GM Volt Forum banner
41 - 52 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Just a spontaneous phone-cam photo from this morning. The Morimoto kit from TRS has a very nice amount of output at the upper center of the beam, and retains a good cutoff. It's pleasant on the highway. I just wish I could get un-tinted bulbs in the kit - even the 4500K has an obvious blue hue. I'm sure others would be very happy with the performance of this kit - it's good enough to have been released from the factory like this (beam is solid, poorer performing DOT-approved headlights have been released). I'll get a night parking-lot wall-shot when I'm out past dusk.

Still waiting on a dry weekend to do side by sides of various headlights. I'd say the main difference from most factory HID is the more narrow blue band, but I have no complaints about the overall beam width. Width has never been much of a concern of mine with projectors anyway - reflector-type headlamps are far more narrow. Old sealed beams were the worst of the worst for width.

Still keeping my 9012 halogens in the car as spares though! I don't trust even Morimoto for longevity, for nothing more than my doubt on any oem-level rigorous testing. I have no reason to believe they will fail though - we have a decade of improvements to have been made on aftermarket/low cost ballasts.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Are yours the Morimoto 2Stroke? I never had any flickering issues with mine whatsoever. What year is your Volt? Mine's a 2013. They've been perfect since I've installed them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Are yours the Morimoto 2Stroke? I never had any flickering issues with mine whatsoever. What year is your Volt? Mine's a 2013. They've been perfect since I've installed them.
I have the Morimoto 50 watt setup, with the CAN Bus, in my 2013. I've had it installed for 2+ years and have had no issues. I couldn't see at night before, now I can actually see. They are significantly brighter than stock. Only complaint is there is a dead spot in each light from the HID filament. I positioned them so that the dead spot is where oncoming traffic is and called it a day. They don't glare other drivers. I can't remember the exact temperature I ordered but it was the 'factory' looking temperature so they shine bright white light.

The only thing that baffles me about this thread is that anyone wouldn't believe there is an increase in light. The 35W HID bulbs at 4300k produce about 3200 lumens. It's near 4000 lumens with the 50W setup. Factory bulbs only output 1875 lumens. The reason why they look twice as bright is because they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
The only thing that baffles me about this thread is that anyone wouldn't believe there is an increase in light. The 35W HID bulbs at 4300k produce about 3200 lumens. It's near 4000 lumens with the 50W setup. Factory bulbs only output 1875 lumens. The reason why they look twice as bright is because they are.
A few reasons. One, poor quality bulbs may not actually be 3000+ lumens, even if the ballast pulls more Wattage. Second, you may get more light, but it can become useless foreground light. This harms general night vision for driving, where you need to see far and wide, not 20 feet in front of the vehicle. Third, if all the new light is lost behind the cutoff shield, then it doesn't help at all for low beams (see comparison with the DD HID bulbs in first post).

The Morimoto kit is slow to warm up when compared to factory setups, but the beam is good, output is increased where it needs to be, and the color after warmup is a nice neutral white.

I wouldn't typically try 50W HIDs as history has shown that it is likely to damage a projector's reflector coating, making all bulbs perform permanently worse after the damage is done. Since these projectors have higher Wattage (hir) bulbs from the factory though, I doubt they will be as negatively affected as some factory-HID setups that get higher Wattage aftermarket parts installed. Would be nice to see the inside of a Volt projector after a year of use with a 50W HID bulb.

Even with 35W HID, damage can occur if the reflector isn't designed to handle the different light and heat source distance that is emitted. Long term, any HID bulb has the potential to permanently damage the projector's reflector. Some bulbs are worse than others in this regard.

Edit:
Seen this type of damage years ago from 50W in place of factory-hid vehicle. Careful with this stuff!

https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/fo...17-hid-burning-a-hole-through-headlight/page2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
A few reasons. One, poor quality bulbs may not actually be 3000+ lumens, even if the ballast pulls more Wattage. Second, you may get more light, but it can become useless foreground light. This harms general night vision for driving, where you need to see far and wide, not 20 feet in front of the vehicle. Third, if all the new light is lost behind the cutoff shield, then it doesn't help at all for low beams (see comparison with the DD HID bulbs in first post).

The Morimoto kit is slow to warm up when compared to factory setups, but the beam is good, output is increased where it needs to be, and the color after warmup is a nice neutral white.

I wouldn't typically try 50W HIDs as history has shown that it is likely to damage a projector's reflector coating, making all bulbs perform permanently worse after the damage is done. Since these projectors have higher Wattage (hir) bulbs from the factory though, I doubt they will be as negatively affected as some factory-HID setups that get higher Wattage aftermarket parts installed. Would be nice to see the inside of a Volt projector after a year of use with a 50W HID bulb.

Even with 35W HID, damage can occur if the reflector isn't designed to handle the different light and heat source distance that is emitted. Long term, any HID bulb has the potential to permanently damage the projector's reflector. Some bulbs are worse than others in this regard.

