How to do an LED Headlight Conversion

January 27, 2012

Since LED headlights are substantially brighter than regular headlights, LED can save money through less accidents. But what if your motorcycle or car doesn't have LED lights? Install it yourself. You can get LED many online vendors. There are six steps to follow--unscrewing the cover, pulling the bezel out, checking the wires, cutting the wires, connecting the wires and mounting the LED housing. In order to install LED headlights, you'll need a screwdriver, wire crimpers, wire cutters, wire strippers, and, of course, the LED headlights themselves.

Unscrewing the Cover

You'll need a Phillips Screwdriver, and when you get that, use it to unscrew the lens from the fender. Once you've done that, you should be able to see the bulb itself.

Pulling the Bezel Out

You'll have to pull the bezel out of the fender, but before you do anything else, you'll have to leave the bulb hanging from the fender. The wires that it is attached to have importance-you're going to need to check the wires.

Checking the Wires

You're going to need a 12-volt test light, and once you have that, find out which wire goes to the brakes, which wire goes to the running lights, and which wire goes to the turn signal. In order to do that, hit the brakes, and each consecutive wiring. If the wire glows, that is your braking wire. You need to know this, or else you won't wire the LED lights correctly.

Cutting the Wires

In order to do this, you need a wire cutter, wire crimpers and a wire stripper. Once you have acquired each of the following, cut each wire and strip the ends. Once you've done that, crimp one end of the wires to a butt connector.

Connecting the Wires

Connect the wires using the butt connector, making sure that each LED connection is correct with no mistakes.

Mounting the LED Housing

Place the LED housing into the fender. Screw the lens into place with the correct screws and your screwdriver. Once you are finished, check to make sure the wiring is correct and the bulbs actually work. All in all, the steps are simple, as long as you know a little bit of what you are doing, and as long as you have the right tools. Connection is important, as the wrong connection may cause the headlights to not even work.

Related Questions and Answers

Will a Brake Light Modulator Work with LED Taillights?

A brake light modulator is used in cars and motorcycles to increase visibility for the driver and everybody else on the road at night. LED taillights are also effective for this purpose, as they can triple the range of standard lights and serve a very similar purpose to a brake light modulator, but a LED is less likely to break and has a longer lifespan. Light emitting diododes (LED) are electronic components that produce light without high voltages, and this energy efficient device will leave electricity for use elsewhere in the car. Check the make and model of your car to see what LED taillight will work best and whether it can work with the brake light modulator.

Are Black LED Taillights Legal?

The design of black LED taillights makes this question very different and difficult to answer. Many websites offer black finishes on the lights, but the actual light is the regular color. It would be more practical to have LED taillights on the interior of the car or underneath, rather than the taillights where they may not be as clear as a bright light. A flashing black LED taillight will be well spotted, but this is more suitable for a motorbike. Even if black LED taillights are legal, it is suggested using traditional lights for safety reasons. Check with your local law enforcement to verify whether or not they are legal in your area.

What's the Typical Output of Brake LED Tail Lights?

The best advantage of brake LED tail lights is that the power requirements for LED tail lights are lower, and there is less heat generated. The brake LED tail lights are more power efficient and reduce battery load strain. These brake LED tail lights are usually 12 volts, but the output can vary depending on the temperature. The Internet offers various LED lights at different outputs. The bottom line is that they are still more power and energy efficient than regular lights and they look better. Always remember that the output will be lower than ordinary lights, which will leave more power for your sound system and other energy-utilizing devices.

Are Headlight Lens Covers Illegal in Some States?

Headlight lens covers are illegal in all states, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The key reason is that these covers fail to pass various Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for durability and because they are too opaque to let light shine through. Even crystal lens hoods fail because while they allow plenty of light through, there is also a huge advertising message in the middle of the cover. Even the snap-on tinted lenses will fail because they are not durable and do not transfer light. You can quickly remove and replace them with a flathead screwdriver. When the crisis of the moment is finished, you can put them back into place.

Are Xenon Blue Headlight Bulbs Street Legal?

Yes, xenon blue headlight bulbs are street legal. They have been since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offered its last major safety rewrite of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards over a decade ago. It is true that those bluer-than-blue/whiter-than-white headlights are tough on oncoming drivers, but when you are behind them looking out and seeing just how much nicer and brighter the road ahead is, you feel much safer. Be aware that xenons are expensive, and a good set of four can sset you back the better part of $1,000, as they require special bulbs, holders and special pencil lenses.

What Tools are Required for Installing Projector Headlights?

Installing projector headlights only requires seven very common tools, but make sure you have them laid out beside you on a nice rag so you know where they are. All you need to install projector headlights is a good set of cutters (wire) and then you'll need a complete 3/8s ratchet and drive set. You'll need not only the ratchet handle, but also the extension bar(s). So if you don't have enough, purchase them. Finally, you'll need the right socket size. A set of the properly sized deep sockets would be a good idea. Then, have a good open- and closed-end wrench available. Finally, as is usually the case with most car installations, it's a good idea to have a nice Number Two flat bladed or slotted screwdriver, along with a good Phillips head screwdriver and you're all set.

Where Can I Buy Xenon Lights for Cars?

Xenon lights for cars, now that they have been on the market for 15 years or more, are available for purchase at any of the major branded outlets such as AutoZone, NAPA or PepBoys. However, here's an interesting piece of information. If you purchase them at one of those stores, the chances are good they will have to call the dealership to obtain the correct part number so they will work with your vehicle. Since that is the case, it's probably best to drive to the dealership and pick up the headlamps. You'll probably save some money, as you're cutting out the middle man.

How Long Do Auto Headlight Bulbs Last?

Auto headlight bulbs, unless your car has a short in the headlight wire carrier or crack in the case that would let water inside, will usually run three years or more out of a set of headlight bulbs. The caveat, though, is the type of bulb you are running. A high-intensity light that runs hotter and whiter and has a pencil lens will tend to wear out in about three years or less because of environmental concerns. The same is true of xenons that run hotter than standard bulbs. Xenons are those bluish-white lights that plague you, as you look at them oncoming, but when you are on the other side you wonder how you ever did without them.