Posted on Leave a comment

How Do Projector Headlights Work?

White pick-up truck with aftermarket projector headlights installed.

While rising in popularity among drivers and auto manufacturers, many individuals wonder how do projector headlights work? Projector headlights are a newer type of installation compared to their reflector headlight counterpart. While reflector headlight installations have been present on vehicles for many decades, widespread use of projector headlights first came about in luxury vehicles of the 1980s. Now, drivers of all vehicles, including trucks and SUVs, are choosing to make the upgrade. However, it’s common for consumers to have questions, particularly when doing work on their vehicles themselves. Many individuals want to know how to adjust projector headlights and how to aim projector headlights, as well as what type of lightbulb is best suited for the installation.

At RECON, we’re dedicated to helping each of our customers and readers make the most out of their aftermarket truck parts and accessories. Choosing to make the switch to truck projector headlights, or replacing an outdated installation, is a big deal. After all, your headlights are what the world sees first when looking at your truck. They’re also one of the most significant safety elements on your truck. You want to be sure that you’re getting the right installation for your vehicle, and that the headlights are set-up in a safe and effective manner. We’re here to answer the question of “how do projector headlights work?” and more.

What Are Projector Headlights?

Projector headlights are a newer version of headlight, considered by many to be superior when compared to traditional reflector headlights. Projector headlights are both brighter and more focused compared to headlights of the past, meaning that drivers have the ability to see more clearly and further into the distance at night and in poor weather.

This type of headlight installation aims downwards, toward the road, instead of directly ahead of the driver. Many individuals prefer this set-up as it is less likely to blind other drivers or produce a glare back into their own eyes. Additionally, they give drivers the opportunity to use a better quality of headlight bulb, such as XENON HID bulbs or LED bulbs that last longer and draw less power from their truck’s battery source. These bulbs are generally too high-powered to use in traditional reflector headlight installations, which require halogen bulbs that are prone to burning out more frequently.

How Do Projector Headlights Work?

Projector headlights work similarly to traditional reflector headlights, with one key difference. The headlight bulb goes inside a steel bowl that contains mirrors, just as reflector headlights have. However, in addition to this steel bowl and the mirrors that magnify the beam of light, projector headlights also contain a lens inside them. This lens provides further magnification, making the beam of light even brighter and more focused.

The result is headlights that shine further into the distance, provide better peripheral vision and function better in inclement weather. They emit more light, as the lens inside the headlight bowl works to magnify the beam.

How to Aim Projector Headlights

Another key difference when it comes to projector headlights is that they aim downward, towards the ground instead of straight ahead. This means that they can emit a stronger light without posing the risk of blinding other drivers on the road. However, as the light that they emit is so strong it is essential to know how to aim projector headlights and how to adjust projector headlights if necessary.

When learning how to aim projector headlights, work with one headlight at a time. Face your truck toward a solid wall or your garage door, as this will serve as your “template” to test the height and angle of your headlight beams once you turn them on. The ground should be flat, do not park on a sloped driveway or floor. You will need to park your truck 25-feet away from the wall or the garage door.

Next, use a measuring tape and determine the distance between the center of the headlight and the ground, as well as the distance between the center of one headlight and the center of the other. Write down these measurements. Now, go to the wall or garage door and using a pencil or a piece of painter’s tape place a mark that corresponds with each measurement. You should have two “plus signs” on the wall or door that note where each headlight is. Take your measuring tape again, and mark a spot exactly two inches below each plus sign.

When you turn your headlight on, if it is aimed properly the light should align with the plus marks on the wall horizontally, and the mark two-inches below that vertically. Repeat the process with your second headlight.

How to Adjust Projector Headlights

If you do this test on your projector headlights and find that they are not properly aligned, you must adjust each headlight as soon as possible. Projector headlights that are not properly aimed pose the risk of blinding other drivers and create a danger on the road.

When learning how to adjust projector headlights, again, work with just one headlight at a time. Use the steps for how to aim projector headlights and turn on your low beam only. You will need to open your truck’s hood, and find the adjustment point on the rear of the headlight. There are adjuster screws in the back of the headlight–use the appropriate tool to turn the screws until your headlights align with the marks you drew as noted above.

