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Ultimate guide for those considering Euro projector headlights - all the basics in one thread!

danbfree

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#1
INTRO

So, if you are reading this then you. like many of us, have HAD IT with the garbage reflector headlights that come on our cars in North America. To me it boggles the mind that Ford offers a $2000 Recaro seat package but not even an optional package for better headlights that the entire rest of the world gets standard on the FiST, but I digress, that's Ford marketing deciding what they think North Americans care about and gave us what I feel are UNSAFE headlights!

Disclaimer: These headlights ARE illegal in the U.S. and probably Canada too, because they don't have the lit amber marker light on the corners. However, we do have blinkers in our mirrors unlike many cars, so to me that covers a lot of the actual safety issues. Using these are at your own risk in a legal and safety perspective. Being able to, you know, actually see at night I find to be more important than debating any legal minutia. I am also not a lighting "expert" just well researched and I will intentionally be using simplified language and making some fairly broad claims, feel free to add or correct anything I have wrong... Also, they do not have a DOT approved cutoff, they use ECE which you see here is quite a bit different. Keep in mind that only the UK, their former territories and Japan actually uses Right Hand Drive (Left Hand Traffic), so that is another reason we call them Euro projectors, all the rest of Europe uses Left Hand Drive (Right Hand Traffic) like us, but still have the Euro cutoff. Obviously, with the sharply angled cutoff of the ECE style, it's very important to get the right unit as to not directly blind other drivers. One option is to order a UK/RHD set and replace the low beam projector with a major brand aftermarket and they will always have a regular DOT.

headlight-cutoff.png

WHY
So why convert to Euro projectors? They provide an actual projector beam instead of a reflected one for the main low beams. This provides that nice and clean cutoff without light glare and scatter from putting too bright and/or poorly designed LED's in the reflector housings. With a projector, you can use HID, LED or halogen in the H7 (compared to H11) socket, although for LED and HID they should be ones designed for traditional reflectors, most modern LED designs do now, only one expensive HID bulb I know of out there is short enough though. YES, there are now FINALLY decent and fairly cheap LED's actually designed to work in the reflector housing but still, unless very carefully selected, we run into issues with glare and/or TOO bright of bulbs overwhelming our housings, especially with traditional HID kits. But in any case, nearly ALL LED's are safe with the hard cutoff, but you still want to research the best to use and BulbFacts.com has an LED chart with a Projector tab that you should use to decide. You WILL get much better and safer lighting than is possible with a reflector.

Also, and this is a big factor, with the Euro projectors you also get the LED "brow" DRL's that many cars have these days, like what was even offered on the last years of the non-ST Focus before it was killed off. We will get into it below how to make these work, either in basic form or full low/high brightness as an actual DRL.

Also, if you are willing to trust replica aftermarket parts, you can get a complete set for just over $300 shipped!

