by Dave Tavres (DMC #10515)
DMC #10515 now has LED headlights… and for A LOT less than you may have heard!
I’m a huge fan of Toby Peterson’s Wings-A-Light LED Headlight Kit, but it’s out of my price range at the moment. The biggest reason I like Toby’s LED headlights, as that they LOOK stock (when not turned on.) That is, the GLASS just looks… ‘right.’ There are no weird silver bubbles or yellow squares where the SMD (surface mounted device) LEDs are… Toby’s have the right pattern in the glass and they conceal the LED bulbs perfectly. I’m also sure that with Toby’s background as a Boeing engineer, his system is fantastic. Again though, more than I can afford at the moment.
Then Kevin Krinn mentioned this thread on DMCTalk.org to me. Whoever “DeLorean03” is, thanks to them for the tip… the single biggest tip, which is – the glass housings! The 4×6 inch glass pattern looks very much like the “original” glass (that is, the headlights that were on my car when I bought it – which likely were 30+ years old, since my car sat for 27 years.) While I’m not a nutcase about the car being original, I’m a bit crazy about the headlights. Those ‘bubble’ LED headlights just make the iconic front of the DeLorean look… weird. I don’t like it. That’s why I liked these glass housings (listed as “GS Power’s Chrome OEM style 4 x 6 inch Glass Lens H4 HID LED Halogen High Low Beam Headlight Lamp Conversion Replacement Kit (2 pc) | Lights Not Included” – along with the fact that they are just *$20* per pair! Yes… not on sale, not with a coupon… $20. They fit perfectly when I installed them, with no issues at all. The only note I have about the housings, is that they are missing the three ‘nipples’ found on most headlights, which are used by headlight alignment tools.
Of course, the glass alone won’t get you headlights. You need to buy LED headlight bulbs. The glass is designed for the “H4″ bulb pattern, which is easily found online. I ordered the “LIGHTENING DARK Super Bright H4 LED Headlight Bulbs,CREE Chips Hi/Low Conversion Kit,6,000K Cool White – 10,000 Lumens, Adjustable Beam” bulbs, which were just $50 for two! Again, they installed and worked perfectly! They are ‘long’, but they fit in the headlight buckets just fine. The light output is listed at 6,000K so they are very ‘white’, but that seems to be common when I drive down the road these days and see newer cars with LED headlights. Of course, the ‘white’ light does NOT fit the stock DeLorean – but I don’t care. I’m more interested in ‘seeing’ while driving, rather than what the car looks like while driving. And honestly, only super-purists will be upset that the output of the headlights isn’t stock. Oh, and there’s a slight possibility you’ll need to do a serious headlight adjustment. I didn’t move the adjustment screws during installation, but when I first took the car out that night, the headlights were lighting up the tree-tops on my street.
Lastly, I ONLY installed the two ‘low-beam’ headlights. Partly because this was a cheap test, and partly because I just don’t use the high-beams. HOWEVER, you DO need to buy the adapters for the install, or these LED bulbs will run on the ‘high beam’ setting by default. Thanks to Chris Miles for pointing out the fix, and Justin Trabue for the photo of the wiring fix. The DMCTalk thread does talk about a wiring change, but it’s a bit confusing… basically, you need to switch the socket wires to make these bulbs run as low-beams. Another side note… each LED has a heat-sync and a fan… so if your headlights are on while you’re standing there, you can just barely hear the fan through the fascia.
So, all-in, it was $70. Not bad for a ‘cheap’ conversion that puts out a LOT more light. I’ve now driven the freeway and side roads several times at night, and other than adjusting them up a bit more, I’m very happy with the outcome.
Todd’s installation of the same glass