you have the plastic trays screwed back up to the car, there is a hole there where you can insert a screw driver so you don't have to drop the plastic to aim them. Very easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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The camera almost flew out of my hand when I stuck it out my window while moving and I must have put a fingerprint on the lens when I clinched it.
:rofl2:Sorry, had to laugh! The lengths you go for us. LOL As always, a great write up GA!
 

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Mr. Roo
Lexus IS300
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I was gonna say that I probably would have aimed them higher, so that there wasn't a dark spot on the sides between the heads and fogs, but then again, they're just fogs...
 

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Lexus IS350
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Oh man, your review puts my quick review to shame, haha, but, thats what makes yours a review and mine a quick review. :)

Anyways, nice to know you like them. They are certainly wide compared to the stock fogs, maybe 3-7 feet shorter in width compared to my MDX projectors. TRS did an amazingly good job when they made these babies. By any chance do you have that slight gap on the sides of the fogs due to the curvature of the lens?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
:thumbsup:
:rofl2:Sorry, had to laugh! The lengths you go for us. LOL As always, a great write up GA!
Lol, right! When that happened, I thought about how that would have sucked if I dropped it all for a picture when I have 200 others. Then I stuck the camera back out there and got a few more pics :)
I was gonna say that I probably would have aimed them higher, so that there wasn't a dark spot on the sides between the heads and fogs, but then again, they're just fogs...
Good to know. Maybe I'll experiment and move them up some to see. I definitely don't want to loose any foreground.
Oh man, your review puts my quick review to shame, haha, but, thats what makes yours a review and mine a quick review. :)
My reviews are Super-In-Depth-OCD-Reviews as blochead would call it :)! Idk if I saw your quick review. I'll go try to find it! And thank you! :)

Anyways, nice to know you like them. They are certainly wide compared to the stock fogs, maybe 3-7 feet shorter in width compared to my MDX projectors. TRS did an amazingly good job when they made these babies. By any chance do you have that slight gap on the sides of the fogs due to the curvature of the lens?
Yes, TRS has a gem on their hands. For sure.

Here is a picture of my gap. Slightly larger gap than OEM, but smaller than it was before I cut the tabs. Its about 1/4" to 3/8"...not bad.


And the fog light housing itself is perfectly centered in the hole in the bumper. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Discussion Starter #20
:thumbsup: Nice review GA.
The only issue with fogs I see is that they are sitting too low to provide "long range" improvement.
Thank you!

You mean the bumper sits low?
 
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