Midwest Light Creations- HID Headlights and Retrofit Kits (Headlights by Jeff)

Geordi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Location
Somewhere between Heaven and Hell. But it is reall
TDI
14 JSW DSG, 03 Wagon 01M, 400k and IPT performance auto!
I don't think it was the color so much - I've been in my other cars (regular Halogens) and in that same situation... Can't see sheet either. The HID were also completely worthless. Wet roads just soak up the light amazingly well.
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
These HID don't shine forward, the globe is in the center of the light. The lens is doing most of the work?
HID light shines in a 360, LED out of the sides.
 

pyroom

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Location
Winnipeg
TDI
Jetta
Bought a set of HID retrofits ~6 months ago. Very fast to respond to a couple issues I had during installation (all my fault). Very pleased; light output is fantastic, better than my cars with stock LEDs.
 

McGuillicuddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon (5MT)
Hey, I've been spending way too much time waffling on the Midwest website. Can Jeff (or anybody) describe the differences in performance between the E-Code replicas and the HIDs? From a Canadian dollar standpoint it looks like the HIDs are almost double (if both have glass lenses) the E-Codes (~$610 vs $360) and I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. Is it pretty much agreed upon that the E-Codes are a vast improvement over stock and good enough for most people?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Location
Columbus, OH
TDI
2003
The ecode headlights are just European beam pattern halogen reflector headlamps. A standard halogen bulb reflects light off the housing and out onto the road. The HID headlamps are a different system. It consists of a HID bulb which is much brighter than a halogen bulb placed inside a projector unit that disperses light onto the road in a wide and even beam pattern with far less hot spots and more intensity than the halogen setups. The reason the HID lights cost more is that the aforementioned ecode headlights have to be retrofitted with projectors. The extra cost is derived from the cost of the projectors, HID bulbs, and conversion wiring, along with the labor to do the conversion. The ecode lights pretty much come ready to go from the factory and require no modification other than fitting on glass lenses.
 

Wilkins

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Location
British Columbia
TDI
05 Jetta Wagon 5sp, 10 Sportwagen 6MT
I used to have a set of Chinese ecode replicas in my Mk IV Jetta and stock lights in my Mk VI Golf. After avoiding a moose in a vehicle with HIDs I put OEM HIDs in the Golf. The MK Vi high beams are not very good and I’d had too many near misses with animals on dark roads.

At about the same time as I installed the Golf lights, I found a great deal on a used set of Jeff’s lights for the Jetta, so I picked them up. They needed some shims to be aimed right and for some reason the parking bulbs were not connected to the main plug, but I figured out how to make them work since I do have a couple of sets of ‘donor’ headlights for parts. I think Jeff will tell you he has sorted the aiming problem now and the parking bulb problem was probably related to the angel eyes originally in the headlights, but now gone. A lot easier to install than the full AFS setup I put in the Golf and new they would have been about half the cost.

I’m happy with the lights, particularly the output. I understand the bulbs I have in Jeff’s lights are the latest ones he is selling and I think they are noticeably brighter than the OEM MK VI HID bulbs. The only complaint I have comparing the two headlights from a light output perspective is that Jeff’s lights have a sharper cutoff which can be distracting since it visibily bounces around as the car pitches over bumps. From a reliability perspective I wonder how long the mounting of the projector will hold up, but I haven’t heard of any problems with drooping and change of aim. Visibly they are obviously retrofits, but still well sealed with all original covers. Compared to the Chinese ecode knockoffs they replaced low beam lighting is vastly better and high beams are as good or better.

The biggest advantage of HIDs in my opinion is the even spread of light across the road. On a two lane road llumination extends evenly to the shoulder on each side, although because of the beam pattern sight distance with low beams is less on the left.