WHY NOT
- Not legal because of missing corner amber marker. But, this is VERY, VERY rarely noticed by police nor a major safety issue anyway.
- As noted above, probably also not legal due to ECE cutoff instead of DOT approved, but like many other things, Europe is correct as in the ECE cutoff is actually safer to see pedestrians and the sides of the road more and as long as you get the LHD models you are fine. I think it;s kind of cool pulling up to back of cars with the Euro cutoff angles at night, but if you don't like it then those headlight eyebrows that are available will cut off the top half of the angular flare as well as help with glare if you have excessive bright or poorly designed bulbs.
- All need at least an Add A Circuit with extra wire ran to each headlight, IF you want to have fully automatic bright and dim LED brow DRL brightness switching as they would from the factory. Otherwise you are stuck with only high or low at all times with a simple pin move, but either way, DRL brow to work at all is not 100% Plug and Play.
- With the adding a power wire through an Add a Circuit, the only open fuse spot for '16+ that is switched with ignition (F26) may leave your LED DRL's on high when you get out sometimes when using auto headlights. This can drain your battery a bit as they will stay on high for a full 2 minutes. If you get out of your car and notice the DRL's on high just open and close your door again they should switch to low and turn off in 10 seconds. This only happens when you have a combination of evens such as the auto headlights coming on right before you turn off the car, like pulling in your garage, then you open the door almost immediately and then delay in closing it for at least 15 seconds.
- Since they actually have motorized leveling motors and gears that our wiring doesn't support, the added complexity adds to the chance of possible shipping damage. TYC, in particularly, may arrive badly out of aim with the manual adjustment gear is broken due to rough handling during shipping and have very limited range of adjustment. Then you would need to plug in a Euro headlight switch as a one time procedure to have the motor kick in and level them off. This switch can't be mounted and used permanently either as its a completely different housing size/style without cutting up your dash and you'd have to order one or find one to borrow. You can also make a shipping claim, but that involves paperwork with the shipping company but Cars245 does tend to be helpful too.
- COST. Even with the cons already above you are looking at $600-800 for OEM versions, although the Hella, an OEM maker. are down to about $550/pr shipped now, so that may definitely be worth it for many people. Replica's, if you don't mind major label import repair parts, are even more reasonable at ~$350 shipped. But, you must add in an additional ~$40+ for decent H7 LED's for low beams and also need basic blinkers too, see Bulb Choices below for more. I decided to go with replicas and keep my OEM's in case I have too many problems, but since my wiring is already done, I'll likely try to find replacement Euro's if I have any probs, but the wiring will be easy enough to put back if I have to.

CHOICES
I will discuss the 3 well-known suppliers of the actual OEM style Euro headlights: The Ford OEM/Hella and 2 aftermarket providers that are legitimate decent replacement quality in TYC and Depo, AKA "replicas". Replicas are often times used for collision repair where the owner is trying to lower the dollar amount of repair to avoid their beloved car from being totaled, as otherwise you are entitled to OEM parts by law anyway. There is no argument over quality, the Ford OEM ones at the very least are high quality and never have issues with aiming and adjustment from what has been gathered with the info that has been shared (other than one case of shipping damage), while the other 2 may have some issues with aiming and I'll get into why as well. The Ford OEM can be ordered through Whoosh or other sources, possibly UK or German Ford parts dealers. TYC and Depo can often be found on eBay. I found Cars245.com to have a good selection AND the best prices. These replicas usually ship from Latvia, no matter whether ordered off eBay or other sites. I'm not sure if it's one big company there that just found a niche market or what. I only found the Depo, and most choices overall, after selecting the 182hp FiST instead of the 200hp one. Keep in mind for the North American market ALL '13-'19 Fiesta's including regular and ST accept the same headlight, period, just make sure not to choose the new '18+ world model generation, MK8... Hella (One of 2 Ford OEM providers) are around $255 each, TYC around $123 but I settled on the Depo units at $141 each base price/about $350 shipped for the pair and am very impressed with the quality. I will not be discussing non-OEM style housings in this thread. On eBay, AliExpress, etc, there ARE some $500-1000 ones with halos and all kinds of stuff that I won't get into, none of them are from any actually established brands like Spec D or similar.

Pro's of each brand:
- Ford OEM: Made by Hella, VERY high OEM quality/peace of mind.
- TYC: VERY cheap and very decent quality for the money. Apparently easier than OEM to split for upgrades. (Butyl vs. Permaseal)
- Depo: Only a bit more than TYC and higher quality as well, no aiming range issues like TYC. Also, like TYC, they are easier than OEM to split to upgrade.

Con's:
- Ford: COST. As an OEM product, perma-sealed so would have to be cut open for projector upgrades/quad projector retrofitting.
- TYC: Most likely of the three to arrive with the projector aim off and or mechanical operation of adjustment screws to be out of whack and have limited adjustment.
- Depo: Also has unknown factory aiming possible, mine ended up being awesome, tons of smooth range of aiming adjustment available.

