My review of HID Projectors. - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 98 Old 03-25-2012, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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My review of HID Projectors.

First impression; Upon opening the box...
Damn these things look sexy!
Wow, there are well written instructions in correct English!
Nicely packaged including the wiring harnesses and various modules.
Well sealed back side with rubber boot-style gasket
Nice flatter profile lens, with less convex than the JK lens.




Upon further inspection; A slight cosmetic disappointment.
Not sure if the sealant peeled back a little or if this area just didn't get painted very well. It's the same along the bottom of both lights, but one worse than the other.
I guess I can live with this, but they already got quite a bit of attention while we were out testing them tonight. So if you're anything like me, a little more attention to detail would be welcomed. My eyes are drawn to this every time I look at them. Easy fix, but unfortunately NOT after they have been glued shut.


Let's install these bad boys!
I'm waiting for the 55W ballasts. So Tom advised me that I could just run them off my existing 35W ballasts for now, until the new ballasts arrive next week
They plugged directly into my system and they were installed in 10 minutes. The housings fit perfectly into the JK sockets and the JK bezels snug them into place exactly the same as the stock ones . PERFECT FIT!






Here are some pictures showing the cuttoff pattern. Very sharp and precise. I was pretty impressed. The light output seems pretty respectable with my 4 year old 35W ballasts. I suspect it will only get better with the new 55W ballasts when they come in.
I was able to aim them up quite a bit since I had previously aimed them way low with the other HID's in the JK housings, to avoid pissing people off in traffic.
Low beam at 25 feet...

High beam...


Video of low to high...


In traffic...


3 feet from garage door...


After driving around and making some adjustments at night for a couple hours;
Wow, still very pleased!! The high beam function is actually pretty great! I didn't expect it to work so well.
However, a couple concerns arise.
First, there seems to be some sort of moisture or maybe glue vapors developing inside one of the lights. May have something to do with the altitude change they went through when shipping to Colorado Springs at 6,000 feet, but they did not see a drop of water and it's been hot and dry here for the past few days. So not sure what to think about this. The mystery fog disappeared after 20 minutes of cool down. I'm sure Tom will advise.


Also, they get a bit hot. Probably not hot enough to worry about but I wonder if the heat will have any long-term effect on the silicone/glue used to bond these back together after assembly, or the paint used in the reflectors if you opt to have them painted.

Would I recommend these to you guys?
Hell yes!! Well worth the money. However, I hope that in the future the cosmetic issues that I mentioned will be addressed. Also the fog issue. I'll update this to inform you guys if the fog returns.

Thanks Tom for a great product! I'll be ordering another set for my 4-Door!
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post #2 of 98 Old 03-25-2012, 11:33 PM
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Maybe I'm a retard, but why does the light pattern have such a lean to it? Is that normal? That seems like thats not right. My factory lights don't do that. Shouldn't they be flat?

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post #3 of 98 Old 03-25-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
Maybe I'm a retard, but why does the light pattern have such a lean to it? Is that normal? That seems like thats not right. My factory lights don't do that. Shouldn't they be flat?
Good question. I've always known projector patterns to have a taper to them. But I've never had them on a Jeep before, so I sure hope it's normal because the lights key into the OEM buckets, so there is really no adjustability other than vertical aim.
I'm sure Tom will have some input on this...
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post #4 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Actually,
Upon closer inspection... it seems that my projectors are not perfectly aligned vertically with the housing, possibly causing the angled pattern.
Logic tells me that the bottom of the projector should be where the ends of the angel eye meet. And that should be aligned vertically with the bottom of the housing. Mine both seem to be off a bit. Not sure it that's intentional or not though...??

Last edited by Co4Lo; 03-26-2012 at 07:22 AM.
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post #5 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Also just re-read the instructions.
Step 12 states that after installation you need to ensure that the cutoff line is horizontal. So mine are obviously off.
Maybe there is a way to rotate the projector from behind the rubber boot. I'll check it out tomorrow.
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post #6 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 12:47 AM
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The cutoff is facing the wrong direction. Usually European and DOT lights have a slight flare up to the passenger side to light up the side of the road without blinding oncoming traffic. Your pattern is backwards from that. They look awesome!

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post #7 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 05:34 AM
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ya, i will second (or third) that the pattern isnt 100%. im agreeing on the projector needing to be adjusted in the housing.

other than that and the couple of little issues these look like they are going to be a great band for the buck. if the fogging issue can be adressed and the projector can easily be adjusted up and down for a nice flat cuttoff ill be putting in my order soon.


and thanks for the quick review.

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post #8 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 07:25 AM
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Thanks for the great and very honest review Co4Lo.

