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View Full Version : Would you pay $2K for a projector HID headlight system?



WyrreJ
06/04/2003, 06:05 PM
Anyone ever look into getting a custom-designed bi-level, projector HID system for their headlights?

I noticed that HIDS4less (http://www.hids4less.com/www/products/index.asp?page=customhead.htm) will design and build custom HID systems. I am looking for a HID stystem done right, not one of those H4 replacement bulbs that won't do high beams and who knows what kind of other quirks. Since they are just down the road in Pawtuckett, I am thinking about getting in contact with them about building a set for my VX.

But, I am curious both if anyone has talked to them or another light-shop for a similar project and what level of interest there is here for a group purchase. I have no idea what it would cost at this point, but I figure $2K is probably in the ballpark, maybe a bit on the high-side, and probably depends on how many orders they can amortize their development costs over.

gruven
06/04/2003, 06:35 PM
I was on a big HID kick a short time ago and was looking at the Bellof or Catz systems available http://www.sigmaautomotive.com/lighting/main.html.

Since both of these H4 kits are HiLo, I am curious as to what they have to offer for the extra $. I personally would be more tempted to put $750 down on the Bellof's and put the other $1250 towards other mods...

Interested to see what you learn.

-gruven:supercool

Joe_Black
06/04/2003, 10:41 PM
I really like the look of some of those custom jobs. The way our headlight housing is designed makes it an excellent platform for that type of customization. I've always liked the look of the projectors inside the streamlined housing, which gives you both high and low beam options. I would certainly be interested in seeing what these folks could do for our VXs.

paultvx
06/05/2003, 12:47 AM
The Catz system is virtually identical to the Bellof which leads me to believe they share the same supplier. The difference between the two is themake of the ballasts. Bellof uses Philips while Catz has their own... not sure who makes it. I'm guessing Panasonic, but that's just a guess.

Bellof systems are considered to be the measuring stick in the industry. Very high quality stuff. I think the high cost is because of the reputation. As mentioned the bulbs in the Catz kit appears to be identical to the ones in the Bellof kit. If you look hard enough, you can find the Catz kit online for $450 and up. I'm sitting on a set... haven't gotten around to installing them because it's necessary to free up some space (airbox) for the ideal installation.

As for making custom head lights... This was to be a project I was hoping to tackle eventually when the financial picture gets better... but what the hell, I'll share. If you know how to mold plastic and have access to CAD/CAM equiptment, it is possible to mold a new inner housing that works with the stock clear lens (horn lights and all) to make a quad lamp projector system. Hella makes a set 75mm (I think that's what they are) projector lamps in high and low beams. These are the same ones used in the Saleen S7 supercar. Projector lamps are much better with HID conversions since the cutoffs are much sharper and controlled. Single beam HID conversions are also a lot cheaper. The quad beam look would be very nice I think. See www.rallylights.com about these projector lamps. There may even be an HID version for the low beam... I don't remember.

TDAWG
06/05/2003, 10:57 AM
Hey WyrreJ,
I live here in pawtucket where that company seem to be bases out of if you want I can look into it for you. Since this is the 1st time I ever even heard of the company I 'll look into it and get back to you ASAP. I'll post up any findings.

WyrreJ
06/05/2003, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the offer Tony. I haven't even had a chance to call them yet, too busy at the office during regular hours (and then some). If you could drop by and maybe let them take a look at your lights in person so they can get idea right away and then report back to us all, that would be very cool of you.

TDAWG
06/09/2003, 12:32 PM
Hey Peeps,
I just got off the phone with the people from HIDS4Less and this is the prices they gave me. A stage 1 system is $499 and a stage 2 system is $699. If you have them install them then add a $100 for install. So I am off to go look at them up close and see if maybe we could get some kind of group discount. I'll keep you informed as soon as I get back with some info.

TDAWG
06/09/2003, 02:40 PM
OK, I just got back and here is a pic of the system. They use all phillips products and comes from Germany. The only draw back I saw is that you lose your high beams. The stage 2 blub has that blue tint to it like the super white. Stage 2 blubs are way more brighter than the stage 1 blubs. When you think about it most of us have already installed extra driving lights or even off-road lgihts. so I don't think losing the high beams are that bad. After checking out the stage 2 lights I remember the commercial about the 2 bugs and the bug zapper when 1 looks at the other and says "DON"T LOOK INTO THE LIGHT" oops my bad. I did.:yesy:
So I'll be getting them once I sweet talk the wife alittle. Ok alot. She thinks I aready spend too much on pampering it.

Hotsauce
06/09/2003, 04:24 PM
OK, I think I may be the only one here with HID installed, so I'll put my 2 cents in here.

