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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I recently upgraded from my 2012 Chevy Cruze Eco to a 2015 Cruze LT. We are going to be spending a lot more time traveling and on back Montana roads in the coming days. Among many other upgrades (which I will be posting shortly), I upgraded to 55W 6000k HID bulbs, with harness, etc. Now, before I get eaten alive for using HID's there's a couple things I'd like to point out:

  • I will actually be using/needing the additional light
  • I've ensured my headlights are adjusted to reduce the "passive" light (what's passing over the light-level and makes people blind)
Although my ego tells me to "shut up" because I love the white color, I can't help but feel that the HID's really aren't all that much brighter than OEM bulbs. By all accounts, the HID's I purchased should be (and seem to be) good quality, and considerably brighter. I'm thinking maybe this has to do with the focus and housing of the light, as they are longer than the OEM bulbs.

Before we project into the HID discussion-of-death, I could use some help on a few key things:
  1. Are there "brighter" lights? What would someone recommend?
  2. If it is the housing causing this, what can I do to fix it?
  3. I'm trying to avoid actually changing the headlights/housing altogether if possible
  4. Is there a reasonable way to keep the "white" color, and powerful lights that actually LOOK bright, with out purchasing new headlights?
Thanks a lot in advance; I appreciate everything this forum has contributed! (Long time lurker).
 

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In regard to HIDs and "I will actually be using/needing the additional light" - no you will not. You'll be spraying that extra light all over the place and not where you need it.

I'd suggest Philips x-treme vision bulbs and an upgraded wiring harness.

OR

Retrofit.
 

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As you found out, HID's are plenty bright but because they are installed in housings with reflectors designed for the depth of a conventional bulb the focal points are lost.
This ends up scattering the lighting in all directions (glare) and really doesn't provide the field depth you were hoping for.

For HID's to work, they have to be in a housing that has the correct reflector dimensions, so, the answer to your question is essentially along the lines of, you are halfway there.

I 've never looked much in availability of complete, balanced HID assemblys so I don't know about whats out there or if it even works.

Two of my cars are OE projector type...02 Camaro at the fog position and 09 Miata as headlamps......I really like the output and sharp cutoffs these have as well as inexpensive bulbs to replace.......I wouldn't be adverse to this design lamp and housing installed in the Cruze.

So, if you are using the original housings, about all I can suggest is something along the lines of Sylvania Silverstars or bulbs along that line......something designed around the reflectors of the housing.
Downside is it seems the higher output bulbs will have a shorter lifespen.....good news is they are comparatively easy to change on the Cruze.

BTW, I am one of those old guyz that sees stars for a bit after you pass in the opposite direction so I can tell you from experience, your day will come when you find these partially modified lighting systems blind you a bit......time can be evil.

Rob
 

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Pull the HIDs out and put a better bulb designed for our head lamp geometry or, if you really want HIDs, retrofit with a good projector lamp system. As you discovered, HIDs don't really help unless installed properly. I'd recommend fog lights but unless you got the RS trim you're out of luck in the 2015s. The OEM fog lamps in my 2012 ECO nearly double the near field illumination. The combination of fog and low beams is so bright that I almost never use my high beams.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pull the HIDs out and put a better bulb designed for our head lamp geometry or, if you really want HIDs, retrofit with a good projector lamp system. As you discovered, HIDs don't really help unless installed properly. I'd recommend fog lights but unless you got the RS trim you're out of luck in the 2015s. The OEM fog lamps in my 2012 ECO nearly double the near field illumination. The combination of fog and low beams is so bright that I almost never use my high beams.
Thank you guys for the insight, this is what I was looking for. The only reason I'm "set on HID's" is because I enjoy the color, but also the increased brightness (although it seems right now that's rendered useless). You as well as another member suggested using these in projector lamp systems. Would this still improve brightness in a lamp-system? My previous experience with lamps was incredibly dim (hehe, see what I did there?).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As you found out, HID's are plenty bright but because they are installed in housings with reflectors designed for the depth of a conventional bulb the focal points are lost.
This ends up scattering the lighting in all directions (glare) and really doesn't provide the field depth you were hoping for.

For HID's to work, they have to be in a housing that has the correct reflector dimensions, so, the answer to your question is essentially along the lines of, you are halfway there.

I 've never looked much in availability of complete, balanced HID assemblys so I don't know about whats out there or if it even works.

Two of my cars are OE projector type...02 Camaro at the fog position and 09 Miata as headlamps......I really like the output and sharp cutoffs these have as well as inexpensive bulbs to replace.......I wouldn't be adverse to this design lamp and housing installed in the Cruze.

