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Canyon Carver
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, almost everything. I'll try and cover all the basics of HID lighting, without going into the really technical stuff.

1. I want HID's. What are my choices?
You basically have two choices. The first is what is called a "plug-and-play kit." Your other choice is refered to as a "retrofit."

A plug-and-play kit, which from here on out will be refered to as a "PNP kit", is a kit that contains all the parts needed to replace your halogen light bulbs with HID lighting. They contain a ballast, ignitor, a rebased bulb, and all the neccesary wiring and connectors to hook up to your factory wiring. You simply unplug your halogen bulbs from their sockets, plug in the new wiring, and the insert the rebased bulb into your headlight housing. You may have to do some minor installation work on mounting the components. The rebased bulb is the key to the kit. It is an HID bulb, that is removed from it's HID specific base, and a more common halogen base is put on it. This allows a HID bulb to fit into whatever housing you need whether it be a H7, 9005, or anything else.

A retrofit, which from here on out will be refered to as a "retro", is when you remove the optics system from an HID equipped vehicle, and transplant it into your headlight. You then can take the ballast, ignitor, and HID bulb and hook it up like it was from the factory on that automobile. The optics system is the projector that harnesses the light from the bulb and projects it out onto the roadway.

Here's the optics system, a basic projector. This is what you'll have to put into your headlight...


2. So what are the pros and cons to a PNP kit and a retro?

First we'll start with the PNP kit...
Pros
- Ease of installation: It is very easy for anybody to install a PNP kit. It can generally be done in a afternoon with common handtools

- Everything needed is right there: Generally, everything you need to hook them to your vehicle comes in the kit. No searching for parts.

Cons
- Glare: Glare is excessive light that is seen by oncoming motorists. Because you are putting three times the amount of light into a housing that wasn't designed for it, you run the risk of increased glare. The amount of this is dependant on the design of the housing. Some vehicles have horrible glare problems with PNP kits. I will say this, the 98-up Series headlamps do not have as much of a glare issue as first thought. Care should always be taken after installation though to re-aim the headlights properly to reduce the amount of glare.

- Lack of performance: The HID bulb has approximatley three times the output of a regular halogen, but if this output isn't harnessed properly, much of it is wasted. Because you're using a housing that was never designed for HID, some of that light is going to waste. This can be thought of like having a 180hp V6 truck. Sticking a 540hp engine in it will make you faster, but without the suspension and tires(HID optics) some of that power ends up as wheelspin.

- Lack of color: With a PNP kit in a standard reflector housing, you generally have to decide between color or performance. The more you want of one, the less you'll have of the other.

Now lets do the retro...
Pros
- Lack of glare: Because you are transplanting all of the optics system into your vehicle, the new lights will produce no more glare as what was there from the factory on the donor automobile.

- Performance: The HID projectors were designed from the getgo by automobile engineers to try and extract as much performance as possible from the HID bulb. Because of this, you are generally able to see wider and farther.

- Color: With a projector, color and performance are seperated. You are able to increase or decrease both individually. Because of this you can have max perfromance and color. This will be discussed more in depth later.

Cons
- Difficulty of Installation: Because you have to transplant the projector into a suitable headlight housing, it turns into a much more difficult and time consuming project as compared to the PNP kit. You'll need more then basic handtools, along with at least a few days to get satisfactory results. You'll also need to do some research on how to install everything.

- Usually you don't get a kit: There are places that sell a partial kit of parts, but most likely you'll be buying all the parts from different suppliers. Because of this mix and matching, you'll have to have some knowledge of what parts will work with one another. Once again, you'll have to do some research.

- You can't use a factory reflector housing: If you don't like the look of projectors, then the only choice of a retro you have is to use an Envoy headlamp.

3. Alright, I'm starting to get an idea of what I want to do, but what I really want is the signature HID color. How do I get that color?
The color, probably the first thing you notice about HID's. Everybody loves how they look. Color can be achieved in two very different ways.

