How Do HID Headlights Compare to LED headlights?
When cars were first invented they were accompanied by halogen headlights. But from the last two decades HID and LED headlights have slowly started replacing them. Halogen and hid conversion kits reviews were first favored over LEDs. After some improvements were made to the LED technology, they replaced the halogen lights. There is no saying which one is better, but both are definitely better options than halogen headlights.
To compare them better, let us first discuss what are LED and HID lights.
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What are LEDs?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. Unlike halogen bulbs, they do not have a filament through which current passes. They pass current through semi-conductors. The movement of electrons through the semi-conductor material produces light. LEDs have been in use for decades. Audi used full-LED headlights in the V10 model of their sports car in 2007. LEDs can be made in several sizes. This ability allows the manufacturers to dim some parts of the light while allowing the rest to burn bright. This proves very useful during night driving. You can shine light on the road ahead of you and dim it on the oncoming traffic in the surrounding areas.
You can find LED replacement kits, or you can just buy an entire LED light fixture. The LED lights in the replacement kits are designed to be of drop-in shape so they can fit in place of conventional halogen bulbs. If you’d like to go with the more expensive option and buy a whole LED fixture then you may need some additional electronics in your car. That is because LEDs require less voltage than the conventional voltage that cars provide. They also produce some heat so you’d need to provide a cooling mechanism. The lifetime of the LEDs depends on their operating temperature. If it is low then they would last longer.
Benefits of LED headlights
- They produce more light by using less energy from your vehicle
- Their average lifespan is 5 times longer than halogen bulbs
- The clean white light will provide good visibility in darker places
- They illuminate instantly and provide full brightness and even color when powered on
- They are durable and can stand harsh weather and a lot of wear and tear
- They don’t require much maintenance
- It is highly unlikely that they will produce enough heat to pose a risk of fire or blow a fuse
What are HIDs?
HID stands for high-intensity discharge. They are often called xenon bulbs. That is because the gas used in these bulbs is xenon. The source of light in these bulbs is the electric arc that is produced between two tungsten elements. HIDs are commonly used in street lights or floor lamps in various places. These bulbs produce white light that is much brighter than halogen bulbs. That is why the trend of using them in headlights appeared. These lights are also famous for the blue tinge to the light that they produce, which makes them look kind of cool. You can find full replacement HID headlight kits or plug-in kits. They require ballasts for installation. Ballast creates a high voltage pulse, which allows the production of the electric arc. It also controls and regulates the flow of current to the bulb. The life of the HID bulb depends upon how many times it was turned on. There is no total running time of the bulb. If everything normally works the bulbs should last for 2,500 hours. This is 3 times more than a standard halogen bulb.
Benefits of HID headlights
- Are 3 to 5 times brighter than halogen bulbs
- Last much longer than halogen bulbs
- Are a better option for drivers wanting to upgrade headlights on a budget
- Very efficient in comparison to halogen bulbs
- They allow you to choose color temperature and light quality
HID Vs. LID
- HIDs have been around for a while and are relatively mature technology. They are well understood and used as headlights for a bit longer. LEDs are comparatively new to this field but are quickly becoming popular.
- LEDs produce white light. The light produced by HIDs has more of a blue tinge to it. If you compare their brightness LEDs will win. There are some HIDs that can achieve LED level brightness. Still from an objective point of view, LEDs are brighter.
- The lifespan of LEDs is much longer than HID bulbs. LEDs offer a lifespan amounting to 30,000 hours in total.
- The color spectrum of HIDs is much wider than LEDs. They go from 3,000K to 30,000K and even beyond that. Meanwhile LEDs are restricted to a color spectrum range of 3,000K to 10,000K.
- HID headlights tend to be a bit fragile.
- HIDs have a shorter warm-up period, which may be up to 5-seconds. LEDs, on the other hand light-up instantly with full brightness.
- Both HID and LED lights come in various colors.
- HID lights are more affordable than LED headlights. You can buy HID headlight kits at half the price of LED kit.
- LED headlights remain bright for their whole lifespan, while HID headlights might become dimmer with time.
- The light that is produced by the HIDs is in the infra-red plus visible region. This could prove useful in winters for melting ice on blocked roads. LEDs do not produce light in the IR region.
When it comes to headlights, it has been accepted by the majority that HIDs and LEDs are far more superior to halogen lights. However, people still use them because they are cheaper. When it comes to LEDs and HIDs, LEDs win in more aspects than HIDs. HIDs are cheaper, have a wider temperature color spectrum and produce light that is in IR plus visible range. LEDs are brighter and more durable with a lifespan that is much longer than HIDs. However, they are new to the industry of headlights and are more expensive. That is probably why people are reluctant at embracing them more wholeheartedly.