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infantry97

HID Lights

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Changin out my headlights and assembly.  Doing some research on the net, I see there are a ton of options for HID lights.  For those that installed them, how are they working out for you?  Don't just want to buy some random lights.

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I would not recommend HID lights anymore.  I tried Kensun 55W HID lights on my truck for both high and low beams.  Low beam performance was good, but it takes the high beams too long to heat up to get good output to be useful on any roads where vehicles are coming towards you periodically.  Also I felt that the hot HIDs are tough on the factory clear light enclosure plastic, and fogs them over time. 

 I converted to 55W SNGL LED lights from Amazon, which I feel are brighter than then the Kensuns HIDs.  SNGL claims 12800 lumens per pair, and I believe it.  With high and low beam lights it is like a 747 coming in for a landing..  These LEDs work great in the SSS reflector light housings.  The only downside, is that you will need to seriously trim the black plastic supports behind the lights to get clearance for the light fan coolers, but is well worth it.  The replacement black plastic factory light supports can still be bought reasonably cheap to go back to stock later.

I just wish that my 2008 Corvette Z06 had better projectors (which do not tarnish or block alot of the light), as I could use my SSS light output levels to see critters in the road better in that car at night, as I can't clear a dead squirrel in the road with 3.75" factory road clearance with the carbon fiber splitter.

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It's tough to put anything other than the stock-type 9006 halogen capsule into the factory housing and expect it to make a usable light pattern.  I will admit though that I do have DDM Tuning 35W HID's in my SS.  They're...OK?  Not great.  I had some ballast failures in the past and spent a few bucks extra to "upgrade" to their better ballasts, and I still get intermittent failure-to-fire sometimes, and it swaps sides from time to time, so it's not like I can trace it down to one ballast or one capsule.

LED's are tricky too because the same light pattern issues.  Also, they're notoriously difficult to cool properly and the claimed outputs are generally -very- bogus.  HOWEVER...if I was gonna spend money on some expensive LED headlight replacements, I'd check out Morimoto from the retrofit source.  They seem to be the least amount of BS claims, and their 2Stroke 2.0 replacement for 9006 halogens are running $120 a pair right now, and carry a 3 year warranty.

Pretty sure you'll be trimming your headlight brackets for any LED swap.

Richard

Edited by someotherguy

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I agree with some other guy that HIDs in reflector housings can be at high risk of blinding light scatter.  Some of the very large Ford truck reflector  light enclosures were particularly bad. My personal experience with our 2003-2006 Silverado light enclosures work pretty well with HIDs & LEDs. I have only been flashed by oncoming drivers once with the my LEDs (non with the Kensun HIDs), and it was only as I went over a sharp dip and rise in the road just as they approached and they momentarily saw my low beams. They thought that I flashed them as my lights are bright in the intended light pattern. The better LEDs use very small high output chips located very near the location of the original halogen bulb illuminating element. Also with chips on either side of the flat blade (left/right), there is little wasted light reflecting to the lower reflector surfaces which scatter the light upwards. Also the SNGLs are adjustable for insertion depth to limit light scatter by focus adjustments. Either way you need to spend some time aligning the lights after upgrade to avoid blinding other drivers. At $178 a pair, they are not cheap, but their outputs don't seem to be BS. I actually got a minor welders eye burn when I looked at the bulb to see if all 8 chips were on 6 months after original install. Note that I did have a SNGL led bulb burn out after 2 years. However,  I use my lights all the time day and night for safety due the number of blind retired drivers in South Florida and at 215,000 miles driven I use them a lot. I have looked at the Morimoto's for the Corvette Z06 light enclosures, but at $1300 a pair I am not quite sold yet that they are my answer for that car.  They cannot seem to answer which chips are used and technical light output they deliver. Phillips or Cree all publish extensive specs on their LED chips.  Also, I have bought the plastic light enclosures in the aftermarket before only have them haze or craze over due to inferior quality plastics.

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