The first way is through the type of bulb. Bulbs are given a kelvin rating to descibed their different colors. A basic runthrough is this...

3000k= Yellow
4100-4300k= White
6000k= White/Blue
8000k= Blue/Purple
10000k and above= Purple

Using a 8000k bulb will give you a bluish purple output. This blue/purple light is seen by you behind the wheel while you are driving and is also seen by oncoming motorists outside of the vehicle.

But there are downsides to using a high kelvin bulb. After approximately 4000-4500k, the output of the bulb decreases as the kelvin rating goes higher. The 80000k and above can lose 1/3 to 1/2 of their total output. Also because this colored light is visible to you, you have a much harder time seeing. The human eye and brain is at it's most efficient with white light. It has a harder time seeing with colored light.

There is a way to have the best of both worlds though. Through the use of a projector you can use a white 4100-4300k bulb and get color out of it. Inside of the projector is a cut-off shield that prevents glare to oncoming motorists. A side effect of this shield is that the light gets bent as it passes by it. This bending of light produces a prism or rainbow effect. It creates a ribbon of very vibrant blues and purples at the cut-off line. This isn't very visible to you while you are driving, but it is to oncoming motorists. Also becuase it's in a band, it changes color when the angle changes, like when going over a bump. This creates the beautiful colors you see on some factory cars. You see white, others see color. The amount of color is dependant upon the design of the projector. Most projectors can be modded to produce a very colorful light.

Here is an example of the colorband on a set of projectors...


4. What are the best parts to use?
You get what you pay for is the best way to go about this. The Europeans generally have much higher quality parts then the Asian companies. Ballasts can go bad, as well as bulbs. Some names of good manufactures are Hella, Phillips, Osram, and Matsushita, among others. Some, more expensive, PNP kits use some of these parts. If it lists a Phillips bulb though, it was a Phillips bulb at one point but then it was rebased by an outside company. The quality of that bulb is dependant on the quality of the rebasers operation.

5. Will HID's hurt my electrical system?
HID's only draw 3 amps per bulb as compared to approximately 6 amps per bulb for a halogen. HID's do however pull upto 15 amps for a couple seconds when they are first turned on. Because of this, I personally do not recommend powering them through your factory wiring. Some people report never having a problem, while others report a problem the first time they turn them on. A simple wiring harness can be made that will safeguard your factory electrical system from these 15 amp pulls. It uses a basic automotive relay, and draws the power for the headlights straight from the battery. How it works is, your normal plugs that the halogen bulb plugged into now powers a relay. When you turn on your headlights, this tells the relay to close. When the relay is closed, power can flow from the battery, to the HID system through the relay. Instead of seeing the 15 amp loads, your factory wiring only sees a .5 amp load.

6. What's with the Envoy lights?
The Envoy lights are basically a plug and play retro. You get a lot of the benefits from both worlds. Envoy lights use what is called a D1S bulb. This is a standard HID bulb, but it has the ignitor built into the back of it. The ignitor is a little silver box about 1" in dimension. It's a bit of an odd unit, but replacement parts are available online or through dealers. The Envoy is a reflector though, so you won't get the color out of it like a projector retro.

You can check out an Envoy insallation here...
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f30/project-envoy-conversion-w-hid-274698/

7. Where can I learn more about HID's?

Take a look at these site's, they'll go much more in depth on everything HID related...
HID Retrofit Parts Projectors Ballasts D2S Bulbs
Automotive Lighting FAQ
intellexual net · m k i v

8. I want to do a PNP kit, where can I learn more about it?
There is not a whole lot to learn. The kit will probably come with instructions on how to hook it up and general operations.

9. I want to do a retro, where can I learn more about it?
Take a look at these threads...

http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=195172
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=217270
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=263558
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=209281

Also HID Retrofit Parts Projectors Ballasts D2S Bulbs has a huge amount of retro projects that you can learn from.