Projector Headlights vs. Reflector Headlights

Many auto manufacturers still make vehicles with reflector headlights and many drivers wonder if it’s worth making the switch to projectors. When deciding which type of headlight installation is best for your truck, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each.

The pros of choosing projector headlights are that you will have a brighter beam that is more focused, performing better at night and in inclement weather conditions. However, some individuals don’t like the style or appearance. When considering reflector headlights, the most positive aspect of the installation is that due to the simple design they tend to be less expensive. However, with reflector headlights, you may not be able to see as well. The light may appear hazier or duller compared to a projector headlight installation.

Most truck lovers agree that projector headlights are the way to go and that they pose many benefits not just for the driver of the vehicle but for others on the road as well.

Can You Use LED Bulbs in Projector Headlights?

Another common question we hear is regarding the type of lightbulb that is best for use in projector headlights. Many drivers choose XENON HID bulbs, however, you can use LED headlight bulbs as well. In fact, using LED lights can offer an advantage–they are known to last longer than both halogen and HID bulbs, while being virtually just as bright as HIDs. This means you will not have to replace the bulbs as frequently, but will not have to sacrifice on the quality of light.

LED Bulbs vs. HID Bulbs

Once you know that you can use LED bulbs in projector headlights, you may wonder whether they are the best choice or if you should stick with HID bulbs instead. This is a common question among drivers. Generally, LED lightbulbs are better for projector headlights than HID bulbs. They tend to last longer, and unlike HID bulbs which may take 10 to 20 seconds to reach full illumination, light up at full power almost immediately.

However, it is important to note that if you are using LED bulbs in your projector headlights you may need to add a heat sink to the back of the bulb near the engine bay. This may not be possible for all MAKE and MODEL trucks. If this is the case, HID bulbs are the second-best option.

Shop RECON Today

When you shop RECON, our technical support representatives are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your new installation, including the question of “how do projector headlights work?” We stock projector headlights for a variety of MAKE and MODEL trucks and SUVS, including:

  • The FORD F-150
  • The FORD RAPTOR (Raptor headlights)

For a new set of aftermarket projector headlights and taillights that will give your ride the major upgrade it deserves, shop RECON today and GET LIT!

Posted on Leave a comment

Top Inexpensive Ways to Customize Your Jeep

Red Jeep with custom parts.

Looking to customize your Jeep with inexpensive jeep mods? There are simple upgrades you can make that will give your Jeep a completely re-vamped, powerful, rugged look. After you customize your Jeep, you’ll be ready to hit the road- or dirt- in style. We’ve compiled a list of the top ways you can modify your Jeep that won’t break the bank. Continue reading Top Inexpensive Ways to Customize Your Jeep

Posted on Leave a comment

The Top Tips for Maintaining Your Truck

Well maintained white pickup truck.

Once you’ve customized your truck using the best aftermarket parts and lights, you’ll want to know the best truck maintenance tips to keep your vehicle in prime condition. Keeping your truck properly maintained does more than just ensuring that it looks its best at all times, but it will help you save money in the long-run.

If truck accessories and lights are properly maintained, you will have to replace them less frequently. Follow this truck maintenance check list to get the most out of your aftermarket lights and truck parts. 

How to Maintain Your Truck

If you follow this list of top tips for maintaining your truck, you’ll be sure to get the most out of the accessories and lights you’ve purchased. Your truck will look great for years to come and you will be less likely to incur expensive repairs or replacements. 

Inspect Your Truck Regularly

The best way to maintain your truck is to inspect the vehicle regularly. If you routinely check your aftermarket truck lights and accessories, you will be able to spot small problems before they become large problems. Look for cracks in your headlight and taillight covers that may be letting water into the installation. Water can lead to the erosion of wiring and metal, leading to what can be an expensive repair.

Follow this same approach with all the other parts and accessories on your truck. Regularly test your brake lights, turn signals, high beams, windshield wipers, and any aftermarket parts you have put on to ensure that they are working properly and fixed securely to your truck. If you catch a problem early you’re more likely to save yourself from a larger inconvenience down the road. 

Keep Your Aftermarket Truck Lights Looking Their Best

Keeping your truck’s lights looking their best has little to do with the HID or LED truck headlights you’ve installed, and more to do with the headlight cover. Overtime, headlight covers can turn yellow and dull, dimming the shine of your bright new lights. 

