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Shopping Guide - Custom & Factory Headlights

Ready for custom headlamps? Confused by terms like LED, halos, U-bar, and projector? Our all-encompassing shopping guide answers all your questions; plus we include an installation overview.
Shopping Guide - Custom & Factory Headlights

If the front of your vehicle is its "face", then the headlamps are its "eyes". Everyone notices them. One of the most distinctive changes you can make to the face of your car or truck is to replace the factory headlamp assemblies with a custom set. Your ride will take on a personality all its own, and will gain a distinctive appearance that will set it apart from all the other look-alike vehicles on the road.

Custom headlamp assemblies on the market today have more features than ever, and they tend to be described in a number of ways. This makes the selection process somewhat complicated, because odds are you're asking yourself, "Which style is best for me?"

What you prefer most for your vehicle is an extremely personal decision - because beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Often, one single favorite choice may not exist. We understand. Because we do offer a lot of stylish, head-turning custom headlamp assemblies, we know after talking to our customers on the phone that the odds are good you'll be agonizing over at least two or three final choices before picking one.

In this shopping guide, we'll look at the types of headlights you'll see in sub-sections of our Custom & Factory headlights page. There, we also have factory-style headlight assemblies for those who need them. As a general rule, factory-style replacement lights won't require wiring modifications, but those with additional features such as LEDs or multiple projector beams probably will.

Since many of the headlights we sell contain more than one of the features discussed below, some products will appear in more than one subsection. For example, a single headlight assembly with projector beams, LEDs, and halo lights would appear in all three of those subsections. Or, it may appear under Custom Headlights or Euro Headlights sections if its design deviates from what was offered by the vehicle manufacturer as original equipment.

Why Do I Need To Replace My Current Headlamps?

There are a number of reasons to replace your headlamp assemblies. For starters, plastic outer lens covers on composite headlights deteriorate over time as they are sandblasted by road grit. Milky-looking "cataracts" form on once-clear lens covers as acid rain and sun take their toll and chemically change the plastic. Heat from the sun and humidity in the air cause wiring inside the headlight housing to corrode from within - building up electrical resistance. Combine hazy cataracts on the lens covers with reduced electrical flow, and you've got much dimmer light output.

So if you've got an older vehicle with sealed beam headlights or run-of-the-mill frosted glass lenses, custom headlight assemblies go a long way toward making things look updated and years newer. Even if your car or truck isn't so old, a good look at the clear lens covers on composite headlamp assemblies may reveal they've become cloudy and damaged when you weren't noticing. The good part is, you've got a perfect opportunity to enhance your vehicle's front by replacing them with new headlights that add dazzling style.

If you prefer to keep things stock, brand-new OEM style headlamp assemblies will do a lot to increase the resale value of your vehicle. If your car or truck has a few years on it but is great condition otherwise, getting rid of a set of milky-looking headlamps by replacing them with new ones can bring you an increased sale price that easily offsets the upfront purchase.

Milky-Looking Vs. New Headlamps

What Can Custom Headlamps Do For Me?

When it comes to headlights, "custom" might be as simple as unique colors (black background or smoke tinted lenses), or it could refer to advanced lighting elements like halo, projector, or colored LED lights. While it's true that headlamps on many newer vehicles contain one or more of those features, what you'll find in this section are designs that seek to achieve a higher level of visual excitement. In other words, designs that won't be mistaken for original equipment.

In this shopping guide, we can't tell you what to pick for looks. But we can discuss factors our customers have told us helped them make decisions. For example, the overall shape of your vehicle may play a significant role in headlight choice satisfaction. Are the lines angular, or does it feature more voluptuous curves? We've noticed those with squared-off vehicle lines tended to prefer "plank light" headlight assemblies with a horizontal, flat lighting element along the bottom. Why? It creates a straight-edged look of solidity. Those with curvy vehicle lines often chose halo headlight assemblies with perfectly round halo rings instead of squared off or angular ones. Many of them also opted for projector beam lights with the halos.

Many owners with vibrant vehicle colors, decals, or custom paint work preferred headlamp assemblies with chrome background bezels, while those with matte finishes had the highest likelihood of being satisfied with "smoke" (tinted) headlight assembly colors. And those with solid colors (especially black) often preferred the look of clear headlight lenses with black background bezels.

