My experience with Kaizen Lighting was so bad that I ended up building my own refurbished headlights, instead, for half the price.

This is going to be a bit long. The short version is that I ordered the headlights from Kaizen Lighting, they broke their promised delivery date over and over again and did not respond to any customer service for over 4 months. So I built my own headlight upgrades, instead.

Scroll to the bottom to see just the lanterns I made.

I have a 2001 Subaru Outback Wagon.

The headlights were lackluster at best and deteriorated over time. When one of the headlights overheated when it burned out, the housing was damaged, making it even worse. I looked into replacement options and wanted something better than stock. Kaizen Lighting actress came. They make refurbished headlights with projectors.

I went back and forth for a week and ended up ordering a very basic fix. Nothing fancy or complicated, all basic options. I ordered on December 12, 2021. Cost was $532.05.

Going through the product page a few times, I noticed that the estimated delivery time was, at the time I ordered, stated as “1 to 3 weeks to build and ship”.

Fast forward to January 29th and I have not received any updates or shipping information. So I contacted their email. They responded quickly and said “these are set to ship in the next batch which will be on the 14th of January. So expect them at that time or a little earlier! You will receive a shipping notification by email”

Come January 18th, I didn’t see any email so I contacted them. I emailed: “Hi, I haven’t seen a shipping notification yet. Is there a status update on my order? Thanks.”

And I got no answer.

I emailed them again asking for an update on the 20th of January, then the 10th of February and then the 03rd of March. I got no response at all. So I checked their website on March 7th. They changed a few things since I last visited. This is their new front page.

They now say there will be a “build time of 1 to 8 months”. They also say that “The next large batch of orders in the construction schedule will be estimated to ship by 3/10.” and “All orders placed before 1/1/22 will be shipped/closed for the year by 3/28.”

There is another interesting part of this new front page.

“For the best information, update or best quote, please email us and we will email back. Please understand that there is a massive amount of inquiries every day. If you do not receive a response via email within 72 hours , please email. us again with your AB order number or transaction ID for the fastest response.”

I have done this this time and have never had any response from them beyond the first email. And I noticed something else in the small text at the bottom.

“Email responses are received every Friday. This is when you should expect a response.”

Wait. So they are booked to order, which is causing a lot of people to want updates, and they have too many emails to mention, … so they only bother to answer emails ONE DAY A WEEK? How does this even make sense?!

Out of curiosity I look around and also notice that they deleted all of their contact information except email from their website. This is their new Contact Us page.

Their address and phone number have been removed. What the hell is going on there? You know, it would be a shame if the old version of their “Contact Us” page was preserved somewhere on the Internet.
I decided to play nice and be patient. The end of March came and went and I didn’t get any updates from them. So I sent another email with my order number and politely asked for an update on April 1st. I didn’t get any response. I sent another email on April 5th. No answer.

I checked their website again. Here it is.

They are now making another promise to try and ship by April 8th and say that all ordered BEFORE MARCH 10th will ship before April 22nd. What happened to my order that I was part of that “before January 1, 2022” group? Where is my order?

Here’s how the shipping estimate looked when I ordered and how it did after I ordered.

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Now, I understand that Covid is messing things up a lot. I understand that delays are happening. My girlfriend runs her own small business and I know very well that delays in receiving and shipping goods are real. However, she makes sure that emails are answered several times a day. Absolutely nothing justifies the complete and total lack of communication and customer service from Kaizen Lighting. Nothing.

The way they behave is extremely unprofessional at best. Looking around on the internet, I see that apparently people have been complaining about them doing this sort of thing for years.

I sent another email on April 15th. No answer.

Ok screw this. So far I have been far more patient than they deserve. I did a little game to see how long it would be before they got back to me, but I’m done waiting. I called my bank and disputed the charge. I’m waiting to see if they get back in time, but with my screenshots and email evidence of the lack of response, they don’t have a leg to stand on.

I also decided that I’m tired of waiting for better headlights and if I can’t buy them then I’ll make them myself. I did some research and ordered aftermarket headlight housings, projector inserts and LED bulbs. I didn’t know if it would all work together, but I made my best educated guess and hoped for the best.

Everything I ordered came. I took it to work and a little under 3 hours later figuring it out right away, I had a pair of renewed headlights. I now have projectors mounted on the OEM style reflector housings that will mount to the stock spots. It turned out extremely well.

Here is the beam pattern it gives.

Here you can see the beam pattern at a distance down the road. You can see the sharp cut in the fence to the right of the stop sign. It illuminates the road extremely well and doesn’t blind anyone at all, while still making reflective road markings easily visible. It’s unbelievable. It’s the worlds above the terrible reflectors.

Also, my creation is completely plug and play. Low beams, high beams, turn signals. Everything is extremely easy and requires no harness modification at all. Kaizen Lighting headlights require you to cut your harness. This is from their site for Outback headlights.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the headlights that I was able to refurbish myself. It’s a first shot attempt that ended PAGE.

I spent several hours doing what they couldn’t deliver in 5 months. No customer service. Broken delivery promise after broken delivery promise. No matter how unprofessional it gets. Screw them. Part of me thinks I should start selling mine.

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