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HID's: What you should know before you buy!

This is a discussion on HID's: What you should know before you buy! within the Appearance forums, part of the Specific Technical Discussion category; Here's an article I picked up from Haknslash of SRTsyndicate.com. Enjoy Info taken from my original post on hidplanet's forum. ...

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Old 03-08-2006, 02:42 PM   #1
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HID NEWB CRASH COURSE by Haknslash

Here's an article I picked up from Haknslash of SRTsyndicate.com. Enjoy

Info taken from my original post on hidplanet's forum. It can be applied here since I can manage it as time goes on.

*DISCLAIMER*

We are not responsible for your mechanical ability, and therefore can not be held liable for any mis intrepretation in the information provided to you.

NOTICE!!! Any website using this material without the author AND site administrators consent will be considered plagairism. If you are interested in using any of the info here contact me personally.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I took it upon my self to cover the bases so to speak so that you get a general idea of what all is involved with HID.

Cl*** is in session...shall we start? :thumbsup:

Bulbs
Ok, first off, lets start with the bulbs. The common mistake some people here is that all these high kelvin rated bulbs are the shizzle. Well, they couldn't be more wrong. The higher you go in kelvin, the less light and lumens you'll have. Pratically anything over 6k is really a waste if your at all concerned with your safety and brightness of lighting. So what is the best bulb out there then you ask? 4100-4300k. It has the most lumens out of all the HID bulbs produced. Thats why car manifacturers still use them today. Below is a graph showing you the variances of the light spectrum. As you can see, 4100k would be right where the "sweet spot" is on that chart. It produces near to the suns same kelvin thus giving you daylight-like output. Think of it like this, high kelvin bulbs would be like being out in the sun with sungl***es on vs a 4100k being in the sun w/o gl***es on.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also here is another good thing to know taken from the FAQ:
Yellow:
1500 k Candlelight
2700-2900 k Yellow painted fog halogen bulbs
-------------------------------
Yellowish white:
3200 k Sunrise/sunset
3200 k Premium H7 non painted halogen bulb
3400 k 1 hour from dusk/dawn
-------------------------------
White:
4100 k Philips/Osram OEM HID D2S
5500 k Bright sunny daylight around noon
----------------
Blueish white
5500-5600 k Electronic photo flash
6000 k Philips Ultinon HID D2S
6500-7500 k Overcast sky
-----------------
Blue:
9000-12000 k Blue sky
-----------------
Purple:
28000 Northern sky
12000-30000 k Ultra Violet light (black light)

Some important terms to know:
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- tecnically 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 ***embly 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



So now that you know about kelvin and some aspects of the bulbs, you might be wondering why you hear the terms D2R or D2S. Well, to put it very simply to you, D2R is a HID bulb that was designed for HID reflector housings. It has a different base than a D2S and also has a painted portion on the bulb itself. Why is it painted you ask? The paint is there to block certain areas of the bulb that would cause excessive glare in the housing. Does the paint affect bulb performance? Yes. A 4100k D2R has slightly less lumen than a 4100k D2S. Can a D2R be converted to a D2S? Yes. You would have to make a notch in the base of the bulb to match that of a D2S. you would also need to delicatly remove the painted portion of the bulb so that it would be completely visible just like a D2S. So enough about a D2R ehh, lets talk about the D2S for a sec. The D2S was designed soley for a HID projector applications. They are completely clear and give out the most efficiency of the two. Thats pratically all there is in difference between those two bulbs Below are some pics of both.

D2R Click the image to open in full size.

D2S Click the image to open in full size.

Lets move on shall we...

Ballasts
Ok, it has come to my attention some people think that if you use 2 different ballasts on the same bulbs, that one will look different than the other. Is this true? No. A ballast is a ballast (performance wise) as long as we are talking about 35W ballasts. As long as each ballast has the same exact style of connectors, they both can be used in conjunction with each other.

However, most aftermarket HID kit suppliers usually end up making their own sort of connector thus no longer using the oem style D-type connector. Thus that means some HID kits out there that use these different types of connectors, will no longer be able to connecto to a standard D2R or D2S based bulb. They make these kits like that to be universal with their rebased bulbs. If you ever plan on retroing projectors and using oem products, you aftermakret kit balast WILL NOT work and you will either have to replace the ballasts with oem components or be brave and splice in a new plug and oem connector.

So now you may be asking yourself, "so what all does a ballast do in general"? Well, here is a little bit of info on how flouresent ballast work and their basic simplicity. The same somewhat applies to automotive ballast. Our automotive ballast take in your cars DC power and converts it to AC current.