I'll address your questions one at a time:

First the cosmetic issue: When I build black housings the assembly process requires additional steps to be taken to reseal the lights. I use a black sealant and in your case I applied too much. This is 100% my fault. I'd be happy to take them back and reseal them for you if you'd like.

Your 55W ballasts were sent out this morning, priority mail. You should have them no later than Wednesday.

Mystery fog - let me know if this persists. Hopefully it was just a one time event, normailizing to the new altitude.

Heat - this is normal and I'm sure its not any hotter than your stock lights get. No issues with the sealant I've tested them up to 300 degrees.

Aiming - the others are right - your cutoff should be parallel to the ground and looks to be off by a few degrees. There are three indexing tabs on the back of the headlight that help seat the light into the stock bucket. Can you loosen the retaining ring and shift/twist the light counter clockwise a bit? If the indexing tabs prevent the light from moving we might have to file the tabs down to allow it to align.

They really do look great on your rig. Keep the feedback coming.

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post #9 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 07:26 AM
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These are nice! Looks like the light is a bright white. Im looking forward to getting those few questions answered. Did traffic seem to be bothered by the rising cutoff pattern?

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post #10 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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The JK's stock adjustment screw is used for the vertical adjustment. So that works fine.
But we gotta figure out if the projectors can be rotated in the housing to flatten out my pattern. Because that's obviously off. I'm surprised nobody brighted me when we were out driving...
Waiting on Tom to chime in on this issue...
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post #11 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 07:31 AM
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Definitley considering these over the average run-of-the-mill HID's I was going to get. But yeah, the cutoff should definitley be horizontal, with the driver's side aimed just a tad lower than the passenger side to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. Cut off looks nice and sharp, though, and the light output even with 35W seems pretty decent. And they certainly look bad ass!

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post #12 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Aiming - the others are right - your cutoff should be parallel to the ground and looks to be off by a few degrees. There are three indexing tabs on the back of the headlight that help seat the light into the stock bucket. Can you loosen the retaining ring and shift/twist the light counter clockwise a bit? If the indexing tabs prevent the light from moving we might have to file the tabs down to allow it to align.

They really do look great on your rig. Keep the feedback coming.
Thanks for the info Tom.
The indexing tabs are recessed a bit in the JK buckets and the light housings seat into them when seated (like a Lego fit). When seated, the housings sit flush with the bucket's outer diameter. If I rotate the housing, the lights would not sit flush in the buckets.
So I should dremel some material off the housing's tabs allowing me to rotate it while keepig it seated, correct?
The projectors cannot be rotated in the housing? That would be ideal. Rotating the entire assembly will make them look crooked since the housings are clearly marked "Top" and the lines in the lens are parallel to the "Top" marking.
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post #13 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 08:00 AM
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subbed...

They look amazing... interested in seeing how it all plays out...

on the mod list if everything gets worked out in the end.

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post #14 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for the info Tom.
The indexing tabs are recessed a bit in the JK buckets and the light housings seat into them when seated (like a Lego fit). When seated, the housings sit flush with the bucket's outer diameter. If I rotate the housing, the lights would not sit flush in the buckets.
So I should dremel some material off the housing's tabs allowing me to rotate it while keepig it seated, correct?
The projectors cannot be rotated in the housing? That would be ideal. Rotating the entire assembly will make them look crooked since the housings are clearly marked "Top" and the lines in the lens are parallel to the "Top" marking.
Yes on the dremel. Take a little off at a time and go slow. When I get home this evening I'll look to see what mods I can make to seat the projector in the housing at a different angle. I use an internal indexing tab to align the projector in the housing - as you've stated that would make things easier on the end user so I will certainly look into this as well.

Your set wont be able to be re-indexed without some work. If you dont want to go the dremel route I can make this adjustment for you and clean up the sealant as well if you'd prefer to send them back.

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post #15 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 09:03 AM
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Those are the first aftermarket lights I like in a JK.
Subscribed to this thread. Will be saving the $$$ to get these.
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post #16 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Yes on the dremel. Take a little off at a time and go slow. When I get home this evening I'll look to see what mods I can make to seat the projector in the housing at a different angle. I use an internal indexing tab to align the projector in the housing - as you've stated that would make things easier on the end user so I will certainly look into this as well.

Your set wont be able to be re-indexed without some work. If you dont want to go the dremel route I can make this adjustment for you and clean up the sealant as well if you'd prefer to send them back.
Well, YES to that. And that's a great customer service!
BUT, I leave for Moab in less than a week. So I'm not gonna have time to do this till I get back.
I would rather have the projectors aligned with the housings so that the pattern is flat and everything looks straight. Thanks for the offer. We can work that out via email.
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post #17 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 09:55 AM
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absolutely excellent customer service here.

