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Discussion Starter #1
On my previous car, I upgraded the lights to european projector headlamps and added HID lamps. I believe at the time they only had 90 watt upgrade kits.

After driving my new volt for 3 days, my one issue is with the lack of HID lamps.

It looks now that they sell two varieties of HID upgrades: 55watt and 35 watt - unlike the ones I purchased years ago.
Has anyone considered doing the upgrade on their to HID lamps?
Would the 35 watt be worth the upgrade in terms of brightness and decreased energy use?

It appears that the:
55w HIR lamps in the Volt product ~1800 lumens
55W Halogens ~1200-1400 lumens
35W HID ~2700
55W HID ~3700


(I got these values from a HID upgrade website....So they may be a little off)

Based on these numbers it looks like a 35 W HID upgrade will result in both increased light output and energy savings. Whereas the 55 W HID kits will just improve light output.
(I realize that increasing output may increase light spillage onto on coming traffic...yet since the volt has projector headlamps the aim could be adjusted to minimize that potential)


Any thoughts?
 

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I would LOVE to switch my lamps out. I traded in my 335 for the Volt and that's my one and only complaint - that the headlights aren't bright enough. I will let you know if I find anything out from my end... if it's possible, I will switch mine out asap.
 

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I have done several HID conversions, the 35 Watt Kit is Bright enough to Blind oncoming traffic and see everywhere. It is a huge upgrade and an energy savings!

I like the 35 Watt Kitts personally, the 55's are slightly brighter but its really not worth it to go 55. 35 Will be a signifigant increase and with the projectors and a little bit of adjustment should be Very nice. Plus most kits these days are Plug and Play.
 

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35w is the way to go. The 55's just throw too much of a glare and cost money.

I have already made preparations and done some research. The Volt has an AMAZINGLY easy to reach headlight assembly. The cap that goes over the bulb may be lost, but they are extremely easy to reach compared to the Priuses I have had previously. They are 100% compatible because the Volt has a single-filament bulb and uses an actuator to move shields around the bulb to achieve high and low beam. The beam itself seems to have a very sharp cutoff and it will look really good. I am trying to decide what light kelvin to go with.

The 55w was extremely tempting. It would effectively be the brightest headlights I have ever had in a car. They cost more, and I'm scared that I will be blinding people. There's a 10% chance I will go with 55w, but a 90% I will go with the 35w.
 

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35w is the way to go. The 55's just throw too much of a glare and cost money.

I have already made preparations and done some research. The Volt has an AMAZINGLY easy to reach headlight assembly. The cap that goes over the bulb may be lost, but they are extremely easy to reach compared to the Priuses I have had previously. They are 100% compatible because the Volt has a single-filament bulb and uses an actuator to move shields around the bulb to achieve high and low beam. The beam itself seems to have a very sharp cutoff and it will look really good. I am trying to decide what light kelvin to go with.

The 55w was extremely tempting. It would effectively be the brightest headlights I have ever had in a car. They cost more, and I'm scared that I will be blinding people. There's a 10% chance I will go with 55w, but a 90% I will go with the 35w.
Please let us know how it works out after you replace the bulbs.
 

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6k on a 35w system would be perfect for the Volt. Very bright without washing out. The shop with the best warranty and kit quality for the money are at www.ddmtuning.com

Used them on several cars, just giving them a plug for a nice quality product versus all the junk knockoff HID kits out there.
 

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I ordered a 55w 6000k kit. I didn't want 6000k, I want oem 4300k (kelvin temperature, gives the light it's color.) However, I read several places that 55w is actually lower on the scale from being extra washed out than the 35w kits. So, that brings the color level down to where I wanted it.

So, next point. You want to get a kit that has "true 55w ballast," and "true 55w bulb." Or, rather 50w. Apparently they say 55, but it's really 50. A lot of confusion out there on HID kits. Then you want to make sure to get a digital ballast. They are apparently the best, they do a softer warm-up and prolong the life of the bulb while giving the light a better look, and offering many safety features and self-protection features to the bulb.

Brands.. well except for a few really expensive premium kits like apexcon, ddm, and prolumen, I couldn't really vouch for a brand. Usually I would go with a slightly cheaper one, go with your gut. Try to find one that looks good quality. So many are built cheap no matter what, others are cheap knockoffs. Phillips/hella was always the best. Now apparently phillips doesn't actually make ballasts so, all them are fake. However one kit seems to be made by a company that is licensed to make phillips "bulbs." If you want to go with high quality stuff, phillips tends to set the bar. There are "phillips trademark" bulbs or some sort of wording. Then there are "phillips oem, made in germany" bulbs.

Long story, it's a HUGE mess. I can personally say stay the heck away from "Xentec." I have had terrible luck after buying 2 kits. They are the bottom of the line, offered by tons of resellers because they are like the chinese walmart-version of an HID kit. The products have no warranty regardless of what they claim.

The kits are all kind of crappy. If you spend a lot, your basically paying for a warranty that might pay off. If you pay less and go cheap, you might have to pay again, but it might be the same price. /shrug.

Another consideration/thought is to look for screws on the ballast. Might stay away from those, and/or look for rubber-injected ones. They are completely water proof and encased in rubber.
 

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I also wanted to note, the projector units in the Volt are extremely well aimed and have sharp cutoffs. That is why I felt I could go with the 55/50w bulb. I did it with one other consideration in mind too. I am unsure if the car monitors the headlights. I think I read somewhere there is a message it will display alerting you to a headlight failure, or a signal light failure. So, I am kinda guessing that it would trigger that by using a 35w HID kit. There are solutions, and at 35w it might not. /shrug.

