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H.I.D. "like" headlamps

Are you asking about installing the real HID systems, with the bulbs, ballasts, etc? (They're awesome, but pricey.) Or about the "superwhite" and similar "HID like" replacement bulbs only? (They change the color of the light but they don't look anything like real HID's.)
I had to replace two burnt bulbs in mine so I thought I would try the HID "like" lamps. (If I get a sec this afternoon I will send pics.) They are ok. I have found the color diffrence to make them appear brighter than the stock. The high beams are the best part. If you are looking for the look of HID don't get them. If you need to replace your bulbs and don't what to pay $$$ for HID these are a good step in that direction
I replaced the stock bulbs with 55-watt HID 'like' bulbs and I could not see a thing at night. I replaced them again with 85-watt bulbs and I think it's better than stock. The light is white instead of yellowish like the stock bulbs. I'm happy at a fraction of the cost.
Can the stock setup comfortably handle the 85-watt ones?

Also, would they exceed any legal/state limits?

I'd really like to do something about the OEM POS bulbs but don't want to spend the $$ for the full setup.
There are so many HID-wannabe bulbs out there that it's easy to get confused.

The 1st-gen HID-wannabes are usually higher wattage halogen w/ a blue tint. Because they're higher wattage and have a blue tint, I'd stay away from them like hell.

The 2nd-gen HID-wannabes (PIAA SuperWhites, Philips/Narva, etc.) are actually xenon-halogen bulbs w/ a slight blue-like filter, not a blue tint on them. Functionally, they aren't HID even though they have xenon in them. The xenon basically cools the bulb and this and they appear brighter, but in reality the light is actually whiter; the filter filters out the yellow light you'd find normal halogen bulbs. If you're going to get an HID-wannabe, I'd recommend these bulbs.

FWIW, it's really necessary to have some "incandescent yellow" in your headlights for rain and fog visibility. Yellow light has better clarity in these situations than blue light from the HID and HID-wannabes you see. I'd at least keep the foglamps as regular halogen bulbs.

Personally, I have a set of the 55W Philips/Narva xenon-halogen bulbs in my 300ZX. While they don't look as bright (and blue) as HID, they look closer to HID and better than those 85W blue-tint halogens.

Hope this helps!


[This message has been edited by mdoan300 (edited 19 March 2001).]
I purchased a harness with my 85-watt bulbs so that I wouldn't take chance in melting the factory plugs. This harness plug into one low beam and one hi beam bulb and then supplies you with 4 new plugs to connect to your 4 headlights. You get +12v from the batter (very easy as it is right up front) and it's a straight forward install. With this harness you can even run 100 watt hi-beams with no problem.
I installed the "wannabe HID bulbs" with the blue tint. I hate it. Riding down a blacktop road at night, I can't see a thing. Sure it looks different compared to the other cars when your see the NSX approaching. But I don't think the "look" outweights the safety. I have been wondering for some time if there was an aftermarket bulb available that would at least produce more light or help us see better at night. It would be an added plus if it was DOT legal. Since those HID wannabe bulbs are not DOT legal. So since we are on the topic who can recommend good aftermarket BULBS that can produce better sight without the blue bulb B.S.???
Most of those "superwhite" lights are 80W and higher. They are known to burn out or melt the connectors. Unless you don't mind taking the chance of melting the connectors, I wouldn't use them. I used it once on my NSX to see how much difference there would be compared to the normal lights, but replaced them after a few days due to poor visibility in the dark(especially when driving in roads w/ no street lamps).

A friend of mine had the PIAA Super Plasma bulbs on his car and the brightness was comparable to the normal bulbs, maybe slightly less. They are rated at 51W, but they were much brighter than the "superwhite" bulbs rated at 80W. They also project a purplish light instead of the blue light. Plus, they are pretty costly at above $100/pair. Lastly, I believe the Super Plasma(9006) are illegal in the states.

I have yet to see on the road any "superwhite" bulbs that resembles actual HIDs. They seem to be more for looks rather than for function.
Are you asking about installing the real HID systems, with the bulbs, ballasts, etc? (They're awesome, but pricey.)

BTW, the real HID systems are worth every penny. If you really care about getting better lighting on the road, they're the ONLY way to go.

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 19 March 2001).]
Personally, if visibility is the most important factor for you, then I'd stick w/ the stock halogen bulbs. Like I said in my previous post, yellow light offers better inclement weather road clarity than blueish or whitish light.

Also, bear in mind that brighter doesn't necessarily mean better visibility. Cars in the U.S. are equipped w/ headlamps to diffuse light and project it in a narrow, forward fashion. Cars in Europe are equipped w/ headlamps to diffuse light and project it in a wider fashion.

If you guys really wanna get funky, you'd go out and get a pair of European E-code bulbs. These bulbs look slightly different than DOT-legal bulbs.

There's a website that explains everything you need to know about headlamp bulbs: http://lighting.mbz.org


"There's a website that explains everything you need to know about headlamp bulbs: http://lighting.mbz.org

I have seen this site. It states a great deal of negatives about just about every type of lighting. From the "blue bulbs" to the HID wannabees to HID conversion kits and even downplayed the PIAA superwhites! There wasn't anything that would help me get the most out of my headlights in terms of information on which bulbs provide the best illumination from what companies and are DOT certified. There were directories to various lighting co. i.e. Philips but the links didn't lead to anything but a dead link page. Perhaps I should start a new post as to the best bulbs that people have bought that provided better than stock lighting.
The previous owner of my NSX installed some sort additional CATZ system. There are 4 smaller lights attached to the center front of the spoiler. I don't know what they are or aren't, but they're very bright, have high and low settings, and can switch either pair on and off. They also do a great job and are easily controlled from this little pad attached to the steering column. Says CATZ on it. Any of you guys know what it is? This seemed like a good thread to ask. any relation?

There is a Professional kit and it is the only one of its kind in the world that you can purchase for $600 with free shipping. The company is on the web and the address is http://www.autolamps-online.com/. This is the only plug and play kit available for the NSX. It will allow you to retain the “weather cap” it will be beam pattern correct, you will NOT have to modify anything including the “bulb retainer clip”. In fact you will be able to reinstall your halogens one day if need be with no problems! It is truly a “PLUG AND PLAY” kit. I have installed this kit in my car after my first costly and not successful attempt to convert. Moreover, so that others would not make the mistake that I did, I worked closely with autolamps-online to provide a kit specific for the NSX, which will be available any day now. I am also working with the http://www.nsxprime.com/ site and will be posting a Step by step instruction sheet in the “FAQ” section on how to do this conversion safely and most importantly easily! In fact, you will need no specialty tools to do the conversion. You just have to be able to use a 10mm wrench/socket and Phillips screwdriver and a couple of other hand tools. You will have what the NSX should have HID lighting! Take my word for it, I assure you, you will not regret it.