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Just to be fair, I feel I should say:
I hate HID lights, and typically hold a negative opinion of people who have them.

The smart already has very adequate headlamps, that if left at factory angle are borderline "get you followed home / beaten". HID lights are illegal. HID lights needlessly add difficult to replace components to your car, and the wiring hackery lowers the resale value of your car drastically.

I promise to be civil, and most likely wont respond. I really want to understand.
 

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Just to be fair, I feel I should say:
I hate HID lights, and typically hold a negative opinion of people who have them.

HID lights needlessly add difficult to replace components to your car, and the wiring hackery lowers the resale value of your car drastically.

I promise to be civil, and most likely wont respond. I really want to understand.
Well, I'm not exactly sure where you're expecting this thread to go with an attitude like that. A little high on the horse, are we? :eek:

I mean, I hate when people put fart cans on their Civics or put on bodykits and zero engine mods, but it doesn't make me feel any less of them.

First and foremost, factory-type HID kits are NOT illegal anymore. Many manufacturers offer them as OE equipment. Some manufacturers (like Nissan) will even give you HIDs from the factory in reflector housings!

A properly adjusted HID lamp will be no more blinding than the typical halogen projector setup, yet provide more forward light and more outward light. You'll be able to see farther in front of you and farther off to the sides as well.

It's all about better visibility, in which HID trumps Halogen tenfold.

Keyword: PROPERLY ADJUSTED

And funny you mention smart's factory adjusted bulbs. Mine were adjusted from the factory so the trees above my car got more light than the ground. I was getting flashed by everyone.

I don't even get flashed at all with my properly adjusted HIDs.

Most people do not properly adjust their HID beams, and leave them shooting to the heavens.

Then, HID bulbs also last dramatically longer than halogen bulbs...at least two to three times as long...

And regarding installation, you're also very wrong there as well. There's not an HID kit on the market that requires any "hackery" of the wires. :confused:

Most people hardly even know what HID is, so most of the time, an HID isn't going to do a darn thing to your resale. In a worst case, you just remove it, which takes just a few minutes.

All HID kits are plug and play and are fully reversible, using just the factory connections. Most HID kits are also a cinch to install, many could be installed in 15 minutes or less (not including adjusting the beams).

Your 110db of music? Now that's illegal! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First and foremost, HID kits are NOT illegal anymore. Many manufacturers offer them as OE equipment. Some manufacturers (like Nissan) will even give you HIDs from the factory in reflector housings!

A properly adjusted HID lamp will be no more blinding than the typical halogen projector setup, yet provide more forward light and more outward light. You'll be able to see farther in front of you and farther off to the sides as well.

Your 110db of music? Now that's illegal! :D
Actually, the HID kits are still illegal. Under FMVSS 108 Section S7.7 (replacement light sources), each replaceable light source for headlamps must be designed to conform to the dimensions and electrical specifications for the headlamp source it is intended to replace.

For example, if an HID kit is marketed as replacing an H1 light source, then it must match the H1's wire coil filament size and location, the electrical connector size and location, and the ballast design for use with an H1 light source (which is impossible since there is no ballast).

If it projects farther, it can't be properly adjusted. The distance your low beam illuminates the road surface in front of you is completely controlled by the headlight angle which, if your lights are shining farther, is too high. Honestly, I think it is this belief that HID low beams should shine farther down the road that causes people to adjust them way too high. I could understand this claim if you were replacing your high beams with HID's.

And, not that it has anything to do with this thread, but actually, audio measured at 110dB within the vehicle usually does not exceed legal daytime limits outside the vehicle, and around here, the cops could care less. I was pulled over at night for riding the passing lane, and the cop complimented me on it. It's a general non-issue on the freeway.

You got awful mad there. I was really just trying to be fair, and letting people know how I feel about them. I feel that way because they blind me at night, and I think they look kinda dumb. I kinda had to reply to correct factual errors. I don't want someone reading this and thinking that HID conversions are legal, or that light is somehow going to bend at the poin it meets the road surface allowing it to sort of smear across the pavement illuminating some triple the distance.
 

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Well, I'm not exactly sure where you're expecting this thread to go with an attitude like that. A little high on the horse, are we? :eek:

I mean, I hate when people put fart cans on their Civics or put on bodykits and zero engine mods, but it doesn't make me feel any less of them.

First and foremost, HID kits are NOT illegal anymore. Many manufacturers offer them as OE equipment. Some manufacturers (like Nissan) will even give you HIDs from the factory in reflector housings!

