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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone come up with a legal HID headlight for the Insight? NH may be the "Live Free or Die State," but it's pretty restrictive on safety inspections. Legally they require DOT-approved headlights, but I don't know how strictly this is enforced by inspection stations.

H4 or other retrofits using the existing reflector are not street legal, so the only (hypothetical, of course) possibilities I see are:

1) Add auxiliary lights. This would help with lighting, but it would take more power instead of less, kind of defeating one advantage of HID lighting.

2) Leave the stock wiring in place and swap it back in before an inspection. Probably not recommended.

3) Somehow mount an OEM headlight from another car in place of the Insight headlights. I have no idea how this would work or if it would be legal.

Any thoughts?
 

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Well, far as I understand the law the only way to legally have HID's is if your car either A) came with them from the factory, or B) had the option and you replaced the parts with all the oem pieces necessary for it to be like it came with them. So technically you can't legally have them because the Insight never had that option.

Now would they ever know? Depends. In Arizona the only inspection we have is an emissions inspection, which new cars are exempt from for 5 years anyways. I have HID's (real ones) and have not had any problems with the law what so ever. Way I figure it, every Escalade with their reflector HID's are way, way WAY more annoying then my lights down so low, and with proper positioning in the housing and a glare shield. Me, I sacraficed my brights, I didn't get the moving reflector units. So this might be an issue with your inspection if they want to see your brights.

All things considered, if you did have an issue with them there's no reason why they would be difficult to put back to stock. I just have spade connectors going in to my factory head light bulb wiring harness. I could pull the bulbs, ballsast and wires in a couple minutes and pop the halogen bulbs back in in a couple of minutes.

Of course, not that I would recommend doing anything illegal. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The 20-30% increased light output from the Silver Stars would certainly be an improvement, but I'd really like more light.


From surfing the net, I get about the same impression as Rick on HID legality. That's what I was afriad of. :roll:

Replacing the bulbs in the stock headlamp would allow me to revert it to stock, but the stock headlamp was not really designed for HIDs. A projector-type lens would be better for me and for other drivers, but would not allow reversion to stock without considerable expense. Looks like no easy decisions here. Sounds like I will have to compromise.

As always, thanks for the input.


P.S., in NH your vehicle can belch out all the smoke and pollution you want but you'd better not violate any of a large number of safety rules, such as having a sticker in the wrong place on your window.
 

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True the housings aren't designed for HID's specifically, but so long as you put the little gas discharge pocket in the right place in the housing (I have a set of these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/H4-Adapt ... 6694QQrdZ1 )

It makes the beam pattern pretty good and the little U shaped shield does what the little one inside of the H4 low beam bulb does and puts the light down on the road instead of up in the air. Let me put it this way, I have a friend who had a Honda S2000 with some fairly annoying factory projector HID's. Of the times I've ridden in that car with him at night we've had more people flash their brights at us thinking ours were on than I've ever had happen with the Insight. And not all factory HID's are the nice projector type. Look at a Cadillac Escalade, they're reflectors which don't produce the nice cut off line projectors do, and they're way up high and very annoying to other drivers.

Of course you may have issues with state inspection. I suppose the question is would they know what they're looking at?
 

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Do they have a high beam arc and a low beam arc?
 

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I was actually thinking about grabbing a pair of replacement headlight enclosures and just cutting out the backing a little and fitting in some closed beam projector HID AUX lights. Not a particularly elegant solution, not sure if they would be legal either (the AUX lights would be DOT approved, but only as AUX lights would that make a difference?)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I doubt using the aux lights as headlights would be legal, but my original thought was cut off the back of the stock headlight and insert an OEM HID headlight from another vehicle. It seems that is also not legal, plus I'd have to buy a spare housing or ruin your existing one.

Thanks for the link, Rick, now I see what you are talking about. I think it's worth a try. In fact, that seller has an entire H4 setup as a kit for what seems to be a decent price. If I can't use it then at least I can revert to stock and use the kit for auxiliary HID lights.

Like Rick, I would lose the high beams, but out here there is so much traffic I rarely get to use them anyway.
 

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You won't miss your high beams at all. I drive at night out on the open highway fairly often and that was part of the justification for the HID's. There are plenty of opportunities where I could use High Beams, but they're not missed at all. The HID beams project farther than any high beam halogen would anyways. I also feel much safer with them too, being able to see that much farther could make a huge difference in reaction time if something were to happen. At the least they're already saved one cat's life (seriously).

Also if you really wanted to get fancy with it, you could get some projectors from some other car and bake your headlights apart and mount the projector inside. I don't think this is legal either, but I really doubt the inspectors would know any better. You can even get projectors that move up for a "high beam". Of course I would get someone who knows what they're doing in order to do this mod, you could potentially ruin a set of headlights, which is not cheap to replace. I was kind of thinking about trying this, but just couldn't justify the risk or expense.
 

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Dougie said:
Couldn't you just use higher wattage bulbs? I have 100/80 bulbs in my old Miata and it makes a huge difference. One risk is melting the plastic parts, which the Miata doesn't have because it just uses traditional 7" round lights, all metal and glass.
And don't forget the wire sizes :!: Unfortunately Honda has reduced the load capacity of these wires to more closely match the factory wattage. Its sufficent for the stock bulbs, but I've seen the damage from 100W bulbs and it ain't pretty :!: :p
 

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Yeah, higher wattage will melt those wires in short order. You could power it off of the battery through a relay the headlight switch would turn on, but I personally wouldn't risk my ~$400 worth of headlights. I know the HID's are expensive, but they're only 35 watts, so you get the best of both worlds. Higher efficiency which means there should be some miniscule fuel savings over time, plus more light! The only thing that looses is your wallet. :lol:
 

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if you mount projector into the stock housing, then you won't have to worry about how the light reflects.

since the projector is dealing with the beam, you can then handle HID without having to worry about blinding on coming traffic or drawing unecessary attention to yourself.
 

