Using aftermarket LED headlights on Toyota’s with DRL/High Beam applications

daytime runningl ights

Daytime running lights are a lamps that are automatically controlled by your vehicles system and typically run during the day and is shared to the same high beam bulb but at a reduced intensity.  Some cars have dedicated daytime running lights that are separate from the headlamp applications.  If your vehicle’s DRL is separate then your car is one of the lucky few that will never run into a flickering problem on the DRL system when running aftermarket LED headlamps.

For those that have experienced a dreadful flicker on their Toyota, this article may be geared towards your situation.

First, you must understand how a daytime running light system works.  You know what it is, but how does it turn on?

Corolla daytime running lights

Most vehicles will be programmed to meet certain conditions in order for the DRL system to actually turn on.  The headlight switch must be set to AUTO, gear must be in DRIVE or not PARK, and there will usually be a sensor on the vehicle’s dashboard which detects light.  Once the conditions are met, your vehicles system will immediately supply a reduced current to dim the factory high beam bulb.  This applies to most Toyota’s with DRL’s and high beams on the same circuit.  To understand if your vehicle runs high beams and DRLs on the same lamps, you may either physical test the lamps or consult the owner’s manual.  You may also reach out to JDM Astar for any guidance.

Once the DRL system engages, BOOM!  You get the fast flicker on your LED headlights!

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So how do you fix this flickering issue as it is not controlled by a CANBUS system that is monitoring the lamps for problems?

Well, the fix is very simple and after extensive research and testing of various model Toyota’s with DRL systems, we have determined that Toyota runs a pulsing system where the voltage supplied is roughly 10V-12V but pulses on and off very fast which causes an LED lamp, that is sensitive to power, to light up and shut off quickly.  This only works with older model lamps like incandescent or halogen as it will never allow the burning filament, of a factory bulb, to light up to full intensity or shut off completely.  The pulsing signal keeps the bulb in a dim state.  We now have a solution for you to allow you to run aftermarket LED headlights!

JDM Astar offers a decoder module that is actually designed for CANBUS but will also bypass voltage changes that pulse on DRL systems shared with high beam headlamps.

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How does the decoder work?

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Our decoder features a built-in capacitor. A capacitor will hold a small amount of charge that will allow the current supplied to the headlight bulb to be steady thus preventing the pulsing voltage from having any effect on the diodes of the LED lamp.  Since LEDs are very sensitive to power, a pulsing voltage will also cause the diodes to flicker at the same rate that it’s pulsing.  A capacitor will also simulate a much larger amperage which will also take care of a lamp out indicator that is either triggered by the vehicles circuit, or in some cases, a CANBUS system.

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If your Toyota happens to have a high beam lamp and DRL running on the same bulb and circuit then make sure you pick up a decoder harness from JDM ASTAR.  They are plug & play and will save you a headache, as well as a traffic stop citation.  If you ever have any questions or need guidance, contact us.  Our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be glad to assist you on resolving flickering issues on your Toyota and remember….

“LED JDM ASTAR light your way on the road!”

-JDM ASTAR Team

Which way should the chips face on your LED headlights?

This is a question that we are starting to see more and more and we are sure that this has made its way into your mind at one point.  We have had our fair share of poor light patterns from off branded LED’s and have seen surprising results with even premium headlights from reputable brands that shine even worse.  Before we get into this, you must understand that the vehicle manufacturer of your car, truck, or SUV have scientifically measured the lamp housing to determine what is the best light source to include and how it will project the light pattern without jeopardizing safety and improve driving visibility and noticeability.  These are all things that are in mind when your lamp housings are being designed.

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Bottom line, your lamp housings are designed for what they came with.  Cars that come with HID’s probably come with projector housings, and vehicles with reflective housings will have a halogen, incandescent, or something new we have not seen.  This means that your aftermarket LED lighting system may not project the same type of pattern or amount of light.  Factory halogen bulbs shine light in a true 360 orientation to evenly distribute light throughout the lamp housing and really take advantage of the reflective properties of the fixture.  So, if the lamp housings are designed for halogens, and projectors for HID’s, how do you obtain a safe and usable light pattern when going to aftermarket LED?

