Leon/Toledo HID Headlamp Guide/FAQ

Nathanio

Full Member
May 26, 2005
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West Sussex
www.w1pcs.co.uk
After a little chat with m0rk about the number of HID related enquiries recently it has been agreed to create a single resource on the subject. I will start it off and get as much as I can think about down and then help will be needed :p

Here we go

Leon/Toledo HID Guide/FAQ

What are HIDs?

HIDs or High Intensity Discharge bulbs is a new type of lighting technology that's primarily different from the conventional halogen bulbs that use a heated tungsten filament. Unlike Halogen lamps, High-Intensity-Discharge (HID) lamps don't have a filament but create light by the arc between two electrodes. The arc activates the Xenon, which in turn ignites the metal halide. The light produced by an HID Xenon lighting system is greater than a standard halogen bulb and with less power consumption. On the road, HID Xenon lighting systems appear as a bright white beam which resembles natural daylight. The bright white beam offers greater visibility and road safety.

In an HID Xenon lighting system, the voltage between the two electrodes rises firstly from 12V to 23000V and keeps stable at 8000V by using the Xenon HID ballasts system. Due to the ultra high voltage, the Xenon gas ionises and a super-bright beam is produced, whose colour temperature is up to 12000K. The HID Xenon lighting is much more economic, more stable and brighter than the conventional automobile lighting.
(source: Hids4U.co.uk website)


What do the colours relate to?

All HID kits come in a variety of colours ranging from 4300k to 12000k which describes the light (white ---> purple). A Kelvin is a measurement of thermodynamic temperature and is the colour.

Standard OEM units are 4300k and get their blue from the projector (it refractes through the prism) but generally for aftermarket units in the standard OEM Seat HU the 6000k unit is recommended


Are they legal

Common question and one that has no definite answers. If a Car comes with HIDs as standard have to have self levelling suspension and HU washers which obviously you can't do to your Leon/Toledo.

So as it stands cars are passing MOTs left right and center with them fitted. Autobulbsdirect has this on their website:

Are these HID systems road legal?
According to EU legislation HID systems factory fitted from new require a self levelling system and a lens washer to be fitted. However this is not specified for aftermarket kits. Our kits have passed all safety and emmissions tests and produce the correct light pattern. We know they will pass an MOT (original bulbs can be reinstalled in minutes if required without uninstalling the HID system). We are not aware of any legality issues in terms of the police. However this issue is a grey one with lots of confusion so until we can obtain official written proof either way, we must sell these for off road and display systems only.
I have not had a problem with mine at all I have been at the front of two police road blocks for an accident and millwall supporters and nothing was said (although the reflective strips looked awesome illuminated!) and they was traffic cops there too.

Make of it as you will and it is a grey area for aftermarket units.


Are HIDs really that much better?

Pictures speak a thousand words ;)



This is on my own car - HIDs in Dipped and Osram SilverStars (Best halogen bulbs available) in the mains. Yellow tint versus clear white light.



Again see how well defined the road signs are and how well the road is illuminated


If I choose to go with HIDs what kit do I need?

Well standard bulbs sizes! Dipped is H7s and Mains are H1. Personally I have got just dipped as 9/10 I don't need to switch to mains as the light is that much better! You can have both done but you will need two ballasts etc for the system. Personally I would try dips first and see how you get on.

I would recommend a kit from Hids4U (2yr warranty, good quality product and personal service) and would get the reduced length set just to make sure that the bulb doesn't hit the glare guard.


Are they easy to fit?

Dead easy! It took me about 45minutes (30 for first side and 15mins second side!) and I am no mechanic! It's all pretty self explanatory once you see the kit. Just make sure you have a drill and a 25mm screw bit (wood spade bit prob do fine). Always always test the kit before you install it so you don't have to take them apart if there is a fault!

Once you have installed them though I would suggest a trip to your local garage to check your head light alignment in case you knocked it out in install.


Maintenance....is there any?

Well no there shouldn't be any major problems due to the therotical life time use with no failures. However you will need to make sure you clean your headlight lenses to make sure they are free from dirt that could possibly freact the light and cause issues to oncoming drivers.


Pictures!

Think thats everything and here's the interesting bits!







Any more info, please PM me add it here and i'll add it in.

Cheers
 
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Nathanio

Full Member
May 26, 2005
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West Sussex
www.w1pcs.co.uk
Originally Posted by BX16V

You'll probably find that 'conflicting' will depend on the way the question is asked. Here's a copy of a letter sent by the DfT which I lifted from a thread on another forum:

Dear Sir,

The situation for Gas Discharge (HID High Intensity Discharge) (commonly known as Xenon) headlamps is complex.

