High Intensity Discharge bulbs, also known as HID bulbs, have inside them a special gas like xenon and need ballasts in order to increase car voltage from 12 to 300 volts. They're typically used on vehicles in order to give you brighter lights compared to basic lighting systems.
With that said, when installing HID into your vehicle, replacing your bulbs isn't enough. You need to convert the receptacles for the bulbs themselves and install many other things in order to give your car the ability to even power these new bulbs correctly.
What to Expect with HID Kits
Why bother with HID bulbs? It's because these bulbs are pretty effective and worthwhile to have compared to the lighting systems your car came with. HID conversion kits cost from $40 to $60.
A conversion kit should have shock-proof/dust-proof/waterproof digital ballasts, HID halogen and xenon bulbs, plug-and-play connectors or wires, zip ties, an installation diagram, and double-sided tape.
Some cars require a relay harness and HID decoder in order to ensure no flickering can happen and that your dashboard computer will recognize the new bulbs, thus avoiding computer errors.
HID Bulb Color Considerations
Pick the right HID color. There are many colors to pick from and the most popular one is the 6000K or the standard HID light color fitted on many brand new cars. Don't just pick the colors for aesthetic value. You should also pick them depending on practical purposes.
To avoid getting fined the police by having a too intense HID bulb, go with more neutral colors. The most intense and powerful colors can jeopardize the safety of others and yourself because they can blind people at night or keep cars going on the opposite lane from seeing properly due to the glare. Converting to intense HID lights is considered in many states to be an illegal modification.
Know the Bulb Type
You should know what type of bulb is fitted onto your automobile. Although all headlights ever made seem to appear similar to one another, they're actually more different than you think.
There are those that use headlight bulb types H1, H4, and H7. There are also vehicles that come with separate high beam and low beam bulbs. Take note of that too when installing new HID hardware with an HID conversion kit for your HID bulbs.
Warnings and Precautions
Not all conversion kits can fit with your make and model of car, so make sure you have perfect fitment in accordance to your vehicle. Although older car models are easier to convert to HID via conversion kits due to their basic lighting systems, today's computerized models or cars made from 2003 onwards have more sophisticated lighting systems.
The most basic HID conversion kits won't be able to deal with their advancements, so you need to get kits specifically made for these newer vehicles.