Are you among the thousands of drivers who replace their stock headlights with projector lights? While most of the cars have perfect stock headlights, some cars have undesirable headlights that don’t provide the required beam.
For this basic reason, you might want to install custom projector lights. But do you know How to adjust projector headlights?
Projector headlights give a brighter and far reaching beam, which makes it safer for night driving. Nevertheless, this bright beam may create a hazardous environment for yourself and other motorists if they are not properly adjusted.
If you aim your projector headlights too high, you risk blinding oncoming motorists. If you aim them too low, you risk your own visibility. The good news is, you can adjust your own projector headlights at home without the need of consulting a professional installer. Below, I have prepared a simple guide on how to go about it.
Basically, projector headlights are headlights with a spherical lens that concentrates light from a bulb to give you a more focussed light beam. I have found projector headlights to have an edge over the stock high and low beam headlights.
How to Aim Your Projector Headlight Prerequisites
Well you are going to adjust the position of the light beam in reference to the position of a normal smooth road and thus you need a parking space that is flat as possible. And obviously not busy.
This will be your screen. If possible find a vertical white wall because it looks cool and it will give you a better representation of the beam.
Well of course you will need a user manual since different manufacturers have different products. And with projector headlight, standardization is the least of their worries.
You don’t really need measuring tape if you can do great approximations like I do. But if you suffer from OCD, you will need this.
Screwdriver comes in handy to open any screws and in many instances, to do the actual adjusting.
If you are looking for precision, then you will want to have this one with you.
You will use Masking Tape to make any marks on the wall or on your neighbour’s garage door (yeah, you don’t want to leave any evidence behind).
Park your car in the flat parking space overlooking your vertical screen. This can be your garage door, a flat wall, etc. You will need to have, 5 feet of clearance between your front bumper and your wall.
If possible, get more than 5 feet clearance because you will have to reverse 25 feet away to do the actual adjustment (heads up).
For precision purpose, you will want to use the spirit level above to ensure that the surface is level.
If you have anything heavy in your car trunk (the car boot- shout out to our brothers in the UK) remove it to ensure the car is flat.
If your trunk is inclined due to a heavy cargo in it, the accuracy of your adjustment is in jeopardy.
Establish the location of the beam adjusting screws of the specific headlights. More often than not, they are found on the back of the housing assembly. Many manufacturers have put both vertical and horizontal screws.
Ideally, the first screw is at the top and the other one somewhere within the housing on the inside. And as you might have guessed, one is for vertical and the other one is for horizontal adjustments.
Using a masking tape, mark both the horizontal and vertical centrelines for each of the two headlights (I am assuming that you have two headlights. But having in mind Frank Gallager (Shameless on Showtime) has three testicles, I cannot rule anything out.
The markings will help you pinpoint where the beams should be centred. Mark two additional spots approximately two inches (remember the measuring tape?) below the first marks.
Now back up your car at least 20 feet (it will now be 25 feet away from your neighbour’s garage door where you had made the marks).
Your headlight cutoff should be directly between the two marks you had made in step four above.
If you notice that the cutoff is nowhere between the markings you had made, it means that you projector headlights need alignment. Remember the adjustment screws, we located in step 3 above? Turn the top adjusting crew to raise or lower the beam.
Turning in the clockwise direction raises the beam while turning in the anti-clockwise direction lowers the beam. Make the adjustments until you get the beams to be level.
You will have to leave the headlight on as you make the adjustments. This present two problems; short circuit problems, and flat battery.
They can be mitigated by using a properly insulated screwdriver and having the engine running as you make the adjustments. You will know you have the right position when the cutoff is between the two spots and level.
I found this informative video by Chrisfix that summarizes everything I mentioned.
Your final output should be like this. Notice the masking tape position as compared to the beam.
Let me add that the headlight aim specifications vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. State inspection units may have their own specifications that vary from manufacturer specifications.
For instance, the 2 inches below the centre line at 25 feet away specifications I described above are for Chrysler Group vehicles. In case your local inspection unit doesn’t provide the specifications, use the manufacturer issued specifications (read your user manual or read the online version of it).
With the beam produced by the projector headlamps, you want to be as considerate as possible to oncoming traffic. Here are some factory specifications from different manufacturers (as measured under the horizontal centerlines:
You can get more information about your line here
Via Dapper Lightning
If you still get complaints from oncoming vehicles, you should lower the beam up to a point where you don’t affect your own visibility.
It is of great importance that you check with your local authorities on the specifications required to place your headlight beams.
A proper headlight should have little to no “kickup” after the adjustments and the centre of the beam should have no bleeding. The goal is to be able to see the road surface, the road signs and pedestrians without blinding oncoming traffic.
I hope this article has been of help to you. Get your tools ready, the sun is about to set. Time to adjust your projector headlamps. If you liked this article, feel free to share it with your friends and circles. In case of any comment, question, suggestion or clarification, feel free to comment below. Thank you for reading.
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