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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Xenon/HID Buyer's/Review Guide

I'd like to add projector HID lamps to my 02 ES, but I hardly know where to start. I've looked at posts in the forum and done a search, but there are SO many threads and so many different aftermarket manufacturers that I don't know where to start.

I was hoping someone could point to some sort of a review or buyer's guide that talks about the pros/cons of the various technologies, who the preferred vendors are, who to stay away from, and so on. Is there such a guide? I realize I'm coming late into the game here, since the car has been discontinued for nearly a decade, but I just bought this new ES and would like to upgrade my lighting, since I live in a rural area of PA where there are no streetlights and it's helpful to see down the road farther.

Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 02:09 PM
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I've used:
Low Beams:
'Cool Blues' - good for the price - no yellow light - about $18 pair
Silver Stars - the 1st gen - nice white light - they last one year - about $30 pair.
Silver Star Ultras - 2nd gen - nice white light - they last two years - about $40 pair.
EOV Xenon 6000K - just put in last week - nice white light - a bit better than the silver stars - $13 pair

High Beams:
Night Hawk - better than OEM - still a little yellow - about $15 - been in for 8 years.
EOV Xenon 6000K - just installed - nice white light - very bright when all are on - about $14 pair.

I couldn't spend $40 for bulbs that only last a couple of years, so I 'm trying the EOV mainly for the price and I wanted to try the 6000K bulbs. Overall they work very well.
Amazon had the 10000K bulbs too, I might get a set for the high beams.

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the prices for the bulbs are to the best of my memory, the EOV's were current Amazon prices.

Last edited by usr; 04-20-2012 at 02:13 PM. Reason: update
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usr View Post
I've used:
Low Beams:
'Cool Blues' - good for the price - no yellow light - about $18 pair
Silver Stars - the 1st gen - nice white light - they last one year - about $30 pair.
Silver Star Ultras - 2nd gen - nice white light - they last two years - about $40 pair.
EOV Xenon 6000K - just put in last week - nice white light - a bit better than the silver stars - $13 pair

High Beams:
Night Hawk - better than OEM - still a little yellow - about $15 - been in for 8 years.
EOV Xenon 6000K - just installed - nice white light - very bright when all are on - about $14 pair.

I couldn't spend $40 for bulbs that only last a couple of years, so I 'm trying the EOV mainly for the price and I wanted to try the 6000K bulbs. Overall they work very well.
Amazon had the 10000K bulbs too, I might get a set for the high beams.

usr

the prices for the bulbs are to the best of my memory, the EOV's were current Amazon prices.
I'm looking for HID lamps - true Xenon, not incandescent with a Xenon gas mixture. There doesn't seem to be a place with a good discussion on who the various vendors are. For instance, I'm wondering if there's a real difference to a 'digital ballast', and who makes the best quality product for both the housings and bulbs themselves.

I've narrowed it down to either Spec-D or Spyder, since I want Halo projectors, in a black (rather than chromed) body housing.

If anyone has input on which of these two brands is the better product, and which vendor for HID lamps is the most recommended, I'd be grateful.

Thanks!

Last edited by RKBAGUY; 04-21-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 11:17 AM
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Don't bother with any of the aftermarket headlamps available.

The best, and correct way, to do it is to reftrofit some Morimoto Bi-Xenon projectors into the housing.

The light pattern of the aftermarket lights absolutely 1000% sucks balls.

And for the other poster, don't bother with going 10000K.

The xxxxK rating has nothing to do with brightness, no matter how a manufacturer tries to spin it. Its just a level of color. The lights themselves will appear purple or dark red.
To get truly "white" light, you need to be in the 4700K-5200K range. Anything beyond that, and you'll start to get more and more blue in your light, until it actually starts turning purple, then red.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Don't bother with any of the aftermarket headlamps available...The light pattern of the aftermarket lights absolutely 1000% sucks balls.
I wonder how much worse aftermarket projector housings from Spyder or Spec-d would be than my hazed up OEM housings. What are you using in your car in your sig picture?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 12:44 PM
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have the same aftermarkit head lights .they didnot work propely with hids work better with halligens
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RKBAGUY View Post
I wonder how much worse aftermarket projector housings from Spyder or Spec-d would be than my hazed up OEM housings. What are you using in your car in your sig picture?
I have spyders, and the spec-d and spyders are made by the same company.

And if they're hazed up, instead of spending $200, why not spend $20, and just buff them? That would solve a lot of that problem

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have the same aftermarkit head lights .they didnot work propely with hids work better with halligens
Id dispute that. I couldn't see anything with some halogens. I had to have HIDSto even match OEM output
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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I have spyders, and the spec-d and spyders are made by the same company.

And if they're hazed up, instead of spending $200, why not spend $20, and just buff them? That would solve a lot of that problem
Because as hard as we try, buffing just doesn't return them to original. However you still haven't answered my question. What rig are you using for the 'trep in your sig file?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:27 AM
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Hmmm...I still have the stock Intrepid headlights off my departed 2002 R/T in storage. Removed them less than a year after I bought the car. They should still be in excellent shape!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 01:58 AM
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Because as hard as we try, buffing just doesn't return them to original. However you still haven't answered my question. What rig are you using for the 'trep in your sig file?
As stated, I had Spyders. I got rid of them.