Is your vehicle's stance enhanced with a lowered suspension or aero kit? Perhaps you might prefer projector beam headlight assemblies with two, even three light pods. And if you like the specific looks of BMW and Audi headlamps which pioneered halo lights and LED light strips, we've got choices that pay tribute to them.

Custom Headlamp Assembly With Black Housing Installed On Ford Truck

Navigating Product Options Field Choices

When you're on a page for a specific headlight assembly product, a Product Options box may be visible on the right side approximately halfway down the page. Clicking on the words "Select Product Options" will first bring you to a prompt for entering your vehicle's make, model, and year. This information is necessary in order to narrow down what variations are made specifically to fit your car.

When additional vehicle query boxes ask if your car is a "2-door" or "4-door", answer them accurately. If such a question is posed, it's only because the headlight shape of coupes and sedans varies on your make and model, and parts are not interchangeable. After the model and sub-model information is entered, you may still see some additional headlight design choices.

I Just Need OEM Factory-Style Replacement Headlamps. Where Can I Find Those?

We know there are times when you need to replace factory headlight assemblies with units that match the quality and function of your originals. While it's fun to customize your ride, keeping things stock may be a priority. One headlamp lens may be cracked. You may have been in a minor fender-bender and the mounting tabs may have broken.

When you need to replace factory headlight assemblies with units that match their original quality and function, we've got you covered. In our "Factory Headlights" subsection, you'll find OEM-style composite headlamp assemblies with 1-piece lens covers made of either glass or plastic. This is where you want to look if you've got a typical vehicle from the 1990s on that was built with flush headlights. Because OEM style headlight assemblies we sell are designed to replicate the look of original lamps installed on the assembly line, features such as LEDs, halo rings, or projector beams usually aren't available.

In some cases, you can choose either a new aftermarket headlamp assembly or a remanufactured original equipment one that's been brought to like-new condition after critical components have been replaced. You may also see individual headlight bulbs offered in the Product Options menu. Whether the factory replacement headlamp assemblies include bulbs or not, you might want to consider purchasing an extra set while you are making your lamp selections. In some cases, the optional bulb offering will be an upgrade to LED headlight bulbs.

Replacement OEM Sealed Beam Style Headlights For Older Classics

If you've got an older classic built before composite headlight assemblies became the norm, you'll find OEM style replacement sealed beam units there as well. A sealed beam headlight assembly contains one or more filaments along with a reflector inside a glass case, usually with a glass lens featuring a multi-prismatic surface. Because bulb filaments are sealed within the headlamp assembly, they cannot be accessed for replacement when burnout occurs. Instead, the entire unit must be replaced.

Replacement OEM Sealed Beam Style Headlight On Older Classic Vehicle

I'm Not Sure If My Vehicle Has HID/Xenon Lights - How Do I Know I'm Getting The Right One?

If your specific make and model was originally available with a choice of halogen or HID (xenon) lights, you'll see a drop down bar asking you to choose between the two. Because wiring connectors for halogen and HID lights differ and are not compatible, you should stay with the same style that was originally equipped on your specific vehicle.

Halogen headlights use traditional bulbs with incandescent filaments to produce light, while "HID" (high intensity discharge) bulbs use a mix of metallic salts heated to a gaseous state with a small amount of xenon gas to produce brighter light. HIDs are costlier because they require an igniter to heat them and a ballast to eliminate flickering.

Halogen Light Bulb
Halogen Bulb
HID Xenon Light Bulb
HID/Xenon Bulb

What Custom Styles Exist?

You may be asking yourself, "which style is the best choice for me?" To make your search through our custom headlamps section easier, we've grouped products into categories based on style. If you'd like to start by seeing all styles of custom headlamps for perspective, we've got them altogether in one place in our "Custom Headlights" subsection. In short, these contain designs or lighting elements not present in typical OE headlamps.

We've got "Projector" style lights with lenses shaped like projectors, "Halo" style lights with halo rings, "LED" style with LED bulbs, and "Euro" style lights - just to name a few. It's important to note that specific features contained in these styles of lights can overlap, and this may seem confusing at first. For example, "Halo" style headlamp assemblies may also be equipped with projector lights and LED bulbs. Or, "Euro" style headlight assemblies may be equipped with halo rings, projector lights, and LEDs… or they may not be. For this reason, a single headlamp product with multiple features may appear in multiple subsections.

