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Dim Bulb
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lately I've seen a whole LOT of talk about HID and all the things about it. I'm getting rather tired of all the hear-say being spread about, so here's the low down on HID. Kornhaus can also back me up/correct me on this as he works for Hella.

First off, HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. Unlike standard halogen lighting, HID lighting typically burns a Xenon gas at such a rate faster than the human eye can detect, hence a solid beam from the lights. HID parts include a ballast, igniter, projectors/reflectors (including dish and lense), and bulb. HID setups create a very intense, very bright light, very closely simulating sunlight during the day. The projectors/lenses create a very sharp cutoff in their beam pattern; that is there is a distinct horizontal line between light and dark. This is what prevents blinding oncoming traffic from being blinded

Again, parts included in an OE setup include ballast, igniters, projectors/relfectors (depends on the spec), bulbs, high current wires, auto-levelling mechanisms, and lense washers. Wiring starts at the ballast (which powers the bulb) connects through a high current wire to the igniter. The igniter is what starts the initial power-on of the bulb (approx 23kV of power). Sometimes the igniters are built into the ballast, sometimes on the wire between the ballast and bulb, and sometimes directly to the rear of the bulb. The bulb then sits inside the projector and the projector inside a large clear plastic housing. Recently auto-levelling and lense washers have come out. Auto-levelling is when a small motor controls the up/down aim of the cut off line when there is a load in the rear of the car (weight in back of the car pushes the headlight beam up). Lense washers are mounted on the outside of the car to keep the large clear lenses clear. I'm not positive if auto-levelling or lense washers are required for legality, but I've seen cars with and without both technologies (BMWs have both, some Acuras have neither).

HID is legal. It comes on high end vehicles such as Beamers, Mercades, Audis, some Volkswagons, etc. HID is legal when the high output bulbs are paired with a proejctor/reflector. HID is ILLEGAL and UNSAFE when a high intensity bulb and ballast are fitted inside a halogen bulb housing (IE Car toys HID kits; also found on ebay). These kits are labeled as "for off road use only" as the light emitted from this setup can blind drivers. The way around this (though technically still illegal) is to take a true HID setup (such as OEM from BMW) including the bulbs, ballasts, and projectors... and then fit the projectors into the halogen housing.

The DOT recently passed a law stating that any alterations to headlights in such manner as not offered from the factory are illegal. Fitting an HID bulb into a halogen is illegal. Technically so is fitting an HID bulb and projector into a halogen housing. Police are not thoroughly and regularly enforcing the HID laws passed by DOT, therefore you could get away with either setup. The problem in using a xenon bulb in just a halogen housing is that there is no distinct cut-off line as there is with projectors. In a halogen housing, light is emitted all over the place with no definition, creating a problem in blinding oncoming traffic.

There are multiple specs and manufacturers for HID setups. Bosch, Hella and Valeo are a few mfrs, each with their own generation of parts. There are also multiple specs, H7, D1S, D2S, etc etc. Sometime specs work interchangeably, though it isn't wise to rely on parts being inter-changeable. The best and safest way to create a semi-legal/working HID setup for your non-HID car is to purchase parts from a single spec/platform and retrofit a projector into your housings.

Xenon technology, when first becoming popular in the late 90s, only provided light as a solution for low beams. Since then a technology has come out called Bi-Xenon, which provides high and low beam light from a single bulb/projector. The way this is accomplished is by taking a projector housing and mounting a small flap/selenoid near the bulb. This flap blocks some of the light from passing through the lense (low beam). When high beams are activated the seleoid moves the flap out of the way, allowing full light to pass through the lense (high beams). Bi-Xenon came out around 2002.

There are two regulating forces to HID. In the Americas, the DOT sets rules and regulations. In europe, ECE is the governing body. I'm not positive on the differences but it's my belief that the ECE standards are more developed, better researched, and safer. Consult HIDPlanet for much more information and resources, parts, and forum help. There's also this thread which has a LOT of information in regards to HID kits.


