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Xenon HID upgrade

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by mpt, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    Nope; just the kit; for the low beams it's all plug and play, no wiring to adapt at all just unplug the bulb, plug the cable into the inverter.
     
  2. Alan

    Alan Member

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    MPT - thanks for this. I have a 2.0 as well so will order exactly the same kit.
     
  3. strider

    strider Active Member

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    So I did my install yesterday. I did need to loosen the screws quite a bit to get the bulb to install. Be careful you don't tighten them (the screws) too tight as you'll break the tabs on the bulb. I was a bit concerned about the controller bouncing around in the bumper area so I used some double-sided tape to stick it to the side of the light housing - we'll see if it stays there.

    Haven't driven it at night yet but just looking at the pattern on the garage wall it looks the same as the regular bulbs.

    Thanks for pioneering this for us mpt!
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #24 dsm363, Nov 14, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
    Have you found the upgrade worth it? Also, how do you tell if they are approved in your state (or are they never technically allowed if it's done aftermarket)? I tried searching for rules in Texas and found some posts that were a few years old. Thanks to MPT for looking into all of this too.

    Also, are the newer LED lights coming out as aftermarket kits? I wonder how they compare to HID blubs in terms of energy use.
     
  5. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    You guys going for the 35w or the 55w kit? I ask because of the differences noted on their site.
     
  6. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I started with 35w kits but they were a bit too 'blue' so when I went to a lower temperature I chose 55W to see how that worked. In short; really well. Still not dazzling anyone on the 'off-road track that I test them on' because I'm pretty sure that the rules do limit power in NJ to 35w for HID solutions. To honest, the difference is 3500 lumens for 35w to about 5000 lumens for 55w which isn't a huge amount. Power wise, the 55w kit has a starting load of 65w (same as factory tungsten bulbs) then drops to 55w, the 35w kits start at around 55w then fall to 35w so there's a power saving to be had.

    In the US the rules are set by the department of motor vehicles, in NJ they're fairly lightweight IMO, especially on colour. Whilst I'm no lawyer and you shouldn't trust all you read, I'm sure that the rule of thumb is simple; don't dazzle anyone. I'm confident that I'm covering that with a wide margin with my current installation.

    I am interested in the idea of lifting the beam a little; I do think it seems to aim low hitting the ground only a few car lengths ahead so I might give that a go some time soon. Need to balance the lift with the glare... really need to have someone drive towards me to see how it look compared to another reference vehicle.

    More digging through the DMV archives...
     
  7. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I went with 35W at 4500k. See how it looks on my way home on Monday evening.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Member

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    Thanks for the advice on this. I went for 55W at 4500K. Guess which photo is the before and which is the after!

    dipped standard small.jpg

    dipped hid small.jpg
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wow! Are the stock headlights really that weak? Guess I may do this upgrade too at some point but still waiting for delivery.
     
  10. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    wow, I'd forgotten... one has the road ahead, the other, you're driving in outer space! Superb.
     
  11. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Ok guys, the proof's in the pudding...SOLD!...the difference with the upgrade is astounding...where can you order the xenons?
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The start of this thread lists the place to buy them and which ones mpt recommends.
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Got it D, thanks! :biggrin:
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    No problem.

    Are the standard lights weaker than any other standard car or is it just that the difference is that dramatic? Also, why isn't Tesla working on a factory solution if the lights are really that weak?
     
  15. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I've just ordered a set of 55W's from ddm. The 35's are better than stock but just barely. I'm impressed by Alan's pics w/ the 55's!
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Oh yeah, they really are weak. Haven't seen headlights this wimpy since driving a '74 Pinto.

    Hans (Toronto sales) told me they had a trial running with a factory HID upgrade back in July, but I've not heard anything more about it.
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. That's good news that they are at least looking into a solution (even if it'll cost more money). I may just wait. I'm not eager to dig into my car the first week after taking delivery but will if the headlights bother me as much as I think they might.
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I love the Roadster but IMHO the stock configuration leaves room for improvement in terms of visibility. Fortunately a few minor tweaks make a big difference. The first thing I did was remove the sun visor so I could see traffic lights. Then I installed multivex mirrors on the outside mirrors to reduce the blind spots. Then I found the inside rear view mirror sometimes blocked my view to the front right (at one local up-grade 4-way stop you could easily lose an entire sedan behind the mirror) so I replaced it with a micromirror. Then because the micromirror doesn't tilt I added window tint to it to reduce glare at night. Then I had a rear view camera installed so I could back out of parking spots safely (already in the 2.5 of course). All this has made a huge difference, but for me driving on a dark rainy night is still a little uncomfortable.

    If Tesla comes up with a HID mod I'll get it installed right away. If that doesn't happen soon I'll put in one of those HID kits. At that point I think the car will have been perfected. :smile:
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Can you start a new thread detailing this subject?
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Will do...
     

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