Friday, September 21, 2007

Night Driving With Ease and HID

By Dylan Turnerr

Want to throw out your car’s headlamps for their lousy performance? You better reach out for an HID conversion kit. Rid you night driving stress and see far much beyond the dashboard.

What is HID?

If you’ve ever wondered about the bluish lights from the headlamps of other cars, you have seen HID lamps at work. It is no big secret, really. These High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps use mercury vapor, metal halide, or low or high pressure sodium. HID headlamps are more efficient and much brighter. They also draw less energy from a car’s battery.

The bluish green lamps are emitted by earlier Mercury vapor lamps. Today, the lights are whiter. Sodium lamps have yellow light, but high pressure sodium headlamps give off whiter illumination and the metal halide lamps produce light that is more natural.

The halogen-tungsten with sealed beams that you are using is fading out with the bold invasion of HID. These hit the scene in 1991 with the BMW 7-series. The North American market was quite slow in adopting the new technology, but it was immediately embraced in Europe and Japan. Finally, in 1996, the Mark VIII was the first American car to use these bulbs.

Arc Light Technology

HID bulbs produce what is known as the arc light effect. In conventional bulbs, electricity passes through a wire filament. Higher electricity voltage creates an arc of light which you see as a whiter illumination. The light produced is three times brighter than the common filament application.

HID bulbs have a lot of uses outside cars. You may also want to have the arc lights on your bike for those late afternoon races. Perhaps you need brighter light to warm your exotic plants or greens in your plant nursery. Brighter lights also assure safety on the road and security inside big retail outlets, shops, and parking lots.

Costly But Worth It

Make those long night drives during heavy rains hassle-free with HID headlamps. Upgrade your car’s headlamp with HID bulbs. You can opt for bluish, white, or yellow light. But for night driving, white light is preferable.

These bulbs are easy to install if you can get to the headlight assembly. Simply remove old bulbs and install new ones. However, you must make sure that your hands are clean and free of grease or you’ll end up contaminating the sensitive new bulbs. You can be sure that your new HID bulbs have been tried for their staying power, which passed the 200-hour test.

If you lack the tools and the expertise, you can have the bulbs installed by a mechanic. This may cost you $300 to $1,800, so make inquiries about the possibilities with regards to your car make and model.

Go For The Best HID bulbs

There are lots of HID bulbs out there. When it is about your car, look for the HID headlamps that will allow for "flash to pass" and give extra light on demand. Avoid HID bulbs that require more start up current, which may wear down your car’s wiring and other components. The best ones may be expensive, but when it comes to convenience and safety, you money is well spent.

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