Xenon Bulbs: The Ultimate Guide
Over the years, you may have noticed several prominent changes in the nature of car headlights. They appear to brighter than ever before; they turn with the car as we take difficult corners, and even their colors have changed. One of the most significant developments has been the employing of xenon gas as a tool for creating brighter, more effective headlights that better mimic daylight. These are known commonly as xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. In this article from lioxenon.co.uk, we will explore the world of xenon HID bulbs in detail - what they are, how they work, their advantages over other bulbs and more. Learn about these amazing bulbs from a xenon light expert based in Kent, UK.
What are Xenon HID bulbs?
As the name suggests, Xenon HID bulbs and headlight systems are those that employ the use of xenon gas to create greater illumination than traditional designs or halogen bulbs. The technology of using xenon in lighting has been around for some time, but the application to car headlights is relatively new. Besides the illumination, another key difference between these and typical products is that because xenon is able to leak through plastic surfaces, xenon bulbs are housed in glass cases rather than plastic.
They come in many different categories and types, as we will detail below, and can offer greater illumination by being better able to mimic daylight. Better illumination makes driving at night and during times where daylight is diminished by cloud cover or the low late afternoon sun.
How can I choose the right Kelvin colour temperature?
When you are choosing xenon HID lights, the ideal range to choose from is from 4,000K to 6,000K, because these color temperatures closely match daylight, which suits your eye the best of all. The closer to 6,000K you can be (or at 6,000K itself), the better.
The lower the Kelvin rating, the more yellow the light will appear. On the other hand, the higher the number of Kelvins, the blue/violet light appears. At 6000K (close to daylight, as mentioned above), the light emitted appears as a cool white colour with a slight blue halo.
Kelvins (K) Rating & Brightness – what these two have in common?
Many wrongly believe that the colour temperature relates to brightness, imagining higher Kelvin ratings to be “burning brighter.” – That is false. In fact, the bulb’s colour temperature refers only to the colour of the light, and nothing else. The truth is that light with a higher Kelvin temperature rating will have less light output that one with a lower rating.
If you like the look of Blue Light HID Xenon bulbs, they typically have a colour temperature from 5,000K - 7,000K, giving a bluish-white light. The crystal white, which Lioxenon recommends for most drivers gives a colour temperature of 6,000K. The effect is a near-pure white light emission, but with a hint of blue as well. Most importantly, as we mention above, 6,000K is almost not a reduction in brightness. In fact, the reverse is true. A 6,000K colour temperature will give you a Super White light output, giving the best possible visibility on the road.
How do I know which bulb type is it?
All the key information that you’ll need about your Xenon HID bulb is located on the bottom part of the bulb casing. If you look underneath or perhaps printed onto the casing itself you’ll see the detail there, including which type of bulb it is: D1S, D2S, D3S, etc.
Take a look at the example images we have prepared for you below. They show you clearly where to find which bulb is which, so you can be sure to get the right one to suit your needs. It’s very important you understand which bulb you currently have or need because these are specialist items needing care and attention.
How are they classified?
Xenon HID bulbs are classified by an alphanumeric type code, which we will list below. Click the links to find the relevant models in the Lioxenon store. Below is a brief explanation of the meaning of these terms – the “D-Series” naming system
D = Discharge
No. = 1,2,3,4 – the type of bulb
S = projector and R = reflector
What is the Kelvin rating system?
Kelvin (or degrees Kelvin) is a unit used to measure the “colour temperature” of any light bulb, including those used in your car’s headlights. The scale ranges from 1,000 Kelvin up to 12,000 Kelvin and more. Halogen light bulbs, for instance, typically range between 3,400K to 4,200K. For xenon HID lights, it is usually 4,300K to 10,000K.
To give you an idea of what these light colours look and/or feel like, you can consult the comparison below:
- 1,500K is equivalent to the colour of candlelight
- 2,250K is equivalent to the colour of a 40W incandescent bulb
- 5,500K is about the same as sunlight at noon
- 7,000K is about the same as an overcast sky
- 9,500K is equivalent to what you get from the clear blue sky
We hope that after reading our guide you now feel much more knowledgeable about these amazing Xenon HID bulbs. Lioxenon is a specialist in automotive lighting based in Kent, UK, and we pride ourselves on providing a huge range of car, van & motorcycle bulbs of different colors and types with fast and free delivery in the whole Great Britain. If you are looking to buy Xenon bulbs in the United Kingdom, VISIT US and place your order today.