Xenon HID - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is REAL Xenon light?
The xenon bulb is a micro discharge bulb filled with a mixture of noble gases including Xenon. The bulb has no filament as is the case with a halogen lamp. The light is created by striking and arc between 2 electrodes. The xenon lamp needs a starter for quick ignition and A electronic ballast to function properly. Although any halogen bulb can potentially contain a minute quantity of the gas To justify the name, real Xenon light is developed between two electrodes instead of a filament.
2. What are the advantages of Xenon Light?
The xenon bulb provides more than twice the amount of light of a halogen bulb, while only consuming half the power (wattage). Therefore, the driver can see more clearly, and the car has more power for other functions. Moreover, it is environmentally friendly, as less power means less fuel consumption.The clear white light produced by the Xenon bulb is similar to daylight. Research has shown that this enables drivers to concentrate better. Furthermore, this particular light colour reflects the road markings and signs better that conventional lighting. The xenon bulb also delivers a marked contribution to road safety in the event of limited visibility due to weather conditions. In practical terms, the life span of the bulb is equal to that of the car, which means that the bulb need only be replaced in exceptional cases.
3. Why was Xenon Light developed?
For more safety on our roads. In the past decade, car manufacturers have made cars safer and more comfortable by the introduction of A.B.S., air bags, air conditioning, etc. But still, no less that 60% of all traffic accidents take place in poorly lit conditions. Therefore, lighting greatly contributes actively to road safety and comfort.
4. Why is good quality car lighting so important?
Because it saves lives. Better lighting leads to earlier and improved recognition of objects, cyclists, pedestrians, road workers, etc. Earlier and improved recognition of traffic signs and road markings is also vitally important to accident prevention. Therefore, better lighting delivers an active contribution to road safety and driver comfort, and can save lives. This is in contrast to such items as air bags, which are purely passive safety measures and do not prevent accidents.
5. Can I change my headlights to Xenon gas discharge?
Yes! But...For low beam applications a replacement of existing halogen bulbs against a new Xenon headlamp is necessary. In addition to that, a cleaning & automatic levelling device is required by law when using Xenon for low beam applications.
6. What makes Xenon blue?
The light produced by a xenon bulb is in fact not blue but white, falling well within the international specifications for white light. The light only appears blue in comparison to the warmer (and yellower) light produced by halogen. It clearly appears white in comparison to daylight. The appearance of the light colour is also determined by the quality of the reflector. Real blue light in headlights are forbidden by law!!
7. Why can a xenon lamp produce the same colour as halogen?
Technically speaking it could and it is possible to adapt the light colour produced. However, this would lead to substantial loss of intensity, thereby cancelling out the particular advantages gained. i.e. Increased driver concentration and reflection of the road marking etc of white light.
8. Why is Xenon Light more expensive than halogen lighting?
Xenon lighting is not simply a question of a new type of bulb, but a whole new systemconsisting of:
1. a highly complex and hi-tech bulb, manufactured according to the highest standards of precision.
2. an electrical ballast
3. electric starter.
The price is governed by all these components. As soon as Xenon Light achieves wide-scale application, the price will drop. However, it will remain substantially more expensive than the halogen headlamp. Therefore, we should not view Xenon Light as a replacement for halogen bulbs, but as a hi-tech system for the improvement of road safety and the comfort of drivers and other road users.
9. Can I equip my car with Xenon light for fog or high beam?
Replacing high beam or fog lamps is only possible through the installation of an additional headlamp set. Please consider the legal requirements for auxiliary lighting applications that should be included in the packaging of the additional headlamps available.
10. Why is it that Xenon light sometimes causes irritation to oncoming drivers?
In normal conditions drivers look straight ahead. Due however to the conspicuous colour of the new technology drivers are more inclined to look into other cars headlights. The same phenomenon was experienced with the introduction of halogen lamps in the sixties. In those days drivers spoke of those 'irritating white lights'. Everybody will gradually become accustomed to this type of light as they did to the introduction of yellow lights in France and the use of a third brake light.
11. Is HID here to stay?
Experts indicate that automotive lighting will continue to evolve and HID lighting systems will displace the current halogen headlight technology. Experts further say that although it has been regarded as a luxury option or a prestige item, it will become a more common, expected and affordable feature.
12. Are these headlights for older drivers?
HID lighting is available for all drivers as an option to enhance appearance and safety. Older drivers may benefit because HID systems offer better illumination, especially for those who suffer from diminished night-vision.
13. What is the difference between genuine Xenon HID lights and Xenon gas- filled bulbs?
High Intensity Discharge (HID) is a type of lighting technology that replaces the filament of the light bulb with Xenon gas. The gas is ignited to produce an arc of light, when high voltage is applied. The amount of light output is three times that of a standard halogen bulb. The lamps also glow at a higher light temperature (closer to natural sunlight) that gives it its distinct colour and appearance. Other companies produce halogen bulbs that are gas-filled. They still have a filament as they are halogen technology, but the gas gives the bulb a bluer colour when lit. Xenon-filled halogen bulbs produce little or no more light output then standard halogen bulbs of the same wattage. "It should be noted that halogen technology is not comparable to the Xenon discharge technology, fitted as original equipment to more and more of the world's finest cars. " - Philips
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY COMPANIES THAT OFFER HID LOOK BULBS! They are not a true Xenon HID light system.
14. Could I not just purchase a stronger watt halogen bulb to get a brighter light?
Xenon HID lamps are 35 watts while traditional halogen bulbs are 55 watts. Even though Xenon HID lamps draw less current, they produce 3 times the light output as the higher wattage halogen bulbs. Increasing the wattage will make the bulb a little brighter but still much dimmer than the Xenon HID lamps. So as you increase the wattage on your bulb you increase the current draw on your entire electrical system.
This is critical in motorcycle applications.