Ok, so now that you've read that, whats a electromagnet...




With that being said, you now know the basics of what all is going on inside a ballast. The DC power from your car is being turned into AC power to supply the charge needed to power up the HID bulbs. The ballast throws out 23k +/-1-2k of volts to the HID bulbs upon start-up often refered to as warm-up. This is when you seeing HID trun on and start to change colors and get brighter as they warm. This usually lasts only around 25 seconds or so on OEM ballast. Cheaper aftermarket ballast tend to warm-up longer thus causing premature bulb life loss.

Sometimes when people first get HID, they tend to show boat infront of their friends turning their HID off/on rapidly. Is this good some say? The answer is no. If you've ever seen HID turned off and on you would of noticed a 4100k turns redish-orange for a second. This is the bulbs way of saying OUCH! What happens is the bulbs have already created Xenon gas to for the light but hasn't cooled back into salts and then when the bulbs are turned back on, the ballast are sending out a start-up of 23k volts which IS NOT a good thing. The bulbs already had enough Xenon in them to supply light and didn't need the 23k shot to them. This kills bulb lifespan.

So you've learned about ballasts and bulbs now. Lets move on to the wiring now shall we....

Some people out there just aren't aware of the dangers with wiring HID straight off of your existing oem wiring. Should a relay be used to power HID, yes and always needs to be used. Why you ask perhaps? Your oem halogen equiped car was never designed or intended from the manufacturer to use or run high voltage/high current/ high amperage HID ballasts. Ballast draw a imense amount of amps upon start-up and could very seriosuly damage your wiring and not just at where its connected. We are talking serious damage to fuse boxes, ecu's, or worse could short and cause fires on very old cares that even have a hard enough time trying to power halogen. The reason why is, that when the ballast "demand" power, your car has to supply it from somewhere. Lets say its tapped into your oem headlight wire ok. Now you power up the ballasts, the draw current from your wiring, your wiring might not be up to the task so its needs help, t searches for a source and before you know it, you've now weakend not only one source but two now just to try and supply the ballast good clean power. This is why a relay harness is needed. A relay harness gets its power straight from the battery via relays. These relays are then wired to go to your ballasts now.

To understand how a relay works, go here:http://www.mgcars.org.uk/electrical/body_relays.html<----Excellent link

More about relays! http://www.bcae1.com/relays.htm

-or this one-

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/relay1.htm<-------link

What a relay does:
A relay is a kind of "remote controlled switch".

From the inception of the electric starter, some kind of remote switch was required in order to provide the power to the starter motor without bringing the heavy, unwieldy wires to the dash and, as a result, making them longer with consequent voltage drop. Having a remote switch allows application and interruption of current to be done at the most electrically efficient point in the circuit, even if it is the most ergonomically least suitable position. At first, starter motors were operated by pulling on a cable which operated the switch, much in the same way that a bonnet (hood) latch is still actuated today.

The solenoids used for inertial engaged starter motors were effectively relays. A switch, sometimes operated by a key, could p*** a small current to the solenoid which would move an actuator that would in turn engage a bigger switch capable of carrying the very large current the starter required. Later, pre engaged starter motors required that the solenoid had to do more work, throwing the pinion into the ring gear before making the electrical connection to the motor itself, and so its electric current requirements went beyond the capability of the ignition/starter switch. To overcome this limitation, a relay was used to remotely switch the solenoid. Indeed, the first relay fitted to MGB's was for this very purpose.

Basically, inside a relay there is a small electromagnet that requires, in most automotive relays, about 0.25 Amps to operate it. Once this small current is flowing, the electromagnet can pull-in (or if so configured, let-go) a switch capable, depending on the relay, of controlling many times that current, but usually from 30 Amps to 70 Amps. Not only does the relay deliver more power to the load than could be efficiently achieved with a dash or column switch and its ***ociated wiring but the dash switch and wires can be smaller, lower cost and have longer life owing to the minimal heating and arcing that results from switching, carrying and interrupting only 1/4 Amp.

A basic bottom view diagram of an ISO relay that you would use for our applications.

Click the image to open in full size.


Now that you know how a relay works, lets look at some diagrams to show you which way you need to wire your car.

*These diagrams are property of the FAQ so I do not take credit for their design*

**Special thanks to Herman, Eric, Vick and everyone else for supplying such a great database for everyone to use at the FAQ.**


**************http://faqlight.carp***ion.info/**************

NOTE-You'll need to use a diode for cars that use H4, 9004 or 9007 type bulbs in this type application so that power isn't turned off to the HID once high beams are in use.

