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Discussion Starter #1
Just spoke to my dealer who had a LCUSA rep visit him. He said the Halogen bulbs will not be offered as it could cause problems with the headlight waiver.
Too bad since I was gonna order the upgrade.
 

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Speaking of lights, last night was the first chance I had to drive at night on a very dark twisty road. I was bothered by the lighting on both low and high beams. I cannot quite put my finder on what it is about the lights that seems inadequate. Maybe it's because my daily driver is an Audi S4 with Zenon headlights. I will definitely be adding driving lights to the Elise as soon as possible.

Anyone else find this to be a problem?
 

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Derek said:
the Halogen bulbs will not be offered as it could cause problems with the headlight waiver.
It was only an over-priced light bulb swap. You can buy higher wattage bulbs yourself and simply replace the bulbs. Save money too...
 

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pianomaniac said:
Speaking of lights, last night was the first chance I had to drive at night on a very dark twisty road. I was bothered by the lighting on both low and high beams. I cannot quite put my finder on what it is about the lights that seems inadequate. Maybe it's because my daily driver is an Audi S4 with Zenon headlights. I will definitely be adding driving lights to the Elise as soon as possible.

Anyone else find this to be a problem?
just from what I've read on this board, the default headlight alignment seems to be a bit high. A few people have aimed the bulbs down a bit & are more satisfied with the light pattern.
 

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We have PIAA bulbs that will deliver more light output. They replace the OEM bulbs. Plug 'n Play. They are street legal as well.

Low Beam:
High Beam:
 

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Seem to recall someone that toured the factory they adjusted the lights with weight in the back end, ,or did I imagine it.
Chris
 

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I thought any modern headlight that isn't a discharge lamp, is a halogen. Do you know what the "upgrade" comprised?

There are a few things you can do to improve your stock headlights:

1) Aim them properly. I don't know if the Elise uses projector or conventional optics, but either the sharp cutoff or the brightest part of the beam should stay at the same height as you move away from the car. The bright spots (or the "step" in the cutoff line) should continue straight forward from each lamp, the same distance apart.

2) "Toleranced" bulbs. Sylvania XV and Philips HV bulbs are two examples. The DOT specifies a maximum light output for each type of headlight bulb. Generic bulbs are produced so that even with a fairly large manufacturing variation, they all fall under the legal maximum. However, you can pay more and buy bulbs that have been specially selected to be close to the legal maximum output.

Don't go for the bluish or "extra white" bulbs; they have the same basic output except they have a blue tint to the casing which absorbs some of the light and actually reduces output.

Depending on the quality of the OE bulbs, toleranced bulbs may not be a big improvement. They were not on my 2001 Miata, which came with Japanese bulbs (Nikko or Denso). They were on my used 1999 Miata, which had non OE replacement bulbs when I bought it.

3) You can "cheat" and get bulbs with a higher power rating that the bulbs you're replacing. The concerns here are legality, and damaging the heatlight assembly due to excess heat. These over-power bulbs often shorten their own lives because they run hot, even if the headlight assembly can take it.
 

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pianomaniac said:
Speaking of lights, last night was the first chance I had to drive at night on a very dark twisty road. I was bothered by the lighting on both low and high beams. I cannot quite put my finder on what it is about the lights that seems inadequate. Maybe it's because my daily driver is an Audi S4 with Zenon headlights. I will definitely be adding driving lights to the Elise as soon as possible.

Anyone else find this to be a problem?
Only at night!

When driving mountain roads through Tennessee, I found the lights pretty marginal and often felt I was overdriving the lights, which is not good. The brights helped a lot, but seemed to be misaligned as they lit up the trees to my left a lot.

Be careful of any bulbs that create more heat. I was told by LCU that heat is important and too much heat in the headlights can cause problems with the lens.
 

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BrianK said:
just from what I've read on this board, the default headlight alignment seems to be a bit high. A few people have aimed the bulbs down a bit & are more satisfied with the light pattern.
Hmm, isn't this backwards? I don't have a car either, but my reading was that the factory aims the lights with a laden trunk (boot), so the front end is raised when this procedure is done. With the weight out of the car, the front end comes down and the result is that the headlights are now pointed too low. So I think others have said that the lights should be realigned so that they point higher. Somebody help me if I've got this wrong.
 

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Mine are a hair too low. We ran out of time at my After Sale Service (check out the acronym...) to adjust mine - I had to head out. It looks pretty straightforward.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Only at night!

When driving mountain roads through Tennessee, I found the lights pretty marginal and often felt I was overdriving the lights, which is not good. The brights helped a lot, but seemed to be misaligned as they lit up the trees to my left a lot.

Be careful of any bulbs that create more heat. I was told by LCU that heat is important and too much heat in the headlights can cause problems with the lens.
So Randy, have you done any adjustments to correct this? I do,also, remember the trees being lit up to the left on high beam and also the center of the pattern cast an irregular shaped pattern ahead of me in the center. I definitely felt as though I was always overdriving the lights which I agree is bad news.
 

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I have not done anything yet. Been too busy with other stuff and sadly, I don't have time to drive the car right now beyond a 2 miles to the bank and post office.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, looks like I have to be more careful with my questions. My dealers says Halogens will not be offered, however Xenon lights will be offered. He said it's 1.5 hours to install. Does that sound right?
 

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Derek said:
OK, looks like I have to be more careful with my questions. My dealers says Halogens will not be offered, however Xenon lights will be offered. He said it's 1.5 hours to install. Does that sound right?
I really doubt it. True HID kits are not DOT legal anymore (not that you can't get them, but I doubt that a dealer would install them) and are moderately complicated to install as you've got to find a place for the ballasts and maybe modify the light housing too.

Besides, the car almost certainly comes with halogen lamps as stock. I think there are some terminology problems at work here.
 

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I just looked at the order guide. It very cleverly says that you can get 'High Intensity headlamp bulbs'. They mean it to sound just like HID lights, but it's really just brighter halogen bulbs, the same as what Shinoo is selling (I'll bet his are less expensive!). A real HID kit would be more involved, more expensive and honestly, a lot (most?) of the HID kits are garbage, far worse than the stock bulb setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well whatever they are, I ordered them. They did make a point to say that they were Xenon lights and that the kit was bulbs only. Cost is $35 for the set.
 

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Derek said:
Well whatever they are, I ordered them. They did make a point to say that they were Xenon lights and that the kit was bulbs only. Cost is $35 for the set.
Well they can call them what they want but at that price they're selling brighter halogens. Real HID xenon bulbs are more than a hundred bucks a piece and require a ballast unit to step the voltage up to a few tens of thousands of volts.

Not that these won't be better than stock but it bothers me that they're using incorrect terminology to make an incorrect impression. But that's just my pet peeve.
 

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Derek said:
OK, looks like I have to be more careful with my questions. My dealers says Halogens will not be offered, however Xenon lights will be offered. He said it's 1.5 hours to install. Does that sound right?
That must be about right. I asked Criswell what it would cost (just labor) to install some brighter bulbs I have. They quoted me $120 labor. Don't know their rates, but that's probably about 1.5 hours.
 

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Ive got xenons in my S2 - they are excellent. You can get the kit from www.elise-shop.com...well worth the money. Spending £100 on fancy bulbs is not worth it IMO - they do give an improvement, but no where near the real thing
 

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It concerns me that elise-shop touts the color temperature of 7000K as "pure white". 5500K is "daylight" and has long been considered the standard for white by photographers and other imaging professionals.

I guess I'll have to see just how bad the Elise's lighting is with Sylvania XVs.
 
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