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Projector Cutoff Shields

The cutoff shield is what controls the light output from inside your projector. This is what creates the “step”, how that step looks and where the light goes. USDM vehicles have a “step-up” to the right-hand side of the road so the lights wont blind oncoming drivers on the left.(LHD)  JDM vehicles have a “step-up” to the left-hand side of the road as oncoming drivers are on the right.(RHD)

Acura TSX Projector Cutoff Shield Position

What’s a “shield mod” or “color mod” and why does everyone always talk about it? A shield mod is just that- modifying your stock cutoff shield’s position to affect light output. This is generally done by spacing either the cutoff shield or projector lens to reach the desired light output characteristics. This can be done with thin washers from your local hardware store, as a spacing difference of as little as .5mm can have a big impact on output.

A shield or color mod is done to intensify the pretty color seen along the step line and maximize the clarity of the projector’s output. This is done before the projector is installed. However, too much modification and you can decrease light output & clarity. Modifying shields isn’t something to jump into lightly. If the projectors are “off” or done differently from one another they can have varying light output. They may never line up correctly, which can be difficult in an already wide output projector such as the S2000 for example.OEM Subaru STI Flat Cutoff Shield


S2000 Projector Cutoff Shield


A curved cutoff shield almost ALWAYS produces a wider & sharper output than a flat shield. For example: OEM 08+ Subaru STI projectors have a flat internal cutoff shield. Their output is fuzzy or hazy & disperses towards the edges. OEM Honda S2000 projectors have a curved cutoff shield which helps to give them their wide beam & sharp cutoff. Instead of the light being “stopped” internally by a flat shield’s edges, a curved shield allows the light to be emitted & controlled from the sides.

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