How to Aim and Align Your Headlights

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I don't care what kind of headlights you

have projector or reflector car or truck

if you replace your original halogen

headlight with an LED bulb chances are

you're blinding everybody else on the

road and you still can't see as good as

you wish you could


in this video we're going to talk about

how to aim your headlights with LED

headlight bulbs and why some work better

than others if you know anything about

our channel already you know that we do

lighting better because we test we test

a lot I'm not saying I don't like LED

headlight bulbs I'm saying most of them

don't work right go check out our other

videos where we explain why but what you

need to know is that for an LED

headlight bulb to work correctly in your

vehicle you need a certain type of

design you got to have a certain type of

LED chip and a certain type of width and

placement inside the headlight it also

needs to be adjusted to the right spot

there's a lot of things that go into

which LED headlight bulbs gonna work for

your vehicle they are not

one-size-fits-all if you replace your

halogen bulb with the type that makes a

weird beam pattern you're never gonna be

able to aim your headlights so first let

me show you what a bad beam pattern

looks like and why it will never

actually work regardless of how much you

aim it you see in this example now our

beam pattern is blown all out of

proportion look at how tall it is and

look at where the top of the beam is if

you take the brightest portion of this

beam pattern and put it where you need

it on the road look how high up it goes

it blinds everybody else that's why

bulbs that make this kind of beam

pattern don't work imagine this is your

vehicle driving on any road with your

original halogen headlights you can see

that there's a distinct cutoff line and

near the center at the top of the beam

you have the brightest portion that's

what we call the hotspot the headlights

are designed to have the hotspot near

the top of the beam so that the beam can

be aimed underneath oncoming drivers

point of view now let's take the halogen

bulb out and put in an LED bulb that

works really well like the gt-r lighting

ultra - go watch our other videos if you

want to see why this one works better

than others but the reality is it does

with this headlight bulb you can see

that the beam pattern is real similar to

the original halogen and that's really

important we've got the same cutoff line

we've got the same hotspot near the top

Center and look at that you can actually

adjust it correctly so that it's giving

you maximum brightness without blinding

the eyes of the other drivers on the



on our videos we get comments every day

about people complaining about how

blinding and bright LED headlights are

and then other people chiming in saying

as long as you have them aimed correctly

it's fine and the reality is that's only

half the story you still have to get the

right bulbs to begin with so let's talk

about what it actually takes to aim your

headlights after you've chosen the

correct bulbs two things you're gonna be

finding on your headlight itself first

thing you're gonna do is pull your

vehicle up to the wall about three feet

away so you've got some space between

your front bumper and the wall itself

you're gonna want to make sure that if

one person is normally driving your

vehicle you want to have somebody

sitting in the driver's seat while

you're doing the aiming if you normally

have a vehicle with a lot of

construction equipment or other types of

equipment or anything that might weigh

down the vehicle you're going to want to

simulate that for this also the last

thing you want to do is change the

weight of what you're carrying in your

vehicle and then aim your headlights

you're going to want to make sure you've

got about half a tank of gas to get to

that average level and you're gonna want

to make sure that your tires are aired

up correctly any of these things can

throw off the alignment when you're

doing this work yourself once you have

your vehicle squared up to the wall

three feet away identify the center of

the vehicle and do a vertical piece of

painters tape or something to indicate

the center then identify the center of

each headlight and do another vertical

piece of tape on either side you're

going to want to make sure that the

distance between the center and your

headlight marking is the same on the

wall you can identify the center of your

headlight by that little dimple that's

in the plastic now take a tape measure

and measure from the ground up to the

height of the center of your headlight

the height of this dimple on your

headlight from the ground up measure

that same distance up to the tape on the

wall and make a mark on your piece of

tape that should identify exactly the

center of your headlight on the wall do

that for both sides and then measure

down two inches on the wall and make

another mark now between those two marks

that measure the center of your

headlight and a two inch drop put a

horizontal piece of tape on the wall to

give yourself a cross-section

where to aim the bottom of this

horizontal measurement at that 2 inch

mark should be where the top of your

beam pattern sits when you're 25 feet

away now that you have all your markings

correct on the wall go ahead and pull

the vehicle back 25 feet and then we'll

look at the aiming now 25 feet is a

generic rule of thumb for any vehicle

however some manufacturers specify

different distances that may be closer

or farther away so before doing this

yourself check your owners manual to

make sure you're doing it right now that

you have your vehicle 25 feet away from

the wall it's time to use some type of a

screwdriver or other tool to actually

align the headlights up and down all

headlights have different alignment

adjusters they all pretty much act the

same way but sometimes they can be a

little bit different most of the time

you're gonna see something that needs a

Phillips screwdriver you open the hood

you look down and you find where the

headlight adjustments section is on your

headlight then you're gonna be able to

see is it a socket do you need a Torx

bit or will a Phillips screwdriver do

the trick on this f150 you can see an

enclosed assembly with a little tube on

top you put the screwdriver in there

from the top in your engine bay and when

you turn it either clockwise or

counterclockwise you're gonna move the

mechanism inside the headlight that

actually takes the projector or the

reflector and moves it up and down on

the back of this Dodge headlight we have

a similar thing but it's not sticking

out the top as you can see it's way down

here near the middle of the headlight

but luckily they made it really easy for

us with a guide that goes into that same

gear drive on this Ram headlight it's

the same mechanism but you don't use a

Phillips screw driver in this case you

can either use a socket or a Torx driver

now take a look at where your headlights

are aimed the top of your headlight the

cutoff line right where the brightest

part of the beam is should not be going

over that 2 inch drop mark as you can

see here we've got one that's obviously

higher than the other so we want to

bring them both down to hit that spot

the idea here is the farther you go away

from something the bigger your beam

pattern is so we want a 2 inch drop over

25 feet which communicates to a much


further in front of the vehicle for

normal highway driving when you're

driving I like to make sure that my

headlights are just barely bouncing off

the bottom of different street signs to

me this is a good indicator that they're

not going to be getting in anybody's

eyes and it lines up with the

step-by-step instructions we just went

through if you're driving around and all

the street signs are constantly lit up

or you can see the back of somebody's

head in the vehicle in front of you or

you see somebody adjusting their mirrors

because you're blinding them those are

examples of either a poorly aligned

headlight or

you're just using the wrong LED

headlight bulbs what you just learned

from this video can be applied to any

vehicle with any light bulb product out

there it doesn't matter what brand it is

or if it's LED or HID or halogen it's

all the same at the end of the day you

want a beam pattern that looks like the

original halogen that's brighter

hopefully and you aim them correct this

you're not blinding people it's really

that simple

if you want to learn more about which

LED headlight bulbs or HIDs or halogen

are best suited for your vehicle go

check out the other videos on our

Channel and of course subscribe if you

want to learn more about how to do

lighting better