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Old 09-01-2018, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lighting upgrades

My Prius came with the usual incandescent lights everywhere, though I understand HID headlights were an option for 09. I haven't made that jump, and since installing LED lamps in the headlights of Tiptoe, I think that's the route I'm going to go. They're a bit brighter but more importantly, if they last longer then that's the business. Replacing headlamps on Prii is not fun.

In the cargo area there's this:

https://imgur.com/jVjBbRv

That one has already been replaced with an LED which made a huge improvement, but it was still depressingly dim. Since Son#2 had already upgraded the cargo area of Tiptoe with a simple strip of self-adhesive LEDs that were operated by the same switch as its existing trunk lamp, that seemed the obvious solution here, too...except there isn't really an unfinished, out-of-sight spot to stick the strip.

Amazon has these:
https://www.amazon.com/Starlandled-A...xtrusion+500mm

That link is for 1m lengths, we used 500mm.

Back up the screws inside the interior panel so they don't pull out, run wires inside to piggyback off the existing light fixture again, and it looks like this:

https://imgur.com/ztXN7jx

He also fitted the lamp with a quick connect and a length of coiled extension cord, so the lamp can be popped out of its mounts (no tools) and taken all the way to the opposite corner of the car and have a few feet of slack. We've already used it in the wild when the fender liner came loose: plenty of light, no problem to fix.

Son#1 owns the 2010 Prius in the background. He wanted a light like this as well, since this one has been so convenient.

Installed:
https://imgur.com/jW0jkJm

After dark. I know this doesn't really convey the difference, but before the only light was a feeble little pool at the side where the original fixture is. This, on the other hand, is striking. It's easily bright enough to read by from fifteen feet away.
https://imgur.com/nXTLHVN

Combined with replacing the original incandescent convenience lamp with an LED, I'd say the provided light is about 5x what it was.

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Old 09-01-2018, 11:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Priuschat sells LED boards for the Gen3 that fit where the interior grab handles are on the hatch door; your installation looks like a good solution for the Gen2.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have yet to find an LED 9007 bulb that I felt good enough about to buy, but I’m often tempted to get a bag of 194 bulbs and change everything I can...
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^^
My HCH1 LED lamps have been in for about 3 months and haven't given any trouble yet, but then again this has been the summer months and night driving hasn't been happening much.
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Been replacing incandescent with LED for years now...there are plenty of affordable bulbs/panels that put out more light than the incandescent they replace. While not as crazy as your light bar, we're talking easily 2-3x as much light than standard dome bulbs. Go too big and it'll be waay too much light for at night, and you'll kill your night vision every time it turns on...
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
^^
My HCH1 LED lamps have been in for about 3 months and haven't given any trouble yet, but then again this has been the summer months and night driving hasn't been happening much.
Three questions I have... what brand are you running, what wattage are they, and how well do they do compared to halogen?

All I seen were the ones on the retrofit sites(expensive but likely work good), or the super cheap ones claiming 300W and 300K lm...
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My 2012 Prius had projector halogens, and a cheap HID retrofit (H11) worked well. That said, it will be the last HID conversion I do because I measured my supposed 35W bulbs and found they draw closer to 55W, which is the same as a halogen bulb. I tried a cheap LED conversion for the H11 bulbs and the plastic tabs broke off even with extreme care in installation. My conclusion was that any bulb that is held on by twisting it into the housing cannot use plastic tabs, as they will break off. They need to be metal tabs. Also, the LED bulb light pattern was extremely poor in a projector housing.

That said, my motorcycle uses H7 bulbs in a reflector housing, and those are held on by a metal spring clip. Since it doesn't rely on twisting the bulb into the housing, there is no risk of breaking plastic tabs from cheap LED bulbs off. LEDs turned out to consume less than half (15 watts each) the wattage of halogen, and gave much more light output. The light pattern in the reflector housing was good.

Conclusion:

LED bulbs consume much less energy and work well in reflector housings, but not projector housings.

HID bulbs don't save any energy, and are more complex due to having to mount the ballasts, but work well in both projector and reflector housings. Probably not worth the effort though.

Here's the LED bulbs I bought for the motorcycle:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Finally, LEDs seem to only be sold with a color temperature of 6k, which is too blue for my taste. I'd prefer something more around 4k, but haven't found anything.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
Three questions I have... what brand are you running, what wattage are they, and how well do they do compared to halogen?

All I seen were the ones on the retrofit sites(expensive but likely work good), or the super cheap ones claiming 300W and 300K lm...
Sealight brand. Found them on Amazon, good reviews and decent depth of review (300+ respondents). "Super bright" but no outlandish claims. No actual lumen output claim.

40 watts total, 20 per lamp.

Compared to halogen, VERY blue. Halogen I would say is about 3000k color temp, these are claimed 6000k. I can't verify that but it's a big departure from incandescent. I would strongly prefer the option to choose something closer to a cool white, about 4000k like a fluorescent lamp. They're much brighter than the halogens while pulling less than half the current.

Beam shape is a little altered but not badly in my plain, non-projector headlights. These do a pretty good job of getting the emitters in the same place inside the housing as the halogens.

Nice touch, these have static heat sinks. No fans.

$50 for a pair from Amazon. In my opinion it might be the best mod I've made to the car in terms of performance per dollar.

https://www.amazon.com/Headlight-Con...S1QREDSBN7MK74
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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redpoint5, my own experiences pretty closely reflect yours. I appreciate my HID retrofit; they don't really save any power over halogens after conversion losses and were a pain to set up, but the visibility and light output are fantastic. If I were to do it again today I'd probably try a bunch of LEDs in the stock reflector housings. Most still seem like junk though, and the color is too blue for my tastes.

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