Halogens, HIDs, and projectors demystified...

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

  1. sstoner911

    sstoner911 New Member

    No this is off topic as the OP has stated above....:rules:

    ---------- Post added at 05:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:31 PM ----------

    Ya thats the first sign of denial.

    Nobody said otherwise. But the facts your stating do not make actual experiences of other members and what they use any less valuable. Sometimes facts are good for Jepoardy but other than that it makes you boring.

    Shot in the dark methods? Like what? Companies sell a product people buy it. Its called free commerce. If you dont like it dont buy it. I just dont see why you have to create a thread offer up some info then call everyone stupid who doesnt fall at your feet and thank you for it. Thats certainly in proportion.

    You better state the ground rules of what can be added to your threads in the future and save yourself from having to deal with us inferior posters.
  2. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    V squared times A divided by Z=unicorn < that's superior posting :)
  3. glendayle

    glendayle New Member

    THANK YOU for putting this thread together. I've been looking around for this information for a while. I'm a new owner of a 98 Silverado. I do want to put HIDs in them, but I'm so sick of seeing HIDs thrown into halogen housings and halogen projectors. My DD is a car and it's bad enough that so many people do this with throwing light all up in everyone's faces, but this issue is only amplified in trucks(especially lifted trucks) because the lights are already windshield height to most cars. I've been contemplating building a shroud frame to make my own projectors in my car. I've got HIDs in a set of fog lights and they do give off a lot more light(actually making them functional) but I don't have to have them on. I've even got extra housings laying around to do this. I fell into the mistake of not knowing the difference between HID and Halogen projectors so I started mocking up my housings with halogen HIDs before I realized there was a difference. I just haven't gotten around to finding a proper set of HID projectors to utilize. Mostly this has been a time issue(just got married a18 months ago and being married takes way more time than dating exclusively). Pricing on projectors and aftermarket HID projectors for retrofitting has come down and I have seen additional options just in the last year or so. IF I ever get around to making these housings I will be doing an "all-on" mod so that when my brights are on, all my lights are on. That way I can look like a train coming down the road when people have their HIDs all in my face.

    Personally I'm not one that looks for weird colors. I just want a neutral color(4500k). Although I've heard that wattage will cause a slight difference in color as well.

    I've been looking for information around LEDs as well. Now you can get LEDs that put out massive amounts of light. Unfortunately, as much misinformation there is around HIDs, there is 10 times that amount of bad and incorrect information in the LED world. It makes it even more difficult to figure stuff out.
  4. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    What info did u need on LEDs? 4500k is more of a factory yellow, 6k is more of a white like the light found in the escalade lights
  5. glendayle

    glendayle New Member

    This is the 1st place I've read that says that white is about 6k. My 4500k certainly look "white" and make my standard lights look "yellow" or at least "yellowish". I'll post some pics later. Although I just did a bunch of google searches and I was finding inconsistency in what the Kelvin scale is as pertaining to color. I've been spending a bit of time on candlepowerforums.com lately and if you want to find a plethora of information around light/lumens/beam pattern/etc, then go hang out there for a bit. I'll see if I can find some better links around color also.

    As far as LEDs, there aren't(or at least hasn't been) a lot of standards around LEDs. Anywhere you go there will be packages advertising LEDs but little information around actual light output or color on them. Take for example a lot of LED flashlights you can get anywhere advertising "15 leds" but in reality, the flashlight only puts out about 30 lumens(or less). I have a flashlight that is 1 LED and puts out 150 lm(runs on 1 AA battery) and another one that has a single LED that is putting out 645 lm(runs on 1 LI-Ion 18650 battery/laptop cell). In flashlights power consumption and heat are major issues as well with LEDs. In auto applications power would not be an issue. I mean you'd have to adjust the power appropriately to the LED(s), but power consumption is not an issue. Heat is still an issue and dissipation would need to be figured. If I could get enough information around retrofitting LEDs, they would be much easier to deal with than HIDs I would think, but further research is needed to validate this assumption.
  6. zigger215

    zigger215 New Member

    I prefer gathering my info from my EE undergrad. I was wrong however, 4500 is the whitest. Here is a picture from my text in my advanced lighting design course.

    Fixture output for an LED isn't measures off single "bulbs" like other lights. For LED the lumens refer to the light output of the entire fixture. This is because each fixture can have dozens or even hundreds of LEDs. There is a very strict standard surrounding LEDs. This isnt the right thread for them but I will start a new thread later today after my last exam for the day

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  7. glendayle

    glendayle New Member

    I even hear some people claim that the 4200K level is the "truest white", but most companies go from like 4k to 4.5k to 5k in HID bulbs. I've seen a couple out there with a 4300K bulb. As far as the LEDs, I don't want to stray off topic on that. While there may be standards in manufacturing, there certainly haven't been standards in advertising(or at least loose standards). This is getting better as I've noticed lm and other things more noticeably advertised recently.

