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The Pros and Cons of HID Headlight Bulbs

The Pros & Cons of HID Headlight Bulbs

Are you like many drivers shopping new headlights online and looking to get rid of those old halogen bulbs in your car? It may seem like the headlight market offers an endless array of bulb options on today’s headlight market, but don’t let the many options overwhelm you.

There are a handful of benefits for drivers when they choose HID headlight bulbs, and we’ve laid out everything you need to know before making the official switch for your car’s headlights.

What does HID mean?

HID stands for high-intensity discharge lamps. Different from your stock halogen headlight bulbs or LED bulbs, HID bulbs use an electrical gas-discharge lamp similar to that of a neon sign. HID bulbs increase illumination better than most competitor car bulb designs and by eliminating the filament in the bulb, they use less power to burn brightly compared to halogen bulbs.

The Advantages

Popular among luxury cars and custom import vehicles, HID bulbs continue to grow in popularity. They utilize tungsten electrodes and an electric arc, both of which are housed inside a transparent fused quartz bulb or a projector housing which enhances the direction of the light-beam and burns up to 300% brighter than halogen bulbs on the roads and highways.

Choosing HID over halogen bulbs for your car

HID bulbs are smaller in size than halogen bulbs and they burn brighter with a variety of colors to pick from rather than the ordinary amber color light many drivers are used to. HID kits give cars the sleek and sexy nighttime look most drivers crave when pulling into the mall parking lot or valet, and they give drivers a Kelvin color rating on temperatures. With an ample amount of selection, drivers can pick from brightness levels and colors such as:

  • 3000K Incandescent Golden Yellow
  • 4300K Pure White
  • 5000K Alpine White
  • 6000K Bright White
  • 8000K Ice Blue
  • 10000K Pure Blue
  • 12000K Purple/Blue

Depending on your nighttime driving needs and stylish appeal your crave for your vehicle, keep in mind that some HID bulbs may not be legally approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). It’s of the utmost importance before you purchase new HID bulbs for your car to double-check the state’s headlight restrictions so that you don’t purchase bright headlights that will result in you driving home with a ticket.

Many states allow the yellow to white lights for fog lights or normal driving lights, however, when you dip into the blue and purple HID colors, you may only be allowed to use such HID lights for car meet up events. This is due to the levels of brightness they offer as well the color which may not be suitable for driving legally on the highways.

The disadvantages of HID car bulbs

So before you get started on your vigorous HID bulb search, there are the disadvantages to consider come when buying this particular headlight bulb style.

Life span

There’s no doubt that HID bulbs transform your car’s appearance and night time visibility, but they do however have a shorter life span compared to other bulb styles such as LED.

HID bulbs tend to come with harnessing connectors which may get confusing for novice DIY headlight installers if wire cutting is involved. The lifespan of an HID car bulb averages 2,000-2,500 hours which may seem minuscule compared to LED bulbs which can last up to 50,00-hours.

Start delay

Other downfalls to replacing your car headlights with HID bulbs is that in some cases, drivers may experience a start-up delay in the bulbs’ illumination. Because HIDs use gas instead of a filament for illumination, the bulbs sometimes will take a moment to energize to full brightness.

Slightly annoying because it keeps you in your driveway longer than anticipated, but this warm-up period in most cases takes less than a minute. If you feel that your HID lights are too dim when driving, be sure to get them fixed professionally or reinstall the wiring harness.

Overheating

Keep in mind that HID bulbs may melt the housing of your headlights. 35 watt HID bulb systems burn brightly but at lower temperatures which are less likely to melt the headlight housing. However, be cautious of HID systems that are 55 watts and higher. They do burn brighter, but hotter and depending on the quality of your headlight housing, you may risk a shorter bulb life and damage to the plastic housing.

Price

Compared to other LED and halogen car bulbs, buyers may pay more for the compact clarity and style of HID headlight bulbs. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model and harnessing connectors, drivers may have to pay extra for attachment accessories and labor if they choose professional installation. All and all, HID bulbs cost just a tad extra but you pay for the style of illumination that sets your car apart from the rest.

Find quality HID bulbs

If you’re ready to fully transform your night vision and car style for your commute, PERDE HID bulbs are some of the best on the market. Ordering HID bulbs to your home and conducting the installation yourself does save you money, but be sure to research the types that specifically fit your truck, sports car, or SUV.

The PERDE D2R 6K 35W HID bulb set is affordable and backed with a lifetime warranty, Perde HID bulbs bring excellence to your nighttime commute with a clean 6K white color and these 12V 35W bulbs stimulate your vehicle’s image plus  provide the utmost clarity when traveling the dark highways or country roads.

Patrick Kirk
I am a full-time copywriter from Naples, FL and living in Austin, TX. I have written for the automotive industry for three years, and enjoy other hobbies such as camping and mountain biking. I received my Bachelors from Florida Gulf Coast University, and served in the U.S Coast Guard.

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    7 Comments

    1. great article! very informative!

    2. Let’s not forget that the HID lights aren’t backward compatible if your factory lights were HID.

    3. It is definitely important to look into what a conversion may entail if you’re considering upgrading to HID bulbs. When buying a new car it is important to be mindful if your headlights are HID. With great brightness comes high cost. The cost is definitely the downside. A lot of people are very surprised to learn the price of replacing their headlights. But the brightness is often worth the trade off. I really liked the note to look into what is legal in your state when considering anything that did not come factory in your headlights.

    4. HID lights are such a great upgrade. Converting them may be a bit more tricky than replacing standard lights but the outcome is worth it. Especially when driving on darker roads at night.

    5. Definitely have to remember that you need to research what your car can handle. It’s not always plug and play.

    6. Plug and play systems are not always as they seem. Make sure you buy your parts from a reliable and reputable company.

    7. HID will provide better light quality. Before considering this one must take into consideration if their vehicle is compatible with HID, because unless the vehicle has HID headlights in them presently, the conversion process may require alterations to wiring. Definitely recommend speaking to a professional before looking to upgrade to HID.

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