SYLVANIA XENARC HID HEAD LIGHTS

The stock H2 head lights seem to be very weak and poor in terms of light output. Many people have resolved this with aftermarket "HID look" bulbs, some of the cheaper ones really don't seem to help a great deal, although they do increase the color temp, but at the cost of light output. The Sylvania SilverStar, PIAA Xtreme White Plus and Platinum Super White bulbs seem to be the best of the bunch, with the Xtreme White Plus bulbs been the best. The other alternative is to switch to true HID units.

There are several options available, from simple replacement HID bulb units to custom made bi-xenon systems. Light from HID's is generally handled differently from that produced by halogen bulbs, and the units which use the stock relflector/lens assembly. While replacement bulb units clearly improve the light quality and are the easiest to install, they are not necessarily the best option, as they are still using the stock reflector/lens. However, some of the units available that replace the complete lamp assembly only offer lo beam ability, again this is less than ideal. The few "custom" bi-xenon units available tend to be somewhat expensive at this time.

The Sylvania Xenarc HID units are reasonably priced (around $400 for a pair of lights including ballasts, wiring, etc), uses a reflector/lens specifically designed for HID's, and while not a true bi-xenon, it does offer hi and lo beam ability. The lo beam unit is true HID and for hi beam they use a H1 halogen bulb, but keep the HID lo beam on, thus almost duplicating the ability of a true bi-xenon. The Xenarc Headlight Upgrade Systems also comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Specification J2009 for Discharge Forward Lighting Systems.

The units used for the H2 are the Sylvania Xenarc 6024 kit, however some small amount of trimming is required at the back of the stock headlight shroud. This does not prevent re-installation of the stock units at a later stage and cannot be seen from the exterior of the vehicle. There is some speculation as to whether or not these units will continue to be sold by Sylvania, however it is understood that they will continue to provide spares/replacement parts/etc shoulkd they be discontinued. There was also speculation that a new version of the unit was to be realeased sometime in mid 2003, but there seems to be no proof that this actually happened. As of January 2004, Sylvania still have the Xenarc 6024 listed on their web site as a current product.

If you follow the instructions they are easy to install. It should be noted that you only need one bridge as supplied with the kit, as the H2 head lamp circuits are lopped and not individual circuits. You do not need to use two bridges, one will work just fine. Also you will have to spend a few minutes aiming them, the stock head lamp assembly will only allow adjustment of the vertical plane easily, horizontal adjustments need to be made by removing the head lamp assembly from the vehicle. Holes can be drilled in the fron of the black plastic shroud to allow horizontal adjustment.

The light pattern is very distinct and the number of hot spots is somewhat disappointing. However to with careful adjustment and aiming the lights a little high, the beam pattern can be set to give great coverage and this almost eliminates the hot spots. The color temp of 4100K is very good, the light is white, but not blue, and is very bright. Around town or other lit areas you really don't notice much difference, however on dark roads the difference is very noticeable and the HID's do a great job.

Overall, they are a very good alternative to the stock head lamps and most probably the best value for money HID kit available.

Click on the pics below for larger images;


HID Lights - Off

HID Lights - On

HID Unit - Right

HID Unit - Left


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