Author Topic: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)  (Read 54090 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline JB

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 8722
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Past owner
Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« on: November 10, 2009, 12:01:19 PM »
Upgrading your headlights
A simple guide



So you're wanting to trade in those candles for some real light?

I imagine there to be three main types of people interested in this topic;
  • New Calibra owners
  • The "I don't drive at night, so it doesn't bother me" members who were accidentally caught out one evening
  • Members who have considered it, but don't know how to do it / have been told they can't use them (for those who own Angel eyes, for example)

Regardless of whether you fit into one of those categories or you have your own unique reason, upgrading the headlights is one of the first things you should do when you get your Calibra. Given current prices (+/- 40GBP on ebay) of HID kits, there are no reasons to skip on such an important aspect of driving - Night vision.

Ok, so you've read this far - seems like you could be interested?

First, why don't I explain why the Calibra headlights are just so terrible..
It seems Vauxhall (Opel) in their infinite wisdom didn't really spend too much time thinking how they'd wire up the headlights. As long as they turn on and off, everyone's happy, right? Hmm, unfortunately that's not the case. Vauxhall's headlight wiring is just too under rated. As a result the resistance in the circuit prohibits the headlights from getting a full current from the battery and leaves the light output with a lot to be desired. If you were to re-wire the headlights with better quality wiring, you would notice they would be a lot brighter! Coupled with a dull lens, they really aren't very impressive.

A simple, and now affordable way of overcoming this problem is with a HID kit.
HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. It refers to lighting technology that relies on an electrical charge to ignite xenon gas contained in a sealed bulb. That means no more filaments which illuminate from high resistance - HID bulbs are far more reliable, and give off a lot more light with a lot less power and heat.

Now you know why the lights are so bad, lets dismiss a few common misconceptions...

Xenon/Uprated bulbs

A common misconception when thinking of upgrading is to fall for Halfords' marketing ploys guaranteeing you "50% more light", "Ice white beam" with their stock of uprated (sometimes called "Xenon") bulbs. Unfortunately these are just cheap and cheerful bulbs which do nothing (or very, very little) to intensify the beam given off by the Calibra headlight system. Xenon is infact the gas that is inside the HID bulbs and not a type of uprated bulb to be purchased from Halfords.

Angel eyes

On a lot of occasions, I see comments like "If I buy Angel Eyes, I'll get brighter light". Well, yes and no. Yes the light given off between Angel eyes and stock headlights can be slightly different. But no, the light is not brighter, if you were to fit clear lenses to your stock headlight system you would get the same level of light as you do from a set of Angel Eyes. The clear lenses just allow you to see the light a little more clearly and enable the headlights to project a little better onto the road. They don't brighten the light given off.

Now that is clear, lets talk about HIDs...


Here is a quick link that shows you just what's available when searching with ebay. As you can see prices range all over the place and you have a couple of different options when ordering a set..

One set includes;
  • 2x Ballast
  • 2x Bulb in a protective case
  • 2x fitting kit for the ballasts

Voltage
Most commonly you'll find 35w. These are more than sufficient and will light up the road very nicely.
However, there are 55w sets, these give off even brighter light and offer up to 30% more illumination.

What you decide is up to you, however be prepared to pay more for 55w sets.

Fitment
All Calibras use H1 for dipped beam, high beam and H3 for fog. Buying anything other than H1 or H3 will guarantee they will not fit. If you're really into lighting up the road, you can buy and fit both H1 and H3 kits for your dipped and fog, but as fogs are usually rarely used, there is no reason to unless you really personally want it.

Colour Temperature
When you see "colour temp" you may feel a little stumped, however here is a simple guideline;
  • The most common colour temp is 6000k. This gives off an Ice White/Blue tinge
  • The closest to OEM colour is 4300k, if you're looking for subtle HIDs, this is a good choice
  • The lower the temp, the more yellow the light, the higher, the more purple. Staying between 4300k and 6000k will guarantee you will not get any issues with MOT/Police.



Fitting
It's very simple to fit a HID kit, simply follow the instructions provided with the kit.
You will need to dremel a small hole in the removable outer casing for the wires to go through (a rubber bung is provided to keep it water tight) and cutting/splicing of the Earth may be necessary.

Parts come with the kit to enable you to fix the ballasts in place, however they fit snugly in the body of the engine bay if you're lazy ;) Make sure to keep the wiring away from the belts of the engine!

Once you have the kit in place, you'll instantly notice a huge difference in light output.


img from google

Sidelights: If you're going HID you should do something about your sidelights which'll be a stingey yellow compared to the icewhite dipped beam. Ebay 501 sidelights and you'll get all sorts pop up.


Good luck!


If I've missed anything, or stated anything incorrectly, please pm me or a mod to have it changed.
If you need assistance/advice, you're welcome to pm me. I'm always online :D



JB as a mod would destroy cc.com from the inside  :P Like a forum version of Alien  :D

Offline lammy

  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 5462
  • Respect 2
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 2.5i v6
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 12:06:49 PM »
Great guide and advice to any Calibra owner  8)...HID is a must and easy DIY. :)

Offline Trigger

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Newbie
  • Posts: 0
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 16v Ecotec
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 12:07:47 PM »
Topic moved to relevent section. Good guide this, very comprehensive

vix

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 12:37:14 PM »
Great guide there, the only bulbs that are worth buying in Halfords are LED side lights if you want an improvement in those (prism lighting ones), hardly ever blow therefore last longer and light output it better.

