My HID conversion into IPF driving lights (Total of $250)


Just for additional info, I sent Retro-Solutions the following question, regarding turning the HIDs on/off with the high beams....

> I have the H3 style in an off road light that I sometimes run off my
> bright lights switch and I have a question about whether or not
> turning the HIDs on/off repeatedly, with the bright headlights would
> have any negative affects on the bulb or ballast?
> I've heard that some HIDs need to be either left turned on or turned
> off, but not constantly switched on/off while driving.

They wrote back this.......


It is not great for the ballasts or bulbs, but these ballasts also have
hot restrike capability, so they actually do much less harm upon
re-ignition of a already warm bulb by limiting the igniter current. As
you know we carry a lifetime warranty on the product, so I don't see a
problem with you doing this at all.

Todd Strong - Retro-Solutions, LLC


Brian, did you special order these? On their website, it doesn't show the "short" bulbs listed as an option under the 55watt kit, but are listed as their own 35watt kit.

Also, good info, about the on/off on the HID's

I don't think it was the heat that was messing up the reflectors. My HID 170's are way cooler to the touch than the stock 240 and the 240 housing and filter are much farther away from the bulb since it is so much bigger. I'm pretty sure I can run 55's in my 170's, now I'm wondering if the H3 shorties would put the source of light in a better position in relation to the reflector?
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The website seems to show different product and even more expensive prices than you get if you email them directly.

Try emailing them directly and asking for H3 short bulbs in 55 watt and whatever temp color you want. I'd recommend the 4300K if you want OEM HID color.

Also, the price should be $160 shipped. I think that's what they do on ebay, but charge a bit more on the website. However, if you email, you'll probably get the ebay price.

To be honest, I have no idea what the difference between 55 and 35 watts really is. That's really just the power they use, but I'm not sure on the actual light output different in terms of lumens.

I should mention again, I did have to modify the base of the H3 to make it fit the light housing. I had to bend up, with a pair of needle nose pliers, one end of the base as the bulb seems to be offset mounted in the base for some reason. I'm not sure if this was just an issue with the IPFs or if will be a problem in other lights. So, beware, that the H3 mights not fit. Also, I would assume the "short" bulbs are about 1.5 inches long just to be safe.


Spamicus Eliminatus
retrosolutions said:
Can we post here to answer member questions on this forum, is it against the rules?
If it's on this topic, you are welcome to post here. If the topic is different then this, reply in an on-topic thread or start a new one in the appropriate section.

And welcome to ExPo :victory:



New member
thanks for the warm welcome!

If any of you are tackling this project and need any info., help, etc. please let us know what we can help you out with!

The comparo shots look great!


New member
Keep in mind, I have no experience with HIDs, so I have nothing to compare them too. As I turned them on, they fire up with a blast of light, then go dim and within a few seconds, were at full brightness. When cold, it takes about 10 seconds to get up to full brightness as far as I can tell. After that, you can turn them on and off and it turns on just like a normal light, with no delay provided they've only been off a few minutes. In other words, if you want to use them with your brights, they seem to work fine and go to full brightness immediately when warm. However, I don’t know how turning the light on and off repeatedly affects the bulb or ballast.

The lights are bright as heck. Far exceeding my expectations. I did a quick amp draw test and I was getting anywhere from 12-13.5 amp draw with the engine turned off. This was on a cold ballast and at about 12.3 battery voltage, this translates to about 74-83 watts per light, instead of the 55 claimed watts, which was odd.

One possibility for the higher amperage was that the ballast was cold. Also, my multimeter was only designed to test up to 10amps and the wires were providing a huge amount of resistance. The lights were dimmer, when running through my multimeter and my multimeter was about to melt it was getting so hot, so that could be part of the problem.

When the wires were hooked back up to my relay, there was no excess heat or resistence, so I may need to figure another way to test the amp draw.

In any case, I would assume that under normal circumstances, the lights should be using about 55 watts a piece. Assuming around 13.5 volts with the engine running, that’s only about 8-9 amps of power use, compared to almost double that from the 100 watt halogen bulbs I was using before.

On the open road, the lights are just incredible. I can’t describe it. They are far brighter than anything I’ve ever used. Because the color is different than the headlights, you can clearly see the difference. I had 200 watts of halogen power before and I could hardly tell they were turned on with my brights turned on.

I do have John Deer low beam HIR and HIR high beams, so my stock lights work very well by themselves. But even so, it’s very obvious when the HIDs are turned on.

Here are some shots using a little point and shoot and I'm not sure what settings the camera chose for some of these pics.

The first pic show the HID on the left and the IPF with a 100 watt halogen on the right.

The next two shots show the HID and then Halogen turned on and up close, with the camera obviously choosing a very dark shot, which allows you to see the bulbs lit up, but without any glare. Both are too bright to look at directly with the naked eye. These shots sort of give the appearance that both bulbs are same brightness, but trust me, it's a camera/optical illusion.

Just wanted to mention that a draw of 12-13.5A is typical of start-up. They are 55w output ballasts and with our efficiency rating that is about 59-60W draw at steady state. However upon ignition and in-rush the current requirements are higher. We do specify them at 7.5A@12V, however lot to lot testing show values in the 1A-1.5A under those specifications on proper equipment.
In general vendors and manufacturers only specify steady state current and even at that most are measuring based on a 55w input.... meaning a ballast is not truly putting out 55w for one thing, and ignition and in-rush values go unspecified. They do so for reason though, as many pull up to 15A each in there operating phases, very inefficient and not very safe for vehicle wiring in the least.


I'm about to do this conversion in the next few days. Ordered the HID kit from retrosolutions a few days ago and will post some pics once completed since it appears the pics by the OP is no longer available.



SE Overlanding Society
the pics disappeared and i WANT to convert my IPF's into HID.

Any updating of a few pic links?



New member
I know this thread is a bit old and hopefully I'm not breaking forum rules by bumping this but just wondering if maybe the OP still has the pics up somewhere.