Know-how about HID LIGHTS

Few people have asked for this article so I will be making this as the thread dedicated to HID questions and answers. Some basic info about HID first:

What is HID

HID stands for high-intensity discharge, the technical term for the electric arc that produces the light. Automotive HID lamps are commonly called ‘xenon headlamps’, because of the xenon gas used in the lamps. The xenon gas allows the lamps to produce minimally adequate amounts of light immediately upon startup and speed the warm-up time.
The warm-up may take 5-10 seconds depends on voltage and colour. Sample video (connected to car battery in example): Video – TinyPic – Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting

Socket types available: H1, H3, H4 (High/Low Beam), H7, H8, H10, H11, H13, 9004, 9005, 9006, 9007, D2C, D2S & D2R
Color temperatures: 3200K, 4300K, 6000K, 8000K, 10000K & 12000K Color temperature is not an indicator of brightness. Usual output of 4300K bulb is 3200 lumens. This is the maximum output. Higher temperatures will have lower light output. As a comparison a 130W halogen bulb will generate 1600-1700 lumens of light.
Anything above 4300K is for show. Human eyes see well with color temperature <5000K. Light >5000K have a blue tinge, higher you go with the temperature range will tend towards purple. Also studies have proven that light closer to sunlight is best, bluish light causes rider fatigue with longer usage. Not to mention the glare to oncoming vehicles due to higher color temperature (more scatter as temperature increases).
You also get colored Xenon. I’ve seen blue, purple even gold colored ones. Stay away from them unless you intend to be cop magnet and cause inconvenience on road.
Types of bulbs:
1. Single Xenon: Most common package with 1 HID tube per bulb focused to low beam.
2. Bi-Xenon : May not be available for all socket types. Has two HID tubes, one for each high and low beam.
3. Xenon/Halogen: Usually found in H4 socket configuration. HID tube is focused to low beam and additional 55W halogen for high beam.
4. Single Xenon hi/lo: Usually for H4 socket configuration. It has a single HID tube, but with an additional magnetic arrangement to switch between high and low beam. Useful for cases where you don’t want to loose the extra warm-up time required when switching between low and high beam. The electromagnetic arrangement with bulb moves the tube to adjust focus distance.

Typical HID package contents:
— 2 x Xenon Bulbs (Extra 2 Halogen Bulbs for H4 H/L) or 4 x Xenon Bulbs for Bi-Xenon model
— 2 x Ballasts with Buit-in Starter/Igniter
— All Necessary Wires & Installing Accessories (fuse/ cable ties)
Couple of pictures of 4300K H4 hi/lo (Halogen/Xenon) kit:

I had got a couple of sets of H4 Xenon kits for installing in bikes. The four individual bulbs and ballasts were meant to be used in:

1. Karizma (mine)
2. Comet GT250 (hisunil)
3. CBZ * (praveenkm)
4. Pulsar 180 (nfsnfs)

Of this 3 have already been installed (CBZ* is pending installation this week). The pictures of the kit are available here:…el=album&id=28

The cost of the set worked out to about Rs.7500 per pair of bulbs and ballast. The Low beam is HID bulb and the High beam is 55W halogen.

Installation is pretty straightforward.

1. Place the ballast close to the headlight assembly (lower electrical interference and loss). The ballasts are usually water and shock proof and pretty sturdy.

2. Replace existing bulb to replace with HID bulb and complete the ballast to HID wiring.

3. The HID runs on DC only hence its better to provide it with a steady DC power. Hence connect the Ballast to the battery with a fuse of 15A in series. and an additional relay for switching the ballast on/off.

Basically the wiring is as follows. Start from the positive terminal of the battery through a 15A fuse and then to the terminals of the relay. The existing wires from the headlight swtich would be used to switch the relay on/off to complete the Battery->Fuse->Relay->Ballast->HID circuit complete.

Since the High beam is just 55W the existing wiring can also be used for that purpose.

Once the ballast, HID are placed and the wiring is complete, the setup is done. You are now ready for a shining light experience.

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