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What do you think looks best, and what did you think performed best?

This is a q45 xenon projector, and these are some of the most iconic projector retrofits. Anyone has ever done in this video we're going to talk about what they have in common and we'll even show you what they look like in comparison to each other, all right. Well, let's just start off with this big cannon like if you can tell, i don't, have little hands and this thing is a monster. This is from a q45 and i've seen these retrofits i've actually done a couple in old lexus.

I've done one in a honda fit. This thing requires a giant round open housing and people used to always get this thing just because it looks weird. So this is in contrast to the july, led projectors. I'm going to show you right now and i'm going to tell you what i think that they have in common all right now.

These bad boys are what we've been making the videos on the last series, all about the custom jewel eyes, the retrofits that people maybe don't realize they probably don't want to go down this road. They look super awesome but again, they're huge. This thing is 16 inches end to end, and it's going to fit in almost no housings out there kind of similar to those q45s all right. This is the last projector that i want to show you.

This is actually from an s2000. This is an ap2 s2000 projector, which is one of the best xenon projectors that ever hit the market straight out of the box, like it came on the car amazing, but look at this giant bracket, that's on there. This also has something in common with the other. Two that i mentioned, and it just goes back to how things used to be back in the day when retrofits were difficult, when you actually had to have somebody who was an expert that knew how to mount things, how to modify everything and do a ton of Manual labor, so that you could get the look that you wanted now i did show you two xenon projectors and one led projector, but in comparison to what's on the market.

Nowadays, it's so different. They have bi-led projectors with a threaded shaft on the back, and you basically can just put them right into any sort of a reflector housing tighten a little nut on the back for the most part, you're done. You can adjust those headlights up and down left and right, and it doesn't really change too much inside of the housing and it fits all right enough talk about how these things look when they're off and what they fit in. Let's turn them on we're going to compare just the little cutoff lines and i'll get some street shots of these things later, but we're going to start with the king right here, this s2000 projector this thing again very difficult to work with, but i'm going to turn It on, and the first thing you're going to notice - is that the ballast is going to be screaming as soon as i give it power and there it is so check this thing out.

This is a this is a monster. That thing is ridiculously sharp and this is just how they came right from the factory all right now. Let's look in contrast to this s2000 awesome performance projectors to this q45, and i think you're going to be surprised at what you see. If you look, i'm actually using a gtr ballast and the igniter, and i had it on the s2000 now i'm going to put it on this infiniti q45 projector and all of those little lenses are going to be trying to focus the same light that that one S2000 projector was there we go screaming, and here we go.

You see all of those different little paths, those different little lines right there, and that is all these individual lenses on this q45 projector trying to focus that light and trying to layer them on top of each other. You know in a in a focused way, i'm actually going to take the bulb out of this and try to show you what the inside looks like, so that you can see the cut off lines inside of this projector by the way for this test. We are not skimping out. We have some super expensive, osram bulbs.

These are the original xenarc. They have a really cool color to them. These are yeah. I think these bulbs are like 100 bucks a pop.

So let me carefully take this guy out and then i want to show you that's what the bulb actually looks like now. Let's look at the inside of this projector, so i could show you so, as you could tell like there's little cutoff lines in front of each of those lenses and they are trying hard to focus everything. This is weird. This is not like a smart move.

If you want performance, it just looks crazy. It looks like a fly eyeball or something like all the little or spider face. I don't know it's pretty strange. It doesn't perform particularly well, but because it looks so different, it was really really popular, but it doesn't mean that it's a good thing that you should put on your car.

The same could be said about these, which are the last lights that i'm going to show. You right now and because of the fact that these have an led driver. I can't just plug these things into the same ballast. So let me put these back in their housing, i'm going to plug them in, while the driver is inside of that housing and then we're going to point those around and talk about what we're seeing with these all right.

Here we go july on, and this is what all the fuss is a boot. This is what everybody's trying to get. This is just a low beam. Now, apparently, the tlx projectors look exactly the same as these, except they also have projector lenses on the high beam.

These ones do not, so you can see very clearly that there are little glass covers over the low beams here, but not in the high beam section and either way they both turn on the same way. Just the three of the five are your low beams and take a look at the cut off line on this and notice. It kind of has some similarities to that q45. You've got multiple different layers that are trying to lay down nice and flat layer up.

They are nice and bright in comparison to uh. What i could show you next i'll turn on an led bulb in a regular halogen, projector and we'll take a look at what that looks like nothing fancy, just a run-of-the-mill crappy led, bulb and we'll compare that up on the ceiling as well. Okay, i'm trying not to move right now, because this is a halogen projector. It's got a cheap, led bulb in there.

It can't adjust to properly get the best output. You could see the the cut-off line um, but it is not made to be the brightest option out there and it's very different than like, let's say the jewel eye, with the multiple layers or even the q45, with the multiple layers. Let's see what happens if i move, if this thing is going to keep going, it just died. I don't know why.

But anyway, this is an old led, bulb inside of a projector and a lot of people. This is what they're running right and what they want to be running is something that looks amazing, like this q45 or like the july, but in reality, if they wanted to get the best performance ever, they would want to be rocking the s2000 projector. These are monsters all of them all three. Actually, the jewel eyes are just super long and difficult to have space for them.

