What's the deal with our headlights.
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  • 4 Post By soulsea
Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 2007-2014 Discussion, What's the deal with our headlights. in Cadillac Escalade Forums; There is something very off about the 07-up escalade headlight market. After spending some time installing LED bulbs here's the ...
  1. #1
    shore is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    What's the deal with our headlights.

    There is something very off about the 07-up escalade headlight market.
    After spending some time installing LED bulbs here's the conclusion I've come to:

    1..these housing are a POS. They are not special and they are not strong. They are $750 new and $600 used and broken. Unreal.

    2..They all haze on the top. This is irritating.

    3..We get screwed. Denali complete headlights after market $150 a PAIR. Us? Nothing.

    4..You got a headlight out and need to change a bulb?? Sure no problem, that'll take some tools and about an hour.


    Seriously? where was the thought process on that?

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  3. #2
    blackex is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    It just adds to the prestige of being a Cadillac!

  4. #3
    soulsea's Avatar
    soulsea is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    First of all, new Denali OEM headlamps are not $150 a pair they are over $200 a pair, just like Tahoe headlamps. The reason they are that much cheaper is because they are simple halogen reflector headlamps which much less to manufacture. 07+ Escalade headlamps are HID with Hella OE bi-xenon E55 projectors, Osram OE HID bulbs, and Hella OE ballasts.

    In order to compare Escalade headlights with those of a Yukon is by knowing what it costs to do a proper OE HID projector retrofit on Yukon headlamps ... I did it so I can tell you first hand. You have to buy a new pair of OE replica housings (easier to open than OE), bi-xenon projector (RX-350), clear lens (polished RX-350), bulbs (Osram SVS), shroud (Type K), ballasts (Morimoto 5Five), and a custom harness. Add all that up + the cost of labor and it cost me around $1500, or basically the same as a new set of Escalade headlamps.

    Here's the result:







    And here's a $2k retro I had done on my Tahoe:



    But you are comparing two different types of lighting technologies ... that's not to say that HID OE lighting isn't expensive, I'm just explaining to you what 'the deal is' with our headlights and that they are priced appropriately.

    ----------

    In regards as to why it is so difficult to take the lamps out and/or swap out bulbs. Back in the late 90s/early 00s when HID lighting became more common, a huge problem with theft developed when people started stealing them off of vehicles to resell their expensive components. Since then manufacturers have made it increasingly more difficult to remove headlamp assemblies. That's for our benefit so that you don't get your parts stolen by any two bit thief armed with a phillips head. The consequence of course is that it's a bigger pita to deal with maintenance.

  5. #4
    Damndirtyape is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    Schools out, /thread, someone get the lights on way out.

  6. #5
    shore is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    I know the difference, it's just ridiculous how much they cost for what an overall cheap housing it is.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Damndirtyape View Post
    Schools out, /thread, someone get the lights on way out.

    If you're going to make a smart comment at least be intelligent enough to make a full sentence.

  7. #6
    soulsea's Avatar
    soulsea is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by shore View Post
    I know the difference, it's just ridiculous how much they cost for what an overall cheap housing it is.
    Well, you said compared to a Yukon, and I just explained what and how much it would take to bring Yukon headlamps on par with your Escalade ones. And that's if you're lucky enough to have a qualified retrofiter near you, cause they're only a handful around the US. So again, not ridiculous, in fact completely warranted and within reason. Be thankful that you even have them, cause almost every Denali owner out there wonders why the funk his $65K vehicle doesn't have OE HID projectors and why they're stuck with a catastrophic H13 setup. There are literally hundreds of overpriced parts on our Escalades, our HID headlamps just aren't two of them. Now if you wanna label the dealer price for the LED headlamps ridiculous, you won't get much of an argument from me.

  8. #7
    shore is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    oh I see what's expensive in there, I just think the used market price is crazy. You buy a used broken one or for a couple hundred more get a brand new one.

    The LED prices are just comical.

  9. #8
    zach2011's Avatar
    zach2011 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    I don't know why either, but I find that searching extensively helps a lot. I bought both Platinum LED headlamps for $750 total and they're perfect. And based on the info in this thread I'm sure selling my old HID headlight housings will cover that cost. If you're looking to actually buy a new pair, then take your time searching. I have seen some 07+ Escalade HID headlamps go for $200ish in great condition. It happens, it just requires (sometimes a lot of) patience.

  10. #9
    shore is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    I must have some inside crazing. I spent a lot of time today trying to get the drivers headlight to look right, nope. Sanded and compounded several times. It's as clear as glass but you can still see the micro cracks. Not that it's just out headlights, they all do it but replacing is tough to swallow.

    The passenger side came out great.


    It's a shame too, the LED DRL and parking looks nice...except when you get real close and see those crazing.


    if anyone comes across a good one for a decent price, let me know.

  11. #10
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    kazza93203 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    The fix for a hazy headlight is to protect it from the start. I have the clear 3m on mine with over 70thousand miles and still look brand new.

  12. #11
    shore is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    That's not a fix, that's prevention...lol

  13. #12
    Banshee8732 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: What's the deal with our headlights.

    $803 and some change I think. I just had a headlight replaced because the top was hazy. I'll double check again tomorrow. I had probably $1200 in the projector retrofit for my previous vehicle..and quite a few hours of my time.

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