Now, for some pics to illustrate what I'm talking about...
This is the cutoff created with a true HID Setup (xenon bulb mounted in a projector with ballast)



This is what happens when you mount a xenon bulb directly into a halogen housing (aftermarket kits, ebay, car toys, no projectors)
Notice the light has no distinct cutoff and the light spread out in all directions




These are Bi-Xenon projectors/lenses. The projector holds the bulb and focuses the light


This is how they look installed on a car from the factory


Here are the parts necessary in doing a proper retrofit to your car.
In the top center are the bulbs/projectors. Outside of them are the high voltage wires (in this case the spec is D2S). Below the projectors are the HID Xenon bulbs. The wires attach to the ballasts (at the bottom of the pic) which also include the igniters in this case.


These are also Projectors with separate igniters
 

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finally a good post on what everyone has been asking me. i know its illegal and bla bla but still gonna keep them. trust me i get blinded more by suvs right behind my @ss than i get high beamed for hot headlights. im not saying its perfect but i love my kit and as soon as i get lower kevlin rated bulbs ill never have to worry about the law on that issue. i agree with everything you said and will back you up.

still gonna sport my hid's tho ;)

-Mike
 

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Full Metal
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good write up falcon, :thumbsup: looks like you did your homework, lol....:D
 

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very nice answered my questions. does anyone have retrofitted lenses on a tbird? porkchops still look good to me just in the stock housing.
 

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i have been looking for some time now, even before i received my hid kit, some bosch or valeo projectors, and also a spare set of 96/97 headlight assemblies to experiement on.

I have driven a car with HID projectors....all i have to say is WOW! Ive got another little project in the works that im designing and testing....as soon as big mike can get me some parts....i will be one step closer, but im keeping that one under wraps.
 

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nice write up Falcon5783.

porkchop2oo2, i like your set-up, and it looks real good, well done. I'm nutz about having good headlights, etc. but not to the point of being illegal, sure you can get away with and not be bothered by the police, but the real problem i worry about are the legal ramifications envolved if you get in an accident. No matter who is at fault or the conditions, night/day, etc. if the other party finds out there are non-DOT approved safety items on your vehicle your gonna be toast.
 

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I for one have never understood the point of HID. Normal halogen is just fine for me.

Oh, and by the way, it's "Bimmer", not "Beamer". ;) :tongue: Sorry, but I just had to correct that.
 

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Dim Bulb
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Discussion Starter #8
Zachary I hope to have my setup complete in the very near future. After that either a tech write-up or a service to set the projectors/lenses up for a small charge.

Tomaso12 I agree about the legality issue. You can run around with the HID bulbs in halogen housings, but if you get in a wreck you could very easily found at fault/liable for it. If you had a projector setup on your car, if you could prove it was aimed w/in legal spec, you could probably avoid being smacked with liability and at worst get just a fine for having them.

BIMMER has HID headlights, lol, thanks for the reminder Rally. As for the advantages... HID creates light about 150-200% clearer, brighter, and sharper light than halogen lights. Because it closer replicates daylight than halogen lights, drivers operating cars with HID feel less fatigue during night and in turn have better attention and shorter reflex times.

Thanks all for the support. If there's any questions feel free to post and I'll try my best to answer
 

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wow looks like falcon isnt the other one plannin on retrofitting projectors into headlights. guess everyone is starting to come out. i wasnt really planning on doing it this soon but saw a set of projectors i HAD to get off ebay. ill be painting the inside housing black just because i like the smoked look plus it will help hide some defects also :) . i think we all have our own ideas on how we are gonna do it but i guess its a work in progress for all of us. luck to everyone and dont mess up! knowing me i probably will :(

-Mike
 

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last night I was out driving around in my truck, I thought the car in front of me had underglows on it, the glare was so bad. I was directly behind a newer honda rsx type s. He had a aftermarket hid kit, the glare was so bad, that he was not only lighting up the area in front of him, but the entire lane to the left of the car and the entire lane to the right of the car.
 

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yea this tiburon around town had a set of hids and some bluish fog lights and i swore from behind him that he had an underbody kit. friggin bright!
 

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whoa whoa whoa my kit is not that crazy..whoa whoa hold your horses! lol

wow glowing so much from the front looked like he had underglow huh? hmmmmmmmmm :cool: ...haha jus messin...

when im behind someone very closely i dont light up the lanes around him or what not. aimed the lights a little lower than i used to have i dont have problems. havent been high beamed yet. im not saying i dont have any glare just saying that its not that extreme on my car where i have blue headlights, foglights, running lots or rice lights.