For descriptive purposes, the feature that's most noticeable to the eye is the one that wins out when it comes to labeling a headlamp's style. Below, we explain what various styles are best known for.

Euro Style Headlight Assemblies

A "Euro headlight" assembly is a term for a custom headlamp assembly that features a flush, aerodynamic glass surface instead of fixed-shape sealed beam lamps. This style of headlamp had been in use in Europe since the 1950s, but was not allowed on U.S. market vehicles until the 1984 model year. By 1986, they began to appear almost everywhere and soon became an automotive norm. Through the end of the 1990s, Euro headlamp assemblies did not feature a great deal of distinctive styling other than a smooth, one-piece glass outer surface.

Years later as projector beam headlights began to grow in popularity (see further below), original equipment Euro style headlights began to imitate their high-tech look. Frosted glass lens covers were replaced with clear plastic ones which allowed a look in at multi-faceted mirror pieces shaped in a variety of oval and squared-off patterns.

In more recent years, Euro light designs tend to feature circular cutouts that look the part of projector beam lenses. While this may cause confusion as to what a Euro style headlamp assembly actually is, it's important to remember the one thing they have in common is a flush outer lens cover.

When it comes to custom designs, a closer look reveals Euro style headlamp assemblies typically don't have bonus features such as LEDs, halo rings, or projector beam lenses. Instead, they are styled to imitate the looks of those that do. For this reason, they offer solid value for those looking to step up the look of their vehicle.

Euro Style Headlight Assembly

Projector Beam Headlamp Assemblies

Shortly after the turn of this millennium, automakers began to breathe new styling life into composite Euro headlight assemblies that had begun to seem plain-looking after being around since the 1980s. Instead of a single piece of frosted glass across the entire headlight assembly, clear outer lens covers were used along with multi-faceted projector beam bulbs behind them. These are known as Projector Beam headlamp assemblies, and you'll find custom headlamps equipped with these in our "Projector Headlights" subsection.

Glancing at a projector headlight assembly, you'll typically find stylish round cutouts for headlights, bright lights, turn signals, daytime running lights, and more - all of which are highly visible and styled to look like lenses that a laser beam might radiate from. Inside each assembly, a glass ball serves as the projector for the main headlight, and similar-looking round cutouts surround it. Turn signals, parking lights, and DRLs typically use incandescent or LED bulbs, and round cutouts are often framed by halo lights.

If you've got an older car with run-of-the-mill frosted lenses or clear lenses that have become cloudy, custom projector lamps go a long way toward making your vehicle look updated and years newer. On our page, you'll also find more subtle-looking examples geared to resemble factory OEM headlights with the addition of one, two, or three projectors. Whether you're replacing just a sealed beam headlight or an entire composite assembly, we've got some interesting projector lens lighting choices.

If you're a real hard-core fan of the projector look, you'll be happy to discover we've got headlights that are literally filled with rows of small projector lenses. On a typical assembly, the center row may light up for low-beam headlight use while high-beams use top and bottom rows. A daytime running light function can also be activated if desired. As with other types of lights we offer, a large number of projector headlights can be selected with tinted or clear lens covers, and a background housing in black, silver, or multiple bright colors.

Projector Beam Headlamp Assembly

Halo Lights

"Halo lights" are circular rings of light surrounding round headlamp bulbs. First appearing on 2001 BMWs, halo lights (also known as "angel eyes") can be set up to come on with low beam headlights or function separately as daytime running lights. Since their introduction, automakers have embraced halo lights as an effective way to distinguish their vehicle fascias. While early halo lights used incandescent and CCFL bulbs as a source of illumination, the market has trended toward LEDs because they create the cleanest, most evenly-distributed light all the way around the ring.

The aftermarket has been hard at work pushing the design envelope when it comes to headlamp assemblies with LED halo rings. As a result, we're proud to offer the largest selection of halo lights you'll find anywhere - full of creativity, style, and looks that span from mild to wild. For starters, LEDs can be configured to change color, pulse, flash, or fade in and out. This allows halo rings to display white light when serving as daytime running lights, then change instantly to amber and serve as turn signal flashers. We've even got headlamp assemblies with LED halo rings that display a range of colors - casting hues for any mood or setting!

