Incandescent light bulbs typically put the filament in a vacuum to preserve it, but as used in car headlights, they are filled with special gases in the halogen family (usually iodine or bromine). Burning hotter allows them to five off more light, but it also means the halogen bulb must be made of special glass and handled carefully so as not to leave fingerprints on it that can cause a hot spot.
The HID light bulb (which stands for High Intensity Discharge) is filled with Xenon gas, and there is no filament. Instead, a spark is created inside the HID bulb between two electrodes, but requires a much higher voltage in order to make the jump.
Xenon and halogen lamps get their names from the kinds of gases added within the light bulb's glass envelope. Well, regular incandescent light bulbs have vacuums within their envelopes because air oxidizes the glowing tungsten.
An inert gas, like xenon or a halogen, slows down this process, prolonging the life of the light bulb. A halogen is a covalent element on the Periodic Table, which easily forms negative ions.
In a halogen light bulb, the filament wears down, shedding tungsten atoms over time. These discarded atoms unite with the halogen gas molecules in the lamp forming tungsten halite, which is then redeposited on the filament.
It works in much the same way as the halogen gases when retarding the filament's evaporation, but it also produces a bright-white light when stimulated by electricity. A halogen lamp's typical rated life is about 2,000 hours, which is about 2 times longer than that of standard incandescent lights.
If you choose only halogen lights to illuminate a room, you may have to compensate for this heat with air conditioning A xenon light's typical rated life is around 10,000 hours, lasting 5 times longer than the average halogen lamp.
Because xenon gas glows when excited by electricity, it also takes less energy to achieve the same lumen output. Xenon gas also requires less heat to produce light, so you don't have to worry about such high energy bills.
It's no secret halogen lights run hot, which means they're not suitable for every application. The oil your hands leave behind on the glass will eventually heat up and may cause an imbalance, making the light bulb rupture.
Xenon light bulbs don't produce as much heat, and emit minimal UV rays. Both halogen and xenon light bulbs have perfect Chris (color rendering indexes) of 100.
With flattering colors and easy dimming capabilities, halogen and xenon lamps are both great choices to light your home or building. Thomas Edison, the inventor credited with the first long-lasting headlamps in 1879 used incandescent light bulbs and most cars today are based off his original designs.
Incandescent light bulbs, as used in car headlights, are filled with a special gas called Halogen. Compared to the tungsten, the previous metal used in bulbs, they were superior.
The HID light bulb (which stands for High Intensity Discharge) is filled with Xenon gas which responds to the spark created inside the HID bulb. Instead, it uses two electrodes that meet inside the Xenon glass filled bulb.
Because they’re small, LEDs can be squeezed into tight spaces and arranged in a variety of patterns, giving vehicle engineers and designers more leeway to be creative. With LEDs, electric current passes through a semiconductor (or diode) to produce light that is brighter and often has a wider beam pattern than other types of headlights.
Aftermarket xenon lights are available in different shades of blue and yellow as well as white. On dark roads, some xenon lights are so bright that even the low beams can blind oncoming drivers.
Some manufacturers have made LEDs standard across their entire range of moderately priced vehicle lines. Xenon lights are offered on fewer new vehicles but remain popular in the aftermarket.
The 2020 Toyota Sienna was rated acceptable when equipped with either xenon or halogen headlights. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers.
Contributor Rick Pope has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com. When confronted with choice we humans usually make silly decisions and go with the cheapest or most expensive option or just altogether give up and leave the shop.
I would guess that with a fixed wattage going in the brighter bulb would be more efficient and emit less heat and more light. Sadly though after reading the packaging I determined that these were only legal for street use on cars registered many years ago.
The filament also burns out slowly over time so as it gets older it gives off less light. Now over 30 years old this technology has been refined and perfected to give us the range of bulbs we have today.
Modern lights now use Xenon / halogen gas mix which enables the filament to last longer. The beam patterns from a HID kit are different to those produced by a standard bulb, so you may have to get your headlight lenses adjusted or altered to create the legally required beam pattern.
In the UK cars need automatically leveling headlights and washer jets to make these legal. It is annoying having to keep changing the bulbs for Mots and having other drivers flash you, so I opted for the Philips 80% brighter ones and set about proving to myself that they were worth the 3 times the cost of a standard bulb.
This was probably due to the fact that I had loosened up the housing and connectors last time plus the knowledge I gained on which orientation the bulb required to clear the battery and other components. Then I got out of the car, walked a hundred paces and turned round to inspect the bulbs.
It is hard to judge 80% brighter by eye, so perhaps I will get my cameras light meter out and take some measurements. It's now 3 years later, and I'm pleased to report that the new bulbs are still going strong, they are still quite bright and work well.
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