-Mike
 

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This is all really cool guys. I have always wanted to do an HID setup on my 35th but have never had the info to do it., but now I have a few questions.

First, where can I get the parts and for what vehical should they be from? Two, about how much is it going to run me? Three and prolly the most important question, can I do this on my 90 SC housings even though there are two bulbs from the factory? Are there HID kits for that uses one projector for low and one for high?

Shane
 

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Dim Bulb
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Discussion Starter #14
You can get em from any car that has them OEM... BMW X5, 3-series, 7-series... Audi A4, A6, TT... VW passat... a couple lexus, mercedes, etc etc. There's a lotta 05 cars that have them as an option now. You can get em new from dealerships (a$$ expensive) or on ebay. You'll pay somewhere between $300-500 there, depends on how patient you are and what parts you buy. You can do them in 90 SC housings but you need to A) find clear lenses B) cut the lenses/diffusers (prism effect) out of the lense or C) sand the diffusers/prisms off the insides of the lenses. With the two bulbs you've got two options. Low beam Xenon & High beam Halogen, or Bi-xenon low and high and Halogen high (you would have both bulbs on when your high beams were on). Anything to put projectors into your bird won't really be offered as a kit. You could find all the HID parts you need on ebay but it won't be a direct bolt-in setup, it'll require some customization. I, along with a few others around here (not sure who all exactly) am working on a retro. Check the exterior forum for Gauging Interest: HID retrofit. I can do the swap for you but I'll have more info to provide when I get my retro finished.
 

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Falcon5783 said:
Check the exterior forum for Gauging Interest: HID retrofit. I can do the swap for you but I'll have more info to provide when I get my retro finished.
Cool! I will keep this in mind. I might have to hit you up for a set if you do start selling retro fit kits.

Shane
 

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Dim Bulb
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Discussion Starter #17
quick35th said:
Cool! I will keep this in mind. I might have to hit you up for a set if you do start selling retro fit kits.

Shane
After I get my retro done we can chat and work something out
Drive XR7 said:
HIDs are too expensive anyway. I'll put that money into heads and cam. :D
SOME people would say cam and heads are too expensive. I'll put that money into HIDs :tongue: To each his own, and like someone said on the HIDplanet forums... "halogen is for people that can see in the dark, HID is for the rest of us." But yeah, HID is just something I've wanted to do for a while
 

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Great write-up, but you neglected to mention anything about color temperature, which is the biggest problem these days with HID misconceptions. I'll write a more detailed post later, but i'm going to go drink now haha.
 

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Hello. Im new to TCCOA but I've got a little retro experience. I retroed some a6 projectors in my 94 integra and some bi-xenons into an RSX. I think a retro would only work in 96-97 headlights because of the lense design (im sure most of you know this) being smooth. I have a 94 but after reading this post I am considering buying some 96-97 headlights and playing mad scientist. I think space would be very limited in this housing and fitment could be arduous. Im not sure how far along you guys are but I am interested to know what projectors you plan on using. S2000 projectors are high on my list but they are expensive. I think Im going with A6 and gen 3 slims.
www.hidforum.com has some great info.

Thanks.

Kasey
 

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kase954rr said:
Hello. Im new to TCCOA but I've got a little retro experience. I retroed some a6 projectors in my 94 integra and some bi-xenons into an RSX. I think a retro would only work in 96-97 headlights because of the lense design (im sure most of you know this) being smooth. I have a 94 but after reading this post I am considering buying some 96-97 headlights and playing mad scientist. I think space would be very limited in this housing and fitment could be arduous. Im not sure how far along you guys are but I am interested to know what projectors you plan on using. S2000 projectors are high on my list but they are expensive. I think Im going with A6 and gen 3 slims.
www.hidforum.com has some great info.

Thanks.

Kasey
S2k projectors are by far the best in the market. But i'm sure you know already, part of the projector assembly is built into the actual s2000 headlight housing! So you essentially have to purchase the whole damn set of headlights, which really knocks the price up (unless someone already took the time to hack up the lights for you). You can also do the "washer" mod to the s2k projectors, which makes the cutoff even sharper.

A6 Projectors are good too. They have really good down road illumination, but they're pretty big so don't expect an easy fitment.
 
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