A properly adjusted HID lamp will be no more blinding than the typical halogen projector setup, yet provide more forward light and more outward light. You'll be able to see farther in front of you and farther off to the sides as well.

It's all about better visibility, in which HID trumps Halogen tenfold.

Keyword: PROPERLY ADJUSTED

And funny you mention smart's factory adjusted bulbs. Mine were adjusted from the factory so the trees above my car got more light than the ground. I was getting flashed by everyone.

I don't even get flashed at all with my properly adjusted HIDs.

Most people do not properly adjust their HID beams, and leave them shooting to the heavens.

Then, HID bulbs also last dramatically longer than halogen bulbs...at least two to three times as long...

And regarding installation, you're also very wrong there as well. There's not an HID kit on the market that requires any "hackery" of the wires. :confused:

Most people hardly even know what HID is, so most of the time, an HID isn't going to do a darn thing to your resale. In a worst case, you just remove it, which takes just a few minutes.

All HID kits are plug and play and are fully reversible, using just the factory connections. Most HID kits are also a cinch to install, many could be installed in 15 minutes or less (not including adjusting the beams).

Your 110db of music? Now that's illegal! :D
Please show me a single "aftermarket "kit that is DOT approved like the OEM offerings.
 

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Just to be fair, I feel I should say:
I hate HID lights, and typically hold a negative opinion of people who have them.

The smart already has very adequate headlamps, that if left at factory angle are borderline "get you followed home / beaten". HID lights are illegal. HID lights needlessly add difficult to replace components to your car, and the wiring hackery lowers the resale value of your car drastically.

I promise to be civil, and most likely wont respond. I really want to understand.
So what do you say about the fact that almost every new car these days has a factory HID option?

Even with aftermarket HID's, if they are in a projector housing, and properly aimed, they actually produce less glare to oncoming drivers than filament bulbs in reflective housings.

HID lights are only illegal when they go outside of normal constraints. Usually that's limited to the color in most states. Federal guidelines on headlamps is pretty loosely worded.

I ran HID's in my Smart, and in my new Dart, they come installed from the factory. Since I'm anal about the focus and proper beam projection, I don't get flashed, and have twice the visible distance at night than I would with dim filament bulbs.
 

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You got awful mad there. I was really just trying to be fair, and letting people know how I feel about them. I feel that way because they blind me at night, and I think they look kinda dumb. I kinda had to reply to correct factual errors. I don't want someone reading this and thinking that HID conversions are legal, or that light is somehow going to bend at the poin it meets the road surface allowing it to sort of smear across the pavement illuminating some triple the distance.
You set yourself up for failure from the start by saying you think negatively of those who install HIDs into their car. That just could've been left out.

As for the legality, SylenThunder is correct. No, there aren't any DOT approved aftermarket kits out there, however most states define what kind of light you can put on your car. Some are loose, others are strict.
 

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Put me in the not a fan of aftermarket HIDs club. It's so easy to tell the difference between factory and aftermarket around here. 1/2 the cheap aftermarket kits don't even have high and low beams just one beam. Properly installed and aimed is the keyword but it rarely ever happens. That's what makes folks haters. When you are behind me and your cool HID kits are lighting up the ceiling of my lifted 4X4 they ain't set right!

I don't hate them per se just the common obnoxious installs. And yess different states ENFORCE differently. But if they are not DOT certified for street use thay are illegal.
 

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Interesting thread! I installed a set of low beam HIDs in my 2013 smart last Spring. I love the way they illuminate the sides of the road. No need for fog lights now. Many of the roads I travel are narrow, unlit back roads and when driving my other cars I always turn on the fogs so I have better illumination of the sides.

That said, I do notice a visual difference with the sharp cut off of HIDs. I am certain it is just an optical delusion but without high beams, it does seem that I can't see as far down the road. I don't mean that the HIDs are not as bright. I installed 4300 Kelvin bulbs to better match the SilverStar Ultra 4300 Kelvin bulbs and the HIDs seem even brighter and whiter than my filament bulbs.

I agree about proper adjustment. I have also been a stickler for proper headlight adjustment so I don't get flashed with my HIDs but I do notice the unusually large number of cars on the road with improperly adjusted headlights. Here in WV we have yearly safety inspections of vehicles but headlight alignment is not checked. To me, this is almost as important as other items on the safety checklist.

In our area police do stop cars with HIDs that obviously did not come from the factory. Our son was stopped in his older VW Golf and given a warning. This probably happens most often in cars with reflectors, not cars with projectors. Since the factory HID bulbs are only 4300 Kelvin - according on one source I read - and many folks install bulbs with an obvious blue tint, it is easier for the police to notice them.
 

