High-intensity discharge lights, or HID lights, refer to specialized bulbs within a glass compartment that illuminate to a far greater degree than standard halogen bulbs, providing enhanced lighting and a variety of HID light colors for a vehicle.
On occasion, HID lights are referred to as xenon lights due to the inclusion of xenon gas within the bulb itself rather than the nitrogen and argon traditionally used to heat internal filaments.
When car owners decide the time is right to upgrade their halogen lights, HID lights are a popular option for many reasons.
The Benefits of HID Lights for a Car
When driving at night you may encounter an oncoming car with dazzling, blue-white headlights. These are likely HID lights, which use a tube of xenon gas to establish an electrical arc between two electrodes, producing a far greater brilliance than halogen lights, which operate by making a tungsten filament glow using (you guessed it) halogen gas. This process enables a spectrum of HID light colors beyond those of normal halogen bulbs.
There are many benefits to choosing HID lighting for a car over traditional halogen bulbs.
- Enhanced Visibility
It stands to reason that if a bulb is brighter, visibility is going to increase as well. While it can take HID lights a few minutes to reach peak illumination, the difference of around 3,000 lumens to the halogen’s 1,400 is staggering. Furthermore, the greater light dispersion of HID provides greater peripheral vision.
- Longevity and Efficiency
Halogen lights need to be replaced nearly twice as often due to easily breakable filaments and lower longevity. HID lights are far more durable and energy efficient, weighing in with an average productivity of 5,000 hours. The greater efficiency also helps prolong car battery life.
- The Light Fantastic
With halogen bulbs, consumers are limited to white or yellow for color options, while HID light colors also include diverse ranges of blue and violet, along with customizable degrees of white and yellow. The light produced is also cleaner and more attractive than that of its counterpart.
Many consumers may feel trepidation at the thought of upgrading to HID lights for a car, but the process is surprisingly easy. Using a conversion kit, even novice car owners can have their upgraded lights ready to go within a half-hour to an hour in most vehicle models.
HID vs LED
The major competitor of HID lights for a car are light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Typically limited to high-end luxury vehicles, this type of lighting system is becoming more prevalent across the board. Both types of headlights perform far beyond the ability of halogen lights.
LED lights operate by sparking a current through a semiconductor, which produces photos of light in a continual process. However, there are other differences that may influence a consumer’s decision.
- HID vs LED: Life Expectancy
While HID lights have great longevity, topping out around 15,000 hours, LED lights can last over 40,000 hours. This results in higher expense for LEDs, and it is important to note that overheating can cause a detrimental effect on this life expectancy, even causing LED units to fail when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.
- HID vs LED: Brightness
LED lights produce about 1,000 - 2,000 more lumens than HID and offer reduced glare; however, their directed lights result in a narrow forward range. HID lights are generally preferred for night driving because they are not only bright, but they provide a greater spread of visibility.
- HID vs LED: Efficiency
While HIDs are energy efficient, the LED’s more compact size gives it the edge in this category.
- HID vs LED: Color Spectrum
HID light colors and those of LED headlights are virtually the same.
Which is Better?
There are many pros and cons for each type of upgrade. Ultimately, the winner of the HID vs LED debate often comes down to the buyer’s personal choice and the type of vehicle. HID lights are less expensive and tend to perform with greater brightness in projector lenses while LED lights are optimum for reflector lenses.
The HID Conversion Kit
When the time comes to upgrade to HID lights for a car, the prospective automobile will need a minor bit of modification to ensure that xenon bulbs fit within the halogen headlights. That’s where HID conversion kits (also referred to as “conversion packs”) come into play, providing everything necessary to make the installation.
As aforementioned, the process is easy. Here’s the step-by-step process:
1) Raise the hood of the car.
2) Wearing gloves, open the back of the headlight unit and remove the halogen bulb. Avoid touching the bulb with bare hands to prevent smudges. If necessary, rubbing alcohol is an efficient solution to clean bulbs.
3) Gently insert the new xenon bulb into the housing unit, placing it into the headlight.
4) Connect the HID bulb to the ballast, then connect that to the stock socket.
5) Test the light, flipping the adaptor 180 degrees as necessary if it does not engage the first time.
6) Mount the ballast with zip ties for added stability.
When in need of an HID conversion kit, there’s no better place to get one than at Underground Lighting - the reliable online automotive lighting store. Their professional technicians can answer any questions you may have about HID lights for a car, and they offer a wide variety of HID conversion kits for multiple bulb sizes and a dazzling array of HID light colors.
These top-notch HID conversion kits are “plug and play” easy, and the Controller Area Network “Canbus” conversion kits are an Underground Lighting specialty, providing an innovative and simple solution for installing bright and efficient HID lights.
If you are unsure which options are best for you, the pros at Underground Lighting are standing by to help you choose the best HID conversion kit for your car, including those that offer the widest range of HID light colors.
Plus, experts are available to call, e-mail, or chat when you need them, providing quality customer service and even custom order options to ensure that you enjoy the optimum experience at Underground Lighting.