View Full Version : Halogen vs. HID

10-14-2007, 10:29 PM
Can someone explain the differences between halogen systems and hid. like what comprises each system, how hids supposedly use less energy? it seems like hid is just a bunch of hyp. i was reading about the sylvania silverstar ultras, and it says they throw out at 4000k, so is that equal to the amount of light that a 4000k hid system throws. or is it just the color that is the same? i guess i may sound newb, but i just like knowing why something i might be willing to spend money on is actually better


10-14-2007, 10:33 PM
4000k is the color temperature. Think of the difference between incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Light output is measure in lumens. HID has more than twice the lumens as halogen. Highest lumens on a HID is right around 4300k with much higher temp bulbs like 8000k down near halogen light output. The 8000k and up are full on poser lights for people that want to be seen rather than see for themselves.

Unlike standard halogen bulbs, which produce light by heating a tungsten filament, HID bulbs send a high-voltage arc across two electrodes. This excites a gas, usually xenon, inside the bulb and vaporizes metallic salts, which sustain the arc. The result is two to three times the light of halogens while using one-third less energy. Carmakers add that HID bulbs should last much longer than halogen bulbs.

.Mad Hatter.
10-14-2007, 10:33 PM
not sure exatly why, but my lights are brighter than most ive seen. i actually got compliments this weekend on how it was nice to see street signs.

HID=not hype



10-14-2007, 10:39 PM
Click this link and read all about halogen and HID technologies.

All the following is quote from that link so I don't take credit for any of it.

"All of these technologies excite atoms so that they produce photons. In the case of halogen bulbs and gas lanterns, heat is doing the exciting. In other technologies it is various forms of electricity or light that create the excitement.

Most cars currently use halogen bulbs in their headlights. The new blue-ish headlights are using a different technology called High Intensity Discharge (HID). We normally see HID lamps in the form of mercury vapor and sodium vapor lights used as street lamps and as outdoor lighting for stadiums. These lamps are popular because they are efficient. In the case of sodium vapor, they are twice as efficient as normal fluorescent bulbs.

Mercury and sodium vapor lamps produce light using a technique similar to that used in fluorescent lamps. In fluorescent lamps a low-pressure mercury vapor produces lots of ultraviolet light that excites a phosphor coating the tube. In the case of mercury vapor lamps, it is a high-pressure gas, the distance between the electrodes is very short and the light is produced directly without the need for the phosphor.

In the case of HID headlights, the same high-pressure technology is used. The lamp is similar to a mercury vapor lamp. However, designers of the headlights had to solve one problem with normal mercury vapor lamps -- the fact that they have long start-up times. Xenon helps solve the start-up problem, as does a special controller. All of these tricks mean that these headlights are expensive now, but mass production should bring the cost down eventually. "

10-14-2007, 10:40 PM
Looks nice man! very blueish... 8000k bulbs perhaps?

10-14-2007, 10:41 PM
A better link with pictures that really help:

10-14-2007, 10:42 PM
sweet. thats good stuff. thanks guys

10-14-2007, 10:45 PM
so would it make sense to get nice halogen bulbs, like the silverstar ultras for my low beams, then put like 4000 or 6000k HIDs in for high beams? or the other way around?

10-14-2007, 10:53 PM
Silverstar Ultra H7 for the high beams and 4300k Phillips D2S 85122+ for the low beams with a HID kit. I've been running an RS6 kit (OE RS6 ballasts and ignitors) in stock 99.5 one piece housings for a few years. They are about to be replaced with the same 4300k bulbs in S4 HID housings with a few tweaks like being able to control the headlight range (tilting them up and down) from a knob inside the cabin.

Stock halogen projectors use an H7 bulb and will need an adapter to use a D2S HID bulb. This attempts to space the bulb for correct focusing but it still isn't quite right. The difference compared to even the best halogen bulbs is still staggering. Real D2S projectors put more light farther down the road which is preferable but not entirely necessary. I had an S4 and A4 at the same time and the difference between the two (A4 w/ HID kit vs. stock S4 with the same bulbs) wasn't all that great except on really dark freeways.

10-14-2007, 10:59 PM
do our high and low beams use the same bulbs? both h7?

10-14-2007, 11:02 PM
HIDs are also not intended to be turned on and off all the time, this greatly reduces the bulbs lifespan... this is why HID is never found in seperate high beams.

10-14-2007, 11:03 PM
do our high and low beams use the same bulbs? both h7?

Yes, on B5s with halogen headlights, this is true.

10-14-2007, 11:07 PM
ok. thanks guys. think i got my plan. going to get the silverstars for my lows for now. then, once i have the money and find decent ones, sound like you guys know where the best deals on hids kits are from other threads, i'll but the silverstars on the highs and the hids on my lows. prolly 4300k hids.

10-15-2007, 04:30 AM
Real D2S projectors put more light farther down the road which is preferable but not entirely necessary.

Actually, better projectors put more light in front of the car. The OEM HIDs on the B5 are adequate but nothing to write home about. I think the TT projectors put out about the same light (have 2 sets on my C4s with C5 A6 electronics). The OEM HIDs on my C5 A6 are substantially better, with the only substantive difference being the size of the projector itself.

The C5 A6 HIDs throw substantially more light in front of the car, on the order of 40% more. It's not so much a matter of distance but of a real blanket of light.

Just my .02

10-15-2007, 09:19 AM
True. The Honda S2000 projectors are some of the best ever. I've also been looking at what it takes to retrofit Infinity G45 multi beam projectors into the Audi housings.

Here they are fitted to a Jag XJ220S.
http://images.europeancarweb.com/features/0505_05z+Jaguar_XJ_220S+Close_Up_Projector_Headlig ht.jpg

10-15-2007, 12:36 PM
I think that the G45 multibeams would look sick on a B5.. LMK when they are ready.. [:p]

10-15-2007, 12:39 PM
I think that the G45 multibeams would look sick on a B5.. LMK when they are ready.. [:p]

Too bad they are HUGE and only put out "OK" light... not worth the time and expense.

got boost.
10-15-2007, 01:24 PM
sent you a pm i got a pair of silverstar H7 laying around.

10-15-2007, 01:49 PM
i just did a conversion of s4 [u.s.] hid housings in my oe-halogen a4 with 35w electronics from neverburnout.com [d2s]. i tried to emulate the oem setup as closely as possible as the s4's i've been in have great headlights.

the result is good but i'm not blown away. the housings were used and are fairly pitted, and i need to find good info on aiming [bentley has none..] but i may be in the market for euro hid housings.

10-15-2007, 02:03 PM
Go to my manual headlight range control thread and you'll find Modified A4's excellent headlight aiming instructions.

10-15-2007, 02:17 PM
will do thanks. i still need to order up one of those manual adjuster knobs.