HID headlights are unusual in the automotive world as the bulbs, unlike the more traditional halogen bulbs or tungsten bulbs, do not have a filament. For some time now we have been used to cars that had a halogen headlamp or tungsten headlamp that derived its illumination qualities from a superheated filament. The bulbs in HID headlights are filled with xenon gas. The xenon gas is under pressure and becomes highly excited in the space between two high-voltage electrodes, producing a very brilliant light.
This kind of headlight is sometimes called an xenon short-arc lamp, or even xenon headlights. The light produced is extremely bright with a bluish tint. It can produce the light equivalent of three traditional halogen bulbs or tungsten bulbs, and it can do this with less power required. When the car headlight is switched on, the xenon gas almost immediately turns into a super-heated plasma that gives off an incredibly bright light. When the light is focused and directed properly, it becomes an extremely potent light that makes nighttime driving a lot easier and safer too.
For more than 90 years the main standard lighting equipment on cars was the sealed beam headlamp. It used an incandescent bulb, and while it didn’t have too much energy efficiency, it worked fine, and some older cars today still use them without any problems. In the early 1990s, however, a new technology was introduced to the automotive industry – high-intensity discharge lamps, or HID headlights, as they have become known, that were like nothing that had gone before. They could produce a glare-free high beam and a light that turned night into a much safer place for motorists.
The 1991 model of the BMW 7 series was the first commercially produced car to use HID headlights. Costs were high at first, but as more and more manufacturers took up the idea of incorporating HID headlights into their own car models, costs began to drop and continue to do so to the point where now almost every car manufacturer has HID headlights on one or more of the models they produce.
The super-heated xenon gas of the HID headlights only requires a very low voltage to work at their full potential. This means they have a very high energy efficiency, unlike their predecessors. These lights have also made night time driving a lot safer as the powerful white light can illuminate street and road signs much farther away than previously. This gives a driver more time to react because of the increased visibility.
The incredible intensity of the light given off by the HID headlights means that the xenon bulb is usually located behind a projector headlight assembly. This in turn means that the light can be very accurately focused and projected in a way that the more traditional halogen bulbs and tungsten bulbs can not. To make the situation even better, most cars fitted with HID headlights also have headlamp levelling systems fitted as well. This allows for a much better headlamp performance as it can now raise and lower the angle of the HID headlights to compensate for added loads.
At Headlight Direct we carry high quality lamps and conversion kits. Give us a call today to find out more.