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Is there a consensus on best way to upgrade headlights?

 
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:11 AM
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Is there a consensus on best way to upgrade headlights?

Upgrading headlights, tail lights and side markers seems like a good safety upgrade but most of us are also interested in improved aesthetics as well. Given those lofty goals, I wonder if there is a consensus about the best ways to improve headlights, tail lights and side markers. What are the top contenders, which do you favor and why?
 
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:31 AM
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I don't know about the consensus here, but I converted to LED all around. I've got a flatbed, so my tail lights and rear side markers are different than stock. The tail lights I installed are a LED unit and required no additional load resistors or wiring. The only place I had to add load resistors was the front turn signals.

The two things I did that made the big difference were the harness upgrade, and LED projector headlights. I did the harness upgrade first, and it really improved the standard incandescent headlights. They went from yellow to white. But the LED projectors are the bomb! I can never go back to incandescent now.
 
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by flowney
Upgrading headlights, tail lights and side markers seems like a good safety upgrade but most of us are also interested in improved aesthetics as well. Given those lofty goals, I wonder if there is a consensus about the best ways to improve headlights, tail lights and side markers. What are the top contenders, which do you favor and why?
Browningscrew (I think that's his tag here, it's his tag on f150forum) did an HID retrofit into the headlights and they look amazing. I'll see if I can find his Build again. I've got it bookmarked on f150forum lol) Pretty sure he was featured on "the retrofit source" for his work.

That would be the best upgrade as well as keeping a stock look. I should mention his truck has round headlights but I assume you could do it with rectangular ones too
 
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:41 AM
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I see in your info that you have 76's. There's actually a better selection of really good LED projector headlights for those than there is for rectangular lights. They're the same lights that Jeep CJ's, TJ's JK's and JL's use. I've put them on my Jeep's also. At first I was reluctant to ruin the 70's look of the vehicles. I got over that immediately!


 
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:27 PM
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I am sure there are diverse approaches. I like halogen upgrades + relay kit. I got my setup from LMC Truck. The halogens on my Dent work better than the HID lights on a 2015 DD.
 
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:12 PM
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I had HIDs on everything and have now switched to all LED projectors. Prices have gotten ridiculously low and why wouldnt you. They do not make you blinkers flash crazy fast neither. At least on on rhe older trucks and no wiring upgrade required. They do make 67-72 all LED tails but not the 73-79. Am thinking of installing the 72 into a modified 73 shell. Should be different and uses the stock style connector.
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:16 AM
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I have the headlight relay installed which diverts the amperage away from the switch and runs it through the relays. Gives you a brighter headlight low and high beam. I also changed to LED's the black version similar to what mofoco1 has on his rig. They are awesome on the back roads with no street lights. I will soon be switching my side markers, licence plate and dash lights to LED's also. I am keeping the tail lights and front parking/directional standard lamps, don't feel like installing load resistors, I just repaired the wiring harness that the P.O. hacked to oblivion. They are all nice and neat. If they come out with reliable LED 1156's that don't need resistors I will gladly install them. My only other plan is to install ambient lighting, just a solid color, my green 77 I have green 194LED under the dash, and I want to put orange 194LED on my orange 77. They give a nice glow on the floor at night you can see what is going on if you drop something, lets face it that dome light is not good for locating a dropped fry from the drive-thru at 2am. I will try to get pics of the green tonight.
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:28 AM
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A couple years ago I found a thread about some lamps that are produced for long haul trucks and one model happens to fit nicely in bumpside grills. Can't remember if the light housing had to be replaced, but the price did seem pretty good. Sorry that's not much to go on....
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by flowney View Post
Upgrading headlights, tail lights and side markers seems like a good safety upgrade but most of us are also interested in improved aesthetics as well. Given those lofty goals, I wonder if there is a consensus about the best ways to improve headlights, tail lights and side markers. What are the top contenders, which do you favor and why?

;popcorn:

Me too. I'm running all incandescents, but would like LEDs for my cargo lamp and back-up lamps. (I'd also love to incorporate supplemental back-up LEDs and 3rd brake light red LEDs into my cargo lamp.)

I don't like the looks of most LEDs when used in tail lights and marker lamps, as they just look to bright and too concentrated into one small spot, kind of like LEDs in older instrument clusters.

I don't like the look of most LED retrofit headlights either, as they all seem to incorporate too much 'ricer bling' into their designs. However, I may end up going to them at some point, since I was having so much trouble finding adequate OEM style replacements. The suckvania extravision bulbs at the McParts store are absolute garbage. If the too-thin glass doesn't crack when you install the bulb, then the POS filament will get you when it burns out after a few months. The epitome of what I call 21st century crap! Cheap lowest-bidder junk which is less robust/useful than its packaging...

I was lured into walmart by the the assumption that they would have GE bulbs like I saw online, but alas they had only suckvania. But at least they had the standard non-extravision bulbs, so I reluctantly bought two and popped them in, and so far so good, but they're still made with the ridiculously thin glass...







Originally Posted by mofoco1 View Post
I had HIDs on everything and hsve now swithed to zll LED projectors. Prices have gotten ridiculously low and why wouldnt you. They do not make you blinkers flash crazy hast neither. At least on on rhe older trucks and no wiring upgrade required.
Man, I actually like those lights! That truck is looking really good with (or without) them. They are not too obtrusively modern looking. What brand are those?
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:10 PM
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I, too, favor lights that are not obtrusively modern looking but I do want modern functionality. Here's the Hella Halogen European-Styled Headlamp for $37.12 at Summit. It is described as "produce(ing) the brightest, most powerful light possible--right at the legal limit--without increasing glare." The bulb is replacable and uses the stock H4 connector so no extra wires or relays are required. Anyone have experience with these?

 
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by flowney View Post
I Anyone have experience with these?

I forgot about those. That is the best solution.

And while I have no experience with them, I am pretty sure that in spite of Summit saying that you can run them without a relay, most folks in the know would probably recommend that you use a relay.

I relayed the Hella fog lamps on my Mustang, and just cobbled together a harness which plugs into one of the car's fog lamp connectors.
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:58 PM
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Will check the box off Ebay, cost me more cause I wanted the chrome rather than smoked. Under $100. Usong kn the Wifes newer Jk works awesome used the include harnass no extra relay as they use less than the stock ones no stupid blinker isdues either.
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by flowney View Post
Upgrading headlights, tail lights and side markers seems like a good safety upgrade but most of us are also interested in improved aesthetics as well. Given those lofty goals, I wonder if there is a consensus about the best ways to improve headlights, tail lights and side markers. What are the top contenders, which do you favor and why?
LOL "safety upgrade". They were fine for over 40 years, still pass every states safety inspection today, but blinding oncoming traffic or melting retinas in the mirrors is now a "safety upgrade". Clean your connections, fix your grounds and maintain a healthy electrical system, they are bright enough.
 
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by flowney View Post
I wonder if there is a consensus about the best ways to improve headlights, tail lights and side markers. What are the top contenders, which do you favor and why?
Looks wise, I canít wait to buy some smoked markers and taillights. Iím still riding around without the harness upgrade and still find the halogens (I think they are halogen) pretty useable but they could be better. I have LEDs in my taillights and they are definitely the way to go.



LED vs halogen


 
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:02 PM
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Adding relays to the stock headlight systems will do wonders.
 

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