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MetalAnon

Two questions about Gen 2 forward lighting...

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I could have probably made two posts for these questions, but I figured since they are both headlight related I'd just consolidate them into one.

 

Question 1)   What are our options for upgrading factory HIDs?

 

   So, we've had our 2016 Sport for bout 7 months and absolutely LOVE it.  We are optioned with 401A and have the factory HID projector headlights which seem dangerously dim.  Some nights, we can't even tell if the lights are actually on (besides the indicator light on the dashboard).  Pariticularly on rainy nights when the roads are wet, both of us on several occasions have had to cycle the headlight switch to be sure the lights on indeed lit.  It's creepy to say the least.

Our Edge has 125k on the ticker so I'm inclined to think that the original bulbs, at minimum were previously replaced at least once. I have not physically checked myself, but based on the performance, I'm assuming the ballasts are the stock 35 watt units. So I intended to resolve the issue with new D3S bulbs and upgrading the ballasts to 55 watt or better.  Seems simple enough, until I actually started looking for 55 watt ballasts, I cannot for the life of me find a single, DIRECT replacement, higher than stock (35 watt) ballasts any where.  I spoke with a tech at TheRetroFitSource.com and he told me that I would need to buy an entire conversion kit made for the halogen conversions in order to boost the ballast wattage, but I find this hard to believe.  Additionally, the factory HIDs mount the ballast on the underside of the housing and the ballast is used to seal the access point for the ballast connections, which are both INSIDE the housing.  (See attached images)  The aftermarket conversions all seem to have there connections made OUTSIDE the housing and they seem to be mounted away from the housings and not mounted on them which begs the question, how exactly are the ballast connections made without removing the original ballast and thus exposing inside the housing to the elements? Thus my posting here... Any input on this issue is requested!


Question 2)   Has anyone yet sought to repurpose the apparently useless DRLs (the inboard headlamp location on 401A optioned models (factory HID)) to function as secondary high beams?  If not, what associated upgrades (improved wiring, maybe add a relay) would be advisable or required to support a proper high beam bulb in place of the DRL H11?

 

   In my quest to solve the above problem, it came to my attention that the "signature lights" in the front bumper were not the DRLs as I had assumed.  Because I disable to DRLs (we have the signature lights for that) the inboard headlight bulbs are just sitting there wasting space.  This made me wonder if I could make better use of that bulb by repurposing that particular circuit to be powered on with the high beams to supplement the HID high beams.  Any thoughts on this potential mod would be greatly appreciated.

gen 2 sport HID housing .jpg

New-OEM-for-15-18-Ford-Edge-Xenon-HID-Headlight-Ballast-D3S-Bulb-352792652159-2.JPG

Edited by MetalAnon
clarification of quesiton

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First, this only relates to the 2015-2018 Edge, because 2019+ have better LED headlights and as far as know, both are considered Gen2. Although the OWM HID are far from great, what you are describing is not consistent with my experience of the OEM HID. I have a 2016 Sport also with the 401A package. I suspect something is wrong with your lighting. Bad bulbs, ballast, lens or projectors. Are you sure they are the OEM HID? Maybe the previous owner replaced for some reason.

 

For the 2015-2018 factory HID, I don't recall anyone upgrading them. The easiest way I assume would be to upgrade the HID bulbs. Like the "OSRAM XENARC Night Breaker Laser D3S" or "PHILIPS Xenon X-TremeVision Gen2 +150% D3S". If you still want to go with external connections, maybe just keep the original ballast to seal the housing and then make all connection external like a retrofit solution.

 

For the H15 DRL, same, the only mod i read here was switching to LED H15 bulbs so the DRLs are white instead of halogen yellow. It would be cool to be able to utilize the high beam portion, but physically there are no wire connected to the the high beam filament. So you'd need custom wiring in a way not to affect the existing wiring. Another concern would be the heat generated by the high beam and whether the housing/lens would endure it or not.

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Thanks for the reply @omar302!

On 12/15/2021 at 12:32 AM, omar302 said:

" First, this only relates to the 2015-2018 Edge, because 2019+ have better LED headlights and as far as know, both are considered Gen2. "

  I guess I hadn't really considered it since we don't have a 2019, but I certainly want to avoid passing along any erroneous info so thanks for pointing that out!  

 

 I'm guessing that the weak performance of these HIDs is likely due to their age.  They clearly fire up very bright, but then quickly tune down once they have started.  Not sure if that is indicative of tired bulbs or ballasts or both, I'm learning HIDs as I go.  Like I mentioned, I have not dug into the lights yet, it's been ridiculously cold in MN the past couple weeks, but I will soon in order to determine what hardware is indeed installed currently.  I appreciate the recommendations, I've read quite a bit about both the Night Breakers and XtremeVisions, but coming from halogen equipped cars, I find $200+ for bulbs less than palatable and likely only a serious last resort option and despite the numerous videos out there showing increases in brightness with the Night Breaker in particular, I find it hard to believe the bulbs by themselves can increase brightness without boosting the power feeding them.  But again, I'm learning HIDs as I go.  TBH I am puzzled that there seem to be zero direct replacement ballasts over 35 watts for the Ford applications.  I would think the market for 55w+ direct replacement ballasts would be a sound one. 

 

As for the DRLs (which I mistakenly called H11 in the post), the H15 seems to be a 55w bulb so I would assume the reflector housing for that would be substantial enough to home a 9005 or the like.  I think I might see what I can put together for the wiring to repurpose that inboard bulb position to come on with the high beams.  I can't imagine it would be too difficult with the proper schematic and perhaps a relay run from the high beam switch for the additional load.  I'm curious anyhow.

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9 hours ago, MetalAnon said:

As for the DRLs (which I mistakenly called H11 in the post), the H15 seems to be a 55w bulb so I would assume the reflector housing for that would be substantial enough to home a 9005 or the like.

 

The H15 bulb is a dual filament bulb. 55w & 15w. The DRL function uses the 15w filament only. The 55w filament unfortunately is not utilized in the Edge .

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On 12/22/2021 at 1:06 PM, omar302 said:

 

The H15 bulb is a dual filament bulb. 55w & 15w. The DRL function uses the 15w filament only. The 55w filament unfortunately is not utilized in the Edge .

 

Thanks man... you are a wealth of knowledge!  That setup then seems kinda wasteful from an engineering standpoint.  Guess I'll have to do some digging to find out more about the housing's durability.  OR... perhaps, since the H15 is dual filament, we could simply run a jumper and/or relay from the high beam circuit to that unused 55w filament... things that make ya go hmmmm....? 

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