General Hid Information

Discussion in 'Audio & Electronics' started by cobalt123, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. cobalt123

    cobalt123 Platinum Member

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    Not Exactly sure what section this should go in but here it is:



    HID Kits - What are they and what do they do?

    HID – High Intensity Discharge – A lighting system consisting of 2 bulbs, 2 ballasts and 2 starters. HID kits are designed to last longer, shine brighter and out perform any other lighting equipment on the market. HID kits are a complete replacement to your existing headlight bulb, yet are extremely easy to install.
    The HID kit has 3 pieces; a starter, a ballast and a bulb. That starter takes the signal from the vehicle (your headlight plug) and quickly sends it to the ballast. The ballast then amplifies the signal to a high current and sends it to the HID bulb. The plug in HID bulb receives the signal and creates the light.
    The bulb of an HID kit does not have a filament. Instead is filled with a mixture of gases, including Xenon, and salts. When the bulb receives the amplified power from the ballast, it energizes the gases in the bulb creating a white / blue high charge light output. The color varies, depending on the Kelvin (K) / Color Temperature of the kit. More on this below.

    Benefits of a HID Lighting System

    HID kits dramatically change the way a driver can see. It is said some 60% of accidents are caused due to poor lighting conditions. HID kits illuminate the road ahead for hundreds of feet. It is useful in rainy or wet situations where the lines are usually hard to see. Back roads are a breeze when you can see the danger ahead. These kits are also designed to last up to 10 times longer than conventional halogen bulbs. Since there is no filament to break, road bumps and shock cannot damage the lamp. If the bulb does ever have its day, it is the same as replacing a regular halogen bulb; unplug and remove. Repeat.

    What is K? Color Temperature and Kelvin

    A basic unit of thermodynamic temperature (color temperature) used to measure the hue (color) of the light output. Hid lighting kits are generally offered in 6000K – 9000K color ranges. The higher the Kelvin (K) of the kit, they bluer the light output is. Ideal driving ranger from an HID kit would be between 6000K and 8000K. This will closely replicate sunlight, the best driving conditions. Kits in the higher Kelvin range, 1000K +, are so blue that the light tends to scatter before hitting the road, leaving some lighting lost in the air. Although this adds a great look to the vehicle, it is not the most effective in the way of lighting.

    Installing a HID Lighting System

    Installing a HID kit is extremely simple and to the point. First, layout the components and find a good mounting spot for both the ballast and starter. Be sure the wiring from the both of them, including the bulb, reach without being too snug. Once you find a mounting spot, mount them securely into place. Be sure to fasten them well to the vehicle. Now, remove the stock halogen bulb from the headlight housing and unplug the plug from it. Now take that plug and plug it into the starter you just mounted. Now plug the starter into the ballast. Next, carefully plug the new bulb into the headlight housing. It should go in the same way the old one came out. Once securely fastened into place, with all rubber garments reconnected, plug the ballast into the bulb. You may have to adjust the headlights to make the light shine evenly. When you change bulbs, sometimes the adjustment can get off. Check your manual for information. That should be it, enjoy!

    EDIT:

    Starting with stock cobalt/cobaltss years 2005-till discontinued

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The HID bulb type you need is 9007 type. Since its a single bulb you will need to purchase one that has dual beam capabilities in order to use both low and hi beams. however low beam will usually suffice by itself

    Now for Projector Setups:

    There are currently 3 Generations of Projectors:

    Gen1

    [​IMG]
    Currently using the same HID bulb type are Gen 3, which is to say Type: H1
    [​IMG]

    Gen 2

    This generation on the other hand, uses a different bulb type from Gens 1 and 3. the bulb type to use is type H7
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Gen 3

    this generation projector uses the same type bulb as gen 1, the Type H1 bulb
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Now for color temperature differences

    Color Temp (K) Color Description
    3000K Yellow light (suitable for fogs)
    4300K white light with tinges of yellow
    5000K PURE white light
    6000K white light with tinges of blue
    8000K distinct blue color
    10000k blueish green light
    12000K blueish purpleish light

    As an example:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][/
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  2. FASTL61

    FASTL61 Platinum Member

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    Very nice write up!Great work!
     
  3. cobalt123

    cobalt123 Platinum Member

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    It's become apparent that there are a lot of people who go out and buy HID's without knowing what they are getting into. Basically, they are throwing cash away. So hopefully this thread helps.

    Projector vs Reflector
    Now, as some of of you may have noticed there are a few of us that tend to complain to many members about putting HID's in factory halogen reflector housings. Most of you don't understand why.... maybe this will help.

