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Old 04-15-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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Upgrading base 2013 RDX halogen headlights to HID

Just some interesting data I've found on the halogen projector beam base model headlights.

A brief inspection at the dealership makes me believe they have the same projector headlight housing. This is a must for proper beam pattern when upgrading to HIDs.

BUT

Different model numbers for each:

HID
http://acura.bernardiparts.com/Searc...cura-rdx-parts

Halogen:
http://acura.bernardiparts.com/Searc...cura-rdx-parts

BUT
they are the exact same price. Makes you wonder.

I can't believe they base model has halogens. I can't believe I'm investigating HID upgrades on a 2013 model car that costs $35k.

My plan MIGHT be to get the base model and install either an H11 HID aftermarket kit or do it up right and buy the HID model's bulb gasket and get the real D2S kit

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Old 04-15-2012, 7:58 PM   #2
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I am not one for aftermarket upgrades myself. I am shocked also to find that Acura in the US is making HID an option. In Canada, HID and fog lights are standard as is the AWD. I don't want sound snobbish but any chance you could spring for the Tech Pack?

BTW....I was HORRIFIED to see that in the US, White Diamond Pearl and Ebony interior cannot be matched!! WTF?! I am sooooo glad I live in Canada where that combo is available.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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yes and also awd is standard in canada as before with sh-awd!! not that i give much attention to RDX' new basic AWD system.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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wth!
i thought all acura's came with HIDs......
it's a shame that they're doing this
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Old 05-07-2012, 4:58 PM   #5
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HIDs and (SH)AWD should be standard! Glad I got an '07.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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I would love to hear which kit other members have had good experience with...

H11
4300K (none of that silly ricer-blue shizzle)
35W

Which kits are good. Which kits are crap (China stuff on ebay?)
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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most of the aftermarket kits i have seen are subpar quality that could easily cause a fire. a hazard which i myself saw a friend experience. the fire was so great that consumed his whole front end of the car and destroyed the bumper.

I advise on buying quality parts like oem ballast and oem bulbs. This is however not possible with '13 rdx because it takes only halogen size bulbs (not d2r/d2s). i did once do a d2r retrofit on a civic though with an acura ballast. that was one of the best retrofits i have seen for a halogen designed headlight. i did this by buying an H4 to D2R adapter on ebay, which let me install a d2r bulb inside a halogen headlight. D2R bulbs are designed for reflector style headlights and they do not cause too much glare. i strongly advise against HID conversion as you can blind oncoming traffic or destroy your electrical system. The best option is to get '13 HID headlight system swap.
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Old 05-08-2012, 2:10 PM   #8
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Eh-um,
A wise mechanic once told me,
"If you want a better car, buy it that way from the factory."

I too am surprised to learn that HID is an option, I'm NOT surprised to hear someone is cheap enough not to order it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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I am not that suprised that Acura is using them as an upgrade now since there are a few other 'luxury' cars that do this. Same with my EX35... it was an option and the original owner didn't add those, but he added the bose, rails, cross-bars, bluetooth, ipod integration....Why didn't that fool add HID? All my cars have had them since my new 2002 IS300.... If I knew who bought it first, I would slap them and their momma right in the face!

BUT - there actually are some decent HID upgrade kits that work well with OEM projectors. German made, philips, etc. The good kits are far outnumbered by the cheap crap ones. I am just waiting for someone to do it and have good results that look OEM. Again, people that want the blue lights must be 16 and dumb as hell. Those look 100% worse than 10 yr old yellow halogen bulbs.
Lexus OEM always looks best to me...
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Old 05-10-2012, 2:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XIS View Post
I am not that suprised that Acura is using them as an upgrade now since there are a few other 'luxury' cars that do this. Same with my EX35... it was an option and the original owner didn't add those, but he added the bose, rails, cross-bars, bluetooth, ipod integration....Why didn't that fool add HID? All my cars have had them since my new 2002 IS300.... If I knew who bought it first, I would slap them and their momma right in the face!

BUT - there actually are some decent HID upgrade kits that work well with OEM projectors. German made, philips, etc. The good kits are far outnumbered by the cheap crap ones. I am just waiting for someone to do it and have good results that look OEM. Again, people that want the blue lights must be 16 and dumb as hell. Those look 100% worse than 10 yr old yellow halogen bulbs.
Lexus OEM always looks best to me...
if you are doing hid retrofit get the s2k projector with clear lens. best projector i have ever seen in the market. the fx projectors from infiniti is also nice and the rdx is best in terms of aesthetics with the purple rainbow colour effect and the wide projection.

one thing i have learned from these retrofits and other peoples' is that nothing will be like oem hid setup. i love my rdx oem with a 5000k pure white osram CBI.

is the 13 rdx halogen projected? if so get a morimoto hid h11 kit. although the cutoff wont be great and you might get hot spots and glare. 6000k morimoto is white with cyan tint.
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Last edited by pickler; 05-10-2012 at 3:07 AM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 2:44 PM   #11
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OK. I appreciate your help and advise. I have been looking for a while now, but today I ordered :
MORIMOTO H11 ELITE HID SYSTEM : 3FIVE BALLASTS : RELAY KIT: 4300K XENON BULBS

Ebay - best offer $125 - great deal.

