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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Discussion Starter #1
Link to bulb: http://www.xenondepot.com/h4-philips-12953BWX2-LED-Bulb-p/12953bwx2.htm

I had the opportunity to test out a new Philips H4 LED Headlight bulb that XenonDepot carries. Philips claims that it’s a direct replacement for a halogen bulb and that it projects an identical beam pattern as a halogen bulb. The result: Philips’ claim is accurate. But this bulb is so much more than just a halogen H4 replacement!

I’ve 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, I’ve 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 I’m using my stock headlight housings with reflector bowls from the factory designed for halogen bulbs. The last LEDs I tried didn’t 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 don’t appreciate being blinded by glaring headlights, and I won’t 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 Philips’ 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, it’s not all done in the reflector of the headlight). Halogen bulbs have a shield under the bulb tilted down on the driver’s 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 bulbs…even placing the shield slightly lower on the driver’s 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 (I’ll get to the install further down since they’re 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) don’t really do them justice. They are much brighter than the bulbs I was previously running.

Color/Kelvin

The kelvin value to me is misleading. I’ve 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 won’t 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.

Pattern/Cutoff/Glare

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.

Review Conclusion

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!

Pics Here

Beam Pattern:


Low Beam:


Low Beam:


High Beam:


Comparisons with generic LED – Low Beam:


Comparisons with generic LED – High Beam:


Generic LED at 6000K:


Philips LED at 6200K:


Shots of the bulbs themselves:














Install

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 it’s tight. Two things to note are that the threads are fine, so you’ll 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 vehicle’s 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 tight…self-explanatory when you see them.)

Test to make sure you got everything connected. And you’re done!

Note: For the Tacoma, I removed the water bottle on the passenger side to give me lots of room. On the driver’s side, my battery left enough room to work next to it without removal. For the Highlander, there is plenty of room (unlimited really).
 

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@05Moose - Thank you for putting this together. I'm very happy that you're enjoying the Philips H4 LED headlight bulbs. This bulb is truly the next generation LED headlight bulbs -- completely blows anything else out of the water.

Supply will be VERY limited on this bulb initially. We are expecting our first order of these bulbs to arrive early-mid October, and are currently taking pre-orders on the site.

Steve
 

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02
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I don't see much of a difference between the LED and OEM except the LED light output seems 'splotchy' and in the wall shot there is more light bleed above the cutoff line. Obviously a big difference between the Philips LED and Ebay LED but nowhere close to an OEM LED application.
 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Discussion Starter #4
There is no OEM LED option for the Tacoma. And yes, I see some splotchiness with the high beams (don't notice it on low). But I'm getting the whiter, brighter light without having to replace them every year as was the case with the halogens when choosing a brighter output.
 

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There is no OEM LED option for the Tacoma. And yes, I see some splotchiness with the high beams (don't notice it on low). But I'm getting the whiter, brighter light without having to replace them every year as was the case with the halogens when choosing a brighter output.


Just to clarify, I was referencing an OEM application like the Corolla has. I see that the light is whiter but why do you believe it's brighter? I am looking at the pics of your OEM halogen vs. these Philips and visibility looks to be about the same.
 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Discussion Starter #6
I would choose the Corolla's LED over aftermarket if that were an option just because of the color temp being 5000k. They appear brighter to me because they light up the road more (including the distance with high beams). They actually compare pretty close to the silverstars. About the same brightness but they seem to have less glare going out the sides. Remember, it's just my opinion in comparing. That's why I include photos for you to make your own judgement. Regardless, I'm quite happy with them and will continue to run them as I have for over a month now. If I had a second set, they'd be going into the highlander.
 

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I would choose the Corolla's LED over aftermarket if that were an option just because of the color temp being 5000k. They appear brighter to me because they light up the road more (including the distance with high beams). They actually compare pretty close to the silverstars. About the same brightness but they seem to have less glare going out the sides. Remember, it's just my opinion in comparing. That's why I include photos for you to make your own judgement. Regardless, I'm quite happy with them and will continue to run them as I have for over a month now. If I had a second set, they'd be going into the highlander.
I'll let you know when they come in :)

Steve
 

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2008 Sienna LE
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I see the price is $269.99. Does that includes everything? The Web site doesn't make that clear. Also, what's with all the Kanji writing on the box? Are these being brought in from Japan? Are they DOT approved for on-road use?
 

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They appear brighter to me because they light up the road more (including the distance with high beams).

If you could retake the picture with the mailbox (at the exact same distance) I think that might clarify that it is brighter. I could see to about the same point past the mailbox but then I realized that you were much further away.


 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Discussion Starter #10
I see the price is $269.99. Does that includes everything? The Web site doesn't make that clear. Also, what's with all the Kanji writing on the box? Are these being brought in from Japan? Are they DOT approved for on-road use?
I'll let Steve from XD address that for the products he'll be getting. The one in the picture did come from there for testing purposes. And yes, everything is in the box. The headlight plug on the truck plugs directly into these. No extra wiring needed.

If you could retake the picture with the mailbox (at the exact same distance) I think that might clarify that it is brighter. I could see to about the same point past the mailbox but then I realized that you were much further away.
Yeah, it was further away. I made some mistakes like that when taking my pics. Part of the problem was that it was August when I took all the comparison pics and the Sun wasn't setting until late (I'm a morning person :lol: ). Now that it's dark by 7:30, I can take more time and put myself in the same position. A lot easier for me since I'm driving with them and can compare distances and everything on our dark mountain streets.
 

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@sharkinstx - As per your questions:

(1) Everything you need will be included, as these bulbs are literally a direct replacement for stock H4 halogen bulbs.

(2) Philips 12953BWX2 LED bulbs are not DOT approved. It is currently impossible for any non-filament bulb installed in a headlight designed for a filament bulb to be considered road-legal given how the law is written -- regardless of the beam pattern it produces. As such, this bulb is not released by Philips for the North American market.

(3) The $269.99 price (currently) qualifies for the 20% off coupon code listed on the site.
@05Moose - thanks for the feedback!

Steve
 

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@sharkinstx - As per your questions:

(1) Everything you need will be included, as these bulbs are literally a direct replacement for stock H4 halogen bulbs.

(2) Philips 12953BWX2 LED bulbs are not DOT approved. It is currently impossible for any non-filament bulb installed in a headlight designed for a filament bulb to be considered road-legal given how the law is written -- regardless of the beam pattern it produces. As such, this bulb is not released by Philips for the North American market.

(3) The $269.99 price (currently) qualifies for the 20% off coupon code listed on the site.
@05Moose - thanks for the feedback!

Steve
Bulbs look great.. How does this work with DRL.. Looking for this for my 2012 Honda Fit.. But I don't understand what the "with drl" actually does and if it's needed?
 

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@Credits doglike - If your vehicle has DRL (daytime running lights) then you would need an additional component to ensure the lights do not flicker. DRL typically operate at reduced power or pulsing power, meaning that you would need something to modulate power going into the bulb to ensure you do not get any flickering.

Steve
 

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@Credits doglike - If your vehicle has DRL (daytime running lights) then you would need an additional component to ensure the lights do not flicker. DRL typically operate at reduced power or pulsing power, meaning that you would need something to modulate power going into the bulb to ensure you do not get any flickering.

Steve
Ok figured that would be the case.. with the h4 bulb on your site.. you have an option "DRL Upgrade" which costs $22.99 US... is this the additional component I need? it doesn't really specify what the drl upgrade is and how it functions..

does it keep the lights on full brightness for DRL?
 

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Hi,

Yes, it will prevent the lights from flickering. LEDS cannot dim, so without the component the lights would flicker and potentially burn out prematurely.

Steve
 

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@08TRDOFFROAD - They're not going to get any better in terms of price -- especially with the fact that you're getting 20% off with the current promo.

We are expecting to get our first batch in within the next couple of weeks.

Steve
 

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edm3rd
09 Prerunner AC
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Don't understand the issue with DRL - on my 2009 DRL is dim/bright on the 4157 amber bulb, headlights are not involved.


Is it maybe required on other models but NOT on a Tacoma?
 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Discussion Starter #19
Don't understand the issue with DRL - on my 2009 DRL is dim/bright on the 4157 amber bulb, headlights are not involved.


Is it maybe required on other models but NOT on a Tacoma?

The discussion on that was regarding a Honda Fit, not the Tacoma. Same situation as a highlander where the DRLs use the H4 bulb. Not applicable to the Tacoma.
 

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Hi,

These bulbs are not "Tacoma" specific, so the option is there for other vehicles that may have DRL on the low/high beam bulb.

Steve
 
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