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#4512668 - 09/10/17 08:36 PM Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better?
buck91 Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 2449
Loc: West Michigan
Just curious if there have been any improvements to the common drop-in HID conversions out there in the past couple years? I know they were a bane to on coming traffic for years, and maybe its just the fact I'm sitting higher with a leveling kit and 33's, but I don't seem to have as much notice of these glare-kits as I used to.

Looking at prices, there are a plethora of well-reviewing drop in kits on various retailers which are roughly comparable to a pair of premium 9008/H13 bulbs like the Philips Extremes. Very tempted to try them out in my truck (which has halogen reflectors). Actually, I am VERY tempted to try them in the explorer's halogen projectors if/when the HIR bulbs (modded to fit 9005 housings) quit.


Yes, I did post this laugh And yes, although I've been rather silent lately I used to vehemently object to this concept on various forums :p
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#4512728 - 09/10/17 09:58 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16963
Loc: Michigan
Well, a buddy of mine younger brother threw a set on 2010 Fusion....

car currently has no lights on the front.....
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#4512744 - 09/10/17 10:12 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
UG_Passat Online   content


Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 1967
Loc: NJ
No improvements
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#4512775 - 09/10/17 11:22 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
They have not and will never be, because the light source isn't in the focal point of the housing

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#4513435 - 09/11/17 04:12 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
SubLGT Offline


Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 2646
Loc: Idaho
HID is a obsolete technology, as far as OE automotive lighting companies are concerned. No R&D dollars are being spent on HID.

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#4514222 - 09/12/17 12:34 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
SirTanon Online   content


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 2152
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona - USA
The biggest problem with people dropping 'drop-in'/'plug-n-play' HIDs in cars that did not come with them is not so much the HID itself, but the optics they're putting them into.

Don't get me wrong - there are TONS of really [censored] HID kits out there, which either put out poor light, the wrong 'color' light, etc.. but the big issue is that HIDs really only work right when they can be aimed well.

What this ultimately leads to in a ton of cases, is people putting HID kits into cars with reflector type headlamps.. which just end up throwing the light everywhere, and therefore blinding oncoming traffic. Even put in cars with projector type headlamps, a poor quality HID kit, or even one where the HID 'bulbs' are not properly centered, will put light where you don't want it. It's harder to find a set that works than you might believe.

{{ Flame suit on }}

Having said all that, I did put an aftermarket HID kit into my 2010 Fusion about 2 years ago. I did this after thinking long and hard, weighing the positives and negatives, and committing to only keep them in if I could honestly say to myself that the light output was:

1 - At least as bright as the existing halogen bulbs, with a prudent color temp (not too blue)
2 - properly directed / cutoff at the appropriate level, so as not to cause glare or blind oncoming traffic
3 - reliable

Keep in mind, the 2010 Fusion has a decent projector headlamp from the factory, so I felt it was worth a try. I also went with the 35w kit and not a 55w kit.

Again, this was two years ago.. Before I put the kit in, I lined the car up facing my garage door and marked off where the light hit, and then proceeded to install the kit and compare the output to where the light hit from the halogens. The cutoff was very close, although there were a few 'stragglers'.. I felt it was close enough to test more. I had a friend drive in another car, and we tested various scenarios.. me driving behind him various distances, passing going opposite directions, etc.. He said there was no glare so I felt it was a successful install.

That was 2 years ago. I have not had any oncoming traffic flash brights at me, so it would seem the test was a good indicator. At this point, however, I'm starting to see intermittent issues with one or the other lights not always coming on when I start the car, so I suspect the ballasts are either failing, or the 'bulbs' are dying.. I will be replacing them with standard Osram halogen bulbs, and I will not be going back to HIDs. My experiment was a decent success, not good enough. I just don't feel that there really is all that much of an improvement going to HIDs.. at least not in this car.
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#4514254 - 09/12/17 01:21 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
HemiHawk Online   sick


Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 835
Loc: PA,US
As others have said, the issue is more with the housing and optics than the bulb. The projectors in your Explorer will probably do a decent job of projecting and leveling the light. I wouldn't do it with your lifted F150 in a halogen housing though. I've seen far too many lifted vehicles do this. A tall truck with light scattering everywhere is horrible.

