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Discussion Starter #1
Hello #SmartFriends

I am planning to upgrade my lights, and I purchased those Phillips Clear Vision Ultra (which they say has a white light) and they are a waste of money, there is no difference between the original halogen and those upgraded Phillips. So the only way to go whiter and brighter is with LED or HID.

I have been researching a lot and our cars use H7 Bulbs which are held into the housing with a metallic clip; therefore, with an LED Kit I do not know how to fit those bulbs with a big fan on it into the housing and hold it with that metallic clip?

Who of you have installed a kit on your car and where can i get it from?

Thank you!
 

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I bought a pair of 8k lumen LED bulbs for my 453. They are available in H7 form, I will report back if they're worth the cost!
 

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Generally, the LED bulbs that have a fan on them or something of the sort, have a removable plastic ring that you clip in place where you clip the bulb in, the same way you clip the bulb in. Then you just insert and twist the LED bulb itself to lock it in place.

Main thing you have to worry about when installing the bulbs is exactly where the clip falls on that ring. I bought a nice set of LED bulbs, and they actually have a screw around that ring so you can adjust the level of the bulb, to have a perfectly flat cutoff, or to have it a bit higher on the shoulder. Problem is, the metal bit around where the screw is happens to be right where the metal clip sits. So it was a royal pain to actually get the bulb clipped into place, and even WORSE to get them back out. Actually needed to use a flat-nose pliers to be able to grip the top of the clip hard enough and be able to move the clip to the side to unhook it. Nearly bent the clip out of shape.

I haven't used them much yet, due to me being undecided if i really WANT to cut a hole in the rear cap that covers the bulb to feed the wires through or not. The bulbs were nice and bright, but leaving the rear cap off wasn't an option, both due to the risk of getting moisture inside the headlight housing, as well as getting bugs in there, too. That, and without the rear cap, there isn't really any heat in the housing. Halogen bulbs radiate a LOT of heat, and not having that heat there to melt any of the snow that was hitting the headlights wasn't a good thing.
 

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aftermarket led technology isn't as good as HID for projector headlights but they're not bad with reflector type headlights
 

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This is the kit I bought last year for my Smart. It was H7 and I got 5000K. I wanted as bright a white as I could get with turning too far into the bluer look lights.From about 6000K up they get bluer and at about 3000K you're getting into yellow. Some say too much blue fatigues your eyes but the blue makes road side signs glow and stand out to you.

55W HID Xenon Headlight Led Conversion KIT H1/H3/H4/H7/H10/9005 9006 9004


I also bought the anti-flicker and Can Bus compatible kit. They mightwork fine without them, but I felt the insurance of them was worth the little extra they cost. You don't have to break the bank to buy HID's. The charging system is pretty precise on the Smart because there is lots of electronics in the Fortwo that needs it. So they might have never flickered, but I didn't take a chance.

2Pcs HID ECM Error Warning Cancellers Capacitors Anti-Flicker for HID Xenon Lamp


Everyone says you gotta buy some expensive kit, but mine works great and the lights are WHITE and bright up to a cutoff horizontal point. I didn't spend a fortune on them but got great results in my opinion. I don't have people flashing their brights at me either with them. I live in the country and the deer are everywhere after night, so I wanted the best light I could get. I didn't convert my high beams because HID light bulbs have a much shorter life if you use them in high beams and flash them alot. My high beams shine out just slightly farther than my lows, but the high beam H7's look real yellow to me compared to my HID's. HID's take maybe 5 to 10 seconds to warm up to be at their full brightness.






There are other threads on HID lights which I read on here before I did mine. I got some great HID advice from NEON also. DCO
 

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I forgot to add that my 451 has HIDs! They appear to be generic cheapo kits from eBay. Got them from Uptown Dog Co when I got the car. Only now after 5 years are the low beams beginning to have issues. HIDs tend to get brighter as they go out, so my left side looks brighter and whiter than the right.

The high beams use some old school analog ballasts, they started going out after only a few months. I don't recommend getting HIDs with analog ballasts.

With the 453, I'm trying out the latest in LED. LED tech as a whole hasn't advanced as far as HID yet, but now there at least a few LEDs that are on par with HID. My bulbs are still in the mail, so waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Generally, the LED bulbs that have a fan on them or something of the sort, have a removable plastic ring that you clip in place where you clip the bulb in, the same way you clip the bulb in. Then you just insert and twist the LED bulb itself to lock it in place.

Main thing you have to worry about when installing the bulbs is exactly where the clip falls on that ring. I bought a nice set of LED bulbs, and they actually have a screw around that ring so you can adjust the level of the bulb, to have a perfectly flat cutoff, or to have it a bit higher on the shoulder. Problem is, the metal bit around where the screw is happens to be right where the metal clip sits. So it was a royal pain to actually get the bulb clipped into place, and even WORSE to get them back out. Actually needed to use a flat-nose pliers to be able to grip the top of the clip hard enough and be able to move the clip to the side to unhook it. Nearly bent the clip out of shape.

