Many new luxury cars come with standard or optional HID headlights and the difference between HID and halogen is actually quite astounding. People without factory HID sometimes opt to install an HID Conversion Kit as an upgrade for their vehicle. An HID Conversion Kit is the best way to get rid of your stock halogen headlights and increase the output of either the fog lights or the headlights. While this aftermarket upgrade appears to be the best way to get brighter headlights, there are still some important details that all buyers need to be aware of.
One of the most important aspects of the kit is the ballast. A ballast is responsible for regulating the current to provide enough voltage to the lamps. If there is no ballast, then the current draw would increase and cause an unstable reaction. There are two types of ballasts, an AC ballast and a DC ballast. At first glance, it’s not obvious to see the difference between the two, but the components inside make a huge difference. Be wary of cheap HID kits because it may contain a DC ballast. AC ballasts are a little more expensive, but the benefits greatly outweigh the cost. So what is the difference between AC and DC?
The durability of the AC kit provides a stable color without any flickering with a lifespan of over 3000 hours. There is also a built in shock resistance protection, making it legal to be used in cars as well as insurance approval. It even has the E-mark approval, meaning that it can be shipped to other countries and safely pass customs. The AC ballast is designed so that the electricity passes in two directions and reverse the polarity in order to evenly distribute the passing ions. Companies that sell this version almost always have a better reputation with certificates that protect the consumer.
While this version is cheaper, it is not worth the slew of problems and unreliability associated with it. There are constant flickering issues and some outputs may even seem green. The lifespan is also pretty shoddy, with less than 1000 working hours. There is no shock resistance and is always easily extinguished and illegal for car use. There is no insurance or E-mark protection, meaning that it could be seized and confiscated by customs. This ballast is dangerous and of poor quality with a reduction in bulb life. Since the electricity only flows in one direction, the polarity is a huge issue here, causing one side of the ballast to get extremely hot. This can cause issues such as overheating, electrical problems, and is even a fire hazard. Companies that use a DC ballast are not known for their reliable practices and often have negative reviews.
While an HID Kit is always an exciting purchase, buyers should always double check the company’s reviews and carefully read over the product description to confirm that the ballast included is an AC ballast. As a buyer, it’s best to buy something correctly once than have to make multiple purchases because of a faulty product.