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Thread: HID's vs Conventional Filament Bulbs - real benefits

  1. #1
    Regular Member Pete B's Avatar
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    Default HID's vs Conventional Filament Bulbs - real benefits

    Following on from the recent threads discussing HID's and the new incoming MOT and the fact that it seems my current car, even with headlamp washers and self levelling suspension would be illegal with aftermarket HID's due to the lack of projector headlamps, I decided to take advantage of a current 20% discount on Osram Nightbreakers from PowerBulbs and ordered 2 sets @ £43.98 for the 2.

    I then went to look at the PowerBulbs HID bulb page, aimed at OEM bulb replacement, out of interest:

    http://www.powerbulbs.com/xenon-hid-...at1=37&cat2=75

    and this is what it shows:

    HID bulbs are priced individually rather than in pairs so a pair of the cheapest OEM fitted comes at £90.00 without any discount.

    Various 'upgrades' cost somewhat more. HID's are supposed to be longer lasting but on my early morning (~6.30 start) journey to work when many drivers now have lights on as the days draw in (some of these may be DRL's), it's notable how many HID equipped cars have a bulb out and they're not near 4 yrs old!

    So, with that difference, are HID's likely to really be any cheaper to maintain over high intensity filament bulbs?

    It remains to be seen how long a set of Nightbreakers, installed early August, will last on my current DRL equipped vehicle. A set lasted almost 2 yrs on my Vectra and one failed just before I sold it!! Although it wasn't DRL, I always had the dipped headlights on in any remotely dubious lighting situation.

    Regarding HID's being 'better', looking at similar comparison discussions on the Volvo boards, it seems that the HID vs filament performance difference is far less distinctive than on Vec C's due to the headlamp units being more optimised for the bulb type fitted. This is such that some even feel they have wasted money on having the OEM bi-xenon option fitted. I have heard similar comments regarding the difference on BMW's.

    An interesting point.

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    Regular Member DeeBe's Avatar
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    My HiD's made a huge difference to the vision I have in dark conditions. The light is much more intense and projects further and is much more definable then a conventional bulb. The draw on them from the cars electrical system is also typically less and as such reduces the wear & tear on it. I will simply remove them for the MOT and re-install afterwards, which I will only be doing to avoid any complications. I actually do not understand why they are illegal as an incorrectly installed filament bulb can cause glare also. I have had my kit installed for over 2 months now and never had any issues with people flashing me or attracting the local constabulary's attention, and I have ran them in lots of previous cars - both projector and non-projector headlights - and the only time I had an issue was in my old Civic which used H4 fitment and the headlight caused a lot of scatter but this was seen by me before taking it on the roads.

    I think that a driver knows if something they have changed or modified on their car is wrong or not - it just seems some of them lack the capacity to do anything about it. Common sense should prevail. The only times I have ever been dazzled by them is by cars which have them fitted behind fluted glass which causes the light pattern to be a complete mess, and by high-end 4x4's such as Range Rovers, X5's and Q7's et al.

    Dave

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    Regular Member chewy71's Avatar
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    The difference with Volvo etc is that the new style lamps are NOT projector lenses and so do not work properly with HID thus giving a less marked improvement.

    Quite simply on the Vec, unanimously this is a massive improvement, thus real benefits and the bulbs DO NOT cost £90!! The system was only £60 and the bulbs IIRC are only £25 a pair! More than competitively priced.

    (ps @ DeeBee,... this is a comparative thread on benefits and value - not on dazzling etc.... but agree fully with your post)

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    Regular Member Das's Avatar
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    Im not sure you can put a price on safety tbh. As for the price of OEM HID bulbs like D2S etc shows them at between £12 and £20 a pair from Ebay.

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    Regular Member Jezzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete B View Post
    Following on from the recent threads discussing HID's and the new incoming MOT and the fact that it seems my current car, even with headlamp washers and self levelling suspension would be illegal with aftermarket HID's due to the lack of projector headlamps
    What car do you have? All Vectra-Cs have projector headlamps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeBe View Post
    I will simply remove them for the MOT and re-install afterwards
    Providing they are correctly aligned, they currently won't fail an MOT, so don't go wasting your time changing back to halogen bulbs just for the MOT.

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    Regular Member DeeBe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewy71 View Post
    (ps @ DeeBee,... this is a comparative thread on benefits and value - not on dazzling etc.... but agree fully with your post)
    Aah! I'd been up since 4am so thought it was another HiD bashing post but thanks for agreeing - oh, apologies to the OP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
    Providing they are correctly aligned, they currently won't fail an MOT, so don't go wasting your time changing back to halogen bulbs just for the MOT.
    My MOT will be next June so the silly new rules will have come into force then I presume...

    _____________________________________________

    However, the comparison is a quick one, the HiD lighting system is far superior and as mentioned already, the bulbs cost less than Halfords 'Super Brilliance' bulbs, so this makes them better AND cheaper. The brighter regular bulbs you can buy never come close to their promise to match Xenon for brightness, but are usually a little brighter than a stock bulb. This is acheived by the filament burning more intensely, and therefore reducing its lifespan considerably. I have used NightBreakers before with varying success, ranging from just over a week to 6 months for a bulb. HiD lights have no filament. It is a ballast which passes a high voltage through a glass tube and the gases react creating an arc and in turn, the light. Far more stable, and actually generate less heat!

    In short, HiDs FTW!

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    Regular Member Derek Mc's Avatar
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    I had HID's in my Saab as OEM and they must have been about the finest dip and main beam set up I ever drove with, so when I bought my Vectra I was stunned at how abysmally poor dip beam was.

    I upgraded to 6K HID then converted to 4300K just as we entered winter last year and find them an almost mandatory upgrade legal or otherwise I value my safety more than a potential MOT fail!

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    Regular Member Al 22 dti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Mc View Post

    I upgraded to 6K HID then converted to 4300K
    how big was the difference in brightness?

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    Regular Member Derek Mc's Avatar
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    Didn't have a massive difference in brightness but the light was far whiter less blue and blended in better in traffic, also felt much more of a natural colour of light to be honest

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