Are GTR Lighting Carbide Series LED Headlights Any Good?
Primarily a producer of LED bulbs, reverse lights, and HID conversion kits, GTR Lighting has latched itself onto producing full LED assemblies for a selection of cars and trucks. We have reviewed them in the past, but we wanted to do a brief overview of the line-up and discuss the product line as a whole.
GTR Lighting has done a great job of breaking into the market segment that is primarily dominated by a select few brands. While you will always have your cheap marketplace brands, getting a hold of truly DOT-compliant headlight assemblies means buying from the likes of Alpharex or Morimoto. But now there is a new contender.
In the world of aftermarket headlight assemblies, most are not DOT-Compliant, and most are not brighter than the OEM counterparts (even the halogen ones). Worse yet, some can have absolutely useless beam patterns that we NEVER recommend driving with.
With GTR Lighting, we expect to see the brightest there is when it comes to LED bulbs and no less for a headlight or taillight offering. Their full LED housings have not disappointed in that department. It does not matter if you have a streetcar like a Corvette or an off-roading monster like a 4Runner or Ranger, GTR Lighting has you covered.
Across the board, you can find LED daytime running lights (DRL), LED single and bi-LED projectors, amber turn signals, and OEM+ fitment. You also get a UV-Resistant polycarbonate lens like you would find on an XB LED housing from Morimoto.
You also cannot miss the great value you are getting here. Sure, you may not be achieving XB LED performance levels, but you are certainly surpassing stock performance, all the while spending on average, $860 for a set.
With the 4Runner, the chrome detailing around the three projectors looks so good sitting above the sharp DRL. The DRL is the most stand-out feature of these lights and the angular look to this gives the 4Runner a bit more of an aggressive appearance than say the Morimoto housings and obviously the stock lights.
The C6 Corvette lights are striking. The OEM lights definitely hold their own in the styling department with the color-matched interior, however, the light output and the physical quality of the lens leave much to be desired. The Carbide Series light for the Corvette solves the light output issue in a HUGE way, and the UV-Resistant lens prevents the lights from getting Sun damage.
In terms of styling and design specifications, the Carbide Series offers something for everyone.
You of course have the traditional blackout, projector-style headlights. You have others with chrome shrouds or reflector-style LEDs. Carbide taillights will often come in a smoked and standard red color, depending on the look you want.
The great thing is, with any high-quality LED headlight or taillight you have factory mounting points and connections. If you buy a set of Carbide Series LED housings, you will have an entirely plug-and-play installation experience. The fitment is the same, leaving no unnecessary panel gaps.
All Carbide Series headlights are DOT-Complaint and come with a 2-year warranty, and across the board are between 2-5 times as bright as your OEM headlights. We have tested quite a few in the past and you can see all those here!
NO CORNERS CUT
To show you how it all looks, the wiring system on this Dodge Ram headlight. The metal box in the back that you can see below, is specifically made for the Carbide series. It is an LED driver that is meant for the projectors in this headlight. No extra bulbs or wires to plug in.
You also have adjusters on the top and bottom of the headlight like you would find on the OEM part. This means you can easily adjust the aim of your headlight.
The wiring matches that of the OEM connectors, allowing you to plug in the lights and hit the road. Typically, Carbide Series headlights will have one connection and a DRL wire that just needs to be connected to the OEM connectors.
To show off the performance of the Carbide Series, we will be comparing the max. Lux of the OEM headlights from a 2009-2014 Ford F-150 Raptor to the Carbide Series headlight. This is done by pulling the truck into the garage and parking it perpendicular to the wall at 25 feet. To gauge the brightness of the light, we run a digital Lux meter across the beam pattern in search of the brightest point. This is not 100 percent accurate to real-world performance, but it will give you a good idea of how bright these headlights are.
We tested the stock headlight low beams at 210 max. Lux. In comparison, the low beam Carbide Series came in at 540 max. Lux, more than 3 times brighter than the stock headlights. With the added brightness, you are also getting a wider beam pattern, sharper cut-off lines, and better light intensity distribution.
A similar story followed when we tested the high beam. The stock headlights came in at 390 max. Lux on high beam and the Carbide Series were tested at 1130 max. Lux, a 189 percent increase in brightness. The high beam offers a bit more brightness and greater reach in the beam pattern for better down-the-road visibility.
GTR Lighting has really knocked it out of the park with their Carbide Series. The only downside to these is that there simply are no more fitment options. However, as time goes on, we are sure that the lighting brand will expand its selection to rival that of other full LED assembly brands out there.
If you enjoyed our overview of the Carbide Series headlights by GTR Lighting, check out our individual reviews of some of the headlights and watch our video overview as well. While you are there, make sure to like and subscribe to our channel for the latest lighting upgrades for your vehicle.
Have any questions about one of the products we mentioned? Contact us today, and our customer service team would be happy to help.