Jump to content

Review: ApexCone 55W HID in 08 Legacy


Recommended Posts

After a great deal of debate over that kit to purchase, what color/temp, harness or no harness, etc., I decided to go with an ApexCone HID kit in 55W at 5000K with the upgraded relay harness.


This is my report after approximately one month (4000 miles) of use of the ApexCone kit. My daily commute (100 miles) is normally in the dark for at least one direction.


The review:


I wanted a stock-HID look to them, and after speaking with several people over at DDM (including the owner), I was convinced of several facts:


*That the larger ApexCone Ballasts were more reliable at startup than were other (smaller) ballasts.

*That the 55W ballasts were more reliable than the 35W ballasts, due to higher-quality internals.

*That a 55W setup would "washout" the color to be one temp lower on the scale (thus, my 5000K would look more like a 4300-4500K).

*That I needed to run a harness on the Legacy if I wanted to run any 55W (and many 35W) kit.


With those assumptions in mind, I bit the bullet and spent my $100 on the ApexCone kit.


Install was pretty simple on the 2.5i (pics added later showing ballast mounting locations) and the harness was easy to run. I found an error in the LGT.com how-to instructions for how to do a little of the wiring (specifically, how large to drill the cap for the grommet that comes with the kit- the hole should be 15/16" and not 1"), but the install was largely painless.


Ballast mounting locations:


Passenger's side



Driver's side



Both were attached with 2x-sided tape and screws, and the one on the driver's side (which is the vertical mount) was reinforced with a 3/8" HVAC zip-tie for extra support. After 2 months, neither has moved at all.


Relay mounting location:



(Under drip edge on driver's side)




The lights fired right up, burned in quickly, and settled in to a nice, clean white color, without a hint of blue in the output, even at the periphery. When I look AT the lights (and not at the output), I see a hint of blue from certain angles, but nothing even as blue as the new(er) Cadillac factory HIDs. I have not yet been flashed, in one month and over 4000 miles of driving.


As far as light output, I have one regret- I never should have bought my stock fog lights for $300 to add to the 2.5i. With these HIDs, the factory fogs are a waste. I plan to swap in yellow bulbs in the future, but until then, I can see no difference at all with them on or off. The light from the HIDs has a very clean cutoff, with a level lightline and very little side scatter. With the High beams on, I can clearly see the line of demarkation between the HIDs and the highs.


Reliability has (knock on wood) been perfect. I have had to get in the habit of turning my headlights off (as opposed to leaving them on all of the time, as I did before), but when I forget, the HIDs have fired up each time, every time. When using the switch (as I should), there is also no issue with them firing up.


Warm-up time is very short. If I turn them on in my driveway, they are at what appears to be full strength by the time I am 1/4 of a mile down the road.


Overall, I really like these lights. I wish that the prices had been this low in the past, because I would have bought them sooner than I did. As it stands, I wanted to wait until HIDs hit under $100 for a kit with any reputation or reliability behind it. When Xenon Expert's kits dropped, I really started to look into them more seriously.


As far as dealing with DDM, so far it was easy to communicate with them, but if Xenon Expert can keep his prices competetive with DDM, I would be fine going with him for the same products. DDM had a LONG lead time on getting the product to me, but they were up front about this, and I think that the backlog may have been improved since when i placed my order.


I will post pictures at some point in the future, but if people have questions, feel free to post here.


Thanks for assisting me in making my HID selection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...
cool....where did you get the kit? Ive been looking at some of the DDM/ULtrabright style hids, but have been concerned about reliability.

I bought it from DDMtuning.com, but they have suspended ApexCone sales because they were too similar to the Raptor kit and the DDM kit.


I'd say their 55w kit will be the closest thing to the apexcone kit that I have. People who buy the 35w kit are having more problems than those with 55w kits. This is info relayed to me by Jim, the owner of DDM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting...that sounds like "yeah, the 35w kits are pretty much junk, but so far the 55w's are holding up better...no idea why" haha

It actually makes perfect sense. The 55w kits generate more heat, and to handle that, the internals in the ballasts have to be made better. Higher quility parts lead to more reliable operation, particularly during the "bump" of current that powers ignition at startup- which is when the Legacy seems to have the most problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey don't bash the ddm crowd. Have had my DDMs on my car for over 12k(since day one of the car) 35wat 5000k, been through. sleet, freezing rain, ice, and torrential downpours and fires up every time.


Not bashing them at all. ApexCone is (was? wholly owned by DDM. Their products are getting better, ad were not bad to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How good are the companies (ddm or xenon expert) about getting back to you? I may just jump on a set....need hids.


They can be hard to get on the phone, but I had good luck. They are really responsive on the BMW boards (their main market).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
Beyond the one-year mark with full reliability. DDM is currently having a sale on their Raptor line of HIDs (which have replaced ApexCone), and I am considering grabbing a set for my E30 (35W 4300K) and to go in the fogs housings (35W 3000K).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, I am about to pull the trigger on Raptor 55w HID kit from DDM tuning and wanted to see if you have had any issues with your lights since your last post.

Interesting that you'd ask that today, as just yesterday I sold the ApexCone kit and the DDM Raptor kit that I had in my WRX.


I went with the morimoto retrofit from the retrofit source, FYI.


As for the Apexcone kit, I had it for almost 2 years. I never once had an ignition failure, even when I left the lights turned on by accident. I had identical reliability in my WRX with the 55w raptor kit.


Like it was mentioned in the initial review, the 55w kit has more robust internals, and thus is (in theory) more reliable than a 35w kit.


I will say that I did run it with the relay harness, which may help with both ignitin and ballast longevity. I would not run 55w without the harness.


I am about to order a new 35w kit very soon, as a matter of fact. I want to do yellow (3000K) fog lights in my WRX in aftermarket projector housings, and the fog housing is too small to use a 55w setup or I'd have just kept what I had and ordered new bulbs. By ordering new, I do get the full warranty on both the bulbs and the ballasts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you run the DDM HID's without Rx330 projectors at all? If so, any major complaints? I'd like to do the HID conversion to boost light output but want the best bang for my buck.

I'd do the retrofitsource.com RetroQuik setup ($300, complete) before I did an RX330 retrofit. Also, tacomaworld.com has a group deal going for 25% off if you get in on it now. That is what I did when I ordered my WRX retrofit setup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing: While we all know that plug-n-play HIDs are not optimal, on the Legacy (or at least on my 08), it was a very good beam, sharp cutoff, and great projection. There was very, very little scatter and no glare. In 2 years, I was never once flashed despite over 30,000 miles of driving with the HIDs installed, and a good portion of those miles done with the lights on. Also, my wife has an Acura TL, so my basis for comparison is pretty solid.


My WRX, by contrast, had very poor drop-in HID performance, and thus I went with a retrofit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the RetroQuik setup have a similar beam pattern as a RX330 retrofit? Isn't the retrofitsource.com's RetroQuik setup a 35w setup? Thanks for all the help!

Don't know how the beam patterns compare (my father has an RX350, but I have never really paid attention ot the pattern).


If you call TRS, they were awesome for answering questions and resolving issues. top-notch customer service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use