Looking to replace the old headlamps that only illuminate what I’m about to hit. The only thread I could find was from 2016, thought there might be some more recent recommendations.
Replies sorted oldest to newest
The easiest way to upgrade the lighting is to wire in a set of fuses and use heavier wire from the fuse to the H4 halogens or switch over to LEDs. The LEDs will have some of their own issues to work out.
Chuck, tell us a little more about your current lighting and maybe about yourself, too. Are you comfortable with working on car wiring, or is it all a mystery to you? The best solutions require some rewiring, but none of it is rocket science.
Some of our cars still have the old sealed beam headlights, and just switching to H4 halogen bulbs in a permanent reflector (like most modern cars) is a huge improvement. Beyond that, putting in short runs of dedicated heavy gauge wiring to the battery, controlled by relay circuits, (again, like modern cars) is another step up.
And, like Robert said, LED's are yet another option with their own set of issues.
Try searching again for 'headlights', 'relays', LED's, etc. and you should find a lot of threads that cover this.
You probably have the old 7" incandescent sealed beam lights that have been around from the '50s. They can easily be replaced with 2 piece non-sealed beam H4 lights. As long as you stick with the lower wattage (equal to old sealed), the wiring should be adequate (i.e. 55-60 watt - higher capacity separate 80 watt bulbs are available but require a relay with heavier wiring for best result and safety). I like the German Hella Vision Plus.
These have better lens optics and a whiter halogen bulb. You can up wattage of bulbs or replace with LED bulb (if you find a shallow replacement bulb).
Headlight Revolution. They have more information than ten people can possibly absorb about headlights. I found H4 LED replacements that were plug and play. Not the most lumens you can possibly have, but ever so much brighter than the old school incandescent/halogen bulbs. and way less electricity, which is a huge advantage. Really: plug and play, exact same form factor, easy peasy.
I replaced my useless headlights with a set from this company. If you call, they will fall over backwards attempting to help you. These did not need anything special to install. https://vintagecarleds.com/
Also, I recently received this passage and link from Wolfgang in response to needing to replace my yellow running lights. I think it combines yellow running lights with white head lights -- a European standard.
"With as small as these cars are (and new SUV/PU so large), lighting is an important safety feature. Years ago, daytime running lights were added to all modern cars. Hella makes a City light head light assembly with more modern replaceable bulbs. It has become hard to find in US. In Europe it is used in the lighted cities so oncoming cars and houses aren't blinded with regular head lights. It would make a great upgrade to old VW incandescent headlights and could be used as a DLR.