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Old 06-24-2018, 11:01 PM   #1
Zeebins
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Default Headlight upgrade options

Let me start off with saying that in my opinion, my headlights suck. It's gets kinda hard to see at night sometimes. The low beams seem pretty dim compared to other cars I've been in. There have actually been a few times where I've forgotten to turn them on due to how little of a difference they make. So I was wondering, are my headlights just going bad or something and need to be replaced, or are the headlights on all S-series cars not that great? If it's the latter then is there a different bulb I can use that's a little brighter? (I think I remember reading about HIR bulbs or something a while back but I'm not sure if that's what they're called.) I don't want to blind oncoming traffic with having my high beams on all the time but I'd like to be able to see too

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Old 06-25-2018, 09:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

You want to change out the 9005/9006 bulbs for 9011/9012

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Old 06-25-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Thanks jhonky, just ordered a pair on amazon.

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Old 06-25-2018, 11:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

There are several ways to address low beam headlights. If light covers are faded then replacing headlight housings are needed. If contemplating polishing faded covers, there are many products available with most using sanding processes in several steps to remove oxidized surfaces to reveal clear covers. Polishing requires clear coating with a good clear coat spray to prevent future oxidation. It won't be perfect compared to new headlight assemblies but less costly and an improvement over faded covers obscuring light output. If light covers are fine then searching threads about hir lamps may be the next step to brighter lighting. The last suggestion would be cutting light housings to put in projector lights made for hid lights. HID lights will not work in regular light housings like yours because the intense light output will simply become a high beam and no amount of re aiming will reduce the glare while throwing light on the ground instead of out front. Projector light housings are designed to concentrate the intense light output and in low beam use, use a cutoff plate inside to cut off the upper beam that blinds oncoming traffic. More light is thrown down the road over older halogen lights (standard on older Saturns). HID lights work only in projector light housings. Some take this route, painstakingly taking the time to do it right for a dramatic change in low beam lighting without creating annoying and dangerous glare to oncoming traffic. Done correctly, hid retrofits are equally as good as standard factory hid lights. A distinctive cutoff line is seen when hid low beam lights are shined against a wall.

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Old 06-25-2018, 12:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If contemplating polishing faded covers, there are many products available with most using sanding processes in several steps to remove oxidized surfaces to reveal clear covers. Polishing requires clear coating with a good clear coat spray to prevent future oxidation. It won't be perfect compared to new headlight assemblies but less costly and an improvement over faded covers obscuring light output.
I tried this and although they do look cleaner/clearer, the difference in amount of light was hardly noticeable. As for the HID lights, I did read about them but I don't really want to have to go through all the work of retrofitting HIR lights, that's why I was wondering if there was a brighter bulb that would just plug in and work.

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Old 06-25-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
You want to change out the 9005/9006 bulbs for 9011/9012
Good trick, thanks!

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Old 06-25-2018, 10:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
I tried this and although they do look cleaner/clearer, the difference in amount of light was hardly noticeable. As for the HID lights, I did read about them but I don't really want to have to go through all the work of retrofitting HIR lights, that's why I was wondering if there was a brighter bulb that would just plug in and work.
I think you meant retrofitting HID lights and not "retrofitting HIR lights". If I'm not mistaken, a quick search show 9011/9012 as HIR lamps for plug n' play. Hopefully you find these HIR lamps a better improvement on lighting without blinding oncoming traffic.

Just so you know, HID lamps can be found in any configuration to allow plug n' play but its never recommended to use them in reflector light housings. Your headlights are reflector type and will allow plug in HID lights. Again, a heads up warning not to use HID lamps in reflector light housings as all they become are high beams to blind everyone. HID lamps work perfectly in projector light housings.

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Old 06-25-2018, 10:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I think you meant retrofitting HID lights and not "retrofitting HIR lights". If I'm not mistaken, a quick search show 9011/9012 as HIR lamps for plug n' play. Hopefully you find these HIR lamps a better improvement on lighting without blinding oncoming traffic.

Just so you know, HID lamps can be found in any configuration to allow plug n' play but its never recommended to use them in reflector light housings. Your headlights are reflector type and will allow plug in HID lights. Again, a heads up warning not to use HID lamps in reflector light housings as all they become are high beams to blind everyone. HID lamps work perfectly in projector light housings.
Yeah I did mean HID, they're easy to confuse. Thanks for the advice about HID lights though if I do ever decide to go that route. (I hope I didn't mix them up again in that 1 sentence, lol)

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Old 06-27-2018, 09:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

I decided to change my headlight housings and put in some LED bulbs. Here are a couple of pictures. You can look at the ground to see the difference in how the light is put out. I've had them in for 3 or 4 months now with no issues. Just some cheap ones I found online.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20180308_200352.jpg (1.6 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg 20180309_200344.jpg (2.1 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg 20180309_130732.jpg (2.8 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg 20180309_133517.jpg (2.8 KB, 47 views)

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Old 06-27-2018, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

I thought about LED headlights but I don't really like the blueish look they all seem to give off. Plus they don't really give off enough heat to melt snow falling on them in the winter

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Old 06-27-2018, 11:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
You want to change out the 9005/9006 bulbs for 9011/9012
^+1 This is the easy low cost quick fix.

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Old 06-27-2018, 03:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Headlight upgrade options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
I thought about LED headlights but I don't really like the blueish look they all seem to give off. Plus they don't really give off enough heat to melt snow falling on them in the winter
Mine seem more white than blue. They have different colors you can pick from.

I didn't have any issues in several snow storms that I was in with them but I do believe I will have issues on really cold days when they get iced over. I will probably switch to the 9011/9012 set up for the winter.

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