10. Are all projectors the same?
No, each projector sort of has it's own fingerprint. Some have increased width, some have increased color, some have sharp cut-off lines. Looking at cars on the road is a good way to decide on a set of projectors. Find one that you like and then you can mod them a little to suit your taste. They can be modded by swapping lenses or cut-off shields. Also halogen projectors generally aren't as good performance wise as HID projectors. There are a few exceptions, you can learn about those through research.

11. Can I have highbeam HID's
Yes and No. You can order another kit for your highbeams, but since you are turning them on and off for oncoming traffic, they will wear out quickly. Also, HID takes about 10 seconds to warm up and achieve max output, so they don't lend themsleves well to on and off highbeam use.

The only good way to get HID highbeams is to use what is called a Bi-xexon projector. It is a projector that combines lowbeams and highbeams into one with the use of a motorized cut-off shield. When you have your lowbeams on, the cut-off shield is in place like a normal projector. When you trun on your highbeams, the shield moves down out of the way, to allow more light higher and further down the road. Drawbacks to a Bi-xexon projector is that they are large and expensive as compared to a regular projector. Using a higher output halogen bulb is a good way to complement the HID lowbeams.

12. Are HID's legal?
As of right now, to my knowledge, both PNP kits and retro's are illegal. Laws can differ from state to state so it's best to do your own research on this. The only legal way I know of is if your vehicle was available with HID as an option, and you get those parts and install them on your vehicle. Because of this, the Envoy is probably the only legal avenue to take.

I've tried to answer some of the most common questions asked. If there is something that I missed or you want me to go more indepth on something I'll do my best to answer. Also others can feel free to answer questions as well.
 

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nice info! but what about us Sealed beam guys? any options for us that wanna keep the 94-97 lights (for phantom grille) AND run an HID setup
 

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Canyon Carver
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
nice info! but what about us Sealed beam guys? any options for us that wanna keep the 94-97 lights (for phantom grille) AND run an HID setup
You'll have to convert over to a composite housing and then go from there. I imagine an H4 conversion would fit behind a phantom grill. Then you could do the retro or pnp kit on that.
 

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Nice write up, i actually learned somethign new today..hah
 

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You'll have to convert over to a composite housing and then go from there. I imagine an H4 conversion would fit behind a phantom grill. Then you could do the retro or pnp kit on that.

i found a wiring pigtail at work (napa) that goes from the sealed beam style to the 9004 connector....wonder if that would be of any use. Any links for the composite housing.?
 

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Canyon Carver
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i found a wiring pigtail at work (napa) that goes from the sealed beam style to the 9004 connector....wonder if that would be of any use. Any links for the composite housing.?
Check out post #4 in this thread...

http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f62/h4-sealed-bem-upgrade-what-needed-231103/

Pnp kits don't work very well in H4 housings though. Check out the H4 post about 2/3 of the way down...

Automotive Lighting FAQ - Halogen Retrofit Troubleshooting

Does that phantom grill fit over the composite Blazer lights? If it does, that would be a better way to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so i have the projector headlights on my 2003 xtreme but i want brighter so will a hid kits fit in the light or do i have to have the stock headlight shape ??
Yes, a HID kit will fit into either of the two most popular aftermarket projector housings. You just need to know which bulb your projector uses. It'll either be a 9005 or a H1.
 

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Here's alot more of a explanation.

HID --> high intensity discharge, what does this mean.

Basically unlike the standard halogen bulbs which uses a "filament" to output the lights, the HID does not consist withfilaments and contain compact arc tubes, which enclose various gases and metal salts, operating at relatively high pressures and temperatures.