We've got halo headlights that operate by remote control using Bluetooth from your smartphone. And if you've got an older vehicle with round sealed beam headlights, we've got units that fit right in their place - with a variety of halo rings that partially or completely surround the center bulb. Older BMW owners, among others, will appreciate the ability to upgrade their headlamp assemblies with ones that match current-generation U-shaped halos (known as "U-bar" lights).

"U-bar" is an informal term used to describe the shape of a halo ring mounted in a custom headlight assembly. Instead of being shaped like a circular ring, U-bar halo rings feature straight lines with square edges or extremely sharp angles. The "U" in U-bar refers to the fact that these halos are open on one side, forming a visual U on designs where the open edge faces the top. Other U-bar headlights feature open edges that face down or to the side.

JDM fans may appreciate our selection of available halo headlight assemblies with smoke (tint) lens covers and even all-black backgrounds. For "rat rod" owners that prefer a dull and rusty patina to a shiny one, we've even got sealed beam halo headlights designed to appear rusted inside - yet pump out bright light when needed.

Halo Lights

DRL Bar Headlights

"DRL" stands for Daytime Running Lights. By definition, DRLs are illuminated whenever the vehicle's engine is running. DRLs are therefore "on" during the daytime, and aren't for the purpose of lighting up the road. However, they do increase the visibility of your vehicle to surrounding drivers.

In our "DRL Bar" subsection, you'll see all sealed beam and composite headlight assemblies we offer with light bars and/or halo rings that can be dedicated to function as DRLs when properly wired. In many cases, DRL bars made up of LED lights can change color, and they can become amber and flash in synch with your turn signals when properly wired. DRL bars are the latest in the evolution of headlight designs, and many premium automakers fit some form of them as standard equipment.

You'll see DRL light bars that are straight, curved, and dotted. You'll also see swooping LED bar patterns designed to flow with the shape of the headlight assembly, or around lights contained inside of it. A great number of choices await, and we're confident you'll have no problem finding something you really like.

DRL Bar Headlight Set

LED Headlights

In our "LED Headlights" section, you'll find a range of sealed beam and composite assemblies equipped with LEDs that serve various functions. In many cases, this means the headlight assemblies contain LEDs that serve only as daytime running lights and/or halo lights. The headlight bulb itself may or may not be an LED bulb.

If the headlight bulb itself is an LED one, you'll see that fact noted in the Features bulletpoint list within any of our product pages. You'll also see headlight bulb output listed in lumens rather than watts.

But if you should happen to choose a headlamp assembly not equipped with LED headlamp bulbs, we offer compact conversion kits that make it possible to install LED headlight bulbs after the fact. These come with "plug-n-play" adapter bases for the original socket, and they include new LED headlight bulbs. These adapter kits may appear as an extra-cost choice in Product Options pages, so be sure to look there.

An important note: LED conversions are suitable only as replacements for halogen bulbs, and are NOT compatible with HID/Xenon headlight setups.

But let's take a minute to look at the advantages of LED lights. LEDs are transistors immersed in a film that produces light when electrical current is applied. Because they are not limited by self-consuming filaments the way traditional incandescent bulbs are, LEDs product greater illumination from each watt of electricity. No-filament configuration also allows LEDs to burn cooler than incandescent bulbs because no unnecessary heat is created. In fact, energy savings are so great that LEDs use only a fraction of the electricity normal bulbs do.

LEDs are extremely resistant to shocks and vibrations, and come sealed in moisture-proof casings. This allows them to provide anywhere from 10,000 - 50,000 hours of service, depending on design and other factors. If you measure that against the typical incandescent bulb lifespan of 1,000 - 2,000 hours, it's easy to see how LED headlight bulbs can easily last a lifetime of automotive service.

LED Headlights

What Does Headlight "Housing" Color Refer To?

Within all custom headlight subsections of our website, you'll see check boxes under a HOUSING category along the left side of the screen. "Housing color" refers to the background section inside the headlamp assembly which can be seen through the lens. Using the check boxes, product searches can be narrowed by preferred housing cover.


