Lately, lots of folks behind the wheel are switching out their factory HID headlights for LEDs. Why? The original HID bulbs keep acting up or just wearing out too often. Moreover, going for a single HID bulb can set you back about $60, but that same budget can hook you up with a whole set of LED bulbs.
The method of replacing HID bulbs with LED bulbs can be categorized into [Plug and Play bulb] and [Universal bulb]. What are the differences between these two methods? Are both methods applicable to every car model?
Keep reading to find out how to make the right choice. The following explanation uses the common Japanese car models, specifically D2/D4, as examples.
Switching to plug and play bulbs means swapping out your HIDs for LEDs while keeping the original HIDs ballast in place. But, you've got to watch out for the D2/D4 series HID ballasts – they've got different internal settings. So, the plug and play LED lights come in D2 and D4 specifications, and you definitely shouldn't mix them up, or you might end up with some serious malfunctions.
Putting in a universal fit bulb is kind of like how we swap out regular halogen headlights for LEDs. The bulb's base matches the original fixture's base.
Check out the PA Universal Fit U9S – D2/D4: Purchase Link
So, remember earlier when we talked about the difference between HID D2/D4 being in the ballast's internal settings? The bulb bases for both are actually the same. That means the universal fit for D2/D4 can handle various original car models like D2S/D2R/D4S/D4R, all rocking the same base.
So, unless you're feeling like a DIY expert, it's probably a good idea to let the pros handle the install.
The cool thing about this method is that, from what we've seen, it works like a charm for almost all car models. For examples like HONDA and LEXUS with HID lights – they usually have tight space at the back, making this approach a perfect fit.
There's another way to switch from HID to LED: a complete headlight restoration.
For this, you'll need to went to a professional local auto workshop. They'll open up the headlight cover, remove the original HID projector (reflector cup), and replace it with a non-replaceable LED projector module kit. Finally, they'll carry out a meticulous sealing and reassembly process.
This method ensures the best brightness and light pattern effects. If the HID headlights are heavily fogged up and a simple bulb replacement won't do the trick, this is pretty much the only option left.
However, there are two downsides to keep in mind:
1. The price is on the higher side.
2. If the projector module break up in the future, you'll have to dismantle the entire headlight again. So, it's crucial to choose a shop carefully, and opt for a warranty that isn't too short.