Easy Upgrades for Your Car
One of the easiest upgrades for your car, or at least until recently, that you can easily do it at your home garage is to change the lights. Not just for the headlights, but also the interior lights. For the next few blogs, we will break this down into three parts: Headlights, interior lights, and signal lights. Today, we'll delve into headlights (Low, Hi, and Fog lights)
If you have a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, God has truly blessed you. These two companies have made changing the low and high beam easy by creating enough room in and around the low and high beams that require little or no need to disassemble the headlight assembly. Truly a laxative experience. For other vehicles, it may require taking off the entire headlight assembly and/or even taking off the front tires to install the bulbs (Yes, I'm talking to you Nissan Altima) Some European cars, like Volvo S60, even requires a special tool just for Volvo. (Eftersom vi svenskar är speciella.)
So let's talk about the lighting upgrades for your car. Low beam. These are the lights that you turn on for the night time driving. If your car has halogen, incandescent bulbs, you have two options. Option one is the easiest and that is to upgrade to LED bulbs. LED bulbs like our DAMA KLV or KFV are Plug-N-Play.
An optional component that may prove to be crucial is to purchase the LED decoder or CANBUS. This simple unit connects in between the bulb and the car's power source connection and helps to eliminate any error messages or hyper flash that may occur with the LED bulbs due to the units running at a lower power wattage.
The second option is the HID conversion kit, like our Blesk HID Conversion Kits. At first, it does look intimidating, but the installation is not as bad as it looks. We do recommend taking the headlight assembly off to install the HID conversion kit, and doing that may be more challenging than connecting the kit itself. The cool upgrade option with the HID conversion kit is that you have a choice with different Kelvin options (Color temperature) and HIDCONCEPT.COM also has few rebased HID bulbs that are made with brand names like Philips XtremeVision and Osram Cool Blue Hyper. I believe we are the only company in the US that produces these brand name rebased HID xenon bulbs.
High beams are located in the inner part of the headlight assembly. In the US, these lights also function as DRL (Daytime Running Light), and the purpose of the high beam is typically used when you're unable to see the road ahead just with the low beam, or in my case, I use the high beam to say "Hello," to the annoying driver in the front. Jokes aside, you do not want to use the high beam in the foggy situation. The high beam blankets and floods the fog and reflects and it would make it more difficult to see the distance.
For high beam bulbs, most are still halogen bulbs. Some aftermarket LED bulbs claim to be used for high beam, but we have not seemed a single one, as of today, that works properly. The problem is that the high beam also needs to work as DRL, and most LED bulbs we've seen either flicker violently or do not dim at all. My opinion is getting quality halogen bulbs from Philips or Osram. Philips DiamondVision will produce the highest Kelvin rating and would give you a "whiter" color than other halogen bulbs. My favorite is Osram Night Breaker Laser Halogen bulbs. The color is OEM, 4300K, but the Night Breaker series does have the brightest hotspot compare to other halogens I've seen. Now, you can install HID conversion for high beam, and I will end it at that. My personal opinion is that putting HID conversion for both low and high is a bit overkill, but that's just me.
Fog lamps or lights are designed to be used at low speed to add to the illumination directed to the surface and verges of the roads. Fog lights are excellent in a poor visibility environment and illuminate the road much better than turning on the high beam. Same with the other two types of lights, there are options for halogen, LED, and HID conversion kit for fog lights. Philips LED fog lights are super popular with our customers, but they are not the brightest fog lights. Since it is for fog, the Lumen rating is not as high as the low beam, so we do not recommend using these lights for the Low beams. My favorite is the super white low beam with the golden yellow fog. The other day, I saw a navy blue Subaru WRX with such a combo. I just wanted to give the driver a thumbs up and say, "You sir, I salute Ye!"
That's about it as far as car upgrades for now. In our next blog, we'll talk about the interior lights and signal lights.