Many customers ask: "What's the difference between a good HID kit and a bad one? Is it the xenon bulb? Is it the ballast?" To put it in simple terms, it’s both -- and a little bit more. We’ve covered the ballast side a little bit in our last blog post, so today we’re going to delve into the details of the bulb. A properly manufactured HID bulb will last over 2500 hours, not flicker, produce a beautiful clean beam pattern, and offer the maximum light output (lumens) per watt that the ballast delivers.
It's All About the Bulb
To understand the performance and quality issues of an HID kit, you first have to understand how an HID bulb is made:
- Noble (xenon) gasses and metal halide salts are mixed
- Two electrodes ignite and vaporize the salts in the HID bulb
- An arc-like bubble quartz chamber surrounds the mixture
- An outside quartz tube seals it
What Could Go Wrong?
There are three things that can affect the quality and performance of an HID kit xenon bulb:
- The mixture of noble gas inside is impure, affecting its color and consistency.
- The arc electrode that seals in the bubble chamber is poorly vacuumed, creating leakage and hence a shorter bulb life.
- The quality of the outside quartz bulb can impact the UV filter effect. Those that are cheaply produced often aren't able to filter the UV light produced and could damage the headlight housing the HID bulbs are put in.
HIDextra bulbs are manufactured with these concerns in mind, and we have put a lot of thought into providing the best bulb possible.
Our Manufacturing Process Rocks!
- We ensure that the bulb's arc bubble chamber is triple vacuumed to ensure a thorough and complete seal.
- We have a metal plate at the base of the bulb to ensure that the arc tube fitment is within millimeters of spec. Any minute mis-calibrations can affect light output and beam pattern.
- The quartz glass used to encapsulate our bulbs is UL certified to meet requirements that would ensure proper UV lens protection.
- Finally, as all HID bulbs age, they go through what is known as "color-shifting” due to the slow deformation of the electrodes. That said, not all HID bulbs go through this color shift at the same rate. Those made with higher quality “bended” electrodes like HIDextra HID bulbs tend to color shift far slower than those of other cheaper made HID bulbs.
Hopefully this will help guide your purchase process when thinking about your next HID kit. Not all HID kits are made the same, and we’re here to debunk any ideas to the contrary.