Hello fellow modders today we will be taking an in depth look into what is arguably the most tone setting mod for any build and that’s your headlights because after all it’s not about how you look at a car, it’s about how the car looks at you.
HID Xenon – Halogen – LED
If you are anything like me the first time you went looking for alternatives for your globes you hit with a few acronyms and no real idea of what any of them ment, so today Modhound is here to help you decide what best suits you, your ride, style and most importantly what each offers in terms of safety.
Forward is only advantageous when you can see where you are going.
Halogen bulbs have been auto makers go to source of lighting since the mid 1960s which feature tungsten filaments encased in a halogen gas filled bulb somewhat similar to that of your standard household light bulb.
For many years this has been the standard and most cost effective reliable way to produce light which is achieved by the tungsten heating up when the electrical current reaches the filament causing it to glow.
Halogen bulbs being the most common bulb are available in a huge variety with each independent manufacturer offering their own take on the technology to help them stand above the rest with even some of the most basic ones offering an improvement on the original manufacturers supplied bulbs, especially true on older cars.
HID or Xenon Lights
The HID or High Intensity Discharge form of lighting is achieved by a special housing containing a mixture of rare gases and metals which when heated produce a bright white glow which is typically two to three times brighter than that of a halogen bulb.
HID lights get their more common name as xenon lights for the xenon gas that exists within them helping to stabilize and reduce the flickering while the light itself heats up, although it typically takes a few minutes for them to reach their full brightness they stand well above halogen bulbs for brightness and have a distinct and attractive blue tinge around the cool white glow of the bulb.
Although typically it is very expensive to convert a standard halogen bulb housing to accept a true xenon upgrade this can be achieved by a HID conversion kit which are designed in such a manner that they will fit into a headlight housing that would only usually take a typical halogen bulb.
If the idea of solid long term lighting bulbs that produce very little heat when compared to it’s two other brothers excites you then look no further than the LED bulb replacement, the LED or Light Emitting Diode started life as a simple small very efficient lighting solution often found on the dirty cream coloured computer towers of old but have since found their way into nearly everything because they can produce solid light for extended periods of time and require very little power while doing so.
These little legends may not be quite as bright as a HID Xenon light but reach their maximum lighting potential with a millionth of a second giving full clear light far quicker than your eye can register and are widely available for almost any vehicle on the roads today.
A breakdown of pros and cons
Halogen – Cheap and available for nearly anything on the road today a solid and reliable source of lighting with hundreds if not thousands of different bulbs available to suit you needs.
HID Xenon – Brightest of the bunch but also the most costly, headlights that didn’t naturally come with this option can be expensive to convert and often require professional installation even when purchasing a HID conversion kit to suit your ride.
LED – Bright and dependable LED based lighting can be some of the most reliable and efficient sources of lighting used to give your standard halogen lights a much needed boost into the current generation.
Although any and all mods should be enjoyable please always ensure that what your do to your car is legal in your area before you do it.
What are your thoughts?
Feel free to comment below and let us know what your experiences with trying different bulbs are!