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Should The Use Of HID Headlight Conversion Kits Be Illegal?

Apr 20, 2008
For those who are still unaware of it (and I'm pretty sure there isn't too many of you) H.I.D. means High Intensity Discharge. HID Headlight Conversion Kits are one of the most popular car accessories nowadays. This is obviously because they represent several advantages. However, there also exists a controversy around the use of them, which you are certainly aware of as well. And the controversy precisely bears its source from the fact that HID bulbs present the property of High Intensity Discharge.

An important advantage of the HID Headlight is that its lifespan time is the same as the car itself. An HID bulb is more than 300% brighter that a classic Halogen bulb. The clear white light, which emanates from an HID bulb due to the fact that it provides light at a higher color temperature, is so close to daylight it perfectly reflects road signs and markings, as well as upcoming objects, clearly and instantly, thus promoting overall road safety and reducing eyestrain and tiredness during night time driving. The HID bulb has no filaments, unlike a halogen bulb, which provides it with a wider range of illumination.

Just as HID lighting can be cost effective due to its extended lifespan, HID Headlight Conversion Kits represent the most cost effective way to get HID lighting for your headlight. Indeed, HID conversions can be done to almost all vehicles and they have instant and easy installation properties. Thanks to the high compatibility property of the HID Conversion Kit, almost all halogen headlights can be easily converted to HID. However, a few limitations and constraints in HID conversion do exist as well. High / low halogen bulbs (two filament bulbs such as H-4, 9007) tend to lose their ability for high beam. This is because the HID bulb is only a one beam bulb, and therefore it cannot function as a dual high / low beam. Moreover, with additional equipments that need to be installed for the conversion to be done, HID conversion may end up not being as cost effective as it initially seemed. For instance, in order to convert a car or motorcycle to be HID equipped, ballasts (amplifiers), igniters (if not built into the ballasts), HID bulbs and 20 amp fuses (for startup) may be required as well. If the car or bike uses a sealed halogen beam, a sealed beam conversion will be needed. Other options are wiring harnesses, upgraded factory harnesses and relays.

But the greatest controversy around using HID Headlight Conversion Kits lies in the fact that the more beneficial HID lighting can be to you, the more it can affect other drivers on the road, blinding them and provoking accidents - in particular the ones mounted on the fronts of vehicles. This is particularly true during inclement weather when the road surface is wet. The additional volume of glare id reflected off the road surface directly into other drivers' eyes. Which is why HID lighting is the subject of an ongoing rulemaking intended to reduce their intensity. It is also worth noting that laboratory measurement made by various parties do not support the claims about the glare intensity and lifespan of HID bulbs.
About the Author
Maxwell Davis is an author for www.urban-neon-car-lights.com He provides more information on aftermarket headlights, projector headlights, plasmaglow, varad, and street glow automotive lighting on this website.
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