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Halogens, HIDs, and projectors demystified...

Discussion in 'Lighting Discussion' started by SurrealOne, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Like you, I, too, am glad I'm not the only one who did the homework I did. I bother to discuss it because -some- people like to do their homework and want to buy an actual improvement (rather than buy a mere look or appearance). My post was in the hope of saving people of that mindset some time ... time that I had to spend digging for myself. If I have helped someone avoid a land mine or two while making lighting decisions then this thread has paid for itself in terms of the time it took to start it. Similarly, if I have helped even one person decide to retrofit instead of half-bake their HIDs (by installing a HID kit into a halogen headlight assembly) then this thread will also have paid for the time to write it in the form of improved road safety for that person and those around him/her


    At the risk of sounding like an old man when I am not, I'll say that most want the look of HIDs and aren't after any improvement. Younger folks, especially, seem to care more about the colour of the lights rather than how well they function... especially among the ricer crowd. I don't know when form began to trump functionality ... but it definitely does with some people. Frankly, I did the diode addition on mine to run my fogs with my lows/highs ... and then slapped 65w bulbs in my fogs after checking amperages to see if I could do it safely. Since the fogs are aimed mostly downward I don't blind oncoming traffic with this and am not flashed, and I can see almost as wide across my vehicle as I can forward when running the lows.

    Add it all up and it means I spot deer at the road's edge long before I usually would have without the diode work because I can see wider, yet I'm not adding glare and, thus, not posing a safety hazard to others and myself. I'm street legal with my low beams and fogs on, since my state law permits 4 forward beams to be on ... and it cost me a whopping 20 mins and 10 bucks in diodes and heat shrink tubing to do. (25 bucks if you include the change-over to 65w for the fogs.) That's money well-spent.

    Surreal
  2. Untouchable

    Untouchable New Member

    I was thinking of doing this as well...but it appears the general consensus among many is that it is too risky. In my case, it was both for the possible improvement, as well as looks. I also have been doing research (not as extensive as yours is Surreal) and have decided against it. I like the looks, but I am far from willing to possibly cause damage to the electrical system, or worse. Not to mention, the cost of these kits are outrageous in most cases. Thanks for all the info, it helped me finalize my decision to keep my lighting system stock and spend the money on other upgrades.
  3. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    Great write-up surreal, looks like you put some solid research hrs into this subject.
  4. Chevy Girl

    Chevy Girl Member Platinum Contributor

    This was very helpful! I think I get it now!
  5. Cody Glenn Cornell

    Cody Glenn Cornell New Member

  6. sgtsjj

    sgtsjj New Member 1000 Posts

    thanks for the write up, i didnt know a lot about HID's before and have toyed with the idea of getting some, but i think im just gonna look for some good bulbs, surreal do you have any suggestions?
  7. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I'm running Cyrstalvision Ultras in my lows, highs, and fogs. They're 4000K color temp, so it's very white light. (It's not high enough in the color spectrum to have any hint of blue.) I'm very happy with them. (Happy enugh that I ran the lows/highs as a test for 4 months ... and just recently did the fogs.) They're not HIDs, but betweem the bulbs, themselves, and the diode work to have lows w/fogs and highs w/ lows & fogs on ... I can see a country mile.

    Note: I wanted to try Nokya's Cosmic White bulbs but could not find them in anything except Arctic White Stage II. :grrrrrr: (Nokya's Stage II bulbs are all high wattage -- as in beyond stock for our harnesses).

    Surreal
  8. sgtsjj

    sgtsjj New Member 1000 Posts

    where did you get your bulbs? the ones i have now are decently bright but id like something a little bit better, since i have a tendency to drive down a lot of roads that dont have any light at all
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I don't know that a bulb change, by itself, is going to get you a pile more light. The Crystalvision Ultras certainly seem to produce a bit more than OEM, but key to the added visibility is the color temp change. Perception of brightness and measured brightness are two distinctly different things ... and what's key to this difference is context. Whether or not a color temp change will work to your advantage is truly dependent upon how you physically perceive the world.

    Here's some reading to help elucidate what I'm getting at, since it's about as clear as mud. It's long but worth the read, especially when you hit the optical illusions that are merely generated by the use of different colours and shapes. When you hit this section you can begin to appreciate the various aspects of vision ... and hopefully can see why a color temp that works well for me may or may not work for you -- we all have different perception thresholds, including with colors.

    Try to imagine different shades of light on many, many shapes, while moving ... and extrapolate a bit.
    http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/course...-contrast.html

    Surreal

    P.S. I ordered my bulbs from Amazon. I'm an Amazon Prime member so I get free 2-day shipping on things they stock -- hence why I ordered from them. Pricing's usually good, too.
  10. Drake_korthos

    Drake_korthos New Member ROTM Winner

    I swapped my stock lights for RECON's xenon Diamond White bulbs, and couldn't be happier. Definate difference from the original halogens.

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