That said, There are plenty of retrofit or aftermarket options for you to get some projectors for better light output. I plan on doing that with my Nissan soon.
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#4515067 - 09/13/17 11:31 AM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The issue is also safety. I am glad they have made aftermarket HID kits illegal here finally. A car that gets into an accident with the module outside of the headlight housing can easily kill a first responder if the unit or wiring shorts to the body.
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#4515526 - 09/13/17 07:49 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: mightymousetech]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2602
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
The issue is also safety. I am glad they have made aftermarket HID kits illegal here finally. A car that gets into an accident with the module outside of the headlight housing can easily kill a first responder if the unit or wiring shorts to the body.
I wouldn't say illegal as you can still buy them like you could before. You just cannot get a safety on a vehicle with them installed. It hasn't made much of a difference either as I still see numerous vehicles on the road with sham retrofit headlights.
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#4515690 - 09/13/17 11:01 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
RemingtonHill Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Austin, Texas
I put some eBay HIDs in my 1988 Legend. I spent a lot of time aiming the lights, walking away from the car and looking for glare. They are aimed down but still better than the stock halogens. You definitely can't just throw them in the reflectors and call it a day.

They aren't reliable though. Often times one or the other won't ignite till I turn them on and off a few times. I can't say that i would ultimately recommend.

I'm also on my second set.


Edited by RemingtonHill (09/13/17 11:03 PM)
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#4516794 - 09/15/17 07:23 AM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: xxch4osxx]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
The issue is also safety. I am glad they have made aftermarket HID kits illegal here finally. A car that gets into an accident with the module outside of the headlight housing can easily kill a first responder if the unit or wiring shorts to the body.
I wouldn't say illegal as you can still buy them like you could before. You just cannot get a safety on a vehicle with them installed. It hasn't made much of a difference either as I still see numerous vehicles on the road with sham retrofit headlights.


Yes, they are illegal to use, as per the Highway Traffic Act. Any cop can give you a ticket for using them, at any time.
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#4516805 - 09/15/17 07:46 AM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
rfeir Offline


Registered: 07/13/11
Posts: 219
Loc: NY
There is currently at work an industry committee to set standards for bulbs so that you will know if they will work and still meet or exceed DOT requirements. This will include LED replacement bulbs, etc.
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#4516830 - 09/15/17 08:24 AM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: buck91]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5744
Loc: Illinois
I bought some aftermarket headlights that have some projectors and are DOT legal with halogens. Put in some HIDs and they have a nice cut off. Have not been flashed yet. I think they need a self leveling mechanism for when the car hits dips and such to be DOT legal with HIDs.

If it has the steel cut off plates in front they should not be scattering the light all over.

As far as killing first responders that is kind of far fetched. They only put out the high AC voltage when the bulb is first turned on and the ignitor circuit is active. Once the arc is struck and the plasma flow is happening the voltage is not that much more than 12v.
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#4517201 - 09/15/17 04:10 PM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: mightymousetech]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2602
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
The issue is also safety. I am glad they have made aftermarket HID kits illegal here finally. A car that gets into an accident with the module outside of the headlight housing can easily kill a first responder if the unit or wiring shorts to the body.
I wouldn't say illegal as you can still buy them like you could before. You just cannot get a safety on a vehicle with them installed. It hasn't made much of a difference either as I still see numerous vehicles on the road with sham retrofit headlights.


Yes, they are illegal to use, as per the Highway Traffic Act. Any cop can give you a ticket for using them, at any time.
But apparently they don't.
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2015 RAM SXT Crew Cab 5.7 with 6 speed tranny.

2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)


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#4518504 - 09/17/17 11:25 AM Re: Have plug-n-pay HIDs become any better? [Re: xxch4osxx]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36434
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
The issue is also safety. I am glad they have made aftermarket HID kits illegal here finally. A car that gets into an accident with the module outside of the headlight housing can easily kill a first responder if the unit or wiring shorts to the body.
I wouldn't say illegal as you can still buy them like you could before. You just cannot get a safety on a vehicle with them installed. It hasn't made much of a difference either as I still see numerous vehicles on the road with sham retrofit headlights.


Yes, they are illegal to use, as per the Highway Traffic Act. Any cop can give you a ticket for using them, at any time.
But apparently they don't.


That's the issue. The MTO is EXTREMELY lax when it comes to illegal lighting mods. You can have a full-bro Silverado with reflectors rockin' down the road on an 8" lift kit with a Chinese E-bay HID kit stuffed in it scattering light everywhere and blinding everyone and the absolutely nothing is done about it.
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