How to Remove Radio Interference Using Ferrite Coils for HID and LED Headlights

Many people nowadays are installing aftermarket HID and/or LED conversion kits in their headlights and fog lights. These new conversion kits use an external power booster, called a Ballast for HID setups and a Driver for LED setups. Both of these external power supplies do similar functions, but technically they are quite different. Also, both of these products create RFI (Radio Frequency Interference); in fact every electronic device ever made creates RFI, but there are different types of this electrical interference. Sometimes when installing an LED conversion kit or an HID conversion kit in your vehicle the result can be better, brighter light, but also a side effect of AM or FM radio interference. This is characterized by where you once were able to pick up a radio station, with the new lights installed and turned on, now that same radio station is just white noise.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

The solution for your problem might be what is called a ferrite coil, also known as a ferrite bead, a ferrite choke, or an RFI choke. All of these names mean the same thing. Ferrite beads prevent interference in two directions: from a device or to a device. A conductive cable such as the input power for the HID or LED headlight bulbs acts as an antenna – if the device produces radio frequency energy, this can be transmitted through the cable, which acts as an unintentional radiator. In this case the bead may be required to reduce RFI. Conversely, if there are other sources of RFI, such as an ignition module or battery charging alternator, the bead prevents the cable from acting as an antenna and receiving interference from these other devices.

Ferrite coils are already used in everyday household uses. You can find them on USB cables, power cords for your television or home stereo, and even on input power cables on your automotive satellite radio:

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

LED Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For an LED Headlight conversion kit you can use a large ferrite coil and wind the input power wires around it, or you can use a small ferrite coil, and just clamp it over the power cable:

LED Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

 

HID Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a smaller ferrite choke around the power input cable of the ballast like this:

HID Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a larger ferrite choke around the power input cable where the small wires are exposed. This allows you to wrap the wiring around the choke for a better result. This is how to install the larger ferrite coil:

Sources for Ferrite coils:
Large style designed for looping wires around coil: RND-6 ( Wurtz number 7427151 ) snap on chokes
The inside hole size is 0.57″ (over 1/2″, 14.5 mm)

Small style designed snap onto power input cable: RCT2 RFI Radio Frequency Interference Ferrite Chokes – Black
measures approximately 1.25 x .75 x 75 inches

Can-Am Maverick Lighting Overhaul

Want to take your Can-Am Maverick 1000XMR to the next level? Check out the LED and HID Lighting upgrades made to this Can-Am in the video and get the look yourself! Here’s a breakdown of what was shown in the video.

At 1:00, the high and low headlights were the first thing to get upgraded. HID bulbs worked best with the Can-Am projector headlights, so both the high and low beams got 9005 55W HID Conversion Kits from GTR Lighting. If you’ve ever thought about upgrading to HID bulbs but were hesitant of the installation process, check out the video at 3:38 to see how its done

Can-Am lighting upgrades

HID Ballasts for the Can-Am

 

7:52 shows the huge difference HID bulbs make compared to stock halogen bulbs. The HID bulbs not only have a better color than halogen, they have tons more light.

HID and halogen comparison in a Can-Am

 

At 11:38, the taillights also get new bulbs. The LED Bulb Replacements from GTR Lighting are a simple way to increase the light output.

LED bulb replacement for Can-Am tail lights

 

At 17:10 the Can-Am lighting overhaul ends with a 42″ light bar attached to the top. This GTR Lighting Tactical Light Bar adds an extra 20,640 Lumens to the Can-Am! 22:30 of the video shows how to install the LED light bar to the cage of the Can-Am using the mounting feet and bolts.

LED offroad Light Bar for the Can-Am

 

 

 

WARNING: HID Bulbs Will Melt Subaru BRZ Fog Lights – Try These LEDs Instead!

Did you know HID lights will melt the fogs on your BRZ? We will show you what happened to our BRZ and show you 2 good high power LED options so you can STILL have upgraded fog lights.

 

brz

If you’re like us, we love the look and power of HID bulbs in our vehicles and will use them any chance we get. So when it came to updating the Subaru BRZ we went all out and put HIDs in the headlights and fog lights. The strength and intensity of HID lights make them a perfect safety upgrade in headlights and fog lights during poor weather conditions. However, we found out that HIDs were not an ideal choice for our Subaru BRZ fog lights. In the Subaru BRZ, the power of the HID bulbs was too great for the fog light housings; within a few days they began to melt.

burnt fog lightburnt fog light 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HID light sources provide the brightest illumination available and are considered the benchmark against which other forward lighting technologies are measured. HID light sources provide three to four times the light output of standard halogen light sources and promote better driving visibility by providing enhanced peripheral vision and improved down-road illumination. HID Bulbs use up to 65% less energy than conventional lighting and can last up to 10 times longer, but all of that light creates heat. I recommend never installing HID bulbs in Subaru BRZ fog lights. We had these 35w HIDs installed in the fog lights for 1 week until we noticed some bubbles forming on the lens. Then within another week we also noticed the chrome reflector starting to flake and melt. As soon as we could, we ordered new housings and replaced them with new LED lights instead.