Ecode’s provide wider and more even illumination than the SAE beam pattern but in my experience reflectors still tend to put a brighter spot in the middle than an equivalent projector. HIDs are brighter, according to published numbers the 35 watt HID bulbs produce more than 3000 lumens while a standard 55 watt halogen produces about 1400 lumens so there is about twice as much light leaving the headlight. We don’t perceive twice the light, I think it is a cube root relationship rather than linear so maybe we perceive 25% brighter and additional sight distance from the HIDs as a result of the doubled lumens. All adds up to better illumination of the shoulders of the road with HIDS, plus with the accurate beam cut-off the low beams should put less light in the eyes of oncoming drivers than an SAE beam pattern with half the lumens would, as long as they are aimed properly. We should keep in mind that in much of the world any headlight producing this much light is not just required to be aimed properly, it is also required to have an automatic levelling device.
 

ottoman

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon ALH
Has anyone heard from Jeff recently? I placed my headlight order with him on 04/18 and have not yet received them. I have tried to contact him 3 times over the past month with no reply.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Location
Columbus, OH
TDI
2003
Still in business, and very busy at that! Rich, I think I replied to your email earlier today about wanting to place an order. I believe I am caught up on replying to emails. Life has become more demanding for me the past year, and I'm away from a computer most of the day. Anyone wanting to contact me more quickly can call or text me at 614.653.8434. I have my phone by me all day and reply normally within a few minutes.
 

JHands

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Location
Tampa
TDI
None presently
Has anyone ordered in the last month that can attest to Jeff's production and shipping times?
 

walteri

New member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Location
Beaverton, OR
TDI
2005.5 Jetta - BRM
Has anyone ordered in the last month that can attest to Jeff's production and shipping times?
I would like to know as well. I am about to pull the trigger but want to be sure I am going to get my product within a reasonable timeframe.
 

sardo_67

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Location
CT
TDI
2003 Jetta
Both my bulbs blew out. What do I need for replacements?

I’ve heen driving using the fog lights for a few weeks but should probably fix it right
 

Nuje

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2003; 2016 A3 e-tron
I'd think that any HID bulb with the correct base (D2S, H1, or whatever) would fit the bill.
You could try The Retrofit Source; they seem to source decent-quality stuff, as well as carrying OEM-quality (if not full-on OEM) bulbs as well.
 

overdoz73

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Location
Chicago
TDI
2006 VW Jetta TDI
How do you change the bulbs on those lights at the top? Ive had such a hard time, getting them to clip in when i put new bulbs, its crazy
 

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
He is in business still, but I believe he's just a one man show. When I emailed him it took a week to get back to me.
 

JHands

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Location
Tampa
TDI
None presently
Guys ...is Jeff still in business ..have sent him emails and texts ...but nothing ..would like to buy a set of lights from him .
Seems to be in business for new orders but doesn’t seem to really want to dedicate the time to customer service. I had some issues adjusting during the install and the guy seemed rather inconvenienced every time I contacted him for guidance. Now that I have a shattered lens and housing from a rock, I can’t get any info out of him. He responds to emails, but with no helpful info, and doesn’t return calls/texts. I’m even open to buying a replacement, but the guy won’t answer questions about pricing. I’ll support someone else from here on out. Just gonna get some E-codes. **** all this non-sense.
 

gmenounos

Vendor
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Location
Watertown, MA, USA
TDI
'99.5 Golf GLS, '01 Jetta GLX Wagon (TDI conversion)
I know this doesn't address not being able to get ahold of Jeff when your headlight has been trashed by a rock, but I'm going to throw in my experiences with his headlights as another data point.

I bought HIDs for my wagon from Jeff just over 6 years ago (47K miles) and have been pretty happy with them. The housings have been great. However I've chosen to replace (see below for technology changes) or had to replace the bulbs, ballasts, igniters and relay harness - some of those more than once. When any of those failed and were under warranty, I never had an issue with getting a replacement from Jeff, but it is annoying when one or both of your headlights don't work and you can't just go down to AutoZone to get a replacement bulb. When you choose to install aftermarket HID headlights, just be aware that they're unlikely to be as reliable as the factory headlights. It's not just wires and bulbs; it's now wires, extra wires, even more wires, relay harness, ballasts, igniters and bulbs. I think all the electronics are generic parts from China, but for the price that's ok. I don't think anyone should expect "German reliability" if you're paying China prices. If you're going on a road trip, it's probably worth packing an extra ballast, igniter and bulb. It would be a good option if you could buy headlights with 3 each of all the electronics because, at least in my experience, they're all going to fail within a few years, and it really limits you when you don't have working headlights.