HID works soo well, that you don't need high beams, unless someone wants to bust chops on an inspection.

I do have hi/low finction though, its just that high is only marginally higher than low.

I have a system very similat to the last picture, except the mask is controled with a solenoid to give high or low pattern. I'd shoot some pics if it wasn't such a pain to remove it.

Light color: you want no more than 5000K, any more and it starts getting blue. coatings of any color on the bulb will only reduce available light, even though the blue seems a little brighter, it really doesn't provide as much light in the spectrum that you need..

Do make sure that whatever you buy gives a really sharp flat low beam cutoff, not easy with our reflector pattern. I tried a few kits that threw tons of orange and yellow light above the cutoff line.

A sharp cutoff lets you raise the beam alignment without blinding other drivers.

John C.

gruven
06/09/2003, 04:56 PM
Some subjects have been touched on that I have been wondering about...

From what I have been able to observe, low beams look adequate for my needs- but I am confused on the two types of HiLo offered. One type uses moving shield and the other a moving bulb. Of course with a moving bulb 3-4" (if I remember correctly) are what is needed behind the enclosure for the mechanism to move. Doubt we have that luxury.... Is one practice more preferable than the other?

The shield placement sure seems to be the key- is there anything to look for that might hint of a kits 'cutoff' or shield's ability- or is this learned through trial and error by trying different brands?

Also ran across something talking about European codes mandating an auto-leveling system. Something to keep you from blinding people when cresting a hill from what I gather. Is this a feature that needs to be looked for?

-gruven:supercool

paultvx
06/09/2003, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by gruven
Some subjects have been touched on that I have been wondering about...

From what I have been able to observe, low beams look adequate for my needs- but I am confused on the two types of HiLo offered. One type uses moving shield and the other a moving bulb. Of course with a moving bulb 3-4" (if I remember correctly) are what is needed behind the enclosure for the mechanism to move. Doubt we have that luxury.... Is one practice more preferable than the other?

I have the moving bulb type (Catz)... even though I haven't had the chance to install them, I can tell you that there should be enough room behind the headlights to clear the longer bulb assembly. You might have to remove the intake elbow to make room on the driver side. I think with the moving shield type (HID Plus brand) one potential problem is that the bulb hood (the conical cap that covers the tip of the bulb) that comes with the HID kit may not be compatible with the existing hood in the stock housing.

I am not completely sure which is the better method. I just figured that since Bellof uses the moving bulb method, it must be the way to go.
From what I've read on this board and on vmag, low beam alone is sufficient in most cases since our headlight reflectors weren't designed with HID in mind so there's a lot of light flooding beyond the cutoffs. This is why HID can appear to have more glare to other drivers (screw them... better they are made more aware of the road than day dreaming in la-la-land and causing accidents).


The shield placement sure seems to be the key- is there anything to look for that might hint of a kits 'cutoff' or shield's ability- or is this learned through trial and error by trying different brands?

I don't think there is a way to know until you actually try it. There are too many variables involved with retrofit kits. That's why the NHTSA has been looking into the matter in hopes of putting regulations in place. Our tax dollars at work... pay someone to tell us what we can't do with our money.
Anyway, buying HID kits is pretty risky. There are lots of kits out there with vast differences in pricing, and quality. There are even kits out there that claim to have Philips components but are really unauthorized substandard copies. You really have to be careful of who and where you buy it from.


Also ran across something talking about European codes mandating an auto-leveling system. Something to keep you from blinding people when cresting a hill from what I gather. Is this a feature that needs to be looked for?

Not only do they mandate auto-leveling... they also call for headlamp washer jets. Dust and grime on the headlight lens can disperse light and increase glare. The auto-leveling feature is not available with retrofit kits. They are only available if.... say you have an Audi A4 and you swap the US spec headlights for European spec HID headlights (not just bulb and ballast... the real McCoy).

Retrofits are generally brighter than Halogen, but still not like the real deal... just half way there. Which is why I mentioned my idea of designing a new set of headlights based on the factory units... one that would use 4 round Hella projectors (same ones used on the Saleen S7). Development would cost a lot of $ though.

WyrreJ
06/09/2003, 06:08 PM
Is that 4 hellas per assembly, or just 2 per assembly and two assemblies per car? I am very interested in the real mccoy and will call hids4less about it when I get a chance.

paultvx
06/10/2003, 01:00 AM
That's two lamps per headlight. Dedicated low and high beams.

I was wrong before... they're 90mm in diameter. The high beam would remain halogen... HIDs are better suited to low beam use and the projectors are perfect for retrofitting since the cutoff is much sharper than reflector.

