Xenon Bulbs

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xenon bulbsXenon bulbs, also referred to as HID (high-intensity-discharge) headlights use xenon gas to generate a slightly bluish light that is up to three times brighter than traditional halogen headlights.

What Are Xenon Bulbs?

Technically a (HID) high-intensity-discharge bulb, xenon bulbs are named after the inert gas that they utilize to amplify light produced by electricity bouncing between two electrodes. Unlike incandescent bulbs, xenon bulbs don’t use a filament, and they typically can last two to three times longer. Xenon bulbs also provide for much more uniform intensity. If you were to point a set of xenon headlights at a flat surface, such as a wall, you would see that they define a crisp, sharp line at the top edge of the projected light pattern. This is unlike conventional halogen headlights, which have a gradual fade to the light pattern. Xenon bulbs produce ultraviolet (UV) in addition to visible light, which tends to make reflective highway and street signs glow more brilliantly.

xenon headlightsSome people claim to be blinded by xenon bulbs intensity, a complaint that some folks were making almost 2 decades ago when halogen headlights first came into existence. Xenon bulbs will become more accepting once drivers start to get accustomed to the bluish light cast and no longer stare directly at them. Most cars that use xenon bulbs for their headlights abide by a provision to ensure that they are not blinding oncoming traffic, even when a trunk may be weighed down, causing the xenon headlights to aim higher. Car maker Mercedes-Benz employs self-leveling technology in the headlights themselves, while other manufacturers have automatic leveling for the entire vehicle, both of which achieves the same goal.

The seemingly blinding bluish lights that you occasionally see on today’s roads could possibly be copycats. Not long after the first xenon bulbs appeared on certain BMWs in 1993, some aftermarket companies began manufacturing blue xenon headlight bulbs and also accessory lights. The folks who tend to drive around with blue xenon bulbs also want to make sure that others see them, so they sometimes tend to aim their headlights higher than other drivers appreciate. Most of these aftermarket wanna be “xenon bulbs” are merely conventional incandescent bulbs coated with a blue coating or simply blue glass. Some of them even include xenon gas simply for marketing purposes, but they still employ a filament, instead of the gap-jumping arc used in true xenon bulbs.

>>Find Xenon Bulbs That Fit Your Car<<

True Xenon Bulbs & HID Conversion Kits

Real HID headlights operate on high voltages, 15,000-20,000 volts, to jump the gap when they are first turned on and upwards of around 80 volts thereafter. Therefore, xenon bulbs require additional components, such as a ballast, which is a type of transformer. xenon conversion kitOffroad-style HID light kits and accessories that come equipped with a separate ballast are quite common. Becoming more popular, there are plenty of true HID headlight conversion kits that can be added onto a car not equipped with factory installed HID’s. The best examples that we have seen are full headlight assemblies which include the ballast, and are not simply xenon bulbs that fit into your car’s existing assemblies.

In the future, you are sure to see more more using xenon bulbs and HID headlights. While they used to be rather expensive and only available on cars with premium option packages, they are now affordable and available for most vehicles. Today’s HID systems are lighter and smaller, which allows for smaller headlamp assemblies. This is an advantage to engineers and vehicle designers alike. Even though xenon bulbs operate on higher voltage, the electrical current that they draw is actually only around half that of halogen headlights, which is yet another plus.

We cannot forget to mention the issue of performance. Perhaps once you drive behind headlights with xenon bulbs, you may likely never want to go back.

Best Xenon Bulbs For Cars

XENON HEADLIGHTBRANDMODELRATINGLINKSPRICE & AVAILABILITY
PhilipsD2R4.5ReviewsCheck Price
SylvaniaSilverStar4.0ReviewsCheck Price
PhilipsD4R4.7ReviewsCheck Price
KensunD2S 6000K4.3ReviewsCheck Price
InnovitedD2-8000K4.5ReviewsCheck Price

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