With our LED headlight products, we have designed our LED lamps to provide the best light disbursement inside the lamp housing by shining light in two different directions; side to side or 3 o’clock & 9 o’clock.  Most vehicles housings will provide optimal results when using a side to side orientation or having the LED chips face left to right.  Some of our other designs cater more to the intensity of the light beam and may feature an extra side where diodes are mounted. We address the proper orientation through the following chart.  We show the proper orientation for dual beam and single beam LED headlights and provide a side view to show how the bulb should be positioned inside the housing.  The orientation is the same for most aftermarket LED headlights that are single or dual beam setups.

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Here are few things to consider when going to LED:

  • 2-sided LED headlights for single beams should have the LED chips facing left to right.
  • 2-sided LED Headlights for dual beam applications will have a shield which should always be sitting below the low beams chips. The orientation must be side to side for optimal results.
  • Headlights that use a unique triangular design or have 3 sides, to cater more to light intensity, will feature a 3rd side for high beams which should always be facing in a downward position or a 6 o’clock orientation.

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Now the real question is, how do you get around changing the orientation when the headlights are positioned incorrectly once installed and no way to adjust.  With options like our 8th Generation headlights, you can now obtain optimal results through an adjustable collar feature.  We have also integrated this feature on dual beam LED headlights such as our G series, or 7S headlights.  We have an option to cater not just to one car, but every car in the world so if your pattern is bit off, stop by our site or give us call.  We will help you obtain the best results possible so that you may go about your day with your loved ones.  Your safety is priority and our priority is your safety so LED us light your way down the road…..”

 

-JDM ASTAR Team

Our Experience at Our First Car Show Autocon 2017

JDM ASTAR was founded in Southern California and when we first started we were selling from home and marketing our brand.  Since then, JDM ASTAR has become the next runner up in the LED auto lighting industry.  With the support of car enthusiasts, loyal customers, and fans worldwide, we were able to expand and grow our company and now we have been finally able to attend our first official auto event.  We decided that our first official event will be Automotive Connection Show 2017 in downtown at the city of Angels.

JDM ASTAR went out to Autocon 2017 on March 26th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  The drive was very close and the venue was as expected.  A bit small for us but we were still excited just being a part of this event as it was our first ever event that we attend as a company.  Here is a before photo of our booth.

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Here’s another shot of what a lot of event goers kept requesting us to do.  We just had to turn them to show everybody but could not keep them on for too long or Autocon officials would have given us the boot.

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We met a few vendors and even managed to see TJ Hunt!  TJ Hunt is a major influencer in the auto industry and is a runner up as one of the top Youtubers in the auto industry so heads up EricTheCarGuy, or Scotty Kilmer because there is a new kid in town.  He uploads vlog videos and tons of project videos where he works on modding “Selena” as well as other performance vehicles like his Subaru BRZ and Nissan GTR as well as other projects that he works on that involve his crew.

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When we learned about TJ Hunt and his crew attending the event we were more excited than what we were able to handle.  It was like seeing a celebrity.  Unfortunately, we were not able to meet and greet TJ Hunt but knowing that we were able to be a part of an event where he was a special guest is a privilege.  Here is photo of his 350z modeling at Autocon 2017.  The wrap on the vehicle is done perfectly by Premium Auto Styling.  Might just give them call to see what kind of mayhem they can do with our Jeep Wrangler.  The job they did on the 350z is flawless!

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We could not have attended this event if it was not for you guys.  Through the support that you guys provide, we were able to finally attend this event so we are very grateful and we look forward to meeting more new faces and maybe meet new vendors that will join our brand in innovating LED car lighting.

Again guys, it is because of your support that JDM ASTAR has grown to what it is today and we will continue doing our part in providing better and safer lighting for the world.

We thank you for your support.  We value each and every one of you that have allowed us to come this far so thank you very much for everything you guys have done for us and for continuing to be supporters of our brand.

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With your loyalty, JDM ASTAR will continue to light your way down the road so come join us and be a part of the revolution to help us change the world in how people use car lighting.