You can either have routine headlight restoration done at a shop, or use do-it-yourself methods at home. There are many headlight restoration kits available for sale at major brick and mortar stores and online retailers. Additionally, there are home remedies that truck enthusiasts swear by, such as cleaning the headlight covers with toothpaste or baking soda mixtures.

No matter which route you choose to go, keeping your headlights from turning yellow is an essential part of maintaining your truck looking like it’s brand new. 

Keep Extra Aftermarket Truck Lights On-Hand

One of the best truck maintenance tips is to be prepared in advance, in the event that you do find yourself in need of a replacement bulb. Keep extras on-hand, either in your truck itself or in the garage at home. This way, if you notice that a light has gone out you can replace it right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to make another trip to the store or wait for another bulb to be delivered. 

Along with keeping your lights lit up for aesthetic reasons, if a headlight or tail light goes out you’ll want to change it as soon as possible, as in most states it’s illegal to drive with a light out and can land you with an expensive ticket. 

Clean the Exterior of Your Truck

Cleaning the exterior of your truck seems like a no-brainer, but a routine wash can do more than just give your truck that sparkly, shine-in-the-sun look. Ridding your truck of dirt, dust, and any small abrasive fragments will stop your paint, your lights, and any other aftermarket accessories such as an antenna, from incurring damage. 

If you keep the exterior of your truck clean, you will prevent the chances of paint chipping, which can lead to rust and erosion. It’s key to keeping your vehicle looking its best for years. We recommend using high quality detailing products or having your truck cleaned professionally for the best results. 

Don’t Run Your Battery If You Don’t Have To

If you’re looking to maintain your truck accessories and aftermarket parts, be careful about how frequently you run your battery. If you don’t need it running, it’s best to turn it off. When your battery is turned on, it’s powering your truck lights, and the lifespan of the bulbs is based greatly on how many hours they are used. Turning off your battery when it’s not needed can help preserve the life of your HID or LED headlights, meaning you’ll have to replace them less frequently. 

Maintain All Other Elements of Your Truck

Of course, we can’t talk about proper truck maintenance tips without touching on the more general aspects as well. We know that you’re looking to keep your aftermarket truck accessories and lights looking and working their best, but don’t forget about the rest of regular maintenance.

This includes making sure your oil is changed regularly, the timing belt gets replaced when needed, and that you check your battery and spark plugs for damage or erosion. If you maintain your truck and all of its parts properly, you’ll be enjoying it for many years. 

Upgrading Your Truck’s Aftermarket Lights and Accessories

Eventually, even with the best truck maintenance, the time will come for either a repair or an upgrade. Whether you need to replace a light or accessory that has reached the end of its life, or are looking to make a change to your truck’s appearance, shop RECON for the best aftermarket truck parts. 

With a wide selection of HID and LED headlights, tail lights, cab roof lights, and a range of universal parts to go with any truck, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. You can also shop by make and model, and we offer handy installation guides for truck lovers who like to do the work themselves. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Choosing the Best Custom Tail Lights for Your Truck

Rear view of red pickup truck with custom tail lights.

When choosing the best aftermarket, custom tail lights for your truck, there are many options to consider. Not only can you select custom tail lights, but you can opt to purchase tailgate light bars, custom brake lights, truck bed light kits, and illuminated license plate kits. The options to customize your truck with aftermarket tail lights and accessories are endless. With all the parts available, you can design a one-of-a-kind truck that is truly yours.

Choosing Custom Tail Lights for Your Truck

There are endless ways to customize your truck’s tail lights, beyond just the type of bulb that is used in the tail light itself. There are many other components of lighting on the back of your truck, and there are even more aftermarket parts that you can use for customization.

Knowing what’s right for your truck ultimately comes down to personal preference. There are many options that can not only increase the aesthetic of your vehicle but also increase safety for yourself and other drivers.

Custom LED Truck Tail Lights

Just as LED headlight bulbs are becoming a more popular choice for aftermarket truck parts, so are custom LED taillights. While the LEDs provide a crucial safety function, as they are brighter and easier for other drivers to see, they also last much longer than the stock halogen bulbs most trucks come with.

