What’s in a HID Bulb?

Mar 16 2012

Philips HID Bulb

Why are there TWO glass tubes on a bulb.

If you look at a bulb, you will notice the arc chamber is surrounded in glass, while there is a second glass tube covering the whole bulb. The reason is the two glasses do two different things. The inner glass is a type of glass that can handle the high temperatures and pressures generated by the arc, while letting light out. The outer glass acts as a UV filter to remove the large amounts of UV radiation produced my HID bulbs. This is why you should NEVER operate a bulb that has a cracked or missing outer glass cover. The UV radiation is so intense it can blind you and/or give you a horrible burn (equivalent to a sunburn, but can be as bad as 2nd and 3rd degree).

What are the electrodes in HID bulbs made out of?

In OEM bulbs the electrodes are made out of thoriated tungsten. Thoriated tungsten electrodes were introduced approximately fifty years ago as an alternative to the use of pure tungsten electrodes. Thoriated means that the electrodes contain 1-2% (by weight) of Thorium dioxide (ThO2). Thorium dioxide is added to the tungsten to promote electrode life, which helps the HID bulb last longer. The added thorium dioxide also promotes a more stable arc than an electrode made of pure tungsten.

How long do HID bulbs last?

Unlike halogen bulbs, which typically die when the filament snaps, HID bulbs have very few methods of mechanical failure. This results in bulbs can last an excessively long time (thousands and thousands of hours), but as time goes on the output of the bulb decreases. According to some spec sheets, at around 1500 hrs of use, an HID bulb is only emitting around 75% of its brightness. So assuming linear lifespan (which is likely not a valid assumption, but for clarities sake we will assume it is), at around 3000 hrs, the bulb is at 50% brightness. This means, a bulb may still be working long after its luminous output has fallen below that of a halogen bulb.



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Fake German Made Philips HID Kits and Bulbs

Jul 07 2011

With the increase in “Philips HID Kits” being sold in the market I figured I would put together this little blog explaining a couple of things to look for when purchasing an HID kit that uses genuine German made Philips bulbs/ballast.

1) Philips HID kit: There are many vendors in the market claiming to sell a “Philips HID kits” that use genuine German made Philips bulbs and ballasts. These kits are often sold at higher pricing given the “Philips” brand name. Unfortunately, this kit DOES NOT use genuine German made Philips bulbs and ballasts. This kit uses Chinese made bulbs and ballasts by “Philips” approved facilities. To make things even more complicated, there are now companies selling Fake Chinese made Philips kits….. An HID kit that uses genuine German made Philips bulbs and ballasts will cost you approximately $300-500 USD given the high cost of Philips components. Do not be fooled by vendors claiming to sell “Philips” HID kits at discounted prices as you are potentially getting a Chinese made HID kit at a higher cost. While the quality of the Chinese components may be good (depending on the kit you purchase), do not spend more money on it because you think it uses genuine German made Philips bulbs and ballasts. Here is an example of one fake Philips HID Kit:

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Learn More About HID Bulbs

Jul 04 2011

How can an HID bulb work without a filament?
Its better to compare an automotive HID lamp with the well known fluoresent tube. Very simplistic, light is produced by sending current through metal vapor.

What is optical difference between an hid and an halogen light source?
Its obviuos that HID bulbs have the great properties of being brighter and whiter. An HID bulb dos NOT spread light like a generic light source that spreads equal light 360 degrees:

Does HID bulbs need to be color matched?
Yes. Always get a matched pair. This means they must have the same:

  • Manufacturer
  • Seriel number

What decreases life of HID bulbs?
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The Higher The Kelvin, The Less Light Output You Get (Lumens)

Jun 27 2011

It’s apparent that many people have a misconception about bulbs, lumens, and kelvin.
The higher the Kelvin, the less light output you get (lumens) With that said, anything over 8000K is basically a waste.
So, what is the best HID Kit? 4300K is a great choice, as it has the highest light output. The problem, though, is that they have a yellow-ish tinge to them on some viewing angles that some people find un-attractive. In that case, 5000-6000k is a better choice for you….. as they have a more blue look to them.

As you can see below, 4100k has almost the same color output as natural daylight.

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How do HID Lights Really Work?

Jun 20 2011

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.

The HID Kit consist of 2 bulbs, 2 ballasts, 2 starters and 2 wire harness when needed. 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 – 8,000K color ranges for best results. The higher the K the bluer the light output is. For driving range the ideal K is between 4300K and 6500K, the closest resemblance to sunlight. The color options vary from white 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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What are the results of using 6500K and Higher HID bulbs?

