I updated this thread to become a headlight comparison thread. If you have other headlights for the Defender feel free to add the pictures and beam patterns to this thread to help others.
I held the lights 3 feet off the ground (that's how long the leads are from the power supply I had sitting on the ground.)I'll see if I can recreate that with the Hella e-Codes. My truck is also lifted about three inches on 285/75's, not sure how that will affect the outcome of the photos at such a short distance..
I wonder why Stern is selling them for that much. I think they're worth that much, but when you can them from Toyota for so cheap...That is quite the deal. Bus Depot seems to have the best prices online for both the Koito and Hella e-Codes at $72 and $80 a pair, respectively, so no where near as good a deal..
Who'd have thought buying them from the Toyota dealer would be the cheapest option..
Oh, and Daniel Stern seems to think the Koito's are the best as well.. (He sells them for $180/pr)
"It's a bit of a sad end to a storied brand, but don't fret: compared to the Cibiés even before their downward skid, the Koito large and small round H4/H1 lamps on this page are superior. The Koitos are more efficient (more light on the road), better focused (more useful distribution of light), and better-built (sturdier glass and metal materials, more careful build quality). "
I've thought about upgrading to LED's in the past, but I couldn't bring myself to put their more futuristic look on the Defender, and to be honest, I really can't complain about the lighting performance of my current set-up. Maybe a little whiter light would be nice, but ultimately for visibility, I think most studies show the warmer Halogen light to be better in most conditions anyway..
I think the Koitos will be able to cut through just fine, but my truck's not on the road yet so I'm not able to test them driving. I bought another set from the Toyota dealer and they left me a voicemail in Japanese today lol. I have a Japanese voicemail greeting as a prank and anti-spam. They got me back.Chip, I live in Portland too… I really need to upgrade my lights for the dark-nighttime/pouring rain winters we get. Is the Koitos able to cut through? Did you also add on fog lights in addition to hit the road right in front of you?
I plan to use the harness included with the Koitos, but I'm recovering from colorectal surgery so I haven't been able to work on the Defender. The harness is universal so it should work fine on the Defender. I think I would advise against installing higher wattage bulbs due to heat which could damage the reflective coating in the housing. If the reflector becomes dulled due to heat then the 100W bulb will result in a more dim headlight instead of brighter. Stock wattage bulbs advertised as brighter also produce more heat. So I think it is best to use basic OEM bulbs only, such as the ones that come pre-installed in the headlights. Even with stock bulbs I think the harness may provide better performance and it will protect the light switch.Chip - I was just about to purchase the 7” Koito kit for my Defender when I came across your thread. Were you able to use the included Toyota wire harness in your Defender? The general consensus is that one should upgrade the headlight harness for better light output, especially if intending to move up to the 100-80w H4 bulbs. If the harness included with the Koito kit allows for this, that’s a good deal.