For Example: This Image Compares the HID vs. Haolgen


What are the advantages of HIDS consists of standard
Halogen or "super white" bulbs.
HIDS:
Wattage (W): 35W
Lumens (Lm): 3500Lm
Life Expectancy: 3000 hours or more
Light Outpuet: 3x or greater than standard Halogens
Color Temps (K): 4100/4300 (OEM) - 12000K (eww too purplish/blue)

Halogens:
Wattage (W): 50 -55W
Lumens (Lm): 1000 - 1500Lm
Life Expectancy: 350 - 500
Light Output: ~
Color Temps (K): 2400 - 3000K

Q:What Kind of HID Kits can i buy for my car?
A:There are actually two different answers i can give. Lets start with answer (1), and follow with (2)
(1)You can HID Kit such as: Catz, McCulloch, Bohmen, etc. These are rebased HID Kit. which means the the bulbs are made to fit for the "halogen" housing headlights. Also getting all the necessary wires, ignitor(so you dont' screw up) and other necessary parts. Useally the wires are longer. Other thing is by putting an HID Kit into your standard housing that are ment to take 55W halogen, this can mean disaster. Honestly there is not a single kit that will make the glares and "UFO's" disappear. The thing is most people don't comprehend... b/c you are putting a bulb that is 3 times greater light output and into a housing that is not even made to handle HIDs. This is both PROJECTORS & Reflectors

This is a "rebased" hid kit for an easy installment and good fitment


This is an OEM HID Kit off Audi - Hella


OMG UFO's everywhere .. glaring .. this is a disaster for on comming traffic and person in front of you.


This also is a GREAT light SHOW

(2)You can buy a "DOT" or "ECE" projectors off BMW, Audi, S2K, Volvo or what not and retrofit them into your car.Valeo a company who makes projectors and few ballistas for Audi are one of the best choice doing a retro. Retro takes a lot of creativness and time and effort to it. It is not just a day job. This can last from anywhere to 2-7days.

Picture of a Retro Fit done on a STi. (Thank You HIDforum for the image)


OEM Capsules vs. Rebased
OEM D2S (projector housing)

Rebased for H7 i believe


Q: Can I put HID kit into my TYC/aftermarket Projectors?
A: Yes and No. The thing is the aftermarket "projectors" so called are not high quiality like the Valeo, E55, E46 or what not and the aftermarket projectors for 99% of the Civic's are for halogen only and it's off some fog lights or same materials and stuffs. Either way DO NOT ever put your HID kit in a halogen projectors. It can give off various glares off everywhere, beam pattern will be not so great and sometimes it can melt :lol:

Comparison:
This Integra a member of Honda-Tech used S2000 Projectors, S2000 HID Kit
Sorry for BIG images


WOW Look at the lightoutput and the "Cutoff" line that is very very very sexy ane NICE>!!

This is a 5th Gen Civic a local guy with TYC projectors and aftermarket "rebased" HID Kit

As you can see the AIMing needs to be re-doned, but the light output is not that great compared to the RETRO.

Q: Is HID illegal and also how about retrofitting?
A: Yes & No. to begin with hids were never legal. Companies like BMW, Benz, Lexus, AUdi and etc had them on because it was adapted from Europe and Asia. U.S. Officals never had a problem with it until "ricer" companies begun to bring out rebased HID Kits that was blinding people with blue/purple light and was never a perfect fitment. This now has been a reason why Government officals, NTHS or something like that has been cracking down retailers who sales HID kits. IF they are caught and convicted, they can get jail time and fines. Honestly ONLY best rebased HID kits were teh CATZ. I am going to say NO, because the OEM factory HID kit does meet "D0T" as they foresay. If U.S cracks down and tells car manufactors to do not put HID kits in their car, this will be a dramatic decrease in car indutry, and economy wise. Plus the OEM HID is levled and puts out white light instead of blue or purple. ONly the lense and the light bouncing off the "shield" and the lense is making the blue/purple look to it.
 

