1. Given the media intensity given to the Covid 19 (otherwise known as Corona or Wuhan) virus, there seems no reason to have posts on that very specific subject in several forums Accordingly, all of those posts will be moved to "Headlines". All new items on that subject should be posted there as well. This notice will expire on 31 May, or be extended if needed. Thanks, folks.

HID Light Systems

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 3M-TA3, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm going to upgrade the headlights of my pickup since I don't like the brightness level. There are a ton of HID kits out there and I'd like to know if there are any that are better than others are well as those to avoid.

    Part two is that the truck is 1997 vintage and the headlight lens fixture has yellowed and I'm looking for a replacement. There are some very good plastic units out there, but I'd like to get something that will hold up better - does anybody know of a manufacturer or source that makes replacement units with glass lenses?
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I don't really have any info for you, but I'm curious as well. I did have a friend that put them in his vehicle, and for some reason one of them kept going out, trouble with the ballast for some reason. I do know , I hate driving towards someone that has these lights late at night. They're good for the driver, but not for oncoming traffic.
    oldawg, Ura-Ki and techsar like this.
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I do intend to replace the housing as it has yellowed, so hopefully I can find one designed for my vehicle.
    Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Take it from me, you don't want or need HID lighting. I had HID on a few of my Fire Trucks and the costs vs performance just wasn't there. I switched to hyper white xcion bulbs and conversion housings and i get better performance all the way around. A few problems with HID, expensive as hell, the power draw is higher, they require a ballast, and worse of all, there is only one setting, i.e. no high/low beam. They also do not generate a very broad beam with any reach, the light is actually cool, and dosnt penetrate very well, especially in foggy, rainy, or snowy weather. I found that a good pair of 7 in round headlight conversions to run about $120 to $200 For pretty much any rig that takes the old style round lamps, and replacement bulbs generally run between $45 and $80 and depending on the version of housing you get, you can change output from the standard legal 55/85watt output to as high as 80/120 watt and not have any problems with Da Fuzz! There are also conversions for the rectangle lights and bulb conversions for other moulded plastics. I know several folks that converted from HID to hyper whites because of better performance.
    One last point, you can also get the bulbs in Hyper Yellow, and the newer Hyper Blue, which cut through the bad weather better then any thing before! For what it's worth, I prefer the plain whites and add real fog lights and driving lights for my rigs and i do far better with that set up then the newer HIDs. Feel free to message me any questions and i can also help find odd ball parts if you have something the local parts store cant find, or costs way too much! I also have access to stuff that isn't exactly road legal if you catch my drift!
    oldawg, Motomom34, Dont and 3 others like this.
  6. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I run them , in different modes .
    H4 , Bi & H9005 & 9004 but 9006 Suck I run 8K Kelvin
    I buy them from Asia & in bulk . Every 8 months they need work
    sec_monkey likes this.
  7. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Ura-Ki, 3M-TA3 and sec_monkey like this.
  8. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    Motomom34 and 3M-TA3 like this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    This has really turned out to be much more complicated a topic than I thought at first glance, with every system having trade offs.

    Standard bulbs are tried and true, but aren't as effective as HID. HID is expensive and unless you are shaping it with a projector a PIA for oncoming traffic. Installation is a chore and you need room for the ballasts, also there is possible rf interference with other systems in the vehicles. Because this is going in my 1997 Ram 2500, space isn't an issue, but I do intend to mount some amateur radio gear in the truck so the interference could be a problem.

    LED is an easier option, but there is a really big "but": Headlight reflectors and projectors are optically designed for the light to come from the exact center of the bulb. Inexpensive LED's typically have a square core with LED's mounted on it that produce more light than a standard bulb, but suffer from poor performance due to the optical design of the housing, and in the tests I have seen are bested by standard lights for distance. GTR Gen 3 LEDS solve this due to their design which uses an internal lens to correct this effect, but at the same cost as a quality HID.

    Here is a video that shows how a brighter LED is outperformed by a halogen lamp. The filmmaker didn't see the issue until he did tests in the dark:

    I think I'm looking at high performance halogens or the GTR Gen 3 LED's in a projector style housing. Either should be a big step up from what I have. I figure I'll get the housings and try the halogens first, and then the more expensive LED's if that disappoints.

    Next step is to start looking for projector style housings that aren't junk and don't look like junk. Most of them look like they are trying to draw attention to themselves so everybody know you have projectors. I just want functional and not garish.
    Motomom34 and Ura-Ki like this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    There are a lot of junk led and hid kits out there. They make a ton of glare for on coming traffic, cause you to fail state inspection and the cops in the police states would love to ticket you for improper equipment. Sucky lights will put off more light but you won't see as well because it's just not focused.

    Problem is hid and some leds put off a lot of blue light, blue light doesn't reflect as well off furry critters you want to avoid.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  11. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Mine were just that, light cannons. On both vehicles I adjusted the headlights way down. This gave me tons of light and much more lighting off to the sides, and no one has "high beamed" me yet, so they must not be too glaring. The wifes car still has the original bulbs and it's like driving with two candles to me now. I tend to see better with the 5000k light, both at home and on the road.
    sec_monkey and Ura-Ki like this.
  12. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    They make small cylindrical shaped LED lamps that many Khmers put on their motorcycles. $2.00 US each and $2.00 to install them wired and with a switch. I had two of them installed on our scooter (a little Honda 125, commonly used here) sometime back. They really light up the road in front of you. Before, with only the factory headlamp, I couldn't see nearly as well while driving at night. Now, it's like daylight in front of the motorbike.

    Sorry for the image being blurry. I figured it was enough to get the idea across, though.
    lights_off. lights_on.
  13. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    HID, as stated already, is an expensive, failure-prone option. When I was in a hurry to get places at night I was an old school H4 guy. Now it's sealed beams in the 300D, and I can't hurry anywhere.

    Most impressive lights I've seen are the new LED lights. They sure do reach out there. The only concern I have seen with them is that they draw so little voltage that they confuse some modern cars into thinking that a bulb is disconnected. Your 1997 should be fine.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  14. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    They have units that are load sending for the CEM / BCM approved .

    Some call them Decoder driver installed
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary