More and more car enthusiasts have been installing HID lighting systems in their cars these days, because they increase nighttime visibility, last longer than factory installed halogen bulbs, and also look pretty cool. If you've thought about getting an HID system yourself, but are confused by the terminology and the use of the Kelvin Temperature system (6000k, 8000k, etc) this article will give you the facts.
So, what are the main things you need to know about HIDs? Read on to find out...
# 1 ) HID stands for high-intensity discharge
The high-intensity of the light in HIDs comes from metallic salts which are vaporized in the light's arc chamber. The light that results is much brighter than normal tungsten bulbs.
# 2 ) HID lights last longer than halogen bulbs because there is no filament in them to burn out
No matter what the Kelvin rating, ALL HID lighting systems produce a higher road visibility than common halogen bulbs for safer night driving. They also produce more light from less power and last longer. The average life of an HID lamp is 2000 hours, compared to the 450-1000 hours that a halogen lamp lasts. This is a definite advantage over halogen lights.
# 3 ) Kelvin Temperature determines brightness
Contrary to what most people think, the higher the Kelvin temperature number is, (i.e. 3000K, 6000K, 1000K) the lower the brightness level of the light is. On the other side of the token... the lower the number, the brighter it is.
# 4 ) HID lights use less energy than halogen lights
HIDs uses 35 watts, whereas most cars are typically made with a 55 watt system. Because of this, sometimes installing HIDs can cause a bulb out warning in your vehicle or a flickering effect. A set of Anti Flicker Capacitors can solve this problem.
# 5 ) Kelvin Temperature determines color
Also, the Kelvin temperature determines the color of the light. 4300K is yellow, 6000K is a bright white, 8000K is a bright blue, 10000K is a bright violet, and 12000k is a bright purple. Here is the low-down on some of the most popular colors:
- 6000K is a very popular color choice. Unlike factory HID headlights (which emit a 4300K, slightly yellowish light) a 6000K bulb emits a pure white light and an increased perception of clarity.
- 8000K produces a slightly blue tint. Ironically, even though the number is higher these lights are slightly less bright than the 6000K lights above! That being said, they do produce a more intense blue color that makes them more noticeable.
- 3000K produces a rich yellow light that many car enthusiasts use for a dramatic effect in their fog lights. This yellow light gives your car a cool two tone appearance that some people just love.
So Now You Know!
Now that you're armed with basic knowledge about the world of HIDs, navigating the process of putting them in your car should be a snap! So, what are you waiting for? It's time to get some HIDs!