I know this has been discussed, have been searching and reading but not coming up with specific info for my headlight style. I would like to preface this by saying that I would not usually consider an HID bulb in a Halogen lamp, especially for the headlamps. I lack the need to blind oncoming drivers or call attention to myself, besides I don't want the expense of adding projectors . I know they are starting to pull people over that run HIDs without projectors and I don't really want in on any of that.
1996 with the Fogs integral to and just outboard of the HL. My low beams are pretty underwhelming and high beams are ok but I would do well to supplement the lows with a decent fog. I'm planning on some Osram Nightbreakers as they have been outstanding in my Samurai and came recommended by a sponsor of this forum. This is all I plan to do to the headlamps.
But the fog lights are another issue. They are anemic at best and do very little to help visibility.
Were these supposed to be yellow from the factory in 1996?
Because I will need significantly more light to make them worthwhile I have to know straight up, can I do a 35w HID without being "that guy" blinding everyone for the sake of looking cool? I was thinking a 3000k or so would give up an amber light and hopefully be strong enough to help without blinding oncoming or motorists ahead of me. Has anyone tried this with the yellow temperature and what are the results?
My evening commute is 15 miles and at least half of it in pitch dark forest land, complete with an abundance of deer, elk, mtn goats, wild turkeys etc. Sometimes another motorist ahead may be to close for me to use highs but far enough that in low/fog there is a lot of unsettling darkness between he and I.
The board sponsor I spoke with was steering me away from LED as he said it might also be underwhelming as it stands with current technology.
So is the HID/yellow HID a solid idea in 35w without being obnoxious/dangerous or is there another halogen bulb that will give me some proper results? I'm hoping to get it about on par with a lot of newer vehicles that have pretty bright fogs but still not obnoxious.
Flame me if you must for another HID/Fog/HL thread, I can take it
I am really interested in doing this effectively and correctly and welcome all constructive experience and input. Information for this specific generation is limited.
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I forgot all about PIAA, I used them extensively in my air cooled VW/Baja days, great product.
I see their HID bulbs at around $499/pair and they look beautiful but this will put them outside what I want to spend atm.
I see they have "ion crystal" halogens which appear amber and those come in at $100 a pair, pretty steep for bulbs, anyone tried these?
I know the super brights and upgraded halogens from auto parts stores are much cheaper but the difference in light is noticeable but really not worth the hit in bulb life. Are the PIAA bulbs really that much better, good enough to justify the price?
I tried countless aftermarket bulbs in the 90 LS400 and 98 Camry we used to have - both owned about 14 years - and the best I found were the Sylvania Xtravision. It looks like your 96 LS uses the same 9003 (HB2/H4) bulb our Camry used.
The improvement from the Xtravisions wasn't extreme but was certainly noticeable. Xtravisions do not have blue tinted capsules and are inexpensive - they used to be around $20 for a 2-pack at discount stores but the last time I bought any was probably four or five years ago. They have a shorter life than the standard halogen bulbs but we usually got two to three years out of them.
Jim - Lexus LS driver from 1990 to 2014 - Now driving a 2014 Toyota Sienna Limited with all packages and options including PCS, DRCC and VDIM
I would be happy with 2 years from lamps, unless I have to pay $100/pair haha. My driveway is 3 miles of washed out dirt/gravel and I suspect the vibration was why my Saab 9-5 and Suzuki Samurai have been eating headlamps but this Lexus is remarkably smooth over these hideous surfaces.
I'll have to dig into the fog lamps and see whats in there now, I suspect OEM. I was reading that if we remove the yellow glass capsule inside they will be brighter, but mine are not yellow.
I'm seeing these clear JDM style headlamp/cornering lamp assemblies on fleabay made my DEPO for $250 shipped. It looks like a decent option to get some extra light out of them with going crazy with HID or LED.
I'm hoping it's not some poor fitting Chinese garbage and that its a good quality product.
I'm hovering over the BIN button... Anyone try these or any like them?
It looks like the purchase could be supplemented by reselling the OEM assemblies.
I have those depot lights and they are pretty good. Take a look at my build thread as I have some night shots of the beam pattern.
You will still want some good bulbs, I have Hella xtremewhite (or whatever they are called) bulbs in mine as I have always had really good experience with Hella products and they are fairly cheap.
If you really want to get creative, you can wire up a few relays to supply direct power off the battery to some 100W bulbs in the headlights, as well as doing some tricks that would allow you to run the highs, lows and fogs all at once. This makes a HUGE difference in night time vision on extra dark roads. Short of doing a full triple beam HID projector retrofit; you won't likely get much better output!
Your car is awesome! I wish I had that color. Very tasteful choice of wheels, very sleek, cudos on a really appealing ride.
Mine is black/black, always my least favorite color but I have to admit its growing on me quickly. The corner lamps do look different but they almost have to function better and I have a great deal of darkness to cut through. They look like they fit nice and quality appears good.
I will most likely leave the wiring alone and just get the nightbreakers that have served me so well in my Samurai and maybe the PIAA or Hella lamps for the fogs, still liking the amber for those.
Thanks for the input, I think I'll pull the trigger on these.
I noticed a pretty big difference in the Depo headlights over the stock headlights just in beam pattern.
As far as the wiring goes, if you do it right, you can build a harness and relays that is plug and play. You just have to get the female connectors for the headlight (hi/lo/fog) plugs and then use the stock headlights as the triggers for the relays. This is a good way of limiting the load on your stock harness if you put anything more than stock wattage bulbs in and the only way to get the most out of higher wattage bulbs. I have done this on lots of non-HID cars and it is always superior to HID bulbs in a non-HID housing.
I did that with my Samurai with cheap-o clear lens and nightbreakers and the light output is fairly insane. I did have to do the relays. The headlights are about waste high and the lexus lights are just above the ankle
I am hoping that the Lexus wiring will handle the Osrams and maybe some moderately upgraded fogs without the need for relays. The difference in quality between the Lexus and the Samurai is worlds and the wiring up to the lamps looks fairly robust. If I can get this as bright as my Sami I'll be way happy and consider the lighting to be completed.
I wish I had not looked at your build, now I'm eyeballing wheels. I cant lower because my driveway would take bites out of the car. but I really didnt consider what a difference wheels makes on these cars. I'll post mine as soon as I'm allowed to post pics.