HEADLIGHTS / LED LIGHTING

A first look at the new LED Headlight Conversion Kits

We recently had an opportunity to install new 7×6 headlight housings, and high power LED headlight bulbs into a 1995 Toyota Tacoma. This truck originally used H6054 sealed beam rectangular headlight housings, so the first step to installing the new LED headlight technology was to replace the original housings with new ones that can accept a replacement light bulb.

To do this, we put Vision X #VX-57 rectangular sealed beam housings in place. These new housings are DOT approved and fitted with the regular H4 halogen bulbs, which would be 30% brighter than the original sealed beam headlights.

After picking a set of housings, instead of using an HID kit or standard H4 halogen headlight bulbs, we used a set of the new LED Headlight Conversion kits from GTR Lighting. These new high power LED bulbs are suitable to replace any version of original halogen light bulbs for cars and trucks, and our ’95 Tacoma with the new housings required the H4 version of this product:

GTR-Lighting-GEN-2-and-GEN-3-LED-headlight-bulbs-2-1024x571

To put it in perspective, the original sealed beam headlights put out approximately 900 Lumens of light, and a 35w HID conversion kit would produce nearly 3,500 Lumens of light output. The new LED headlight conversion kit produces 2,200 Lumens of light on a low beam and 2,600 Lumens of light on a high beam.

So you can see that if you’re going for overall brightness, then an HID conversion kit is still the brightest option, but the dual-beam LED conversion kit bulbs are easier to install than a dual beam HID kit and much brighter than the stock bulbs. So there are some benefits to going with the LED bulbs, but it depends on what you want to accomplish.

The first step was to replace the original sealed beam headlights with the new housings from Vision X:

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Here are the stock sealed beam headlights.
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The old headlight.
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The new headlight.

After getting the old sealed beam original headlights out and the new Vision X brand of 5×7 replacement housings installed, it was time to put in the new bulbs. The LED headlight conversion kit comes with 2 bulbs, a wire harness, and a very small external driver. The new bulbs fit right in place with the housings, even though they stuck out slightly on the backside. There was plenty of room for them, and the fit was secure.

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LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed. This picture shows the backside of the housing with the LED bulb fan and heat sink exposed. This is normal, and as long as it’s not touching anything, you’re fine.
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LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed. This picture shows the new LED headlight conversion kit bulb installed inside of the housing. It sits in the original H4 headlight bulb but with one LED firing up and one LED firing down. It doesn’t interfere with anything in the housing and fits easily.

Here is a comparison of the two headlights. We have the new headlights shown versus the original headlights. The old headlights were fairly dim and had a yellow color to them. The new headlights are actually a 5,500K color, but they look bluer than they really are in pictures. But they are brighter and whiter than stock headlights:

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The headlight on the right is the original halogen sealed beam headlight. The white light on the left is the new housings with the new LED headlight bulbs.

You can now see the finished product with both headlights outfitted with the new housings and LED headlights.

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LED Headlight Conversion Kit Installed.

The final test was to go driving with the new headlights installed. The new headlight setup was DEFINITELY brighter than stock. There was more light on the road, and the color was a perfect crisp white instead of a dull yellow color. We could see the street signs better and could see further down the road. Here is a comparison of low beam versus high beam on the highway with the new headlights:

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Here you can see the low beam light output of the new headlight system going down the highway. The left to right output is good, and the light is where you want it in the middle. The important thing is that the beam pattern is a pretty good shape without any weird shadows or odd light output shapes.
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Here you can see the high beam output on this setup. The shape doesn’t change a whole lot – there is a little more light at the top of the output pattern, but the biggest difference is the sheer amount of light being projected. The high beam is brighter, but it doesn’t go that much further or higher. This will act differently from housing to housing, though.

This project was easy, and the results were as good as we thought they would be. The output is awesome on them even though it’s not quite as bright as a full HID conversion kit – the tradeoff is that this kit is easier to install and cheaper than a 35w dual beam HID kit from the same manufacturer.

The lights are easily twice as bright as stock or more, and the only real drawback is that the high beam didn’t make a huge “wow factor” impression on this application. It’s there, it’s brighter, but it doesn’t quite blow your socks off.

If you want to do this same setup, you’ll need the Vision X part number VX-57 and the GTR Lighting part number 7010273. These two together will work with any sealed beam style 5×7″ or 7×6″ rectangular headlight system. For other options on these headlights, we recommend you check out this website for sealed beam headlight replacements and LED headlights.

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Here is the product we used. The GTR Lighting H4 style LED headlight conversion kit and the Vision X 5×7″ sealed beam headlight housings.