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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to freely admit my total ignorance when it comes H.I.D.s. I'm in the process of buying a '95 Caprice and one of the things I want to do is put better headlights in it.

I've seen a bunch of conversion kits for sale but I don't have a clue which one to get. I don't know what all the numbers mean in regards to what kind of light they produce.

So could someone give me a "for dummies" lesson on H.I.D.s?

What do the numbers mean? Which ones produce white (not blue or yellow) light? Do they basically delete the high beams or can those be upgraded to H.I.D.?
 

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Welcome to the forum Warpt. Do a search on "HID", there's been plenty of threads on this subject. Also, check out a fellow forum member, Bob's website, www.1finecaprice.com , there alot additional info on the subject + more
 

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Perhaps this will help.

Color temperature runs from around 2700k for a yellow halogen look to 10000k that gives a purple look. Pure white is around 4500k to 5000k. Pure white also gives the highest lunems, or visible light.

The wattage for the HID system is nornally 35watt or 55watt. These are wattage rating for the ballest. The bulbs are the same. I like the 55w much better as I live in the country and want all the light I can get. I lowered the beam and have never been flashed in the city or highway.

The normal HID system only has low beam which is more than enough for most driving. The light on the road will be more than halogen high beams.

They do make a high/ low system. The amount of light output is the same whether on high or low beam. What happpens is there is a magnetic switch that either tilts or moves the bulb in and out. This causes a different focus point and gives the effect of a high and low beam.

DDM tuning makes a very good kit although like all systems the warrentee has loop holes. I have yet to have a failure and do recommend them.

My web site may give you some insite to the instal. It's very straigh forward
 

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I've gotta tell you...if you want good headlights...don't put HID's in the stock capsules...get good projectors, or don't bother.

The 95 I just bought has an HID kit in it...and it SUCKS...I'm so excited that I have a spare stock headlight harness to swap in (and add relays to, and run normal bulbs)...the light out of the front of the car, while bright, is focused even worse than the stock 9004's were focused, and you can't see ANYTHING in the rain...the color temp is too high, no light reflects back to you...I'm glad I didn't waste my money on them, they're junk...and they're the big boy fancy pants hi/low system too...and they do that stupidly assinine bright flash when you first click them on then they're really dim for a moment and you think "wow, do they suck this bad, or did they blow up?"...then they warm up and work...but suck the entire time.

Anybody want to buy them? lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HID bulbs require a different design of headlamp capsules.
Would that be the "diamond" cut reflectors? I've got a Caprice/Impala catalog that has replacement headlight units that are listed to go with the HID bulbs they have for sell.
 

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I don't know what the diamond cut reflector is, but I believe you need a HID projector capsule to get a proper light beam.
If you want more light, innovative wiring sells an aftermarket wiring harness which feeds the bulbs directly from the battery with big cables. It improves stock bulbs or it allows you to run 80/100w Autoram bulbs.
 

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I've gotta tell you...if you want good headlights...don't put HID's in the stock capsules...get good projectors, or don't bother.

The 95 I just bought has an HID kit in it...and it SUCKS...I'm so excited that I have a spare stock headlight harness to swap in (and add relays to, and run normal bulbs)...the light out of the front of the car, while bright, is focused even worse than the stock 9004's were focused, and you can't see ANYTHING in the rain...the color temp is too high, no light reflects back to you...I'm glad I didn't waste my money on them, they're junk...and they're the big boy fancy pants hi/low system too...and they do that stupidly assinine bright flash when you first click them on then they're really dim for a moment and you think "wow, do they suck this bad, or did they blow up?"...then they warm up and work...but suck the entire time.

Anybody want to buy them? lol
I have no idea what brand of HID's or wattage or color bulbs you had or who focused them but as a low cost upgrade, IMO the HID's do a grerat job. If you run a search you'll see I am not alone on this. I ran the 80/100's for years with direct voltage harness and they can no way compare to my HID's. Nice thing is we can all put on what suits us best.
 

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Nice thing is we can all put on what suits us best.
Sorry, but I disagree. HIDs in stock capsules should not be legal, most of them are blinding to oncoming traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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On one of my last Mustangs (97 GT convertible), i installed a cheap $70 HID 6000k kit i got on eBay. The quality sucked, sometimes one of the headlights wouldn't come on all the time, so i always had to play with it. Stay away from the cheap ebay HID kits, as they have cheap ballasts, bulbs, etc. I'd say spend a few hundred bucks and get a quality HID kit.

I always compared my HID to the factory HID in my '01 BMW 330ci. And there was no contest obviously as the factory HID systems have glass projectors and the right relays, and just plain outperform these HID kits.

One of the biggest problems with installing these kits without projectors is that the light is scattered all around the highway in front of you, so you're not getting the proper light output and you can be blinding other oncoming traffic and cars in front of you through their mirrors as well... I noticed this with my Mustang when i installed the HIDS without projectors.

But if you get a good kit and install it correctly, and esp if you wanna spend the time money and effort to install good projectors and dial them in, then it'll look and work great. Be sure to point your driver's side headlight down a bit, as the light output from your driver's side should have a lower cutoff than your pass side headlight. (DOT laws)

Also make sure it's installed right, if you're not sure, have someone who's installed these kits before do it for ya. I haven't looked into HID in a couple years now, i'm not sure if they make a kit that lets you keep your high beams as well or not.

I had 6000k and must say that i did like the light output (when the kit worked properly). 6000k was bright white with a nice blue hue. If you want really bright blue, go 8000k. Don't go violet/purple unless you want local law enforcement bugging you. If you want straight up pure white light with no blue, then get 3500-5000k.
 