Should help my infiniti projectors look much closer to OEM.

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Old 05-10-2012, 3:03 PM   #12
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OP, You do realize you posted this question in the 1st gen RDX section and not 2nd gen? When i had my 08 Accord coupe, i bought a set on Ebay and never had any issues with the 5000k kit i got. It was 78 bux shipped and with a 2yr warranty. The turned on/off like they should with absolutely no flickering. Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 05-10-2012, 3:43 PM   #13
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did your accord have projectors?

$78 isn't bad if the are from Japan or Germany. You can get cheap China crap for $25, but I opted for higher quality Japanese stuff... 4300 looks much better than 5000k (IMHO) and these came with a 5 yr wty...

(I think OP posted this BEFORE there were two separate forums)
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Old 05-11-2012, 5:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XIS View Post
did your accord have projectors?

$78 isn't bad if the are from Japan or Germany. You can get cheap China crap for $25, but I opted for higher quality Japanese stuff... 4300 looks much better than 5000k (IMHO) and these came with a 5 yr wty...

(I think OP posted this BEFORE there were two separate forums)
just gotta be careful with 4300k as it might overpower your halogen projectors and cause excessive glare. this is why when i retrofit halogen projectors i use 6000k because it is less intense and glare is reduced. morimoto 6000k is not blue but white with a tint of cyan. morimoto is really good quality and im very happy with it. i just don't like their cables, they seem flimsy and soft. i insulated them with electrical tape just in case because my impreza generates a lot of heat near the radiator where the wires are at. i still think hid kits are dangerous specially if you don't know what you are doing. i don't know if you have seen civics or integras on the road with burnt out fog lamps or melted bumpers...that's because of hid kits (most fog housings are sealed to protect against water and this generates enough heat to cause fire). i wouldn't recommend anything but oem bulbs in fog housing.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XIS View Post
did your accord have projectors?

$78 isn't bad if the are from Japan or Germany. You can get cheap China crap for $25, but I opted for higher quality Japanese stuff... 4300 looks much better than 5000k (IMHO) and these came with a 5 yr wty...

(I think OP posted this BEFORE there were two separate forums)
All 8th gen Accord coupes have projectors. As for a different color temp burning up headlights, I've never seen this. Stock headlights are 55watts vs. the standard HID's (35watts) or upgraded (55watt). Either way the housings were made to withstand 55watt energy (heat). Projectors even more so because the lense is glass vs. the reflector lensed headlights. btw 5000k is pure white when the Xenon gas is lit 100%. Stock 4300K has a tinge of yellow but anything beyond 6000k you loose performance to light up a dark road.

Example:

My accord i initially put 6000k HID's in. One night I was on our otter-loop. It was very solitary at this hour. All of a sudden an 10' BMW 328 was approaching me. It's stock 4300K HID's out did mine by a MILE. When i arrived home, I transfer from my wheelchair to bed and ordered 5000k on eBay.

Now here's the thing you need to think about before you order.

-In your city, are the Interstates done in concrete or dark as-fault.
-Are the street lights abundant on the major streets.

Remember Dark colors like fresh pavement absorbs most of your headlight where as concrete which is almost white reflects the light which makes the weakest performing headlights seem to work good.

Cheers,
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Old 05-12-2012, 9:02 AM   #16
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desmond and pickler

Thank you BOTH so much for the info. I am very excited to put these in early next week. I had put in silverstar ultras and they were a big improvement from the 3yr old stock halogen bulbs, but still nothing like my RDX or RX330 headlights. I can't wait to have similar lighting again!

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Old 05-15-2012, 2:08 PM   #17
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Kits

http://www.kbcarstuff.com/Xtreme-Dig...-p/xtp-hid.htm

What about these kits? They are expensive but the reviews seem they are worth it. With the same OEM projector headlight housing these should work well?

