Head lights

As the original head lights are what we call “glowing nails”, I decided to replace the bulbs with HID (“xenon”) types last summer at the Zoe drivers meeting. It does entail some cutting in the rubber cap and a small metal clip, but all in all it was rather doable, about 10 minutes work per lamp. I must say it is something I would never want taken away anymore. Visibility is so much better. And the white-blue light fits the Zoe pretty good. Recommended.

Still it wouldn’t be fair not to state the drawbacks.

  • Sometimes one of the HIDs won’t start. It is a rather common problem. I always check the reflection. Switching off for 20 seconds usually solves the problem.
  • HIDs have a start-up time of roughly 30 seconds. As the Zoe has projector lamps with mechanical shutters, flashing during daytime is impossible.

Development of LEDs has been going at a crazy pace. Temperature management seems to have been the most serious issue. A few fellow drivers have installed these types of LEDs and are reporting good results. The fanned out copper mesh wire seems to cool the thing quite effectively. I am not 100% convinced of the longevity but the light is comparable to the HIDs and the two mentioned issues are non-existent.

Edit: Harm Otten posted his experience with two LED headlight systems in his ZOE here (in Dutch but google translate is your friend). Based on that, if I had to do it again, I’d use the ones he installed instead of the HIDs.

BTW, the tail lights are LEDs and integrated in the lamp holder. Braking and Turn-signal are colored traditional bulbs.

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