With all the prominent features of LED headlights, no wonder why you might want to choose one of them for your vehicle. However, there can be some confusion if you aren’t sure to know how to install led headlights at home.
But don’t worry; we have your back! Through this concise instruction and the help of just some rudimentary tools, you will be able to change any of your existing bulbs to LED headlights. Now let’s dive right into it!
Before The Installation
Before trying to install any LED headlights to your car, make sure you are getting the right headlight that fits your vehicle. These are something that you should take into account if you want to find a fitting headlight for your car:
The first factor that you should always consider when choosing a new LED headlight is the brightness presenting by the bulb.
The core need of having a high brightness LED headlight is to ensure your safety while driving at night. A brighter bulb is going to give you better down-road as well as side-road vision.
The Size Of The Headlight Bulb
Another thing that you should take into account is the size of the LED bulb. The new LED headlight bulb needs to fit perfectly into the original headlight assembly of your vehicle.
Or else, the installation won’t work because your bulb can’t sit far enough inside the stock plug to function correctly.
For instance, if you are currently using an H4 headlight, the new LED headlight that you purchase to replace the previous one must be an H4 LED headlight bulb.
The Type Of The LED Headlight Bulbs
There are two types of LED headlight bulbs that you can choose from: single-beam or dual-beam headlight bulbs. Keep in mind that you can only select either single-beam bulbs or dual-beam bulbs for your vehicle, so you’d better consider it carefully.
However, distinguishing the type of LED headlight bulbs can be quite confusing for the inexperienced. One important thing for you to remember is that the “single beam” or the “dual beam” only refers to how many filaments are inside your headlight bulb, not the headlight itself.
So when considering the headlight type, instead of looking at the brand or the headlight feature, you should pay attention to the specifications of the LED bulb and check if it’s a single-beam or dual-beam bulb.
A dual-beam light bulb has two filaments inside it. This type of lightbulb can do a low beam or high beam based on which filament is illuminated. So if you choose dual-beam bulbs for your vehicle, you only need one bulb for each housing.
On the other hand, a single-beam bulb only has one filament in it. So for this type of bulb to perform both low beam and high beam, you need two of them in one headlight housing.
How to install LED headlights – A Step To Step Guideline
Take Out The Existing Headlight Bulb
First, you have to ensure your vehicle is completely off. Double-check the engine, the ignition, the brake to make sure everything is secured.
The next step is to open the vehicle’s hoop and find the right location of your stock headlights. If you have trouble locating the headlights this way, you can try accessing it from under the hood, inside the headlight mount.
For some headlight housings, there would be a rubber gasket for water protection located in the front surface. All you need to do is take it out and pull off all the wiring harness connected to the headlights.
According to different housing, such as an H4 or H7 headlight bulb, there will be a little clip that you have to lift up before taking the bulb out. After it’s done, you grab the old headlight bulb, twist it counterclockwise, and get it out nice and easy.
Typically, when you insert the bulb into the headlight assembly, there will be only one notch on the headlight base to keep the bulb firmly in position. You can hear a small click when it is set in place.
However, on some specific kinds of LED bulbs, you might see two notches on the base. The extra grip can be beneficial for angling and adjusting the LED bulb to a preferable light output on your vehicle.
Insert The New LED Bulb
Now it’s time to take your new LED bulb and mount it into the headlight socket that you just took out your stock halogen bulb.
However, some new LED headlight bulb models will come with a collar. In this case, you will need to twist the collar out and put it back first into the housing before you can insert the new bulb. And remember to push back the metal holder that you had lifted up to take the old bulb out.
If you run into a scenario where your new LED bulb can’t sit far enough in the headlight socket because it’s hitting the collar, the solution is fairly simple. You can cut or trim it shorter until your bulb can fit in the plug, as long as the collar still has its original shape.
Quite easy, isn’t it? Generally, the most important thing is to make sure you get the right pair of headlights for your vehicles, and the installation can be quite straightforward.
Also, save yourself some times by making sure you use gloves or towels while changing your bulbs. The oils produced on your hands can create hot spots on the new bulbs and cause them to burn out prematurely.
If you do touch your headlight bulb, simply clean up your fingerprints and your hand heat that was left on the bulb with rubbing alcohol.
Fix The New Headlight Bulbs
After inserting the LED bulb into the headlight assembly, you need to fix them firmly into place. Push the bulb adaptor into the original stock plug and turn it clockwise to lock it into position.
