After owning S Cross Alpha facelift, I found the LED Headlamps to be not as bright as expected so I initially upgraded my Fog lamps with Philips Ultinon LED bulbs which improved my visibility in low beam.
The LED fogs spread the light on the road and beam as not focused as expected. This is when I came across Projectors with HIDs installed in Fog lamp. I strongly felt that Projectors does the job well when it comes to focusing the beam without blinding the traffic in opposite direction. But a Bixenon projector is not designed for LED bulbs and Bi-LED Projector cost is almost four times and not as bright as HIDs. I decided to go for Bixenon Projector with HID. Everyone knows that IPHCAR projectors are tried and tested ones, though sold with different names. Looking at the Youtube videos, the IPHCAR projectors really convinced me to go for them.
I inquired the price of IPHCAR projectors in Bangalore which came to around Rs 6,600/- with installation but it went out of stock at the same time. The only option left was to import from AliExpress. While looking for projectors, I came across with a distributor in Udaipur who was willing to ship me a pair of IPHCAR projectors for Rs 2950/-. The price quoted was very competitive indeed and I immediately placed an order.
Now, it was time to short-list compatible H11 HID bulbs. Since I wanted longevity and peace of mind with the bulbs, I decided to stick to branded HID kit like Osram and Philips. I didn’t find any option of Philips H11 HID bulb which made me look for Osram. Fortunately, Osram had Eco and Premium 35 Watt HIDs. The ECO version produces 160% more light and comes with 4 times more life as compared to standard halogen bulb and priced at Rs 5500/- in Amazon. The Premium version produces 200% more light and comes with 5 times more life. So, I decided to stick to Osram Premium 35-Watt HID kit which is completely plug and play. Coming to the color temperature now, there is two options available – Up to 4200 kelvin and up to 6000 kelvin. I opted for 6000 kelvins to compliment my headlamp LEDs.
Initially my intention was to configure only low beam but when I called the installer, I was told that by default it will always be on high beam and for low beam I need to enable the high/low control which will require slicing of factory wire. I didn’t want to cut or slice the factory wire as it can result in voiding the warranty of the vehicle. So only option left was to configure an external switch. Keeping this in mind, I ordered two switches – One from Amazon and another one is from Boodmo which the OEM Fog lamp switch for S Cross is.
So, the day came when I received my fog lamp projectors. From the physical inspection, I could make out that the shutter is half closed by default which means it must be default low beam.
Gaurav (S Cross Zeta owner) and I reached “The Drift” on Varthur Main Road in Bangalore where we planned the installation. First, it was Gaurav’s car to start with. The bumper screws were taken out and bumper was partially opened to have access to fog lamps. The fog lamp assembly was then replaced with IPHCAR Projectors and Osram HIDs. Gaurav ordered the Osram Eco version from Amazon while I purchased the Osram Premium version locally from “The Drift”. The installation and wiring took about 85 mins in Gaurav’s vehicle after which we went for a drive to check the light output. The low beam looked very bright and clear but couldn’t make out the high beam. We tested the high/low beam pattern found it just to be on high beam always no matter what.
Now it was time for installation in my car. While we were discussing with the installer it came to our mind that he might have installed the projectors upside down. We asked him to fix it in such a way that shutter is placed on bottom half. Tested high/low beams and found it exactly how it should be working. The installer said, the OEM Fog lamp switch ordered from Boodmo required an adapter and isn’t compatible for configuring high/low control but the one I received from Amazon was a perfect fit. He also installed a 15 Amps Fuse with the Switch.
A proper alignment results in a drastic improvement in light output. Alignment was done by placing a whiteboard at around 25 feet away from the way and driver seated. The fog lamp beam was aligned to focus few inches below the headlight low beam. Alignment can be bit tricky though but can be easily done following the ground rules.
- Car should stand on a level road
- It must be dark enough to view the level of beam
- Driver must be seated
- Car must be standing 7.6 meters away from the wall
- The fog lamp beam must be focused couple of inches below the headlamp
- Alignment must be done by opening bumper from sides to access the fog lamps
- Use marking tapes and measuring tapes for accuracy
- Compare the starting point of left-side and right-side beam
- Take test drive post alignment and check for glare for driver on opposite direction. Beam shouldn’t be too low or too high.
Alignment took about 35 mins per projector.
FINAL TEST DRIVE:
With foglamps and HIDs on, the darker the roads get the better it gets. You may not notice the intensity of beam in well lit roads but when you get into darkness, the headlamps seem useless. However, the Alpha stock LEDs make the road brighter and whiter giving a wonderful view of everything without any dark spots.
Pros and Cons:
Pros – Great light output, Enhanced Visibility and looks, No glare to oncoming traffic unless in line of sight of beam.
Cons – HIDs heat up, May not be suitable for rainy drives.
Please find reference video to check the light output: