Proposed Light FAQ for Comments and Feedback

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by cary, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. cary


    Likes Received:
    May 7, 2003
    Sorry about the length:


    1. Stock

    From the Factory, the 80 and 100 series have 9006 low beams and 9005 high beam bulbs. Unlike many US specification cars, the landcruisers have a decent lighting pattern and output from the stock headlights.

    2. Difference between 80 and 100 series

    The 100 series uses different headlamps and reflectors from the 80 and depending on the year the 100 may have projector or free form headlamps. Also after ???? 100 series are shipped with daytime running lights on the high beam circuit. From Christo at Sleep Off Road- Problem is that the hi beam is also used as the daytime running lights. The harness could be used on the low beam side only. The high beam daytime lights are made by supplying 6v to the high beams (I believe) and this will not trigger the relays. At least that is how it works on the LX470.

    3. Why would I want to upgrade?

    Simple, many times you need more light. . It is not how much light you need under good conditions but under bad conditions. For example, I was recently driving back from Reno to the San Francisco Bay Area on Hwy 80. It was raining hard and dark up in the mountains. I had 80/100 bulbs with a harness (actually 1 80 watt and 1 55 watt low beam due to bulb burnout). I was going around a sweeping turn, and suddenly, I could not see where the road was going, the line or anything else due to paving lines being worn off, road spray and heavy rain. I hit the high beams, and I could see everything. It is when this happens that the investment is worth every penny. Bottom line, you need much more light when it dark, wet and crummy than clear and dry.

    3. Upgrading the Wiring Harness

    Generally the best place to start with the upgrade is the wiring harness. Here is an explanation from Daniel Stern Lighting as to why:

    "In many cases, the thin factory wires are inadequate even for the stock headlamp equipment. Headlamp bulb light output is severely compromised with decreased voltage. For example, normal engine-running voltage in a "12-volt" automotive electrical system is around 13.5 volts. At approximately this voltage, halogen headlamp bulbs achieve 100 percent of their design luminous output. When operating voltage drops to 95 percent (12.825v), headlamp bulbs produce only 83 percent of their rated light output. When voltage drops to 90 percent (12.15v), bulb output is only 67 percent of what it should be. And when voltage drops to 85 percent (11.475v), bulb output is a paltry 53 percent of normal! [Source: Hella KG Hueck AG, Germany]. It is much more common than you might think for factory headlamp wiring/switch setups to produce this kind of voltage drop, especially once they're no longer brand new and the connections have accumulated some corrosion and dirt."

    Generally, the easiest way to upgrade is to order the wiring harness from . Slee has customized the harness to specifically fit the 80 series taking the time and trouble out of making your own. Also by the time you buy your own parts to make a conversion it will cost more than getting a pre-built harness.

    If you have a 100 series with daytime running lights, you can use the Slee harness to upgrade your low beam circuit but not the high beams. It is worth noting that one member has measured his 100 series low beam circuit and found now voltage drop.

    4. Upgrading the Bulbs

    When measuring the output of a lamp, many people focus on wattage. Wattage tells us little to nothing about the output of a bulb on the amount of electricity the bulb draws. The proper way to measure light output from a bulb is in lumens which measures the total output of a bulb. Compare this to candlepower which measure the intensity of light measured at one foot and is easily manipulated by playing with the focus of a lamp (i.e. a spot lamp will have a much higher candlepower rating than a flood with the same bulb).

    Stock the lamps on the LC put out the following amount of light (these are best case numbers):

    HB4 (9006) 55watts 1000 lumens
    HB3 (9005) 65watts 1700 lumens

    For comparison here is the spec for all non-tinted factory HID lamps:

    D1S ~35watts 3200lumens

    So what are the options for upgrades? In order from cheapest to most expensive they are:

    a) Convert 9005 high beam bulbs to work in the standard 9006 low beam slot. Here is a link on how to do it: . The advantages to doing this are that the you get 1700 lumens of output for about $15. The disadvantages are 1) the bulbs to do not fit snugly in the housing (20mm bulb base v. 22mm mounting), 2) There is no front shield on the 9005 bulb leading to increased glare, and 2) as a result of number 1, poor lighting pattern due to poor bulb alignment.

    b) Install 55w Narva Xenon lamps from for $13 apiece. Narva is a high quality German subsidiary of Phillips and their bulbs generally have the highest output of standard replacement bulbs (an extra 100 or so lumens).

    c) Purchase high output 9006 and 9005 bulbs. Note, this should only be done if you have upgraded the wiring harness. According to Daniel Stern, the output of German 9005 and 9006 high output bulbs are as follows:

