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Discussion Starter #1
The IIHS says the most expensive Ridgelines have excellent headlights but the more common trims have bad headlights. Trim content may vary from year to year but for the 2017 MY for example, only the RTL-E and BE have the excellent headlights. Has anybody converted their bad headlights to the excellent headlights? If so, how much did it cost and how difficult was it? Does anybody sell a kit with instructions? I could live with not having the auto-on feature and even the auto-dimming feature, I just want to be able to see clearly at night without blinding oncoming cars. No, I don't want to simply exchange the halogen bulb for an LED bulb in the bad headlights. That will not improve the headlight reflector and will probably increase the probability of blinding oncoming cars.
 

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No, I don't want to simply exchange the halogen bulb for an LED bulb in the bad headlights. That will not improve the headlight reflector and will probably increase the probability of blinding oncoming cars.
This is very incorrect. The headlight reflector is already a projector.
 

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If you look at the 2017 press kit for the 2017 RL it references the lower trim headlights as projector. If you look at the 2020 literature it lists the lower trim headlights as multiple reflectors. I checked and the part number is unchanged. I guess Zroger's explaination sums it up but I don't appreciate Honda changing names around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
This seller advertises an upgrade to the factory LED headlights for $1,785.
Wow, that is expensive! The ad doesn't say if they are Genuine Honda parts or that the kit fits 2018 and later MYs or that there is any warranty. The one review looks suspiciously enthusiastic and lacks details. Has anybody tried this kit? Are there instructions for aiming the headlights after installing them? Is that part difficult? It is probably worth mentioning that both headlight types have halogen high beams but the excellent headlights provide 5 lux about 60 feet farther away. I would like to know if they have different bulbs but I suspect that the excellent headlights have better reflectors or clearer lenses.
 

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Wow, that is expensive! The ad doesn't say if they are Genuine Honda parts or that the kit fits 2018 and later MYs or that there is any warranty. The one review looks suspiciously enthusiastic and lacks details. Has anybody tried this kit? Are there instructions for aiming the headlights after installing them? Is that part difficult?
I'm personally not aware of anyone on this forum who has successfully installed RTL-E/BE headlights on a lower trim. I have seen someone install RTL-T headlights in a lower trim, but the RTL-T headlights are still incandescent (the DRL's are LED).
 

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Been running HID kit (amazon special, now Morimoto Elite HD kit) in my halogen projector housing. Perfect cut off. Have not done any headlight adjustments and no glares or flashing from incoming drivers.

If you want the oem LED from the higher trim buy the headlights from Honda and spend some time rewiring headlights. It can be done. Just not cheap. With the super low interest rate and sales on the 2019. You might save more money by just trading in/upgrading to the higher trim with the amount of money you will spend on trying to retrofit them in your current trim.
 

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Oncoming drivers would notice the difference. Those $1785 headlights have projectors specifically designed for a proprietary Honda LED.

The RTL houses a projector designed for standard H11 bulbs.

I'd be willing to bet the RTL gives off a noticeable glare that the E doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I investigated buying used headlights from an RTL-E/BE. The seller called them "self-leveling". I have not seen any evidence that the headlights are self-leveling but it would make sense on a vehicle that is capable of carrying a lot of weight over the rear wheels. I expect the headlights would still need to be aimed after being installed, whether used or new. Are they really self leveling and does that make aiming them more complicated?
 

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They are NOT self-leveling. To my knowledge, no pickup truck for sale in the U.S. has self-leveling headlights.

IIHS should require them for Top Safety Picks on trucks, but they haven't thought that far ahead yet, IMO.
 

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Oncoming drivers would notice the difference. Those $1785 headlights have projectors specifically designed for a proprietary Honda LED.

The RTL houses a projector designed for standard H11 bulbs.

I'd be willing to bet the RTL gives off a noticeable glare that the E doesn't.
I would have been flashed multiple times already. I've checked cutoff of the lights, etc. But what do I know? I've only done the conversion, tested it, and driven it around for months now.
 

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The Canadian 2016-2018 Pilot Touring uses the same style of headlight as the 2017-2020 Ridgeline RTL-E/BE, but they are self-leveling. Externally, they appear identical and may physically interchange, but there are no sensors, electronics, or wiring in the Ridgeline or US Pilots to operate the self-leveling mechanism.

I strongly believe that self-leveling headlights should be required and standard on all trucks and there is a critical and immediate need for better and more consistent lighting standards in the US. The LED headlights on Ford and GM trucks are particularly dangerous and offensive to oncoming traffic. A few years ago, Ford began installing redundant low and high beam halogen headlights on their heady duty trucks. These trucks get upfitted with heavy equipment and the headlights are rarely, if ever adjusted to compensate. Every morning and night, my retinas are blown out by these ridiculous quad-beam halogen headlights. Aftermarket LED and HID retrofits that blow light everywhere have becoming pandemic. Police seem to rarely enforce or may be unable to enforce violations and few jurisdictions check for headlight modifications. It's now to the point where it's difficult to tell if someone is driving with their low or high beams and temporary blindness has become the norm. Surely, the results of a study will finally reveal how dangerous our lighting has become and someone will start doing something about it.
 

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IMO, it's always been crazy that the better lights weren't offered in lesser RL packages as part of a safety suite. The OEM low beams on the 2017 RTL-T are pathetic. I would have to go back decades in my car buying to find an equivalent. I swapped them out early on for this Xenon Depot kit. They work well enough. I've never been flashed by anyone coming at me.

H11 HID Kit | Xtreme HID
HID Color & Bulb Options:4300K
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Canadian 2016-2018 Pilot Touring uses the same style of headlight as the 2017-2020 Ridgeline RTL-E/BE, but they are self-leveling. Externally, they appear identical and may physically interchange, but there are no sensors, electronics, or wiring in the Ridgeline or US Pilots to operate the self-leveling mechanism.

I strongly believe that self-leveling headlights should be required and standard on all trucks and there is a critical and immediate need for better and more consistent lighting standards in the US.. It's now to the point where it's difficult to tell if someone is driving with their low or high beams and temporary blindness has become the norm. Surely, the results of a study will finally reveal how dangerous our lighting has become and someone will start doing something about it.
I checked an online Honda parts store and the 2019 Pilot Touring and Ridgeline RTL-E headlight assemblies have different part numbers. But they appear to be interchangeable physically. There is probably a little motor inside the Pilot headlights that aims the headlights. So, there is a challenge! Who wants to upgrade their bad Ridgeline headlights to self-leveling Pilot Touring headlights? The Pilot Touring headlights also get the best rating from the IIHS. If you do, tell us about it. You will be a DIY Master!
I am with you on the need for stopping headlight glare. In Texas, we were required to have our headlights checked annually, but that stopped a decade or so ago and night driving is really dangerous now. The IIHS will probably be helpful, but this needs grassroots support. Car buyers need pay attention and avoid bad headlights. If Ridgelines with bad headlights accumulate and gather cobwebs in the dealer lots, Honda will start putting excellent headlights on all Ridgelines. I think I will look at Pilots.
 

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I am with you on the need for stopping headlight glare. In Texas, we were required to have our headlights checked annually, but that stopped a decade or so ago and night driving is really dangerous now. The IIHS will probably be helpful, but this needs grassroots support. Car buyers need pay attention and avoid bad headlights. If Ridgelines with bad headlights accumulate and gather cobwebs in the dealer lots, Honda will start putting excellent headlights on all Ridgelines. I think I will look at Pilots.
Looking at the data the IIHS provides the 19' RL RTL-E/BE still have a slight advantage over the Pilot
 
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