Featured HID Light Bulbs
February 8, 2023
HID bulbs became extremely popular because of the bright and slightly blueish light they produce. They had been at their peak of popularity back in the 2010s. Later on, in the 2020s, LED headlight bulbs appeared and attracted the attention of car owners. HID headlights are still very popular. Let us see, how HID headlights work and what are the best HID light bulbs for different headlight assemblies.
When someone starts looking for HID headlights, they are offered different setups and bulb sizes, which may be confusing. Let us take a quick look at the technical characteristics of HID bulbs to understand, how they operate and what bulb size to select for a specific purpose and vehicle application.
Types of HID headlight bulbs
There are two main HID headlight bulbs you should consider when shopping for these bulbs online. They are OE HID bulbs and bulbs used in the HID conversion kits. To determine, which ones you need for your car, truck or SUV, just see the owner’s manual to find out, whether your vehicle came equipped with HIDs from the factory. If so, you need to shop for replacement OE HID bulbs. The bulb sizes of these headlight bulbs are so-called ‘D-series base sizes’, such as D1S, D1R, D2S, D2R, D3S, D4S, and the newly-introduced D5 and D6.
See the test of the best HID bulbs we compared ⇒
Check out the results of the HID tests ⇒
If your vehicle used to have regular halogen headlights from the factory but was later on upgraded to HIDs, you have an HID conversion kit installed. It consists of 2 bulbs, 2 ballasts, and some extra wiring. In this case, the bulb sizes of HID bulbs will be exactly the same as the halogen bulbs your vehicle had from the factory. Bulb sizes for the aftermarket HIDs are just like the regular halogen bulbs H1, H7, 9004, 9005, etc.
A quick tip that will help you avoid returns and exchanges of the HID bulbs you buy. If your vehicle is equipped with aftermarket headlights and you plan to replace the light bulbs, check the bulb sizes these aftermarket lights take. You can get this information in the technical documents that come with the headlights, on the website of the manufacturer, or at the back side of the headlight assembly.
What is an HID bulb?
Let us start with a quick technical explanation. High-intensity discharge bulb, also known as HID, is a type of bulb, that eliminates light by means of an arc when electricity flows between two tungsten electrodes. The tube is filled with a mixture of noble gasses, one of which is xenon. That’s why these bulbs are quite often called Xenon bulbs. The gas itself provides the initial strike to the light emission. Later on, when the arc starts, it eliminates light, heats, and evaporates metallic admixture.
Are HID bulbs better than halogen bulbs?
When installed for the first time, brand-new HID headlight bulbs produce much more visible light per unit of electric power taken than halogen or fluorescent bulbs. Besides, there is a greater proportion of their radiation, compared to regular incandescent light bulbs.
Steven is a certified mechanic and technical writer at Halo Headlights. Steven is excited about fast cars, loud music and car mods. On yearly basis he visits SEMA, as well as other car shows.
He has installed thousands of HID and LED kits and did hundreds of custom headlight retrofit projects. Now, he is ready to share his experience with Halo-Headlights.com readers.