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Unread 06-12-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
madrabbitt
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Why you dont put HID bulbs in stock housings...

Since this gets brought up OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
Might as well make its own thread for a discussion.

First off, I should mention that I have SAE certifications on gaseous discharge lighting, and headlight design.
So, I do know something on the subject.

Stock halogen housings, especially free form housings found on newer vehicles, are designed around very strict tolerances, in having the focal point directly on the filament of a standard bulb. Retrofitting a HID bulb, even one thats re-based to fit the housing, creates a large amount of glare, because the gas chamber that the arc is created in, is larger in size then the filament, therefore, some of the light is outside the focal point, and is reflected outside the desired beam.

I however, am a LOUSY photoshop artist, so bear with my drawing here:




On the left you have a standard bulb in a reflector housing designed for it.
The light pattern is exactly whats expected, because the focal point is, especially in newer cars with computer designed free form reflectors, designed specifically for where the filiment is located in the standard bulb.
On the right, the HID bulb's gas chamber, between the two electrodes, where the arc takes place, is longer lengthwise, and significantly wider then the regular bulb's filiment, therefore the light is bounced off the reflectors outside of the focal area, causing glare outside the intended beam pattern.

On a older car with a fluted lens, its even worse, because the reflector only focuses the beam to the general direction and pattern, and the flutes spread it out and distribute the light to the beam pattern that you want.
In the case of a hid bulb behind a fluted lens, since the beam is already spread wider then it should be, the flutes make it worse by spreading the light out of focus and out of pattern.

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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 06-13-2008, 07:35 AM   #2
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Something isn't right here, that 4300k is far to blue! J/K

When you say "fluted" lens, what vehicle headlamp would be an example of this?
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Unread 06-13-2008, 07:48 AM   #3
madrabbitt
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First one that popped into my head would be a ZJ.
Compare the ZJ's formed reflector and fluted lens to a WJ's clear non optic lens and free form reflector.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

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Unread 06-13-2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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Thank you for trying to spread truth.
I'd like to further add that blue-tinted designer bulbs that pretend to be better because they appear whiter are a total waste of money (if you actually want to see where you're going) and that they blind oncoming drivers.

My headlight bulbs of choice are the Phillips Vision Plus and Osram SilverStar (EDot +50 bulb, not to be confused with Sylvania SilverStar poseur bulb).
Phillips also has a +80 bulb available in Europe that a friend is beta-testing right now in an H7; not sure if/when it will come to this country.

I'm the senior admin of a mass-spec test and measurement training lab, btw.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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You know that the gen 2 silverstars are using dichrotic tint rather then glass paint, and actually come close in lumen output to the osram e-code silverstars, right? We're talking maybe 8-9% lower output overall.
Imagine what woud happen if they drop the tint completely.

I would be totally happy if the osram ones were sold here... but no. I'm running the osram silverstar 9005's in my high beams... I may replace them with HIR bulbs when i do my HID conversion.



And while its not exactly on topic, its probably best to explain WHY tinted bulbs suck.
The tint actually reduces output because it filters out the yellow part of the spectrum... however, the yellow part is brighter then the blue part. Tint makes the bulb APPEAR whiter, and therefore has the appearance of being brighter, but actual lumen output decreases with the tint.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

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Unread 06-16-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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They're still selling the gen-1 bulbs at many mega-stores like Wallyworld....
Have you tried the Phillips? My buddy is really liking the new +80 version. The +50 is pretty impressive as it is.
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Unread 06-16-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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I've only had a vehicle with replaceable bulbs for a few months. I went to regular silverstars on both low and high, then ordered the osram 9005's from ebay.
And you're right, my local walmart DOES still have the gen 1... sylvania pulled them so many months ago, but go figure. Its walmart.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 06-16-2008, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrabbitt View Post
First one that popped into my head would be a ZJ.
Compare the ZJ's formed reflector and fluted lens to a WJ's clear non optic lens and free form reflector.
This makes perfect sense. I'm sure you've observed the differences in the jewel reflector for free form housings as seen in the Toyota Sienna and '03model year Maxima with HID. The lower (transposed) half of the HID bulb is covered with an opaque, such as a solid metal, thus eliminating the upward glare emitted from the focal point.

In the WK, the form of the lens is similar in design to the aforementioned improvisation. I would have to argue that a well-researched arc-height would be better suited for say the WK housing versus the WJ. I previously installed HIDs in my '03 WJ's stock housing and the beam was completely ruined. This is very common as once the arc-height was measured, turned out to be about a half inch higher though it was branded and sold as a 9006XS compatible unit.

I've had GREAT success with HID bulbs in my WK, once i found bulbs with the correct "arc-height".
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Unread 06-17-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
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post pics of the beam pattern then.

Oh, and i'm tempted to slap some halogen bulbs into my retrofit now, and have the ballasts installed and ready, for when i manage to get a new set of D2S/D2R bulbs.

I should just shut up and buy them on ebay, but eh. I'm lazy.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 06-18-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrabbitt View Post
post pics of the beam pattern then.

Oh, and i'm tempted to slap some halogen bulbs into my retrofit now, and have the ballasts installed and ready, for when i manage to get a new set of D2S/D2R bulbs.

I should just shut up and buy them on ebay, but eh. I'm lazy.
Will do....
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Unread 06-19-2008, 07:00 AM   #11
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Please forgive the crude nature of these photos. The camera phone was all at my disposal.

Attachment 50219


Attachment 50220


I'll save the details post your response.

Last edited by ----; 09-22-2008 at 09:35 PM..
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Unread 06-19-2008, 07:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Oh DSL View Post
...

I'll save the details post your response.
Left/driver side needs to be aimed up a little more.
Too much light concentrated in the center of the beam.
Just my 2¢.

H4 bulbs designed for an H4 housing:
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Unread 06-19-2008, 09:59 AM   #13
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What you're seeing in my quoted photo is a 9006-HID (Driver) and 9006-Silverstar (Halogen)

The extents of the beam pattern are not outside of the stock setup (HID vs halogen).

The photo was taken with the nose pointed at the ground so as to display the cut-off.

-Thanks for the info!

Last edited by ----; 06-19-2008 at 10:22 AM..
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Unread 06-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithering_Joe View Post
Left/driver side needs to be aimed up a little more.
Too much light concentrated in the center of the beam.
Just my 2¢.

H4 bulbs designed for an H4 housing:
Also: Stock setups generally have a lower-aimed driver beam for US roads.
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Unread 06-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #15
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madrabbit, have you heard anything about "light force" HIDs? my buddy told me about them and they seem like a pretty good deal for the price, compared to some from piaa or someone.
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