The q45s are these giant monsters that just don't have very many housings that they would fit in the first place, and then you have the s2000 that requires tons and tons of custom modification just so that you can start putting it into a new housing and because You've chopped all the different brackets off now you have nothing to really mount it to so you really have to know what you're doing to mess with that s2000 and most of the projector retrofit parts on the market now are for people who are just getting started. You don't have to be as good so that you can work with the new projectors, whereas these old ones, you actually had to be pretty awesome at what you were doing, but that's all to be said about old school stuff. These days, you can get a full replacement, led projector. That is just way more practical of an option.

So let me know out of these four things that i just showed you: what were the cutoffs that you thought were the best and then what do you think was the coolest looking out of them best performance and best. Looking, let me know your vote in the comments below.

By Chris

14 thoughts on “What’s Better? LED vs Xenon Projectors”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lunchtime says:

    Need your Advice. What is the best way to remove glass lens? 5×7 headlights glass.

    I broke 2 sets already. Had them in the oven up to 20 min, 300 degrees…still cant get the lens off, glass breaks all attempts

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Milos Balunovic says:

    out of the ones presented s2k no matter what. but I would add rx330 (non-afs and afs), rx350, TL, fx35… especially if moded with a clear lens and custom shield as it was standard in the golden era of retrofits and not PNP kits 🙂 !

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars G Hines says:

    I love my Q45. 1 thing I hate though is going to ALKQ or a pull apart lot and someone has destroyed a perfectly good headlight just so they can get the projector out of it. Our cars are rare enough that we have idiots I hear destroying headlights just to get the projector. It's sad they need to start looking towards after market.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars deeshack79 says:

    I've seen how to convert regular old-school lights to the retrofit style. But how do you convert halogen projectors to with this same style performance? Do you just simply upgrade the factory bulbs to the upgraded bulbs with the hid kids? Or is there another method to replacing the whole housing?

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Flora Nove says:

    Hello FlyRyde!

    This is Nove from AISKITS, I watched your channel it’s really exciting and impressive.

    This is a newly launched LED headlight! You can see this LED headlight, is not cool?it is our latest development of a product!

    In the United States, there are many classic cars, they are our closest partners! Now they may need some upgrades to accompany us better.

    Replacing and upgrading our headlights does more than making driving safer. They improve the look of your vehicle as well as its performance. LED bulbs have a lower power pull on your vehicle’s battery and system. They also give our vehicle a fresh and new feel with bright white light.

    I was wondering if you could do a share for it on your YouTube:

    • Introduction

    • Overview of features

    • Actual driving footage with the bulbs

    • Amazon link on the description for viewers interested in buying the product."

    Please let me know if this is OK with you. Really looking forward to working with you.

    Best wish,


  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars R C says:

    When are you guys putting up the schooling? Do you address how many amps a headlight should take in and give out? Or do you explain all that?
    I’m wondering if there’s a thing as adding too many leds and it draws too many amps causing short circuit or something… does the program you were talking about before address all this?

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars cozzm0AU says:

    I’ve got a JDM version of a G20 with factory Xenon reflector lights which I’m planning to do an S2000 retro on real soon. Although I realise there are easier and perhaps better performing stuff now available, I’m old school at heart and always wanted to have a nice set of low beams.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars S J says:

    Should do a comparison with D2S Philips extreme vs Osram. It really shows what garbage Osram bulbs are as well as a Kelvin's they don't add up. Philips is worth the extra $30 over the Sylvania, all day.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael Skiff says:

    I'm would like to have my TSX projectors redone so they have a really dark blue and heavy cut off off line, I have tried myself but I need someone like you to get the look I want. Do you think we could do business?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Terran Eligon says:

    The S2000 is the absolute performance choice.

    Now, believe it or not, this is the first time I am seeing the output from the Q45. I always wondered how they looked due to the fact that there are that many lenses. To me, multiple cut-off lines on more than 1 horizontal plain is headache-inducing. If I had to imagine what it would be like.before this video, I would have thought that each lens was layered as "fill" lights with the top lenses dedicated to shape the cut-off, and the others below to give support and fill in what the top lenses are limited in doing. Pretty much as I thought of the Morimoto XB range for the F150 and others just like it where 4 projectors are stacked over each other. I was wrong about that too. Now that I have seen them as well as the jewel eyes, I can't imagine why anyone would pursue them for a retrofit other than to exemplify the art form of retrofitting.

    For style and appearance, I'd likely choose the jewel eyes. You'll never see me driving around with outputs such as the jewel eyes and the and the Q45. Never!

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars thepheonixmatt says:

    can you do a comparison with what morimoto is doing with their leds and projector retrofits? ive had their 2stroke 3.0 led bulbs on 3 cars and i love them

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lude Da Kid says:

    Damn I love the gatlin gun projector. And I remember back in the day on the prelude groups the TSX was a great cheap projector but the S2K was like you said the hands down best out there

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tim Shields says:

    As far as a “Wow” factor in a custom headlight build I think the jewel eye wins. If you’re going for performance, the S2000 has it all day from this test.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nubun Sangjun says:

    S2000 has the best combination of beam pattern and intensity. S2000 don’t have the best intensity because their beam spread out evenly. The widest projector is ls430. The brightest projector that I known so far is NHK G5 EXL but it has no width. Best LED I know that is also brighter than s2000 but not even close in width or foreground lighting is Morimoto Mled 2.0. But overall best projector is still the S2000.

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