    Back to the topic on hand and perhaps this is a question for OP(or others who may know). When purchasing HID projector housings for retrofit, what identifying factors can be used to determine if it's truly for an HID bulb, or if it's just a halogen projector claiming HID status? I suppose a standard answer is going to be a reputable seller/business, but are there other ways to tell from a layman's inspection?
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    My 10th bullet in the original post was a link to a retrofitter's site (http://www.customlightz.com/?p=p_1&sName=home). That site has a wealth of information pertaining to retrofitting. The 'About Retrofitting' section of the site (http://www.customlightz.com/?p=p_19&sName=about-retrofitting) may address questions you have regarding multiple parts you'd need for retrofitting ... including shrouds (i.e. housings), ballasts, bulbs, projectors, and the like. Let me know if this helps...

    Looks like a forum member has lost -another- computer thanks to half-baked HIDs? http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/showthread.php/86823-Electrial-problems-with-hids-and-leds
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Regarding colour temperatures, this chart should help:

  10. b-radical

    b-radical New Member

    what do you think of the sylvania silverstar bulbs ? I had a pair. worked fine, good light and a little more white than cheaper bulbs.
  11. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Sylvania Silverstar Ultras are rated at a colour temperature of 4100K, so they are pretty darn white for a halogen bulb. I've not used them and have read mixed reviews on them; people running them seem to like the quality and colour of the light but complain about them burning out quickly. Your mileage may vary...

    ---------- Post added at 11:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:05 AM ----------

    I stumbled across this, today. Check the flare-up of glare from the HIDs between 0:16 and 0:17...

  12. badboy

    badboy New Member

    Thanks for your research Surreal, this has made up my mind for me. For now, light bulbs only. Do you have a write up on the diode mod? Also, does it have mod for high/low on at same time? Thanks again for the information.
  13. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Here's the link to the diode conversion thread for NBS (99-06+07classic) vehicles: http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/sh...-for-All-Lights-On-High-Beams?highlight=diode. Note that you don't have to do all of the diodes shown; simply pick/choose which ones you want. Example: If you don't want to do the diode that keeps DRLs on with low beams, skip that one.

    Thanks to some research by [MENTION=36460]reggiecab2000[/MENTION] it's come to my attention that an aftermarket Chevy HIT headlight kit exists. The Sylvania Xenarc X2020 Chevy HID kit is a drop-in kit that works for 99-02 Chevy Silverados and 00-06 Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans. It's apparently a plug and play kit that has the ballast mounted to the back side of the headlight assembly. As of this writing the following vendor has it: http://www.brightheadlights.com/Headlights-x2020.htm
  14. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew New Member

    Surreal, as usual, your post is a huge help to me. I've been interested in HIDs. Partly for form, but mostly for function. I live in an area that requires about 10-15 minutes of driving on roads that have no lights coming or going. Granted, my lights are a whole lot better than what was on my wife's old Durango. (It finally died.) We also have a lot of deer in the area and I've seen first hand what a buck can do to a car. However, with my current list of things I want to do to my truck, a retro-fit is going to be far down the list. I'll see what I can safely do to enhance vision, but it won't be HIDs for right now.


    Awesome thread I've been tremendously enlightened. I have changed plans for my truck. Thanks surrealone for the research and thanks amac for the thread heads up.
  16. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 New Member

    I don't see very good and night every car I own has hids in them. I have them properly aligned and it doesn't bother anyone. I rebuild my headlight harness with heavy duty wire in my silverado. They look the same as my moms Benz
  17. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Can you pass inspection in ALL (not just some, but all) jurisdictions? (Remember, as you pass through other localities and states you're subject to their local laws.) Also, how do you know you don't bother anyone? (Just because people didn't flash you didn't mean you didn't bother someone, so how are you 100% positive you've bothered no one?)

    These questions are asked not to attack you or to suggest you're doing anything wrong, but to pose fair, valid rhethorical questions to you for consideration.
  18. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    I was reading about people using diodes to chain lights and functionality together. Diodes drop voltage by 9/10 of a volt. that doesn't sound like an awful lot, but it makes a really big difference in terms of the brightness of the light. It also adds life to the bulbs to have them burning at the correct voltage. Another way to consider is to use dioded wires as control wires for relays.

    I ALWAYS add relays just before each headlight on EVERY vehicle I have had. The difference is definitely noteworthy. the reason being is that in today's cars and trucks, the wire to the headlights is of a smaller gauge and conductors are made from an alloy, rather than solid copper. When testing the voltage at the headlight connector, I generally see 12.3 to 12.6V at the connector with the vehicle running and the alternator supplying 13.8V. After adding in a diode, that will drop to 11.4 to 11.7 volts under load.

    If you were to use a relay to power the headlights, and your diodes in the control wiring to trigger the relays, you would get the full output of the battery and alternator voltage delivered to each light in the chain without loading up the harness wiring and headlight switch... MAJOR difference!

    On my van, I only did the low beams at first because I only had 2 relays. (I like to use a relay per light incase one fails) My low beams were brighter and whiter than my high beams until I completed the job.
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  19. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Good stuff, Moogvo!
  20. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    Thanks Surreal! If anyone is interested, I can draw up a diagram. It really is simple. I am not sure why GM didn't relay the headlights to begin with.

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