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TOO Long so second POST


Now to the bulbs and ballista subject

Bulbs
The bulbs. The common mistake some people here is that all these high kelvin rated bulbs are the shizzle. Well, they couldn't be more wrong. The higher you go in kelvin, the less light and lumens you'll have. Pratically anything over 6k is really a waste if your at all concerned with your safety and brightness of lighting. So what is the best bulb out there then you ask? 4100-4300k. It has the most lumens out of all the HID bulbs produced. Thats why car manifacturers still use them today. Below is a graph showing you the variances of the light spectrum. As you can see, 4100k would be right where the "sweet spot" is on that chart. It produces near to the suns same kelvin thus giving you daylight-like output. Think of it like this, high kelvin bulbs would be like being out in the sun with sunglasses on vs a 4100k being in the sun w/o glasses on.

Also here is another good thing to know taken from the FAQ:
Yellow:
1500 k Candlelight
2700-2900 k Yellow painted fog halogen bulbs
-------------------------------
Yellowish white:
3200 k Sunrise/sunset
3200 k Premium H7 non painted halogen bulb
3400 k 1 hour from dusk/dawn
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White:
4100 k Philips/Osram OEM HID D2S
5500 k Bright sunny daylight around noon
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Blueish white
5500-5600 k Electronic photo flash
6000 k Philips Ultinon HID D2S
6500-7500 k Overcast sky
-----------------
Blue:
9000-12000 k Blue sky
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Purple:
28000 Northern sky
12000-30000 k Ultra Violet light (black light)

So know that you know about kelvin and some aspects of the bulbs, you might be wondering why you hear the terms D2R or D2S. Well, to put it very simply to you, D2R is a HID bulb that was designed for HID reflector housings. It has a different base than a D2S and also has a painted portion on the bulb itself. Why is it painted you ask? The paint is there to block certain areas of the bulb that would cause excessive glare in the housing. Does the paint affect bulb performance? Yes. A 4100k D2R has slightly less lumen than a 4100k D2S. Can a D2R be converted to a D2S? Yes. You would have to make a notch in the base of the bulb to match that of a D2S. you would also need to delicatly remove the painted portion of the bulb so that it would be completely visible just like a D2S. So enough about a D2R ehh, lets talk about the D2S for a sec. The D2S was designed only for a HID projector application. They are completely clear and give out the most efficiency of the two. Thats pratically all there is in difference between those two bulbs Below are some pics of both.

D2R


D2S


Ballistas
Ok, it has come to my attention some people think that if you use 2 different ballasts on the same bulbs, that one will look different than the other. Is this true? No. A ballast is a ballast (performance wise) as long as we are talking about 35W ballasts. As long as each ballast has the same exact style of connectors, they both can be used in conjunction with each other. Such as the rebased ones will have two connectors at end links, male and female as for the OEM ones are just female for the bulb and male for the HID "Plug"So now you may be asking yourself, "so what all does a ballast do in genral"? Well, here is a little bit of info on how flouresent ballast work and their basic simplicity. The same somewhat applies to automotive ballast. Our automotive ballast take in your cars DC power and converts it to AC current.

The simplest sort of ballast, generally referred to as a magnetic ballast, works something like an inductor. A basic inductor consists of a coil of wire in a circuit, which may be wound around a piece of metal. If you've read How Electromagnets Work, you know that when you send electrical current through a wire, it generates a magnetic field. Positioning the wire in concentric loops amplifies this field. This sort of field affects not only objects around the loop, but also the loop itself. Increasing the current in the loop increases the magnetic field, which applies a voltage opposite the flow of current in the wire. In short, a coiled length of wire in a circuit (an inductor) opposes change in the current flowing through it (see How Inductors Work for details). The transformer elements in a magnetic ballast use this principle to regulate the current in a fluorescent lamp. A ballast can only slow down changes in current -- it can't stop them. But the alternating current powering a fluorescent light is constantly reversing itself, so the ballast only has to inhibit increasing current in a particular direction for a short amount of time. Check out this site for more information on this process. Magnetic ballasts modulate electrical current at a relatively low cycle rate, which can cause a noticeable flicker. Magnetic ballasts may also vibrate at a low frequency. This is the source of the audible humming sound people associate with fluorescent lamps. Modern ballast designs use advanced electronics to more precisely regulate the current flowing through the electrical circuit. Since they use a higher cycle rate, you don't generally notice a flicker or humming noise coming from an electronic ballast. Different lamps require specialized ballasts designed to maintain the specific voltage and current levels needed for varying tube designs.