LED Lighting, you have been doing it wrong!

How are my headlights supposed to be oriented inside the housing?  What type of bulb should we use for a fog light on my car?  What is better, a fan or a heat sink?  These are all questions for which we have not seen a single source provide answers for and that is what we are doing for you today.  We want to provide you with some tips when upgrading your vehicles factory lamps to high performance LED lighting.

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One of the most common questions we hear every day is how your LED headlights should be positioned.  Well, this can be different for some cars, and even if the model and maker is the same, it does not necessarily mean that the body is all the same.  First, you should understand how your LED bulbs will insert into your housing to determine what the final result will be, once installed.  JDM ASTAR offers adjustable LED replacement lamps that will allow you to correct the orientation.  The position of the diodes (LED chips) should always be in a side to side orientation, meaning, you should have one set facing at 3 o’clock, and the other set facing at 9 o’clock.  This will allow a nice and even 360 light distribution throughout the housing creating an even beam of light as well as evenly fill up the housing.  We cannot stress enough how poor your headlights will appear if you have the incorrect orientation, not to mention the glare may cause to other drivers. The last thing you want to do is create a hazard when operating your car.  Be very careful as there are many brands and vendors that will advise that the bulbs are designed to be this way, but, we have tested several types of housings, and style of lamps and have learned that the proper orientation for LED lighting is to face the diodes side to side unless you integrate a 3rd side that will provide an additional side of lighting to cover a high beam application.

For dual headlight setups, that provide low and high beams off one bulb, will use the same orientation side to side orientation but there will also be some type of shield or cover which should always be sitting below the diodes after you orient the bulb side to side.  If the shield sits above the diodes then flip it around now!  The shield or cover helps prevent light from shining down to ensure it does not reflect at a higher angle so the cover should always be sitting below the diodes.  For those unique LED designs that have a 3rd side with diodes mounted, there will be an off set chip that sits closer to the fan or heat sink.  It sits closer or deeper in the lamp housing to provide a higher light beam angle.  The 3rd side will usually cover the high beam application which should always face downward. To summarize, LED designs with chips on two sides of the bulb should face left and right.  LED designs with 3 sides should have the high beam side facing downward and the other two will face diagonally upward to where one chip sits at around 2 o’clock and the other 10 o’clock.

JDM ASTAR offers an option that allows an adjustment to the orientation in case your vehicle is one of those unique models that simply has the chuck lined up a certain way to where any type of LED replacement headlight will have bad orientation.

 

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Another question we have been hearing a lot lately is what type of lamp is appropriate for your application.  Well, of course, you should always consider heat as the number one factor as this is the most common reason why an LED fails prematurely.  But what type of lamp should you be going for?  A good tip is to simply check the wattage of the LED replacement.  Here is a table to keep it simple and to show you what type of lamp you should be looking for when replacing a factory halogen bulb on your car.  The table will give you a range of what you should be looking for to ensure that you buy the right LED bulb type for the appropriate application.  We cannot tell you how many times we have seen a 9005 fog light type LED bulb being used in place of a low beam or high beam application.  So next time you are in the market to replace a bulb that has gone out, just check the wattage.

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To get the best results out of your LED light replacements to is to replicate the same or similar light distribution of the factory bulb.  Most vehicles on the market have housings that are designed to distribute light from a bulb that emits light in a 360 degree orientation.  This will provide optimal results both in how well the light fills the housing as well as project the light.  There are some factors on the LED bulb that will help provide optimal results, but the ice breaker is where and how the light is emitted.  Factory HID lamps are the only exception due to the design of the housing being different.  Factory HID lamps can get away with using an LED replacement that does not offer 360 lighting, however, if the factory bulb is an incandescent, or halogen, then you definitely should be looking for an option that will provide lighting from more than one side.  Next time you decide to upgrade the factory bulb to LED, call JDM ASTAR where you will not only get the appropriate LED replacement, but you will have a team of professionals that will provide friendly advice on how to get the most out of your LED replacements, and do it right the first time, and every time. . . .

 

-JDM ASTAR Team