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Indeed, paint me not a fan of stupidly installed units as well. People who put reflector HIDs into projector housings or projector HIDs into reflector housings (there are different types of HID bulbs, you can't just buy an H7 and expect it to be perfect).

So many people around here running poorly installed kits in late 90's econo cars, blinding everything in sight.

If you're not seeing very far ahead of you, there's a chance you may have accidentally installed reflector HIDs into your projectors! :eek: Either that, or you have one of those cheap Chinese kits that are poor quality to begin with. :(
 

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To answer the OP's original question, I installed HID's in my smart because I was tired of changing bulbs every 6 months(plus the expense involved). I put my HID's in over 3 years ago, and haven't touched them since. They provide plenty of light, and I made sure they were aimed correctly. Mine are 5000K bulbs, so about the same color as most factory HID's, and I stuck with the 35W bulbs. I think a lot of the issues with HID installs is these kids putting 55-100W HID kits in their standard reflector housings. Plus they think it's "cool" to use higher K(blue to purple) bulbs. More is better right?:rolleyes: If you are sensible about it, most people would never know HID's aren't factory in a smart.

To clarify, I only installed them in the low beams. My high beams are still the OEM filament bulbs.
 

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The projector housings in the smart work quite well and have a pronounced sharp low-beam cutoff line with decent HIDs installed (and aimed properly). I never get flashed with high beams, and that wasn't the case with the stock too-high aiming. Other vehicles that use HID bulbs in reflector housings are almost certainly responsible for most of the glare.

Three standard H7 bulbs that burned out over a period of 6 months prompted the change. Headlights that work >> headlights that burn out frequently enough to have a significant chance of being one-eyed.

I used 4300K to avoid the bluish light output.
 

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. . . are borderline "get you followed home / beaten".
Hmm, Orting, WA must be a tough ZIP code? :2gunsfiring: :zen:

Putting HID headlights on a smart is really not unlike upgrading your stereo to turn your smart into a mobile BOOM BOX which to me can be far more offensive than headlights passing in the night . . .

Owners who make mods (most "legal," some not so much) to their smarts do so, because they can.

Be a pretty boring world if we all drove "vanilla" smarts. :popcorn:
 

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Some interesting responses in this thread.

I don't have HIDs. But, I have been considering them for the simple reason mentioned by GoFaster ... longevity. I haven't done it to this point due to concerns about blinding opposing traffic. As many have commented, there are way too many HIDs out there which provide a genuine hazard.

If I could have the benefit of the technology without the drawback, I'd go for it. My standard H7s seem to last about a year. 2 X 5.5 years ... I've changed them more than I've changed headlights in all of cars I've driven in more than 40 years of driving, combined.

Longevity is the only interest I have. I don't want them to be brighter necessarily.


Oh, and dittos on the BOOM car notes above.
 

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Here, these are from my Dart. I may have some pics from the Smart, but I'll have to dig deeper in my phone.
Stock on one side, and a SilverStar on the other.

The Dart has 55W 9012 bulbs stock, so the 35W Silverstar on the left was a bit dimmer.

And HID's

You can even see the cutoff a little bit down the road.

Also, it's not like those pictures were taken in different settings. That was a digital camera with fixed aperture settings in manual mode. The images were taken about 20 minutes apart on the same stretch of road.

To say the difference is like night and day is no exaggeration.
I live in the country, and I like to see where I'm going, and to see deer before I run into them. With HID's in my projector housings, I can do that, and since they are properly aimed, I'm not blinding anyone. (Unless they're in a go-cart, or maybe riding a tricycle.)

Edit: BTW, those are 6000k bulbs, so they are just slightly blue, but I plan on replacing them with 4500k or 5k bulbs in the spring.
 

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I live in the country, and I like to see where I'm going, and to see deer before I run into them. With HID's in my projector housings, I can do that, and since they are properly aimed, I'm not blinding anyone. (Unless they're in a go-cart, or maybe riding a tricycle.)
This makes me wonder why people install HIDs in their lows, rather than in their highs. Wouldn't that make more sense ... especially out 'in the country'? It seems you're relying on your HID lows in the way you would normally use your high beams.
 

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I have HID in both High and Low. 1) longevity 2) safety, many deer around Ohio 3) My car came from the factory with a sticker on the door jam stating this car could be equipped with HID lighting 4) the smartmadness kits have everything including the ballast in the light fixture.

with the lights adjusted correctly, I get less flashes now than when I had the halogen. Also, put me down as a frowning fan of the "Boom Box Car".
 
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