H11 would be the correct choice?
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Old 05-15-2012, 3:04 PM   #18
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I have been wanting a 2013 RDX since I sold my 2010 RDX. I want AWD but not really the tech package. I can't beleive the AWD with no Tech has no HID's. That's nuts. Don't think I'll buy one because of it, unless I go AWD and Tech.
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Old 05-15-2012, 3:25 PM   #19
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The advantage with standard halogen bulbs is when one burns out you can get a replacement at any auto parts store or Walmart for about 10-20 dollars and repace it yourself easily. When you have an HID go out replacement bulbs are around 150 dollars each and the ballasts cost about the same. You may need a ballast and bulb around 300 dollars each side. Then you have to order it and then the labor charge!
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Old 05-17-2012, 2:26 PM   #20
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you can get replacement bulbs online in a day or two and unless you get OEM, they certainly can be found for less than $150.... your stock balasts should be fine.

my TRS 4300K system was $125 total ... shipped ...and included a 10 yr wty, two bulbs, two balasts and a HD relay harness and it would be hard to distinguish from OEM.

This is a DIY job...
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Old 05-17-2012, 2:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pickler View Post
just gotta be careful with 4300k as it might overpower your halogen projectors and cause excessive glare. this is why when i retrofit halogen projectors i use 6000k because it is less intense and glare is reduced. morimoto 6000k is not blue but white with a tint of cyan. morimoto is really good quality and im very happy with it. i just don't like their cables, they seem flimsy and soft. i insulated them with electrical tape just in case because my impreza generates a lot of heat near the radiator where the wires are at. i still think hid kits are dangerous specially if you don't know what you are doing. i don't know if you have seen civics or integras on the road with burnt out fog lamps or melted bumpers...that's because of hid kits (most fog housings are sealed to protect against water and this generates enough heat to cause fire). i wouldn't recommend anything but oem bulbs in fog housing.
My original post was to plant the seed that MAYBE both the halogen and HID projector headlight units on the '13 RDX are in fact identical except for the bulb holding gasket thingy. I was hoping someone would see if examining them in hand would determine that.

If that were the case you could buy the OE D2S gasket and bulb holder described in my first link and order an aftermarket HID D2s kit. Maybe this would be a better solution than an H11 HID kit? Don't know.

Who cares, we opted for the tech package. I'm happy with everything except the ancient nav maps.

Good luck!

Last edited by juice13; 05-17-2012 at 2:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-18-2012, 9:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
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desmond and pickler

Thank you BOTH so much for the info. I am very excited to put these in early next week. I had put in silverstar ultras and they were a big improvement from the 3yr old stock halogen bulbs, but still nothing like my RDX or RX330 headlights. I can't wait to have similar lighting again!

No problem. I'm glad I could help you out. Enjoy your new optics. What Kelvin temp did you go with?
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Old 05-20-2012, 1:11 AM   #23
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I also bought the RDX AWD without tech, I would like to know if anybody knows if dealer would change the entire headlight system to HID? Is it even possible or does it depend on the dealer?

thanks =)
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Old 05-20-2012, 9:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
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No problem. I'm glad I could help you out. Enjoy your new optics. What Kelvin temp did you go with?

You both totally helped. I got 4300K and very happy. Amazing how much whiter and brighter they are than the halogen silverstar ultras.

Highly recommended for those with halogens in their stock projectors.
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Old 05-21-2012, 3:24 PM   #25
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Lightbulb needs more cowbell...

I just finished installing a set of 3000k hids in the fog lights of my ZDX. I was looking for the deep yellow/golden crisp look HID style but did not get it. It is more blue with a yellow tinge almost matches stock hids perfectly. I used to use a 2500k halogen bulb with a yellow film cover on my 07 RDXturbo previously and it gave me that deep yellow color somewhat, just not very bright. Does anyone know if their is even a 2500k HID bulb out there?
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Old 05-21-2012, 4:44 PM   #26
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Question about the stock halogen bulbs

Brand new to the board so apologies if this has already been covered. I did try a search but couldn't find info on the 2013..

Strongly considering the RDX base, can someone who has it with the stock lamps comment on the light output? It is acceptable. I know they won't be anywhere as bright as the hid but also wanted to make sure they are well designed.
Reason I am asking is on other cars I have bought the standard halogen were fairly horrific and if need be will pony up the the tech package even though the lights would be the only additional thing used.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #27
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I would like to upgrade mine as well into HID. I got the 2013 Base AWD also. Please keep as posted if anyone have done it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 9:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by XIS View Post
You both totally helped. I got 4300K and very happy. Amazing how much whiter and brighter they are than the halogen silverstar ultras.

