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Love my projector retrofits, but hate how it makes my car look like two eyeballs

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  • Love my projector retrofits, but hate how it makes my car look like two eyeballs

    Anyone else think projector retrofits give their car a more ''goofy'' appearance?

    I've looked into tinting the headlights to cover up the projectors but light output is heavily reduced so thats a no go. Is there anything appearance wise that I can do to minimize or distract from the projectors without sacrificing light output?

  • #2
    Black out the housings and add another set of projectors , imo quad projectors look badass , and perform amazing

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    • #3
      Post pics of your headlights.

      With 3D printing services becoming more affordable you could maybe design a full bezel cover that narrows the reflector so that it doesn't look like big eyeballs and more like an OEM lamp.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by evo77 View Post
        Post pics of your headlights.

        With 3D printing services becoming more affordable you could maybe design a full bezel cover that narrows the reflector so that it doesn't look like big eyeballs and more like an OEM lamp.

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        • #5
          That actually doesn't look all that bad. At least you have a 3" projector that fills up the reflector.

          Just to give you an idea of the Euro-market Civic headlight and how the OEM bezel has a cleaner appearance with no apparent bug-eye look.

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          • #6
            Projectors are slowly fading away and the LED in Reflectors are now popping up in some cars. Honda Accord Lexus SUVs and some Mercedes Benz models now offer them. @ snahfu, the projectors do not look bad on that Civic.

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            • #7
              Lexus isn't using reflectors, it's always tri beam projectors, at least as far as I seen. It's Honda and Tesla that are going with reflectors.

              2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
              2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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              • #8
                Seems that more companies are switching to reflector housings for their LED headlights. Nissan gave the Maxima LED reflectors for 2019, and Honda made LED reflectors the "upgrade" headlight for the 2019 Pilot while the lower trims make due with the LED projectors that were reserved for the top trim last year. I don't know how the 2019 Maxima's headlights perform, but the Pilot's "upgrade" headlights actually appear to be a downgrade as far as low beam performance is concerned. They only managed to score higher than the LED projectors on the lower trims in IIHS' testing because the base lights created "some glare" (by only 2.7%, which is nothing) and possibly because the high beam performance wasn't quite as good on the left side of the road. In all measures of low beam performance, the projectors were clearly superior, so I don't know why Honda even bothered to offer the LED reflector housings to begin with. At least Honda has gotten better at designing them since they first appeared on the 2016 Civic and Accord. The newer housings don't seem to create as much glare, and the beam is more focused. Toyota OTOH, still has a lot to learn, as their reflector LED setups on the base Avalon and 2019 Tundra perform pretty poorly. When the "lowly" reflector halogen headlights on the base Tundra out-perform the "upgrade" LED headlights, you know something's wrong.

                I wouldn't worry about how the projectors look on your car, they look far better than the plain stock housings. I actually prefer the look of projectors over any reflectors, even LED (or HID). To me (and this may sound silly), reflector LED headlights just look like someone put an LED kit in their reflector halogen headlights when they're lit. Every time I see a new Accord or Civic coming down the road from a distance, I first assume that it's some kid running plug and plays in their old Honda's halogen reflectors. Only when they get closer can I tell it's actually a newer Accord or Civic. LED and HID projectors are much more distinctive at night, and look more premium day or night, IMHO.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by th23 View Post
                  Seems that more companies are switching to reflector housings for their LED headlights. Nissan gave the Maxima LED reflectors for 2019, and Honda made LED reflectors the "upgrade" headlight for the 2019 Pilot while the lower trims make due with the LED projectors that were reserved for the top trim last year. I don't know how the 2019 Maxima's headlights perform, but the Pilot's "upgrade" headlights actually appear to be a downgrade as far as low beam performance is concerned. They only managed to score higher than the LED projectors on the lower trims in IIHS' testing because the base lights created "some glare" (by only 2.7%, which is nothing) and possibly because the high beam performance wasn't quite as good on the left side of the road. In all measures of low beam performance, the projectors were clearly superior, so I don't know why Honda even bothered to offer the LED reflector housings to begin with. At least Honda has gotten better at designing them since they first appeared on the 2016 Civic and Accord. The newer housings don't seem to create as much glare, and the beam is more focused. Toyota OTOH, still has a lot to learn, as their reflector LED setups on the base Avalon and 2019 Tundra perform pretty poorly. When the "lowly" reflector halogen headlights on the base Tundra out-perform the "upgrade" LED headlights, you know something's wrong.

