Rating: 89 Points
A continuously growing trend in the offroad industry is upgraded lighting including HID lamps. HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. The HID bulbs create an arc that heats up metal salts inside to the point where they become plasma. This plasma greatly increases the intensity of the light and allows for reduced power consumption while on. Ballasts are used to get the arc started and then maintain the proper amount of power for the remaining run time. HID lighting is much more durable in offroad conditions since the arc replaces the fragile filament found in halogen bulbs. And despite the idea of turning metal salt into plasma, HID lights actually run much cooler and use less power than halogen.
Southern California’s Eagle Eye Lights has been manufacturing offroad lighting solutions since the 1990′s. They have halogen, HID and LED packages. Their HID options include Plug-N-Play HID conversion kits for most popular ATVs and UTVs. They recently sent us their HIDYGRIZZ2 headlight conversion kit to try out.
Half the kit, this is what your factory light and wiring harness is replaced with. The HIDYGRIZZ2 kit is designed for 2007-2013 Yamaha Grizzly 550 and 700 models. It features two HID Xenon bulbs with 35-watt ballasts. Mounting hardware and Plug-N-Play wiring harnesses are included. Installation is touted to take about 20 minutes. The bulbs have a 2000+ hour life expectancy and put out 6,000 Kelvin (K). Kelvin is the color hue of the light. For comparison, a 55-watt halogen bulb produces 2300K, which gives it the yellowish color. Daylight is about 4300K. The 6,000K of Eagle Eye Lights provides for the best color option without sacrificing output.
Getting to the factory wiring harness and feeding the replacement required some panel removal. We conducted our install on a 2012 Yamaha Grizzly 550. While we can’t speak to the Grizzly 700, we can say that the 20-minute install on a 550 is not likely to happen. The instructions are fairly vague from what we would have expected. It’s pretty much just remove the rubber boot, switch out the headlights and plug in the various wiring harnesses while mounting the ballast somewhere. We found that the wiring harness connection was under the dash and required the removal of the front rack and dash for the installation. All of the connections are solid, waterproof connections and truly plug-n-play. The kit included two mounting brackets for the ballasts. Again, there were no instructions as to where the ballasts should be mounted so we modified one bracket to hold both ballasts and mounted it on the bar that holds down the battery. There is a nice void there that gave plenty of room for the ballasts and slack wiring.
Our ballasts and extra wiring tucked into the void beside the battery. It’s the clean parts! Once the installation was completed we fired up the lights. There is a very noticeable difference in the color of the light. It is more natural and requires less eye strain. There is also an increase in the visible range provided by the upgraded lights.
After: Eagle Eye Lights HID Kit. Notice the trees in the distance are much more visible. The instructions recommend upgrading the factory headlight fuse from 15 AMPs to 20 AMPs. The reason is for the increased amount of power required to start-up the ballasts. It can result in one or both lights not powering up. We confirmed this experience in our own tests where we saw only one light power up without the upgraded fuse.
The bottom line, these lights are an excellent addition. If you commonly ride at night, an Eagle Eye Lights HID Kit would be a perfect add-on and provide for a safer ride. While the installation may take a little longer on your particular ride, it is still one of the easier installations you’ll probably ever do. The kits range from $99 to $199; our test kit lists for $179.