I attach links to the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 which regulate the situation in the UK.
Under these Regulations Xenon headlamps are not mentioned and therefore they are not permitted according to the strict letter of the law.

However you will be well aware that new vehicles have Xenon headlamps. This is because they comply to European type approval Regulations. The UK cannot refuse to register a vehicle with a European type approval. These are to ECE Regulation 98 (for the Xenon headlamps which are tested on a rig in a laboratory) and ECE Regulation 48 (Lighting Installation on the vehicle).

For the aftermarket, a used vehicle cannot obtain type approval because it is only applicable for new vehicles. However we feel that saying "Xenon is banned in the aftermarket" would not be reasonable. Instead we should make analogies with new vehicles. It would be reasonable to require Xenon in the aftermarket to meet the same safety standards as on new vehicles. The same level of safety should apply.

Therefore a Xenon headlamp sold in the aftermarket should:

1. be type approved to ECE Regulation 98 as a component.
2. when fitted to the vehicle should enable ECE Regulation 48 to be complied with (although no government inspection will take place).
3, Comply with RVLR as far as "use" is concerned.

In practice this means:

1. The headlamp unit (outer lens, reflector, bulb) shall be type approved to ECE 98 and be "e-marked" to demonstrate this. That can only be done by the headlamp supplier - Hella, Valeo etc. who must test the headlamp in an independent laboratory.
2. Once fitted to the vehicle it must have headlamp cleaning and self-levelling (which can be for the headlamp or can be in the vehicle suspension - some expensive estate cars have "self-levelling suspension" and that is adequate). Also the dipped beam must stay on with the main beam.
3. The headlamp must be maintained in good working order, kept clean, and aligned/adjusted correctly like any other headlamp.

Hope that helps.

***


We are aware of kit available in the aftermarket where a Xenon "burner" or bulb is fitted inside a headlamp designed for use with conventional Halogen filament bulbs. The burner is fitted with a "bayonet" type fitting so it fits where the Halogen bulb should fit. This is not legal and the vendor, the person who mounts it on the vehicle and the person who drives the vehicle are all committing an offence. (Which also means that he is invalidating the insurance.)
The reason for this is that headlamps and bulbs are made to tight tolerances and the wrong type of bulb will cause an incorrect beam pattern to be emitted, which could cause dazzle and discomfort to other drivers.

I work for the DfT and when I found this quoted on a forum had a dig through our electronic filing and found the original reply. Most people that contact us have already decided they're going to do something, so ignore the advice if it doesn't agree with what they want. usually an offence isn't committed until the lights are installed and then used - selling them isn't illegal, so there's your grey area!

You're unlikely to get done, but the whole point of having the headlight washers, and particularly the self levelling, when you have HIDs from the factory is to stop the beam pattern from dazzling oncoming traffic.

As said above, the only reason they're legal is because the German industry started fitting them to cars and getting them approved over there a few years back, and because of the way legislation works you have to recognise the approval in the UK. Over time other manufacturers started to fit them as well.

Since we have bugger all traffic policing, and a check on anything much other than lights working and adjusted low enough as part of the MOT, you're unlikely to get caught out.

Here endeth the lesson......

Adrian
Pulled from another post - Thanks Adrian
 

Nathanio

Full Member
May 26, 2005
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West Sussex
www.w1pcs.co.uk
Here is a very very useful tip for anyone with HIDs is to get the headlight alignment checked after you've installed them. Mine was only done yesterday at its service and mine were well out! Their now done and the look even better!
 

CH1

Full Member
Jul 6, 2004
503
0
Are they easy to fit?

Dead easy! It took me about 45minutes (30 for first side and 15mins second side!) and I am no mechanic! It's all pretty self explanatory once you see the kit. Just make sure you have a drill and a 25mm screw bit (wood spade bit prob do fine). Always always test the kit before you install it so you don't have to take them apart if there is a fault!

Once you have installed them though I would suggest a trip to your local garage to check your head light alignment in case you knocked it out in install.


Maintenance....is there any?

Well no there shouldn't be any major problems due to the therotical life time use with no failures. However you will need to make sure you clean your headlight lenses to make sure they are free from dirt that could possibly freact the light and cause issues to oncoming drivers.


Pictures!


Cheers

Any more information on exactly where you located the ballasts especially on passenger side? I'm half way through mine (done drivers side) doing passenger side, thinking about cliiping it to the outside of black battery box.
Been reading various bits on hids here in threads, agree fitting may only take 20 minutes after you've figured out where to locate the ballasts in Leon which is taking me a bit longer!
 

