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Differences in 2004-08 Acura TSX & Accord CL7-CL9 Headlamps

In an effort to The North American 2004-08 Acura TSX, known everywhere else in the world as a Honda Accord, has a few different headlight options we will clarify for you here.

2004-08 USDM Headlamp

The Acura TSX comes with this lamp, with DOT required amber turn signal reflectors and diffusers facing the front and side.

Note that the HID ballast (standard on all NA TSXs) mounts on the bottom of this lamp. There is a variance between the 2004-05 mount style and the 2006-08 mounting style. That is true for all global 2004-08 TSX/Accord lenses in both the mounting configuration as well as the year change.

2003-05 JDM Honda Accord Headlamp

The JDM Accord comes with the same basic housing and lens as the USDM vehicle with a couple differences.

  • The side diffusers do not have a reflector in them and are a smoked-shade.
  • The projector lamps and cut-offs are set for a right-hand drive vehicle. Meaning, the light is higher on the left side than the right side.
  • If the lamps are from a EuroR model, the chrome inside the housings will be s smoked-shade.

2003-05 EDM Honda Accord Headlamp

These lamps are the same as the JDM 2003-05 Lamps, except they will be set to the left-hand drive configuration. Additionally, they have leveling motors inside, which is normal equipment on these cars.

2006-08 JDM Honda Accord Headlamp

The 2006 model year brought a facelift to global CL7-CL9 chassis Honda Accords and Acura TSXs. As mentioned above, the ballast mounting changed. We are unsure if any function or specification of the ballast changed, but the mounting location definitely did.

The newer style lamp also had some visual changes. The front facing blinker lens is not clear instead of amber. Also the side facing diffuser has a textured/mild pattern over an otherwise clear, blue lens.

Again, EuroR lamps are denoted by a smoked-chrome inner housing.

Retrofitting a JDM right-hand drive Accord Cl7-CL9 lamp to left-hand drive spec.

2006-08 EDM Honda Accord Headlamp

Like the earlier generation lamp, the only differences here are the left-hand drive configuration and the presence of a leveling motor (the JDM lamps may have the leveling motor as well...to be confirmed).

Aftermarket DEPO 2004-08 Options

DEPO is a Taiwanese manufacturer that produces very good quality aftermarket reproductions of factory lamps. Often used in collision repair, they offer lamps that are DOT approved, meaning they have the required amber diffusers and reflectors.

Recognizing an aftermarket opportunity to replication a clear-corner option, the first release DEPO lamps had clear side diffusers and front facing blinkers. The side molds were the same as the USDM replacements with the reflectors in place. Also the lamps in North America are configured to left-hand drive spec.

The housings themselves are modeled after 2004-05 lamps, with that ballast configuration.

Smoked and clear options were made, but the side reflectors did not connect well with aftermarket tastes. People prefered the look of the 2006-08 JDM/EDM side diffusers which were devoid of reflectors and had the blue color.

DEPO responded by changing the diffusers to the blue reflectors seen on the later model 2006-08 JDM cars.

However, DEPO did NOT change the ballast mounting location. Owners with 2006-08 TSXs found that while the DEPO lamps bolt in place well, the 2006-08 ballasts would not mount properly. Custom mounting of the ballast was needed, and detailed in this article.

Another concern with the DEPO lamps was the change in projector lamps. The Factory TSX/Accord lamps use very high quality, die cast projector housings and cut-offs, while the DEPOs are cheaper stamped metal. While the difference could be noticed by the most finicky users, the DEPO lamps have proven to have a still very good projection pattern and lens cut-off.

Wisedetailz Replacement Diffusers

In 2015, lighting innovator Aaron Wise of Wisedetailz developed clear diffusers to simply replace the standard orange diffusers. This gives TSX owners the choice of removing the amber components in their lamps and replacing them with clear or color-tinted options. The option of customizing the stock lamps allows users to keep their LHD configuration with the amazing, factory projectors and cut-offs. They also come at a much lower cost than replacing the entire lamp housing.

These designs are developing as people are now opened up to possibilities never had before.


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