Highly recommended for those with halogens in their stock projectors.
Did you get the 35w or 50w kit? I am looking at getting a RDX and dont want to pay for the tech package so I was thinking of ordering this:
http://www.theretrofitsource.com/pro...oducts_id=3955
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:25 AM   #29
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I have installed the Morimoto kit and it is an excellent improvement. Throws ALOT more light than the halogens.

I did not get any response from oncoming traffic so I think the kit is not blinding oncoming traffic.

I used the equivalent OEM kit:

Ballasts: Morimoto 3Five (35w)
Kelvin: 4300K
Wire Harness: H11
Wire Harness Type: Heavy Duty Relay
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Old 08-02-2012, 9:22 AM   #30
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I got the exact same kit as tal. Best $125 spent in a while.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #31
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Not much of a DIYer, but would like to know how long this took to do and how complicated it would be for kind of a novice. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:54 PM   #32
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What site did you use? I am seeing $150 for this on The retrofit source.
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Old 08-02-2012, 1:00 PM   #33
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My regular mechanic just quoted me $298 to install this kit. Says it is a pretty big job. What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-02-2012, 1:58 PM   #34
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Easy install

Nope...pretty easy install.

Took about 2hrs for the install. All you are really doing is unplugging the halogens & replacing them with HIDs. The wiring is what takes the longest for the install.

I had an experienced tech install these (done many other HID installs) and went great. Charged me $127 for the install. As a novice I would not install these.

I just matched XIS' offer of $125 and they took it. You will pay approx $10 in s/h.

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/

Call them if you have questions...they are very helpful.
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Old 08-02-2012, 3:05 PM   #35
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What site did you use? I am seeing $150 for this on The retrofit source.
I went to EBAY and bought them from the same company with a "BEST OFFER"
The accepted $125 without a counter offer. I should have offered less!

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Old 08-02-2012, 3:06 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Nope...pretty easy install.

Took about 2hrs for the install. All you are really doing is unplugging the halogens & replacing them with HIDs. The wiring is what takes the longest for the install.

I had an experienced tech install these (done many other HID installs) and went great. Charged me $127 for the install. As a novice I would not install these.

I just matched XIS' offer of $125 and they took it. You will pay approx $10 in s/h.

http://www.theretrofitsource.com/

Call them if you have questions...they are very helpful.

Yes - they were very helpful. The product is great, no china crap.
It took me just a couple hours also. It isn't really a hard job, just take your time and go step by step.
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Old 08-02-2012, 5:32 PM   #37
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Theretrofitsource coupon:

"This week (Starting 7/30) celebrates our first year open in Atlanta. Use coupon code TRSATL for 25% off anything on our website. There are exceptions:

-No Osram CBI / SVS
-No XBAR LED Light Bars
-No VIP projectors
-No Special Orders / Custom Invoices
-No Free Shipping / Additional Coupons
-We reserve the right to void use of a coupon"

I recommend doing this yourself and learning about your car. $298 is a complete rip off. Here are two videos about how to install HIDs. The Mercedes shares a similar set-up without the clip, but the Scion-tc is more in-depth with technical information. No drilling is required because there is no opening for liquid to get into the headlight housing. I've done it on the girlfriend's RDX and it took 30-40 minutes. You can use the 5Five (50W) on the RDX.



Last edited by Domm; 08-02-2012 at 5:39 PM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 5:54 PM   #38
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After watching both videos, still not sure I want to take this on. A friend says he changed his regular haolgen OEM bulbs with aftermarket arctic white and he feels it is almost as good as the HID without the cost and labor. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-05-2012, 7:05 PM   #39
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No halogen bulb will be brighter than hid. Even if they come close, the halogen bulb will burn out within 6-12 months of use because there's a sacrifice to hotter burning halogen bulbs. $40 per set for 5 years or a HID kit that is warranted for 5 years? It equals out to the same amount, but I feel HIDs are more of an up front shock with installation and cost, which is why most people seek alternative options and take their chances.
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Old 09-09-2012, 8:32 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tal View Post
I have installed the Morimoto kit and it is an excellent improvement. Throws ALOT more light than the halogens.

I did not get any response from oncoming traffic so I think the kit is not blinding oncoming traffic.

I used the equivalent OEM kit:

Ballasts: Morimoto 3Five (35w)
Kelvin: 4300K
Wire Harness: H11
Wire Harness Type: Heavy Duty Relay
Ordered my kit from theretrofitsource.com Thursday at noon and it arrived USPS Sat morning. My dealer installed them yesterday for $145. My kit was the same as yours except I went with 5000K. Weather was lousy last night so I haven't checked them out in the dark yet. Though I must say they looked pretty sharp at dusk last night.
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Old 09-09-2012, 8:32 AM
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