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Ok, this one has been quite a journey! Illuminating... :rolleyes:

I have been working on this because of Mr Kearley's washed up reflectors on his newly acquired V8 (headlamps about four years face down outdoors with the pod drain holes blocked). It induced me to check mine today and the nearside on mine was blocked too and full of water. Aaaargh! The lights are brand new pnm replacements and only six months old. Oh well, will check this surprisingly bit of iffy Lotus design every couple of months from now on. It is easy to do, just disconnect the lift motor rods inside the bonnet and the pods swivel up out of the way. Long screwdriver or bottle brush recommended. LEW article:

Firstly, a general statement on Esprit headlights. If you have a G car or a non-UK Stevens of any age then you are fine. That's because they use 5 3/4" headlights. Why are you fine? Well, the world has "standardised" on two diameters for round headlights over the years. One is the aforementioned and the other one is 7" (generally used on motorbikes until they went curvy). The UK Stevens on models have 6" headlights. When Barry asked me to have a look I winced, mainly because a while back I wanted to replace the headlight on my little 1976 Honda 400 Four which has an oddball size. Yes, 6". Impossible to find anything, I ended up with some Taiwan clone for a Honda CB100N, but at least it was H4 instead of the 35/35W tungsten glow worm originally fitted. Even then I had to limit it to a 40/45W bulb as the generator isn't up to a 55/60W. Hey ho. BUT this wouldn't be any good for an Esprit as it doesn't have any E approval which is fine in my Honda's case as it was manufactured in 1976 and type approval came in in 1977.

Secondly, Esprits have outboard dip and main and inboard main only. So to note that the inboards apply to any region unlike the handed outboards.

Here we go then. We'll save the worst until last.

G Cars


As you can see, this is pretty straightforward. They are all 5 3/4", just a change from RHD to LHD as required for the outboard pair. I think that Federal ones were sealed beams but that is no longer a restriction in the States I believe.

This also works for any later Esprits with 5 3/4" lights:

Outer (5 3/4" H4, Low & High Beam)
Inner (5 3/4' H1, High Beam)

All Cibie types (RHD/LHD/dip & main/main/with-without out sidelight) - UK supplier:

Cibie plus Hella - US supplier:

Relevant TLF threads:

S3 Onwards




Again, if you are USA or RoW refer back to the earlier paragraph as you can find many alternatives.

For us long suffering Albions with our six inches (oooer missus), the story goes as follows. Let's have a browse at some TLF posts first to see who has been here before:

All fairly useful, but what is the truth about these UK reflectors? What the hell are they? Well, Mr Kearley has nearly original 1998 lights and I have a set of recent pnm replacements, so let's split this up into outboard and inboard and dig, dig, dig.

Incidentally, Valeo bought Cibie out (who supplied these) and then re-instated the Cibie brand after a few years. This does not help! In fact in 1985 Cibie didn't list any 6" units whatsoever:


Barry said: "Cibie h4 iode with 634 104 on the glass these are riveted on a frame also. Concave." Likewise, mine have the same markings but also noticed "HCR". Ah, found a reference: "HCR is the code for Halogene, Code/Route, which means Low/High, for the functions in an H4 bulb". So that make sense.

My new pnms are therefore the same as late Esprits and presumably all of the earlier types. Interesting.

I then found a reference to them being the same as Series 1 Elises and Exiges and checking a Lotus supplier's web site it appears so. Not that there are many listed on eBay. Had a look around and e.g. about £60 a unit.


Then I found a nice tasty post that gave me the Valeo part number, from a very kind German who was converting his GT3 to LHD:

"I still search these headlight inserts, the original ones are from cibie/valeo and have the valeo part numbers 460118 - i need the non-uk-version of these parts (should have different part numbers)". Thank you sir!

Cibie units available for Valeo 460118:

CIBIE : CBC 067689
VALEO : 067689

CIBIE : CBC 067690
VALEO : 067690

Example:, around £60 a go. About the same from SJ and pnm but at least we know what they are now B-)


Now we are getting messy.

Barry said: "One is a Valeo 450 238 this has four fixing brackets on the fitment itself it's a Cibie convex unit with dgm 11165 hr on the glass. Also has 355 185 on it." I will call this headlamp the Original.

Then: "One has no labels on it - and is riveted in a proper frame and looks like the other one - it's a concave unit - again a Cibie oscar with what looks like igm 4860hr stamped in the glass.  Also has a 14508." I will call this headlamp the Imposter.

