Thread: HID Lights
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:12 PM   #4 OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 431
Well for starters on HID conversions, most people simply use a re-based bulb to upgrade their halogen reflector headlights. There are many different types of halogens bulbs used in auto's/bikes, eg. H1, H3 H4, H6, H7, H8, H9, H10, H11, H13, 9003, 9004, 9005, 9006, 9007, 9008 (some of these are the same bulb). in bikes, a majority of them use a 9003/H4 bulb. They can also use others types as well like a H7 etc...

Doing a simple upgrade like this consists of a HID capsule, HID ballast, cable(s) to hook up, and some hardware for mounting. The upgrade can take anywhere from 15 minutes to hours to complete depending how hard it is get at your bulbs, and finding a suitable place to mount the ballast.

Each bulb requires its own ballast to fire up the HID capsule. When the lights are turned on, the ballast ignites the gases inside the bulb using over 20,000V. High-intensity discharge lamps are similar to fluorescents in that an arc is generated between two electrodes. The arc in a HID bulb is shorter, yet it generates much more light, heat, and pressure within the capsule.

There are several advantages to HID sources:
  • relatively long life (3000+ hrs) halogens typically last around 300-500 hours
  • high lumen output per watt. Halogens are around 900 lumens for a low beam, whereas a HID bulb provides about 3200 lumens(4300K)
  • lower power requiements compared to halogen bulbs (35W compared to 55/65W)
  • less heat generated than stock bulbs
However, the following operating limitations must also be considered. First, HID lamps require time to warm up. The average warm-up time is 4 to 6 seconds. So when used in high beam applications, they do not work well for flashing due to the warm up time. If that's not an issue for you then it's irrellavent.

Doing a conversion from a halogen can offer mixed results depending on a variety of factors. First, and most importanly the design of the reflector largely determines how the HID bulb will react when installed. Since the reflector is designed for halogens, the HID bulb's pattern will never be exactly the same. Second is the design of the HID capsule. Not all HID's are created equal. Quality on aftermarket bulbs is all over the place. If the arc is not exactly in the same position where the halogen filament was, the light can be very scattered and throw off tons of glare to oncoming traffic. A high quality HID bulb can give you very good results, and not scatter the light beam.

If you get lured into buying a 'cheap' HID kit off eBay, don't expect to get very good results or to get a long service life out of the components. You do get what you pay for in most cases.

The best HID light source uses a projector lens that is designed for HID light as seen in many new luxury vehicles. There are aftermarket projector lens you can use to do your own retrofit, but you must know what your doing when attempting this type of upgrade. If done right it can be just as good as an OEM set-up, but keep in mind this is still not DOT compliant light souce, so it is still considered illegal for on-road use.
(Don't let anyone tell you anything different)
Here's what they can look like:

For bikes that use a 7" round sealed beam:

Color options for HID are:
3000K - Yellow (good for fog applications)
4300K - Pure white (this is what OEM's use)
6000K - touch of blue
8000K - blue
10,000K - deep blue
12,000K - deep purple
Other colors can be offered as well, pink, green, extreme blue's purple, etc...

The higher you go in Kelvin(K) temperature, the less light output you get.
4300K & 6000K are highly recommended, as they provide the most amount of light, and offer a more natural light color.

Not sure if this is the type of information you are looking for, but it should get things started here.
Bruno@ - 888-LED-HID-1
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