Yesterdays post about all the various LED Headlights For Buick Grand National that are on the market, gave you all the specifics and details about what you should be looking for when selecting them.
The current headlights on our 1987 Buick Grand National are of the HID variety.
This Gbody Regal started off with (replacement) stock type halogen headlights.
A little over a decade ago, we acquired the HID system from Alradco (now defunct).
That system used H4 bulbs, and included glass lenses, for which we kept for awhile when we switched over to multiple different sets of HID bulbs.
Then we got the blue tinted High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights (these were initially pretty cool looking, but we just couldn’t get to use to seeing the road totally in blue, it’s simply weird).
6500k white bulbs were next up, which are the current lights.
We did get some new headlight housings however, that have blue (LED lit) halo rings on them.
(the blue scheme fits in with the other blue LED lights we have on this Turbo Buick)
(and to note, these specific housings are a little bigger / deeper than OEM versions, so you either cut out the openings on the back where the housing sits (the headlight buckets section) to get them to fit in, or you get longer screws to fit the outer trim bezels and basically “wedge” the housings into place, which is what we did)
[note that the “halos” usually use a separate wire / bulb for the halo effect. They are generally controlled separately from the normal headlight function. We wired up the halo portion to a relay that turns on these “angel eyes” whenever the car is running (either day or night) regardless of whether the regular head lights are on or not]
The HID headlights work pretty well for what they are, but there are some drawbacks. Like they take a minute or so to fully “warm up” (meaning they take literally a minute before they are at full power).
Not to mention that they have high power converters that are utilized to get all the juice they take (a 55 watt HID ballast for each light), which isn’t that big of a deal (it’s plug and play into the normal sockets).
Then there’s the stuffing those ballasts, as well as the wiring and sockets, etc., all behind where the headlights sit inside the Turbo Regal.
(there IS enough room, barely, but it’s really packed in that section. And, you need to be concerned about the water that drips down from the front of the hood, which falls directly into this area)
The HID setup is definitely much better than the factory headlights, but we’ve been wanting to try a LED style light, so we went searching for some.
3 PHOTOS BELOW FROM THE HID HEADLIGHT SETUP:
The picture shown below is 60 feet away from the garage, this is a little more than 3 car lengths.
The HID’s main beam (from the low beam head lights) is generally concentrated in the area of the red box in the photo.
(the light shoots mainly forward, not towards the far left or far right)
After hearing good things from other Buick Regal owners, we contacted Hector Vega, who owns RMS Lighting, who set us up with a full set (4 lights; low and high beams) of his LED Headlight Conversion Kit for our Buick Grand National.
The RMS Lighting GM G-body kit is currently $209 shipped (April 2022):
4×6 OG Style Sealed Beam Headlight Conversion Kit With LED Bulbs.
(4) glass lens metal housings
(4) 50 watt 10000LM LED H4 Bulbs
(2) plug wiring adapters
This kit is made to OE Spec with metal housings and glass lenses and won’t turn “Yellow” like some of the plastic lens housing kits currently sold on the market.
This is a “Plug and Play” kit.
* Improves Night Time Visibility
* Longer Lifespan Over HID’s
* Maintain Original Factory Look
* Clear OEM Style Glass Lens with metal back
Fits: H4651 H4653 H4666 H6545
Another advantage of the RMS Lighting setup is that these look like pretty stock versions. The “big deal” right now, for maximum resale value, is keeping your Buick Regal, (especially the Grand National, since it’s the highest value auto, except for the GNX of course) as original OEM as possible. Obviously, these are not factory lights, but they look close enough to pass visually from the outside.
RMS Lighting 4×6 Gen1 Kit’s: (the original kit as shown herein)
RMS Lighting 4×6 Gen2 Kit’s: (the newer kit, as described below)
Gen1 kit comes with metal frame and glass lenses.
Gen2 comes with plastic reflective frame, bulb cover, and glass lenses (which is equivalent to the Holley Kit).
THE RMS LIGHTING LED CONVERSION KIT (as we received):
There are less expensive kits on the market, but as with most things, you get what you pay for!
