Types of HID Headlights

Types of HID Headlights

Have you ever seen the bluish white headlights on a car? Those are based on HID technology. The resultant light is brighter and more powerful, leading to better visibility. HID headlights are preferred over standard yellow halogen lights that are featured in most cars. Here we will talk a little about the technology of HID bulb as understanding this will help you in comprehending different types of bulbs, which we will discuss right afterwards.

The Underlying Principles

An HID bulb comprises of an arc tube, which is enclosed in a glass envelope. When power is applied and current passes through the electrodes, the bulb turns on. An electrical arc is created inside, which metalizes the contents present in the bulb. It is on the basis of these contents that we can classify HID headlights into different types, which we will shortly discuss.

The voltage and current requirements of HID bulbs are provided with a device called ballast. Ballast is a multipurpose component that also ensures that the arc is continuously maintained. Other than this, it means an acceptable level of thermal equilibrium inside the bulb.

Sodium Vapor

A sodium vapor HID bulb can be further divided into high pressure sodium and low pressure sodium, abbreviated as HPS and LPS, respectively. Low pressure sodium bulbs are highly efficient and are used for many purposes other than automotive headlights. The bulb is ignited by an electrical arc which is made to pass through some gases. In this gaseous mixture lies sodium metal, which then continues to produce the arc at a significantly lower current requirement. As for the light, that just gets brighter.

Unlike other types of HID headlights, sodium LPS bulbs are of a yellowish orange color. This light is monochromatic in nature, which is why it is not possible to differentiate hues under the bright glow.

HPS bulbs are similar to LPS bulbs, but contain vaporized sodium instead of metallic ions. Initially, the arc is produced by mercury, but then sodium continues the glow. The pressure in HPS bulbs is very high, and so a boarder spectrum of light is produced. However, the inefficiency is lesser than that observed with LPS HID. The inside structure of an HPS bulb is different from other types. All of these operate on the basis of starting electrodes, but in HPS HID light, a high voltage electronic starter is present.

Mercury Vapor

As the name implies, mercury vapor HID lamps use mercury to produce the arc and give off the light. When the bulb turns on, a starter circuit is ignited which heats up mercury. This ionizes the substance, and when enough of it has been accumulated, an arc is produced and the vapors are illuminated. The color of the produced light is blue, which may irritate your eyes. Since the glare is too bright, mercury bulbs are often coated with other substances so that the spectrum can be broadened. The arc tube of mercury lamp is usually made of quartz and is contained in a borosilicate glass envelope.

Metal Halide

Metal halide or MH bulbs are similar to the mercury vapor bulbs, and operate on the same principle. The only difference is that they contain other metals such as Sodium and Thallium in addition to Mercury. Generally, these are metallic salts which also contribute to the main arc along with Mercury. The resultant light does not hurt the eye and covers a broader spectrum.  MH bulbs have other advantages as well over the mercury vapor HID; their quality is better and they require less time to produce an illumination. Metal halide HID can be further divided into the following types.

Quartz Metal Halide

This bulb has an efficacy in the range of 80 to 115 lumens and produces light of high quality. They may contain an additional electrode, which provides support to the ballast for igniting the bulb.

Pulse Start Quartz Metal Halide

Pulse start quartz metal halide are similar to quart metal halide bulbs, expect they offer a higher lumen range.

Ceramic Metal Halide

Ceramic metal halide has an inner tube made of ceramic instead of the standard quartz. The use of a ceramic tube allows the lamp to provide a light with better consistency in terms of glow and color over the lifetime. Ceramic metal halide has an efficacy in the range of 80 and 100 LPW. For the best HID kits, visit Review Gurus to read reviews and make a purchase as well.

You must have seen the multitude of different cars on the road with brighter and sleeker designed headlights. Yes those are HID headlights, which are available in different color variations depending upon the type of color temperature you want in your HID bulbs. The most common colors in these HID headlights are as follows;

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Purple
  • Pink

HID headlights are the latest technological advancement in the automobile industry, and as such, there are lots of people who are acquiring them to enjoy the many benefits that they have on offer. These headlights possess the ability to literally reinvent your driving experience, and add a bit of style and panache to your vehicle as well.

HID headlights not only look more pronounced than standard halogen headlights, but are also more economical and believe it or not also affect the fuel economy of your vehicle as well. They have the ability to instantly raise the appeal of any car today, along with the massive improvement in terms of vision when you are driving at night. The ever growing popularity of these HID headlights has meant that lots of car manufacturers have started providing HID headlight kits in order to successfully benefit from the demands of the general public.

A standard HID headlight kit includes 2 bulbs, HID ballasts, wires, starter, connectors and wires. The HID bulb is generally shaped like a crescent and the source of the light is produced in an arc like manner, which allows greater efficiency for the light to pass through the 2 electrodes in the headlight. These HID headlights are available in different designs, and are also made according to the specifications of the car manufacturer.

The greatest factor that generates mass appeal for HID kits lies in the fact that they produce 3 times as much light as the standard light bulb. Furthermore the quality of the light that is produced is also significantly higher than the traditional light bulb. A standard light bulb burns about 55 watts while a standard HID bulb burns only 35 watts, while also providing you with better light quality.

There are also different variations available in HID headlight kits, which are based normally on the color of the HID bulb you want to get for your vehicle. The common headlight kits for HID headlights range from 4300k to 12000k. The one thing to consider is that, the number of the light bulb has no significance on the brightness of the light produced, since all the light bulbs produce different colors due to the xenon gasses present in the bulb. The most commonly used HID headlight is the 6000k bulb, which produces a pure blazing white light.

There are several factors that may influence you into purchasing HID headlights today, but one of the primary factors is the improvement in driving experience you acquire once you install HID headlight kits. One of the major factors of HID kits lies in the fact that you can get more light from them, while also enjoying a more comfortable and convenient drive.

Drivers who have got HID headlights installed on their vehicles have fewer accidents according to reports and are therefore considered safer drivers as well. HID bulbs also the added benefits of lasting 4 times longer than the standard halogen bulbs, which helps you cut down on your expenses as well.

Factors to Consider before Installation

Everyone today wants to install HID headlight kits in their cars and why not? The level of technology available in the standard HID kits is vastly superior than the traditional factory fitted headlights of your vehicle. HID headlights are now considered to be an important car accessory and many car manufacturers are now producing factory fitted HID headlight kits and bulbs in order to increase the appeal of the automobiles. When you are looking to install HID headlights on your car you should choose a professional, since you can easily damage the HID bulb and your car headlights even if you install them incorrectly or don’t handle the bulb with care. Another thing to keep in mind is the eventual price of the HID headlight as they are much more expensive that the standard headlights in the market, but considering the extensive range of benefits they offer, it is an investment that will reinvent your driving experience in style as well.

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