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Discussion Starter #1
Drove my car for the first time in the dark last night, (just picked up) not impressed with the light output with the factory halogens. Is it possible to install a HID bulb kit in the factory housings? OEM lights are in great shape and really not interested in changing them out to something different, just would like better whiter light. I did a search and really could not find an answer.
 

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I have had the SilverStar Ultras in my Tahoe, they are better than OEM bulbs. But I prefer HID lights. Not sure if the HID bulb would fit in the housing, they are kinda long...
 

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Guess you're in the US. Retrofit HIDs are not legal in the UK if they don't have self levelling.
You should try the best halogen you can find before you dive off into other technologies. Most LEDs are bright but poor beam pattern in a halogen reflector.
Cheers Neil
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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I understand that HIDs and LED beam patterns are best controlled by the use of projector lenses which do not come as standard on the R170. You may want to explore this if you're contemplating a leap to these technologies.

As a first (and much cheaper) route I'd look at upgrading to better halogens and making sure your headlamps are clear and the reflectors are ... reflective. (sorry)

In the UK there are regular comparisons between lamps in the motoring press which may help (although check which of our lamps are available to you)
 

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Registered 2002 SLK32 AMG
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What is the brightness difference between 55w and 35w HID kits ? Considering 5k or 6k. Do not know much about them & opinions welcome. Have SilverStar Ultras in projectors now.
I'd go with the 35w ones if I were in your shoes, there's been many issues with the 55s melting things due to excessive heat. The final light output (i.e. looking down the road) isn't much different between the two, it more depends on how well the light is distributed by the projectors.
 

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Registered 2002 SLK32 AMG
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Thank you. Are 55W HIDs (4.2A rating) hotter than 55W halogens (Ultras) ?
In my experiences (and other's), yes. I've seen plenty of melted components from HID retrofits that were perfectly fine when using stock 55W halogens. I like the kits from DDM Tuning, as they've done years of research and made tons of improvements with all of their kits... I've never had an issue with them.

While we're on the subject, I'd keep the stock halogens for the high beams, as HIDs don't respond well when being used in short spurts due to the high energy they need to 'light off'. My 32 has the factory Xenon package, and the high beams are halogens in that as well.
 

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What is the brightness difference between 55w and 35w HID kits ? Considering 5k or 6k. Do not know much about them & opinions welcome. Have SilverStar Ultras in projectors now.
55W HID's are approximately 20% brighter than 35W HID's. Also the color is reduced by 1000k when using the higher wattage 55W ballasts. Thus a 6500k bulb will appear as 5500k when driven by a 55W ballast. Your bulb life is also reduced when driven by a 55W ballast

I can't comment on my SLK as I haven't retrofitted it yet but I did fully retrofit my Tacoma truck with 55W 6500k bulbs and can't imagine driving a car now without HID's. I will def be looking at adding them to my SLK
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320/2000 SLK230
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Thank you. Contacted the Spyder Projector vendor and says 55W is max but OK. Also have a pair of $12 LEDs. Was concerned about "960W" (40A @12v) but in test just pulls 3.15A, about the same as Halogens. Now if they will just send H1's as ordered instead of H13s which have a different mount... RSN.

Plan to test all three @20 feet from my garage door for pattern and brightness. Halogens have a very sharp cutoff, will see if others match.

Do really like the Spyder Projectors and vender has been very helpful & quick to reply just wish they had used H7s or H11s, and not the small base H1s.
 
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