Toyota Highlander Lighting

Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting Information

Third Generation - 2014-2018

2014-2018 Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting

The Third Generation of Highlanders covers model years from the 2014s through to the Present Day, and they all come with projector-style Low Beam headlights. The reason this is so great is that of how a projector-style headlight treats the light coming out of your headlight housing.

A non-projector ("reflector-style") headlight simply bounces the light around and scatters it out onto the road in front of your vehicle. While this method will get the job done, you are losing some of the effectiveness of the light because it lacks focus, and if you drastically increase the brightness in a reflector (by installing an HID Conversion Kit, for example), you run the risk of annoying incoming traffic.

With a projector-style headlight housing, you get a much cleaner light cutoff where you need it. The results have a much tighter focus, give more control over where your lights are pointing down the road, and are less of a headache for other drivers. When you have that sharp cutoff from a projector lens, you are in much better position to be upgrading your lights as the increased output will not blind other drivers and it will not go to waste by being scattered all over the place.

Now that you know why a projector-style Low Beam is so great, let's talk about the H11 halogen bulbs involved. You can see a few technical specs about H11 halogen bulbs below:

  • IEC Base type: PGJ19-2
  • Base type: Right Angle Prefocus, H11
  • Filaments: CC-8
  • H11 bulb length: 6.7cm
  • H11 bulb width: 1.08cm
  • Volts: 13.2
  • Amps: 4.17
  • Watts: 55W

H11s are commonly used in Low Beams and Fog Lights and give out about 1200 lumens of light output. If you're looking for something with some more power behind it, however, we would recommend either of the two following options:

  • H11 Xtreme HID Kit - go with the 4300K bulbs (especially the rebased Philips 4300K bulb option - these put out 3200 lumens per bulb!) if you want the brightest/whitest/most OEM functional lights you can get
  • H11 Xtreme LED Kit - crisp white 5500-5700K lighting, lumen output of approximately 1750 per bulb - about a 50% upgrade over your stock halogens (and those are stable values, after the lights have been running for over half an hour!)

We have a great review from a customer who installed an H11 Xtreme HID Kit in the Low Beam headlights for their 2017 Highlander. It even shows another alternate installation with the whole kit installed inside the headlight housing - no need to drill a hole through the dust cover and mount components externally if you don't want to!

High Beams

Now that you have your Low Beams sorted out, let's talk about your 9005 High Beam bulbs. These are commonly used as High Beams in many modern vehicles and are fairly bright as far as halogens go, with a lumen output of about 1600-1700 per bulb. You can see a few technical specs about 9005 halogen bulbs below:

  • IEC Base type: P20d
  • Base type: Right Angle Prefocus, HB3
  • Filaments: C-8
  • 9005 bulb length: 7.8cm (3.07")
  • 9005 bulb width: 1.07cm (0.42")
  • Volts: 12.8
  • Amps: 5.08
  • Watts: 65

While we carry 9005 HID Kits, these are not ideal for this application. All HID lighting has a brief warmup period when it is turned on. This is more noticeable/lengthy off a cold start of the vehicle, but it will always be there to some extent. Most drivers use their High Beams for quick flashes of light here and there, so if you go with HIDs then usually the moment will have passed by the time the lights finish warming up.

If you are the kind of driver who turns your High Beams on and leaves them on for extended periods of time, you can look at HIDs here - they are just not great for typical city driving. For those cases, we would recommend going with a 9005 Xtreme LED PRO Kit, and you are going to need the CANBUS option to get the PWM anti-flicker modules for the newer Highlander models. This is because your 9005 High Beam bulb is usually also functioning as your Daytime Running Light (DRL).

The halogen will dim and provide a lower level of brightness in DRL mode because the vehicle is sending it reduced voltage. LED and HID lights, however, need a strong, steady power signal, so they tend to flicker and/or have troubles firing up when receiving reduced voltage. The PWM modules will take care of this issue, but the lights will not be able to dim in DRL mode, so this is like driving with your High Beams on pretty much all the time. Is this a minor inconvenience or a deal-breaker? That we leave up to your own discretion.

If you need something that will still be an upgrade over your stock 9005 bulbs but will maintain that dimmer DRL functionality, you can look at performance 9005 halogen bulbs like the 9005 Philips Crystal Vision Ultra or the 9005 Osram Night Breaker Unlimited.