Aftermarket truck tail lights come in a variety of designs, meaning that you can choose an installation that’s unique and matches the rest of your truck’s look. You’ll stand out on the road. LED taillight installations come in a variety of shapes and color arrangements, with white, red, and black elements. From the classic vertical, rectangular shape, to winged or angled styles, custom tail lights provide a modern, rugged look.

There are smoked lenses, and a wide arrangement of the LED truck tail lights. If you own a Ford F250/350/450/550, check out these custom tail lights. They utilize the OEM blind-spot warning system, and even though the lens is clear, the bold white lines against the chrome background and red accents make a strong statement.

If you’re looking for something clean and sleek, check out these tail lights with scanning OLED turn signals designed for the Dodge 13-18 Ram.

For other makes and models, you can search here to find the best custom tail light for your truck.

Custom Aftermarket Third Brake Lights

If you’re going for a whole-custom look, don’t stop at just the tail lights themselves. Many products compliment tail lights on the back of your truck and add to the uniqueness of your vehicle. They also increase your safety on the road.

Third brake lights are the perfect addition. Here at RECON, we offer a wide variety of third brake lights for Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Toyota, GMC, Hummer, and Jeep trucks. Third brake lights are a must-have for truck owners. They’re positioned at the top-center of the back of your cab, providing one more level of protection for yourself and other drivers.

Third brake lights activate at the same time as your regular brake lights, providing one more added signal to cars behind you that you are slowing down. This is crucial if you’re driving in the dark.

Just like custom tail lights, third brake lights come in a variety of designs for you to choose from. Whether your preference is clear lens, smoked lens, red, or white lights, Recon provides tons of options. Select either a sleek “stealth” third brake light or a high power scanning LED 3rd brake light to complete the look of your truck.

Rain or shine, snow or sleet, these lights provide optimal visibility for other drivers.

Custom LED Tailgate Bars

Another way to increase visibility on the road, while showing off the bold look of your truck, LED tailgate bars add style to your vehicle. Tailgate bars come in a variety of colors and styles. They are installed on the back of your truck bed, over your license plate. Not only do they add more visibility, but LED tailgate bars illuminate the back of your truck for ultimate style.

Tailgate bars can be a variety of lengths, depending on the look you’re going for. They can be as short as 12 inches, or span the entire length of the back of your truck. They come in different styles, from a straight, seamless line of LED light, to lines of dotted light, and can be customized to virtually any color.

If you’re looking for something different, check out this mini-tailgate bar with LED running lights, turn signals, and ultra bright reverse lights.  For a tailgate bar that will span the length of your truck bed, Recon offers this 60 inch, dual row LED amber light. This particular model also features white LED reverse lights, providing even further benefit.

Custom Bed Rail and Cargo Light Kits

If you work, go fishing, hunting, or off-roading while it’s dark out, you’ll definitely want to check out the custom bed rail and cargo light kits for your truck. With LED bulbs, these kits provide clean, bright lighting in even the darkest environments.

If you’re frequently getting material in and out of your truck, these light kits provide an extra element of convenience. No more holding flashlights while you’re trying to secure items in your truck bed. The bed rail and cargo light kits do the job for you.

This universal model comes with two mounts that can be attached almost anywhere on the back of your truck and can be customized in seven colors.

Illuminated License Plate Kits for Your Truck

You’ve already put so much work into customizing the rest of your truck with aftermarket tail lights and accessories. You can’t forget the license plate. Custom license plate illumination kits are just another option you have to make your truck stand out.

Just like all other aftermarket truck parts from RECON, there are assemblies that meet everyone’s style. You can choose a brushed aluminum plate holder, that fits all standard license plates and has LED reverse lights or illumination kits that include both red and white lights. The red lights act as running lights, while the white LED lights face your license plate.

The variety of aftermarket lights that you can add to the back of your truck are all extensions of your custom tail lights, adding to the distinctive look you’ve created. There won’t be another truck on the road that’s quite like yours.

