GTR Lighting Carbide LED Headlights for 09-18 Ram | HR Tested

GTR Carbide LED Headlights for 2009-2018 Ram

The folks at GTR Lighting are back at it again with ANOTHER headlight housing. This time they have brought their expertise to the 2009-2018 Ram pick-up truck. Their line of headlights has been limited in the past, but they are slowly expanding the options to include more vehicles.

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This one looks promising and we are excited to check it out. As per usual, we will put it to our test and see how much brighter it is than the OEM headlights for the Ram. We will also go through how to install it and talk about this LED headlight’s features.


It has been a minute since the Carbide series was announced back in October with the housings meant for the C6 Corvette, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and more recently, the Toyota 4Runner.

The GTR Lighting Carbide Series for the ’09-’18 Ram are fully plug-and-play. This means that all the mounting points and electrical connectors are the same as they are on your OEM housing. As a result, installation is incredibly easy with these headlights. The only wiring, and we use that term loosely, is to plug in the Daytime Running Light harness (DRL).


What is neat about these headlights is that they are totally in keeping with the design language of the OEM headlights. The bezel is painted in a piano black color, giving it a clean-cut appearance. There is also the UV-protected lens that allows these housings to stand the test of time. You are getting this amazing OEM appearance, with upgraded styling and quality, as well as dynamic DRLs.


Speaking of DRLs, these GTR Lighting Carbide Series headlights have their DRLs on the top and bottom of the headlights. When your headlights are off and your truck is on, the DRL runs at full brightness. This will make your truck easily noticeable to other drivers. Once you turn your headlights on, the DRL dims to 50 percent of its original brightness, allowing the low beams to do their thing.


As with most aftermarket LED housings, the Carbide Series headlight for the Ram has a sequential turn signal. There is also an amber side marker that can be ordered in a ‘smoked’ color too. Just know, that doing so means they are not DOT-compliant.


There are three LED projectors in each headlight. They are set up so that all three activate for low and all three activate for high beam. The pattern is absolutely excellent, and the brightness blows the stock headlights out of the water!


To get an accurate and consistent result for all the lights we test, we will park the truck 25 feet away from the wall and turn the lights on. Then we will get a digital Lux meter to measure the intensity of the lights. The Lux rating is not the important factor in this test, but it is the percentage increase from one headlight to another.

Lux Meter

To begin with, we tested the stock halogen headlights on a low beam at 220 max. Lux. This is a little low for OEM headlights, but pretty average. The Carbide Series headlights came in at 880 max. Lux, a 300 percent increase over the stock headlights. You are also getting an improved beam pattern with sharper cut-off lines and a more even spread of intensity.


Moving on to the high beams, the stock headlight was tested at 680 max. Lux where the Carbide Series headlights came in at 890 max. Lux; a 30 percent increase. Once again, you also get a stronger beam pattern with coverage that is both deep and wide.


For added measure, we also have the Morimoto XB LED headlights for the Ram here. On low beam, the XB LEDs are 436 percent brighter than stock (1180 max. Lux).


For the high beams, the Morimoto XB LED headlights came in at 1940 max. Lux, which makes it 165 percent brighter than stock.


Overall, the Carbide Series headlights are incredible housings when it comes to several aspects. Both outperform the OEM housings but if you are wanting to absolutely destroy the OEM headlight’s performance figures and are willing to spend the extra cash, the Morimoto XB LED is your headlight. If you are looking for something a bit more affordable while also gaining a quality, better-performing product, the Carbide Series Headlights by GTR Lighting are a great option.


Tools needed for the job:
10mm Socket
Impact/Ratchet Wrench
Pry Tool
Needle-Nose Pliers

To begin, pop your hood and grab your pry tool. Remove the four tabs that hold in the plastic radiator cover.


Take your 10mm socket and remove the four 10mm bolts. Two on either side of the grill, and another two towards the center of the grill. The inner two are coarser in their thread, so keep that in mind.



Once the four bolts have been removed, two clips at the base of the grill are the only things holding it in place. To remove it, grab it by the mesh and pull the grill toward you. If you have never removed it before, this may be a little difficult.


Move around to your fender well. There should be a small trap door about 2/3rds of the way to the top of the wheel liner. Open this and you can reach up to push a white tab up. We cannot show it on camera, but trust us, it is there.


Once you have that trick tab released, there are two more bolts on the front of the headlight left to remove. Use a 10mm socket to remove the bolts.



Before removing the headlight away from the car, unplug the factory wire connectors.

  1. If you have a reflector housing there will be two connectors.

  2. If you have a projector housing there will be one connector.

Before continuing with the new housing, you will see the white clip we pushed up on before we removed the headlight. Make sure when you are done to go back and pull this white clip back down to lock your headlight into place.

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Repeat for the other headlight.


Before installing the new Carbide Series headlights, you need to connect the DRL harness. Start by going to your fuse box and finding the F65 fuse. Remove the existing fuse with a set of needle-nose pliers, or your fuse puller, and plug in the DRL harness connector.


Run the shortest end to the driver side headlight, and the longest side to the passenger side. First, get this where they need to be. You can clean up the wiring once you know everything fits okay and your headlights function properly.

Take the Carbide headlights and plug in the factory connector and the DRL harness. Then, start up your truck and test all functions of the headlights to ensure they work properly.


Now that you have confirmed your GTR Lighting Carbide Series headlights for your ’09-’18 Ram, you can tighten the bolts and clean up DRL harness wiring.

DO NOT FORGET, to pull down on the white clips we mentioned above. This will ensure your headlights stay in place.

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If you are interested in learning how to aim them, check out our blog post and video where we go over just that (it is super easy we promise)!

If you are more of a visual learner, be sure to check out our video on these new headlights. 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.