Edit:
Seen this type of damage years ago from 50W in place of factory-hid vehicle. Careful with this stuff!

https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/fo...17-hid-burning-a-hole-through-headlight/page2
You're thinking of LED bulbs as only foreground light. Morimoto kits are up to full brightness by the time the seatbelt is buckled. I have a projector from a volt with a burn spot from halogen use. Very small but it's there.

So get a quality HID kit and your ahead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
You're thinking of LED bulbs as only foreground light. Morimoto kits are up to full brightness by the time the seatbelt is buckled. I have a projector from a volt with a burn spot from halogen use. Very small but it's there.
No, any bulb with the light source aligned poorly will have poor light distribution. LED is far more likely since the emitters are far from the original location, but simply re-based D2S bulbs can perform just as poorly. That is all that I'm saying - any bulb that deviates far from the original point source will illuminate poorly.

You can compare the Morimoto setup to a factory one, and see that they don't warm up nearly as quickly. The best controlled test for this is on the bench at 12V and 14V. Full output and color shift is closer to a minute, whereas all the OEM I've used is in the 10-15 second range, with the cold-start blue hue on the oldest systems only visible in the 0~5 second range.

Bulb swaps should soon be a thing of the past though. (Decent) factory LED options taking over is a good thing. I expect the Volt to be my last car purchase that doesn't come with LED headlamps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
No, any bulb with the light source aligned poorly will have poor light distribution. LED is far more likely since the emitters are far from the original location, but simply re-based D2S bulbs can perform just as poorly. That is all that I'm saying - any bulb that deviates far from the original point source will illuminate poorly.

You can compare the Morimoto setup to a factory one, and see that they don't warm up nearly as quickly. The best controlled test for this is on the bench at 12V and 14V. Full output and color shift is closer to a minute, whereas all the OEM I've used is in the 10-15 second range, with the cold-start blue hue on the oldest systems only visible in the 0~5 second range.

Bulb swaps should soon be a thing of the past though. (Decent) factory LED options taking over is a good thing. I expect the Volt to be my last car purchase that doesn't come with LED headlamps.
My morimoto setup with D2S bulbs warms up just as quickly as my RX8. Less than 10-15 seconds to full brightness. Idk what's wrong with your setup but something is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
My morimoto setup with D2S bulbs warms up just as quickly as my RX8. Less than 10-15 seconds to full brightness. Idk what's wrong with your setup but something is.
Good to know. I'll look into it at some point. Probably make a harness and try the ballasts with name-brand bulbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
9012 HID kit from Diode Dynamics is very good

I got the 9012 HID kit from Diode Dynamics - their 4300k with Hylux 2A88 35w ballast and can recommend it highly.

I installed only one so far, on the drivers side, and I'm very happy with the brightness improvement and that the beam pattern is no higher than the stock halogens as well as a little bit wider. The width on the stock halogen setup is its worst attribute, I'm happy for any improvement there. These really are much better illumination, I should have gotten them sooner.

I'd been looking at lightning options for a while, and even in pro-LED posts and sites I kept seeing reference like "these are the best LEDs made, we're happy to sell them to you, but HIDs are better, especially for projector headlights."

I didn't know the Hylux brand of ballast, and weary of it being just a rebrand of generic HID, googled it. When I saw that it was also offered by The Retrofit Source, that was enough to sway me to try it out - everyone speaks highly of the products offered from them, and the reviews there were good, as well as some good reviews for this setup on the this forum. Without the Labor day discount from Diode Dynamics that I was able to use, these actually seem cheaper at TRS...

Construction and material quality are good on the ballast and supplied wiring. This ballast has the noise filter ( labelled as 'error canceller" and often called CANBUS canceller) integrated into the input wiring. This saves a connection, but makes installation a little less flexible because of the fixed 4" length between the ballast the the filter. There's also a slightly smaller block in the leads to the bulb that is the ignitor that has to be secured. The kit includes a small, well built harness and bushing that installs in the dust caps to pass the wires into/out of the headlight assembly. I installed this using adhesive backed Velcro; if this doesn't hold up, I'll use the included 3M adhesive pads.

Here's a very casually done photo - I've read the comments that tell shooting at an angle skews perceived brightness.
Vehicle Automotive design Car Supercar Hood

All in all a very practical mod.

Lumos

2014 Gen 1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,439 Posts
^ Great review and comments. Thanks for posting. It looks like you have a great headlight upgrade there. I agree with your comments about the width of the OEM beam being a key weakness. I installed the LED upgrade, and while it was a huge improvement over stock, it still left me a little disappointed, especially with beam width. But I did like the easier installation and probable increased lifespan. I then did the "diode mod" that turns on the DRL lights with headlights, and that did a lot to fill out and widen the beam. After that, I was happy with the headlights. So just a tip for those looking for beam width: that can be one way to improve it. I think the best switchback turn signal mods also help in this regard.
 
41 - 52 of 52 Posts
Top