If they're really that bad where you can't buff them out, then just get new OEM ones (plenty of people on the site have a few, like Ron for example).

Then you get the actual leveling ability to correctly aim them, something the aftermarkets don't have.
then just get some D1R HID bulbs thatll fit in a 9006 housing (I think Peva has that setup currently) and youll be set.

Youll have a good cutoff, and excellent range. For the best range/color combo, I would go with 6000K. A little hue of blue/white light, and excellent range. The higher in Kelvin you go from 4700-5000 though, the shorter the actual effective distance.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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...Then you get the actual leveling ability to correctly aim them, something the aftermarkets don't have
Yes, but I really liked the look of the halo lights, which is part of the exercise. Having gotten used to projectors on my BMW, going to basic halogens or even unfocused xenons seems a step backward.

Hmmm... has anyone retrofitted Morimoto projectors into Spyder housings?

How about these units... any different, or are they all from the same vendors?
http://www.dashzracing.com/98-04-dod...t98-hl-bk.html

Last edited by RKBAGUY; 04-22-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RKBAGUY View Post
Yes, but I really liked the look of the halo lights, which is part of the exercise. Having gotten used to projectors on my BMW, going to basic halogens or even unfocused xenons seems a step backward.

Hmmm... has anyone retrofitted Morimoto projectors into Spyder housings?

How about these units... any different, or are they all from the same vendors?
http://www.dashzracing.com/98-04-dod...t98-hl-bk.html

All from the same vendor.

And the D1R bulbs fix the "unfocused" problem. They provide a nice cutoff in reflector housings. Its what 99-2003 Acura TLs with HIDs use in their housings since they dont have projectors. Same goes for earlier IS300s.

And no one has retrofitted Morimotos into Spyder housings, but I believe Gearhead was going to try it
Even then, you run into the problem of the Spyders wanting to peel all the time, and you not being able to correctly level them. Not to mention the awful dispersion of the high-beams. The halos may seem great, but they are only powered by a single white LED, so unless you're ina completely dark environment, they suck.

For halos, and for HIDs, your best bet is to retrofit Morimotos into OEM housings, then wire in some CCFL halos as part of your shroud during the retrofit.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:43 PM
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Here's D2S HID bulb rebased in a 9006 socket in an aftermarket 300m headlight. I just purchased these and the cutoff is pretty good. There's a "hotspot" near center but it doesn't go above the rest of the cutoff by much at all. The cheap projectors like the Spyders will have a moderately sharper cutoff but have hotspots above the cutoff.



Here's a bulb comparison. Standard 9006 halogen on the left. Note the distance of the filament to the base. Center is a rebased D2S bulb with a 9006 base. Note the Gas capsule is at the same distance from the base as the filament in the halogen bulb. On the right is a standard D2S bulb. Note the difference in distance of the gas capsule to the base. That's important.



I guess the answer to your nagging question is that there won't be any good aftermarket projector headlights with a beam pattern and cutoff that matches stock on any car. You'll need to do a retrofit of some sort. And I recommend Morimotos if you do that.

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Last edited by Ronbo; 04-22-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:56 PM
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Here's a Morimoto Bi-Xenon projector alongside an Intrepid fog light housing to give you an idea of their compact size. This particular Morimoto uses an H3 based HID bulb. I also have them with D2S bulbs. Bi-Xenon indicates a projector that has both Low and High beams in one unit. There's a "shutter" that raises and lowers via solenoid for the high/low operation. A single HID bulb is used and is always on regardless of High or Low beam operation.



Here's the beam pattern and cutoff with a 5000k HID bulb in low beam mode(shutter raised).



And here's the same projector pattern in High beam(shutter lowered).



I have sets of these Morimotos with Xentec compact ballasts and H3 HID bulbs @ 5000k. Ballasts are about the size of a credit card and easy to mount just about anywhere.


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Last edited by Ronbo; 04-22-2012 at 06:47 PM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I guess the answer to your nagging question is that there won't be any good aftermarket projector headlights with a beam pattern and cutoff that matches stock on any car. You'll need to do a retrofit of some sort. And I recommend Morimotos if you do that.
Well, I didn't necessarily have an expectation that the aftermarket (Spyder, et al) housings with Xenons would have a high-quality OEM projector pattern, but surely they're better than the Dodge OEM halogens, no?

Quote:
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Here's a Morimoto Bi-Xenon projector alongside an Intrepid fog light housing to give you an idea of their compact size. This particular Morimoto uses an H3 based HID bulb. I also have them with D2S bulbs. Bi-Xenon indicates a projector that has both Low and High beams in one unit. There's a "shutter" that raises and lowers via solenoid for the high/low operation. A single HID bulb is used and is always on regardless of High or Low beam operation.
Ok, so let's say I get brave and want to try a retrofit of the Morimotos into my OEM housings. What unit(s) would I need? I see there are a couple different models. I'm not sure what the differences are between H3 and D2S. And once I'm neck deep into the project, I'd also want to do the halo lights, if I'm going to the trouble. What all would I need to get it done?

Last edited by RKBAGUY; 04-23-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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