Sunday, October 3, 2010

How HID Headlights Work

HID lights have become extremely popular among car enthusiasts. Available in various hues, these lights are very popular at car shows now. For the purpose of driving, they offer illuminated night driving as well widen the visible night driving range. So what are these lights made of and how do they work? What makes them so desirable?

HID stands for High Intensity Discharge and produce more light and last longer than the standard light bulbs that have been on the market for years. Most models of new vehicles come standard with HID lights and they can be retro-fitted on older cars as well. When HID first came out they could only be installed by factory dealerships at a high price. Areas like Northern Virginia and Washington DC, there are mobile services that can install them at half the price.

The HID lights consist of 2 bulbs, 2 ballasts and 2 starters. To work, the starter takes the signal from the vehicle and quickly sends that signal to the ballast. The signal is amplified by the ballast and the signal then becomes a high current signal that is sent to the bulb. The plug in HID bulb receives the signal and creates the light. Filled with a mixture of gases and salts, the bulb receives the amplified power from the ballast. That power then energizes the gases in the bulb which creates a white/blue light output. The various colors depend on the Kelvin (K)/color temperature of the kit.

The K is measured in ranges from 3,000K – 10,000K color ranges. The higher the K the bluer the light output is. For driving range the ideal K is between 6000K and 8000K, the closest resemblance to sunlight. The color options vary from white to purple to blue so that the driver can find what works best for them. Not only are HID light a plus for the headlights, but can give a car a great under glow lighting as well.

In regards to how they affect driving, up to 60% of all night accidents are said to be caused by poor lighting. HID lights improve night vision greatly. HID lights illuminate hundreds of feet to the front and provide a wider range from side to side. While driving in the rain, HID lights will show where lines are making it easier to stay on the road and your lane.

Another plus to HID bulbs is their longevity. They will last up to ten times longer than the standard halogen bulbs. With no filament to break, the shock from road bumps aren't as likely to damage HID lights. This is another bonus that makes HID bulbs even more desirable that they are more economical than halogen bulbs.

An even better plus for the HID bulbs, that in spite of the power they put out they draw less from the vehicle's power source than halogen bulbs. This in turns pulls less on your car's motor and less pull from the gas tank! So you get a brighter and colorful output, longer lasting bulbs and a cool look too! The HID bulbs will add class to your car as well as give you a bit more confidence behind the wheel when driving and save you money!

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