2014 Toyota Tacoma headlights and foglights

Rossymeister

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Looking for some recommendations for headlights and foglights for my toyota tacoma. Im driving long, dark country roads, so i need something as bright as i can get it, legally. Ive tried a few of the silverstar bulbs over the years, and they werent too impressive. Any ideas?
 

F89

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I've been happy with Osram Night Breaker 200 (I'm using H7).
Looks like your Tacoma uses 9003 (H4) for the low/high beam and H11 for the fogs.
Night Breaker 200 are available in both of those sizes.

One thing that may be relevant is that the dual bulb (low/high beam built into one bulb) may not be as good as independent bulbs/reflectors or projectors for low and high beams?

How's the plastic (I'm assuming plastic) lenses? If the plastic is hazy, that'll affect the output.
 

F89

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Check out this very extensive thread HERE. Lots of good testing and reliable info there.
Just had a quick look at the post you linked. I didn't read it in detail but my initial thoughts are that these extra powerful bulbs won't be road legal, would require beefing up existing wiring and may also damage (melt?) bits of the existing housing if you're not careful.
I'm sure the guy in the post covered off on all this stuff?

On rural roads, don't hesitate to use your high beams. As long as you're demonstrating courtesy and using them within the legal guidelines.

I'd start with some decent bulbs (like Night Breaker 200), check the adjustment, and check the condition of the lenses. Then see how you go from there.

Edit.
Just had another quick look at the post above.
Looks like a great upgrade. Basically installed like adding extra lights (driving lights etc).
My main comment is that the headlights technically become illegal (in most parts I'd say?)
As far as being an issue to other drivers or being picked up on an inspection, I really don't think it would be an issue.
 
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EJR

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Also, reach out to Daniel Stern for his custom spec'd out H4 bulbs from Vosla. You can find them HERE.

One other thing worth noting is the condition of the factory lamps - are they in like-new condition or do they have some pitting/weathering? This is will greatly impact light transmittance regardless of what bulb you stuff in there. In the latter case, new genuine OEM Toyota lamps are in order, not cheap aftermarket replicas since they don't offer the same level of optical performance as factory.
 

Rossymeister

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Thanks for the help everybody.
How's the plastic (I'm assuming plastic) lenses? If the plastic is hazy, that'll affect the output.

Plastic is clouded quite a bit. I need to get up to toyota and price a new set of lenses.


I've been happy with Osram Night Breaker 200 (I'm using H7).
Looks like your Tacoma uses 9003 (H4) for the low/high beam and H11 for the fogs.
Night Breaker 200 are available in both of those sizes.

Ok cool! Where would you recommend ordering these from?

Check out this very extensive thread HERE. Lots of good testing and reliable info there.

Ok thanks! Ill check it out later tonight.

Also, reach out to Daniel Stern for his custom spec'd out H4 bulbs from Vosla. You can find them HERE.

One other thing worth noting is the condition of the factory lamps - are they in like-new condition or do they have some pitting/weathering? This is will greatly impact light transmittance regardless of what bulb you stuff in there. In the latter case, new genuine OEM Toyota lamps are in order, not cheap aftermarket replicas since they don't offer the same level of optical performance as factory.

Ok thanks! Yeah they are clouded quite a bit. Hopefully a new set wont be too expensive from toyota.
 

F89

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There's a process of sanding/polishing and recoating plastic headlights that might be worth looking into?
You can even buy kits with everything you need. I've never tried it, but it may be worth it depending on the cost of replacements.

I get my Night Breaker 200 from Amazon. They generally ship from Germany or UK but delivery has been free and quick for me.
I'd recommend buying two lots if you intend to keep the car for a while (sounds like you do) and keep a spare set in the car so you're ready to replace them as required.

I haven't burnt out my first lot yet. Performance halogen globes don't last as long as basic ones but they seem to perform well until they go out, unlike standard and long life which start off pretty ordinary and dim as they age.

Restored or new lights with Night Breaker 200 will be a huge upgrade over your clouded lights.
 

Rossymeister

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I just got a price from toyota on the headlight assemblies. They want almost $900 just for the parts. Absolutely crazy.

Rather than messing with replacing those OEM lights, have you considered one of those LED light bars?
Yeah, i have been thinking about that. Maybe sometime next year when funds are better. Ive seen some pretty cool setups online.

There's a process of sanding/polishing and recoating plastic headlights that might be worth looking into?
You can even buy kits with everything you need. I've never tried it, but it may be worth it depending on the cost of replacements.

I get my Night Breaker 200 from Amazon. They generally ship from Germany or UK but delivery has been free and quick for me.
I'd recommend buying two lots if you intend to keep the car for a while (sounds like you do) and keep a spare set in the car so you're ready to replace them as required.

Ok thanks! Just ordered a set of each. Are there any aftermarket headlight lens assemblies that you can recommend? My local toyota dealers prices are outrageous! I might look into a restoration kit if i cant find anything quality and reasonably priced.
 

EJR

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I just got a price from toyota on the headlight assemblies. They want almost $900 just for the parts. Absolutely crazy.

Are there any aftermarket headlight lens assemblies that you can recommend? My local toyota dealers prices are outrageous! I might look into a restoration kit if i cant find anything quality and reasonably priced.

