Prius LED Light Conversionsby Gary Wolfe
With the introduction of the generation III Prius, Toyota offers LED headlights as an option for standard halogen headlights in the top Prius option package for this model year, number V. This is the single most requested LED light conversion presently sought on the Toyota Prius, though other lights used in the car can also be converted to LEDs. LED lights provide more illuminating capacity and much greater product life, and can reduce the electricity consumption of a Prius up to 30 percent.
LED Headlight Features
LED headlamps are equipped with auto level control, auto-off control and headlamp cleaners. They can be used without the ballast that is necessary for HID (high intensity discharge) lights, they shine brighter with less heat than the Prius standard halogen lights and they are a much greener alternative with a projected product life of 15 years. Prius now boasts LED light technology for all the vehicle's lights as standard equipment, except for the headlights.
LED Headlight Advantages
LED headlamps, because they don't use a ballast like HID lights, offer much improved illumination option for night driving. The LED light is closer to daylight's color temperature (5600K), and LED lights distribute a wider span of light in front of the car than any other. The evenness of the lighted field is also an advantage of LED lights. According to Toyota, "The available headlamps in the 3rd generation Prius utilize LED technology in order to consume less energy and produce more light. LEDs provide instant illumination and are able to retain 90 percent luminance over their 15-year life span."
Aftermarket Light Kits
Interior lights, cluster lights and taillights of Generation II Prius models can all be converted to LED lights through third-party vendors. Aftermarket LED light kits for the Toyota Prius range are generally more affordable than those lights directly from the manufacturer. Prices range from around $150 for a pair of LED taillights that convert the standard 2004 to 2009 Prius taillights, and interior LED light conversions are significantly lower. These are parts prices only, without accounting for installation charges.
LED lights are expensive, which is why they are generally seen on much more expensive cars like the Lexus and Cadillac models that also offer LED headlamps as an option. Costs generally range from $250 to $400 for a pair of headlights. In general, because of the projector housing necessary for them, LED lights are the most expensive headlight option in May 2011, more than even HID lights.
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