Originally Posted by SilverForkPhil
Wow! - quite the selection, Scott!
I'm slowly working my way through them. Recommendations?
What are the differences between the different Projectors, Ballasts, Bulbs, Shrouds, Harnesses, etc? How does a neophyte select? I understand the different wattages, etc,, but what's compatible with what and where's the best bang for the buck?
Maybe a PM or phone call would be easier?
I'd like to use my existing housings, but how long do I need to plan on them being out, or do you have a core exchange program?
The options are intense for sure! I will touch on the basics and if we need further detail we can go from there. For reference, these options apply to most of the retrofits available.
The standard option is a basic Mini H1 bixenon unit. They are hi/low beam functional and feature a clear lens for a nice output and cutoff line. They are quite nice for an entry level setup and offer a night and day difference over the stock headlamps.
The Morimoto Mini H1 V7 (seventh version) is a step above the basic version with improved bulb tuning and lens optics. The result is a projector capable of higher output than the basic H1 unit. I don't typically stock these units but they are available in short order.
The Morimoto D2S 4.0 is the crown jewel in the threaded shaft retrofit world. They offer excellent output (width and intensity) and use an OEM based D2S bulb. This offers an advantage as one can spec much higher quality bulbs (this setup carries a premium price tag but the output reflects the cost).
Projectors are a permanent selection as they cannot be changed once the setup is complete without pulling the whole setup apart again.
Standard bulbs are basic aftermarket based H1 units that carry a lower price tag and work quite well.
Morimoto XB bulbs (both H1 and D2S) are a step above the standard bulbs in terms of performance and reliability. They are offered in several color temps, but we always recommend something in the 4500-5500ēK temp for max output
OEM bulbs are available for the D2S projectors and are the highest quality, output and cost options available. We can provide these, but they are not listed as the average consumer has not asked for them.
Bulbs are up-gradable so this isn't a permanent decision
Simply put, shrouds are decorative items that surround the projector body. They come in many styles and some have additional functions like integrated led lighting that can be used for running lights or turn signals (Panamera LED and Mini X5-R). The shrouds that come as default with the kits are called the Mini Gatling and have a rather small overall diameter. With the larger housings featured in most of the vans and trucks, the Mini Gatling shrouds can look out of place compared to the upgraded Premium shroud options. Our recommendation is to upgrade the shrouds to provide a more purposeful and OEM appearance to the retrofit. There are many options available and can be seen at the following address:
Ballasts are an essential part of any HID lighting setup. They take the low current 12 volt DC (direct current) signal from your vehicle and invert it into a high current AC (alternating current) signal. HID bulbs require a high energy electrical arc to ignite the Xenon gas capsule. Ballasts also use high current to maintain that arc and adjust for changes in resistance in the circuit. There are several ballast options available as listed below:
Fast Bright 55w- Our basic ballast is the reliable and powerful Fast Bright 55w unit. Once turned on, they hit full intensity very quickly and offer a powerful and compact package with built in screw mounts. They feature an external igniter and use standard AMP male/female connectors to work with most aftermarket HID bulbs. These have two integrated mounting tabs.
Acme 35W- Another basic ballast option that we stock regularly. Despite the lower output rating, these output the same 55w as the Fast Brights. They feature standard AMP connections and have an external igniter. These have three integrated mounting tabs.
Morimoto XB35/XB50- These are the kings of the aftermarket HID lighting game. They come in two power levels, 35 watt or 50 watt and have an excellent warranty and reliability reputation. They are also able to grow with your lighting needs as they can be switched from standard AMP connections to a D2S OEM-style igniter. This is a handy feature in the event you upgrade your setup in the future. These ballasts also feature multiple screw tabs to make securing them a breeze.
The standard relay harnesses allow the headlight switch to be unloaded while the relay does all the hard work. They connect directly to the battery and have two additional grounds at each ballast connector. They feature a standard 9006 high beam plug and your choice of a 9007/9004, 9008/H13 or H4 input plug connector depending on which bulb your vehicle uses originally.
Morimoto MotoControl- Major upgrade to the standard harness that features sealed construction and premium waterproof connectors. The high beams are a 9006 male connector. We offer this harness in the standard 9007/9004, 9008/H13 or H4 input plug connector.
GM van lights require a modded bixenon harness to allow them to work with the split low beam/high beam stock wiring setup.
Demon eyes are simply an led array that is bolted within the projector assembly. They illuminate the projector bowl and lens when the headlights are not on and add a menacing effect to your custom lights. We sell Diode Dynamics units that have a controller that allows multiple color selections. These are recommended with the etched lens upgrade to further enhance the image on the lens.
Note- we only recommend using these with Morimoto X-Change modules that turns them off when the headlights are turned on. This prevents overheating and premature failure.
Halos are circular led rings that attached to the front or inside the projector shroud. They can be wired to operate as daytime running lights, turn signals, or to simply enhance the look of your lights and set you apart from the crowd. We offer Diode Dynamics HD Halos and Morimoto XSB and XC RGB halos in most of the popular sizes and arrangements to achieve the look you are after.
Note- we only recommend using the Morimoto units with Morimoto X-Change modules that turns them off when the headlights are turned on. This prevents overheating and premature failure.
Projector Lens Etching-
Have a company logo or theme for your vehicle that you want permanently engraved into the projector lens? If so, this option is all you! This process allows the lens to be etched with either your personal logo or a previously-used logo from the lighting experts over at The Retrofit Source. Cruise on over to their site www.theretrofitsource.com
and check out all the etching options, including the new Vantage Optics logo!
Hopefully this helps delineate any questions about this stuff. If you have further questions, feel free to ask or shoot me an email or phone call.
Attached are some examples of 08-up lights. The first four have the shroud upgrades and the fifth is the basic Mini Galing shroud with the upgraded halo on the face (white ring).
The 08-up lights take a lot longer to do since they are bonded together with PermaSeal, which is a silicone-type sealant that puts up a significant fight. Turnaround time is roughly one week from the time I receive the housings if all goes properly. This is custom work and variations do occur, but we do our best to minimize these issues. Turnaround time for the 92-07 options is usually a few days since we normally stock those items. Sealed beam retrofits take a few days as there are custom machined parts involved with them.