Feel

Veedubya 'velle
Jun 12, 2003
4,918
1
Midlands
:lol: Took me a while to figure out where to put them. My passenger's side one is on the battery box top right-hand-side looking from the front, on the wing facing side.
 

Nathanio

Full Member
May 26, 2005
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West Sussex
www.w1pcs.co.uk
Scabbed from another post. These are the bulbs you need:

Dipped beam = 12v 55w, H7
Main beam = 12 55w, H1
Fog light = 12v 55w, H3
Side light = 12v 5w, W5W
Indicators = 12v 21w, PY21W
 

UncleFester

Grumpier by the day!
Apr 30, 2006
4,764
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Milton Keynes
www.facebook.com
Unclip the battery box cover and there is a small shelf in front of the battery that the ballast literally just sits in.
Yup sits nicely under the back of the light unit. On the drivers side, there is a nice little bolt hole in the bracket just inside the wing to the left of the washer bottle - you can bolt it directly to that.
 

[email protected]

e46psi.com ;-)
Jun 14, 2004
2,842
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HID projector lamps...

thank god for this sticky... i must get a pm AT LEAST once a week regarding my angel eye projectors and HID! :rolleyes:


can i add... if you really love the look of the angel eye projector headlamps then IMHO they are utter crap at lighting up the road with normal halogen bulbs... they need HID in all honesty! :yes:


but in order to fit the H7 HID bulbs you need to completely take the head lamps apart (the projector/angel eyes head lamps that is!) and drill the bulb holder/hole bigger so the fatter HID bulbs can fit into place!


this is a lot of hassle and once done you then have to put it back together and reseal!



A Lot of hassle and in hindsight i would have just HID'd the oe headlamps!



right im glad thats of my chest! ;)
 

CH1

Full Member
Jul 6, 2004
503
0
Ok, finally fitted the hids on the Leon.

Drivers side -no problem as can be seen ballast fitted next to wash bottle.



Passengers side was more of a problem as theres less space - we just wedged the ballast to the side of body panel next to battery as can be seen:-


Seems secure so far -its just been a day:)

And this is the effect of HID V's halogen bulb at night (hid on left obviously:)



same shot (daylight)


I also fitted the Philips Blue vision sidelight bulbs..first pic is the std sidelight with hid


Philips Blue Vision sidelight fitted (have blue tip, though hardly much of an improvement especially compared with the white crisp light of hids, though look slightly less yellow)


overall opinion on Philips Blue Vision sidelights (ok as a freebie, but not worth a special purchase)

Fitted the PowerPlus 50% more on the other car unfortunately no pic to compare with std halogen bulb

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/connoisseur_h/HIDs/DSCF0416_e.jpg
 

Feel

Veedubya 'velle
Jun 12, 2003
4,918
1
Midlands
For sidelights that match HIDs, I would recommend these

Probably about twice the price of the others I've had (but not going to break the bank), but the others I've had have four separate LEDs and slowly one at a time the LEDs have gone. I've had three sets of that type.

Had the ones above for a while, and they've been fine.
 
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CH1

Full Member
Jul 6, 2004
503
0
For sidelights that match HIDs, I would recommend these

Probably about twice the price of the others I've had (but not going to break the bank), but the others I've had have four separate LEDs and slowly one at a time the LEDs have gone. I've had three sets of that type.

Had the ones above for a while, and they've been fine.
They look much whiter than the Philips Blue Vison Plus sidelights (which I got free from powerbulbs). If one of mine needed replacing I will get these but I wouldn't go to especially buy sidelight upgrades, not worth it IMHO. More than happy with my HIDs for now:)
 

DamoR

Smoked!!!!
Oct 9, 2006
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Birmingham
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I disagree I think for the price it is worth changing your sidelights they look awful next to the HIDs! Also ruins the look of the HIDs with that dim yellow light next to them!
 

CH1

Full Member
Jul 6, 2004
503
0
I didn't actually take a picture of the HID next to sidelight bulb -the first pic with hid shows only the standard sidelight bulb (which I replaced later). The next pic is only of the replaced sidelight bulb by itself (Philips Blue vision plus) for me the change wasn't significant but still better than standard as they're not so yellow. I haven't got any comparison shots of hid and Philips Blue vision or any other replaced bulb as I forgot to take them.
 

Feel

Veedubya 'velle
Jun 12, 2003
4,918
1
Midlands
For sidelights that match HIDs, I would recommend these

Probably about twice the price of the others I've had (but not going to break the bank), but the others I've had have four separate LEDs and slowly one at a time the LEDs have gone. I've had three sets of that type.

Had the ones above for a while, and they've been fine.
And as if by magic, one of them has now packed up :(

Get to see what their customer service is like then...
 
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