Even if you’ve never heard of high intensity discharge (HID) headlights, you’ve no doubt seen them on the road, shining brighter and whiter than standard yellow-tinged halogen headlights and adding an overall slickness to any car that has them. But you might be surprised to learn that aftermarket HID lights offer much more than improved aesthetics. Here’s how their performance stacks up to stock headlights:
Brightness for HID Lights vs Stock
HID headlights, which use Xenon gas for illumination, are about three to five times brighter than halogen lights, which use heated tungsten filaments to produce light. And it’s not just the amount of brightness that counts—the white-blue light produced by HID headlights is closer to natural daylight, offering better visibility at night and less eye fatigue. Plus, the color contrast provided by HID lights allows you to quickly assess obstructions ahead, increasing your safety on the road.
Distance for HID Headlights vs. Stock
If you’ve ever driven on a rural, streetlight-free road at night, you already know the visibility limits of halogen lights. The small pool of yellow light directly in front of the car is often inadequate, and while flipping on the “brights” increases illumination, it doesn’t improve the distance of your visibility. HID lights, in contrast, reach far into the distance, extending coverage deeper into your peripheral vision as well.
Reflection for Car HID Lights vs. Stock
Going hand-in-hand with increased visibility distance, HID lights also feature greater reflection capabilities than halogen lights. Road signs and highway markers are much more reflective in HID light, which means you can see signs better from farther away. This is especially helpful when driving in unfamiliar areas at night.
Energy of Installed HID Headlights vs. Stock
Halogen bulbs draw around 55 watts of power, and much of that is wasted because it’s converted into heat rather than light. HID lights, on the other hand, draw only about 35 watts of power, which will extend the life of your car’s battery and electrical system and lower long-term maintenance costs. As an added bonus, because HID lights produce less heat, they protect plastic headlight casing from clouding—a common symptom of extended heat exposure that can limit visibility.
Longevity of Car HID Lighting vs. Stock
Halogen headlights have a maximum lifetime of about 1,000 hours under normal conditions, while HID headlights last much longer, with an average operation lifetime of about 3,000 hours. Halogen lights are also more vulnerable to damage—the sensitive tungsten filaments are prone to breaking, often requiring replacement long before they burn out. But HID lights have no physical component inside that can break, leading to fewer replacements and less waste produced.
Price of HID Light Installation in San Diego
Halogen headlights are definitely the most cost-efficient choice, but only in the short term. Replacements cost around $30 for a decent set, although frequent replacements and higher car maintenance costs can result in you paying much more in the long run. HID lights might have a higher initial price tag, but it’s offset by all the energy and longevity benefits.
Invest in safety, efficiency, and sleek aesthetics with HID headlights
At Car Stereo City, we admit to being a bit biased toward HID lights vs. halogens, but that’s because we’ve experienced the difference time and time again. We’ve been providing San Diego with high quality, brand name HID headlights and installation for years. Have more questions? Stop in or give us a call today. Our professional, knowledgeable HID light experts can answer all your questions and help you select the best headlights for your car.