We’ve previously reviewed a sealed beam headlight option for those who want to give their car upgraded lighting with a modern look but we know that isn’t everyone’s taste. Are you more of a traditionalist with your classic ride but still want better lighting at night?
A name best known for carburetors and EFI systems may just have what you’re looking for. Holley recently introduced their new RetroBright line of LED headlights. These lights are available in common sealed beams sizes: 7” and 5.75” round or 5”x7” and 4”x6” rectangular.
The RetroBright headlights feature a textured lens similar in appearance to a traditional sealed beam headlight with the Holley logo in the centre. From a distance you wouldn’t know they are any different from a classic light. Up close, the difference in texture pattern is similar to difference between brands as opposed to looking like a modern headlight.
At the core of these headlights is the LED light source. Holley co-developed the light source with Morimoto, a well-known name in LED lighting. The light source is where you get to choose just how retro you want to go. There are 2 choices of light colour: Modern White or Classic White. Go with the Classic White if you want a true traditional look.
They also have lights with yellow lenses available for that old-school custom look.
Installing the RetroBright headlights is the same as replacing any other sealed beam headlights, except for the wiring. They are direct fit and should not require any modifications to fit.
If your vehicle is still wired for standard sealed beam headlights, you can either buy an adapter cable kit from Holley or re-pin the plugs on your vehicle. Holley provides more information on wiring on the product page for the headlights.
Note: Our test vehicle has already had a low beam headlight upgrade using conversion housings that use H4 bulbs. These already provided improved lighting compared with to basic sealed beam headlights.
Wanting to go back to a more traditional look for my car, I went with the clear lenses and Classic White light in a pair of 4”x6” to replace the low beams only.
The current low beams on the car provide decent light output but the cut off line at the top of the beam is a little blurry.
With a RetroBright headlight installed on the driver’s side you can see an improved top cut off while the beam is also wider. And although the RetroBright has a warmer light colour, it is brighter than the slightly more pure white H4 bulb on the passenger side.
With both low beams upgraded you get a better sense of the increased brightness, wider beam and top cut off line.
Some of the unexpected spots of light outside of the typical beam pattern are most likely due to the headlight trim and bumper reflecting light.
With the sealed beam bulbs, the most concentrated area of light moves up with the high beams and they throw light everywhere with no visible cut off lines.
Looking at the driver’s side with the RetroBright low beam and a standard sealed beam high beam, the difference compared to low beam is not nearly as drastic as on the passenger side with current setup. The new light adding additional high beam light without taking away the lower light output.
Seeing the RetroBright along with the sealed beam bulbs shows that the Classic White is close but still not quite as yellow as the old-style bulbs.
In pictures the difference in light pattern between the low beams and high beams with the 2 RetroBright low beams installed doesn’t look that different. It actually appears to concentrate the light lower than the old bulbs. But when out on the road driving the car there is a noticeable difference between low beam and high beam.
Visit the Holley website for more information on the RetroBright headlights.