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4 Most Common Myths About Xenon Headlights

Debunking The Legends

Did you know that Xenon bulbs have been around since the 1950s?

However, their first use wasn’t in cars. Xenon lights were first used to light up the silver screen in cinemas, and are still used in cinemas around the world today.

The first use of Xenon headlights in a car was in the 1991 BMW 7 Series, and they’ve been a popular option ever since, thanks to their low energy use, low heat, and bright illumination.

You may have heard some myths about Xenon headlights, however. If so, read on as we debunk four of the common misunderstandings about Xenon bulbs.

Myth 1 – Xenon Bulbs Are Difficult to Change  

One of the most common myths about Xenon bulbs is that they’re somehow more difficult to change out than standard halogen bulbs are.

The reality is that Xenon bulbs are really no more difficult to change than any other type of bulb. Many people believe this myth, and end up paying a small fortune to their dealer to do the job for them, but Xenon bulbs can be replaced in much the same way as a standard halogen bulb. It’s recommended that you wear gloves when changing bulbs, as oils from your fingers can cause issues with some types of bulbs.

Changing any type of bulb out can be a fiddly job, so if you’re not feeling confident, then a reputable Xenon HID kit provider should offer both self-install kits and installation services.

Myth 2 – Xenon Bulbs Last Forever  

Since Xenon bulbs don’t burn as hot, or use as much energy as halogen bulbs, they will typically last longer than their halogen counterparts.

No bulb will last forever, however. Even LED headlights have a finite lifespan. Over time, a Xenon bulb will begin to produce less light. It’s recommended that you change your Xenon headlights approximately every five years to ensure you’ve always got the best level of illumination and safety from your headlights.

Myth 3 – Xenon Headlights Can’t Do High Beam  

In normal driving conditions, your headlights are directed downwards toward the road in front of you. That way, your headlights illuminate the road, but don’t shine directly into the eyes of drivers coming in the opposite direction.

In some situations, however, such as if you’re driving down an unlit road with no other vehicles around, it is advantageous for your headlights to shine directly in front of you, so you can see further ahead as you’re driving. This is what high beam lights are for. High beam lights shine directly forwards, but should only be used when there is no traffic coming in the opposite direction.

Some vehicles use two different bulbs; one for low beam, and the other for high beam. Both of these bulbs can be Xenon bulbs, however.

Other vehicles use a single bulb for both high beam and low beam. There is a common misunderstanding that you can’t use a Xenon bulb in vehicles that only use one bulb to cover both high beam and low beam. This is far from the truth, as we’ll learn below.

If you’re thinking about upgrading to HID headlights, you’ll need to know whether your headlights use one or two bulbs for high and low beam.

What Are Bi-Xenon Lights?  

Bi-Xenon lights are the Xenon bulb that you need if your vehicle produces both high beam and low beam from a single bulb.

These are specially designed bulbs that can produce both high beam and low beam lighting in vehicles that only require a single bulb. These are the bulbs that debunk the myth that Xenon headlights can’t do high beam.

So What’s the Main Difference Between Bi-Xenon and Xenon?  

A Xenon bulb is designed to only operate in one way; either in low beam or high beam. A single Xenon bulb can’t perform both actions. You require two different Xenon bulbs; one for high beam and one for low beam.

Bi-Xenon bulbs use mechanical techniques to allow a single bulb to be used for both high beam and low beam. Some types of Bi-Xenon bulbs will physically move position, pointing upwards when switched to high beam, and back down again when returned to low beam.

Other types use shields to block the light when in low beam mode. These shields are then retracted to allow the light to shine directly ahead, which produces the high beam.

Can I Use Them for Fog Lights?  

The short answer is: yes.

You can install Xenon bulbs as your fog lights instead of halogen bulbs. However, there is some evidence that the natural white light produced by Xenon bulbs that makes them so ideal for headlights isn’t the best option for fog and other poor weather.

Instead, yellow lights are believed to improve visibility.

Myth 4 – No One Wants Xenon Anymore  

There’s a common myth that Xenon headlights are dying out and that no one wants them any more.

In fact, the opposite is true; the demand for Xenon lights is only increasing. Forecasts predict that the market for Xenon lights will grow around 6% between 2021 and 2026.

Xenon lights are becoming more and more popular, and there’s never been a better time to get your hands on some.

Are Xenon Headlights the Right Fit for YOU?  

There’s no point in upgrading to Xenon headlights if it isn’t the right choice for you.

However, there are a number of reasons why Xenon headlights might just be the perfect fit. Here are just some of those reasons:

  • Whiter, more natural light
  • Brighter headlights
  • Shine further and wider
  • Long-lasting bulbs
  • Energy efficient
  • Lower heat output than halogen bulbs

If you would like to take advantage of some or all of these benefits, then Xenon headlights are the way to go.

The Takeaway  

If myths and misinformation about Xenon headlights have been holding you back from making the leap, then hopefully this article has put your mind at ease. Xenon bulbs may not last forever, but they provide great visibility and on-road safety with less power consumption and less heat than halogen bulbs.

If you’re looking to install Xenon bulbs in your vehicle, then we’re here to help. At AudioMotive, we provide HID Lighting Kits, HID headlight conversion, Xenon bulbs, Xenon headlights, and Bi-Xenon HID kits. If you don’t feel confident installing your new Xenon HID headlights yourself, we can also install your supplied products for you.

Get a quote from us today!

About AudioMotive

For over 10 years, AudioMotive has and continues to be, Ottawa’s premier vehicle upgrade experts. With more than 25 years of combined industry experience, we proudly specialize in all things related to HID lighting and mobile electronics sales and installation.