    9006 80 watt- 1650 Lumens
    9005 100 watt- 2540 Lumens

    The problem is that nobody seem to be able to get the German Bulbs, many have tried and all have failed. So we are left with the high watt Hella Korean made bulbs which have numerous problems. In fact Hella has stopped the manufacture of the high output bulbs in Korea due to quality issues and they are supposedly seeking a German bulb supplier. The primary problems with the high watt bulbs is that 1) they have very inconsistent filament placement leading to light aiming problems and poor beam quality, and 2) they last about 1-3 months. The advantages of these bulbs are they are cheap at about $10.00 each. If you want them the most reliable supplier is .

    d) You can upgrade to HIR bulbs, which are best described by the God of Lighting, Daniel Stern as:

    The new bulbs are not some tinted or overwattage version of 9005 and 9006,
    but rather employ a relatively new technology called HIR, Halogen
    Infrared. The mechanical dimensions of the bulb are all virtually
    identical to the 9005 and 9006 bulbs, but the bulb glass is spherical
    instead of tubular, with the sphere centered around the filament. There is
    a "Durable IR Reflective" coating on the spherical glass. Infrared = heat,
    so the coating causes heat to be reflected back to the filament at the
    center of the sphere. This causes the filament to become much hotter
    (producing more light) than it can by passing electricity through it,
    *without* the shorter life or greater heat production that comes with
    overwattage bulbs (to say nothing of overwattage bulbs' incompatibility
    with stock wiring.)

    Here's the comparison:

    Low beam stock: 9006, 12.8V, 55W, 1000 lumens
    Low beam new: HIR2, 12.8V, 55W, 1875 lumens

    High beam stock: 9005, 12.8V, 65W, 1700 lumens
    High beam new: HIR1, 12.8V, 65W, 2530 lumens

    So you're looking at nearly 88 percent more light from the low beams and a
    grand total of 137% more light (49% of which from the high beam units, 88%
    of which from the low beams, which may be wired to remain on with the high
    beams) on high beam. The beam pattern will not change, but there will be
    considerably more light within the beam pattern.

    Now, it's not a problem to use HIR1 in any high beam that takes 9005. High
    beams are by definition difficult to make too intense. If there's anyone
    in front of you to object to glare, you should be using LOW beams. There
    is a low-beam HIR bulb, but it must be used with discretion. The HIR2 (low
    beam bulb) produces 1875 lumens. That's about 88 percent more light than a
    9006, so it must only be used in low beams that have, as part of their
    design, excellent control of upward stray light. If the low beam pattern
    doesn't have a sharp horizontal cutoff at the top of the beam, if there's
    appreciable upward stray light above horizontal, you will produce
    excessive glare and get excessive backdazzle with HIR2s.

    These bulbs are spendy - $39/ea - but their cost is worth considering in
    context: Any number of companies will charge you more than this for a
    tarted-up 9005 or 9006 with blue colored glass (PIAA comes to mind) that
    doesn't produce more light and has a very short lifespan.

    The HIR bulbs have a double-wide top ear on the plastic bulb base, this is
    to comply with the law requiring different bulbs to have different bases.
    The extra-wide plastic top ear is easily trimmed or filed to make the bulb
    fit your headlamp's bulb receptacle. Once that's done, they go directly
    into the headlamp, and the existing sockets snap on.

    It should also be noted that HIR bulbs have a much longer life expectancy than hi watt bulbs, in fact they are equivalent to stock wattage bulbs with the 55 watt HIR having a 1000 hour expectancy and the 65 watt bulb having a 275 hour life expectancy.

    More information on the HIR bulbs can be found at:

    There are three places that HIR bulbs can be obtained (at least that we have been able to find). They are:

    a. You local John Deere Dealer. They are available under part # is AH162232 and the price each was $28.55. Note that these are only low beam replacements, no high beam is available and you will have to trim the tab as described above.

    b. Order them from for $39 each. He stocks both the low and high beam bulb. These bulbs also required tab trimming.

    c. Order the IPF version from for $55 each. They stock both the low and high beam and require not tab trimming.

    e) You could seek out an convert to the factory E-code lamps for approximately $550 and have the ability to run quality hi-watt bulbs. I have no more information than this on the E-code lamps for a landcruiser.

    5. Why No HID Conversions

    HID retrofit kits are no longer legal for sale as of August 2003. Sellers may be fined $5000 per day for offering them for sale. Aside from that, there are some real problems with conversion kits, even those that have the filament in the proper position. Essentially, HID lamps emit light in a different radiation patter than regular incandescent bulbs. This leads to sever spotting in conversion lamps that were not designed for HID bulbs in the first place. Also HID lamps that are designed for the bulbs from the start are designed for a broader flatter beam (mind you I am ignoring the superior European lighting standards and focusing on the US standards). For some great information, check out these two websites and . The bottom line is the consensus is to forget doing an HID conversion using the stock lenses.