So now what, are you stuck with dim, yellow light in your BRZ fog lights? Not to worry, we’ve found two great options from Black Top Racing that will look great and keep your fog light housings intact.

Their first option is a 950 lumen 80 watt LED bulb from GTR Lighting. These bulbs will give you the crisp, white light of HID, with the long life and simplicity of LED bulb replacement.

led_fog_light_kit_level_1 2

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Bulb in fog light housing.

 

Their second option is a complete LED Conversion Kit that boasts 2,200 lumens per bulb—that’s up to 2.5 times the output of standard halogen bulbs! Totally plug and play, this kit will give you the crisp, white 6000k look of HID without the higher HID price tag. Although the LED Conversion Kit doesn’t quite match the power level of HID, the LED Kit is a great choice where heat and melting issues arise. The LED bulbs in the Conversion Kit are molded from aluminum to conduct and dissipate heat through the bulb.  Also, an embedded fan in each bulb creates a forced-air cooling system to cool the bulb, prolong the bulb life, and protect your fog light housings.

 

LED bulb in housing.

LED bulb in housing.

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting  LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

Comparison of stock bulb and GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit bulb in a fog light housing

So if you want to update your Subaru BRZ fog lights, learn from our mistake and looking into these other great options. And if your looking to make any other upgrades to your Subaru BRZ, take a look at all the other BRZ specific options Black Top Racing has to offer.

HID Headlight Solution for 2014 Ford Fusion

Many people have been trying to install an HID conversion kit into the new 2014 Ford Fusion and have been running into a bunch of HID issues. Most of the time what happens is after the install you will test the lights and they work fine, but then when you start the engine to drive the car the headlights no longer work at all. We have tried several different types of ballasts and none of them work except for the brand new GEN 4 CANBUS ballast from GTR Lighting. This new series of ballasts (The Hylux Series) features the newest CANBUS integration technology in the market and works as a plug and play option for the new Ford Fusion. It can be expected that the new GEN 4 CANBUS ballast from GTR Lighting will work for any new Ford vehicle with similar CANBUS issues.

HID Issues are Solved with the Hylux ballast from GTR Lighting

HID Issues are Solved with the Hylux ballast from GTR Lighting

We tried a ballast from Morimoto, the 3rd gen ballast from GTR Lighting, a ballast from DDM tuning and a cheap eBay ballast we had laying around and they all did the same thing, worked with the engine off and as soon as the engine was started they quit working. This happens because the CANBUS system is activated on these cars to start controlling and monitoring the headlights once you start the engine to drive it. The ONLY ballast that was totally plug and play, NO extra parts, NO splicing or cutting – just plug it in and go, was the new GEN 4 ballast from GTR.

GTR Lighting GEN 4 CANBUS Ballasts are called the "Hylux Series" and are plug and play on new Ford vehicles for doing HID Conversion Kits.

GTR Lighting GEN 4 CANBUS Ballasts are called the “Hylux Series” and are plug and play on new Ford vehicles for doing HID Conversion Kits.

Simple solution, buy that ballast and use it with any HID bulbs that fit your Ford for a no-hassle solution! Easy. The Hylux series ballasts come in a 25w, a 35w and a 55w version, you can learn more about these ballasts and purchase them for your HID install here. It is safe to say that ANY of the new Hylux ballasts will work seeing as they all use the same CANBUS module integration. This is great news because for a long time the only good CANBUS ballasts out there were only available in 35w and now you can get a really high quality CANBUS ballast in any power level from GTR Lighting.

2013 – 2014 Dodge Ram HID Kit Install Guide

We just revamped our 2013 – 2014 Dodge Ram HID Kit Install Guide for download here. This revised installation guide tells you how to remove the headlights from your 2013 and 2014 Ram trucks, how to remove the dust cover, how to install the bulbs, test and do the wiring. There’s even a section in the install guide for troubleshooting at the end!

NOTE: 2015 Ram trucks that use the exact same headlights require a different install method than 2013 and 2014!! This is because in 2015 Dodge changed the headlight control system and there is currently no plug and play HID kit on the market that will work for it without extra parts.

You can download the new revised install guide here:
http://www.headlightrevolution.com/v/vspfiles/2013%20-%202014%20dodge%20ram%20hid%20Install.pdf

Here's Step 1 of the install guide, to see more simply download the install guide!

Here’s Step 1 of the install guide, to see more simply download the install guide!

This install guide is very intensive, talks about which kits work and which ones do not. Also we explain in detail some things to watch out for when doing the install, and tips and tricks that will help to make this install much easier. If you want to do an HID conversion kit on your 2013 or 2014 Dodge Ram, you MUST read our install guide.

We show you how to test and wire the entire system and give you troubleshooting tips too!

We show you how to test and wire the entire system and give you troubleshooting tips too!

