Automotive Aux driving lights for 2013 Ram

Jettix2

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Hi all;

New to the forum here, appreciate any help you might be able to give me.

Just bought a 2013 Ram 3500 Laramie and the stock lighting (projectors) are lousy. I can't figure out why every new vehicle I've had over the last X years seems to have lousy lights. Oh well.

I live in the middle of nowhere in northern Michigan. Lots of driving on rural 2 lane roads, lots of animals, plenty of blinding snow in the winter, etc.

I'm going to install a light bar on the front of the truck to give me mounting ability for 4 lights.

My complaints with the stock lights on the truck are:

1) low beams are terrible. This is PRIORITY to address. Factory fogs help, but not much. Very short throw. Super easy to over-drive them.
2) highs are OK but not the best I've ever seen.

What should I put on the light bar? A set of aux low beams and a set of driving lights?

Need to be <$500 for the lights. Need to withstand Michigan winters.
I am not brand loyal, but I prefer traditional round lights from an aesthetic standpoint (versus, say, the Rigid micro LED lights)

Any help appreciated. Sorry I'm typing this on a phone, apologize for any typos:)

Thx, Ben
 

Alaric Darconville

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Welcome!
1) low beams are terrible. This is PRIORITY to address. Factory fogs help, but not much. Very short throw. Super easy to over-drive them.
2) highs are OK but not the best I've ever seen.

Factory (or any!) fog lamps *shouldn't* help much-- they are for very low speeds in very low-visibility conditions (for example, extreme fog or snow). They're not meant to supplement low beams at highway speeds.

It seems that at least on AllPar.com*, they say the headlamps have "better light patterns"; it *could* be that if you have the kind they're talking about, that they look different enough that they trick you, since personal impressions of headlamps are often subjective and don't reflect the objective performance.

AllPar.com
bi-functional halogen projector design (on Sport and Laramie Longhorn, optional on Laramie)
 

-Virgil-

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Interesting. The 2013 Ram headlamps have a Bi-Halogen projector with HIR2 (9012) bulb. They are much better than either of the previous reflector-type headlamps (the single-bulb H13 or the two-bulb H11/HB3). Even so, Northern Michigan driving places very high demands on a headlight system. You will probably want to put in a pair of auxiliary low beams and a pair of auxiliary high beams. If it were my truck, I'd probably get two pairs of the fabled Grote housings and use Cibie convex driving beam units and Hella Bi-Focal low beam units for my aux high beams and aux low beams, respectively. Daniel Stern carries these and other vendors probably do, too. Don't skimp on the wire-up; you'll need a good quality relay harness for each pair of lamps. Properly aimed, this setup with appropriate bulbs should completely solve the seeing problem without breaking your budget.
 

irsa76

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I'd also make sure the stock headlights are aimed correctly, don't fall into the trap of thinking new car= perfect headlight aim because in my experience they aren't. I spent nearly 10 years doing new car pre-delivery work and found I usually had to adjust the headlight aim, with the correct equipment.
 

Jettix2

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So, after some additional Internet browsing, I've stumbled across the IPF 900DB dual beam lamp kit.

Labeled as an e-code patterned headlight lens (apparently quite popular with Jeep owners) that they've put into a bolt on housing.

Wattage might be too high for road usage, could be lowered with different bulbs I suppose??

Is this comparable to the hella/grote setup you mentioned? I ask only because I'm not an electrical wizard and would prefer (if possible) to buy a setup that had within harness, relays etc ready to go;)




Interesting. The 2013 Ram headlamps have a Bi-Halogen projector with HIR2 (9012) bulb. They are much better than either of the previous reflector-type headlamps (the single-bulb H13 or the two-bulb H11/HB3). Even so, Northern Michigan driving places very high demands on a headlight system. You will probably want to put in a pair of auxiliary low beams and a pair of auxiliary high beams. If it were my truck, I'd probably get two pairs of the fabled Grote housings and use Cibie convex driving beam units and Hella Bi-Focal low beam units for my aux high beams and aux low beams, respectively. Daniel Stern carries these and other vendors probably do, too. Don't skimp on the wire-up; you'll need a good quality relay harness for each pair of lamps. Properly aimed, this setup with appropriate bulbs should completely solve the seeing problem without breaking your budget.
 

