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Cadillac ATS Picture and Appearance Forum Discussion, Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Hello, we currently have a 2014 Performance on order which has factory HID's. We took advantage of a 2 day ...
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    same2you is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Hello, we currently have a 2014 Performance on order which has factory HID's. We took advantage of a 2 day test drive from our local dealer, and I noticed that the HID's in the ATS are extremely weak compared to those that are in my current car. I know that it is likely answered elsewhere in the forum, but all of my search results are polluted with people upgrading from Halogen to HIDs, and not just improving the factory HID setup. To improve the light output, is it as simple as swapping out the factory bulbs from the factory HIDs to something more powerful, or would I also need to swap out other components (eg. ballasts) too? If I'm just able to swap the bulb (which I assume/hope is all that is needed), is there a specific size/temp that I should be looking for? I don't mind spending money, I just want to ensure that I only have to spend it once.

    Thanks!


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    donavo's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    prepare urself. a thousand nations will descend upon u. their arrows bill blot out the sun. prepare for all the proud owners of the factory HID setup

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    pissedoffwookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Quote Originally Posted by same2you View Post
    Hello, we currently have a 2014 Performance on order which has factory HID's. We took advantage of a 2 day test drive from our local dealer, and I noticed that the HID's in the ATS are extremely weak compared to those that are in my current car. I know that it is likely answered elsewhere in the forum, but all of my search results are polluted with people upgrading from Halogen to HIDs, and not just improving the factory HID setup. To improve the light output, is it as simple as swapping out the factory bulbs from the factory HIDs to something more powerful, or would I also need to swap out other components (eg. ballasts) too? If I'm just able to swap the bulb (which I assume/hope is all that is needed), is there a specific size/temp that I should be looking for? I don't mind spending money, I just want to ensure that I only have to spend it once.

    Thanks!
    a bulb swap is all you need, call your dealer and find out from their parts department exactly what size bulb you need then call the retrofit source and get the bulbs, their bulbs are extremely high quality on par with factory and are backed up with a warranty that is better than the cars. as far as color that is a personal preference, my preference is for 4300K to 5000K (warm white to pure white) because those are the brightest... going higher into the cool white to blue (6000k or above) and your light output decreases as you go up. lastly the colors i like wont call attention to your car, since blue to purple lights may be illegal depending on where you live. my upgrade from halogen to 5000k HID was amazing they are so bright that i agree 100% with you my next one will be a premium and i intend to upgrade the HID bulbs to TRS 5000k morimotos.

    that said, the factory lights are really nice and well done, it's probably the color, that you find dull the factory uses 4300K (warm white) which is the brightest, you can give up a relatively imperceptible amount of light output but gain the look you like with 5000K

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    Limitedslip5150's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    I totally agree, the HIDs are not on par with the Euro/Japanese HIDs. I just posted about this, and am curious about how to make them better. I think their is also a issue with the lense in the light, I noticed that the cut off on the beam is not clear at all. The Morimotos from Retrofit Source I used on my GTI were amazing, as stated above the bulbs are high quality and I might try a pair in my ATS, I'm thinking 5/6000k for temp. Also I won't mess around with the factory ballast, stock ones are far superior to most of the aftermarket junk out their, believe me I have alot of experience with different brands and never found any that worked flawlessly 100%.

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    Bryce2.0T is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    TRS is the way to go. Anybody here want to shed a little information on 35W vs 55W pros and cons?

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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    I think you have to upgrade the ballast to run the 55w version, and of course they are alot brighter. The 55W might be a little to bright for street use, you'll probably piss alot of people off, but people do run them. You might also have to add capacitors or relays, not sure, and this could be an issue if you use the entry lights at night with the car not running.

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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    there kinda is no such thing as a 55 watt bulb, what your doing is overdriving the standard bulb with a more powerfull ballast.

    TRS explained this to me as i was buying my kit from them, they also told me they build all their bulbs to a 55 watt spec and let customers decide which way to go, during our conversations they recommended 35 watt for reliability saying that the issues most people report with HID upgrades more often occur with 55 watt, another thing they said is when picking color overdriving bulbs lowers the color, so if you want a certain color you need to pick one color up (ie if i want the same as my 5000k in 55 watts i need 6000k). He also said the output is brighter but as long as using in a projector and aimed really well with a good cutoff they should not bother other drivers very often. Lastly they said they only warranty their bulbs for 2 years instead of 5 if you use 55 watts.

    so when i was done being schooled, i placed my order for the upgraded xb35 35 watt system with the can-bus cables,

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    Bryce2.0T is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Interesting... Yea I can't remember what kit I had from TRS. It lasted 2 years then I sold the car, the previous kits lasted only a year if that. Much better quality with TRS. I have a lease for 2 years left so I may go the 55W route if its under warranty.