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Do you mean mounting an AUX projector into the stock housing (as I mentioned earlier). Or just relying on the stock refector to manage the light output.

As mentioned (but not really explained) the replacement HID bulbs that would fit into the stock housing have a significantly different light spreat output than the stock halogen bulbs, thus the need for the aluminum brackets that cover the upper portion of the arc to prevent glare up high, while not addressing the underlying illigality of the whole proposition in some states...

I think the best option is the upgraded bulbs with the bracket to reduce glare (if legal in your state). Or mounting an AUX projector (or sealed projector from another stock application) in a customized (backing trimmed out) Insight headlight housing.

I was actually chatting with a guy at a custom shop the other day about this (I was in looking to get the carpet replaced in my 4runner). He said that if money is not an object you can get just the bulb/projector assembly from a Lexus (without having to buy the whole headlight) and that it would probably be pretty easy to customize the stock Insight housing to take the Lexus bulb/projector assembly.

He said his shop could do it for around $1000US but he wouldn't say how much it would cost to just order the projectors from a Lexus parts counter. ;) He said as far as he knew, if you used stock projectors from another car and mounted them at roughly the same height with the same angle there should be no legal problem provided you are up front with the paperwork proving that the parts used are stock on another vehicle.
 

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i'd say if your a do it yourselfer you can get this job done WELL under $1000. since it's a honda (and i'm a stickler about these kinda things) if it were me only honda parts would be going on my car. it just happens that two of the most sought after HID projectors come from honda, so that shouldn't be a problem.

the NUMBER one most sought after projector for HID retro fits by far is from the Honda S2000. great cutoff, perfect hue, and not a huge projector by any means. an alternative that's imo JUST as good, are the TSX projectors. both of these can be had from ebay on the cheap so that shouldn't be a problem at all.

as for how to mount them, if your insight is your daily driver (which i assume it is for the most of you) then you'll probably want to pick up a set of additional headlights as, depending on your skills, you could have some down time in the project.

here's what the projectors (s2000) look like:
http://www.hidretro.com/pictures/pages/page33/04.jpg
http://www.hidretro.com/pictures/pages/page33/05.jpg

your best bet would be to mount the projectors to a piece of PVC piping, then seal the piping to a hole cut out of the stock reflector, like this:
http://www.hidretro.com/pictures/pages/page33/14.jpg

with the right tools, and some time and patience, you could get the the projectors in there and have perfect cutoff just like the s2000.
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at this point some of you might be wondering about high beams. if you've ever driven an s2000, you'd knw that high beams are completely unnecessary, but for those of you that still want the option, there's still hope. instead of using s2000 projectors, the acura tl offers a similar projector in BI-XENON. bi-xenon means that the shield creating the cutoff is controlled by an electromagnet to offer two different cutoffs.
 

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HIDs in the Insight

Well, I too have tried the HID conversion kits, and I've been dissapointed in every one that I've tried! The S2000 elipsiodial lights in the Insight headlight assy. look pretty good...and E-bay has plenty of S2000 bits for sale, including the ballasts and ignitors.

Just my 2c worth...don't try the conversions....waste of 500$

_Jeff
 

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Re: HIDs in the Insight

ColoCruiserJeff said:
Well, I too have tried the HID conversion kits, and I've been dissapointed in every one that I've tried! The S2000 elipsiodial lights in the Insight headlight assy. look pretty good...and E-bay has plenty of S2000 bits for sale, including the ballasts and ignitors.

Just my 2c worth...don't try the conversions....waste of 500$

_Jeff
the biggest problem that i have with the conversion kits is most of the time the conversions are crappy 7000 K - 8000 K color temps. these look terrible b/c they have the really deep blue or purple look, not like that of the OEM lights.

try to stick with something below 5000 K (around 4200 K would be best, imo) and you'll be golden.
 

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OK, I'm really interested in doing a high-quality HID install which would be as legal as possible. I've contacted HidRetro about a complete rebuild of the housing using S2000 or BMW 5-series projectors with the "Angel Eyes" ring around them. Has anyone had experience with these folks? Who has the BEST :!: HID install to date? Care to share your thoughts / experiences?

I'll keep you posted on HidRetro's response.
 

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Update :!:

I got a price quote of "Between $800 and $1200" from HidRetro, and they claim that is typical for a retrofit. The representative also maintained that the Insight headlights are similar in design to the Civic (I can't confirm that in any way as I've never taken apart either) so they wouldn't be any more difficult to produce than ones they've already done. Considering that the high-end drop-in H4 replacements are around $500, a few hundred more for a real projector style Bi-Xenon system which allows for Low and High beams doesn't seem like a bad idea.

I can't afford it at the moment :roll: but in case anyone else was willing to take the plunge ... keep us updated! As a side note, the gentleman that was emailing me seemed very knowledgeable, and responded quickly to additional questions.
 

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As long as they'll replace anything they mess up that's a deal right there. There is always some inherent risk when they have to bake apart a head light. I would imagine the hardest part would be actually getting the mounting and aiming done right.
 
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