    6. What about those cool blue lights I see?

    Lights like piaa Ultrabrightblindyoublues, are a waste of money. Any blue bulb is a waste of money and there is no such thing as 55w=110w, all this is playing with the filament and measurements, the bulbs do not have higher lumens output. The blue color is obtained by adding a tint to the bulb which decreases total lumens output. For an extended discussion of the problems with blue bulbs, why color temperature of bulbs is bund and why the US made Phillips Silverstars stink see the following link:

    BTW, ALL FACTORY HID LAMPS are 4100k lights. HID lamps are only manufactured in 4100K and 5000k (for replacement). Any other color temp HID lamp is either tinted or falsely advertised.

    7. How About Installing Auxiliary Lights?

    Auxiliary lights come in several flavors, Fog, supplemental beams, driving lights, euro beams, and pencil beams. I am going to keep it short and note that fog lamps have a wide pattern and sharp cutoff, supplemental beams are for helping poor low beam headlamps, driving and euro beams supplement high beams, and pencil beams are for sending light signals to people 5 miles away.

    Good brands of auxiliary lights are Hella, Cibie, IPF, and Lightforce.

    Some other Suggestions: 1) The Cibie Oscar + driving lamps have a great spread and supplement stock lights well. These guys have great prices on Cibie stuff and show the beam patterns. . 2) If purchase Hella Auxiliary lamps, skip the 500 series. They are really cheaply made compared to the quality I expect from hella. The 1000 and 4000 lamps are much better in quality as are the other higher end Hella lamps. Check for Hella auxiliary lamps.

    Finally, Great examples of how different light patterns actually work at night can be found on Hella Germany's site.

    With Thanks to IdahoDoug, Shocker and Linus
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Land Cruiser Heritage Museum broom closet
    Very nice job....... :cheers:

    I like this the best tho: "From Christo at Sleep Off Road" :D

    You did that on purpose, didn't you? :D

    BTW, OEM Koito low beam bulbs, 90981-13047, list for $20.38 each. The OEM Koito high beams have been superceeded to a Sylvania bulb.
  3. bkgiii

    bkgiii SILVER Star

    Likes Received:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Gulf Coast
    Good write up, Cary. A couple of thoughts come to mind when building this (and other) 'knowledge bases':
    Watch out for things like 'prices quotes' which change...makes updates a pain in the butt.
    For the layman, perhaps we could come up with some sort of 'matrix' that illustrates options based on objectives. For instance, let's say I want some informed recommendations for auxiliary lighting.

    ..never mind...just realized thiat approached competing with 'Lighting' sites...maybe just a 'guide' to the lighting consumer, with links as already noted on the other things necessary (harnesses, etc.).

    Maybe 'comparisons' ....I'm thinking graphics...

    Links: like prices, they may change.....Junk ain't gonna wanna spend all his time tracking down dead ones.
  4. yooper

    yooper SILVER Star

    Likes Received:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Da Yoop
    VERY nice FAQ cary.


    section 3: "one member has measured his 100 series low beam circuit and found now voltage drop."

    section 6: "  For an extended discussion of the problems with blue bulbs, why color temperature of bulbs is bund "

    The long URLs with "..." aren't working right - they are being chopped up - probably a result of you copying and pasting a bunch before posting, messing up the code.

    Leave the links in. They are too important. If they die too bad.

    Leave the prices in but maybe add a qualifier at the beginning that these are Feb 2004 prices or something.

    You [​IMG]

  5. CDN_Cruiser


    Likes Received:
    Mar 27, 2003

    Great stuff! Here are a few possible things to include:

    1) Note that the LX450 lamps are NOT the same at the TLC (same bulbs etc, but apparently the light is different)

    2) May be helpful if somone can post how to disable DRL. I just bought the Slee harness and really want to use for high beams as well, but I do have DRL which was added after market when the truck was brought into Canada from the US. I would imagine that this portion of the circuit can be disconnected. Anyone done this?

    PS, I'm a huge fan of DRLs, but I really want to use the Slee harness for the high beams and I'll turn the lows on manually.

    Cheers, Hugh
  6. cary


    Likes Received:
    May 7, 2003
    Thanks for the feedback, the comments have been incorporated. If anyone has information about the DRL's, please post it and I will incorporate it into the document.

  7. NW-sickboy


    Likes Received:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Eagle, ID
    hopefullly i will have some diagnosis to add soon.. i think this is a good format for FAQ topics... thanks for volounteering your time and knowledge.


    Likes Received:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Black Mountain, NC
    I bought the John Deere HIR low beams for my '99 TLC. Installed the right one last evening so we could check it out on a night trip. I saw a definite improvement over the stock left bulb, but really can't say if it was 80% brighter.

    For $60 total investment, it's a nice improvement -- and the HIR bulbs are supposed to last at least as long as stock. We got about a foot of snow coming down today, so I'll put the other bulb in this weekend when things thaw out.

    Thanks to all who contribute to this board, and to Cary for putting a lot of it together in one post.

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