Ok so now you know a good bit or you should be up to speed on things. But lets go over a few terminlogy we use for the projectors out there....



Hella, stanley, bosch, valeo, Zkw, and kioto= They are all headlight and projector manufacturors.

E46= The current ch***is code for the newer 99 to present 3-series models. Yes this does include the m3 because it is just a high performance 3 series coupe. In 99-01 they used low beam bosch projectors and in 2002-2004 they used bosch bi-xenon. But in the new 2005 models they use the new bi-xenon ZKW projector.


E55= the e55 is a high performance e-cl*** mercedes benz sedan. This e-cl*** family currently includes the e500 and e320, they all use the same projectors bi-xenon hella projectors. The mercedes "e55" projector is a different version of the hella bi-xenon than the audi's.


Rs6, a6= The rs6 is just a twin turbo v8 model of the audi a6 sedan and uses the exact same projectors as an audi a6. Now in the earlier years from 99-01 they used hella low beam projectors and in 2002-2004 they used hella bi-xenon projectors. In this forum the names for the newer bi-xenon projectors for the audis are the rs6 and a6 bi-xenon. The older low beams we call the a6 low beam because the audi rs6 was introduced in 2003? maybe 2002, and used the hella bi-xenon by then. The audi version is a different version of the hella bi-xenon, rather than say the e55.


7 series, e38 and e65, e60= The current Bmw 7 series sedans (e65) use the "e55 version" hella bi-xenon projectors. The older 7 series (e38) used the bosch low beam projectors. We just call them e38, e65, or 7 series bi-xenon depending on which car the projectors came from.


x5, e39, e60= The x5 is the Bmw sport utility vehicle that just happaned to use the same projectors as the 01-03 5 series sedan (e39). There is no such thing as an e39 bi-xenon projector because the e39's never came with bi-xenon. Now the older (e39s) 97-00 used the hella low beam projectors but were way different and werent seen in other cars. The 01-03 e39s got a facelift and different "angel eye" headlights with different projectors. The e39 bmw was made from 97-03. The e60 is the current 5 series updated sedan from 2004-present. They use the same version of hella bi-xenon projectors as the mercedes benz e-cl*** "e55".


S2k, tl, tsx, fx and maxima= The honda s2000's came equipped with a powerful stanley/kioto made projector that hasnt been seen in any car so we called that projector the s2k. The tl came with a bi-xenon stanley made projector that hasnt been seen in any car so we called it the tl projector. The same with the Acura Tsx and the Infiniti fx45/fx35. But the Nissan Maxima uses a bi-xenon hella projector very similar to the "e55 hella bi-xenon" but has a different sheild. The a4.s4 uses a smaller version of the other valeo projectors. The saab uses a valeo bi-xenon and the cadillac and jaguars use the valeo projectors with a 3" lense.


Audi A4/S4, Valeo D1S/D2S, Valeo= Audi a4/s4 uses the Valeo xenon projectors. The Audi A4/s4 for the years 1999.5-2001 and S4 for the year 1999-2001 use a the D2S Valeo Projectors. In 2002 the Audi A4 switched to the new body style and changed the projectors from using a D2S type bulb to a D1S bulb, then later on the new s4 was added in 2004. The difference between the A4 and S4 is that the s4 is a performance version of the s4, much like the m3 of the 3-series. There are many versions of the valeo including the valeos with the large 3" lense and the valeo bi-xenon. The audi a4s that were eqipped with halogen got projectors that were an h7 version of the a4/s4 valeo d2s projectors.

You will probably be able to figure it out from here on. e39,e46,e38,s2k,tl,tsx,fx, these are all just names they have aquired because of the car they came euipped in. These are not the names that the manufacturors named them. It would be easier just to say "audi version of the hella bi-xenon" or "e38 version of the bosch low beam projector", Lol you know what i mean. Well I hoped this helped some people figure out our termonology on srtforums.
_________________




pictures courtesy of from members of HIDPlanet accord6 (special thanks to NEON_2NR for hosting!!)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._side-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...front-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...s/E60_rear.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../E60_front.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...s/E60_side.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter02.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._side-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...front-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ingle_side.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ingle_rear.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ngle_front.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter03.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._side-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...front-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...s/ZKW_rear.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../ZKW_front.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ZKW_side02.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ZKW_side01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter02.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._side-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...front-size.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter01.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._quarter03.jpg





