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Choosing Your New HID Headlight Bulbs

One of your motorcycle or car HID headlights bulbs just stopped working, so you need to get a replacement. Instead of just getting the first headlight bulb off the shelf at your local garage or part shop, it's an opportunity to consider the types of headlight bulbs that are now available to you.

Standard or OEM Headlight Bulbs

Standard 9006(HB4) HID Conversion Kit Usually the cheapest option, these basic bulbs are direct replacement for the ones originally fitted by the manufacturer. While brand name bulbs are usually of good quality, avoid the very cheapest ones, as the lower price may affect both brightness and life.

Long Life Headlight Bulbs

These are designed for vehicles that tend to leave their headlights on all the time, and are especially useful for cars which use the headlights for daytime running lights, or that do very high mileages. Heavier filaments increase the lifespan of the bulb, and increase resistance to vibration. However, these bulbs to not provide any additional light, and can be a bit yellow, especially as they age. Long life bulbs cost a little more than the standard equivalent, but generally are cheaper in the long run due to their lifespan.

Upgraded HID Kit

Boasting increased light output of up to 100% than standard halogen headlight bulbs, these are a direct replacement that are fully road legal in the UK. Careful adjusting of the filament metals, gas and pressure allow these bulbs to produce more light for the same power requirements. The light is often a little whiter, and helps to highlight roadside objects such as signs and cats eyes. The only disadvantage to these bulbs is the cost: they can be significantly more expensive, but only have a similar life.

Styling Headlight Bulbs

Styling bulbs are for those that want to make their car look more distinctive by subtly altering the colour of light produced. While UK law stipulates headlights must produce white light, you can get away with small changes. The most popular effect is a slight blue tint, similar to HID light, although other types are available. Note that a light that is more blue than white is NOT road legal, and is likely to get you pulled over! Styling bulbs, however, produce no more light than standard headlight bulbs, and in some cases the colour coatings can reduce the visible light output, so they are not recommended if you do a lot of driving on dark roads. Costs are only slightly higher that standard, and the lifespan is the same.

Other options

There are other options for changing your headlights. Upgrading them with a HID Kit gives up to three times as much light as standard bulbs, but these are not a direct replacement. For a HID conversion, you need to add a ballast unit to supply the necessary voltage. Some new cars are now coming with LED headlights. However, as the moment there is no easy upgrade from halogen to LED, as the whole headlight unit needs to be replaced. There are some LED bulbs in headlight bulb sizes, but these are intended for show use only - the actual light output is quite low.

I hope this article helps you the next time you consider just buying the first bulbs that come to hand, and remember that Autobulbs Direct has a complete range of headlight bulbs, tail and brake bulbs, indicator bulbs and interior bulbs available from stock.

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 19 September, 2012.