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Old 12-06-2017, 06:04 PM   #1
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Upgrading Headlights

I've got a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 5.9L Cummins engine. I would love to upgrade the headlights to a brighter headlight than stock. Does anyone have any recommendations?

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Old 12-06-2017, 06:13 PM   #2
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I'm not sure of your situation. In 2000 I'm assuming they had halogen headlights; if not, buy those. After that, they're not many things brighter other than HIDs....and they are expensive and really not worth the money (I've had them). If your headlight lens covers have weathered and gotten dim, clean/polish them - after that many years I can't imagine that they don't need that. If you can't clear up the lenses just buy new headlight fixtures. DO NOT buy the "blue" looking HID look alikes. They mess up your ability to see, blind oncoming drivers and make you look like you don't have enough money to buy a regular replacement headlight.

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Old 12-06-2017, 06:58 PM   #3
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^^^ What he said !!!

If you have plastic headlight lenses, cleaning/polishing them (if they're scratched or yellowed) will help a lot. ALL (No matter what make) ALL halogen light bulbs dim with age. So, your OEM headlight bulbs are not as bright as exact replacements will be. That said, there are some upgrade bulbs available that are slightly brighter than OEM headlight bulbs, but as stated above, stay with the yellow or white bulb color. The "ultra-blue" or more purple don't improve vision and actually may not provide as much visible improvement as just cleaning/polishing and replacing the OEM bulbs.

There is a great explanation of brightness, color and clarity at the Sylvania website, located here: https://www.sylvania-automotive.com/...ogen/index.jsp

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Old 12-06-2017, 07:23 PM   #4
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^^^^^ What they said ... plus. I have an '04 Ram and I have found the biggest improvement to be replacing the bulbs with Sylvania "Silver Stars" or "Ultra Stars" and taking the time to aim them properly. They run between $40 - 50 but are worth it. I have been using them in all my Chrysler vehicles for years and have not found anything close to them in legal bulbs. JM2¢, Hank
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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What Hank said.

Silver Star Ultras. Use them in my Silverado, Tribute and 1500 Goldwing. Lots of light, compatible with your composite reflectors and lenses.

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Old 12-07-2017, 01:52 AM   #6
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I voted for an open season with a generous bag limit on them darn blue headlights...
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:21 AM   #7
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I upgraded my previous truck (2011 F250) with HIDs and I've done the same thing with my new one (2016 Crew Cab Dually). They are a world of difference between OEM and HID. NOW.......having said that, many folks do the same thing but the difference between most of them and what I do is to take the time, as much time as needed, to adjust the headlight housing so that the lights are in the same position as the OEM lights were. This is a very important...let's say mandatory step in the installation process. It serves a couple of important purposes.
1. It puts your headlight beams exactly where they should be for your own visibility.
2. It keeps your headlights from blinding oncoming driver's from a bad adjustment.
3. It keeps your headlights from blinding driver's in front of you that you are approaching.

Technically, if I'm not mistaken, it is against the law to install HIDs in any vehicle that didn't come with them, but if you install them in a vehicle and take all the proper installation steps, they will not draw any attention, either from others drivers or from law enforcement. In the past seven years of driving with HID s on both truck's, I've probably had less than 4 or 5 times that someone has flipped their brights on at me. If done correctly, they can certainly increase your visibility while driving. If done incorrectly, you will be setting a LOT of people flashing their brights at you.

As far as price and color temperature goes, if you buy HIDs make sure to buy a well known brand with with a reputation for quality control and compliance with beam pattern. Also, of all the choices for color temperature ratings, The Kelvin temperature rating should be in the 3800 - 3900K range for the color that most matches natural sunlight. The higher the Kelvin number, the more blue they appear-and the resultant loss of light. To me, the only purpose for switching to HIDs is FUNCTIONALITY....not bling or trying to look cool.

The brand that I have used in the two truck's I've owned, my Honda Civic, and my wife's previous car is Digital brand....and they have been outstanding in every case. RetrosolutionsLLC.com is where I've purchased them over the years.....and the disclaimer......I have NO interest or association with them, other than being a satisfied repeat customer.
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
I've got a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 5.9L Cummins engine. I would love to upgrade the headlights to a brighter headlight than stock. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Here's an interesting post from Consumer Reports on this topic specifically.
Seems like the design of the headlight "system" has more to do with being able to "see" better than the actual bulb itself.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:04 AM   #9
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Great advice from all the responders. Having a clear lense and fresh lamps with a properly adjusted headlight can make a huge difference. Headlight aim should be checked after replacing lamps to ensure proper alignment. This is the most economical solution.
I can add my experience. After a lot of blog reading and research I retrofitted both of my trucks with aftermarket headlights, my F150 King Ranch with halogen and my F250 with HID. Both sets of headlights are aftermarket with DOT approved certification. I have used the SYlvania Silver Stars as well as the Phillips equivalent and they don't last long. DOT mandates 55 watt max on halogen low beams so the mfg accomplishes this by a coating that reflects the light back into the lamp and focuses it back out. This increases heat in the lamp hence the shorter life. If you travel a lot at night or have daytime running lights then prepare to replace them more frequently at an increased cost. The HIDs have been in my truck for 4 years and still going strong. The down side of HIDs is that factory headlamps are not designed for them so the beam pattern is scattered causing issues with opposing traffic. If you use HIDs then you should use a headlight housing designed for HIDs, typically a projector style. HIDs also require extra wiring for ballasts and can be an issue if your challenged for space under the hood.
With the 2 examples above let me say that they are both expensive. With a truck that's 17 years old you may not want to invest that much money.
I know this is a long response but I hope it helps.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:25 AM   #10
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If the ones you have are not salvageable with a head light restoration kit I would invest in a set of projector head lights with bulbs of your choice. I agree with x rated and what he said,adjustment is key. Projectors seem to cast more light on to the road. Another option could be a set of DOT legal fog or driving lights to cast more light out there in addition to your head lights.
Up here where it is dark alot of the time, people run LED light bars and other auxillary lighting as "Moose Lights". They are "legal" if used like high beams or wired to come on and off with them. Vehicle Moose collisions are no laughing matter. The three lighting manufacturers I have the most faith in are, KC Hilites, Rigid, and Vision X

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