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I used to be so obsessed with headlight light output after i bought my Bimmer with factory HIDS. That's why i installed the cheap hack HID kit in my Stang lol. But now i think i'm finally over the obsession with good headlights.

Although if i did it to my 9C1, i'd do it right with quality Projectors, etc. But it's too expensive, so it'd be last on my priority list when it comes to mods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've been driving a '96 GMC pickup for a year or so and the headlights absolutely suck. They are ok with the high beams on but with the low beams, I can't see jack crap.

What would be a simple, effective and inexpensive option besides a full and proper HID swap to get better lighting? I was looking at replacing the lenses with new, repro ones with clear lenses which should help some.

Any higher output bulbs that would swap in without any major work?
 

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There are tons of brands of HID looking, brighter Halogen bulbs out there. Take your pick, they're all about the same. Even Sylvania Silverstars... I've tried about 10 different brands of "HID look", brighter halogen bulbs on the market. In the end if you do go that route, i'd give Luminics a try. www.luminicsbulbs.com

Some of the other import high performance halogen bulbs weren't built well and burned out quickly, or just plain broke.

If you want a real good but pricey set of halogen bulbs, PIAA makes quality stuff.

If it was my truck, then i'd either clean up the lenses or get new ones, then install a cheap HID kit, and call it a day. lol I'm thinking of doing that on my '98 Dakota.

The newer cars have higher halogen output than the older 80s and 90s halogen headlamps. The new cars also have better designed housings and reflectors IMHO, so they put out more/brighter light.
 

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I don't feel like quoting everybody but I'll address a few points I saw above. HIDs are already illegal in lamps not designed for them. Yes the pattern sucks compared to projectors. Yes ebay kits are hit or miss. I've been using them for 3-4 years now, the kit in my Imp is from DDM tuning, it was $200ish back in the day. If it's over $100 today you're getting ripped off. Their slim ballast kit is about $40 on their site and I think it's $25 more for hi/lo. The pattern sucks and you still can't see perfectly, but stock bulbs are like having a damn candle in front of the car. IMHO our headlights with HIDs are less annoying than a stock pickup truck because of the height differences. Aim them a little lower and you're not gonna bug anyone. Stay with 35 watts, they already put out 3x more lumens than stock. In terms of color, HID kits normally start around 3000K (bright yellow, have them in the fogs in my TBSS), 4300K is what comes from the factory in every car with HIDs and honestly the best light output you'll get. 6000K is the best comprimise between white and blue as it has a little of each, that said after running them for a while (still in my Imp) get 4300K for a daily. Beyond 6000K they're too blue and look ricey, also they put out less light and scatter more which annoys other drivers even more. To those saying get 100 watt bulbs and harness, that's still beyond the design of our headlights and just as illegal but far less cost effective. I wouldn't waste the time trying brighter halogens. The ones that say "HID look" just have a blue wrap on them and actually put out less light so don't waste your time with that junk. Yes technically if you wanna do an HID swap you should get projectors, but IMHO they lose out in the cost/benefit. A plug and play HID kit is the way to go, DDM has been reliable for me for years, currently running 3 of their kits and all work flawlessly.
 

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DDM eh? I'll look into that kit myself too...

The last cheap HID plug and play kit i bought was by Xentec, with touchy ballasts and cheap connectors.
 

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A couple of months ago I installed these Street Trend clusters:

http://www.streettrendsinc.com/Merc...reen=PROD&Store_Code=BBODY&Product_Code=11990

With 35W 9004 Hi/Lo DDM Tuning HIDs:

http://www.ddmtuning.com/product.php?II=101

Its a dramatic difference. I carefully aimed the headlights and no one is flashing me.

Some posts mentioned 55W maybe too bright. I live in an urban environment so I went with 35W. I chose 6000K for a bulb color because on the DDM Tuning it appears to be the closet to pure white. There were posts about colors than white and how it may result in poorer visibility in rainy conditions.

No need to modify the OEM headlight harness. The DDM kit plugs into the OEM wire harness at passenger headlight. It uses this connection as a on/off hi/lo headlight control. Power is directly from the battery. I extended the power feed to the HID kit so I could connect it to aux terminal at the passenger fender fuse box. You could connect it directly to the battery.

I am very happy with my results but this one those topics where its based on what you want and like. Meaning there is no one correct answer just diverse opinions.

Good luck,

Jose Rodriguez
 

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To those saying get 100 watt bulbs and harness, that's still beyond the design of our headlights and just as illegal but far less cost effective.
80w low beams would be illegal, but they don't blind oncoming traffic and do help quite a bit.

As for real HIDs;
Daniel Stern Lighting; said:
If you illuminate the foreground very strongly, your eyes will adapt to that big area of strong illumination, your pupils will become smaller, and your distance vision will be reduced. (On the other hand, if you take the route prescribed for so long by US headlamp regulations and have very LITTLE foreground illumination, you'll have a "black hole" in front of the car, and you'll be straining to see what you're about to run over...)
 

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I freely admit HIDs are wrong for our cars, but they illuminate everything better, near/far/high/low, so from the driver's seat vision is improved greatly over halogen. I'm never taking them out of my cars. I also don't buy it that 80w lows aren't capable of annoying someone, it's all in how it's aimed. That's why I get pissed when I have a lifted pickup behind me in my mirrors or one coming directly towards me, no way to aim them low enough.
 
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