Most OEM composite assemblies feature chrome or mirror background surfaces that are curved in shape to reflect the maximum amount of light forward. Even if the reflective surface isn't actual chrome, lights like this are still referred to as "chrome" housings.


With the advent of projector beam lamps that do the work of guiding light output forward, headlight housing background areas no longer need to be as reflective in order to be functional. Headlights with "black housings" feature a background finish that's matte black. Because they're generally not used as original equipment by automakers, black housing headlights are ideal for those who want a custom look that gets noticed.


In some sub-sections of our Custom Headlights page, you'll be able to narrow your search to headlamp assemblies that feature housing backgrounds in various colors. More specifically, we've got muted grays that match the look of some high-end makes, and we've got bright colors that catch the eye and make your vehicle stand out from the others.

Headlight Housing Options

What Are "Smoke" Lens Covers?

"Smoke headlights" describes custom headlamp assemblies with a dark tinted lens cover instead of a traditional clear one. In general, a smoke lens will reduce light output based on the degree of tinting it contains.

Within various custom headlight subsections of our website, you'll see check boxes under the LENS category along the left side of the screen for "Smoke" and "Clear". Use those boxes to narrow your search by lens preference. While most smoke lens covers feature chrome background housings, some are available with black.

Smoke Lens Covers

I Have An Older Classic With Sealed Beam Headlights. Are There Any Custom Products For Me?

Yes, there are. Sealed beam headlights are self-contained units found on older vehicles not equipped with Euro/composite headlamp assemblies. Unlike a composite assembly that allows replacement of individual bulbs, a sealed beam unit is removed and replaced entirely once its bulb burns out. Either round or rectangular in shape, original equipment sealed beam units are conservative-looking by nature.

In our "Sealed Beam" subsection, we've got custom and OEM-style headlamps designed for a range of older vehicles - in square and rectangular dimensions. If a stock-looking replacement is what you seek, we've got standard shapes and sizes designed for a range of makes and models. With vehicle-specific designs, our sealed beam assemblies will fit snugly into the headlight cavity, and they'll connect easily to your make and model's existing wiring connectors.

If you're looking to add some spectacular features to your classic car or truck's headlights, we've got sealed beam units with projector beam lights, LED strips, halo rings, and more. Normally, a series of small reflective mirrors are set up inside the housings of sealed beam units. In our section, however, you'll find many of the sealed beam headlights equipped with extra features listed above are also available with background housings in flat black, or in a range of solid bright colors. That's something you won't see on other vehicles coming and going!

We've also got sealed beam headlights that look mostly like original equipment, but are fitted with halo rings around the edges. These halo rings are available in white or solid colors such as blue, green, red, amber, purple, and more. We caution, however, that some headlights with colored halo rings that cast bright hues are suitable for show use only. You can also choose "multi-color" halos capable of changing from white to a variety of colors.

Chrome Sealed Beam Headlights
Black Sealed Beam Headlights

I See "Good" Vs. "Better" Vs. "Best" Choices For Some Products - What Do Those Signify?

On some products where the manufacturer offers variations on a single basic item, you'll see a drop down box offering "quality" choices. You will see the choices "Good", "Better", and "Best". In some cases, only two of these may be shown. The quality level reflected in drop down boxes does not always correlate with higher cost. Sometimes, the highest-rated item is priced the same as the standard version of it.

"Good" signifies lights are made of similar materials as original equipment - however materials used may differ for certain components. In short, a "Good" level product allows you to get a quality replacement that will function just like an OE one at a value price.

"Better" quality level means the headlight assembly was built to closely match materials and manufacturing standards used by original manufacturers. They do not have certifications from major third party organizations such as CAPA (Certified Automotive Parts Association) or NSF (National Sanitation Foundation - Consumer Products Division) that set and verify quality standards in the collision parts industry, nor are the facilities that manufacture them inspected on a regular basis. However these parts may carry an independent certification that ensures the product's quality and performance.

"Best" quality level headlights may feature certifications from CAPA or other agencies. Or, they may receive a designation of "Platinum Plus" and come with a limited lifetime warranty. The Platinum designation signifies a product is guaranteed to fit and maintain its appearance for as long as the owner has the vehicle. Suppliers of these parts meet all specifications and comply with all ISO (International Organization for Standards) standards. Platinum Plus parts undergo third party validations as well as internal testing to ensure that all guidelines are met. These manufacturers go through the same inspection procedures that CAPA certified companies undergo, but the inspections are performed by the manufacturer instead of an outside agency.

