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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a reliable/viable replacement/fix for the headlights (poor illumination) in our trucks? I drove home last night after dark, and really starting to realize how absolutely horrible, almost unsafe, these lights are. Almost hit a deer and didn't even see it until it was about 10' away.

I see a lot of posts on LEDs and different options, but they all see to come with some downsides. Maybe I am just missing the "go to" solution of choice, but what is it these days?

I don't want something that is going to burn itself up every 6 months, or is not highway legal etc. Some combination of reliable, decent, focused lighting.

Ideas?
 

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The solutions (from easiest and/or least expensive) that I can think of...
  1. A number of boutique halogen bulbs like SilverStar Ultras. In my experience, the blue-tinted bulbs like those last but a few months. As far as halogens go, I prefer Sylvania XtraVisions.
  2. Drop-in replacement LED bulbs, such as the Katanas that everyone on here runs. Technically not DOT-compliant, but I think it's very unlikely the cops are gonna pull you over.
  3. More DOT-compliant halogen lights. Install a pair or two of Hella 500s.
  4. Non-DOT/Off-road-use-only LED lights. Plenty to choose from. Only really helpful if you're alone on the road a lot. Heck, I had Rigid D2's and can count on one hand how many times I've used them in the last 8 years or so. It's so bright that they light up signs a mile away, but the glare for oncoming traffic and traffic that you pull up to from behind is insane/unsafe.
  5. DOT-compliant Amazon cube lights in the lower grill opening. I went with that solution and personally haven't needed any more. It's also nice because I can choose the amount and type of lighting for the situation. Driving in town? Halogen headlights. Foggy/rainy? Halogen headlights and halogen fogs. Dark, desolate country road on a clear night? High beams + fog lights + LED cube lights.
  6. DOT-compliant drop-in fog light replacements like from @Diode Dynamics or Morimoto. Probably won't do much for distance.
  7. DOT-complaint name-brand auxiliary lights. Rigid Industries makes a 20" DOT driving light bar that seems like it'd work well. It's $750...
  8. HID retrofit into your existing halogen headlights.
These are the cube lights I currently use on the Frontier. They overpower the headlights, but still have a sharp cutoff for oncoming traffic.
 
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I had the Boslla headlights in my 2011 Frontier, they are great for the multi function and are super bright!
 

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Is there a reliable/viable replacement/fix for the headlights (poor illumination) in our trucks? I drove home last night after dark, and really starting to realize how absolutely horrible, almost unsafe, these lights are. Almost hit a deer and didn't even see it until it was about 10' away.

I see a lot of posts on LEDs and different options, but they all see to come with some downsides. Maybe I am just missing the "go to" solution of choice, but what is it these days?

I don't want something that is going to burn itself up every 6 months, or is not highway legal etc. Some combination of reliable, decent, focused lighting.

Ideas?
Aside from adding more lights to do the job your headlights are supposed to do, there's really just 2 options proven to work by many of us here:

1. Bang for the buck: Katana (or similar style) drop-in replacement LED bulbs + headlamp aim
2. Spend more time and $: Retrofit projectors into OEM housings for that perfect cut-off
 
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Don’t know what year you have but for my 16, I find the low beams to be better than what most here report. Do I wish they were better brighter and better again? Sure. But they do their job for me. Now the high beams IMO are lacking that “punch” that gives confidence in the lights. So I added 2 Hella 500s to the front of the truck to come on with the high beams. They seem to fill the gap that the high beams lack, so overall I’m happy with them. I may get rid of and upgrade them down the line a bit, but that’s for another thread.
 

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I have a 2019 SV Crew that I purchased last December and I always have people flashing their brights at me thinking my high beams are on. To which I flash my brights back at them. It's come to the point where I just keep my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well! Lol
 

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Don’t know what year you have but for my 16, I find the low beams to be better than what most here report. Do I wish they were better brighter and better again? Sure. But they do their job for me. Now the high beams IMO are lacking that “punch” that gives confidence in the lights. So I added 2 Hella 500s to the front of the truck to come on with the high beams. They seem to fill the gap that the high beams lack, so overall I’m happy with them. I may get rid of and upgrade them down the line a bit, but that’s for another thread.
I have a 2019 SV Crew that I purchased last December and I always have people flashing their brights at me thinking my high beams are on. To which I flash my brights back at them. It come to the point where I just keep my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well! Lol
Hrm... both of you guys sound like maybe your headlamps are aimed too high. Just curious if either of you has actually checked the aim of your headlamps to see if they were aimed correctly to Nissan FSM specifications (measured wall pattern, not eyeballing it)... all Frontiers 2009-2020 use the same procedure, give it a try when you have the time: How-To: Aim Your Headlamps – project:KEIRA
 

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I have a 2019 SV Crew that I purchased last December and I always have people flashing their brights at me thinking my high beams are on. To which I flash my brights back at them. It come to the point where I just keep my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well! Lol
Might want to check your headlight aim, especially if your bed has heavy stuff or is otherwise sagged lower than stock. You're not doing anyone a favor by keeping "my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well!"

