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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently made a sloppy thread a few months ago showcasing my HID conversion on my Cougar. There seems to be a lot of questions floating around regarding HIDs and I feel like we need a place to answer all of them collectively. In the sense of keeping NECO organized - we need a dedicated HID thread.

What are HIDs? HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. The bulbs are most importantly filled with xenon gas that ignite and glow VERY brightly. It takes nearly 20,000 volts just to get the bulbs lit. This is why you need a ballast; a power source, as your 12V battery alone could not do it. However, once they are lit it take much less wattage to keep them running compared to a regular halogen bulb. If you want to base what you want on pure light you need to look at the lumens that the bulb produces. The most being 4300K at around 3200-3400 lumens.

What is meant by color temperature and lumens? A false myth that surrounds HID lighting is that the higher color temperature the more light output (we've all heard it 10,000 times) This is FALSE. The higher color temperature ONLY represents the hue of light in kelvin. IE: A 6K light bulb will have less blue hue than an 8K bulb and so on. Lumens is where it is as far as brightness. An 8K bulb produces around 2600-2800 lumens compared to a 10K bulb which produces about 2300-2500 lumens. To put it into perspective take the 9006 Silverstar bulb, which is a fine replacement bulb. At 4000K it gives you about 1000 lumens. Even 10K HID bulbs doubles the light output and then some in comparison to the Silverstars. So, it goes to show you how strong HID lighting is.

What color is best for me? This is just a matter of what you, the driver, want in a bulb. Keep in mind that factory equipped HID cars come with 4300K bulbs. They still retain a stock look but a little whiter. They produce about 3200-3400 lumens - give or take. My favorite color would be a 6000K bulb. They lose about 15% of the lighting compared to a 4300K HID bulb but much prettier IMO. 8000K bulbs seem to be the most common among tuners and produce a light blue hue. Compared to 4300K HIDs you'll lose about 20% of light output. For me, 8000K would be as far as I would go. After 8000K the lighting becomes purely asthetic. Basically it comes down to what YOU want.

Are HIDs illegal? Technically, yeah. Any car that did not come from the factory that were equipped with HID lighting are not DOT approved and therefore illegal. But don't be paranoid. Be smart about the lighting. DO NOT bright light people. EVER. HIDs should be mounted in a projector housing - to focus the light. If you don't you could blind people. If they're not mounted in the appropriate housing at least make sure the headlights are aimed if you are using HIDs on your low beams. This way, at least the light is pointing towards the road and not in the faces of oncoming traffic. You don't want that kind of attention. Hide the ballasts. They should be mounted in a drafty location in the engine bay and should not be easily visible. I have mine in the front bumper.

Where can I get HID bulbs? They are PLENTY of online stores that carry HIDs. The most common that I've come across, as far as NECO goes, is VVME. eBay also sells HIDs. But be careful with them because they sell in bulk and could probably jack your order up. I got mine for around $150 for ONE set, which was NOT a VVME kit. I believe you can get a kit from VVME for nearly half that. Keep in mind when you buy a kit you get 2 bulbs, 2 ballast power sources, and sometimes mounting hardware. You'll probably have to tell someone what kind of bulbs and depending on whether your doing high (HB3 9005) or low (HB4 9006); you need to let them know. Especially when dealing with eBay, you MUST let the seller know. The kits are only good for either low beam or high beam. Keep that in mind. Just Google HID and you'll find a mountain of carriers. I simply can't list every single site that offers HIDs but these are just to name a few.
http://www.hidstores.com
http://www.ebay.com
http://www.vvme.com
http://www.kbcarstuff.com -thanks Rikenbomb
http://www.ddmtuning.com -thanks brapple

A very GENERAL color scale.
 

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Nice thread! Answered a lot of my questions, but Im still concerned about the legality of it all. Is there any legal alternative to HIDs? All I'm looking for is a brighter low beam...
 