NFC / CAPA Certifications

Should I Replace Headlight Assemblies In Pairs?

It's a well-known fact that brakes, tires, and windshield wipers are vehicle components that should be in similarly good condition on both driver and passenger sides. Mismatched brakes will cause a vehicle to pull unpredictably when stopping, unevenly worn tires cause unsafe handling issues, and wiper blades that don't clear the windshield reduce driver reaction times. While it's not as critical to replace headlamp assemblies in pairs if only one should become damaged, we feel you should consider doing so - even if you're installing an OEM-style assembly that looks the same as what's on your vehicle already.

Many vehicles built since the early 1990s feature plastic front bumper covers which must be removed in order to access and replace headlamp assemblies. Unless you're practiced at this operation, the procedure can take one to several hours. And once the bumper cover is off, it's just as easy to replace two headlamp assemblies as one. With both assemblies replaced, you'll be amazed at how much brighter your light output is. Brand new headlamps make the front of your vehicle look new again - a factor that can greatly contribute to your vehicle's resale value because visual perception of age is reduced.


Before You Begin

For any new part, headlights or otherwise, it's always a "best practice" to start by unpacking the components and verifying that everything is in good shape. For your new headlamp assemblies, remove them from the box and ensure that there is no physical damage.

If your headlights have single wires for DRL or halo lights, touch these wires (red or white are usually positive, and black is usually negative) to a 12-volt source such as the car battery to ensure that all lights function. Make sure that everything you ordered is included, and if the light manufacturer included their own installation instructions, use them along with this guide.

Removing & Installing Bumper Covers (If Required)

Tools needed: open-end wrenches, socket wrenches, rivet gun (on certain vehicle applications), screwdriver(s), Torx head bits (if applicable), electric drill (if applicable)

This is often the first step because many modern vehicles require the plastic front bumper cover to be slid loose an inch, or completely removed in order to access anchor points where headlight assemblies bolt on. If you're not sure whether this step is needed, we recommend checking with your vehicle manufacturer or accessing a repair manual online. Removing and re-installing the front bumper cover is relatively easy because most are designed to unbolt and slide off with basic hand tools.

Taking a close look at the bumper cover, you'll notice that the bolts which secure it in place are typically exposed once you open the hood. They can also be found underneath the vehicle where the bumper cover meets splash shields, and near the edge of wheel well openings where wheel well liners meet fenders. There may also be small plastic caps or clips covering such bolts, so remove them with a small flathead screwdriver.

Remove the bolts themselves with an applicable socket wrench or flat wrench. On the off chance your vehicle manufacturer has used rivets to secure things (wheel well areas), they'll need to be drilled out with a traditional drill. Then you'll need a rivet gun to reinstall new ones - not an expensive purchase, but the proper tool to use. When drilling out rivets, bits designed for drilling into metal are most suitable due to a higher heat rating.

Once all fasteners are removed, the bumper cover can be detached. Many are designed to slide horizontally along special bracket pieces mounted underneath before coming completely loose, so move the bumper cover in this fashion first if you aren't able to obtain specific instructions on your make and model.

Bumper Cover Removal

Unbolting Your Old Headlamp Assembly

Tools Needed: Socket wrench, screwdriver(s)

Old Headlamp Assembly Unbolting

Depending upon the year and model of your car, you may need to remove your vehicle's front grille section in order to access bolts or clips that secure the headlight assembly in place. This can be done by removing the screws from the top or sides of the grille and/or by releasing hold-down clips found on some vehicles with a flathead screwdriver.

Hold-Down Clips Release

Once any grille, trim, and bumper cover sections have been removed in order to provide access to headlamp assembly attachment points, you can proceed with unbolting them - usually a small socket wrench serves best for such applications. Look for hold-down bolts in the metal body panels above and to the side of your headlamp assemblies. Some vehicles also feature hold-down clips on the headlamp assembly which can be released with a flathead screwdriver.

