Brighter Headlights

Ol racerOl racer Senior Contributor
in Parts & Pieces Posts: 2,395
Occcasionally I read where drivers want brighter headlights so Need to check voltage right at the sockets to ensure your getting full voltage. Usually volts will drop thru wiring, headlight & dimmer switches, poor Ground, and/or Sockets. To prevent this drop and get Full Volts use relays for Hi & lo beams. In the past ive made my own but these days their are Kits available for $16 +/- that make it real easy and avoid the time consuming do it yourself yourself.
Additionally, 6 V bubs are available from LB Car Co in Mi. 800 697 9640. I use them myself.


  • KdancyKdancy Senior Contributor
    Posts: 2,212
    Good advice, I put these on most of the cars/trucks I've done.
    53 Super Wasp Coupe ready for restoration
    53 Studebaker Coupe Custom
    64 Champ pickup
    Wellborn, Fl
  • keithfullmeryahoocomkeithfullmeryahoocom Expert Adviser
    Posts: 297
    Great tip, Ol Racer, but how does this help when you're going around the track, 80 mph, leaning on the inside, with the guy ahead spitting rocks and mud back into you. 😉
  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Senior Contributor
    Posts: 3,485
    I put those mini solid state relays on mine way back in 1988, using the ones from Radio Shack. Made my own harness. Still working in 2018.
  • iceblade10iceblade10 Member
    Posts: 445
    My headlights are pretty dim, so I'd be interested in something like this. However, I have no idea how to install something like that, and I rarely drive at night anyway.

    Is this the exact kit you'd use? It says it fits 2012 KIAs... those can't be the same connectors?

    Wasn't there also a method to get brighter lights by simply switching to different bulbs...say, halogen? I suppose you could do that AND this relay system to get even brighter results?
    Stephen Repas
    1954 Hornet Coupe - Originally my Grandfather's
    Southeastern PA
  • railknightrailknight Expert Adviser
    Posts: 232
    Were these headlight relays available when Hudson was making stepdowns? I have on my '53 Super Wasp what appears to be an older relay setup.

  • ValVal Member
    Posts: 592
    LED lights are brighter than all others. They make them in 6 volt. The relay is also a good idea if you don't want to spend the money on LEDs. Actually its a good idea anyway even if you do.
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,712
  • Ol racerOl racer Senior Contributor
    edited October 3 Posts: 2,395
    Relays are the only way to get full Battery Voltage to the head lights as verified by other Members. Its pretty Ez to do if your even casually handy because its practically plug & play. Some guys have had major improvement without rewiring out to the sockets by just tap into the existing High & Low beam wires then run a wire to the Batt and another to Ground.... This is a picture of just one of many Universal Kits available....The hard time consuming part is trying to make your own relay system. (PS) Iceblade, Sockets look like will fit your headlights....Keith, Ha, mud & rocks usually dont splash on headlights when your leading)
  • RichardDRichardD Member
    Posts: 567
    My stepdown location for the headlight relays>>

  • GrimGreaserGrimGreaser Senior Contributor
    Posts: 746
    Here's my installation:


    One relay for brights,  one for low beams. Power comes directly from the battery (big red wire, spliced over to both relays), relays triggered by the foot switch.
    *** Everyone welcome my brand new Grease-ette, Molly. Born 6/15/18 ***
    3D printed Stepdown gauge faces and other small parts
    4032 x 2268 - 3M
  • Ol racerOl racer Senior Contributor
    Posts: 2,395
    Very Nice Installations!
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,712
  • RichardDRichardD Member
    Posts: 567
    Slight tangent from headlites only: I am using 6 of these relays and probably that many diodes on the '53. With 100 watt headlights, two 50 watt backup lights, Spal HD curved blade radiator/condenser fan, A/C, Air horns compressor, alarm system, etc.
    Learn to use these; they will make things easier and safer. Feel of your ignition switch; if warm when everything is on, rectification is needed. Stock should be OK, except for headlite brightness.
    Also, draw an addendum wiring diagram, memory goes fast.

  • BeforemytimeBeforemytime Member
    Posts: 56

    Focused on modern but source of ideas and such. 
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,712
    I used Daniel Stern for my '50 setup. Bulbs and reflectors.
  • BeforemytimeBeforemytime Member
    Posts: 56
    50C8DAN said:
    I used Daniel Stern for my '50 setup. Bulbs and reflectors.
    I never thought of using him for vintage vehicles. I did a E-code upgrade on my daily driver a dozen years ago.
  • ratlee2ratlee2 Expert Adviser
    Posts: 213
    One thing to note. I purchased one of the cheaper relay looms on Amazon to install an auxiliary fuse box in my Jeep wrangler that was 30 amp. It came with all 6 foot leads on all the wires that were 18 gauge wires. The high load wire was 18 gauge that had twice the plastic insulation on it to make it look like they used a heavier gauge wire. I had to replaced the one wire in the loom with the heavier gauge wire before installation. So make sure you inspect what you buy.
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