HID Headlights: Positives and Negatives to Consider Before Installing

Acura HIDs

High Intensity Discharge headlights, popularly known as HIDs, have become all the rage amongst car enthusiasts, and for good reason. HIDs have plenty of substantial performance and style benefits that many drivers can take easy advantage of, but at the same time, these headlight upgrades certainly aren’t for everyone. To help you decide whether an HID conversion is the right choice for you and your car or not, we’ve broken down several major areas of consideration, so you can be properly informed before making your final installation decision.

Installation

If you drive a more recently purchased new vehicle or you have advanced automotive and technological know-how, installing HIDs should be pretty simple for you. The process may take a little bit of time, but HIDs are far from the most complicated pieces of automotive equipment to install. However, if you’re closer to a novice-level car enthusiast, deciding whether to install HIDs is really a toss-up. On older cars, you may need to make several wire harness adaptations, and if you don’t understand what ballasts are, you may have to figure that out first. The process is pretty straightforward though, so if you’re a thorough follower of directions, you should be able to get HIDs installed in under two hours (depending on the model of vehicle you own).

HID Color Chart

Performance

HIDs aren’t called headlight upgrades for nothing. Compared to the standard halogens included on most models of cars, trucks, and SUVs, HID headlights are significantly more powerful. You can expect up to 3x the brightness of conventional halogens, and light emissions that appear significantly more natural to the eyes as well, resulting in reduced eye strain. Combine that with improved peripheral vision during nighttime driving, and there really isn’t an area where HIDs don’t improve upon their predecessors. So unless your attempting to match the exact stock appearance of your vehicle’s headlights when replacing them, HIDs are an easy choice in this category.

Durability and Longevity

If your vehicle’s stock halogens are still shining brightly and haven’t had any problems, there’s no particular reason to toss them away before their time. When it comes to replacing them too, you can simply unscrew old halogen bulbs and screw new ones in, saving you time. After the initial installation process with HIDs, which may take some time, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing them any time soon. HIDs can last up to 10x longer than halogen headlights. HID bulbs are also quite durable without as many parts that can potentially be damaged, though the bulbs should never make contact with skin.

From individualized color choices to improved performance and longevity, HIDs offer substantial lighting enhancements. That’s not to say halogens aren’t solid performers in their own right and should just be tossed away if they’re working well already, but if you are seeking out a headlight upgrade, HIDs are a popular, reliable choice to make.


Filed Under: Car OpinionsCar Tech


  • http://www.drivesmartbc.ca DriveSmartBC

    The trouble with this article is that it points directly to an illegal kit. You cannot just pull the incandescent bulbs and jam an HID replacement capsule in and call it a day. You MUST replace the headlamp housing with one designed for HID as well. Failure to do so will result in poor focus of useful light for you and glare for other road users.