After all applicable hold-down bolts and clips have been removed, it's time to slide your old headlamp assembly away from the vehicle - wiggling it gently as you go. Remember, unless you disconnected them earlier from behind, electrical wiring harnesses are still attached. Don't remove any bulbs from your factory housings just yet. Set your OEM headlamp assemblies aside, in the event that you wish to reinstall them one day, for example, if you decide to sell the vehicle.

Disconnecting And Reconnecting Electrical Wires

Tools Needed: Wire stripping tool, wire connectors, pliers (if applicable), electrical tape

Once you've pulled the old headlamp assembly away from the vehicle a short distance, it's time to get a full look at wiring harnesses that are attached. Even if you've removed one or more connectors from the rear of the assembly before unbolting it, there may be others (such as separate wires to side marker bulbs) still attached which were previously obscured. Once you can see everything, unhook any and all electrical connectors from the back of the headlight assembly. Usually, either a simple squeeze on the edges of the connector or pulling up on a tab is enough to cause the connector to release its grip, but if a thin wire bar is present, it usually needs to be slid into an unlocked position first. If you're not sure how a locking clip is designed to release, it's best to further research instructions for your make and model.

Electrical Wires Disconnecting
Electrical Wires Reconnecting

You are now ready to begin installation of your new lights.

Transferring Bulbs From Old To New Assembly

Depending on your vehicle and design of the new custom lights, you may need to transfer some bulbs. In some cases, new lights will include low/high beam headlight bulbs. In many cases, the turn signal (incandescent) bulb is not included in the new assembly. This is very easy to rectify. You will need to remove the signal bulb from the old lamp (do NOT disconnect any wires) and install it, in its existing housing, into the new lamp.

Bulbs Transferring

The Plug'n'Play Portion Of The Installation

Both your old and new headlamps have low and high beam headlamps. When you removed the old units, you disconnected an electrical plug from the car or truck's wire harness. On the new assembly, you should find an electrical plug shaped exactly like the plug on the old assembly. This portion of the electrical install is called 'plug'n'play' because you literally only need to connect the new plug into the existing harness. If you have purchased lamps without any additional lighting elements like halos or LED lights, you are done with the electrical install.

Plug'n'play Portion Of Electrical Installation

Connecting Extra Wires Found On Halo And LED Custom Headlamp Assemblies

When you install custom headlamp assemblies equipped with additional halo and/or LED lights ("bonus lights"), you're going to find extra sets of wires. In the typical installation, there will be one pair of wires for each additional light. Within each pair, one wire will be 'positive' (usually red or white) and one will be 'negative' (usually black). Assuming you want the LEDs and halos to switch on with the headlights, you'll be splicing both white wires together and both black wires together.

Bonus Lights Extra Set Of Wires
Positive / Negative Pair Of Wires

However, should you prefer these lights be triggered by your vehicle's daytime running lights (DRLs), parking lights, or even turn signals, the wires can be connected to separate power wires for those items instead. For example, if they're wired into the DRL harness, the world will see them anytime your DRLs are on during the day. Or, connect them to parking light wires to show them off when you're parked on the street at cruise night (they'll also flash every time you use keyless entry). Because wiring harnesses for different lighting functions vary from vehicle to vehicle, we recommend researching locations and wire colors for your specific make and model. Use a test light or multimeter (DMM, or digital multimeter) to probe the factory harness. Be sure to turn on the lights for the circuit you are pursuing so that it shows up as "live".

Once you've decided which wires you want connected, use a wire stripping tool to remove an inch of the colored insulation at the end of each wire. The "power" wire needs to be connected to the light circuit. The "negative' or "ground" wire can be connected to any convenient vehicle ground point.

Before bolting your new headlight assemblies back on the vehicle, check the back of them to see what type of knobs, screws, or fittings are there for the purpose of adjusting headlight aim. Look for applicable hand tools that provide grip, and put them to the side. Test all lights and turn signals to ensure they're functioning properly. Once that's been confirmed, tighten the new headlight assemblies firmly into place and reinstall all other components in the reverse order of removal.

Once you see your new headlights on your vehicle, you'll agree they're worth every penny - and then some! They also make a great gift for the automotive enthusiast in your life. We'd love to hear from you with any product questions, and we're open 7 days a week to help you make the most informed purchase possible.

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