WHERE TO BUY
Pricing of each. You buy one of each of the brand that is same price, you will see that one listing is for left and one is for right and the pricing below are the ones for Europe and the Americas and not the ones for UK/AUS/SA, etc...

For standard color/OEM replicas: Cars245.com - HERE is the page that was kind of buried and hard to find originally. CHOOSE ONE OF EACH BRAND (THAT OBVIOUSLY HAS THE PROJECTOR SHOWN) AT THE SAME PRICE TO GET A LEFT AND RIGHT SET - Pricing updated 4/24/2020
TYC: ~$127.54 - in stock, says about 10 working days to receive, not bad!
Depo: $131.92 - Special order, would likely take 6 weeks to order
Hella (An actual OEM provider) (For Americas/Euro RHD): $233.41 - ~$525 shipped for the pair is a GOOD deal for OEM quality! Special order but only 10-15 days vs. 30 on the Depo.

Other options:
Depo Black internals - No longer available. :(


BULB CHOICES - what you need
H7 - low beam bulb, any decent, modern LED is a perfect choice in projectors. ~$40
PY21W / 7507- turn blinkers - $5
H1 high beam is same as stock but if you want the color to match, get LED's along with the "H1 Ford Focus bulb holders" (Focus to narrow in on the exact style, I know we have Fiesta's,lol)

Since you are switching to a single filament bulb for only blinkers and have separate DRL now instead of the dual purpose in the stock headlightsThe blinker bulb for these is a 7507 also known as PY21W, since Euro's have the LED DRL brow these are regular single filament blinkers vs. the combo blinker/marker the factory reflectors take. I got generic incandescent ones for $2 a piece at Napa, $5 for a pair of Bosch on Amazon, or if ordering your headlights from Cars245, you can have some Bosch thrown in for $0.95 each HERE.

If you use regularLED for blinkers you will get hyper flash and would need resistors, or experiment with those with resistors built in, just not worth the hassle for just blinkers to me, but look for ones with resistors built in/"error free"/"no hyperflash" which have NO cables but connect directly to the socket, some are as low as $13 but just about all have some issues on some cars, so just not worth a dime of my money to me.

The high beam, like our US low beam reflectors reflectors is also an H1 reflector and cheap "mini" H1's do fit although you also do need a "Ford H1 bulb holder" from Amazon. See under links below for instructions.

These projectors may have been originally designed for halogen but also work well with all the modern proper filament copied LED's. I tried HID originally and the glare was crazy. So, as some of you know, I recommend BulbFacts.com to see real independent bulb testing results, so feel free to check that out for your best choices. Some good choices are below, so if you find BulbFacts.com useful, simply use their links to buy to help support them. The owner refuses to take money from manufacturers and will only publish real results, so consider helping him out by buying through his affiliate links so he can keep independent testing alive.

Katana H7 on Amazon.

New:The new Cougar Motor X-Small put out even a tiny bit more light as a projector low beam and are a good $12 less than the Katana. They, unlike the Katana, have an internal driver so there is no external module to tuck away either, which is very nice. These are what I would buy right now... but for only ~$47, the Katana feel like and perform like an $80+ set easily, the quality is truly there.

Also, Some new multi-sided mini tipped designs are REALLY good, THESE Audew 6 sided work REALLY well, even better and whiter than the Katana, ignore any poor reviews for them, they work AWESOME in all our housings.

MORE INFO LINKS
Links to the Best and inexpensive H1 LED's that fit in both US or Euro high beams and the bulb holder for them and How to install. - both have reflector high beams and take H1's for them but you also need the bulb holders to use LED's.

Wiring for the LED DRL brow -
How to change one pin on your cars wiring harness to each headlight to get basic LED DRL brow functionality as your marker light with parking or headlights on.

