How to Install Projector Headlights

March 28, 2012

For better nighttime visibility on the road, projector headlights are a worthwhile investment. Learn the basics of HID conversion.

Projector Headlight

Projector headlights are not the standard headlights you are going to find on a new car from the manufacturer. These aftermarket headlight additions focus light through a lens onto the road in front of you, unlike the standard headlight that your car generally is equipped with. A lot of people prefer this kind of light because they feel these lights cover more of the road, enabling the ability to see a lot better. Installing something like this may not be too much of an issue as long as you know what you're doing. Here is a guide to get you started.

  • Remove the old lights. You need to carefully remove your old. Disconnect the electrical power to the old headlights and remove them from the vehicle. You may have to move certain parts of the car that are blocking the back of the light, but that isn't likely.
  • Put the new headlights in the frame. Slide your new headlights assembly into the frame of the car's headlight housing. Make sure that the assembly is mounted evenly so you do not have to readjust it after you have completed the entire process of installing your headlights. Once you have the assembly in the frame, make sure to evenly align all of the holes for mounting on your projector headlights. They should be matched evenly with the frames.
  • Screw in the assembly. Take your Phillips screwdriver and evenly thread the headlight mounting screws into the mount and the frame. Tighten the screws well to prevent the headlights from slipping.
  • Finish and test. Once the headlights are fastened securely, connect the power to your headlight ballasts. Test to make sure both of the headlights have been installed evenly and they both shine appropriately on the road ahead. If you find the headlights are unbalanced, you need to adjust them until you are satisfied with the beams.

4 Tips for HID Conversion

When deciding to undergo HID conversion for your headlights, keep in mind the fact that HID bulbs come in different color temperatures dictated by the color of the beam. The colors could range from bright yellow to purple and green, and some states may have laws regarding the public use of such bulbs. Different manufacturers express color temperature in a variety of ways, but most stock HID lights found on model cars range from 5,000 to 6,000K (Kelvin) that emit a white or slightly bluish white beam.

HID lighting kits can also come in single beam or multiple beam configurations, with separate bulbs for high beams and low beams. This kit is generally more expensive than single beam or low beam only kits. Here are tips to remember when deciding to convert from halogen to HID lights:

  • Buy from a reputable manufacturer. The Internet is filled with reputable dealers that sell quality HID conversion kits at fair prices. Remember that price is often an indication of quality, as the more expensive models provide a more durable and efficient system than other offerings. Most come with a warranty, and this should be confirmed before making the purchase. Keep in mind that HID kits come in different types and bulb sizes, and getting the right kind for your car will ensure trouble-free installation and ownership.
  • Use proper installation procedures. You can execute the installation with a few simple tools and technical knowledge but when in doubt, let a professional handle the conversion. Depending on the make and model of the car, the entire headlight assembly may have to be removed and others may require retrofitting the bumper or fender for proper installation. If you decide to install the kit at home, check all parts for proper fit before attaching the wiring sockets. Never touch the bulb glass with your bare hands during installation. The oil left by fingerprints might create moisture when heated and break the bulb. Such incidents are not covered by the warranty of the HID kit. Wipe the bulb with alcohol using a ball of cotton or rag if you happen to accidentally touch it.
  • Check and recheck the system. Make sure all wiring is intact and free from moving parts such as belts and fans. Wrap the wiring in electrical tape when appropriate, and secure with tie hooks for a clean installation. In the event of flickering or if the bulb refuses to light up, check the polarity of the wiring and try to reverse the connector inserted into the ballast. Contact the manufacturer or dealer for any problems that may persist.
  • Angle the beam correctly. HID conversion should also involve proper beam angle to prevent dazzling other drivers. A proper conversion will usually not require an adjustment in beam angle, but it would be better to undergo this simple procedure upon completion of the task. A properly aligned and angled beam will result to better visibility and light distribution on the road.
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