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Headlights on my 02 are too dark

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Headlights on my 02 are too dark

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Old 04-13-2018, 03:32 PM
  #1  
fastbackford351
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Default Headlights on my 02 are too dark

The headlights on my 02 seem too dark. I have a new set of OEM smoked headlights and they just don't seem bright enough at night.

What headlight bulbs do you guys use?
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:30 PM
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Urambo Tauro
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I'm curious about this too. I've always liked the look of smoked lenses, but there's no way I'm doing that to my car unless I know what bulbs are needed to make up for it. Any suggestions out there?
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:20 AM
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08'MustangDude
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Smoked lenses cut up to 30% of the light emitted, depending on how dark they
are. That's why they're illegal....

You would have to go with HIDs to make up for the loss.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:27 AM
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fastbackford351
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The headlights I have are the smoked OEM headlights that came from FoMoCo so they are not illegal.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:58 AM
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OEM would be FROM FORD. Other companies that specify OEM, just mean fitment.
There are no tinted or smoked headlamps that come from the FACTORY.

It becomes very easy to overdrive your headlights and make it that much more dangerous
for pedestrians or other motorists if you are driving at to fast to avoid a collision.

In a lot of states, smoked headlights will not pass inspection and may not be operated on
public roads; however, there are no laws prohibiting their use for display purposes or off-road use.

THEN, you have THESE federal laws:
547.3215. USE OF FEDERAL STANDARD. Unless
specifically prohibited by this chapter, lighting, reflective
devices, and associated equipment on a vehicle or motor vehicle
must comply with:
(1) the current federal standards in 49 C.F.R. Section
571.108; or
(2) the federal standards in that section in effect,
if any, at the time the vehicle or motor vehicle was manufactured.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 324, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

547.322. TAILLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided
by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole
trailer, or vehicle that is towed at the end of a combination of
vehicles shall be equipped with at least two taillamps.
(b) A passenger car or truck that was manufactured or
assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least
one taillamp.
(c) Taillamps shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle:
(1) at a height from 15 to 72 inches; and
(2) at the same level and spaced as widely apart as
practicable if a vehicle is equipped with more than one lamp.
(d) A taillamp shall emit a red light plainly visible at a
distance of 1,000 feet from the rear of the vehicle.

(e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the
taillamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for
the distance specified in Subsection (d).
(f) A taillamp or a separate lamp shall be constructed and
mounted to emit a white light that:
(1) illuminates the rear license plate; and
(2) makes the plate clearly legible at a distance of 50
feet from the rear.
(g) A taillamp, including a separate lamp used to illuminate
a rear license plate, must emit a light when a headlamp or auxiliary
driving lamp is lighted.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

547.323. STOPLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided
by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole
trailer shall be equipped with at least two stoplamps.
(b) A passenger car manufactured or assembled before the
model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one stoplamp.
(c) A stoplamp shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
(d) A stoplamp shall emit a red or amber light, or a color
between red and amber, that is:
(1) visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at
least 300 feet from the rear of the vehicle; and
(2) displayed when the vehicle service brake is
applied.

(e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the
stoplamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for
the distance specified in Subsection (d).
(f) A stoplamp may be included as a part of another rear
lamp.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

547.325. REFLECTORS REQUIRED. (a) Except as
provided by Subchapter F, a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or
pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two red reflectors on
the rear of the vehicle. A red reflector may be included as a part
of a taillamp
(b) A reflector shall be:
(1) mounted at a height from 15 to 60 inches; and
(2) visible at night at all distances:
(A) from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of
lawful lower beams of headlamps; or
(B) from 100 to 350 feet when directly in front of
lawful upper beams of headlamps if the vehicle was manufactured or
assembled before January 1, 1972.


Call your state trooper office, and ASK, you will know for sure. Simple as that.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:24 AM
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OP didn't mention which state, so he may or may not be subject to inspection. Still have to abide by federal law though, which is why we're here.

Here in Michigan, we don't have inspections, so for us it's really just a matter of finding the right bulbs that will cast enough light through the lenses to meet those Federal requirements.

I wonder what's up with those supposedly OE tinted headlamps, though. That's interesting. I've noticed that there indeed are (at least for New Edge SN95s) Ford-brand tinted headlamps. Maybe they never put them on the cars at the factory, and were only made available as a replacement part?
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:39 PM
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fastbackford351
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They are absolutely factory Ford headlights, complete with the Ford oval and they are tinted/smoked or whatever you want to call it.


Last edited by fastbackford351; 04-16-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:12 PM
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08'MustangDude
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There's a difference in the level of tint. I can see inside those quite clearly,
and don't even notice any tint. Cars with A/C have tinted windows from the
factory, but the tint is 10% or less. As with the headlights, when you get
into the 20% and 30% tinting is where you have issues.

My son's yellow 2002:

Look how dark those look, but when you go right up on it, they're not that dark. They are
brand new, OEM replacements, but not OEM factory. That passed inspection, in PA of
all places. My '15 TSI ones look tinted, but they're not, because it's all blacked out inside
except the reflectors. The factory ones look normal with all the chrome inside them.

HIDs will solve the issue with lighting. A 55watt hid kit throws off more light than a 55 halogen.
Some re-aming is needed for glare...
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:09 PM
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FoMoCo = FORD MOTOR COMPANY, just saying, i don't care for the really dark one. i like the ones Fastback has, also like the hood
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:50 PM
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Thank you.
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