High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting systems refer to the revolutionary lighting technology that produces brilliant light by striking an electrical arc across tungsten electrodes. It is the "high intensity discharge" generated from these electrodes that produces the "whitish-bluish" lights, and hence the name, HID lights. This advanced lighting technology, easily distinguished by its intense beams of whitish-bluish lights, is commonly displayed by most upscale/luxury cars seen on the streets today. Evidently, these lights are rapidly becoming the norm on the streets because they are able to produce more light than conventional halogen lighting systems (from 200% to 300% more light), enabling the driver to see more clearly, while at the same time consuming only almost half the power (35w vs. 55w), making the car more economical to run. Furthermore, the life expectancy is up to 10 times longer than any halogen lighting systems, almost equaling the life span of the car, and only needs replacing in exceptional cases. These hard-to-beat combinations have made HID superior to any other conventional automotive lighting systems.
What is Xenon Technology?
The Xenon Bulb that comes with the kit is a micro-discharge bulb filled with a mixture of noble gases including Xenon. Unlike halogen bulbs, xenon bulbs have no filaments. Xenon lighting is based upon the gas discharge principle, where an arc of light is created between two electrodes in a specially designed inner glass tube filled with metal salts and inert gases. When current is passed through the glass tube, which has the electrodes sealed into each end of it, the gas gets hot and the metals produce the light once they are heated to a point of evaporation.
While neon emits red light and mercury emits blue light, the light produced by the xenon gas used in HID headlights is not in fact BLUE but virtually WHITE in color. The light only appears blue when compared to the warmer yellowier light produced by halogen lighting systems. Unless the inner glass tube of the xenon bulb is tinted, the heat of the gas inside determines the color of the light. This spectrum of illumination is depicted in the Kelvin Color Temperature Chart.
HID lamps (also termed as Xenon Globes) require an electronic ballast and a relay, which comes built in with the AURA Ballasts, not only for ignition but also for the HID lighting system to function properly and to maintain its operation. HID lighting is typically used when high levels of light are required and when energy efficiency and/or endurance are needed.
HID Conversion Kits have become one of the best personal investments in car accessories. The clear white light produced by HID is very similar to what we see in daylight and as a result, the objects illuminated by the HID lights would in most cases appear almost the same color as they would in daylight. This innovation, more than any other, brings truth to the saying 'Seeing is Believing’ Over the last decade, technology advancements in the automotive industry have resulted with more comfortable and safer driving through the introduction of such technologies as ABS, Airbags and Air-conditioning. Research has, however, shown that 60% of all road accidents take place in the dark. For this simple reason, it is obvious that vehicle lighting plays an integral and critical role in the overall safety of the driver.
Because the clear white light produced by HID lighting systems adapt to the natural viewing conditions of the eye, driving is made more relaxing and secure. In fact, it has also been scientifically proven that white light, as opposed to yellow light, significantly reduces the occurrence of eye fatigue and consequently enhances concentration and helps the driver remain alert at all times.
Improved lighting also enables earlier and easier identification of objects, cyclists, pedestrians and potential hazards in the road ahead. By providing an extended and lengthened view of the road ahead, HID lighting systems enables the driver to identify dangerous obstacles effortlessly and more rapidly. Consequently, drivers are able to react in good time. Better lighting therefore delivers an active contribution to road safety and driver comfort and CAN SAVE LIVES.
With all the obvious advantages that HID Lighting Systems holds over conventional Halogen Lighting Systems, some may question why car manufacturers themselves are not including HID as standard, factory-fitted equipment (OEM). The answer to that is quite simple – advanced and improved technology often translates to increased production costs. As a result, only a handful of luxury car manufacturers (such as BMW and Lexus) have decided to include this costly safety feature as factory-fitted equipment but even so, only limiting it to their upscale models (such as the BMW 5 series and the Lexus RX330).
Today, the advancements in technology have significantly reduced the cost of HID Lighting Systems. Car manufacturers themselves are beginning to realize the importance of HID as an essential safety feature and while some has begun to install HID lighting systems on their newer models as factory-fitted equipment, the majority of car manufacturers, however, are only providing HID Lighting Systems as an ‘upgrade option’ where customers end up paying thousands of dollars more for this aesthetically pleasing safety feature.
Fortunately, there are now aftermarket brands that specialize in the production and provision of world-class HID conversion kits that are available for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even boats, all of which are provided at an affordable cost. Once available only to the owners of high-end luxury cars, the recent advancements in HID technology have now placed it within the grasp of the discerning car enthusiasts. In comparison, aftermarket brands are much more affordable and perform on par with factory-fitted ones