Installing Custom Tail Lights and Accessories on Your Truck

Once you’ve chosen the right custom tail lights for your truck, along with any additional accessories to complete the look, the next step is the installation process. Many of our products have a “plug and play design,” meaning that you’ll be up and running with your new custom lights in just a matter of minutes. Whether you’re a car professional, or just getting into the world of aftermarket products, RECON parts make it easy for you.

For installations that may be more difficult to complete, we offer installation guides and have expert staff on hand to help you throughout the process. Not only are we able to find the best tail lights and accessories for your truck, but we’ll help you find the right product at the right cost.

Our support for our customers doesn’t end after you’ve completed a purchase. Our Customer Service line offers support over the phone, should you have any questions either while you’re installing your new parts, or in the months to come. RECON prides itself as not only offering a great selection of aftermarket truck lights but also as serving as a resource for each one of our customers.

The Benefits of Buying From RECON

There are even more benefits of purchasing aftermarket truck tail lights and accessories from RECON. We offer same-day order processing and fulfillment, online warranty return authorization forms, and product specialists to assist with installation.

We work directly with dealers and manufacturers, to ensure that our products are of the highest quality and compatible with the makes and models they are designed for. This means our products will last, and you can be assured that you’re getting the very best aftermarket truck lights on the market.

Not only do we produce parts for major model trucks and SUVs, but we offer a large selection of universal parts, too. You can customize virtually any vehicle using RECON aftermarket lights.

Visit RECON today for even more accessories to personalize your vehicle.

Posted on Leave a comment

Do My Truck’s LED or HID Headlights Blind Other Drivers?

Truck LED headlights close up.

The question many drivers have is whether or not their aftermarket truck headlights blind other drivers. If you’ve recently installed HID and LED headlights, you know that they’re much brighter compared to the traditional halogen bulbs. So are they blinding to other drivers on the road?

Road safety always comes first, so while you may be able to see what’s ahead of you better with your new aftermarket truck headlights, you want to ensure that other drivers can maintain a proper line of vision as well. It all comes down to the quality and the positioning of your bulbs.

The Problem with Poor Quality Aftermarket Truck Headlights

One of the biggest mistakes that truck owners make is purchasing HID or LED headlights that are poor quality, usually in hopes of saving money. HID and LED lights do tend to be more expensive than their halogen counterparts, but with good reason. Not only do the aftermarket truck headlights have a much longer lifespan than traditional halogen bulbs, but they provide a much better quality of light too.

If you try to skimp on the bulbs, you may be sacrificing quality and putting other drivers in danger. It’s important to always purchase your aftermarket truck headlights from a reputable, professional brand to ensure that you’re getting the best quality lights possible.

Poor Quality Bulbs Can Be Too Bright

While the purpose of HID and LED headlights is to provide better illumination, when you purchase poor quality bulbs, you may end up with a light that’s too bright. When the light becomes too bright, it can pose a danger to other drivers. Those in oncoming traffic may be blinded by the lights, making it difficult for them to see what’s in front of or around them.

Drivers in front of you may suffer from the bright reflection in their rearview and side mirrors, too, causing the same effect. The effect that blinding headlights may have is why it’s essential to make sure that the aftermarket truck headlights you purchase are high quality.

The Positioning of Aftermarket Truck Headlights

If you’ve followed our install guides before, you know that a crucial part of installing HID or LED headlights is to ensure the proper positioning after installation. If your aftermarket truck headlights are angled incorrectly, they can blind other drivers.

It’s vital that when you make the switch to your new headlight bulbs, you use the proper conversion kit, which helps assure that the lights are correctly aligned. Bulbs that are aimed too high, too low, or too far off to the side will not only fail to provide you with an adequate line of vision, but they may blind other drivers as well.

The Bottom Line When It Comes to HID and LED Headlights

If you’re wondering whether or not your aftermarket truck headlights blind other drivers, you can take your truck to a shop for them to evaluate the positioning. However, if you have purchased high-quality bulbs from a reputable sale center and installed them correctly, they should not pose a risk to anyone else on the road.

If you’re looking for the perfect aftermarket truck headlights, visit RECON today and use our handy install guides or customer support representatives for all your lighting needs.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Ultimate Guide: LED Headlights vs. HID Headlights

Black pickup truck showing headlights

Halogen light bulbs come stock on most trucks and vehicles, though they often aren’t the best option for drivers. As technology has progressed, better lighting options have been developed that offer a wide range of benefits to consumers. RECON offers options for all aftermarket headlights, helping drivers choose the part that best suits their needs. 

