What are Projector Headlamps in Cars & Why to Choose Them?
With the advancement of technology and the application of intelligent engineering manoeuvres, the vehicle industry has been able to pay attention to minuscule details of cars. In this regard, projector headlamps have been a breakthrough innovation that has notably improved user experiences.
What Are Projector Headlamps?
A projector headlamp, also known as a projector headlight, is a type of lighting system used in vehicles to illuminate the roads ahead. They involve an innovative and elaborate setup that allows illumination of larger areas while allowing you to avoid obstacles.
This type of headlamp emits light in a concentrated form and does not allow it to scatter toward the sides of the road. Known for providing remarkable visibility, projector headlights can prevent catastrophic accidents on the road.
How Do Projector Headlamps Work?
Here is a step-by-step explanation of the working of projector headlamps and their primary components' functionality.
Step 1: A bulb is the primary source of light that produces the light for projection. These bulbs can generate powerful light that significantly enhances road visibility. Moreover, despite their radiance, they do not produce discomfort in the eyes of other drivers.
Step 2: The reflectors in projector headlamps come in elliptical shapes that accumulate the light, thus allowing it to be more precise and well-defined. After that, the light focuses on the shutter.
Step 3: A shutter is one of the most important components that generate a 'cutoff line'. This line directs the light towards the road, thereby preventing a discomforting effect in the eyes of the oncoming drivers.
Step 4: In the last and final step, the lenses come into play and conclude the process by evenly distributing the light. Certain lenses come with an additional feature that further mitigates the harsh edges of the cutoff line.
What Are The Different Types of Projector Headlamps?
After understanding the definition and workings of projector headlights, let's move on to the different types of bulbs available that differ in terms of their efficiency. Below mentioned, are their names and distinctive features
1. Halogen Projector Headlamps
Halogen projector headlamps use bulbs that comprise halogen gas that heat up to form a light. Despite the involvement of outdated technology, halogen headlamps produce precise and distinct lights.
Pros of Halogen headlights
Here are a few pros of using halogen headlights:
Produce warm and soft light
Cons of using Halogen headlights
Here are a few cons of using halogen headlights
Higher consumption of energy
2. HID Projector Headlamps
HID (High-Intensity Discharge) headlights work with a combination of Xenon gas and salt metals. Besides, it comprises two electrodes that cumulatively produce high-intensity lights.
Pros of HID Headlights
Here are a few pros of HID headlights/headlamps
Easy to install
Cons of HID Headlights
Here are a few cons of using HID headlights
Produces blinding light
3. LED Projector Headlamps
LED (Light Emitting Diodes) headlamps are the most popular and sought-after headlamps. They come with an innovative technology that involves the usage of a semiconductor. Moreover, they function on the principle of unidirectional current flow, where they emit light while the current flows in one direction.
Pros of LED Headlights
Here are a few pros of using LED headlamps
Incredible energy efficiency
Cons of LED headlights
Here are a few cons of using LED headlamps
Tricky designing mechanism
Generates excess heat
4. Halo/Angel Projector Headlamps
Halo or Angel projector headlights are made of a unique ring or 'halo' that adds aesthetic charm to the headlamps. However, the halo does not come with projector technology and involves the usage of CCFL or LEDs. Besides, one may even use different colours of halo projector headlamps per their preferences.
Pros of Halo Headlights
Here are a few pros of halo headlamps:
Availability of customisation option
Cons of Halo Headlights
Here are a few cons of using halo headlamps:
Susceptible to damage
What Is The Difference Between a Projector Headlamp and Reflector Headlamp?
Reflector headlamps have been in use ever since the inception of automotive headlights. They work with a simple structure where a bulb is accurately positioned inside a reflective cup. The cup reflects the light that the bulb emits, thus illuminating the roads.
Projector headlamps, on the other hand, have been in use since the 1980s. While they are almost similar to reflector headlamps, they consist of a lens that serves as a distinguishing feature. Moreover, they consist of a cutoff line that structurally distinguishes projector and reflector headlights.
Table of Comparison Between Projector Headlamp and Reflector Headlamp
Basis of Difference
Intensity of Light
Produces bright and radiant light
It does not produce bright light
Quality of Light
Generates precise form of light
It may produce dark spots
Less likely to cause a glaring effect
More likely to cause a glaring effect
Can be customised
It cannot be customised
Can I Retrofit Reflector Headlamps With Projector Headlamps?
Yes, it is possible to retrofit reflector headlamps with projector headlamps. However, you must be mindful of the type of bulb that you are using. Few bulbs like the HID type are not suitable in reflector housings since they create glaring light, making it uncomfortable for oncoming drivers.
What Are the Different Types of Retrofit Kits?
The difficulty and complexity of the retrofitting process depend largely on the type of kit available for your vehicle. There are two types of retrofitting kits available:
1. Vehicle-Specific Retrofit Kit
Your retrofitting task becomes smooth with the availability of a vehicle-specific retrofit kit. These special kits come with plugs and adapters, thus simplifying retrofitting. However, you must use heat to soften the adhesive seal that holds the headlights together. This will allow you to access the internal parts of the headlight.
2. Universal Retrofit Kit
If no retrofit kit is available for your vehicle, you may use a universal kit. These kits comprise lenses, reflectors, and shutters, allowing you to seamlessly complete the retrofitting process. However, you might have to trim the components to ensure they seamlessly fit the projector.
Projector headlamps were once only available in luxurious cars of high-end brands. However, with the advancement of technology, they have become more common in recent times. While they are costlier than reflector headlamps, they offer exceptional benefits that are worth the price.