The original was a convex unit, the concave one is a replacement here, as it is exactly the same as my pnm unit. Which also has an "HR" marking. Back to that other reference: "HR is the code for Halogene, Route, which means High, for the functions in an H1 bulb." Yup.

Our German friend assists us (paraphrasing): "i still search these headlight inserts, the original ones are from cibie/valeo and have the valeo part number 450238 - i need the non-uk-version of these parts (should have different part numbers)." Bingo, Barry and our Deutsche mate both have Valeo 450 238.

Then it all goes wrong. Not a single reference on the Internet and I realise why - it's a special. The inboards have a unique mounting frame. As I can't find any 6" Cibie driving lights (i.e. main beams) anywhere I'm beginning to think that they might have been surplus Oscar or Super Oscar innards that you just can't buy...

So that leaves us with only two sources for inboards to the best of my knowledge and I sure as hell don't know where they sourced them. Unless somebody else knows different...

pnm Engineering

"Lotus Esprit Headlight Kit

This kit comprises of 4 lamps, mounting plates, carrier plates and adjusters all in stainless steel for longevity. It has been completely redesigned and improved by PNM but does require modifications to fit (the old backplate assembly needs to be removed and replaced with our new backing plates).  Lotus original inner lamps (convex) are now obsolete and have been replaced by a concave lamp with a comparable beam.

These lamps are the 6" lamps suitable for most Esprit's from 1980's to 2004. Do not mistake these with the cheaper 5 3/4" alternatives available that do not fit the Esprit correctly. If in doubt, please phone us for clarification."

These come with a new backplate as their version of the inboards use a custom mounting.

SJ Sportscars

Steve has worked some magic here I think and had some custom pressings made to replicate the original mounts, enclosing these bizarre inboard reflectors that I can't find. About £75 a pop. These are a direct replacement if you want to stay original.

I'm done. I need to increase the brilliance. I need beer...


I tempted my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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  • 2 years later...

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Upgrading the V8 Lights to LED

The 6" Headlight can easily be replaced with 2 x 5 3/4 unit per side as in the end the holes in the plastic surround are both the same size anyway. My original lights just looked tired, starting to peel inside and the 6" is simply not available. I looked around and no-one really offered a LED kit.... since I did this, 20 min later I seem to find PNM do and posted on facebook.... ah...


To do this I selected 4nos 5 3/4 headlights from Ebay. These are very common now targetted at Harley Bikes


Secondly I carefully removed and cleaned the screws from the Cibie lights. These have a release clip and are 1/4 turn to pop out. They fit directly back into the new headlight stainelss mounting.


Used the two DXF attached to get 2off Each headlight surround ring. Think they cut them from 0.9 as it was best size


Used four plastic headlight surround rings from Shapeways that I designed. They can be bought, or I have attached the STL file if you want to do it direct. This at the end proved really nice, as it finshes off the light within the original surround.


Use the stainless surround to marker the original mount plate. (Photo Attached) The newer lamps are not tapering to the rear so need additional clearance. I used a standard jigsaw once the circle was marked out.


Now I refixed the headlight to the pod, and used it as a guide to cut the fibreglass.


Sandwich the headlight in the plastic surround and stainless bezel. I put two blobs of silicone on when doing so, to properly trap. Rivet together.


On the electrics side one headlight (outside) will plug straight in, the second light will require a plug adding to the harness end (H4 Type)

Red - Common

Yellow - Side

Blue - Main

But on my V8 the dip was outside and it switched off and onto inside lights, yet now I had two units capable of both dip and main beam per side. So I did some wiring mods. On main beam I checked the ones I bought at 2A, so wired both main beams together and even then is less than a 55W halogen (4.5A @ 12v)


Fit the lights and setup.



Headlight Plates - Headlight In Qty2 1mm SS.DXF

Headlight Plates - Headlight Out Qty2 1mm SS.DXF

Headlight Surround Ring.STL





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  • Gold FFM

I wired up some led spots and an led light bar on my mates pickup truck. Honestly it’s that bright it sets fire to badgers by the side of the road 

Only here once

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8 hours ago, swindon_alan said:

Nice conversion! But are they bright enough? I'm dubious that LED technology has developed enough to beat hi-white halogens. Mr Kearley would stick HIDS in them...

Assuming MOT is ok, wired the 2 x mains together each side anyway... which before it was one on dip and changed to centre for main. Lotus had a wire back to the relay unterminated for second main, it is even on drawing. I read something to do with 55W max is legislation, so I guess it was option for export models if they later decided ?!

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