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Lighting Enhancements for Speediness


We will cover basics of rigging up the front end of your car so you can see as much as possible as far ahead as possible - because theoretically you are interested in seeing, given your proclivity for speed, as evidenced by you reading this guide. We will not cover aftermarket fashionista modifications. If you want to add angel eyes, led strips, additional projector housings, paint your housings, or any of that fancy stuff, thats nice, go order it from someone, but there's no relation between that stuff and going faster.

On a first-gen car you can have housings which come with H11B halogen bulbs, or stock HIDs already in them. Your OEM HID low beams are bright and auto-leveling, though not incredibly bright. For a first-gen car your OEM fog lights are 881 halogen bulbs; because the car's stock fog housings are reflector housings, these stock bulbs are not very bright. However - your fog lights are the best and easiest place to amp up the heat for longer range visibility, especially in poor weather.

HID Temperature Selection for Visibility

As the temperature of a high-intensity-discharge electrode is increased, the color will change accordingly. The lower the temperature, the farther the light will actually be thrown, but the more yellow the light will be. Yellow light does not reflect nearly as much off water condensation and especially snow in the air, and thus is an excellent choice for areas with bad weather routinely. Now, you might think, great, lets throw 3k yellow HIDs in my low beams AND fogs and I'll double up on the awesome.

Technically you've got a point there; however, 9/10 municipalities and states prohibit a car from not having at least two white headlights facing forward. This means all-yellow rally car status isn't really for you if you want to drive on the street. Every now and again someone does it anyway, but its a risk you take and you also might look a little goofy driving around town with all yellow headlights.

That being said you may want to consider some more 'normal' low-beams, and stick with as pure a white light as possible to get good throw of light and clear illumination of objects in front of you without painting them a silly color. 6-7k is a good range to stick with for low beams; anything hotter than that will start reaching into the blue or purple color range, and also the hotter you go, the less throw you get. Therefore you may think you look badass with your 12k purples, however a 3k ugly yellow set of HIDs will throw much farther.

An ideal configuration for no-bullshit visibility would be -

- 6-7k HID Low Beams
- 3k HID Fog Lights

If your car did not come equipped with stock fogs, wiring up an independent switch is quite simple, and many DIYs exist on multiple forums, also you could learn the basics of electrical work, spend $10 at AutoZone and do it yourself like a Big Boy. Fog lights, due to their reflector housing, allow HID light to be thrown up, forward, and off to either side at nearly a ninety-degree angle. This makes for excellent off-road visibility. There's nothing you will NOT see.

**NOTE** When you put HID lights in your fog light reflector housings, you are throwing light farther and in directions the car's designers (and the US Dept of Transportation) never intended. While this is fantastic for nailing a canyon highway for fun at speed, and great for say - an endurance race that runs into the night, it will blind everyone on the road. You will likely get high-beams flashed at you.

DUAL PROJECTORS - these look cool, but they will not add much in the way of additional visibility as they are projecting an identical pair of lights to your already-existing low-beams, painting nearly the same area at the same brightness. Don't be sold on the notion this is somehow useful for high-speed visibility.
Brand Selection

With HIDs, like so many other things, you get what you pay for. Order from your reseller of choice. Slim ballasts vs. standard ballasts is an ease-of-installation issue, and as for wattage - some low-end brands will often use higher wattage ballasts to try and cover for poor quality lights/ballast components. Do not think that just because a set is higher wattage, it is necessarily brighter or better. A high-quality 33w set of HIDs will look as good or cleaner than a 55w set of Wal-Mart Specials.

Install relays in your circuit if you are adding fog lights to your car. Just do it, don't ask questions.