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Discussion Starter #1
My 2008 IS350 is a sport package WITH factory HID's . . . which a prior owner converted (why I do NOT know) to a LED type "bulb" which does NOT do the job.

The high beams (halogen not HID) work as Lexus intended - but the low beams are weak, unfocused and UNSAFE (at any speed as Ralph once said).

I plan to replace both headlamps with sparkling NEW OEM look "Rock Auto" replacements - and to save money, BIG MONEY - buy the halogen bulb type headlamp units.

The car was NOT originally equiped with halogen headlights so . . . . my question to the my.IS community is :

WILL THE POWER and WIRING be a simple plug and play ??? or (Buzzard Luck) DOES the fact the factory wired her up for HID's mean I HAVE TO use HID's as replacement units? Over $800 for HID units verses about $300 for halogens

From what I can tell looking at my car - this is what I have:


Cost: $409 a single side:

This old school filament bulb design is only $158


Am I crazy expecting the same 12V going into both types? or what, ANYONE DO THIS ALREADY? Who would downgrade from HID to halogen I don't know - but IF YOU DID PLEASE SHARE!!! - both of my 2008 original headlamps are old scratched fogged out need replacing - but what happens to a car with HID's? Does it mean a different voltage powers it?

I have no clue as to the health of all the"other" HID "components" - as I bought the car from a police impound auction - and it's history is unknown - it was abandoned by its driver last heard muttering to the tow operator - you can keep it - I already owe too much money on that car!"

So far, I have replaced its wheels (the right rear rim was broken due to hitting something) and tires - brakes-rotors-calipers (rear) wheel bearings (rear) ABS sensor ....lets just say it is a work in progress. The car has 150K and runs GREAT.

So - I need the collective knowledge of this group to help me with this rescue project -

- can I simply bolt on new halogen headlamp units and connect the factory wires and continue on my merry way ?
 

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Wow the previous owner is a moron. Its pretty sad when my 05 gen1 has better headlights than my wifes 08 4Runner limited!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The previous owner hack sawed away the stock exhaust - resulting in a very loud - but untuned noise which was - sharp and intrusive - only fun during full hooligan mode! (I found a stock take off from an IS250 for sale on the forumns and returned it to stock : ) BUT- the its " lowered" suspension ( older XE20 "BC Racing" Coilovers ) are adjusted wayyyy low - and they have minimal travel and is a problem on anything other than smooth pavement! I bottomed out unexpectedly HARD - and now drive in great reserve. They have to be adjusted closer to normal for the roads around here. I suspect this is a mod made for LOOKS - not performance - blasphemy !
 

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2002 Lexus IS300
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You are correct in thinking that the factory wiring (Halogen or HID) is in fact 12v in either case. So technically you can buy the Halogen housings and then purchase an aftermarket HID kit and install them into the “TYC” halogen housings. Viola! You now have HIDs again.

Only word of caution I would say is that possibly (by a slim margin) the Halogen housings might not bolt up to the body of the car the same way the HID lights would.
 

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Maybe i am missing something but why not go back to the OEM HID if the car is still set up for it? More efficient and IMHO better light out the front of the car.

Wouldn't the Halogens pull too much power on the HID wiring if its not been done right? Im no sparky but i thought i read that here somewhere :unsure:
 

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2002 Lexus IS300
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Maybe i am missing something but why not go back to the OEM HID if the car is still set up for it? More efficient and IMHO better light out the front of the car.

Wouldn't the Halogens pull too much power on the HID wiring if its not been done right? Im no sparky but i thought i read that here somewhere :unsure:
He doesn’t want to spend the money on the OE HID headlights. They are expensive. I am informing him to purchase an aftermarket HID To install into the halogen housings. Really all this extra work isn’t ideal but considering how he received the car from the PO I think this would be the most cost effective way if not the correct way.
 

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2002 Lexus IS300
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LMAO! I’m an idiot for NOT reading again. As Tobais said. Just take the LED bulbs out and put HID bulbs back in. PROVIDED the HID ballast are still there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for sharing their thoughts. First to be clear - factory HID is the best solution - but the most expensive. Second - I believe the Jury is no longer absolutely certain that HID's (in my 2008 IS 350 configuration - God knows WHAT the Germans have come up with for 2020 - I am priced OUT of that game) exceed by any significant measure improved visibility ( meaning my ability behind the wheel to perceive and react to a pedestrian on the shoulder at night) . Indeed - I have read articles in automotive publications / accident reconstruction seminar data testing - which reveal the BIGGEST plus in picking out that pesky drunk pedestrian - is something American drivers are loath to do - USE THEIR HIGH BEAMS ! In a critcal analysis it seems the clean windshield, new lens - newer bulbs - comparison showed real world results neck and neck between HID and halogen systems.

