HID xenons

dennisny

Thread starter
Messages
29
Location
new york
They're blinding and are abused- factory HID-xenons are not available in assortment of colors. If aftermarket companies left alone the 4000k-4300k temperature range. They would never of perked the law enforcements eye.
 
Messages
4,450
Location
Kuwait
Couple of years ago, I was tempted to install a 4300K Osram kit in my truck. It was pretty hard finding a true dual beam system and they were rather pricey. When I found what I was after, I couldn't find projector headlights to go with it, so I ditched the idea. I just installed European Silverstars and am rather content. Over at this end, every male car buyer aged 18-30 seems to ditch the factory halogens in favour of rubbish HIDs that cost more than they are worth - temperatures going all the way up to 12,000+ K. They have no idea what the temperature range means - it's all about the "cool" factor and I personally see nothing "cool" about blinding other road users. Then again, since the systems they have installed are rubbish to start off with, they only last a short time anyway.
 
Messages
3,879
Location
Alberta, Canada
I have been observing factory installed HID headlamps for some time now and have noted a few things that have brought me to the conclusion that they are really not that great as most people believe them to be. 1) In anything but perfectly clear weather they are actually worse than normal halogens. The output color they project seems to reflect more and more the worse weather gets (rain, snow, sleet, fog etc) I have driven side by side with my halogens and the light splash before me was slightly brighter than the HIDs in these conditions. As well the brighter ouput seems to work against HIDs also in these types of not so clear conditions. 2) The cut off design differences between good halogens and HIDs is getting smaller and smaller. Side by side in traffic, the differences in cutoff are noticable but not so mentionable. The HIDs have the full intensity right up to the upper edge of the cutoff, while my 09 Corolla halogens seem to lose a bit of intensity before sharp cutoff. To me this can actually work against HIDs. (See below) 3) The start up time of HIDs from full off to full intensity is noticeable. Not so with Halogens. 4) From an oncoming car standpoint HIDs are absolutely terrible. The wierd blue hue and then rainbow weirdness as they pass is very unsettling. Also the sharp off/on effect of an HID equipped car can be like a strobe light on an uneven road. This can be very distracting and pretty dangerous to someone who didn't know how to cope with it. The poseurs who install anything other that factory temperature (which should be lowered to 3500-4000K IMO) are only making fools of themselves, and they do it to be seen as opposed to actually being able to see- as we all know HID kits in halogen housings are a complete joke...and a bad one at that. The only plus side to HIDs would be the intensity of the low beams on a clear night vs a good set of halogens. Other than that, I prefer halogens.
 
Messages
4,942
Location
Billings, MT
Something that cavers have noticed is that cool white LED's with their blue biased spectrum is that it is very difficult to see how deep the holes are if they're damp. That same problem plagues blue biased HID's. The incandescent lamps they used to use didn't have this issue. Some caving lamps are adding a red LED to the white LED's to change the spectrum, to give them back what they lost in the transition.
 
Messages
1,225
Location
SW Michigan
We have a lot of "Cool" guys on one forum who get HIDs for 9004 housings that want 8+K. They think because it's blue/purple/green, then it's Cool. I'll be the first to admit, I have HIDs in my H4 housings on my subaru. I went with 4000K bulbs. They glare, but nowhere near as bad as a 80/100 watt kit in the same housing or [censored] 9004 housings.
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
I have been observing factory installed HID headlamps for some time now and have noted a few things that have brought me to the conclusion that they are really not that great as most people believe them to be. 1) In anything but perfectly clear weather they are actually worse than normal halogens. The output color they project seems to reflect more and more the worse weather gets (rain, snow, sleet, fog etc) I have driven side by side with my halogens and the light splash before me was slightly brighter than the HIDs in these conditions. As well the brighter ouput seems to work against HIDs also in these types of not so clear conditions. 2) The cut off design differences between good halogens and HIDs is getting smaller and smaller. Side by side in traffic, the differences in cutoff are noticable but not so mentionable. The HIDs have the full intensity right up to the upper edge of the cutoff, while my 09 Corolla halogens seem to lose a bit of intensity before sharp cutoff. To me this can actually work against HIDs. (See below) 3) The start up time of HIDs from full off to full intensity is noticeable. Not so with Halogens. 4) From an oncoming car standpoint HIDs are absolutely terrible. The wierd blue hue and then rainbow weirdness as they pass is very unsettling. Also the sharp off/on effect of an HID equipped car can be like a strobe light on an uneven road. This can be very distracting and pretty dangerous to someone who didn't know how to cope with it. The poseurs who install anything other that factory temperature (which should be lowered to 3500-4000K IMO) are only making fools of themselves, and they do it to be seen as opposed to actually being able to see- as we all know HID kits in halogen housings are a complete joke...and a bad one at that. The only plus side to HIDs would be the intensity of the low beams on a clear night vs a good set of halogens. Other than that, I prefer halogens.
Very nice writeup. Now my experience. About 6 months ago I installed a $70 kit 55w 3400k plug/play HID in my 96 BMW 525i low beam projector headlights. I left the high beams stock halogens. I carefully aligned the headlights to minimize problems for other drivers. As i have said before on other threads, this is one of the best mods I have ever done to the car. As this is my commute car, I feel so much safer.
 