Alternatives to standard halogen bulbs include LED and HID headlights, with both offering more power and cleaner lighting. LED and HID headlights differ slightly in their use and capabilities, and RECON provides insight to help match you with the best aftermarket headlight for your vehicle.  

LED Headlights

LED, or “light emitting diode,” headlights are one option for aftermarket headlights. They are currently the most popular choice for aftermarket headlights. There are many benefits of installing LED lights in comparison to stock halogen bulbs. Benefits of aftermarket LED headlights include:

  • Producing more light while pulling less energy from your truck.
  • A lifespan that is five times longer than stock halogen bulbs.
  • Cleaner, white light that increases visibility in poor or dark driving conditions.
  • Instant illumination, providing full brightness and color upon powering on.
  • Increased durability, with the ability to withstand rugged wear and tear, and poor weather conditions.
  • Virtually no maintenance over the course of LED headlights’ lifespan.
  • Highly unlikely to overheat, blow a fuse, or pose risk for electrical fire.

Aftermarket LED headlights are a great option for drivers who want to install an aftermarket headlight and not have to worry about maintenance or continuously replacing the bulbs, or “set it and forget it.”  Many drivers will never have to replace an LED headlight for the entirety of their vehicle ownership; possibly the biggest selling point. Check here for our headlight installation guide.

HID Headlights  

HID, or “high-intensity discharge,” headlights are another option for drivers looking to purchase an aftermarket headlight as a better alternative to halogen bulbs.  Another newer technology, HID headlights offers numerous advantages over traditional headlights, with many similarities to LEDs.  Benefits of aftermarket HID headlights include:

  • 3x-5x the brightness in comparison to traditional halogen bulbs.
  • A lifespan of several years; longer lasting than traditional halogen bulbs.
  • Affordability.  HID headlights are great for drivers looking to upgrade on a budget.
  • More energy efficient than halogen bulbs.
  • Provide the ability to choose your color temperature and a light quality that matches your personal preference. 

Aftermarket LED Headlights vs Aftermarket HID Headlights

With multiple purchase options for aftermarket headlights, you may be left wondering what the difference is between LED headlights and HID headlights.  Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.  There are a few differences to keep in mind before making a decision on which to purchase:

  • LED headlights produce more of a white light, while HID headlights produce a light that is more blue in color.
  • LED headlights may cause more eye discomfort in other drivers in comparison to HID headlights.
  • LED headlights have a much longer lifespan than HID headlights.
  • LED headlights tend not to be as bright as HID headlights.
  • LED headlights are more durable than HID headlights, which tend to be more fragile.
  • LED headlights maintain their brightness for their full lifespan, while HID headlights may fade over time. 
  • LED and HID headlights both come in multiple colors, offering customers choices.
  • HID headlights are more affordable than LED headlights in the short-term.
  • LED headlights provide a wider scope of visibility when compared to HID headlights, which provide a more narrow view.

Things to Keep in Mind

When purchasing aftermarket headlights, whether LED or HID , it’s important to keep in mind that no bulb is indestructible and that the lifespan of each will depend on how much the headlights are used.

For example, a driver who utilizes their headlights for two hours a day will experience a much longer lifespan than someone who utilizes their headlights for six hours a day.  Any type of headlight may need to be replaced eventually, but purchasing aftermarket LED or HID headlights will greatly cut down on the frequency of which they will need to be changed. 

RECON offers a variety of aftermarket headlights available for purchase, as well as handy installation guides for each type of product.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Easily Change Your Truck’s Headlight Bulbs

Blue pickup truck in front of mountains

If you’re looking to easily change your truck’s headlight bulbs, whether you’re replacing halogen, HID, or LED lights, it can be a simple process if you follow these steps. There are several items you’ll want to make sure you have before you get started. Make sure you have a clear workspace away from any street traffic or potential hazards. Never attempt to change your headlight bulbs if it’s raining or in a wet environment, since you’ll be working with electrical components. Safety always comes first. 