The image is from www.rallylights.com. Good prices and great service. I've bought stuff from them for almost 6 years now.

http://www.susquehanna.com/susq/hella/images/90mm-00.jpg

And as used in the Saleen S7, picture from Roadandtrack.com

http://www.roadandtrack.com/assets/image/642003143942.jpg

Dallas4u
06/10/2003, 08:09 AM
Yup, love rallylights! I have been purchasing bulbs and fogs (My Hella 500's came from them) for years as well. I was purchasing the Hella Optilux H4 bulbs from them a while back before they stopped selling (manufacturing?) them. Good service and prices.

Paul, it would definitely be interesting if you could perform some magic and create a new headlight assembly for HID lamps. That would be too sweet!

Navigator
06/10/2003, 09:19 AM
I've given the ide a lot of thought :snooz: and have discussed :blab: it with a few friends :argue: and have come to the conclusion I can't afford that much DOH :homer:

TDAWG
06/10/2003, 10:25 AM
Those are all good questions.:thumbup: What I'll do is drop Jeff @ hid4less a line and have him check out this post and have him either e-mail me back with answers. I'll post everything as soon as I can get the answer.

coachreed
06/10/2003, 10:43 AM
I'd LOOOOOVE to have a set of headlights like that. HID's are awsome looking and the immitation crap just doesn't cut it. I look forward to seeing what someone comes up with. I don't know if I'd go $2K for a set, but if they were done REALLLLY well, I'd definitely think about it...

What would a set of donor headlight assemblies cost by themselves? How much would the lights shown above cost? How much for the balasts for the low beams? I know a few people who might be capable of prototyping... just gotta look them up.

I'll be watching. Later!

Coach

JEFFHIDS4LESS
06/10/2003, 11:45 AM
Hey Guys... TDawg came down here we chatted and he said I should tell you guys about the lamps... So thats why I am here..



Okay after reading some posts let me clearify some things.


Catz HID KIts - Taiwanese... Do not buy. Low Quality

Bellof HID Kits - Use their own ballast. www.bellof.co.jp. Good luck calling them, I have contacted them 100000000000 times to give them money and they won't sell me HID Kits. So if you have some warranty issues, good luck... I try to give them 50 grand and they won't except it, I can't image if you had ballast you needed replaced.

4100K - OEM APPLICATION
6,000K - 20% more blue

5,000K - Garbage; Coated Philips Bulbs. Eventually creates heat spots and destroys the bulb.

Lumen wise, Either Stage I (4100K) or Stage II (6000K) Philips kits will be fine for your vehicle. Ask Tdawg he saw them in person.

H4 Application loses high beam, we do not sell Bi-HID systems cause they are not worth it because of their inferior quality. High Beams are not neccessary.

Projection Systems: Custom Projectors are available , they use a BI-HID Projector straight out of a 02' BMW E46 M3. Call for pricing 866-571-5538

Warranty: OUR KIT HOLDS A 5 YEAR FULL REPLACEMENT WARRANTY


FORUM SPECIAL PRICING: BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE ENTHUSIESTS WE CAN OFFER HID KITS FOR $450.00 SI & $650.00 SII.


Thanks,
Jeff

Jeff@hids4less.com

paultvx
06/10/2003, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Dallas4u
Yup, love rallylights! I have been purchasing bulbs and fogs (My Hella 500's came from them) for years as well. I was purchasing the Hella Optilux H4 bulbs from them a while back before they stopped selling (manufacturing?) them. Good service and prices.

Paul, it would definitely be interesting if you could perform some magic and create a new headlight assembly for HID lamps. That would be too sweet!

Oh the things I could get into if I get that lottery job... still have yet to work on the intake. Resin and some mold making material cost $$. :(

To do a prototype of the headlight I'd have to get another set of stock headlights ($$$) and pull them apart so I can use the parts to start a base mold. The clear lens would then have to be used with the new housing. Once the prototype is finalized, a vacuum mold would probably have to be made so that mass production is possible ($$$$).

WyrreJ
09/17/2003, 08:38 PM
Aaagh! Just as it looks like I might be able to acquire a pair of headlight assemblies, it looks like these guys have gone titsup.com...

Anyone else thinking about doing business with them might want to check the current status of this thread from hidforum.com (which, btw, seems to be the definitive place to go on the net to learn about HID upgrades):

http://hidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1039

valenki
09/17/2003, 08:43 PM
I have seen some on e-bay about 2 months ago. They were 400 bucks and 8000 K temperature xenon and kryptone lights. Therefore someone must be making them already ????



Hope you can come to the King Richard's Fair, good luck!
:goof:

WyrreJ
09/17/2003, 09:31 PM
Anything with that high of a color temp is going to be junk. OEM HIDs have color temps right around 4200K, there are some reasonable aftermarket systems that have bulbs up to 6000K, but from my reading on hidforum those are kind of iffy. Plus there are HIDs and then there are projectors and then there are projector HIDs, the last two, if done right, providing the cleanest, safest lighting. Sounds like the kryptone ones were just hid replacement bulbs, which is the kind of system that has inherent flaws such that bulb-only HID kits were banned by FHTSA last month.

