Originally Posted by astrofil
For me the HID bulb is not too bright. The problem is with the BMW headlight which is for H7 bulb. This housing is not suitable for HID bulb. Even if you do adopt the light to fit the HID bulb the whole mirror thing in the housing does not reflect the bulb properly and the light pattern is going on different ways all around. The same thing happens with the cars . Look at new BMW passing by with the OEM xenon lights and then look at an Honda Civic which has an aftermarket conversion. You cant even look at the civic because is gonna kill you with the projected light pattern.
The conversions do not have the cut off line that`s why you irritate all drivers on the road. It`s like going almost on high beam all the time.
That`s my 2 cents.
I have done the HID conversion, but I agree 100% with what you're saying here. The H7 housing really isn't made for HID, and if you wanted to do it right, you'd need to install a different housing/projector. I have only done the conversion on the low beam. I notice that although the total light output from the low beam is much greater than the old light, because the light is not focussed the same way, the light scatters in all directions, so I actually end up with LESS light on the road. I can also tell that I light up the sides of the road much more than before the installation, and I see reflections from my light coming from different places ahead of and beside me. I have no doubt that the light is being sprayed all over the place, not focussed as well as the H7 bulb.
Now, that being, said, I'm still happy with the conversion, and glad I did it, for 3 reasons.
1. I know that I am more visible to other cars. There is a marked difference in the way cars react to my bike now that I have this light. I have noticed left-turners pulling up short when they see me coming, which is a very empowering feeling. I also notice cars move out of my way more when I approach them from behind in the left lane. Now, if the downside is that those drivers are annoyed by my light, I'm ok with that. It could be that I'm blinding oncoming traffic on two-lane roads, but if that were true I think I would get "flashed" by oncoming cars, and that hasn't happened to me at all yet.
2. I only have it in the low beam, the high beam is still H7. Actually it's a Sylvania Silverstar H7 bulb, whiter than a standard halogen. When I need more road light, I hit the high beam, and I get instant full power on the light, focussed properly where I need it.
3. I have a pair of Hella FF200 (or 250?) driving lights. They only come on with the high beams and they light up the world like it's daytime. They are halogen, and focussed on the road. They come to full brightness right away. Now, if I leave those on, folks are blinded. That may be why no one flashes me. When they see me go from full brights down to only the badly-focused HID low-beam, it's probably a huge relief to them. :)
Edit: Oh, and Flyingreg.. for HID lights that aren't junk, try CQlight.ca. I think that's what they're called. I got mine from them, very high quality wiring, and small ballast.