Messages
3,879
Location
Alberta, Canada
Good temperature choice. I didn't know you could get 55w HIDs, I thought they were all 35w? You should have taken some stock one side HID the other side pics for documentation purposes. At least they were installed in projector housings, where the light is more likely to be controlled.
 
Messages
546
Location
Near Mobile
Some people say that a HID bulb without a HID reflector is a screwed up glaring headlight, because <b>no</b> lens can correct for the wrong reflector. Glad yours are fine.
 
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
 Originally Posted By: Russell
Very nice writeup. Now my experience. About 6 months ago I installed a $70 kit 55w 3400k plug/play HID in my 96 BMW 525i low beam projector headlights. I left the high beams stock halogens. I carefully aligned the headlights to minimize problems for other drivers. As i have said before on other threads, this is one of the best mods I have ever done to the car. As this is my commute car, I feel so much safer.
Key words here: projector headlights and carefully aligned the headlights. The problems with after-market HID is most drivers just replace OEM headlight with HID kit(s) without carefully align the light pattern and the glare is so bad for all other drivers around, same direction or opposite direction.
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: vweosdriver
Some people say that a HID bulb without a HID reflector is a screwed up glaring headlight, because no lens can correct for the wrong reflector. Glad yours are fine.
These lens have a sharp cut off that helps prevent glare. Even so, I had to adjust the alignment down quite a bit as I could count birds in trees at first. :)
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Lexington, KY
 Originally Posted By: Buffman
Yeah projector is the key. 9004 housings and 9007s are typical retrofits because the stock output and pattern is horrible.
I looked at 9007 retrofits for my wife's For Explorer and decided against them because of potential glare. The Explorer has a very poor non-projector light housing that would scatter light everywhere. No thanks.
 
Messages
3,756
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
I have been observing factory installed HID headlamps for some time now and have noted a few things that have brought me to the conclusion that they are really not that great as most people believe them to be.
I absolutely love the factory HIDs on my TL. I'm so spoiled, can't stand to drive a car with normal Halogens. I'm always checking to see if the lights are on
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
1) In anything but perfectly clear weather they are actually worse than normal halogens. The output color they project seems to reflect more and more the worse weather gets (rain, snow, sleet, fog etc) I have driven side by side with my halogens and the light splash before me was slightly brighter than the HIDs in these conditions. As well the brighter ouput seems to work against HIDs also in these types of not so clear conditions.
Mine are better in fog and rain than Halogens. They cut right though fog, I can use my brights if need be without glare.
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
2) The cut off design differences between good halogens and HIDs is getting smaller and smaller. Side by side in traffic, the differences in cutoff are noticable but not so mentionable. The HIDs have the full intensity right up to the upper edge of the cutoff, while my 09 Corolla halogens seem to lose a bit of intensity before sharp cutoff. To me this can actually work against HIDs. (See below)
Not really as long as they're aimed right and cover the entire area. Mine also has Halogen fog lights next to the HIDs which throw a lot more light out to the sides if need be.
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
3) The start up time of HIDs from full off to full intensity is noticeable. Not so with Halogens.
The start up time on mine is no more than 1 second, if that.
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
4) From an oncoming car standpoint HIDs are absolutely terrible. The wierd blue hue and then rainbow weirdness as they pass is very unsettling. Also the sharp off/on effect of an HID equipped car can be like a strobe light on an uneven road. This can be very distracting and pretty dangerous to someone who didn't know how to cope with it.
The HIDs when aimed properly with a factory lens have less glare than a comprable Halogen. No comparison there. There are certain circumstances where the HIDs can be blinding on very large bumps but it's rare.
 Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
The poseurs who install anything other that factory temperature (which should be lowered to 3500-4000K IMO) are only making fools of themselves, and they do it to be seen as opposed to actually being able to see- as we all know HID kits in halogen housings are a complete joke...and a bad one at that. The only plus side to HIDs would be the intensity of the low beams on a clear night vs a good set of halogens. Other than that, I prefer halogens.
I agree that anyone who goes with something other than the factory temperature is an idiot. They produce more glare, don't throw out as much light, and depth perception is worse. The other thing that gets me is the cheap HID conversion kits that use the factory lens. I just had a Civic in front of me the other day at a redlight that was [censored] me off. He had his old lenses with an aftermarket HID conversion (purple of course) and it was like I was looking into the sun.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,225
Location
SW Michigan
that's all HID conversion kits. The only ones that come with any kind of extra shielding are H4 bulbs. Otherwise, the kits are just sticking a modded HID bulb into a halogen housing.
 
Top