The other consideration is that the headlight bulbs in the Volt are HIR. They have a spherical shape and reflect the IR energy back at the filament to make it run hotter and brighter. They actually achieve a near-HID lumen level. Now, that being said I think the lights are still quite dim compared to my 2010 Prius, and I think the 2010 Prius is very dim compared to the BMW I traded in for it. So, I'm quite ready to go to a very nice bright light.

Other word of warning, I heard that the 9006 bulb will fit the socket for our Volts, however you will want to compare both the old bulb, and the bulb you are putting it. There is apparently some sort of difference in the tab. If I remember right, one of the tabs might be smaller than the stock tab. (It's the only kit that will fit though.) SO, make sure you install things nice and tight on that back cover. I think you drill it and install a falange thing. So, get that tight so that vapors won't enter and cloud up the housing.

Well, I did lots of research to reach this level of "knowledge." It was nuts, but I wanted to throw the information up here. Sorry if I was all over the place.
 

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Better bulbs needed!

Any update on this? The stock headlights just don't cut it on dark (especially unlit or non-highway) roads at night. Need more light intensity! My previous car had low-beam HID and were far superior. My wife's car has bi-xenon and they are like driving in daylight when the high-beams are on.

If anyone has found a better bulb for the units, that actually increases light output, please let it be known here. I'm fine with HID conversions with ballasts, brighter bulbs etc... as long as they really work! (otherwise I'm headed to rigidindustries.com and buing a nice, fat LED bar to ruin my aero but provide the light I need.)

Regards,
 

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Anyone?

I'm looking for headlamps (actually, all of the front lamps) like shown here:



Though I do like the looks - I want brighter light output!

Anyone? Thanks!
 

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ddmtuning.com lifetime warranty, and they sell an excellent quality HID kit. 6000k is about the right light temperature you are looking for for the optimal light output without washing out. I use them on my cars now and intend to install a set in my Volt when I can get one.
 

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ddmtuning.com lifetime warranty, and they sell an excellent quality HID kit...intend to install a set in my Volt when I can get one.
Any particular kit you use or recommend? Have you been in touch with DDM Tuning about Volt installations?
 

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unfortunatly I do not have a Volt, I hope to buy one in a year or so,but for my previous cars they did not have factory HIDs I have found that v-leds(dot)com have some really great kits, I have bought 2 kits from themone on my car and one for my dads car. they have not burnt out or had an flickering effect like some companies do. I have also installed some of their LEDs in my car and really like them.
 

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These LED's look like they might make a good upgrade to the backup light. Even though it's almost like a headlight, it's still a little weak for the backup camera at night.

Anyone considering increasing the output of that light?

unfortunatly I do not have a Volt, I hope to buy one in a year or so,but for my previous cars they did not have factory HIDs I have found that v-leds(dot)com have some really great kits, I have bought 2 kits from themone on my car and one for my dads car. they have not burnt out or had an flickering effect like some companies do. I have also installed some of their LEDs in my car and really like them.
 

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Anyone considering increasing the output of that light?
Thinking about it. Either upgrading the backup light, or augmenting it with outrigger LEDs in the bumper. The light it produces isn't bad, but it's not wide enough if you're turning while backing IMHO. I don't think the light in the middle could produce much wider an arc than it does, I just think it needs more help.

I'll wait for the maintenance manual to see what a PITA taking the bumper apart would be.
 

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I have that doc that WOT sent me. PM me your email and I will send it to you.

It looks like you just have to remove the lower pan and you can get to that light. I saw the light off when my car was being painted, but I wasn't there when it was removed to know for sure.

Thinking about it. Either upgrading the backup light, or augmenting it with outrigger LEDs in the bumper. The light it produces isn't bad, but it's not wide enough if you're turning while backing IMHO. I don't think the light in the middle could produce much wider an arc than it does, I just think it needs more help.

I'll wait for the maintenance manual to see what a PITA taking the bumper apart would be.
 

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I don't think the light in the middle could produce much wider an arc than it does, I just think it needs more help.
From that same website v-leds(dot)com, although it is expensive ($59.99) Its a license plate frame with built in White LEDs to light up the back. It is kind of worth it for added safety at night and to increase the rearward visibality with the back up camera at night, not to mention for the visibility out the rear hatch. Do you think that such a license plate will interfear with the back up camera and the location? or even with the power draw from the battery?http://www.v-leds.com/Exterior-LED/License-Plate-LED/White-LED/V-LEDS-HIGH-POWER-18W-p7516915.html

What do you think? worth it or not?
 

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I emailed v-leds and they said the headlight bulb 9012 in the Volt is a modified 9005 so maybe a 9005 will work good in the Volt for HIDs
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I thought the same thing.

Purchased a cheap 9006 bulb at the autoparts store the other day. I attempted to remove the original bulb this weekend , and try to seat the 9006 in its place. If that fit, I was going to order a 35 watt 9006 HID kit. Looks like I would have to also cut at hole in the screw on cover and place a grommet to allow the high voltage wire to pass through.

Unfortunately I could not wiggle the original bulb out I did not have the patience to play with it any longer. Will try again with the cheap bulb this weekend post my results here.

Anyone that has pulled the original bulb out -- are there any tricks?.




Edit:
I incorrectly wrote 9005 previously in this post yet I meant 9006 --sorry.
 

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Anyone that has pulled the original bulb out -- are there any tricks?.
Did you follow the instructions in the owner's manual? It apparently screws out.

The owner's manual says the replacement bulb is an HIR2/9012. I did a very quick websearch, and randomly found this sight for HIL headlights. While it takes awhile to do it, it says the HIR1/9011 replaces a stock 9005/HB3 bulb, and the HIR2/9012 replaces a stock 9006/HB4 bulb.

Are you sure the 9005 is the right bulb to use?
 
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