I'm not sure if the technology changed every couple years or if Jeff maybe didn't make quite the best choices when he first started out, but the ballasts changed from 55W DC to 35W AC and changed brands at least a couple times. The relay harness originally was a single point of failure, so if it failed, you'd lose both headlights. (This happened to me...while on a trip...at dusk) The bulbs I think originally had wires attached, then changed to socketed bulbs, which are a bit easier to replace if one burns out, but harder to find a replacement as they're not as common. Some of the problems I had may just have been because I was an early adopter. The newest generation of Jeff's components may well be more reliable than what I originally bought.

Having said all that, I don't regret buying HIDs from Jeff. I'm getting older and it's a lot easier to see at night with them. You just need to carry some spares and know that if something catastrophic happens to one headlight, you're probably not going to be able to get a replacement super fast.
 

JHands

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Location
Tampa
TDI
None presently
I know this doesn't address not being able to get ahold of Jeff when your headlight has been trashed by a rock, but I'm going to throw in my experiences with his headlights as another data point.

I bought HIDs for my wagon from Jeff just over 6 years ago (47K miles) and have been pretty happy with them. The housings have been great. However I've chosen to replace (see below for technology changes) or had to replace the bulbs, ballasts, igniters and relay harness - some of those more than once. When any of those failed and were under warranty, I never had an issue with getting a replacement from Jeff, but it is annoying when one or both of your headlights don't work and you can't just go down to AutoZone to get a replacement bulb. When you choose to install aftermarket HID headlights, just be aware that they're unlikely to be as reliable as the factory headlights. It's not just wires and bulbs; it's now wires, extra wires, even more wires, relay harness, ballasts, igniters and bulbs. I think all the electronics are generic parts from China, but for the price that's ok. I don't think anyone should expect "German reliability" if you're paying China prices. If you're going on a road trip, it's probably worth packing an extra ballast, igniter and bulb. It would be a good option if you could buy headlights with 3 each of all the electronics because, at least in my experience, they're all going to fail within a few years, and it really limits you when you don't have working headlights.

I'm not sure if the technology changed every couple years or if Jeff maybe didn't make quite the best choices when he first started out, but the ballasts changed from 55W DC to 35W AC and changed brands at least a couple times. The relay harness originally was a single point of failure, so if it failed, you'd lose both headlights. (This happened to me...while on a trip...at dusk) The bulbs I think originally had wires attached, then changed to socketed bulbs, which are a bit easier to replace if one burns out, but harder to find a replacement as they're not as common. Some of the problems I had may just have been because I was an early adopter. The newest generation of Jeff's components may well be more reliable than what I originally bought.

Having said all that, I don't regret buying HIDs from Jeff. I'm getting older and it's a lot easier to see at night with them. You just need to carry some spares and know that if something catastrophic happens to one headlight, you're probably not going to be able to get a replacement super fast.
While I appreciate all of that sentiment and agree with you on the tech aspects, the reason I’m buying e-codes is because I can’t rely on Jeff to help me solve issues as they arise. His lack of customer service skills are my reason for moving down to a simpler fixture. I’m a busy guy in my mid 30’s hustling my ass off working for a healthcare start up and managing other small side hustles. I don’t have the time to tinker with my cars anymore, which is why they go to a TDI guru locally. I also don’t have time to wait a week for a reply from a guy about buying replacement parts. Key word - buying. I’m willing to pay for parts, or even a whole separate headlight, but his lack of customer service and his lengthy lead times don’t fit my lifestyle. E-codes don’t seem to be going that much further backwards, so I’ll be fine with the light they provide.

My point in posting about this here is to help people avoid doing business with someone with similar expectations that I have of people I do business with. I don’t think Jeff is inherently a bad guy, just too busy to dedicate the time necessary to running a successful product/service oriented business. Time management skills make or break any business model.

That said, I’ll have the busted and good unit for sale at a good price. All of the electronics and bulbs are in tact. If you want a spare and the spare parts, hit the DM and we can talk about a reasonable price shipped to your door. The broken lens unit is the drivers side, passenger side is in great shape.
 

Psymos

Well-known member
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
NEPA
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI
anyone have any luck getting the running (amber) lights to work on these lights with the 3 position euro switch?

it works when i use the turn signal, but doesn't work as running lights or if i have the lights on.
 
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