Ok, so now we've covered the basics and you feel confident somewhat to tackle your project. all you need now is a few ideas to help get you in the right direction. That being said, here are a few links (thanks to lilboi for the link research =D> ) to other peoples retros that might or might not help you out on your project...

http://www.emotors.ca/Articles/article.aspx?id=132

http://www.geocities.com/jvxdriver/a6_retrofit.htm

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=649072

http://faq.auto.light.tripod.com/car-tested-retro.htm

http://www.hidretro.com/page18.htm

http://josch.wilksfamily.com/HIDimages/HIDpage.htm

http://home.gwu.edu/~nloke/eclipsehidretro.html

http://spiicytuna.com/DSM/projector/

http://home.austin.rr.com/framefamily/HIDretrofit.html

http://stardust.as/crazy/gallery/album17

http://www.houseofthud.com/cartech/hids/index.html

http://www.hidforum.com/diy/

http://www.illusion-lighting.com/

http://hidforum.com/diy/e36bixenon.php

http://www.apexstunts.com/HID/

http://www.turntableteknicianz.com/c.../S14%20HID.htm

http://www.vuehaongoy.com/headlamp.html

http://scummmy.no-ip.com/index.html

http://www.vuehaongoy.com/charlieddeccls2k.html


http://members.rogers.com/dodoman/DI...ofit/index.htm

http://www.imagestation.com/album/pi...864553&start=1

http://www.imagestation.com/album/pi...&id=4291002885

http://members.rogers.com/wewong_hid/index.html

http://home.houston.rr.com/quangdtran/hid.html

http://wagdaddy_1.tripod.com/HID.htm

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/syclone1/hid/page1.htm

What are some of the advancements in HID lighting technology?

Hella has provided the public with some great short videos to get you up to snuff with the current trends and technologies in HID lighting that is utilized on OEM HID equipped cars:

Halogen/Xenon

Bi-Xenon

Cornering Light

Bending Light

Adaptive Front/Lighting System

-Hak :thumbsup:
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:57 PM   #2
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Bump for this to be a Sticky!
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:36 PM   #3
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Sticky!!!
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:18 AM   #4
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Finally, good information people can see. Maybe now we'll see less and less of those cheasy HID kits not meant to exist in the first place.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:30 AM   #5
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thats alot of info.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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ok so i have a question, since they dont make projectors for an 00 cavalier i would need the D2R's? but is that the bulb or what? im slightly confused
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drocher
ok so i have a question, since they dont make projectors for an 00 cavalier i would need the D2R's? but is that the bulb or what? im slightly confused

What you need to get the full effect of HID's is a projector retrofit like Mercury. You can get an HID kit that's plug and play but those are crap.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juandirtymessican
What you need to get the full effect of HID's is a projector retrofit like Mercury. You can get an HID kit that's plug and play but those are crap.

So basically, you need to buy the entire kit; housing, bulb, harness, etc, and spend the $1k+ to get the real deal.
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Old 05-17-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phxSS
So basically, you need to buy the entire kit; housing, bulb, harness, etc, and spend the $1k+ to get the real deal.

pretty much. Check out HIDplanet.com. There's a forum there as well that you can read up on HID and projector retrofits along with a BUY/Sell section that has many projectors and bulbs and ballasts for sale.
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:46 PM   #10
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would the DRLs need to be disabled and if so how? or if not would the autolight off button do on the column?
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HID's: What you should know before you buy!

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.
Click the image to open in full size.

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)
Click the image to open in full size.

And a few comparisons of Kelvin color;

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


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
Click the image to open in full size.
D2S
Click the image to open in full size.


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.
HID NEWB CRASH COURSE by Haknslash




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.

For anyone interested in doing a proper HID retrofit, here is a page with the physical dimensions of a few projectors.
http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4394

And a retrofit how to; thanks to Mercury
http://cobaltss.net/forums/showthrea...light=retrofit

and also, the search button is your friend;
(here is a link to a search for titles containing "retrofit")
http://cobaltss.net/forums/search.php?searchid=3038563

Additonal info from HIDPlanet.

------------------------------------------------------------------
I really hope this thread can help you guys. Ur making the road more dangerous than it already is by adding a HID kit to your car. so please do HID the right way by doing a retrofit.

HID kits are illegal due to the glare that they cause. Glare is Light that is emitted in a Uncontrollable path. When light is traveling in a uncontrollable path it can hit other vehicle operators affecting there vision because of the High amount of uncontrollable light that is being Emitted from a HID kit in a standard Halogen housing. If you have ever turned a flashlight on right in front of your face while it is dark out, that is the same feeling that the other drivers on the road experience from a standard HID kit.

