Some refer to this technology as HID for short, which stands for High-Intensity Discharge. The Headlight Technology that raised the standard of brightness in the Automotive Headlight Industry. The HID outputs light more than 300%+ brighter than your stock halogens, 3 times more light.
New Vehicles Lights | Expectations?
When you purchase a new vehicle you are sold on all the new features, WiFi, Navigation, Apple Car Play, Steering Wheel Controls and countless other options and features. Usually, the Headlights are rarely mentioned and their capabilities. If you just purchase a vehicle and the first time you went for a drive at night, you were struggling to see the road in front of you? Join the club, a lot of new car owners are a bit disappointed in the new vehicles that have not mastered their headlight technology overall performance.
Some manufacturers have gone with projector style headlights and the quality of the projector is just lacking in concentrating the light where you really need it. I have had several customers complain about the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban which has the projectors and HID systems from the factory. Retrofitting some Premium Aftermarket Projectors and Aftermarket HID system would be the best solution in this case. In any case in this day and age, if the lights are halogen, you are defiantly behind in the Lighting Technology and you would benefit from any upgrade LED or HID.
SELECTING A HID CONVERSION KIT
AC BALLAST VS. DC BALLAST
You get what you pay for but, you have to understand what quality is worth and not to get overcharged in the process. There are two styles AC and DC Ballast and Bulbs.
DC HID KITS: (Direct Current) The Electrical Current flows in one direction, causes several issues that shorten the life of the components and doesn’t last very long. I don’t recommend this style for those looking for reliability. If your vehicle requires the headlight to be removed to access the bulb, this will cause you some trouble if the bulb blows often. These kits appeal to those who want to save money, don’t plan to keep the vehicle long or don’t mind tinkering with the lights and have extra parts.
- Unstable Power Supply
- Short lifespan
AC HID KITS: (Alternating Current) The Electrical Current switches back and forth alternating between positive and negative. This allows components to work smoother and more efficiently to extend the lifespan of the components. The ballast and bulbs are stable holds color well and no flickering due to power strain of the electrical system.
- Cost a little more than DC, but the few dollars are well worth it!
KELVIN REFERENCE GUIDE:
3000K: Has a deep yellow output perfect for use in fog lights. The yellow light penetrates through snow, rain, and fog more effectively than white or blue light, making it more ideal for bad weather applications.
4300K: Has a slightly yellowish output similar to that of sunlight. All cars that come equipped with HID headlights from the factory use 4300K bulbs. If you want the most usable light, 4300K is the Kelvin rating for you.
5000K: A pure white output, no tinge of yellow, and no tinge of blue.
6000K+: the First tinge of blue and my personal favorite in the Kelvins. As you move into the higher kelvin ratings, your light output will appear more bluish-purple in hue, but the bulbs won’t be physically as bright.
5500K – 6500K I recommend for brightness. 8000k is a BLUE STATMENT and it is brighter than a halogen bulb but not as bright as your 5000K. As the Kelvin rating of a bulb increases, its Lumen rating decreases. Simply put: 4300K bulbs will put more usable light on the road compared to 6000K, 8000K, 15,000K bulbs. I believe in controlled test results, the best test is behind the steering wheel and this has to be done by you personally.
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A HID KIT READ THIS!
You want the best waterproof (AC) ballast you can find. This is 90% of the reason for failure. I have never used a plastic ballast in all my years of installing, but I have replaced hundreds.
35 Watt Ballast: Will usually last 3-5 years. The HID bulb can put out maximum light and endure for longer periods of time, idea power rating!
50 Watt Ballast: Will typically last 2-2.5 years before usually, the bulbs need replacing. If you are over the top and want extra brightness this is where it is! It will come with a cost!!! More heat output from the bulb. The HID bulb life is shortened a bit, the brightness is 30-35% greater!
Warranty: Make sure you understand the warranty policy when buying online. Usually Standard HID kits have at least a one-year warranty and Premium HID kits offer 3 years.
HID INSTALLATION TIPS
These are just a few tips to add to your collection, there are plenty of videos that will take you step by step, I’m not going to run down every little detail here, just offer some advanced tips that will help you out. I will also provide you with a few links to some great information from reputable sources. I always tell this to anyone that does an installation, the life of the installation is in how well the actual install was done!
It’s a good idea to have the vehicle off and the lights as well before you get started.
I always work the vehicle keeping both sides at the same point, this either makes me faster or at least makes me feel like I’m going faster anyway lol. (Example: I remove Left and Right factory bulbs one and then the other, I install Left and right HID bulbs one and then the other, Mount Left and Right Ballast etc…) Try this it will make you look like a PRO even if you’re a beginner!
Be careful when removing factory bulbs, can be reused if you have a bulb out if you don’t have a spare HID bulb.
Ballast should be mounted securely as high as possible with the wires pointing down. This way if the ballast gets wet the water has a place to dip off and not hang around to find its way through cracks and crevices. Watch for moving parts and in some cases leaky hoses etc.. If you have issues around an area and notice something that may cause an issue, immediately fix it or tell the owner to address the issue.
Test. Advanced vehicles will need to be started and let to run for 3-5 minutes. Taking the vehicle around the block is not a bad idea, look at the headlights when you pull up behind someone or off any reflection you can find to make sure they all are shining bright! This will let the computer have a chance to either do nothing and work perfectly fine or bring to your attention then it’s going to need some additional parts! Cut them off wait 30 seconds and turn them back on and if you had no issues then wrap it up! Solid Installation!
Recommendations: Always use a wire harness to ensure that your ballast has recommended power for startup. This prevents one from being on & one not igniting, having to cut the switch off and back on to get them both working. Know the electrical requirements of your vehicle, additional parts can be required to work properly.
Want to know more about how HID Bulbs and how they work? Watch this!
HID Bulb Comparison Click here!
See a Premium HID System Video Watch this!
Best 50W H11 HID Kit and where to buy? Click here!
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