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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce2.0T View Post
    Interesting... Yea I can't remember what kit I had from TRS. It lasted 2 years then I sold the car, the previous kits lasted only a year if that. Much better quality with TRS. I have a lease for 2 years left so I may go the 55W route if its under warranty.
    Dude, the 35 watt units are BRIGHT!!!! brighter than the factory units on the premium I see no need for more I would feel like a glutton .... Lol

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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Gotta say I was surprised at the noticeable difference between 6K and 5K. I had originally did HID upgrade with 6K, I recently changed to 5K since I added LEDs and wanted the color to match better. I installed one 5K in the driver side and left the 6K in the passenger side and it almost seemed like the passenger side bulb wasn't even on compared to the driver side 5K HID. I am running 35W ballasts in case anyone wanted to know the power level.

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    LostVirtue is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    If you want brighter bulbs (as in more lumens), look for Osram CBI bulbs. They are 5000 kelvin (more of a pure white) and have approx. 3400 lumens of brightness (above the standard 4300k bulbs that come standard with our cars). They also produce a more focused hotspot and for most people, a slightly wider beam pattern. There has been numerous tests on Hidplanet.com regarding these bulbs using professional equipment, they basically are the best option to increase brightness (and color) without going 55w.

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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Quote Originally Posted by CADILLACATS2013 View Post
    Gotta say I was surprised at the noticeable difference between 6K and 5K. I had originally did HID upgrade with 6K, I recently changed to 5K since I added LEDs and wanted the color to match better. I installed one 5K in the driver side and left the 6K in the passenger side and it almost seemed like the passenger side bulb wasn't even on compared to the driver side 5K HID. I am running 35W ballasts in case anyone wanted to know the power level.
    I'm running 55w ones now and are much better than my 35w dc ones.Not to say 35w isn't good enough but the 55w are brighter look stronger and crisp looking. No one has flashed me yet and don't think they will. I was driving toward a cop tonight and nothing. I was afraid they were going to be to bright.

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    Billm0066 is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Upgrade bulbs in factory HID's

    Quote Originally Posted by pissedoffwookiee View Post
    a bulb swap is all you need, call your dealer and find out from their parts department exactly what size bulb you need then call the retrofit source and get the bulbs, their bulbs are extremely high quality on par with factory and are backed up with a warranty that is better than the cars. as far as color that is a personal preference, my preference is for 4300K to 5000K (warm white to pure white) because those are the brightest... going higher into the cool white to blue (6000k or above) and your light output decreases as you go up. lastly the colors i like wont call attention to your car, since blue to purple lights may be illegal depending on where you live. my upgrade from halogen to 5000k HID was amazing they are so bright that i agree 100% with you my next one will be a premium and i intend to upgrade the HID bulbs to TRS 5000k morimotos.

    that said, the factory lights are really nice and well done, it's probably the color, that you find dull the factory uses 4300K (warm white) which is the brightest, you can give up a relatively imperceptible amount of light output but gain the look you like with 5000K
    The only thing that will fit our cars and be an upgrade are D3S CBI which are $200. TRS has Morimoto, but I would not use them. There is no other way to upgrade our lights unless you want to tear open the headlights and swap the projectors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Limitedslip5150 View Post
    I totally agree, the HIDs are not on par with the Euro/Japanese HIDs. I just posted about this, and am curious about how to make them better. I think their is also a issue with the lense in the light, I noticed that the cut off on the beam is not clear at all. The Morimotos from Retrofit Source I used on my GTI were amazing, as stated above the bulbs are high quality and I might try a pair in my ATS, I'm thinking 5/6000k for temp. Also I won't mess around with the factory ballast, stock ones are far superior to most of the aftermarket junk out their, believe me I have alot of experience with different brands and never found any that worked flawlessly 100%.
    OEM hid systems typically do not use clear lenses. They want a fuzzy cutoff, because it helps with night time visibility not having a distinctive cutoff line. I have done several retrofits and found the razor sharp cutoff to be very distracting because it was bright below it and black above it. The reason our headlights suck is the projectors. Cadillac/GM uses one of the worst out there. This is not a bulb or lens issue, it's the projector itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Limitedslip5150 View Post
    I think you have to upgrade the ballast to run the 55w version, and of course they are alot brighter. The 55W might be a little to bright for street use, you'll probably piss alot of people off, but people do run them. You might also have to add capacitors or relays, not sure, and this could be an issue if you use the entry lights at night with the car not running.
    Properly aimed headlights will never be too bright for street use.

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