    First lets compare the light output.
    Your factory halogen system is anywhere from 550 lumens to 1100 lumens.
    HID kits range from 1200-3500 lumens; the 4300k bulbs being the most light output, and the purpley 10000+k systems dipping down to 1200 lumens.
    It's easy to see here, that a decent HID kit will produce nearly 3 times the light as a regular bulb.

    Now, lets compare the housings.
    Reflector housing are made to push the light in one direction. They do the job, but you can't control all of the light output of a bulb. You can get glare at the ends of the output light. It's caused by scattered light hitting a point on the reflector, that it wasn't supposed to hit.
    See the left image below.

    Projectors, on the other hand, take all of the reflected light, and focus it on to a projection lens. This controls the end of the output a bit better... The disadvantage though, is that a projector will put out light on in the upper directions as well. A cut off shield prevents this. It limits how much light is sent to the top of the lens.
    See the right image below.
    [​IMG]

    Now, what is glare?
    The glare I refer to is a beam of light directly hitting a persons eye.
    I'm not talking about looking at the beam from a side or any of that... I mean right at the eye.
    The reflective glare from some lights is similar to looking directly into the headlights.

    Now I hope we all understand why we don't put HID's in reflector housings.
    If you haven't got the point yet, here it is in simple terms.
    After a conversion, your light will be 3 times brighter.... so will the glare.
    Glare is what causes 'sun spots' in people eyes at night. A headlight light can cause reduced visibility for a while, but a very bright glare can actually temporarily blind a person. Not good if your the other driver.

    What about cars that have OEM HID reflectors?
    Yes, some cars, such as Lexus IS300's come from factory with HID's in reflector housings. We have to understand a few key points about this though.
    1) The housings are specially designed for HID's, as to optimally cut down on HID glare. These aren't just your everyday run of the mill housing. Although they don't have a sharp cut off, they control where the light is being emitted to.
    2) They use special bulbs; D2R. The D2R bulb has certain sections painted out on the bulb to reduce certain problematic glare areas. Also, D2R bulbs produce less light than the bulbs found in projectors.

    How does this affect me?
    Do you want to be the cause of an accident? Didn't think so.
    There have been numerous reports in the across the US and Canada of accidents being caused by temporary blindness. What do you think was the cause? PnP HID kits.

    Now it's a matter of time before the cops start cracking down on this.... and I sure hope they do.

    Then what is the right way to do it?
    Projector housings, or better yet, a retrofit.
    You can buy projector headlights for under $250 now. They have dedicated low beam projectors, with pretty good cut offs in them. They are available from many retailers, and even on eBay.
    A retro fit is indeed the best option. It basically consists of taking apart your headlights, and hacking the reflector housing to fit in a projector from a dedicated HID vehicle, like a TSX, FX35/45, or a BMW. It's actually the cheaper route in the end, but takes a lot of time. A retro can take anywhere from 12-26 hours of work, and many more hours of planning. Most retro's cost about $150-$200, plus the HID kit (bulbs and ballasts).
    On a separate positive note, many newer factory HID projector are 'bi-xenon'. They have an adjustable cut off, to allow hi and lo functions on HID. Ex) Infiniti FX34/45.

    So, that's the bottom line.
    If you are still hell bent on a PnP ghetto kit, that's your deal.... but don't cry if something bad happens. (I've heard stories ranging from 'the cops ticketed me' to 'some angry motorist smashed my headlights')

    Bulbs

    It's apparent that many people have a misconception about bulbs, lumens, and kelvin.
    So, lets clear this up right now. The higher the Kelvin, the less light output you get (lumens).
    With that said, anything over 6000K is basically a waste.
    So, what is the best bulb? IMO the 4300K is the best, as it has the highest light output. The problem, though, is that they have a yellow-ish tinge to them 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.

    (Image from HIDPlanet)
    [​IMG]

    And a few comparisons of Kelvin color;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And a comparison of Kelvin to lumens;
    Standard OEM halogen 55W 9006(HB4) = 1100lm (lumens)

    4300k D2S Philips = 3200lm (lumens)
    4300k D2R Philips = 2800lm (lumens)
    4300k D2S Philips = 2400lm (lumens) actually 5800k
    4300k D2R Philips = 2000lm (lumens) actually 5800k
    4800k D4S/R (brand) = 3800 (lumens) -- brightest in the market
    5800k D4S/R (brand) = 3300 (lumens)
    7000k D2S other = 1790lm (lumens) *(other bulb brand)
    7000k D2R other = 1390lm (lumens) *(other bulb brand)
    8000k D2S other = 1180lm (lumens) *(other bulb brand)
    8000k D2R other = 780lm (lumens) *(other bulb brand)

    Higher than 8000k, the light output significantly drops off, causing the light to be almost useless.