Do not settle for cheap aftermarket replica headlamps. As I already stated, these are inferior to the factory OEM lamps. They may LOOK exactly the same on the outside but the actual part that creates the beam (the optics) are not nearly as good. You'll end up with nice shiny, new headlamps with a light distribution that will still leave a lot to be desired. You'll be back to square one asking about how to improve them. And brighter bulbs won't resolve bad optics.

$900 seems very excessive for new lamps. Local dealers are always going to be the most expensive route. You need to research for better pricing online. You can easily find them for under $500 for a pair if you look hard enough, which quite honestly, is a fair price for factory lamps.

LH lamp
RH lamp
 

KITROBASKIN

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I did an auto parts store headlamp restoration of plastic bezel kit with a ~10 year old Toyota van. Restoration did not last as long as I had hoped, though New Mexico sun is relentless. If it was a vehicle to keep for a good while, I would get factory replacement from a reputable online vendor. Safety and vision are worth it, don't you think?
 

blinkjr

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The lens covers on our 2005 Odyssey had become quite "fogged" up. Checked pricing for news ones and said nope. So I researched a bit and ended up buying a restoration kit by Meguiar's. It was a multi-hour Saturday afternoon project, but they came out great. The only thing I didn't like was the coating you put on after polishing the cover. It was not like paint that would flow and smooth out. Too thick for that. So appearance-wise it wasn't the greatest. But the difference at night was astonishing.

I can't remember how well it held up. But, for the low cost of the kit and a few hours of my time, even if only lasted 2-3 years I would just repeat the process.
 

Rossymeister

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Do not settle for cheap aftermarket replica headlamps. As I already stated, these are inferior to the factory OEM lamps. They may LOOK exactly the same on the outside but the actual part that creates the beam (the optics) are not nearly as good. You'll end up with nice shiny, new headlamps with a light distribution that will still leave a lot to be desired. You'll be back to square one asking about how to improve them. And brighter bulbs won't resolve bad optics.

$900 seems very excessive for new lamps. Local dealers are always going to be the most expensive route. You need to research for better pricing online. You can easily find them for under $500 for a pair if you look hard enough, which quite honestly, is a fair price for factory lamps.

LH lamp
RH lamp

Looking online i see exactly what you mean now. Peeling, cracking, water intrusion, etc. Thanks for letting me know!
 

yellow

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Bef4e selling my old car, i had a last check done,
the people at the dealer also polished the fogged plastic headlamp covers - for almost nothing.
And that was way more professionnal than when I had purchased and used such a kit.
The lights looked like new.

Ask at Your dealer if they offer such a service, if not go to a non maker specific shop that does.

Professional work, from someone who does this offen and has industrial Equipment already, will always be much better, than 1st try + aftermarket parts work.
;)

Dont get expensive replacements, if not needed.
 

EJR

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Bef4e selling my old car, i had a last check done,
the people at the dealer also polished the fogged plastic headlamp covers - for almost nothing.
And that was way more professionnal than when I had purchased and used such a kit.
The lights looked like new.

Ask at Your dealer if they offer such a service, if not go to a non maker specific shop that does.

Professional work, from someone who does this offen and has industrial Equipment already, will always be much better, than 1st try + aftermarket parts work.
;)

Dont get expensive replacements, if not needed.

A study done back in 2018 by AAA, where they tested deteriorated headlamps, revealed some rather interesting information.

The sample of deteriorated headlamps averaged 22% light output compared to new factory OEM lamps (100%).

DIY lens restorations averaged 69% total light output compared to new factory OEM.

"Professional" lens restorations averaged 73% total light output compared to new factory OEM.

As you can see, even the "best" restored lamps simply do not come close to the level of new equivalents. I mean, sure, there is definitely a substantial improvement, no doubt about it. The results however are highly dependent on skill level. One could very well experience a further reduction in output if their resto was done inadequately.

And then there is durability. Most of these kits do not include legitimate long term protection of the polycarbonate (ie. silly waxes, sealants and even micro thin ceramic coatings), so they'll be back to being a hazed, cloudy mess in very short period. Factory lamps are manufactured with a non-consumer grade hardcoat that isn't available at your local auto parts store.

30% light reduction in best case scenario is too much IMO. This is why new factory lamps are the better choice if you truly want maximum lighting performance. And they'll stay looking new for at least 3-5 years.
 

KITROBASKIN

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A study done back in 2018 by AAA, where they tested deteriorated headlamps, revealed some rather interesting information.

The sample of deteriorated headlamps averaged 22% light output compared to new factory OEM lamps (100%).

DIY lens restorations averaged 69% total light output compared to new factory OEM.

"Professional" lens restorations averaged 73% total light output compared to new factory OEM.

As you can see, even the "best" restored lamps simply do not come close to the level of new equivalents. I mean, sure, there is definitely a substantial improvement, no doubt about it. The results however are highly dependent on skill level. One could very well experience a further reduction in output if their resto was done inadequately.

And then there is durability. Most of these kits do not include legitimate long term protection of the polycarbonate (ie. silly waxes, sealants and even micro thin ceramic coatings), so they'll be back to being a hazed, cloudy mess in very short period. Factory lamps are manufactured with a non-consumer grade hardcoat that isn't available at your local auto parts store.

30% light reduction in best case scenario is too much IMO. This is why new factory lamps are the better choice if you truly want maximum lighting performance. And they'll stay looking new for at least 3-5 years.
Would be nice to read other findings. Summary after page 32:

 
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