Remember to only twist the bulb with your hands instead of using any tools and try to do it as gently as possible. You don’t want to over-tighten them because this can cause damage to your headlight bulbs.
Connect The LED Headlight Ballast
A typical LED headlight ballast usually has two separate ends. One end joins the LED headlight driver, and the other one is connected with the original wiring harness.
Because of the specific style of the connectors, it isn’t possible to reverse the two sides. You want to make sure that one end is nicely attached to the original stock plug, and the other one is attached to your LED bulb.
Secure The Ballast
You are almost done! Now what you should do next is securing the ballast firmly inside the headlight assembly.
This step is so important because the last thing you want is to have your ballast swinging around inside the housing. If the ballast becomes loose, it can quickly get damaged and affect the operation of the headlights.
Moreover, securing them fixedly at one location can protect the ballasts from being affected by excessive heat, vibration, and moisture from the external environment.
The most common way to mount a ballast is by using a drill. All you have to do is marking a mounting hole on the flat surface, drilling some holes and then fixing the ballast with metal screws. Some of the ideal locations for you to mount your ballast on can be the inner fender or the back of the headlight housing. Try to find a surface as rigid and flat as possible.
If drilling into your car doesn’t sound right to you, there is still another option to go. You can use either two-sided tapes or plastic zip ties to secure the ballast.
Before attaching the ballast to the housing using this option, remember to apply an alcohol swab beforehand on the mounting surface and let it dry out first.
Although this option is somehow less complicated, it might not be good for your headlights in the long run. The ballast can be loosened easier and won’t be mounted as fixed as when using the drill.
Check The Headlight Aim
You might think your installation process is about to end there. But wait a second! There is still something significant that you need to consider: aiming your LED headlights!
We usually skip this step when it comes to the headlight installation. And that is probably the reason why a lot of people have been complaining about how blinding and bright their LED headlights are.
But surprisingly, you can adjust the beam pattern precisely, so that it will give you the maximal brightness, not blinding other drivers’ eyes on the road.
To aim the headlights precisely, you should pay attention to the distinct cut-off line near the center at the top of the beam called “The Hot Spot”. It should be aimed underneath oncoming drivers’ points of view.
By modifying your headlights based on this specific cut-off line, you can solve the blinding problem quickly.
After aiming the beam pattern of your headlights precisely, it’s time for you to use a screwdriver or a turnscrew to align the headlights up and down.
Though each headlight may have a different alignment adjuster, they all pretty much act the same way. Just find the place where the headlight adjustments section is on your headlight, then locate the socket and put your screwdriver in.
By turning the mechanism either clockwise or counterclockwise inside the socket, you’re going to be able to control the headlights projector (or reflector) and lift it up and down.
When doing this work at home yourself, your tires need to be aired up correctly because it can also throw up the alignment, and the result won’t be as accurate as you expect.
Test Your New Headlights
Congratulations! You have finished all the installation steps!
If you’ve done everything right, your LED headlights should be able to fire up instantly. If not, try to retrace the steps and double-check the connections between the wires.
Once your new LED headlights are fully installed and tested out, you are ready to go!
Essential LED Headlight Bulb Installation Tips and Tricks
– You can take some photos of your existing headlights before taking them out for later comparison with your new LED headlights.
– Make sure you have your new LED headlights ready before unplugging the existing bulb. Because once you take the old one out, moisture and dirt can easily get into the headlight area.
– The new LED headlight wrapping shouldn’t have any sign of previous damage, because it may affect the quality of the LED headlights inside.
– The brighter the headlight, the shorter its lifespan. Try to look for something in between that is relatively bright but can still function well in the long run.
– You must be extremely cautious when working with the new light bulbs. Any small impacts on them, such as dropping, touching, hitting, can wear out your new headlight bulb a lot faster.
– The plastic clip might be hard to unplug for someone who has never changed their headlight bulb before. It’s advisable to use a flat screwdriver to unplug the clip a little bit easier.
– It would help if you always replaced your LED headlights in pairs. Not only will it save yourself a bunch of time by not having to replace two headlights at a separate time, but the headlights that come in a pack will also save you more money.
In the nutshell
So that’s our step-to-step guide for you on how to install led headlights. For someone who has never installed a LED headlight before, it might be a little bit challenging at the beginning. But don’t be discouraged if you messed up a few times! Just take your time, retrace your steps based on our instruction, and fix things again. Wish you luck!