For those that don’t know, retrofitted headlights are conventional halogen lights that have been taken apart and modified with HID projectors.
Before we talk about Adrian van Ineveld’s retrofitting business, we’d first like to clarify a couple of things. One, we will be 100% transparent if we’re ever compensated in any way for writing about a business or product. Two, we’ll avoid bad mouthing companies or products that we don’t appreciate, but we won’t withhold information for the sake of a businesses’ image.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s set our focus back on Adrian Taillights. Adrian started the company back in 2012, and over the past six years he’s built custom taillights for Chevrolet Cobalt coupes and sedans, HHR station wagons, Pontiac G5 coupes and sedans, and Saturn Ion sedans.
I remember when I first saw a photo of Adrian’s GTR-style taillights installed on a Cobalt SS coupe; it was the first time I had ever wanted to spend my money on aftermarket tail lights. My appreciation for Adrian’s work grew when I saw the Anzo-style taillights for the Cobalt sedan, which unfortunately have been discontinued due to parts availability. Cobalt sedan owners fret not, Adrian has created a new setup for us that features halos and sequential turn signals (shown above).
Spectacular, aren’t they? There’s no doubt that I’d be happy to have these or the Anzo-style lights for our Cobalt SS sedan, but they’re not exactly cheap. The Anzo-style lights were a bit cheaper at $400 versus the newly designed halo LED lights which are $450 plus an additional $75 if you want the sequential feature. Again, they aren’t cheap, but compared to other custom retrofitting services out there this is actually on the more affordable end of the spectrum. (See the video below for a quick demonstration of the sequential function on K2 GTR-style lights for the Cobalt coupe.)
If you really wanted aftermarket taillights but just couldn’t bring yourself to spend that much money on ’em, you could opt for a set of IPCWs off eBay, which range from $195 to $290 depending on the seller. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and while there’s a chance that you’ll be perfectly content with these lights, there’s also a chance that you might be another unsatisfied customer who ends up returning the lights due to fitment issues.
Don’t get me wrong, I opted to chuck out the extra dough for custom made retrofitted headlights (not by Adrian) and ended up with severe issues; one of the projectors was essentially aimed at the ground. However, based on reviews it seems the potential for issues is higher for the cheaper eBay options. It’s also worth mentioning that Adrian uses these aftermarket options as a starting point for his own builds, and he remedies any manufacturing defects they may have. On top of that, some of the components Adrian uses are covered by a 3-year manufacturer warranty, and he includes a 12-month, hassle-free warranty with every set of lights he makes.
…I do this as a hobby much more than as a money maker. I joke that this is the one hobby I have that doesn’t COST money. I’ve had quality issues with COB rings in the past and I have replaced at least 8 sets of $500+ tails – some even twice – at my expense. Quality is my number 1 priority. I do believe that the halo rings I have now are much better quality. They are made right here in the US, which is very unusual, and the manufacturer gives me a 3-year warranty on them since I am an authorized distributor. I offer a 12-month no hassle warranty on everything I make, including shipping both ways if something needs to be repaired or replaced.
To check out more of Adrian’s work, you can visit AdrianTailights.com. You can also find his page on Facebook, though it’s named ‘Custom LED Taillights’. If you follow the page, you can keep an eye out for when Adrian raffles off a set of custom lights.
Whether or not I’ll end up purchasing a set of aftermarket taillights for our Cobalt SS sedan is yet to be decided. On the one hand, as a recent college graduate I try to keep minimalism in mind, but on the other hand, these lights are friggin’ sweet.
As I mentioned, I previously bought a set of retrofitted headlights, and it didn’t go over so well. Next time around I’ll talk more about that, as well as the replacement retrofits that I ended up purchasing. For a preview of that content, peep the gallery below. And as always, stay tuned!