What can you do if you have a great car that you love, but the headlights leave a little to be desired? For most cars there are several HID conversion kit options available from a few different sources.
Now, what exactly does this conversion kit get me? Most of the HID kits make use of your existing headlight housings and you replace your existing bulbs with new HID bulbs that are included with the kit. As you have seen in my other article detailing how HID headlights work, Focus on HID headlights, you know that in addition to the bulbs you will also need HID ballasts, wiring harness adapters and other various mounting elements that will ensure that your HID kit will be firmly secured to ensure proper operation of your new HID headlamps.
How much should you expect to pay for these conversion kits? Not long ago the answer to this question would have had a much different answer. In recent years HID conversion kits have really decreased in price allowing a conversion kit for pretty much any budget. On some popular auction websites you can find kits for as little as $30; as with many other parts that you may find online for a super-low price your mileage may vary when it comes to build quality and reliability. There are other options available that may cost a bit more and offer you a better long-term experience. For about triple the price you can get yourself into a good “middle-of-the-road” HID conversion kit.
For the true HID conversion kit connoisseur you can look for a kit from a well know brand like PIAA. Be prepared to spend between $250-300 for the privilege. The main reason to make the jump into this price range is to have peace of mind in that you are buy a quality HID conversion kit.
With all of these choices available to you, how do you make the right choice? First of all, you have made the right choice by starting to research the various options you have in a HID kit. Secondly, try to find a good online community that focuses on your particular car. From these forums you can often find another member that has been through this process before and can speak to the level of quality of a particular kit based on using it first-hand. Due to the popularity of headlight modifications most online communities have portions of their site dedicated to discussing headlights specifically. Be sure to start with a forum search and ask questions if the search doesn’t yield any results.
Once you have found your HID conversion kit and laid out your hard earned money to actually buy the kit you wait for it to arrive. Once you have it all that is left is to install it in your car, truck or SUV. Typically these kits are plug and play; meaning that you remove your old bulbs (be careful – don’t let your skin touch the glass – and save them just in case things go south with the HID conversion kit. You’ll be happy to have a backup plan.) and insert the new bulbs and use the remaining parts of the kit the connect the bulbs and the ignitors into the existing headlight wiring. Most kits also include double sided tape and zip ties to help keep everything neat.
One last thing that you will want to do before you hit the streets: follow my instructions to align your headlights to make sure that your headlights will not cause vision issues for oncoming drivers. That article can be found here: How to properly align headlights.