Fog Lights

Last but not least, your Fog Lights use an H16 halogen bulb. You can see some further details about these here:

  • IEC Base type: PGJ19-3
  • Volts: 12V
  • Amps: 1.58
  • Watts: 19

Even though an H11 bulb and an H16 bulb have the same type of base and locking tabs, you do not want to put an H11 HID Kit in your Fog Lights for a few reasons. First, the H16 halogen bulb is rated at 19W, which is much lower than the 55W H11 halogen or even the 35W H11 HID. While you could install the bulbs there and they would work, you would be putting way more power and heat through that housing than it is designed for and you are going to run into problems in the long-term (for sure) and even in the short-term (fairly likely). Trust us - melted housings are No Fun. Secondly, Fog Light housings are smaller and not projector-style on the Highlander, so you will end up with a lot of glare. All that being said, if you want to upgrade your Fog Lights we have plenty of options!

If you want to see other bulb fitments for Rear and Interior/Courtesy lighting as well, you can check out our vehicle lighting guides for the Third Generation Highlanders:

Second Generation - 2008-2013

2011-2013 Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting

For the Second Generation of the Highlanders, Toyota switched things up a bit with the bulbs for their Headlights and Fog Lights. Later models from 2011 and onward used the new bulb types for the headlights that are still being used today: H11 for Low Beams and 9005 for High Beams.

You will get your best lighting upgrade for your H11 Low Beams by going with an H11 Xtreme HID Kit. You can pick from a variety of colour temperature options for your bulbs, but the Philips 4300K will give you the brightest/whitest/most OEM-HID-looking lights around.

High Beams

You will want to look at 9005 Xtreme LED PRO Kit for your High Beams if you want to upgrade, but be sure to select the 'with CANBUS' option when setting that up because your Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are sharing that same 9005 bulb. With those extra PWM anti-flicker modules installed, you will avoid flickering problems with your High Beams, but they are not able to dim to give you different levels of brightness - the LED bulbs are either going to be On or Off.

If you need a slight improvement over your stock bulbs that will maintain the ability to have your dimmer DRLs, you can look at some 9005 performance halogen bulbs: the 9005 Philips Crystal Vision Ultras or 9005 Osram Night Breaker Unlimited bulbs are both great choices for a simple, smaller upgrade.

Fog Lights

The Fog Lights also changed again and switched over to a PSX26W bulb for this range of model years. We have PSX26W Xtreme LED CMBs (available in 5000K or 6000K) for this fitment - these are great little plug-and-play LED Fog Light bulbs that you can use for colour-matching against other lights.

2008-2010 Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting

Earlier Second Generation models used a single H4 bulb to run both the Low and High Beam headlights together. In the original halogens, the H4 is a dual-filament bulb, but the HID equivalent (a Bi-Xenon Bulb) will just have the single glass capsule. Bi-Xenon bulbs are built with a solenoid (mechanized switch) in the base that physically moves the bulb in and out to give you two different lighting patterns, but the amount of light generated is going to be the same. For an H4 LED, there are simply two sets of diodes, positioned to replicate the positioning of the two filaments in the stock halogen.

We would recommend either an H4 Xtreme HID Kit (with Bi-Xenon High Beam option selected) or an H4 Xtreme LED PRO Kit if you are looking to improve the headlights on your 2008, 2009, or 2010 Highlander.

The Fog Lights also changed to an H11 bulb in 2008, so you have a few options if you are looking for upgrades here:

Looking for some more details about the bulbs you need for a Second Generation Highlander? See our vehicle lighting guides:

  • 2008 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide
  • 2009 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide
  • 2010 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide
  • 2011 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide
  • 2012 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide
  • 2013 Toyota Highlander Lamp Replacement Guide

  • First Generation - 2001-2007

    2004-2007 Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting

    The biggest change to the lighting options for the second half of the First Generation of Highlanders is that they dropped the H3C bulbs for the Fog Lights and started to use the same 9006 bulb as the Low Beams. If you want to make upgrades here, you have the same sort of options that you do for other model years. We would recommend going with the following:

    2001-2003 Toyota Highlander Forward Lighting

    First introduced in 2001, the Toyota Highlander is a mid-sized SUV aiming for a comfortable ride with room for many passengers. The First Generation of Highlanders covers model years from 2001 through to 2007, and there were not many changes to the lighting options throughout that time. The early Highlanders used a 9006 bulb for their Low Beam headlights, a 9005 bulb for their High Beams, and an H3C bulb for their Fog Lights.

    XenonDepot carries a variety of options for 9006 and 9005 bulbs, from HID conversion kits and LED conversion kits to performance halogen bulbs if you are just looking for a smaller, simpler upgrade.

    For a full listing of bulbs for First Generation Highlanders, check out our vehicle lighting guides: