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HID kit?

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Now it's getting darker nights and winter weather I'd like to preserve my life by being able to see when driving the Exige at night. Anyone upgrade their lights to one of these HID kits and which one? Most seem to be S1 or S2 designed kits.

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  • 4 months later...

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From a purely technical standpoint, why would this matter?  For the Exige V6, CANBUS is limited to supporting module communication between ECU, DPM (Bosch 8.1 ABS etc.), SRS, TPMS systems and basic dashboard instrumentation.  

There's no CANBUS functionality at all for the lightling systems.  Lighting control on the Elise/Exige platform is about as basic as it gets - with no lamp monitoring other than the direction-indicator cadence changing if one of the rear filament lamps blows.

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Thanks Derek. I'm pretty much a newbie here and I don't even have my car yet so I was checking out what other people were getting. If it doesn't matter then that certainly helps a lot! 

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It'll certainly be interesting to hear how you get on with attempting an LED conversion on the headlamps.  At best, you'll likely need to modify the lamp holders and weather sealing to accommodate the physically larger LED lamps - and there isn't likely to be too much space to work with.  

Before attempting modification, you might also want to consider that the headlamp units are sold as a complete assembly - individual parts are not available if you wreck anything whilst attempting the modification.  That said, the latest parts listing does show a "repair kit", but the illustration would suggest that the kit is limited to splicing a new electrical connector to the wiring loom.

For info, replacement headlamp assemblies are c.£1k each; in the past, Hethel have also been known to have long lead-times for replacement S3 Elise/Exige headlights.

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Surely the same considerations apply to a HID conversion as to LED - not least installation of the associated ballast and igniter modules.  Anyhow, we'll all be interested the learn more about how/what you do to improve the headlights from stock.  

Good luck - and be sure to tell us how you get on.

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I just ordered a HID kit for my V6 and will report more details soon. For the V6 you need a HB3/9005 Kit. HB3 bulbs are the same as HB3A, only the power plug is sideways. So probably the rubber cover behind the bulb needs to be cut a bit. You don't need any specific HID kit. 

Generally the use of HID kits or LED bulbs in Halogen lamps is not legal (at least here in Germany), but this are simple plug and play kits anyone can install. Newer ballasts are very small, so hopefully I can find enough space for it. 

It is highly recommended to use HID kits and LED bulbs ONLY with projector lamps, NOT reflector lamps. Because this dazzles others extremely. Lotus uses Projector lamps for the Dip beam on Elise/Exige MK2 onwards. The main beam is a reflector lamp.

LED bulps are even easier to use. Just plug and play. But there's a huge problem with ANY aftermarket LED bulb: The light is bright but has a very (!)  limited range compared to halogen or xenon. It's currently not recommended to use any aftermarket LED headlights. 


Edited by ArthouseCompany
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So, okay. Got my HID Kit today. It's plug and play.

1. Turn your wheel to the inside and remove the 6 or 7 screws of the wheelhouse cover.

2. Plug the HID set together this way (picture 2)

3. Fasten it with the metal holder and the included 3M tape to your car. I've chosen this screw and place for my V6 (Picture 3)

4. Now remove the rubber cover and the original bulb, connect the HID power plug to your Lotus headlamp power plug and replace the stock bulb with the Xenon bulb (remove the plastic protection from the Xenon bulb first)

5. For the grommet you must cut a 25mm hole into the Lotus rubber cover. 

Resolut ? Doesn't work LOL

So I connected the second HID set on the same side of the car and it worked perfectly (Sorry, no picture, was pi... of.) 

I measured the power of the first ballast: no power comes out: broken ! 

So reinstalled the original bulb and sent everything back and wait for a new HID set....

Technically it needs some time (because of  Lotus ;) ) but it's easy to install and you don't need any specific HID set (at least for the V6). The wiring is plug and play, you can't do anything wrong.

Make sure you have some additional Lotus plastic screws for the wheelhouse cover because they break easily

As this isn't legal here I've chosen a 4300K set with 35W, that's a normal powered and bright white Xenon light, used by car manufacturers.

With a color temperature of 5.000, 6000K or more or a ballast with 55W the light looks blue and stands out too much ;) 






Edited by ArthouseCompany
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Good stuff Peter! Will definitely be trying this out myself, and pictures certainly help. Will most likely go the HID route as well as I wasn't aware there's an issue with the limited throw of LEDs. Your DIY pretty much looks similar from the others that I've heard that it usually takes under an hour to finish everything. 

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The big question is - does your radio still work when the HIDs are turned on???

It's a known issue with the installation of HID kits on S2s (as I also found out). The HID signal interferes with the radio signal and essentially stops it from working whenever the headlights are on. It's kind of less than ideal... 

I believe that this is due to the placement of the Lotus radio aerial which was in the drivers wheel arch. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, Installed another HID kit and it works.

Here's the installation on the left side of a LHD Exige V6 (driver):

To remove the wheel arch turn the wheel to the outside (!) and remove all 7 or 8 plastic and metal screws. Don't forget the one at bottom .Remove the wheel arch. Fit the ballast to a screw like shown.

Remove the rear rubber cap of your Halogen bulb and then the bulb. Connect the power cable of the ballast to the Lotus power cable of the bulb. Connect the two smaller plugs from the Ballast to the new Xenon bulp and screw it into the Socket.

You also have to cut a 25mm hole into the rubber cap for wiring, but I haven't done that yet. 

If needed fix the cables with cable ties to your car. 

The result is a very bright white light, in this case it's a 6000K 35 W HID kit from eBay (55 euros). If it looks too bluish for your taste you can use "warmer" xenon bulps with 4300 or 5000 K.

The improvement for driving at night is dramatic. I'm very happy now.

Some fotos follow tomorrow.

Edited by ArthouseCompany
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Great Write-Up.

Will your pictures include one showing the grommet installed too please? that is the bit I would be most worried about doing.

Also, if you had link to one you bought on ebay then I will just buy same one not you shown it works well.


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Don't forget, the rubber covers are not available as a replacement part - unless you purchase an entire new headlamp unit.  Once the hole has been cut, reversal won't be quite as easy.

We look forward to seeing pictures of the finished conversion.

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Yes, the rubber cover's are not available seperately. You can always close holes with good strong duct tape.

Here are the photos. (I'm sorry about the orientation of the photos, it' a forum issue ).


Wheel arch:  Remove all 8 plastic an metal screws/bolts:



1 Plastic screw (hole at bottom) and 1 metal bolt at the inside:


Don't forget this one at the bottom of the front splitter:



Now remove the wheel arch:




Find a place and a bolt where you can attach the ballast. I use this one here at top:



Attach the Ballast to this bolt together with some double sided tape at the back.

>Don't use the other bolt you see here at bottom, because there's a bolt nut on the other side of the bolt that can fall down somewhere inside the car !



Remove the rubber cover and then the orginal halogen bulb from the blue power plug:



Now conncet this blue Lotus power plug to the ballast power cable. Now your ballast gets power with lights on.



Plug in the new Xenon bulb. Then connect the two power-out cables of the ballast to the Xenon bulb. That's all. 

Wiring is the easiest part, it's plug and play and you can't do anything wrong. Here you can also see the rubber grommet. You must drill a 25mm hole for it into your bulb cover. I'll do that today.

Afterwards you should fasten the new cables with cable ties to your car and then reinstall the wheel arch.  

>You might need some 8mm replacement plastic screws for the wheel arch, because they brake easily:




OLD yellow Halogen bulb (probably the best you can get at all: Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited) :



NEW white Xenon headlight (35W/6000K). You can have a warmer white color if you use 4300K or 5000K Xenon bulbs. 

For other colors you only have to replace the bulbs, not the cables or the ballast.



Heres's the Xenon dip beam together with the halogen high beam (difficult to photograph).

This dip beam is an impressive improvement at night. Awesome ;)

NOTE: Using Xenon bulbs in headlights constructed for halogen bulbs might be illegal in some countries ;)


Edited by ArthouseCompany
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Drill 25 mm holes into the bulb covers:



Pull the 3 cables coming from the Xenon bulb with it's grommet through the cover and connect them to the ballast again.



Attach the cover, secure the cables with cable ties...done ;) 

NOTE: Before refitting the wheel arch always test if it works and adjust the height of the light if necessary (my passenger headlight was too low)


Edited by ArthouseCompany
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Park your car in front of a wall or inside a garage. Both lights must have the same height

Adjust the height with the vertical adjuster screw (you can see two white screws on some of my pictures on the back of the lamp, the vertical adjuster is the lower sitting white screw). The right adjustment ist -1,2 %. You can calculate and adjust -1,2% by yourself or go to a workshop:

I currently use this one, but all HID kits look and work almost identical.  You can buy any kit for a HB3 (also called 9005) socket. The only decission is 35W or 55W (even brighter) and the color temperature. I recommend a temperature of 4000K - 6000K. More than 6000K gives you a blue light.



Edited by ArthouseCompany
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