If you have a car with stock halogen headlights and you are bored of it then you should definitely upgrade your headlights to get a new fresh look of your car and driving experience at night. But people are always curious about what should they go for.. Led bulbs or HID bulbs?? Here you will get to know about the composition of LED bulbs and HID bulbs for your car headlights.

There are 4 major things to consider in each technology when you plan to upgrade your headlights in your car.

  1. Color
  2. Components
  3. Brightness
  4. Beam Pattern

Color temperature of LED and HID

Colour is the very main component to your lighting choice because different type of colors react differently in different driving environments. Weather conditions like snow, rain and dust then the warm colours like 4300k or 3000k temperature color will be more sensible than any other. But in a clear night some other higher Calvin temperatures will be better like 5000k, 6000k or even 8000k which will provide more crisp bright colour which most of the people prefer while driving.

The way color is created in a HID bulb is pretty interesting. You got a glass tube and inside it you got a glass capsule and inside the glass capsule are the electrodes, mixture of salts, metals and gas. When you turn on your headlights switch, electricity powers the the ballast goes up the wiring to the bulb and creates an electric arc inside the glass capsule which turns the gases and the mixture of chemicals into a plasma that emits light in certain color. The lighting shade can be adjusted by changing the chemical composition inside the glass capsule. You get a various color options in HID bulbs like 3000k, 4300k, 5000k, 6000k, 8000k,10000k, 12000k. The problem is you get lot of variations from one manufacturer to the other, from one batch to the other. You can have sometimes a 6000k bulb which a green tint colour but another you might a tint of blue in 6000k bulb. If you are going for a HID bulb set then you should definitely go for 5000k or 6000k temperature bulbs which will give you the best brightest light.

When it comes to LED, the light is produced in a completely other way, instead of having a volatile chemical reaction of gases and electricity.. its essentially a circuit board. When power goes from headlight switch into the bulb it goes right into the solid state of light emitting diodes. Essentially what happens is on a molecular level when you give the bulb power there is something called a PN Junction and when atoms and electrons are moving back in force they release energy which creates light. On a white LED that light is actually blue and the reason is why the chips on the led bulbs are yellow is that it is a filter. They put yellow fast filter over blue led light and you get different shades of white. Less yellow faster will result in more cooler shade and the more faster on the filter will result in more warmer shade of light. One 6000k bulb set will perform different from another brand 6000k bulb set. The yellow colour which is also known to be the warm color are usually used in the conditions like fog where every cooler shade color temperature will fail to perform.

HID BULBS

Components of LED and HID kits

In a HID conversion kit you get a Ballast, a Bulb and a relay harness depending upon your application to install in your car. 

BALLAST

The ballast converts electrical energy into 23000 AC High Voltage electric spark to fire up that Xenon Gas light bulb. Difference between one ballast to another can be how quickly they starting up, how reliable they are and how solid the power is. Some ballast will get fluctuations in color and brightness if the internal components are not up to the mark but will perform in the same way. 

BALLAST FOR HID KITS

HID BULB

When it comes to HID bulb you got two different types, a single beam and the dual beam. A lot of vehicle comes with one specific bulb for low beam and another just for high beam so your headlight might have 2 separate bulbs. Some vehicles have headlight which uses dual beam bulbs for the low beam and high beam operation which means a single bulb will do everything.

The dual beam HID bulbs are totally different, it has one bulb with a electro magnetic system which pulls the bulb in and out when it is energised. When it is outside the housing of the bulb it gives low beam and when it is pulled inside the housing of the bulb gives the high beam. A dual beam HID bulbs will require to install a dual beam relay harness as well to control the low beam and high beams, But don’t worry at all it works well. HID bulbs take little bit of startup time than a LED bulb.

LED BULB

LED bulbs is much more simple which does the low beam and the high beam both. You replace your existing bulb with the led bulb connecting it to your existing wire harness and thats it. You can call it plug and play. It can be a single beam LED or Dual beam LED, both will be installed in the same pattern and nothing extra is required to install it in your headlight. No relay harness or ballast required in LED bulb installation which makes it easy to install in any vehicle. There are also two types of LED lights which are known as fan based LED and another is fan less LED bulbs which uses heat shrinks to handle the heat created by the bulb. LED bulbs does not take time to startup as HID bulbs, its instant as there is no charging up and chemical reactions like HID bulbs.

They are energy efficient than HID bulbs as well.

Brightness of LED and HID

It’s been a well known myth which everyone has that HID conversion kits are the best option for your headlights, but the LED technology is been upgraded to matchup the brightness of the HID kits. Normally the halogen bulbs only produces 900 to 1000 lumens of light. Lumens is basically used for the measurement of the brightness of the light created by the light source. The HID kits comes with around 3500 Lumens, incase you upgrade your ballast with 35 watts to 55 watts you will get about 5000 Lumens of light which is very significant upgrade of light from your stock bulb. 

Beam Pattern of LED and HID

If you are considering to install a HID conversion kit or a LED bulb in your headlight, then you might probably be having halogen bulbs installed in your headlight for a stock headlight application. You might have a halogen bulb installed in a reflector light or even a projector headlight where there is a lens which projects the light to focus. For projector headlights, HID bulbs are considered to be the best and thats because the HID bulbs have the light all the way round it. Where as the LED bulbs are uni-directional which means the point where the LED is pointed that area will only gonna be shine. So if you put a LED bulb in a projector in wrong direction it will not make a good beam pattern. There are specially designed LED bulbs for projector headlights which results very well, you can surely go for them but do not just go for any random LED bulbs for the projector headlights. LED bulbs are considered to be the best for the reflector type of headlights and make a good beam pattern as well.

Conclusion

Led bulbs are considered to be the best for headlight upgrades as they are easy to install and consumes less power than HID bulbs. If you are facing problems like headlight dimming when your car audio is playing then you can go for BIG 3 upgrade which will give better results for your car electrical system as well.