What are HID Headlight Bulbs?

HID headlights are relatively new, especially to the United States market, and use a more efficient light bulb than conventional headlights. In the following article I will discuss a brief history of these headlights and some other interesting facts and misconceptions about them. I will also take a look at some of the advantages of using HID headlights.

HID headlights were first used by BMW in 1991 in their BMW 7 series. HID headlights quickly became the preferred headlights used in European and Japanese automobiles but this change has been much slower in the United States. In 1996, Lincoln was the first US automaker to use HID headlights which they used in their Lincoln Mark VIII automobiles.

So what exactly is HID lighting? HID bulbs use arc lamp technology. Arc lamp technology uses higher voltage electricity to create an arc between 2 electrodes. This technology has been used for many years but for industrial applications. In contrast, conventional lights pass electricity through a thin wire filament.

There are some common misconceptions associated with HID lighting and headlights. Many people believe that the higher the color temperature (indicated by ‘K’ or known as the Kelvin Temperature Chart), the brighter the bulb. However, this is not true. XD7, a HID headlight manufacturer, is renowned for its range in color temperatures. Their range goes from 4000K all the way up to 12000K. As you will see, the temperature does not affect the brightness but it does affect the color of the light. For example, XD7 recommends that you go with a 6000K HID headlight if you want a natural looking light. Otherwise if you want white with tinges of yellow, then you’ll want the 5000K HID headlight or if you want white with tinges of blue, you’ll want the 8000K HID headlight. In addition to yellow and blue you can get white with tinges of green with the 10000K HID headlight or a bluish purple light with the 12000K HID headlight. In addition to the misconceptions about the color of the lights, some people believe that HID headlights are not as durable as conventional headlights. However, this is untrue. In fact, HID headlights are often more durable and can be used for off-road purposes unlike many filament headlights.

There are several advantages to using HID headlights over conventional headlights. First off, HID headlights can last up to 10 times longer than conventional headlights. Also, as I already mentioned HID headlights are often times more durable than filament headlights. However, perhaps the most important thing for many people is the distance you are able to see with HID headlights. This improvement in sight is often quite significant and could be the reason a potential auto accident is avoided.

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