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Brighter headlights for truck?

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RedMF40
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My work truck is a '99 Ford E350 with the old sealed-beam headlights. They aren't very bright. Two days a week I am on the road early morning before the sun is up, driving country roads. The high-beams are about the same brightness as regular headlights and the low-beams are a little better than having no headlights at all.

Is there a direct replacement that anyone has any experience with--preferably LED? I'd like to find something I can install myself and that replaces these old style headlights. Truck only has 58,000 miles on it, don't plan to replace for something with better headlights.

I welcome any suggestions, thanks in advance.

Gerrit
 
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ss55
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

How old are your current sealed beam bulbs, 22 or 23 years old? They can get dim over time, you really notice it if you replace just one bulb of a pair. Sometimes just new OEM bulbs is all you need.
 
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Pete in Holland MI
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have you checked alignment to the road? You say the low & high beams are equally bright. If the high beams are not directed
further down the road, that could be part of your problem.
 
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Pete in Holland MI
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just checked Autozone. There are brighter bulbs available. Take a trip to your local auto parts stores.
 
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Kid Shileen
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

In 1999 the headlights should be halogen. I havent seen sealed beam since the early 80s
 
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wore out
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

RedMF40 wrote:


First, you might check out if the wiring to your existing lights has any issues.

Connect the (-) test lead of a Voltmeter to the (-) battery post and check the voltage at both the ground and "hot" terminals at the headlamps.

Over time connections get loose/corroded and cause voltage drop and there's a number of them from the battery, to the light switch, to the dimmer switch, and though wiring harness connections and on to the headlight sockets, not to mention the headlight and dimmer switches themselves.

The "hot" terminals at the lamps should show very near battery voltage and the ground terminals should show almost no voltage.

If there's voltage being "lost" on either side you can do further voltage drop testing to find the problem.

Or, a couple of H.D. "ice cube relays" can be installed under the hood to switch current from the nearby battery direct to the headlamps.

I know a few years back there were kits on the market to do just that on Chevy pickups, I'd assume someone sells "headlight improvement kits" for your Ford, as well.

On my son's 1992 Chevy Silverado I made up my own relay setup and it made a heck of a difference in the light intensity even with standard bulbs.

As to changing the bulbs themselves, some of the aftermarket stuff is blinding to other drivers and may draw the attention of the Law. Look for "DOT" approved bulbs.

Also, check the rated life of any aftermarket bulbs you may be interested in vs. standard bulbs. Some "bright" aftermarket lamps have a much lower rated life than standard/OEM-type.
 
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Jeff NWOH
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have same bulbs on my topkick. Mine
were 2 pieces of glass glued together.
The glue joint failed allowing moisture
in. All the silver reflective coating
inside turned black. If your lights are
old, I'd just try replacing them. I think
I got mine on rock auto clearance for 4 or
5 bucks each.
 
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DoubleO7
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Rockauto is showing new brighter sealed beams for 1999 E350 for less than $5ea.

And halogen capsule bulbs for what looks like sealed beams for a bit more $$.

Plus the composite light assembly for more $$.
 
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aFORDable
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I understand where you are coming from. I own a 99 F250 and the lights are poor. I replaced one with a new headlight due to an accident but it wasn't any better. I
then replaced the bulbs with the brightest ones Advance Auto had (2-3 yrs. ago) but frankly didn't see a lot of improvement. I think one difference is we are now
use to the more modern lights such as on my 2016 chevy truck and the comparison is much to be desired with the 99. But, I agree, they have always been dim since I
bought the truck when it was only 2 yrs. old in 2001. No good answer here unless it is replacing the entire light if available. Fortunately I don't drive mine
much at night.
 
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Dan in North Houston
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My farm truck is a 2002 F150, and the family knows I prefer to drive it over any of our other vehicles. The headlights were dim and the plastic housing / lens
were a little cloudy. Several years ago for Christmas, my kids got me a new set of headlight housings and LED bulbs. Big improvement. Only negative comment I
have is that there is not much difference between low beam and high beam, and sometimes people flash their lights at me thinking I am using my high beams when I am
not. I have them aimed according to spec, but since there is so little difference between low and high beam, I just leave on low beam all the time.
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The headlights aren't very bright by 1999 standards ????
OR....
The headlights aren't very bright by 2021 standards ????

You do know just because headlights come on does not mean they are up to standards and working properly.
Have you tried replacing them with new stock bulbs.

But I guess I understand replacing headlights with the latest and brightest illegal LED headlights on the market.
I mean if you can see who cares if the driver speeding at you at 70 mph on a two lane highway can see from your blinding low beam headlights.
Heck while you at it get you some aircraft landing lights and use them as driving/fog lights even in clear weather.
At the very least you will look cool going down the highway.

Can you tell I drive over 120,000 miles a year; all of it at night.
 
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RedMF40
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Thanks for the replies. I'll start with a new pair of stock headlights or the brighter ones from Rock Auto. I do have a multimeter and of course it tests voltage but to say I'm "slow" with diagnosing this kind of thing would be generous. I'm not a whiz at tracking down potential electrical problems.

I just want to stop over-driving my headlights, even when I'm well within the speed limit. I'm not looking to blind other motorists. One of my pet peeves is drivers going around all the time with high-beams on.

Funny thing is my '99 F250 has the same headlights from what I can tell, but they are considerably more effective at night. My E350 has never been in an accident, so I don't know how they could be out of adjustment, but what do I know?

I'll report back when I have the new lights in. Thanks for the replies,

Gerrit
 
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Duner Wi
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

wore outs scheme , a couple of H.D. ice cube relays can be installed under the hood to switch current from the nearby battery direct to the headlamps.

This worked great for me on old VW with not much for headlights. Use existing wire to trigger the relay/relys.
 
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caterpillar guy
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I used to get a cool blue headlight bulbs that were a bright white light. these were in a sealed beam glass head light. Worked good and were not obnoxiously bright just a whiter light so acted as though they were brighter as it cleaned up the light beam.
 
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Deutz Lover
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Brighter headlights for truck? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think that sometimes the vacuum deposited coatings inside the sealed beams vary and wear thin. I know that lightning evaporated the coating in my Tacoma headlights and side view mirrors. It took me more than three years to figure why some roads appeared darker than others. I thought it was my night vision going bad.
 
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