should I let my HIDs turn on and warm up for a few seconds before starting the vehicle?

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8,272
Location
New England
I don't believe there is any DOT approved "mod" to put an HID bulb in a reflector. They are all factory fit to a projector for a reason, which is the nice clear cut-off a projector affords, a requirement due to the light intensity and nature of the broad light kernel/arc inherent with the HID design.

Properly done, an HID retrofit uses factory HID projector lights, typically as an option for that particular chassis, for example the RAM 1500's were, in Laramie-trim, available with factory HID's, so you buy the proper factory harness and light assemblies and end up with lights that work as they would from the factory, including, assuming properly aligned, lights that meet DOT code for where it is cast, intensity, cut-off...etc.

If you aren't familiar with the Daniel Stern lighting site, I'd give this article of his a go-over to familiarize yourself:

Subaru decided to cut some costs by using reflector HIDs in my '14 FXT. I don't recall when they switched to projectors, but it was at least a couple of years later for the upper trims.

That's right, reflector HIDs
 
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43,712
Location
Ontario, Canada
Subaru decided to cut some costs by using reflector HIDs in my '14 FXT. I don't recall when they switched to projectors, but it was at least a couple of years later for the upper trims.

That's right, reflector HIDs

I would LOVE to see a picture of what that looks like! I've never seen a factory (proper) HID that wasn't in a projector, how do they manage the cut-off?
 
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Messages
33
Location
MN
I would LOVE to see a picture of what that looks like! I've never seen an HID that wasn't in a projector, how do they manage the cut-off?
I used to have a Mercury Montego with factory HID in reflector housings and they were great! I know Toyota has also done it in the Prius and Avalon.
 
Messages
43,712
Location
Ontario, Canada
I used to have a Mercury Montego with factory HID in reflector housings and they were great! I know Toyota has also done it in the Prius and Avalon.
Learn something new every day. Though engineered to operate with that light source, it would work just fine, so I'm not surprised you were pleased with them. I expect the beams were incredible bright and had great reach.
 
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4,426
Location
Southeast
So the issue with whats called a ”hot start” when the HIDs refire is they can pull more current than is good for a few seconds which adds a little wear. good ballasts are supposedly smart enough to be able to sense this.

my auto start/stop sometimes causes mine to blink out for a tiny instant, which I’d consider a similar condition. They’ve been doing it for 2 years now and are continuing to work. I decided long ago to not worry about it.

m
 
Messages
3,106
Location
Chicagoland
Subaru decided to cut some costs by using reflector HIDs in my '14 FXT. I don't recall when they switched to projectors, but it was at least a couple of years later for the upper trims.

That's right, reflector HIDs
Early Prius’s... Prii?... did the same. Instead of a normal D2S bulb they used a D2R which has a special coating on the bulb to control glare.

The S or R at the end stands for “shielded” aka projector style headlight and “reflector.”
10525F3A-477B-4F8F-B599-B373276DA0B6.jpeg
 
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Messages
6,997
Location
California
Subaru decided to cut some costs by using reflector HIDs in my '14 FXT. I don't recall when they switched to projectors, but it was at least a couple of years later for the upper trims.

That's right, reflector HIDs
Toyota also used parabolic HIDs on the 2nd gen LS400/GS400 refresh models(1998-on), the 2nd gen Prius and Sienna also offered them. I think Mercedes also used parabolic HIDs on the W210 E-Class before a minor update.

they work but not as brilliant or focused like projector HID/LED with the proper ECE(or homologated EU/DOT) cutoff.

regardless of legality, the worst thing for any arc discharge lamp is power cycling the lamp/ballast. The ballast can only provide the high voltage spark for so long to excite the metal salt/gas mix.
 
Messages
410
Location
Winnipeg
Never turn on lighting or accessories prior to starting an engine. You'll want all that juice for the starting process especially on a cold day.
Canadian federal law demands daytime running lights. GM aims to prevent me from turning them off in my '08 Impala. During the day the daytime running lights come on as soon as I turn the key to on, prior to turning the key farther to engage the starter. At night it's worse: The full headlights come on. The lights blink off when the starter engages, then come on again.

I could start my '03 Malibu without the lights coming on by first engaging the park brake, even by two or three clicks, but not so the Impala. However, at night or during a very dull day, the lights won't come on if I twist the headlight switch to the otherwise useless off position and hold it there while starting the engine. The knob springs back to auto once it's released. But once the engine's running, turning the knob to off does nothing, and the lights come on as soon I put the car in Drive, whether I hold the knob at off or not.

This would be a disaster coming in late or leaving early at drive-in movie theatres — if there were any left — and possibly cause an enraged management to demand I reveal all the kids in the trunk.
 
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