So, if you are using the original housings, about all I can suggest is something along the lines of Sylvania Silverstars or bulbs along that line......something designed around the reflectors of the housing.
Downside is it seems the higher output bulbs will have a shorter lifespen.....good news is they are comparatively easy to change on the Cruze.

BTW, I am one of those old guyz that sees stars for a bit after you pass in the opposite direction so I can tell you from experience, your day will come when you find these partially modified lighting systems blind you a bit......time can be evil.

Rob
Thank you for the information Rob; this has been really helpful. So it sounds like one of two things has to happen. Either; 1) I go back to a florescent bulb and just get a brighter one that fits the current housing design, or 2) change the housing to projector type to help focus the HID's. I've come this far after installing the harnesses, and wiring, etc for the HID's and I do love the color, so I'll probably continue in that direction. My only fear is that after dumping a little more money into the correct housing, that the projector-style will make them just as lifeless and dim. In-site?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In regard to HIDs and "I will actually be using/needing the additional light" - no you will not. You'll be spraying that extra light all over the place and not where you need it.

I'd suggest Philips x-treme vision bulbs and an upgraded wiring harness.

OR

Retrofit.
What I meant by this was I will need/ be using more light than the average Joe, so, yes, I will be needing the additional light. For the record, "spraying light all over the place" and "not where I need it" is exactly why I came here for suggestions/help so don't be so quick to prove someone wrong...
 

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Yes, I'm glad you asked first rather than just sticking HIDs where they don't belong.

Retrofitting will definitely give you more lightout (see farther and wider) and a nice white color (5K would be my recommendation).
 

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Thats pretty much it......need to find housings designed around the HID bulb dimensions.

Like anything else, headamps are designed to be a balanced system.
Companies that offer the HID kits just provide the means to get that type bulb but generally have no interest in creating the foundation to maximize the lighting their product produces......just a quick buck thing geared around 'show not go'

Projecter systems use a more conventianal halogen lamp and create a more accurate lens/reflector foundation.
The actual brightness is along the lines of a normal output bulb but the focus is enhanced creating more depth.....the lighting is more 'pinpointed' top to bottom but side lighting stays about the same as a conventional reflector.

The lens itself acts alot like a magnifying glass pinpointing sunlight on a white sheet of paper........no, it won't start the car on fire that is in front of you but you get my drift.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Robby! So it sounds like I found an excuse to buy some cool new projector lamp system. When you said "the actual brightness is along the lines of a normal output bulb, but the focus...", is this meaning, once I move the HID's to a projector lamp system, they are going to lose their intensity? Or were you referring to a standard bulb with reflectors vs a standard bulb in projector?
 

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I'm referring to a standard bulb for the projector housing.

Simply put, correctly focussed bright beats poorly focussed brighter.....I assume you are going for light quality, not light quantity.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yup pretty much. Now that all my questions were answer by you kind gentlemen (cheers) I was trying to just get down to the nitt-gritty; will HID in Projector housing be brighter than my OEM lights in reflector housing :) Thanks!
 

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Yup pretty much. Now that all my questions were answer by you kind gentlemen (cheers) I was trying to just get down to the nitt-gritty; will HID in Projector housing be brighter than my OEM lights in reflector housing :) Thanks!
Most likely yes, assuming you have good projector housings.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Perfect. Then it looks like I'll be getting some new housing. What do you guys think about Spec D's? I've seen lots of good reviews, and at this point, I'm already out the HID's...
 

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i think if you added a set of 100.00 Rigid Dually Spot lamps to the factory fog location and wired them directly to the stock H.Beam you'd have more useable light down the road then any HID set-up alone. There are desent headlight bulbs that'll give a slightly more white appearance without the cheesy blue tint
 

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i think if you added a set of 100.00 Rigid Dually Spot lamps to the factory fog location and wired them directly to the stock H.Beam you'd have more useable light down the road then any HID set-up alone. There are desent headlight bulbs that'll give a slightly more white appearance without the cheesy blue tint
Already on it Classy! The 2015 comes with running LED lights already, and I really like them, so I'm probably going to just mod a spot to fit in the fog lights underneath them (plenty of plastic space) then tap into the HBeam line.
 

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Thanks guys, this community is awesome. In terms of retro fitting, I think it would make more sense for me to just pickup some aftermarket projector housing for my already installed HID s then to retro fit my current one. What I will probably do custom is bore out a spot for some hight quality fog lights, so depending on cost, i might have those guys do that.
 

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after my experience with hid's in factory housings my 2 cents is ....

1) don't do it, the light output is barely better
2) the time and effort it took to pass my inspection after being pulled over has been a big pita

retrofit or bust, i'm currently saving up for my retro.
 
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