-Virgil-

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The IPF lamps are not recommendable based on real/objective performance. If you base your purchases on enthusiastic "reviews" on car-fanboy websites, you will spend a lot of money and not get a lot of benefit.
 

opposite locker

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Very surprised that you don't like the stock projectors. Are the headlights properly aimed? Was the truck lifted or leveled at all? Your headlights are supposed to be a lot better than the h13's in my '08 Ram, and my headlights are pretty damn good with Philips XP bulbs.

With all the space you have on a light bar, I'd use the Hella 4000 euro pattern for supplemental high beam. Don't think you have many options for an auxiliary low beam beyond what was mentioned above.
 

Jettix2

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Lights seem to be aimed correctly but I haven't located an optical aiming device to have them checked yet....there is a thread that just popped up on one of the Ram boards day before yesterday, complaining about these exact lights, 5 or 6 guys have chimed in to also say that they're not as good as they were hoping.


Very surprised that you don't like the stock projectors. Are the headlights properly aimed? Was the truck lifted or leveled at all? Your headlights are supposed to be a lot better than the h13's in my '08 Ram, and my headlights are pretty damn good with Philips XP bulbs.

With all the space you have on a light bar, I'd use the Hella 4000 euro pattern for supplemental high beam. Don't think you have many options for an auxiliary low beam beyond what was mentioned above.
 

Alaric Darconville

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Lights seem to be aimed correctly but I haven't located an optical aiming device to have them checked yet....there is a thread that just popped up on one of the Ram boards day before yesterday, complaining about these exact lights, 5 or 6 guys have chimed in to also say that they're not as good as they were hoping.

Excellent control of light in the glare zones, and reduction of excessive foreground light can be mistaken for "poor performance". Some people will run their fog lamps in clear conditions because they "feel" they can see better, when in fact it's the excessive foreground light that is fooling them into that feeling. This *might* be exactly what's happening with the 2013 Ram.
 

JMSinMD

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Lights seem to be aimed correctly but I haven't located an optical aiming device to have them checked yet....there is a thread that just popped up on one of the Ram boards day before yesterday, complaining about these exact lights, 5 or 6 guys have chimed in to also say that they're not as good as they were hoping.

I know the dealership where I used to work had an optical beam setter that was used before vehicle's could pass state inspection. I would contact your selling dealership and explain to them that you don't believe the lights are aimed correctly and you would like them to be looked at by whomever is trained in the use of the beam setter.
 

hokiefyd

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Lights seem to be aimed correctly but I haven't located an optical aiming device to have them checked yet....there is a thread that just popped up on one of the Ram boards day before yesterday, complaining about these exact lights, 5 or 6 guys have chimed in to also say that they're not as good as they were hoping.

Complaints on the performance of Chrysler's newer bi-halogen projectors are not unprecedented. There has been a complaint posted on here about the new Dart's headlamps, and I have complained before about the headlamps in a rental 300 I had. Whether these lamps are truly bad or not, they sure give the perception that you can't see anything, don't they?
 

opposite locker

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I had rented a new Chrysker 300 about 6 months ago, and found the headlights to be quite good! In fact it was one of the best set of halogens I've ever used. I'm really thinking there is an aim issue.

when my uncle picked up his brand new '14 Grand Cherokee SRT8, the driver side headlight was pointed up & to the left, DIRECTLY into the eyes of oncoming traffic, especially the trucks. Guess some dealers don't check that stuff during PDI
 

corneileous

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I know this is a very old thread but me being a new member, I just had to comment on this post but to the OP, are you sure you have pretty much the same premium projector headlights like I have that has the projector for the low beam and the open reflector for the highbeam with the full length LED turn signal/marker light? When I bought my 2018 ram 1500 brand new, I was not impressed with the headlights at all and actually at one point considered looking into a set of aftermarket headlamps.
 

Alaric Darconville

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It's not likely they'll reply-- they've posted only three times, and only in this thread, and only in January 2014. It's very nearly 8 years since then.

Also, his Ram uses bi-halogen projectors with the HIR2 (9012); his and your lamp assemblies are not the same.
 

-Virgil-

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Still bi-halogens in the '18, but they had switched from the HIR2 to the 9005 bulb. The unofficial-official explanation was "We were trying to get our customers a little more seeing light". That doesn't match up with the flux and luminance of the outgoing and incoming bulb; I think a likelier explanation is "We get a lower price from our suppliers on 9005 bulbs."
 
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