Headlight Projectors – A Substitute for HID?

We’ve covered here in the MVS Volvo Forum many posts about improving Volvo headlights and illumination: headlight bulbs, replacing dull headlight reflectors, installing HID kits, corner light cosmetic mods, side marker lights, even fog light troubleshooting.

Among these, the most important for the average driver however is simply more light on the road during night driving. Simply put: we need headlight output. There are caveats, of course, like not blinding oncoming traffic and following local laws. This post doesn’t address the law in your country or region, but rather follows MVS member Ed’s quest for better light at a decent price.

Enter projector headlight lenses, the use of optics to focus the light created by the headlight lamps. Pioneered by Audi but first deployed by BMW on the non-North American 7-series car in 1986, projector lenses are a relatively easy and inexpensive DIY option for those of us looking for better nighttime illumination.

I’ve read a lot about various kits and ways about getting HID lights in these cars. It usually appears that you can simply buy an HID kit and plug it all in and be done. But this method seems to ignore one of the biggest problems: that dropping HIDs in a housing meant for halogens is bad news for the light output patterns.

However, from what I’ve researched, simply doing that will blind everyone and throw light everywhere. What would I need to do to be able to run these higher-output lights without problems?

New lenses or new housings? Both?

HID or New Reflectors?

Volvo Headlight Projector Lens

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