Probably won't make it to the KRF meet, I usually don't get up until 2PM or so on saturdays so you guys are scheduled waaay too early for me...

TDAWG
09/18/2003, 06:20 PM
wow I just saw this post. I can't beleive that. When WyrreJ Posted about these I went down there and checked them out. It was diffently the ones for BMW and they were working on the HIDs on about 4 cars there. I can't believe that they have become that shady. If we would have agree to do a group buy I would have personally seen to making sure that everyone got theirs. that is why I don't really buy anything off the web if I don't see up close and personal or if I don't have someone in the area that can look out for me.

Dallas4u
10/03/2003, 09:06 AM
Just wanted to post that I found a Hella HID kit for $400:

Xtomic.net (http://www.xtomic.net/orderonline.html)

paultvx
10/03/2003, 12:47 PM
Those are single beam lights. You'd lose your high beam and ability to flash. The kits are also not Hella. A lot of places claim that because it's been said online in various forums that Hella is the one to get... what people don't spend time to read into (and pass on to others) is that what's really been said is "Hella ballasts" are the ones to get (most reliable), also Hella ballasts are made by Phillips. So ultimately Philliips ballasts and bulbs are the ones to get. Neither Phillips nor Hella make kits. They don't even sell the components to the public. One other thing worth knowing is that this advice that's been passed around on the net comes from experiences with the first generation of HID conversion kits. Some Korean manufacturers (K2) tried to cut cost by matching cheaper ballasts with Phillips bulbs, and then later Panasonic ballasts with their own bulb. The cheaper ballasts turned out ot be junk... but they got to mention the Phillips name in their packaging. Also, there are counterfeit Phillips and Hella kits out there from Korea and Taiwan. You can usually tell in the packaging. If the color printing on the box looks like low quality printing (typical of products from Taiwan and Korea) it's most likely one of the fakes. Notice on the page they say Hella, but in the diagram the ballasts are labeled "Eagle Eye". I've seen these cheap single beam kits for as low as $289. www.groupbuycenter.com is usually a good place to find deals like that.

Also... this may have been mentioned in this thread already, the NHTSA and DOT made a recent ruling to ban all aftermarket HID kits. So if the coppers really want to or are familiar with this ruling, you can get pulled over and fined for using a HID conversion kit. Those living in areas that have mandator DOT inspections, they will catch you at the inspections (but there are ways around it) and the tickets are most likely mere "fix it' tickets.

As for what Jeff from HIDs4less said above... bunch of BS. You gotta remember this guy wanted to take the money and run. He would've told anything to get your dollars. I had a new in box Catz kit, which I recently returned to Catz USA because they're offering a recall/refund because of the NHTSA/DOT ruling (very nice of them to do it too). Can you see HIDs4less doing something like this?? Not even a snowball's chance in hell. I tested the kit without installing it into the VX and it worked flawlessly. HIDs4less's bad reputation goes way back. Since I first heard of them 4 years ago, I haven't heard one good thing. I can't believe he even slammed Bellof. Bellof is like one of the best kits out there (hence the high price).

HID kits have gotten so popular that the business of selling them have attracted a lot of people who are only interested in making quick cash. Buyer beware. Stick with the name brands and avoid the backyard shack mix and match kits.

Dallas4u
10/03/2003, 01:02 PM
Good to know as I am not very referenced when it comes to HID. I merely saw these kits and thought they were somewhat cheap. I did see the "Eagle Eye" on the side of the ballasts, not knowing what the heck that was.

I don't keep up with HID info much as I've never been that interested in converting.

paultvx
10/03/2003, 01:09 PM
I don't know much about the Bohmen brand... but the kits look ok.

http://www.proxenon.com/view_product_frm.php?category_id=1

Companies will claim that you don't need high beams for two reasons:

1. They're using the wrong bulb: D2S... which is most common when they should be using D2R which has a stationary shield to help reduce glare. D2R bulbs are less common, therefor more expensive to source. Note, I said help reduce glare. Ultimately it's better to use E-code (European code) projector lens type lamps with HIDs. The cutoff is much sharper and much less glare beyond the cutoffs.

2. They lack the technical know-how to design and produce the mechanisms necessary to produce a bi-xenon bulb... whether it is a solenoid based system or a mechanical shutter system. Or, they have no interest in investing $ in R & D... which is probably the case with HIDs4less given their record with money handling. Bellof uses a solenoid base, so does Catz.