Only headlights that are any good are the Ultra Blue, however they are 100w like the rally bulbs, compared to like 55w on standard bulbs, you can notice a difference with these however they're not e-marked, and cost some pence so better to go HID!

Offline JB

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 8722
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Past owner
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 14:13:51 PM »
Great guide there, the only bulbs that are worth buying in Halfords are LED side lights if you want an improvement in those (prism lighting ones), hardly ever blow therefore last longer and light output it better.

That did remind me, if you're going HID you should do something about your sidelights which'll be a stingey yellow compared to the icewhite dipped beam. Ebay 501 sidelights and you'll get all sorts pop up.

Can a mod please stick that in there please? :)
Trig Edit: Done

Quote
Only headlights that are any good are the Ultra Blue, however they are 100w like the rally bulbs, compared to like 55w on standard bulbs, you can notice a difference with these however they're not e-marked, and cost some pence so better to go HID!

Sorry, they come under the crappy "xenon" replacements.
100w will melt your headlight reflector and if you're pulled will undoubtedly get you fined.
JB as a mod would destroy cc.com from the inside  :P Like a forum version of Alien  :D

Offline Vicki

  • Trade Count: (5)
  • Calibra Expert
  • Posts: 3016
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Female
    • Cally 16v Redtop
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 14:28:09 PM »
awesome  ;D

HID here I come  ;)

Offline JB

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 8722
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Past owner
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 14:44:03 PM »
Good luck Vik, and thanks Trig!
JB as a mod would destroy cc.com from the inside  :P Like a forum version of Alien  :D

Offline ALZ1307

  • * ClubCalibra VIP *
  • Trade Count: (6)
  • *
  • Posts: 26574
  • Respect 11
  • Gender: Female
    • Cally 2.5i v6
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 19:16:51 PM »
Nice one Jay and Karma for you. We can all point people here when they ask ;)
Lewis Hamilton said that winning his first race felt better than having sex. Kimi's reply to that was, Maybe he never had sex.

Offline Bad Kid

  • Trade Count: (17)
  • Calibra Pro
  • Posts: 613
  • Respect 10
  • Gender: Male
    • Calibra B204 Turbo
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 21:05:51 PM »
Here's a pic of mine from tonight

NURBURGRING CHALLENGE :-D

Offline djrobski99

  • Trade Count: (1)
  • Calibra Pro
  • Posts: 570
  • Respect 2
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally DTM
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2010, 22:56:07 PM »
Just remember folks - the more wattage the more likelyhood the reflector in the headlight will melt - I had this when I uprated my bulbs due to the crappy lack of light the standard lights give out - failed its MOT - but when I replaced them - they were just as bad.....but got the pass paperwork....

Offline Dajanitor

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Calibra Pro
  • Posts: 1283
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 16v Ecotec
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 22:57:37 PM »
Just remember folks - the more wattage the more likelyhood the reflector in the headlight will melt - I had this when I uprated my bulbs due to the crappy lack of light the standard lights give out - failed its MOT - but when I replaced them - they were just as bad.....but got the pass paperwork....

There arent any higher than 55 watt AFAIK,

They typically are 35w. So unlikely mate with HID's LOL.

Offline Mr V

  • Trade Count: (12)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 31229
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Other Brand
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 22:58:15 PM »
Just remember folks - the more wattage the more likelyhood the reflector in the headlight will melt - I had this when I uprated my bulbs due to the crappy lack of light the standard lights give out - failed its MOT - but when I replaced them - they were just as bad.....but got the pass paperwork....

One good thing about HID's .......Most are 35watts ;)

Offline Bazv6er

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Calibra Expert
  • Posts: 1512
  • Respect 0
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 2.5i v6
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 12:47:46 PM »
a definate mod to go with , mine were already installed on my v6 when i bought the car but so much better as to candle light.
these were pretty good lights on the 16v which i got from ebay which are sort of like HID effect



and now the HID transformation...



"180.2 BHP recorded on the Torque of the Devil Dyno on the 27th March 2010"

Offline lammy

  • Trade Count: (4)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 5462
  • Respect 2
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 2.5i v6
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2010, 12:53:35 PM »
Clear lenses now?...even better...

Offline DanSE4

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Calibra Mentor
  • Posts: 17169
  • Respect 11
  • Gender: Male
    • Cally 3.2i v6
Re: Guide: Upgrading your headlights (:HID)
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2010, 12:57:27 PM »
If I ever drove mine in the dark I would think about it but I don't, so I won't! :D
Calibra SE4 3.2 V6 & F28 - On-going project.
BMW E91 320d Daily "w*nker" Car
The Missis's BMW E90 330i "w*nkerette" Car