    One should point out that although light output drops off after 8000k, the fact that the light is in the blue-purple spectrum, it still puts a major strain on the eyes of others.


    Now, it's also important to understand the 2 main types of bulbs used by the OEM's.
    There is D2S, which is designed for projector housings. The bulb does not suppress any of light exiting the housing, as the projector controls that.
    The D2R bulb, however, has a portion painted. This is because they are commonly used in reflector housing specially designed for HID's. The painted section controls the problematic glare sections that arise when using a reflector housing. As you may have noticed, from the above chart, the D2R has a lower light output.

    D2R
    [​IMG]
    D2S
    [​IMG]


    And finally, for anyone searching for information on HID's or lighting in general, here are some important terms to know:
    (Thanks to HIDPlanet)
    Watt- Measure of electrical power (w)
    Volt- Measure of electrical charge (v)
    Kelvin- Measure of color temperature (K)
    Lumen- Measure of light brightness (lu)
    Capsule- technically correct term for a HID "bulb".
    Candela- Measure of light intensity (cd)
    Ampere- Measure of electrical current
    Cut-off- A distinctive line of light produced by the shield in a headlight that blocks light above a certain height in order to prevent blinding of other motorists.
    Beam Pattern- The pattern of light that is projected onto the ground which includes angle of lateral dispersion, width and depth of illumination.
    Capsule- Another term for an HID bulb. Some refer to HID bulbs as gas discharge capsules.
    Optics- The lighting control assembly structured around the bulb, which effects the dispersion of light and it's characteristics to a great degree.
    HID (High Intensity Discharge)= Gas Discharge
    Halogen= Incandescence

    For a more in depth crash course in HID installation, check out this sticky.
    http://www.cobaltss.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14359




    So, now I hope that this information has helped people understand the benefits of a retrofit, as opposed to a PnP kit.
    Of course a lot of people are thinking 'but it's too expensive for me'. This can't be any further from the truth.
    Many people are now going out and buying the after market halogen projectors, or CCFL headlights. They retail about $150 for a set. For that $150-$200 you could have had a proper HID retrofit, with high and low beams!

    As an FYI, here was my cost breakdown:
    Spare headlights - $80 (or use your stockers for free if your confident)
    FX45 projectors - $80
    CCFL halos - $40
    Shrouds - $5 (dollar store is king! search around... your shroud can be anything)
    Chrome edge trim - $5 (makes your install look pro)
    D2S HID kit - $100 (more $ if you want an OEM style)
    Wire - $25 (lots to left over)
    Wire Loom - $10 (I maybe used half of each bag I bought)
    Connectors - $10 (I used all weather pack and metri pack connector... a bit pricey, but quality)
    Relays - $10
    Secondary fuse box - $5
    Misc bits, solder, etc - $ under $10
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Grand total (installed) - $380

    And keep in mind... I went majorly over board with the quality on this one.
    Dual wiring for each ballast, high grade connectors, secondary fuse box... halos were defiantly optional.
    Looking back on it, I could have done the whole thing for under $250.

    Compare that to the $100 for just the PnP kit... I think the extra $150 is worth it
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  4. FASTL61

    FASTL61 Platinum Member

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    Agree'd.Info Is always good.Especially when it comes to lighting,
     
  5. wardzach2007

    wardzach2007 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, but no matter how many threads you make on HID's, they will still ask.
     
  6. cobalt123

    cobalt123 Platinum Member

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    i learned something new when i read it...apparently my 2006 ought to have a relay for the hids, but i havent had any problems even know someone i know has
     
  7. FASTL61

    FASTL61 Platinum Member

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    I didnt have relays on mine.You think if I make this a sticky it will be more noticed?
    Possibly add pics of the different color temps as well.?That would answer alot of new member questions.
     
  8. wardzach2007

    wardzach2007 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you can add pics and list the different bulb sizes for each gen, I'll sticky this. Including fogs and stock numbers
     
  9. FASTL61

    FASTL61 Platinum Member

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    Oh ya.forgot this isnt my section haha.my bad ward.
     
  10. cobalt123

    cobalt123 Platinum Member

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    will do, i got some searching to do...
     

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