                  I wouldn't worry about how the projectors look on your car, they look far better than the plain stock housings. I actually prefer the look of projectors over any reflectors, even LED (or HID). To me (and this may sound silly), reflector LED headlights just look like someone put an LED kit in their reflector halogen headlights when they're lit. Every time I see a new Accord or Civic coming down the road from a distance, I first assume that it's some kid running plug and plays in their old Honda's halogen reflectors. Only when they get closer can I tell it's actually a newer Accord or Civic. LED and HID projectors are much more distinctive at night, and look more premium day or night, IMHO.
                  Have you driven the current Honda LED reflector systems personally at night? I know that at least one member on here owns an Accord with those and does say positive things about them even compared to tuned HID projectors.. I have driven them and they are a very good system.

                  You need to remember that designers have other considerations than this forums members. The energy usage of the LED array is quite low compared to halogens burners. Energy efficiency is fuel savings and that is very important to car companies. Also the LED reflector is much simpler to produce than the high tolerance polished lens projectors. The cosmetic appearance of the LED can't be disregarded, they have a very unique appearance.

                  I actually have a matched set of the full high/low LED reflectors sitting in a cabinet at home. I picked them up from cars that had burned out the separate LED DRL when they were authorized for destruction. I had though about installing them in my car, but the size constraints were too tight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One things for sure, there are two main driving factors for headlamp design by auto makers and those are:

                    1) Cost
                    2) Style

                    I don't believe much emphasis is placed on high performance "seeing" as it is with being FMVSS 108 compliant. A headlamp can be technically compliant to the federal photometric requirements however still be considered a low performance lamp. As long as the lamp is in compliance, that's all they really care about. They keep all the high performance lamps to the luxury brands, which again helps them sell cars and justify their luxury prices.

                    I think that LED reflector lamps fit the bill for the two factors above. Most people don't care about lighting performance as they do with style. Its a selling point for a auto maker. An eagle-eye projector lamp has been around for quite some time and that style of lamp is no longer *unique*. If you take an average person, and ask them, which of these look "cooler" and which version vehicle would you buy? I'm sure most would gravitate to the more unique appearing lamps because they aren't like everything on the road.



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                    • #11
                      I found the thread I was looking for from Imagio when he got himself an Accord touring with the LED reflector setup. You can read for yourself what he thought about those reflectors shortly after buying the car. https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...-coupe-touring

                      btw that is the exact type of car that I got my reflector set from. So if you read this Imagio, be aware that some of those cars are burning out their LED DRLs.

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                      • #12
                        LED reflector headlights have too much chrome for my liking and they do not give out that beautiful color flicker that projectors do.

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                        • #13
                          And half the time the cutoff is garbage and glarey. Like the Civic, Accord, and Model 3. Jeez they glare bad. Not even aiming, the beam pattern is super messy on those cars.

                          2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                          2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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                          • #14
                            Can confirm, see quite a few new CIvics with the LED headlights, quite glarey.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mcnoople View Post

                              Have you driven the current Honda LED reflector systems personally at night? I know that at least one member on here owns an Accord with those and does say positive things about them even compared to tuned HID projectors.. I have driven them and they are a very good system.

                              You need to remember that designers have other considerations than this forums members. The energy usage of the LED array is quite low compared to halogens burners. Energy efficiency is fuel savings and that is very important to car companies. Also the LED reflector is much simpler to produce than the high tolerance polished lens projectors. The cosmetic appearance of the LED can't be disregarded, they have a very unique appearance.

                              I actually have a matched set of the full high/low LED reflectors sitting in a cabinet at home. I picked them up from cars that had burned out the separate LED DRL when they were authorized for destruction. I had though about installing them in my car, but the size constraints were too tight.
                              I haven't driven a 2016+ Accord with LED headlights, but I've seen plenty of videos and pictures of them and I'm not impressed. To me, the beam pattern looks the same as reflector halogen headlight's, but with a much higher color temperature. They also seem to create a lot of glare, and I've seen that firsthand when one is approaching me or riding behind me. The 2018 seems better as far as glare towards oncoming vehicles is concerned, but there's still too much glare directly in front of the car. One was behind me a few weeks ago, and the inner-most LED reflectors on each headlight were pointed right at my rearview mirror the entire time it was following me down the road. It seems that 1 or 2 of the 6 low beam reflectors in each headlight are dedicated to the "Squirrel Spotters", and they're very annoying IMO.

                              Now, I have been in a newer Civic Touring Hatchback (my buddy has one) and those are even worse than the Accord. The beam is not very wide and has a "splotchy" appearance. And parked about 10 feet from a garage door, there is so much light bleed above the cutoff it's ridiculous. Every one I've encountered at night has been a glare-fest, and now I know why. The glare is why I always first assume that they're plug and plays from a distance, since they seem to spray light everywhere. I won't lie, they look kinda neat, but man they're dazzling.

