High-intensity discharge lights (HID lights) are a type of electrical gas-discharge lights which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused alumina arc tube.
This tube is filled with both gas and metal salts. The gas facilitates the arc’s initial strike. Once the arc is started, it heats and evaporates the metal salts forming plasma, which greatly increases the intensity of light produced by the arc and reduces its power consumption. High-intensity discharge lamps are a type of arc lamp.
High-intensity discharge lamps make more visible light per unit of electric power consumed than fluorescent and incandescent lamps since a greater proportion of their radiation is visible light in contrast to infrared.
HID lights have a glass chamber of gas that replaces the filament of traditional halogen light bulbs. The gas is ignited with an approximately 23,000 volt charge and stays illuminated by a constant 12v source that is provided by a ballast which is connected directly to your battery. Remarkably, HID lights are able to provide greater light output with much less power consumption.
Studies show that a 35 watt HID lamp produces 3 times as much light compared to a 55 watt halogen bulb. Moreover, the 55 watt halogen bulb uses a continuous power draw of 10-15 amps, while the HID system uses 20 amps for starting up, but then drops down to a mere 3 amps during operation (that is up to 80% less power during use).
In addition to high output and low power usage, the HID headlight provides longer service life. With no filament to vibrate and fatigue, under normal driving conditions, HID bulbs last roughly 10 times longer than halogen bulbs.
What is the HID Colour Temperature?
Colour Temperature is a measurement in Degrees Kelvin that indicates the hue of a light source, in this case the HID bulb. Colour temperature is a characteristic of light that is sometimes misunderstood as brightness, when it’s more closely related to cool and warm colour tones of light.
While cool and warm are words used to describe a light’s temperature, this may be a bit misleading.
The term colour temperature actually refers to the colour that is associated with the amount of heat needed to produce a colour in from an ideal black body. Here is a rough guide to Colour
Temperatures for HID bulbs
It is hard to describe HID colours accurately because different people tend to perceive colours slightly differently.
- 3000k= Yellow
- 5000k= OEM White with a hint of yellow
- 6000k= Pure white light (some people detect a slight blue)
- 8000k= White light with a blue tinge
- 10000k= Light blue
- 12000k= Deeper Blue
- 30000k= Violet/Purple.