But on that note, I was once driving on a desolate two-lane road at night and a vehicle was approaching with their high beams on. We got closer and they didn't click them off. We got closer still, so I gave them two high-beam flashes. Still nothing. I was driving my teammate's chase truck, which has two 30" LED bars in the bumper and one 50" above the windshield. I flipped all those on and the driver immediately pulled over and stopped.
 
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Hrm... both of you guys sound like maybe your headlamps are aimed too high. Just curious if either of you has actually checked the aim of your headlamps to see if they were aimed correctly to Nissan FSM specifications (measured wall pattern, not eyeballing it)... all Frontiers 2009-2020 use the same procedure, give it a try when you have the time: How-To: Aim Your Headlamps – project:KEIRA
How likely is it that it would come that way brand new? Still, I'll give them a check.


Might want to check your headlight aim, especially if your bed has heavy stuff or is otherwise sagged lower than stock. You're not doing anyone a favor by keeping "my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well!"

But on that note, I was once driving on a desolate two-lane road at night and a vehicle was approaching with their high beams on. We got closer and they didn't click them off. We got closer still, so I gave them two high-beam flashes. Still nothing. I was driving my teammate's chase truck, which has two 30" LED bars in the bumper and one 50" above the windshield. I flipped all those on and the driver immediately pulled over and stopped.
I'm not trying to do anyone a favor with the way everyone around here drives, or should I say doesn't know how to drive and pisses me off on a daily basis. I rarely have my back end weighted down.
 

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How likely is it that it would come that way brand new? Still, I'll give them a check.
You never know, every vehicle on the lot is different. But from what you described, I think it's worth taking a look IMO just so at minimum you can confirm if they are correct or not (y)
 

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Hrm... both of you guys sound like maybe your headlamps are aimed too high. Just curious if either of you has actually checked the aim of your headlamps to see if they were aimed correctly to Nissan FSM specifications (measured wall pattern, not eyeballing it)... all Frontiers 2009-2020 use the same procedure, give it a try when you have the time: How-To: Aim Your Headlamps – project:KEIRA
Good point, I’ll check that out. Now that you say that, it makes sense. My rear springs are shot. My truck is level if if not a hair high in the front, truck is stock suspension wise.
 

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Might want to check your headlight aim, especially if your bed has heavy stuff or is otherwise sagged lower than stock.
But on that note, I was once driving on a desolate two-lane road at night and a vehicle was approaching with their high beams on. We got closer and they didn't click them off. We got closer still, so I gave them two high-beam flashes. Still nothing. I was driving my teammate's chase truck, which has two 30" LED bars in the bumper and one 50" above the windshield. I flipped all those on and the driver immediately pulled over and stopped.
ROFL yupper, I have the Katana's and they're excellent, so +1 there.
So I had a guy coming towards me at a stop-sign that was lighting it up. I flashed him briefly to show that I'd appreciate if he'd step it down to the low beams. He declined. I blinked him one more time. Still nothing. So I clicked on both front 16" grille-mounts, my 42" curved bar above the roof and the Katana's on high beam. He obliged, possibly to go home and fix the paint I'd blistered & peeled off the nose of his car.
 

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I have a 2019 SV Crew that I purchased last December and I always have people flashing their brights at me thinking my high beams are on. To which I flash my brights back at them. It's come to the point where I just keep my finger on the trigger so I don't miss the opportunity to blind them as well! Lol
have you considered adjusting the beam lower or calibrating it per recommendations?
 

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Although upgrade bulbs or projector modifications can be big improvements over the stock halogens, your low beams still are always going to be a compromise - The beam is intentionally cut off above a certain angle, in order to keep it out of the eyes of oncoming drivers.

High beams are under no such constraints, since they're never to be used when other motorists are present anyway.

Consequently, for enhancing high beam light output, the sky's the limit - you can add as much supplemental lighting as you like, just as long as it doesn't operate when other motorists are present.

Adding external lighting is usually a lot cheaper and easier than attempting to get the same amount of light by modifying the existing headlight housings.
 

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The bottom line on retrofitting in my mind is that 'replacing a bulb' will require complete headlamp housing removal and subsequently rebaking it open, then resealing and reinstalling. IOW, not nearly as simple as changing a bulb.
 

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The bottom line on retrofitting in my mind is that 'replacing a bulb' will require complete headlamp housing removal and subsequently rebaking it open, then resealing and reinstalling. IOW, not nearly as simple as changing a bulb.
arOO ? as scooby doo might say. if a headlight needs to be baked open for a light bulb change, the retrofitter created a frankenstein HID conversion incorrectly and should be kicked in their rear tire. shame on them. properly done, the female seat for the bulb should be accessible openly, or under an enclosure just like any OEM HID headlight
 
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