                              Originally posted by evo77 View Post
                              One things for sure, there are two main driving factors for headlamp design by auto makers and those are:

                              1) Cost
                              2) Style

                              I don't believe much emphasis is placed on high performance "seeing" as it is with being FMVSS 108 compliant. A headlamp can be technically compliant to the federal photometric requirements however still be considered a low performance lamp. As long as the lamp is in compliance, that's all they really care about. They keep all the high performance lamps to the luxury brands, which again helps them sell cars and justify their luxury prices.

                              I think that LED reflector lamps fit the bill for the two factors above. Most people don't care about lighting performance as they do with style. Its a selling point for a auto maker. An eagle-eye projector lamp has been around for quite some time and that style of lamp is no longer *unique*. If you take an average person, and ask them, which of these look "cooler" and which version vehicle would you buy? I'm sure most would gravitate to the more unique appearing lamps because they aren't like everything on the road.



                              Very true. The reflector setup, during the day, looks very hi-tech and futuristic, but I still personally prefer the look of a projector housing. I can see why the average person would find the LED reflectors appealing, though.

                              The reflector setup must be cheaper to produce, as well, since so many companies are switching to them from projectors (like Honda with the Pilot, and Nissan with the Maxima).

                              I think the Acura "Jewel Eyes" projector headlamps are much more attractive, but they're undoubtedly a lot more expensive to produce which is why they're reserved for Acura. Ironically, the newer Honda reflector LED lamps are actually out-performing the "Jewel Eyes" lamps in the latest IIHS testing. The Insight received a 'Good' rating for its headlights, while the refreshed ILX's new Jewel Eyes array received a "Poor" rating (mainly for excessive glare). The other Jewel Eyes-equipped vehicles scored 'Average', with the exception of the new RDX, which scored Good with the base lighting setup. The optional curve-adaptive headlights on the RDX received a score of 'Average' due to glare issues.

                              Like I said, it's nice to see that Honda is getting better at making headlights with decent performance. That said, they're getting absolutely destroyed by Hyundai and Kia in that department. Hyundai and Kia have more vehicles with 'Good' lighting (according to the IIHS) than any other brand. Even their subcompact economy cars like the Rio and Accent are available with great headlights that even put some expensive luxury cars to shame. If I were to purchase a car on headlight performance alone, it'd be a Kia or Hyundai.

                              Originally posted by mcnoople View Post
                              I found the thread I was looking for from Imagio when he got himself an Accord touring with the LED reflector setup. You can read for yourself what he thought about those reflectors shortly after buying the car. https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...-coupe-touring

                              btw that is the exact type of car that I got my reflector set from. So if you read this Imagio, be aware that some of those cars are burning out their LED DRLs.
                              I'm actually kind of surprised that he thinks so highly of them. At first glance (looking at his pictures), they do look great. But when you look closer, you can clearly see that they're aimed so high that even the driver of an F150 would be getting blasted in the face by them down the road.

                              Aimed to a more realistic and less-offensive level, their performance is nothing special. You can see that clearly in IIHS' testing, where the LED headlights scored lower than the halogen projectors on the lower trim levels. On the sedan, the LED's didn't produce excessive glare, but their performance was also so-so. On the coupe, the LED's out-performed the base halogens by a small margin but at the expense of excessive glare, which lowered their score to 'Poor'. So basically, they're either "so-so" with no glare or good with lots of glare. It's difficult to call that a good headlight design.

                              Now, as I said before, the 2018's are better. They perform a bit better than the old halogen projectors, though they're still a bit over the glare limit on the straightaway. Their score is only 'Marginal' to 'Average', so I'm still not very impressed. I'm happy with my old halogen projectors that scored just as high in IIHS' testing. And with a good LED kit, I'm convinced that they easily beat the reflector LED setup in the new Accord (and last-gen Accord Touring). I'd put money on it, actually.

                              Originally posted by Haloruler64 View Post
                              And half the time the cutoff is garbage and glarey. Like the Civic, Accord, and Model 3. Jeez they glare bad. Not even aiming, the beam pattern is super messy on those cars.
                              Exactly! The Civic and Model 3 are especially terrible. I was siting outside the other night and a Model 3 drove down my street. Its lights were brighter than hell, but they weren't focused. They looked really intense on the road, sidewalk, and grass right around the front of the car, but they didn't seem to shine very far at all. It's like their intensity fell of a cliff beyond about 100 feet in front of the car. It's a bit sad, since my old-school halogen projectors throw light more than twice that far down my street. The 3's lights looked more like flood lights than head lights, at least from an outside perspective.

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