Even if you’re just curious about how to do the install the instructions we put together will give you a complete idea of what’s involved before even buying the kit.

The Install guide is listed here.

The HID Conversion Kits are listed here.

Difference between HID and LED Conversion Kits

For a long time if you wanted to update your headlights to something brighter or a different color than stock the only option was to install an HID conversion kit, and this product has really been the only decent option for about 10 years now. In late 2013 a new product was announced by GTR Lighting that is set to shape the headlight landscape for the foreseeable future! I’d like to introduce to you the LED conversion kit and hopefully explain to you what the difference between this new LED kit product is when compared to an HID kit.

This infographic shows the main differences between HID and LED headlight conversion kits.

This infographic shows the main differences between HID and LED headlight conversion kits.

 

Here are the main points broken down even further:

1. First of all, HID and LED aren’t necessarily better than one another, they’re just different. You need to understand both products then decide what you want.

2. As of right now each brand is only offering 1 power level, where with HID you can get 15w, 35w, 55w, 75w and 100w. I imagine this will change in the future, but right now LED is only available in one size per manufacturer.

3. As of right now LED headlight kits are only offered in two color choices: 5,000K or 6,000K and most manufacturers are only offering one color. If you want a special color like gold or purple, maybe HID is more your style.

4. HID bulbs take anywhere from 4 to 15 seconds to fully “warm up” and get to their full light output level. On the contrary LED headlight kits are “instant on” and require no warmup time.

5. Single beam HID kits and single beam LED kits are equally plug and play as another. HID bulbs are smaller, so in some cases they’re easier to install. But when it comes to dual beam kits, LED is way easier to install. A dual beam (aka Bi-Xenon) will require a relay harness ran to the battery, and ballasts mounted and wired up at each headlight. The same bulb in an LED kit will be plug and play just like it’s single beam counterpart.

6. A lot of people are concerned about adding heat to their housings when doing headlight upgrades, especially when looking at replacing a low power bulb in a fog light with an HID. Now with LED it’s not an issue. LED headlight kits are almost half as hot as an HID bulb.

7. LED bulbs draw 2.33 amps at 23 watts and HID bulbs draw 4 amps at 35 watts. This is not really an issue for modern vehicles, but if you’re considering an install on an older vehicle with a weak electrical system, this power saving from the LED headlight might be desirable.

8. Considering that you wouldn’t ever have a defective bulb, by the time you went through one LED headlight kit bulb you could have gone through up to 15 HID kit bulbs. The longevity of LED is HUGE compared with HID.

9. Right now the best LED headlight kits produce roughly 2,600 Lumens of light per bulb, whereas a standard 35w HID bulb can produce up to 3,500 Lumens of light. This is the biggest benefit to sticking with HID. However, in the near future we could be seeing LED conversion kits that more than double that of a traditional HID kit.

LED Foglight Kit installed

LED Foglight Kit installed

Even though HID kits are still brighter than LED, and they come in more colors, LED Conversion Kits still have their merits. The above picture displays a 2013 Dodge Journey running a set of GTR Lighting 5202 LED conversion kit bulbs. The comparison shows how much better it is than the original 5202 bulb.

 

A Look at the 2014 Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

The new Corvette Stingray is a pretty wild machine… using carbon and nanotech technology to create a super strong chassis along with new wild and intelligent styling and a super powerful 450HP LT1 engine. In my opinion the icing on the cake are the wild new LED and HID bi-xenon headlights:

The new C7 headlights are pretty wild! Built in DRL and bi-xenon HID forward lighting.

The new C7 headlights are pretty wild! Built in DRL and bi-xenon HID forward lighting.

The first time I saw these headlights were at the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas where there were a BUNCH of these cars on display, and the first thing I thought of was similarity to the Ferrari 458 Italia headlights:

The Ferrari 458 has a similar style headlight to the new Stingray.

The Ferrari 458 has a similar style headlight to the new Stingray.

The fact that the Ferrari and Corvette share such a similar luxury design really shows the target the new Vette is trying to hit and with all the details and style that went into the new car it shows Chevrolet really knows what they are doing with this car!  After getting some really good looks at the new Corvette Stingray headlights this is what we can tell you about it:

1. Amber LED turn signals on the outside of each headlight

2. White LED DRL under each projector

3. Bi-Xenon 35w HID High and Low beam head lamp

4. Black housings

5. Corvette logo embossed on lens above projector

Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

Corvette Stingray LED and HID Headlights

Here is a quote from the Chevrolet.com website about all new head lamps:
“Frosted indirect high-intensity discharge headlamps are the eyes to the technological soul of the Stingray, emanating crisp color, brightness and efficiency. The new elements bear a sharper, more sinister shape, framed by edge-lit amber LED turn signals and black chrome housing. Bi-Xenon HID technology achieves high and low beams with a single light engine.”

Here is the photo gallery I put together from all of the Corvette Stingray cars we found at SEMA 2013: