Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

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JoeIsuzu
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Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

I've been researching headlight upgrades, and I have some hard and fast criteria for mine:
  1. Better light than OEM sealed beams
  2. Original or at least semi-original look. By that, I mean I don't want my 1983 truck to look like a 1950s sci-fi spaceship. One bulb, not a cluster of them.
  3. DOT certified
  4. Glass lenses, not polycarbonate
But in spite of item 2 above, I'm actually considering "halo" style headlights. The reasons:
  • I like the added safety of Daytime Running Lights
  • They would also double as front turn signals, making them more visible
I'm not looking at cheap $50/set junk. Possibly something from Octane Lighting, or IPF.

Has anybody done halos? Any strong opinions either way?

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by Halden »

I've toyed around with getting some "JW Speaker" brand LED headlights.... I'm of the opinion you have to pay to play for LED headlights. And these are not cheap... All the reviews on them seem pretty good.
It's not pronounced "Ih-soo-zoo", it's pronounced "It-screws-you"
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Halden wrote:
Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:51 am
I've toyed around with getting some "JW Speaker" brand LED headlights.... I'm of the opinion you have to pay to play for LED headlights. And these are not cheap... All the reviews on them seem pretty good.
If those are what I think they are, it sounds like they're very effective, but very ugly.

And yes, LED technology is not yet mature enough to be economical. Good ones cost money. But since they appeared on the market, quality has gone up, and cost has gone down.

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

I just pulled the trigger on these:
Housings with "switchback" halo LEDs. They're supposed to be glass, not plastic/polycarbonate. And since these came with halogen bulbs, I ordered these:
G5 LED Pair. They had a few different options, varying in output lumens. These were their brightest ones. I'll have to make sure they're aimed properly. ;)
Halden wrote:
Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:51 am
I'm of the opinion you have to pay to play for LED headlights.
Given what I paid -- what should I expect? :D

I'll post some pics once I get them installed.

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

I'm still tinkering with installation -- they rattle a bit in the housings. But I'm excited to report that the LED halos, and the "switchback" feature work better than I imagined.
DRL_halo.jpg
I
Sorry this one is blurry. It's a screenshot of the .mov file.
Sorry this one is blurry. It's a screenshot of the .mov file.
Here's a video of the turn signal. When I have time, I'll get a video of exactly how the "switchback" feature works.

I've installed the driver's side, but I need to fix the rattle before I move to the passenger's side. I do plan to post a comparison of the output - halogen sealed beam, halogen in this housing, and finally LED in this housing.

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by Paul »

Jack - -

Looking forward to your results. But, please explain to me what a 'switch back' feature is?

Paul
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by gruff54 »

Went back and looked. So headlights, running lights , and turn signals in one light. Wow! And here all I want is a light bright enough to see better at night!

Mike
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by gruff54 »

Looked at the link. Here's an explanation of the switchback feature.
"This is a switchback halo meaning it automatically switches to amber when the turn signal is activated and then goes back to white when the turn signal switches off." Another Wow!

Mike
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Paul wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2023 11:55 pm
Looking forward to your results. But, please explain to me what a 'switch back' feature is?
Mike's replies are spot-on:
gruff54 wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:18 am
Went back and looked. So headlights, running lights , and turn signals in one light. Wow! And here all I want is a light bright enough to see better at night!
gruff54 wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 5:20 am
Looked at the link. Here's an explanation of the switchback feature.
"This is a switchback halo meaning it automatically switches to amber when the turn signal is activated and then goes back to white when the turn signal switches off." Another Wow!
What's completely surprising to me is that it seems to work perfectly as designed, with 1981 technology! There's one bit I'm not 100% happy with -- the white halo is of course an unfocused light -- not a directed beam. I'm concerned that this may be irritating to oncoming drivers at night (not an issue in the daylight). In fact, the headlight lens has "DOT" on it, but there is a sticker that warns that the halos are not street-legal at night. So I may eventually wire in a relay or relays to disable the white halo whenever the headlights themselves are on. That doesn't seem difficult.

As for the headlight brightness and beam quality:

I haven't tried the LED yet, but the halogen is a bit underwhelming.

The new headlight low beam is a bit high, and has a stray beam toward the upper right. I'm hoping I can adjust the aim to manage that. And I think the stray light may even be from the halo, rather than the main element. So I'm thinking of disabling the halo when the headlight is on. I'll test that, later.
Halogen with halo (left), sealed beam (low beams)
Halogen with halo (left), sealed beam (low beams)
The new headlight's high beam looks more as I'd expect.
Halogen with halo (left), sealed beam (high beams)
Halogen with halo (left), sealed beam (high beams)
I think I like the color, compared to the original. I'm not sure how effective it really is compared to the stock color.

I hope to give the LED a try soon.

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by Red Truck »

In regard to this post's title: 'Yea or Nay'
"Not street legal at night"? Hmmm...I think we can all agree that few things are more obnoxious than being blinded by someone's glaring new-tech headlights, from both behind and oncoming. I'll be curious to hear how they honestly appear from another driver's perspective. I've never been a fan of these types of headlights; they may provide better light for the driver, but clobber the vision of other drivers. That's safety? I give it a 'Nay'/R
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Red Truck wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:22 am
In regard to this post's title: 'Yea or Nay'
"Not street legal at night"? Hmmm...I think we can all agree that few things are more obnoxious than being blinded by someone's glaring new-tech headlights, from both behind and oncoming. I'll be curious to hear how they honestly appear from another driver's perspective. I've never been a fan of these types of headlights; they may provide better light for the driver, but clobber the vision of other drivers. That's safety? I give it a 'Nay'/R
If there's any chance of the halos causing trouble for oncoming drivers, I plan to disable them whenever headlights are on. That's a given. So don't let that affect your vote. The question was about halos in general. As Daytime Running Lights and turn signals, they seem "brilliant". ;) :D

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

Finally, here's a comparison between the halogen and the LED. Low beams. Halogen on the left, LED on the right.
Low beams
Low beams
High beams
High beams
Of course, a garage door isn't very much like real use. I just wanted to compare beam patterns.

Jack
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by JoeIsuzu »

More...

Here's a video of how the halos work -- demonstrating the "switchback" feature.

Low beams, on the road -- still just a bit of daylight.
headlights_beams.jpg
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Re: Halo Headlights -- Yea or Nay?

Post by gruff54 »

No one could claim they didn't see your turn signals with those!

Mike
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