Making the Right Choice between These Popular Car Components in Ottawa

xenon headlights

When it comes to car components, Ottawa residents might be prone to overlooking one of the most important: the headlight. This fixture of the automotive industry is easily taken for granted, being installed in every car and only coming in one form up until the early 1990s. But whether you’re thinking about buying a new car or thinking about repairs and modifications to your current vehicle, it pays to take the time to think about whether you want halogen or xenon headlights—the two most popular varieties, each one with their own unique pros and cons.

The Classic Halogen Headlight

In 1962, the first halogen car lights were introduced, and have been the standard for the five decades since. Their simple design makes them inexpensive to manufacture, in turn making them one of the most cost-effective car components Ottawa auto parts dealers carry. In addition to being inexpensive, they are also easy to install and come in many different sizes.

However, the light-conducting method of a halogen bulb is incredibly inefficient. The tungsten filament inside heats up to 2,500°C on average, and yet the light output in lumens does not match up to the heat generated. And while being easy to install, and easy mistake can often be made—if your bare hand touches the outer surface of the bulb, the natural oils in your fingers can leave a residue that causes uneven heating, cutting the bulb’s lifespan down from the typical 1,000 hours.

Xenon Headlights

If energy efficiency or lifespan are your biggest deciding factors, then High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, often referred to as xenon headlights (quite erroneously—the bulb only uses xenon to create a temporary light while it heats up its more powerful light) are the way to go. At first only included in luxury cars, HID lights last twice as long as the typical halogen light, and produce much more light while consuming less energy too. At 3,000 lumens, they are exceptionally bright, and provide terrific visibility at night. On the other hand, if not aimed correctly, their intense glare can be detrimental to other drivers on the road. They are also a more expensive option, and installing them into a car already fitted for halogen lights can be complicated.

Both halogen and xenon headlights will undoubtedly be some of the hardest-working parts of your car, and so the decision between them isn’t one to be made lightly. If you’re still not sure which one is right for you, talk to your local vendor of car components in Ottawa, and they will be only too happy to help you make the bright choice.

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