What You’ll Need to Change Your Truck’s Headlight Bulbs

Before you get started, make sure that you have everything you’ll need for the process with you. You’ll save time if everything is laid out and organized, ready for you to grab. Make sure you have these items.

  1. The replacement aftermarket headlight bulbs for your truck.
  2. Gloves, or alcohol wipes and a micro-fiber cloth.
  3. The correct screwdriver set.
  4. The proper conversion kit if you’re making the switch to aftermarket headlight bulbs.
  5. A safe space to keep any screws or connectors you will need to reattach.
  6. A safe receptacle for disposing of the old glass bulbs.

If you aren’t sure which headlight bulb you need for the specific make and model of your truck, search for the correct part here.

Getting Started

Make sure that your truck is powered off, and completely cooled down before you start the actual headlight bulb change. It can get hot under the hood when the car is running and you want to avoid any possible accidents or burns. Some people also choose to disconnect their truck batteries entirely when changing headlight bulbs, for an added element of safety.

Once you have everything you need to get started changing your headlight bulbs, and the truck is turned off and cooled down, you’re ready to move on to the next step. You’ll need to lift the hood of your car and locate the headlight bulb holder and wire connectors from the inside of the hood. It’s a common misconception, but you don’t replace headlights from the outside, and you don’t have to remove the headlight cover on your truck.

Prepping Your Equipment to Change Your Truck’s Headlight Bulbs

Now that you have everything you need to change your aftermarket headlights, and your truck is prepped, you can officially get started, and get those new lights up and running. Lots of people choose to wear light gloves for this process, since the oils from your fingers can rub off onto the new bulbs, causing clouding and improper light distribution. Others choose to carefully wipe the bulbs down with alcohol pads and a soft cloth right before installation.

Either way, make sure that the bulbs you’re about to install are as clean as they can be, so that you get the best light possible as well as the best electrical connection. The rest is easy.

The Installation Process for Aftermarket Headlight Bulbs

Your truck is off, your workspace is clear, you have everything you need, and your bulbs are in prime condition for installation. Follow these simple next steps to complete your headlight bulb change.

  1. Disconnect the power wires from your old bulbs. They’re most likely held in place by either a clip or a cap. If so, you’ll have to undo that first.
  2. Now that the old headlight bulbs are disconnected from the power source, unscrew them. You should be able to twist them counter-clockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosey).
  3. If a headlight bulb seems stuck, jammed, or you can’t get it to move, don’t use excessive force in an attempt to get it out. This can cause the glass to shatter off the base of the bulb and you’ll need further tools or a professional to remove the broken bulb.
  4. Once the old bulb is out, be sure to throw it away somewhere safe. Make sure it’s off the ground, to avoid stepping on it, or running it over with your tires and causing problems later on.
  5. Clean your new aftermarket headlight bulbs, whether they are LED or HID lights with the alcohol wipes and soft cloth. 
  6. Install the bulb, and connect any wires, gaskets, etc. according to the conversion or installation kit’s instruction manual, if you have purchased one. If you are changing a headlight bulb that already has an installation set-up, simply reattach the items as they were before.
  7. Repeat this process on the other headlight.
  8. If you disconnected your truck’s battery, plug it back in once both headlight bulbs have been changed.
  9. Close the hood of the truck, start your vehicle, and turn on the lights to ensure that they power up correctly.
  10. Check the height that the lights shine. They should not be too high, as they will impeded the vision of other drivers, or too low, as they won’t provide you with the light you need. They should be facing straight ahead.
  11. That’s it, get driving, you’re all set to go.

Finding the Right Aftermarket Headlight Bulbs for Your Truck

RECON is proud to be a leading aftermarket automotive lighting provider, and we are here to serve all your truck’s lighting needs. Check out our handy headlight installation guides for additional information, or contact us today to speak with an automotive expert.

Posted on Leave a comment

Foggy Headlights: Common Causes and Best Restoration Methods

Foggy headlights being cleaned properly

Whether you have halogen, LED, or HID lights, sooner or later every truck owner is going to struggle with foggy, hazy headlights. It’s a fact of aging, and nothing stays new forever, but it’s something that needs to be addressed. 