I haven't used them much yet, due to me being undecided if i really WANT to cut a hole in the rear cap that covers the bulb to feed the wires through or not. The bulbs were nice and bright, but leaving the rear cap off wasn't an option, both due to the risk of getting moisture inside the headlight housing, as well as getting bugs in there, too. That, and without the rear cap, there isn't really any heat in the housing. Halogen bulbs radiate a LOT of heat, and not having that heat there to melt any of the snow that was hitting the headlights wasn't a good thing.
Wow, you have way more knowledge than I actually do and thank you for that. I would like to specifically which ones did you buy, so I can know that they come with all the "accesories" to fit it in the housing of the Smart. (I have a 2012). And, I do not know if you can give me more detailed instructions when i am going to install them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is the kit I bought last year for my Smart. It was H7 and I got 5000K. I wanted as bright a white as I could get with turning too far into the bluer look lights.From about 6000K up they get bluer and at about 3000K you're getting into yellow. Some say too much blue fatigues your eyes but the blue makes road side signs glow and stand out to you.

55W HID Xenon Headlight Led Conversion KIT H1/H3/H4/H7/H10/9005 9006 9004


I also bought the anti-flicker and Can Bus compatible kit. They mightwork fine without them, but I felt the insurance of them was worth the little extra they cost. You don't have to break the bank to buy HID's. The charging system is pretty precise on the Smart because there is lots of electronics in the Fortwo that needs it. So they might have never flickered, but I didn't take a chance.

2Pcs HID ECM Error Warning Cancellers Capacitors Anti-Flicker for HID Xenon Lamp


Everyone says you gotta buy some expensive kit, but mine works great and the lights are WHITE and bright up to a cutoff horizontal point. I didn't spend a fortune on them but got great results in my opinion. I don't have people flashing their brights at me either with them. I live in the country and the deer are everywhere after night, so I wanted the best light I could get. I didn't convert my high beams because HID light bulbs have a much shorter life if you use them in high beams and flash them alot. My high beams shine out just slightly farther than my lows, but the high beam H7's look real yellow to me compared to my HID's. HID's take maybe 5 to 10 seconds to warm up to be at their full brightness.






There are other threads on HID lights which I read on here before I did mine. I got some great HID advice from NEON also. DCO
Hey, how difficult is the installation of HID's? The benefit of LED is they are "Plug and play"...
 

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Hey, how difficult is the installation of HID's? The benefit of LED is they are "Plug and play"...
Many HIDs are different with exact installation, however they all are plug and play. I would recommend getting one with "digital" ballasts. You won't need to mount them somewhere under the service flap, instead they usually directly mount onto the rubber grommets. Keeps the installation cleaner, easier, and dryer.

I'd say, your first time installing a HID would probably take 10-25 minutes depending on the instructions provided and the quality of the product. After that, you should be able to swap them out as quickly as you'd swap out any other bulb. All in all, I'd say they're really easy to install. The hardest part is the left headlight, which may be a little hard if you have big hands.

I would also keep the colour temperature in the range of 4500k (white-yellow-ish) to 6000k (white-blue-ish) if you're getting HIDs for seeing distance. Most variations higher and/or lower will more be for colour than anything practical.

One last note: If you plan to get HIDs for a 451, make sure you're getting D2S HID bulbs as they're for projector housings. If for a 453, D2R HIDs will be best as the 453 has reflectors.
 
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In my opinion, halogen is a kind of stupid technology in how it scales. The brighter the bulb, the shorter it lasts. Those Philips bulbs you posted have an expected lifespan of up to 200 hours, which for most people wouldn't even take 6 months of driving. Their Xtreme Vision series lasts 450 hours. It is better, but still only about 10 months.

In comparison, I got the same seeing distance from a pair of cheap HIDs that have lasted for 5 years.

This is why automakers are moving on to HID and LED, they generally cannot produce super bright halogen bulbs without having customers complain about lights that blow all the time.
 

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I put a set of Eiko Clear Vision bulbs in and they have a lifetime rating of 850 hours. Unfortunately that darn deer ruined my testing. They do seem to be a lot brighter down the road than the other bulbs I have tried. If you look on the package for the life expectancy, it is much higher than the high output bulbs listed, and some are insane with the smal amount of hours they last. I do most of my driving at night and bulb life is important as I hate changing them all the time.
 

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The candlepowerforum mods have me worried about the legality and safety of the conversions. That is very true about the shortened lifespans!
 

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On the legality side, most cops really aren't going to care unless you make it obvious (like get deep blues, green, pink, red, etc). And as far as safety goes, just try your best to limit glare. Some OEs make lights that look absolutely ridiculous anyway.

Basically, make sure you have the lights aimed correctly and if buying HIDs, don't put projector HIDs in a reflector, etc.
 

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Anyone happen to have a link to where i might be able to buy a pair of the rear housing caps for the 453? Kinda thinking that IF i'm going to try cutting a hole in them to route wires for LED bulbs through to keep everything water tight, i'd rather have a spare set to tweak than my ONLY set.

And also touching up on the legality concern.... I think you'd only really have to worry if the lights you're using are causing WAY too much glare. Kind of like how people (even to this day) swear that LED and HID bulbs are only usable in projector housings, failing to realize that most bulb manufacturers are now designing ways to make them work in reflectors as well, right down to using a few very tiny LED's in a row to mimic the filament of the halogen bulb, and using metal shrouds around them to block as much light as possible from getting to parts of the reflector where it shouldn't be going.
 
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