A few years ago it cost nearly $1000.00 US to convert to HID, now I
see "kits" avalaible for $40-50 USD. I saw a Bosch kit for maybe $45
US , [ Bosch is well known to not make anything junk] are these any
good. if so for a person with aging night eyes, it sounds like a cheap
and great way to get " light"
I just replaced a pair of 9003 Sylvania Silverstar bulbs for under $30,
a pair is $25 on-line but I didn't want to drive around with one burned
out waiting for the mail.
I'd considered the HID replacements, they really are available for $50
and up with Bosch HID bulbs and off-brand ballasts, but for my Subaru's
9003 bulbs, they'd become low-beam only. Not really what I want, so I
stuck with halogen.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
I wouldn't trust any HID kit that only replaces the bulb inside an
existing reflector/lens assembly. If they are complete replacements
for a sealed beam lamp they might be OK but I suspect that you might
get better results simply by using E-code sealed beam replacements and
a relay harness to increase the voltage to the bulbs. check out
Daniel Stern Lighting (he has a website) for ideas.
If you have aero-style headlights IMHO the only way to do HIDs
properly is to use a full kit specifically designed for your car,
either by getting factory-optional HIDs from a junkyard or one of the
rare instances where there may be an aftermarket kit that completely
replaces the lens and reflector with one designed specifically for
Also, keep in mind that there are legal ramifications to modifying
your headlights; even E-codes are not technically legal in most
states. If you go with HIDs make sure that your lights as a complete
assembly are DOT approved, or at least ECE approved (will not be
technically legal, but will at least give you assurance that you will
have a safe, useful, non-glaring system.)
They claim DOT certification, though whether that is legit or not is
debatable. I wouldn't consider them for replacing the regular low beam
on my truck (9006), but would consider them for the high beams (9005)
and as a starting point for custom off road lights since I seem to be
spending more and more time off road lately.
We have a lot of two lane roads around here and it is really a pain to
drive at night with the glare from HID lights. I really wish they would
ban them unless manufacturers can come up with a better design.
The problem is the crappy DOT beam pattern. ECE regs require a
sharper low beam upper cutoff and also self-levelers for HIDs so glare
is only a problem when an oncoming vehicle crests a hill etc. However
NHTSA will not adopt the ECE beam pattern, possibly because of NIH
syndrome. Too bad, because they really are superior. I have ECE
halogens (H4 bulbs in a Cibie E-code reflector/lens assembly) in the
Fabulous BeaterPorsche and I couldn't be happier with the results;
excellent light output on both low and high beam with no glare (I've
had people follow me while I was driving another car on several
occasions, and I'm a fairly glare-sensitive person; a Ford truck, say,
will make my rear view mirror pretty much unusable.) The only
downside is that my setup is technically illegal although it would be
perfectly acceptable in Europe.
If you do buy E-code lights, be aware that the beam pattern is
different depending on which side of the road you drive on, as the
beam pattern kicks up on the curb side on low beam to illuminate
roadside signs. So a light from Germany, say, would work well in the
US but a light from England would not.
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