NEW - Move the pin to the Low position (the one right *below* where he shows to "move to here" at the link above), then use a single Add a Circuit[/URL] (Micro2 style for '15+) with 5A fuse plugged into spot F26 for '16+ in the under hood fuse box. For '14-'15 it is suggested to piggyback of spot F20 Then, from the tail end of the single, run one line to each headlight with 18 gauge wire and a "150 female 20-16 terminal" (Amazon/web search term to buy) pin on the end. Connect into the actual "High"/"Move to here" position as shown at the link above (this is on top of the one wire moved to the Low spot. Then you'll have High DRL's when ignition is on, period, and Low automatically when the headlights or parking lights are on (manually switched or Auto). There is no need for a harness as previously thought!

BulbFacts.com - Chart for LED's in projectors HERE and for HID in projectors HERE
 


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danbfree

danbfree

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Thread Starter #2
My results with Depo headlights and Katana H7 LED low beam! I did the one wire pin move for LED brow on Low for use as a marker/parking light and on low with headlights as well.

IMG_20190429_220748.jpg
IMG_20190425_072618.jpg
 


Intuit

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#5
You see turbos, engine covers, seats, wheels, tires, whole cars even come up for sale on this forum. But no one ever gets the projectors and says "eh, give me the stock ones back".
 


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So my depo euros came today.. Figured it'd be quick and easy to install the bulbs first. Haha! Nope. I can't get the h1 high beams to install.

Seems like a stupid easy thing to do right? I think the part on the new headlight is the issue. When I put the bulb into the plug then slide it on those 'rails', the whole plug gets hung up and won't slide. I was able to get my pass side to install by putting the bulb in first, then sliding the plug onto it but it was a lot of effort to get everything lined up. The drivers side is being a pain.

What am I doing wrong? I don't remember it ever being this hard..

Edit: the drivers side finally went in but the passenger side I had to put the bulb in first then the connector. I hope these high beams last forever...
 


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#8
Couldnt believe that the hardest part would be installing H1 highbeam bulbs. Holy crap.. That took an hour almost just for that. I moved my LED lowbeams to my fogs and for now just have Philips 60% bulbs in the lowbeams. Ill get Katana LEDs eventually for those. I aimed them the best I could w/o waking the baby (and mom) up. Ill position the car towards a wall tomorrow before I leave work so I can make sure they are aimed good.

The LEDs work (for now) and the pass side adjusted just fine up/down. I think the passenger side is the only side that needs adjustment. We'll see tomorrow.
 


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#10
Pics when you complete the install with Night time shots on the garage door/wall!
Ha-ha, ill take one/two when I get home tomorrow night after aiming at work. I can get one with the LED fogs on and one with them off. Ill have to make sure I only use those in fog, I really hope putting the LEDs there dont blind people.
 


CarGuy

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#11
Ha-ha, ill take one/two when I get home tomorrow night after aiming at work. I can get one with the LED fogs on and one with them off. Ill have to make sure I only use those in fog, I really hope putting the LEDs there dont blind people.
It will, don't think it wont.

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danbfree

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Ha-ha, ill take one/two when I get home tomorrow night after aiming at work. I can get one with the LED fogs on and one with them off. Ill have to make sure I only use those in fog, I really hope putting the LEDs there dont blind people.
I'm not a fan of the factory fog housings, they are crappy reflectors but I think you said you have TechMax LED's, so at least they are designed for reflectors... BUT, the fog housing itself is meant to throw just a halogen amount of light kind of all over, so it's not that they are LED's, per se, but simply because they put out far more light than the fog housing can handle... A product that could help if it existed would be mini eyebrow type top shields for the fogs, but they don't exist... Anyway, I'm using very cheap medium bright LED's in my fogs, supposed to be 4300k to go with my yellow Lamin-X, but the output is still a little green so that tells you the LED's aren't exactly 4300k, more like 5500k+ unfortunately... anyway, point of the story is definitely feel free to try the LED's in your fogs but try flipping them on and off from 20 feet out from a wall or garage door and see if they throw too much stray light up high... I know it's even more money, but you can get projector fog housings that have a perfect clean cutoff and take your own H11 bulb for $60 on AliExpress.
 