Jun 15 2011

As an example, a 6500K bulb in some headlamps might not show much difference at all, others will look bluer. These are observations when standing in front of the car looking into the headlights from above. After getting over the initial thrill of cooler light, many drivers have noticed that important traffic information are not as apparent as with OEM HID Kits or 4300 HID Kits. White traffic signs are being lit too much and can feel glaring.

Exponential use of Kelvin (K) rating is used as brightness improving advertisement. Its all just big empty words, you will see that it has nothing to do with brightness and all to do with color. Going upwards from 4300K means that your light turns blue at the expense of total brightness and yellow color. Theoretically, if the same brightness were to be kept, you would have to increase the wattage of the bulb from 35 to maybe 55W.



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See Better at Night With The Right HID Kit!

Jun 07 2011

Many people complaint about that the brightness of normal headlights is very  low. They cannot see the road properly due to the dimness of the halogen. Due to  this reason, the HID conversion kits were introduced in the market.

You may have noticed many times that why sports cars have distinct headlights  that give them attractive look from other cars. The main aspect behind those  headlights is the advanced technology. These lights are called High Intensity  Discharge (HID). There are various benefits of HID lights. They provide extra  brightness, exclusive look and consume less electricity. These lights are more  advanced than halogen headlights. If you want to upgrade your vehicle, use HID kits.

Brightness is the main advantage of HID conversion. With the help of these  lights, you will be able to see clearly during nighttime. These lights provide  300% more brightness than the ordinary headlights.

There are two types of HID conversion kits available in the market. The first one is the single beam and the second is the dual beam. It depends on you, which kit would be better for your car.

The dual beam is adjustable and you can set this beam at high or low ray  depending on the time when you drive the most. The dual beam kit is costly than the single beam kit. These lights are compatible for selected cars.

These HID Kit come with different color option. However, it is necessary to  select proper xenon conversion kits depending upon your budget and car. Before  investing, always make sure that you are going to use these lights for long  period and with care, because these kits will give an attractive and exclusive  look to your car.


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35W or 50W HID Kit?

Jun 06 2011

XenonDepot only sells 35W HID conversion kits for several reasons. 55W HID conversion kits do produce slightly more light (approximately 15%-20%) than a 35W HID Kit. This increased light output usually results in a less even light spread and additional glare. 55W ballasts are not as efficient as 35W ballasts that we sell meaning that 55W ballast longevity will be compromised. Many merchants that sell 55W HID claim that 55W is a superior technology.

However, there is a reason that all cars that come with HID lights from the factory still use 35W technology and not 55W technology. These 55W HID kits often overdrive the 35W HID bulb to obtain the increased light output. As a result, you can expect the HID bulb to burn hotter which can damage your headlight. You can also expect a significantly decreased bulb life.

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Is 4300k HID Kit Really the Brightest Bulb?

Jun 02 2011

Philips is the number one manufacturer of HID bulbs. The Philips D2S bulb is
rated at 4300K at 12.8 volts and produces 3200 lumens of light. The Philips
Ultinon D2S
is 6000K at 12.8 volts and produces 2400 lumens of light. As you can see, with all other factors remaining constant, the brightness of an HID bulb declines the higher up the color index you go. 4300K has been proven through tireless independent research by the Germans, Japanese, and Americans to be the most functional, truest white and thus the brightest possible color temperature.

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What is color shifting?

May 30 2011

Philips HID Xenon bulbs start at 4300K but after around 100 hrs or so it color shifts (turns bluer) to around 4500 -5000K.

What is color shifting?
Color shifting is when a bulb, once fully warmed up, transitions to a bluer color temperature. This is due to the deformation of the electrodes that occurs as time goes on. To understand this, one must understand that near the electrodes, a region of plasma glows deep blue. As the electrodes are deformed, this region grows larger and contributes more to the color of the bulb. Bulbs that do no color shift have modified electrodes to prevent this deformation. Another tactic is to make it so that the blue area around the electrodes is not in an area that the projector can “see”. This helps to minimize its effect as well.

Note: Color shifting should not be confused with the bright blue color at warm up. While this blue color DOES come from the same regions, it occurs before the salts vaporize, when IT is one of the ONLY sources of light. Once the salts vaporize, this is suppressed and the light transitions to its proper color temperature.


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