Upgrading Your Car Lights: What You Need To Know

There are many different ways to upgrade even the best of cars to get better performance and make your vehicle safer or better. Lights are a major part of your car and if you want the longest field of view while night driving to get the best sense of what’s out there ahead of you then you will almost certainly want to consider upgrading your car lights at some point. Even the best vehicles rarely have the optimum headlights available from the dealership floor.

While there are definitely some serious upgrade options available, not every option is going to be viable for every vehicle or every situation. Is one right for you? Read on to learn more!

Xenon (HID) Headlights

Looking At Xenon (HID) Headlights

The brightest legal lights available by far, Xenon headlights (also often called high-intensity discharge, hid bulb replacement) produce an extremely bright light while not putting out the same level of heat as more traditional headlight options. These are incredibly bright options that have some major fans but have also created an amount of animosity, as well.

Some pros of Xenon HID Headlights

– Extreme brightness means you see wider and longer, especially important in deer country

– The bright lights mean other drivers see you from a distance

– Look extremely good

– There’s enough demand that there is a half way decent re-sale value

Some cons of Xenon HID Headlights

– Can be overly bright for other drivers and especially annoying when they’re in front of you

– If you don’t have an HID projector to control the light, you’re blinding other drivers

– In some places HID lights are illegal, or illegal without a proper projector setup

– Extra wires to work with if you’re doing installation yourself

The big thing is that if you’re going with Xenon lights you need to make sure they are properly installed with a projector system versus just switching out bulbs. This makes them legal in most areas and gives you all the benefits while increasing control, so you can minimize any potential issues that these lights can bring while out on the road.

led headlights

Looking At LED Lights

There are many options for switching older headlights to newer LED models that, just like LED lightbulbs for the home, tend to last much longer, give off more light, and burn less energy doing so. LED lights often not only come as plain headlights but also will come with a retro fit kit to allow them to be installed in older model vehicles and still function the way the driver needs them to.

Here the main concerns aren’t necessarily the LED lights from https://www.diodedynamics.com themselves but making sure to have the right supporting kit and tools so that the conversion goes smoothly and there are no unforeseen issues with your vehicle and the new lights. This is probably the most popular option for drivers currently looking for a reasonable upgrade.

halogen headlights

Looking At Halogen Lights

Halogen lights are what you would call a traditional or standard style of light. These aren’t an upgrade over traditional lights because they are the same style. Why would someone go with these then? There are a few reasons. Since they’re still the standard design they are also still the easiest to replace and the cheapest. You’re never going to have to wait around as any mechanic’s shop will be able to get to these immediately and have stock on hand.

That makes them an inexpensive and tempting option even compared to other more advanced or “better” options that are now out on the market. However, these are also the least bright and least effective of the bunch meaning you will replace them more often and see less on the roads – they’re your standard replaceable headlights.

Make Sure They Are Set Properly

One of the major issues is setting headlights up properly, especially when dealing with vehicles that sit higher off the ground like jeeps, trucks, or some sports utility vehicles (SUVs). There have been times where the headlights are not well designed at thus are at eye level for other drivers so low beams seem like high beams, high beams are blinding, and if you upgrade the headlights beyond that it can become even more of an issue.

This is especially true if an oncoming police officer or highway patrol decides they don’t like having light come right into the eyes. This is the importance of making sure the headlights are properly set in a way that that causes serious safety issues. A professional mechanic will be able to help with this and ensure that all your systems are legal and in good working order.

Obey All State & Local Ordinances

Unfortunately, there isn’t one universal law or set of codes when it comes to headlights and driving laws so that means extra care must be taken to obey all local and state laws. Generally speaking local ordinances are the ones you need to worry about as some areas really don’t like the new models of ultra-bright lights and it is always going to be the driver’s responsibility to understand the laws from one area to another and that means mostly dealing with local ordinances. Whatever you decide on, make sure you’re in compliance with the local rule for the majority of areas you will be driving in.

As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to upgrading your car’s headlights. While this can be a touch intimidating at first, that shouldn’t stop you from taking a look at what your options are and moving forward with whatever option you decide is going to be best for you and your specific needs. There are multiple choices out there and this allows you to make decisions based on whatever particular factors are most important to you in making an educated choice.

These are the main replacement headlight options out there, and they’re what you need to know about if you are going to go about successfully replacing your headlights with the best possible options that are currently available on the market.

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