CarGuy

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#14
I'm not a fan of the factory fog housings, they are crappy reflectors but I think you said you have TechMax LED's, so at least they are designed for reflectors... BUT, the fog housing itself is meant to throw just a halogen amount of light kind of all over, so it's not that they are LED's, per se, but simply because they put out far more light than the fog housing can handle... A product that could help if it existed would be mini eyebrow type top shields for the fogs, but they don't exist... Anyway, I'm using very cheap medium bright LED's in my fogs, supposed to be 4300k to go with my yellow Lamin-X, but the output is still a little green so that tells you the LED's aren't exactly 4300k, more like 5500k+ unfortunately... anyway, point of the story is definitely feel free to try the LED's in your fogs but try flipping them on and off from 20 feet out from a wall or garage door and see if they throw too much stray light up high... I know it's even more money, but you can get projector fog housings that have a perfect clean cutoff and take your own H11 bulb for $60 on AliExpress.
Finally someone who at least understands that you overpower the standard designed-for-halogen reflectors and are throwing glare everywhere at the oncoming traffic. Like you said there is no good LED light source for a halogen reflector...you're just blinding everyone.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 


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I'm not a fan of the factory fog housings, they are crappy reflectors but I think you said you have TechMax LED's, so at least they are designed for reflectors... BUT, the fog housing itself is meant to throw just a halogen amount of light kind of all over, so it's not that they are LED's, per se, but simply because they put out far more light than the fog housing can handle... A product that could help if it existed would be mini eyebrow type top shields for the fogs, but they don't exist... Anyway, I'm using very cheap medium bright LED's in my fogs, supposed to be 4300k to go with my yellow Lamin-X, but the output is still a little green so that tells you the LED's aren't exactly 4300k, more like 5500k+ unfortunately... anyway, point of the story is definitely feel free to try the LED's in your fogs but try flipping them on and off from 20 feet out from a wall or garage door and see if they throw too much stray light up high... I know it's even more money, but you can get projector fog housings that have a perfect clean cutoff and take your own H11 bulb for $60 on AliExpress.
I do a lot of driving at night on unlit roads with no other traffic, so for now I wont worry about them. I rarely ever use them but if I see a semi ill turn them on hoping its CarGuy, lol /s.
 


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Finally someone who at least understands that you overpower the standard designed-for-halogen reflectors and are throwing glare everywhere at the oncoming traffic. Like you said there is no good LED light source for a halogen reflector...you're just blinding everyone.

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Techmax are really good for reflectors.
 


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danbfree

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Finally someone who at least understands that you overpower the standard designed-for-halogen reflectors and are throwing glare everywhere at the oncoming traffic. Like you said there is no good LED light source for a halogen reflector...you're just blinding everyone.
I never said that there is no good LED light source for a halogen reflector at all, only said the fog light housings are definitely easy to over power... There are absolutely some excellent designed LED's for headlights that have the chips in the exact same position as the halogen filament, but you also have to consider overpowering as well, so there are only a few models that have both proper design and brightness for use as as headlight and TechMax are definitely good there... But obviously I went with projectors anyway, wanted a the perfect clean cutoff that's hard to overpower and get to use the LED DRL's without any glare at all.
 


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danbfree

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I do a lot of driving at night on unlit roads with no other traffic, so for now I wont worry about them. I rarely ever use them but if I see a semi ill turn them on hoping its CarGuy, lol /s.
Oh, then definitely get the Aukee LED H1's for the high beams, or did you get those already? I forget...
 


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danbfree

danbfree

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Nah I got Philips 60% halogens for now and probably forever seeing as how much of a PITA it was to install the H1 bulbs, lol.
Oh, you're talking about the regular press on clip for halogen H1's! Yes! I totally lost my mind on those too! WAY easier to install the LED H1 with different bulb holders clips you buy for $3 separately and no diarrhea looking brown output like with halogen. That's what I was talking about, but now I remember you saying those 60% halogen, do you mean 60w?
 




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