Most of the kits we’ve seen have (A LOT) lower bulb output (watts / lumens), may not fit the Gbody Regal layout correctly, and don’t always include the correct wiring sockets.
(THIS kit has 10,000 lumens PER bulb, they are super bright!)
(not having correct wiring means the money you save on the kit will be negated by having to get adapters, or spending time making it fit, or work, properly)
(not to mention that you may not end up really seeing any better than with the factory lights if the output isn’t high enough)
(regardless of how “cool” the lights may look [the design] when the headlights are turned off, the goal when switching lights should be to actually be able to see the road better!)
Compare the specifications to THIS kit against the info supplied from yesterdays post and you can “clearly see” that the RMS Lighting kit offers the exact things that you want and need for whatever version of Turbo Regal you may have! And it’s also priced very reasonable for what you get.
The RMS package has “plug and play” adapters for the high beam lights, which is really nice.
(compared to the “re-pinning” we had to do on some of the OEM sockets to get the lights to function properly from the other “kit” we had)
Installation is rather straightforward, simple and quick, easy “plug and play”, since it’s just pretty much remove and replace.
(but you will probably need to readjust the aim / light pattern on them compared to your old setup)
You can find full step by step (general) directions here for: replacing Buick Regal headlights.
It’s an easy job, so we’re not going to go into those specific details in this post.
(the kits do come with step by step directions for installing these new lights)
HOW TO INSTALL:
1). Remove old lights, unplug the OEM connectors.
2). Install low beam headlights, plug them in.
3). Install high beam headlights, using the included new adapters.
(make sure you turn on both low and high beams before the next step, to make sure all 4 come on!)
4). Reinstall trim, bezels, etc.
5). Adjust beam pattern.
6). That’s pretty much it!
COMPARISON OF LIGHTING, OUR OLD HID VS THESE NEW LED:
PHOTOS BELOW FROM THE LED HEADLIGHT SETUP:
This is from the same 60 feet away from the garage distance as the HID’s (from above pics).
You can see the coverage area (red box) of the LED’s is much greater (closer) to the front of the car, as well as to the sides (where street curbs would be at), and it is higher up on the garage door (translating to the beams being projected out further down the road).
We still need to fine tune the adjustment of the lights to not blind other oncoming drivers, but seeing the initial output given off by these lights shows a definite improvement over the previous HID lights we had!
(and I can just imagine the huge difference these would be over the factory supplied halogen bulbs!)
When we turned on the high beam headlights, it basically gave off twice the amount of light, in the same areas as the low beams, as well as a bit more (where the down the road distance would be). Nice.
[we intended to show a picture of the lighting quality down on an actual street, but the GN has other things being worked on, so we couldn’t pull it on the road, perhaps we will add a photo like this in the future…]
OUR OPINION ON THIS KIT:
The previous HID setup was a TREMEMDOUS advantage over the stock halogens from the factory, providing much better lighting overall (at least 3 times better than the OEM bulbs).
However, holy smokes!
The output on these new LED’s is amazing!
It totally blows away what the HID’s had!
They have to be 4 or 5 times better than the HID’s.
(and we’d guess 10 times better than the original stock headlights)
Producing crisp, clear, white light, in all of the right areas that you actually need to see in while you’re driving.
It’s not often we are truly impressed with (relatively) new gadgets that hit the market, but this IS one of those times!
If you’re looking to improve the quality and visibility in front of your Turbo Regal when headed down the road, THIS is the way to do it! They are absolutely worth the price of admission (which isn’t really all that much in the grand scheme of things).
Our only regret, is not switching over to these sooner!
>>> RMS Lighting <<<
(or call 407 749 2900)
Just FYI, we wanted to keep our “blue halo” setup, so after we installed this kit, we removed the supplied lenses/housings (included in the RMS kit) and reinstalled the original halo housings we had before (and hopefully they will hold up to the power output from the new bulbs!).
The vendor shown above has supplied us with the parts we used in this project, per our request. If you are looking for similar parts, don’t hesitate to inquire with this specific vendor!