That was from outside source that i forget.

With that being said, you now know the basics of what all is going on inside a ballast. The DC power from your car is being turned into AC power to supply the charge needed to power up the HID bulbs. The ballast throws out 23k +/-1-2k of volts to the HID bulbs upon start-up often refered to as warm-up. This is when you seeing HID trun on and start to change colors and get brighter as they warm. This usually lasts only around 25 seconds or so on OEM ballast. Cheaper aftermarket ballast tend to warm-up longer thus causing premature bulb life loss. Sometimes when people first get HID, they tend to show boat infront of their friends turning their HID off/on rapidly. Is this good some say? The answer is no. If you've ever seen HID turned off and on you would of noticed a 4100k turns redish-orange for a second. This is the bulbs way of saying OUCH! What happens is the bulbs have already created Xenon gas to for the light but hasn't cooled back into salts and then when the bulbs are turned back on, the ballast are sending out a start-up of 23k volts which IS NOT a good thing. The bulbs already had enough Xenon in them to supply light and didn't need the 23k shot to them. This kills bulb lifespan. So you've learned about ballasts and bulbs now. Lets move on to the wiring now shall we.... Some people out there just aren't aware of the dangers with wiring HID straight off of your existing oem wiring. Should a relay be used to power HID, yes and always needs to be used. Why you ask perhaps? Your oem halogen equiped car was never designed or intended from the manufacturer to use or run high voltage/high current/ high amperage HID ballasts. Ballast draw a imense amount of amps upon start-up and could very seriosuly damage your wiring and not just at where its connected. We are talking serious damage to fuse boxes, ecu's, or worse could short and cause fires on very old cares that even have a hard enough time trying to power halogen. The reason why is, that when the ballast "demand" power, your car has to supply it from somewhere. Lets say its tapped into your oem headlight wire ok. Now you power up the ballasts, the draw current from your wiring, your wiring might not be up to the task so its needs help, t searches for a source and before you know it, you've now weakend not only one source but two now just to try and supply the ballast good clean power. This is why a relay harness is needed. A relay harness gets its power straight from the battery via relays. These relays are then wired to go to your ballasts now.
 

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I got HID'S on my truck as we speak, I bought the truck like that. Their bright as ****!!!!! lol

But looks good with The BMW M3 Blue paint.


I have a question to ask.

My buddy was telling me I have to change the fuses under the hood. I have 15's In there and I'm supposed to have 20's?


Right now I have a little problem, When my HID'S are on, Sometimes only one light will come on. I have to flick the switch for high beams and then back to normal. Then both work fine. Is that because of the fuses?
 

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Canyon Carver
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have a question to ask.

My buddy was telling me I have to change the fuses under the hood. I have 15's In there and I'm supposed to have 20's?


Right now I have a little problem, When my HID'S are on, Sometimes only one light will come on. I have to flick the switch for high beams and then back to normal. Then both work fine. Is that because of the fuses?
Keep whatever the factory fuse should be. You don't want to put a bigger fuse in then what was originally designed. I imagine a new relay harness would solve your problems with start-up.
 

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Keep whatever the factory fuse should be. You don't want to put a bigger fuse in then what was originally designed. I imagine a new relay harness would solve your problems with start-up.
I'll keep that In mind dude, Thanks.

As of now, The passenger side won't even turn on. :(

I took her to the coin-op last night and cleaned her up good.

But since then that one light refuses to come on. So I'm thinking mabie this Is from water damage?

I noticed both casings were fogged up, So I know water Is getting In.

When I get some time off work, I need to fix this problem A.S.A.P
I also need to shine the lights down more, To many ppl are getting pissed off....lol
 
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