I am NOT talking about aesthetics or the cool factor hands down awarded to HID's (especially anything Audi) - everyone wants to be THAT GUY - cool blue swath of what has to be "expensive" light - it sure looks great to the eye - but where the rubber meets the road - or bumper impacts the pedestrian - truth is - newer halogen clear clean lens units do just as good a job finding meaningful obstacles to forward progress.

The fact this is a "rescue" car - out of an impound lot - with a broken front right lens, and 12 year old - worn pitted otherwise OEM lens - I am trying to accomplish the mission for minimal dollars. So far, halogen seem to be HALF the price.

Hence - the post.

No small wonder no one really has done this <HID to halogen> - what smacker does what this smacker did? My guess is there is something already wrong with the factory HID system - I am not familiar with all the components that make it work - but something had to fail to lead the prior owner down the path to drill out the housing and plumb in those LED wannabe bulbs. Undoubtedly they were after a certain look - a color (here we go chasing those Audi eye candy lanterns they do so much better than anyone else) - but no one would do that to a perfectly serviceable and working HID system, right? Even with medical marijuana - God I hope November reveals recreational is legal here in NJ - what level of impairment would cause someone to do that ??

My fear is the juice needed (see how big an electrical nimrod I am "juice needed" is my top technical term - to POWER those halogens IS SIGNIFICANTLY MORE than the juice needed to power the original HID's. IF that is so - it is reasonable to suspect the power delivered to the low beams (the high beams are all old school halogens - do not know why but it is true on any HID system I have encountered...low beams high tech HID goodness, high beams are old school tungsten filament in a bulb filled with halogen (new math) / argon (old math) gas - no matter the vehicle.

The low beams (HID wannabe LED bulbs) SUCK - are actually dangerous to use at night - and that maybe because the nimrod never calculated the power source was half of what the bulbs want to "work". or, maybe they are simply eBay crap - made in China for pennies - and wouldn't work well no matter what amount of electrical energy flowed to their plug!? How can I know?

I want to bet around $400 - that the halogens will do the job - but I could hedge that bet with information from folks here . . .

The big money question is - does the factory HID system (plug and power level surging through the plug) play well with the lower tier halogen bulb unit?

My thanks to everyone pondering my dilemma. I will post when I actually spend the money and do the deed. So far everything has happened in stages. next up is the frozen nav screen repair. Incredible detail is available online - and dash will come apart this week - for sure - THEN and only then will I progress to the front end fascia and replace the front bumper cover (cracked where the right front headlight is broken) and both headlamp units with new.

Here she is in the tow yard just before winning the bid.

135355
IMG_4092.jpg
 

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Just something to consider, in my experience fitting different type bulbs than the housings and lenses are engineered for results in poor lighting. I have been able to make my headlights much brighter but that light does not project as far down the road. The LED conversion on my E30 and the angel eye aftermarket housings and HID bulbs that were on my IS when I bought it were very bright but the light distribution was dangerously short. Investing in factory style DEPO housings ballasts and bulbs resulted in excellent lighting with good projection and clarity. The fact is that different types of bulbs (halogen, HID, LED) shed their light differently and require slightly different reflectors and lenses to take advantage of their output.

The other problem you may run into is Toyota wiring. Toyota is well known for running the smallest possible wire to accomplish the task at hand. The result is that the wire size is barely sufficient to accomplish it’s engineered goal let alone be modified or upgraded. Just plugging in or splicing power hungry components probably will not work well without relays and direct battery power.

Good, clear light that projects down the the road is best achieved with matched components and sufficient power. I have had very good results from high quality factory replacement matched components with HID and projection style lights as well as with aftermarket wiring harnesses combined with high wattage halogen bulbs in halogen housings. In my experience mix and matching components has only resulted in either no improvement over stock or a very bright light that only projects half as far.

FYI you can find cheap ballasts and bulbs and they do work but they tend to fail quicker than the good ones and are a PITA to replace if the ballast is installed in the factory position.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I understand exactly what you are saying. I will NOT mix inappropriate systems reflectors/bulbs. I also appreciate the fact Toyota skimped on the thickness of the wiring - and leave ZERO room to improve UNLESS directly wired with appropriate gauge thickness to . . .get er done . . .my 1996 Impala SS suffered exactly the same skimp and there were "kits" made up by owners in the know - to plug and play address the pathetic light output that TRi-9 Chevy suffered. Back then Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply Daniel Stern Lighting provided stuff to do it yourself.

Alot of what I find headlamp wise for the IS350 is all about updating her "looks". I am only just figuring out - the stock lamps are at the top of my mountain - for light output. Soon I will be buying something - and when it is a done deal I will update this post.

It seems the halogens will be the way I go, and just pull the fuse to kill the auto leveling warning light that will not get along with non auto leveling housings.

Stay tuned -
 
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