Headlights are like the eyes of a car or truck, both in terms of function and style. Obviously, headlights are tools for visibility. But they are also important in providing a vehicle with a distinctive look, just as the shape and color of our eyes make one face distinguishable from another. Trying these headlight upgrades on your car or truck is like giving it a fresh set of eyes with improved nighttime vision or a more customized look.
Remove Headlight Haze
If you drive an older vehicle with hazy or yellowed plastic headlight lenses, you can easily improve both style and safety by polishing the lenses using this 3M kit. We tried it on a ten-year-old car with great results. Not only did the car look better, the headlights proved much more effective at lighting the roadway at night. The 3M Headlight Restoration Kit is an ideal DIY solution: quick, easy and cost-effective.
Replace Your Headlight Capsules
Halogens are the standard for modern cars and light trucks. Halogen bulbs are part of a capsule that can be easily replaced with premium capsules from NAPA Lamps for unique style and better visibility. Three options are available: LongLite, WhiteLite and SafetyLite.
LongLite capsules are 80% brighter and provide a 120-foot longer view than original equipment halogens. WhiteLite capsules match the output of the LongLite option at about 1,500 lumens, but provide a cooler, whiter light similar to HID headlights. SafetyLite is NAPA’s ultra premium capsule that produces about 1,600 lumens and uses a tri-color coating to reduce glare to oncoming drivers while effectively lighting a wide area with bright, white light.
Upgrading your headlights with NAPA Lamps Premium Halogen capsules not only improves nighttime driving safety but also freshens the look of your car or truck.
Upgrade Your Bulbs
In an earlier article on the Know How blog, we examined HID headlights that use a high-voltage xenon arc lamp instead of an incandescent bulb like a halogen. Street Glow White Xenon capsules bridge the gap between pricey HID conversions and conventional halogens.
The look is cool blue, similar to HID lights. But as with NAPA Lamps Premium Halogens, upgrading is as simple as unplugging the old capsules and fitting in new ones. Choose Street Glow White Xenon capsules for the look of HID without the expense of conversion.
Replace Old HID Bulbs
Although still reserved mostly for high-end vehicles, HID headlamps have been available on new cars for about 15 years now. So, plenty of drivers already own cars or trucks with HID or xenon headlight systems. HID bulbs are brighter and longer-lasting than halogens, and HIDs direct light better and more evenly. But intensity drops over time. If you drive an older vehicle equipped with HIDs, it may be time to replace bulbs.
Matt Kossoff, automotive lighting expert and owner of The Retrofit Source, says an HID bulb loses about 70% of its intensity as it reaches the end of its 2,000-hour life span. He recommends replacing aging HID bulbs to restore their original performance.
Install A HID Kit
Conversions to HID lights are the specialty of Kossoff’s The Retrofit Source. Handy DIYers can make the switch with HID ballasts and bulbs. Vehicles equipped with projector-beam halogens are easier to convert. Those with reflector headlights need to add projectors along with the HID bulbs and ballasts.
Converting to HID seriously boosts output, typically to around 3,200 lumens. Furthermore, you’ll achieve a more modern and upscale look for your car or truck with cool, evenly distributed light.
Check out all the lighting parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on headlight upgrades, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Nick Palermo is a freelance automotive writer and NAPA Know How blogger. Since becoming an auto news and reviews contributor at AutoTrader.com in 2011, he has broadened his coverage of the automotive industry to include topics like new car technology, antiques and classics, DIY maintenance and repair, industry news and motorsports. A committed advocate for automotive media professionals, Nick is a member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.