Tom, ill try and get together what i want and shoot you a PM sometimes today for a quote.
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post #18 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 10:00 AM
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Well, YES to that. And that's a great customer service!
BUT, I leave for Moab in less than a week. So I'm not gonna have time to do this till I get back.
I would rather have the projectors aligned with the housings so that the pattern is flat and everything looks straight. Thanks for the offer. We can work that out via email.
No problem - you have my email. Unfortunately the guinea pig has to endure some issues before we have everything ironed out. Thanks for being a good sport about it.

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absolutely excellent customer service here.

Tom, ill try and get together what i want and shoot you a PM sometimes today for a quote.
I'll stop singing kumbaya in a minute but honestly - whats the point of a product if you guys aren't happy with the result? Selling a product thats not well-received is bad for everyone. If I can make it right it benefits us all in the end.

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post #19 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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No problem - you have my email. Unfortunately the guinea pig has to endure some issues before we have everything ironed out. Thanks for being a good sport about it.
No worries at all. I think that the issues are minor. And your willingness to make changes to better the product is great. I'm glad I can be a part of it.

I'll get these shipped back to you for fine-tuning when I get back from Moab. Thanks Tom!
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post #20 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 10:48 AM
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No worries at all. I think that the issues are minor. And your willingness to make changes to better the product is great. I'm glad I can be a part of it.

I'll get these shipped back to you for fine-tuning when I get back from Moab. Thanks Tom!
I'm looking into a different type of sealant that wont make as much of a mess so we can avoid this in the future.

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post #21 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 01:26 PM
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Sorry, but that isn't good customer service. Those indexing tabs don't allow movement and cutting them off and rotating them seems hack to me. The projectors were indexed wrong when you installed them. That's the problem. The lights need to be taken apart and fixed. That is the only solution.

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post #22 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, but that isn't good customer service. Those indexing tabs don't allow movement and cutting them off and rotating them seems hack to me. The projectors were indexed wrong when you installed them. That's the problem. The lights need to be taken apart and fixed. That is the only solution.
And that's what he agreed to do. How is that not good customer service?
I bet that it won't happen again either.
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post #23 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 02:14 PM
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Yes on the dremel. Take a little off at a time and go slow. When I get home this evening I'll look to see what mods I can make to seat the projector in the housing at a different angle. I use an internal indexing tab to align the projector in the housing - as you've stated that would make things easier on the end user so I will certainly look into this as well.

Your set wont be able to be re-indexed without some work. If you dont want to go the dremel route I can make this adjustment for you and clean up the sealant as well if you'd prefer to send them back.
Suggests the work around, or the ability to send them back and he will fix them the proper way which ever the customer would rather do.

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Sorry, but that isn't good customer service. Those indexing tabs don't allow movement and cutting them off and rotating them seems hack to me. The projectors were indexed wrong when you installed them. That's the problem. The lights need to be taken apart and fixed. That is the only solution.
It was a suggestion if he didn't want to send them back, his other option was exactly what you are saying he should do. Seems very clear he would do if the customer wanted him to.

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And that's what he agreed to do. How is that not good customer service?
I bet that it won't happen again either.
Kinda gotta agree with this...
Dude took full blame for both issues, offered to fix both issues, and explained how being the test dummy was going to yield some frustrations...
I think for how he is responding over all to the situation its pretty damn cool of him. This is not a manufacturer were talking about with the ability to check a box on a program and have another one sent out overnight... he is hand making these per request...

When I pay for something like this I want to know that the maker is going have my back regardless... Everyone Bashes the shit out of smittybilt products yet they went above and beyond when I had a problem with them, and sent me all new stuff... this guy doesn't have the ability to just send out another set of one off lights... instead he committed to do whatever the client wanted to to make it right...

Thats why I will be buying a smittybilt front bumper when the time comes... and why when I decide to go with new lights up front, I am going to be calling on this guy...

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post #24 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 02:22 PM
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Maybe my post sounded harsh. I didn't mean to imply he was a douche and wasn't trying to fix it. However, I just don't think he should have led with that suggestion either.

In a pinch, such as leaving soon for Moab, you do what you have to do. That would be appropriate for a vendor to then say, "or you could try this..." but he should have offered a replacement set or a fix first and foremost seeing as it's his mistake and he is responsible to fix it.

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post #25 of 98 Old 03-26-2012, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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It's all good.
Keep in mind that he's just a dude. And already, he's leading with a lot more proffessionalism than many companies.
He knows I'm leaving for Moab soon and I know I would rather have him fix it the right way. So no worries.
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