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Nice thread! Answered a lot of my questions, but Im still concerned about the legality of it all. Is there any legal alternative to HIDs? All I'm looking for is a brighter low beam...
Get the HID's, aim the correctly, and hide the ballast in the engine bay. Don't worry about legality, but don't get purple lights either. My car isn't DOT approved, I've been pulled over and no one has said a thing about any of my lights.
 

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It's okay. You offer your opinion which I think is not right. State facts and let people decide for themselves.

You also don't list all of the sites that offer hid kits.
If you're going to list website, list a lot more than what you have so people can shop around.


To add to that list kbcarstuff.com offers good hid kits.
 

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add ddmtuning.com to your list. they had a hid line that is $40 per set w/ a lifetime warrenty. they also have another at $65 per set. I just picked these up and have been very impressed by the additional light output and how easy it was to install.
 

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Nice thread! Answered a lot of my questions, but Im still concerned about the legality of it all. Is there any legal alternative to HIDs? All I'm looking for is a brighter low beam...
Sylvania Silverstars will work fine for you then. HID's installed on any car that didn't come stock with them will be deemd illegal. "IF" you are questioned about them in a stop, you will more than likely be cited for them. They are not DOT approved as stated above and can get you ticketed.

People do put them in without issues, however law enforcement varies throughout the country. So you may want to think about it before doing it.
 

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Sylvania Silverstars will work fine for you then. HID's installed on any car that didn't come stock with them will be deemd illegal. "IF" you are questioned about them in a stop, you will more than likely be cited for them. They are not DOT approved as stated above and can get you ticketed.

People do put them in without issues, however law enforcement varies throughout the country. So you may want to think about it before doing it.
Alright. Thanks! HIDs look awesome, and I doubt I would get pulled over, but better safe than sorry. Can anyone post some comparison pictures between the silverstars and HIDs? Also, will I need to re-aim my headlights if I install the silverstars?
 

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With SS you shouldn't need to re-aim. HID's I'd suggest down a little. You will more than likely get flashed for them.
 

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I have not reaimed my headlights but they where already aimed so that the drivers light is down and to the right and the passanger side is up alittle higher but on the side of the road like they are suppose to be.

I do want to reaim them but as of this time I have not gotten flashed by others.

I previously had 9005 SS in the low beams. light output was good but the HIDs are by far way brighter. imho there is no compairing the two. i have those bulbs in my high beams now and they almost make no difference when I turn the high beams on.

photos are of the DDM tuning 4500K 35 watt 9006 hids

CEG Forums - BrApple's Album: hid pics



one of the following was taken with my camera on full auto, the second I picked natural for lighting. not 100% sure which one is which. One defiantely had a longer shutter time then the other.



 

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Something I have noticed with the '99-'00 Euro headlights: Even with the headlights being adjusted for Left Hand Drive vehicles, there's still a good amount of light that goes off to the driver's side. I've gotten flashed a few times even when I adjusted the driver's side to accommodate drivers going in the opposite direction. This seems to be a problem on 2 lane roads. Oh well I tried.
 

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Haven't gotten flashed yet with my HID's. I have flashed other cars thinking its their high beams until they flash me back.. but i think people like that wouldn't know how to check their oil let alone adjust their headlights.
 

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found a handy spot to mount the ballasts, if you take the headlight out there is a space on the outer side of the frame...

there was even a nut welded there, so my ballast mount is hung securely from there...

the bolts i used were the ones that were holding my grill in, they aren't the right size for the nut but with a little elbow grease it went in, i was too lazy to go buy the right ones... but now i need to buy new ones to put my grill back in

make sure you wires are long enough, did not have to alter mine at all though



 

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lol still can't adjust the d*** horizontal direction...i think I just have to wait until i do my retrofit..lol
 

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found a handy spot to mount the ballasts, if you take the headlight out there is a space on the outer side of the frame...
yea, I'm pretty sure a lot of us have the ballast there as well.. plus there's a how-to for HID installation in ours cars on this forum.. so technically you didn't find a handy spot..
 

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