OEM Vehicles such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus are all equipped with HID or Xenon Headlights. Some use reflector housing’s without projectors. Others use HID projectors.

The Lexus IS300 is a Prime Example of a HID reflector housing. It does not use a Projector. It uses a Specially designed Reflector housing that is meant to use HID. This does not create the Super sharp cutoff. But it does control where the light is being Emitted.

Other vehicles such as the Honda S2000 Use HID projectors, These Projectors are meant to use HID. They are Specially Designed and have been tested Hundreds of times to get the right projection of light while maintaining a Good Cutoff.



Here are pictures of Halogen housings mated with a HID kit


This teg is a prime example of Glare. This is what it looks like to oncoming traffic
Click the image to open in full size.

Disaster pix. HID kit in Halogen Housing
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


NOW THE GOOD SHIT..lol

This is what HID is suppose to look like.. Pictured is a STi
Click the image to open in full size.

Talk about a Razor Sharp Cutoff. Pictured is a S2000 OEM setup
Click the image to open in full size.

Article stating why the kits are illegal.
http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/glare.html


Comparison.. Pictured is a Acura TL-S with HID from the factory vs H4 6000K civic
See the difference?

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

To date, NHTSA has investigated 24 HID conversion kit suppliers; all investigations have resulted in recalls or termination of sales.
-------------------------------------------------------------



Comments from HID experts!
I will be adding in helpful comment as they roll in!

Last edited by Omega_5; 10-15-2008 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:08 PM   #12
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:12 PM   #13
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Aiming HID Projectors
Also, a quick note on how to aim these headlights.
Park the car on level ground, 25ft away from a wall.
The angled part of the cutoffs should be 3-4 ft apart. The lower section of the cut off should be a 2.1-2.5" drop.

Or, refer to this (from linuxglobal of HID Planet)
Click the image to open in full size.


HID's Foglights

There has been a lot of talk lately about HID's as foglights.
While it is a good idea to do a proper retrofit for foglights, the stock Cobalt fog projectors are not totally unacceptable. From my experience, they have a very defined cutoff that seems to work well with HID's.

On the topic of fogs though; the question arises Should I use 3000k bulbs in my fog?
Well, here is a quoted test by a member of HIDPlanet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by s10cyncrvr@HIDPlanet

A picture showing the fog thickness...
Click the image to open in full size.

4100k...
Click the image to open in full size.

3000k...
Click the image to open in full size.

4100k...
Click the image to open in full size.

3000k...
Click the image to open in full size.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

As an FYI... please note that I reference the existing HID thread for technical info regarding bulbs, ballasts, and technical terminology.
Therefore, the two threads have different purposes.

Added in the bit on OEM HID reflectors.... thank an0malous!

Last edited by Omega_5; 02-12-2008 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:14 PM   #14
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reserved.

good post man.
EVERYONE considering HIDs, or currently owning them for that matter, needs to read this stuff.

heres a pic of mercurys retrofit vs a plug and play kit in stockers.

I dont think it gets more self explanitory than this:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:30 PM   #15
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Great info, fellas....let this be a lesson to all... spend the extra couple of bucks and do it right.... 250 bucks is well worth the absense of guilt from causing an accident due to glare.

...and besides, the ccfl rings aren't that bad either
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:24 PM   #16
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great thread. thanks for taking time in writing this. thread STUCK!
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:24 PM   #17
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Thanks DC!
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:32 PM   #18
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nice man, looks like I have some work to do
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:23 PM   #19
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5 star sticky thread
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:12 PM   #20
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Thank you for doing this write up. I've been driving around my fiances 335i for 4 days now and the comparison between it's stock headlights and my stock headlights are unbelievable. It has convinced me to do this right because I live in deer country where great night vision is a must. So I've decided to start researching better headlight options for my SS/SC. This is a good start for me, but I still have a ton of questions, which means I have a ton of research to do still. Thanks for the write up.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:15 PM   #21
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great thread
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:17 PM   #22
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Great right up! Good info.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #23
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Any pics yet Omega of your setup?
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:09 PM   #24
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"Behold the new HID Bible!"

Finally anomalous has a sticky thread to shut people up with ... and if he doesn't I will!

End the HID stock headlights vs Projectors war!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega_5 View Post

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
if you guys aren't gonna retrofit because of glare atleast do it for this! look at the HUGE difference in beam pattern. that alone should sway your decision, I know it did mine
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:14 PM
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