Foggy headlights can cause decreased visibility while driving, posing a hazard not only to you but also to other drivers on the road. You may notice your headlights starting to turn yellow, or it may appear as if a film has developed on the inside that you can’t wipe away no matter how hard you try. This is an indicator that it’s time to clean your headlights beyond the usual car wash. 

Generally, headlights will need to be restored every 1 to 3 years to keep your truck looking its best while also maintaining safety on the road.

Causes of Foggy Headlights

RECON manufactures top tier truck headlights and aims to help you maintain their prime condition. Before you can effectively clean foggy headlights, it’s important to understand the underlying causes so that you can help delay the process in the future.


If your headlights have an acrylic or polycarbonate cover, as most do, they will start to deteriorate when exposed to UV rays over time. This process is caused by oxidation and is not one that can be avoided.

After all, it’s impossible to stay out of the sun when driving. UV rays are strong enough to break down chemical bonds, such as sealants or protectants that you use on your headlights to prevent damage.  Exposure to UV rays will eventually lead to foggy headlights and will require headlight restoration.


Water is another environmental element that cannot be avoided, no matter how hard you try. With water comes condensation, which can make its way into your headlights as time takes a toll on the sealant, reducing its effectiveness. This leads to clouding of your headlights and, again, is something that you will not be able to simply wipe away from the outside. Once water has made its way into your headlights it’s time for a headlight restoration. 

Dirt and Debris

What’s the point of having a truck if you don’t get it dirty now and then? Over time that dirt builds up, along with chemicals that can be on the surface of the road or in that mud you drove through last weekend. This will cause a foggy buildup on your headlights that will need to be cleaned. 

Similarly, flying debris can damage your headlights. Rocks kick up on the highway, branches scratch your headlights when you’re pulling out of the driveway or off-roading, and salt on the roads in the winter makes its way to your lights. This causes damage to your headlights and will require a thorough cleaning to retain optimum visibility.

Cleaning Foggy Headlights

There are many ways to clean foggy, cloudy headlights. There are do-it-yourself methods that can save time and money, though they may not provide a long-lasting or top-notch solution to the problem.  Professional methods may be worth investing in, especially if your headlights have sustained heavy damage and you are looking for a serious headlight restoration. 

Do-It-Yourself Methods for Headlight Restoration

Household Cleaners

Truck enthusiasts often turn to household cleaners for headlight restoration at home. Vinegar, baking soda, or a mixture of both can be used with a microfiber cloth or toothbrush to clean a foggy headlight.  This method works best when the fogging has been caused by dirt or chemical build up and is not effective at restoring scratches on a headlight. 

After scrubbing the headlight down, give it a rinse with clean water and polish dry with a microfiber cloth. This is the least expensive option when it comes to headlight restoration.  Just don’t expect the results to last long-term.


People swear by toothpaste as a cleaning method for all sorts of products. From cleaning sneakers, to removing scuffs on leather, to shining jewelry, there seems to be an unlimited use for toothpaste in cleaning processes

Cleaning truck headlights is no exception, and this is another low cost method you can do yourself at home. Use a toothbrush to scrub the headlights with the paste for several minutes before rinsing with clean water. Again, don’t expect this fix to be a long-term  solution.  

Professional Restoration of Foggy Headlights

The professional restoration of foggy headlights is recommended to achieve the best and longest lasting results. Methods that professionals employ may include sanding, polishing, waxing, and resealing the headlights to provide not only the deepest clean but also lasting prevention against future fogging. 

The cost of a professional headlight restoration can run anywhere from $75 to $150 for both lights, but is generally worth the investment.  

Preventing Foggy Headlights

After foggy headlights have been cleaned or restored, the ultimate goal is to maintain that brand new appearance for as long as possible. While avoiding foggy headlights forever isn’t possible, there are steps that you can take to delay the process:

  • Parking in the shade whenever possible.
  • Wash your car regularly, focusing on the headlights.
  • Purchase a UV protection coat that you can apply yourself at home.
  • Use glass cleaner on the exterior of your headlights to remove outer layers of dirt.
  • Wax your headlights post-wash.

Foggy headlights are one of the least pleasant parts of car and truck ownership, but there are steps that can be taken to restore and delay the process. RECON is here for all things headlight related. Contact us online or call our Customer Support line at 877-377-3266 for more information.