- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
Halo Lights - Which Is Right For Your Car?
Have you ever seen those headlights on cars that are not your average headlight? Perhaps it's a ring instead of a large bulb? They are often seen in BMW cars, as they come standard in newer versions, but they can be bought and added onto any car for installation after the fact. These lights, known as Halo lights, Demon Eyes, or Angel Eyes, add a nice touch to your car - making for a clean look and giving a touch of elegance to an otherwise dull head light, and depending on what kind of headlight you choose, adding more clarity and luminosity to your vision while night driving.
So, what options are available for Halo lights? And is it right for you?
How are Halo Lights Different From Regular Lights?
As mentioned above (and indicative by it's name), a Halo light looks like...well...a Halo! Whereas standard car lights are large bulbs all the better to see the night with, Halo lights are crafted for both the appealing look and functionality. They often have a long life span (some claim longer than the life span of your car), and are just pretty cool to look at.
What kinds of Halo Lights are Available?
There are three different types of halo light kits you can find for installation. But you should know the difference between the different choices you have. Each choice has it's own pros and cons.
CCFL: Short for Cold Cathode Flourescent Lights, this type of halo light are made out of a phosphor coated glass tube which has been filled with mercury gas. It's like the flourescent lights you see light up office buildings, excepts that Halo lights are made to take up a lot less space than normal flourescent lights, and have a much more powerful light emission.
CCFL: Short for Cold Cathode Flourescent Lights, this type of halo light are made out of a phosphor coated glass tube which has been filled with mercury gas. It's like the fluorescent lights you see light up office buildings, excepts that Halo lights are made to take up a lot less space than normal flourescent lights, and have a much more powerful light emission.
- Because a Halo headlight is a tube, the effect is a smooth, consistent light. LEDs, while seeming consistant from a distance, shows each individual bulb that makes up the Halo.
- They can last about 50,000 hours.
- Because they have been around for so long, they cost less than the competition.
- They just don't shine as brightly as the other choices do.
- They are not exactly environmentally friendly.
LED: Short for Light Emitting Diodes, this is becoming a much more popular choice for Halo lighting in cars. While LED lighting technology has been around for about a century, it has only become much more popular recently, meaning they are getting much more use for everyday objects, like car lights.
LED lights come in many colors. Not only that, but one light can produce multiple colors. With this type of technology, your Halo lights could show off different colors at the flip of a switch. Of course, you want to check with the legality of creating a light show out of your head lights - your DMV should show what is legal in your region, but most cars are required to have only white headlights. Still, if you wanted a car less for driving on the streets and more for showing off, it's an option available.
- LEDs are bright - very bright. They can be seen both at night and during the day.
- LED lights are remote control powered - or at least can be. Depending on how much you want to trick out your ride, or if you just want to install some form of wireless or sound activation, you can explore your option with LED lights.
- These diodes produce about 60,000 hours of light.
- LEDs are recyclable, making them a lot more environmentally friendly!
- They are very sturdy! LED lights are hard to break, so it ensures durability.
- They don't use a lot of energy.
- Unlike CCFL's, you can see each and every individual bulb that make up the Halo lights. If you are concerned with aesthetics, LED's might not be for you.
Plasma: If you're looking for the best of CCFL and LED lights all in one package, you might want to look into getting Plasma headlights. Consisting of an LED crystallized circuit board, Plasma lights are at once very bright like LEDs and give a continuous light like CCFL.
- They give off plenty of light along with having different colors you can choose from.
- They have an estimated 100,000 hours of use in them.
- Of the three choices, they are the most brilliant and are bright enough that they can be seen night and day - functional and aestetically pleasing.
- Because the product is so new, color choices are limited. Currently, you may only be able to find amber, blue, green, and white.
Which would you like to buy?
Where can I get them?
As mentioned above, BMW comes with these as their signature headlights, but you can also buy them aftermarket for your car. You can check your local car shops, but your choices may be limited - especially with a new product like the Plasma. Finding dealers who specialize in headlights is probably our best bet, or searching online stores such as shoppmlit.com, or another authorized distributor.
Here are some things you should know before you start:
- Test the lights first - why bother with anything else if you don't know if they'll work!
- Please remember to wear protective glove and protective eyewear while working on your car.
- You're going to need to remove the front bumper, so you might want to call someone over or assistance.
- Remember, your halo lights are both pleasing to the eye and have a very important functionality! Reduce the risk or scratching you lights (and your bumper) by placing a mat on the floor.
- Don't touch any oils on the bulbs.
- Don't make direct contact to the bulbs or wire assembly until everything's cooled down.
Is Installation Difficult?
Well, with the right tools, a little know how, and some elbow grease, you should be able to install a headlight kit yourself in about 3 to 5 hours. Of course, if you're not comfortable with taking apart an essential component to your car and trying to add another essential component to your car, you might want to take it to a mechanic or ask a friend who knows what they are doing.
Here is a quick run down of how to install halo headlights yourself - it's a little on the generic side, but it might give you an idea of how to do things:
You will need:
- A Diagonal Cutter
- A Flat Head Screwdriver
- A Philips Screwdriver
- A Ratchet
- An Extension
- A Socket and Combination Wrench
Now, to get to the nitty, gritty of things. First this is first: remove the front bumper. This will give you access to the headlight connectors, which you will need to remove. Next, remove the five mounting bolts, and then the harness clips. You can now successfully remove the headlight.
Next, you will want to connect the halo wires as well as the LED wires to the driving lights. You will have a black wire and a white wire to work with. The black wire should connect to the ground wire, while the white wire connects to the positive wire. Be cautious that you don't damage the resistor.
Once that is done, you can replace the connectors that go with the headlights. Finally, you can commence installing the mounting bolt, and then the headlights. Once done, connect the front bumper! Then, enjoy your new headlights!
Other Things You Should Know
When it comes to choosing color, it is of course important to research what is legal in your state - you don't want to buy a fancy new color and go through the pesky installation only to be told by the cop giving you a ticket to remove them. White and amber are legal nationwide, and red and blue, often considered emergency lights, are not legal.
At the end of the day, you should always choose functionality over looks. Sure, colored headlights look awesome, but they can also be confusing to other motorists.
So remember, always be safe on the road, and enjoy your new lights - whichever you may choose!