HID vs. LED Headlights Video Comparison

Posted by Justin L on 12th Sep 2017

HID Lights vs. LED Lights Comparison

There have been many customers asking us what the differences between HIDs and LEDs are and how they compare visually. Now, we have an answer for everyone as our good friend Ian, aka Fresh WRX, recently put together a comparison video. First, let's go over some important info before you dive in and watch the video ...

HID Lights

HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlamps, also known as Xenon headlamps, have been doing well in the market because of their availability in various color temperatures and their lumen brightness. There are so many applications that can use HIDs and almost every make and model will accept HIDeXtra's conversion kits with plug-and-play design. HIDeXtra now offers HID conversion kits for motorcycles now too!

How They Work: HID bulbs are enclosed tubes filled with gases, with an electrode at each end and an electric current passing through to emit light. Xenon gas is needed only at start-up but HIDs use a metal-halide mix. There are three steps in lighting an HID bulb:

  • A high voltage pulse produces a spark that ionizes the Xenon gas, creating a tunnel of current between electrodes.
  • The temperature in the bulb rises quickly, vaporizing the metallic salts and lowering the resistance between the two electrodes.
  • The ballast switches to continuous operation, supplying the bulbs a continuous amount of power so that the electric arc will not flicker.

Advantages: Xenon headlights produce a lot more light at higher lumens. A Xenon bulb produces over 3000 lumens and can go up to 4200 lumens. HIDeXtra HIDs will last between 3500 to 4000 hours over their lifespan. HIDs are currently less expensive than LEDs, and many applications are available for almost all makes and models.

Many current makes and models (like Hyundai, Lexus, and Jeep) come equipped with stock HID headlights, but there are makers that will give you an option to upgrade to HIDs. Those who want to get the high-end look of these lights can certainly do so with HID conversion kits available from HIDeXtra.com. Keep in mind that even though these kits will fit into most vehicles, they won't look perfect without the housing made specifically for HIDs.  The most important benefit of our kits is that they feature easy plug-and-play installation that you can DIY. Your grandma's 1995 Honda Accord can look newer with HIDs!

Disadvantages: HIDs need a few seconds to reach full brightness. Choosing a Hi/Lo conversion unit made by HIDeXtra allows both high beam and low beam to work quickly by using a mechanical shade inside the reflector.  Some bulbs contain harmful substances and should be handled carefully. Fitting HIDs into existing halogen housing causes some people to complain that HIDs generate glare that could blind oncoming traffic. HIDs do not last as long as LED headlights, and do not have as many off-road lighting options compared to LEDs.

LED Headlights

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are new in headlight technology, and will probably eventually replace HIDs. LED headlights require very low power to work compared to HIDs.  When it comes to the luminescence of LEDs, they fall less than HIDs but provide much more focused rays. HIDeXtra RAZIR LED Bubble Illumination technology is tuned to focus on projecting light correctly compared to the scattered rays of HIDs.  Application varies for LEDs as smaller LED design allows manufacturers to create all kinds of shapes and assemblies.

How They Work:

  • Negative electrons move against positive holes across a semiconductor.
  • When a free electron falls into a hole that sits on a lower energy level it will lose its energy, which is released as a photon.
  • The continuous bright light is produced from this process when it occurs thousands of times.

Even though LEDs do not emit heat from the lighting process, they do create heat at the bottom of the emitter. RAZIR LED headlights are made with a cooling system to keep them from melting.

Currently, there are only a few car manufacturers that feature stock LED headlights, but that doesn't mean drivers with older makes and models can't get LEDs. HIDeXtra offers RAZIR LED headlights, tail lights, and fog lights with plug-and-play assembly for that beautiful crisp night time light. It won't be the same as Acura's Jewel Eye LED or Audi's vampire-slaying LED, but you will get the same technology behind it at a much more affordable price.

Advantages: LED headlights look super-cool and draw 1/10th the energy of HIDs to operate. LED headlights last a lot longer than HIDs, ranging up to 10,000+ hours. HIDeXtra's RAZIR LED Bubble Illumination technology is tuned to focus on projecting light correctly, especially in projector assemblies.

Disadvantages: Price is a little more than HIDs, but you get what you pay for. Low amount of lumens, and there is currently only one available color temperature, unlike HIDs which come in various colors.

So Which One Do You Buy?

We really can't tell you which one is right for you, as both HIDs and LEDs are great. It will come down to what you find more beneficial for your vehicle. If you want the brightest lights possible, try our 55w PRO Canbus Ballast HID kit. If would prefer a crisp, clean light, go with RAZIR LEDs. If you still need help deciding, please feel free to contacting us via email, online chat, or over the phone at (860) 821-8212.

HID vs. LED Video Comparison

HIDextra has been a leader in the automotive aftermarket since 2008. We design and manufacture our own line of HID and LED lighting (including off road lighting, interior & exterior lighting, and headlight housings) for both cars and motorcycles. We offer the best LED Headlights and HID Kits on the market. Our commitment to quality products and outstanding customer service is unmatched in our industry -- see for yourself! HIDeXtra: Where Extra Means Everything.