Shedding Light on HID Headlights
Metal-Halide Lamps are an Efficient Alternative Offered by Ottawa Car Component Vendors
If you drive an older car, or a more modern economy car, then chances are, your vehicle is using halogen lamps for its headlights. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this – these lights have served many people well over the decades, illuminating the roads at night and helping them to drive safely. However, when it comes to car components, Ottawa drivers no longer have to feel committed to this older technology. Advances in technology have produced other options, and these comes with improved efficiency and economy.
A new type of light has been seen in many higher-end vehicles, and can be professionally retrofitted into almost any vehicle. They’re recognisable by their distinctive blue light, and are often referred to as Xenon headlights. This is a misnomer, however, as these high-intensity discharge, or HID, headlights, are actually made with metal-halide lamps.
Available through vendors of car components in Ottawa, these metal-halide lamps are capable of producing much more light than their halogen counterparts, while consuming a fraction of the energy and lasting more than twice as long. It does this by creating an electric arc between a pair of tungsten electrodes. Once the HID headlight has fully warmed up, it has a high luminous efficacy (the visible light produced per unit of electric power consumed). This is because the lamp produces a larger proportion of radiation in the visible spectrum of light, with a smaller proportion of infrared and other frequencies not visible to the naked eye.
The effect of this increase in visible light is better low-beam visibility on dark roads, which effectively makes night time driving safer. And because our body’s natural clock is largely based on light levels, it has even been suggested that with increased lighting, drivers may be less likely to become tired while driving.
And because they use less energy to create more light, HID headlights have an average lifespan of 2,000 hours – not bad at all, compared to the 500-1,000 hours of a traditional halogen headlight. The need for fewer replacements, mixed with the energy economy, can help offset the more expensive price of a metal-halide lamp.
As mentioned earlier, a metal-halide lamp takes time to warm up to full power, and during this warm-up period it produces less light. To counteract this, many HID headlights contain xenon gas to be used as a starter light – it provides additional light until the lamp has properly warmed up and can take over on its own.
Are these high-intensity discharge lamps more expensive? Yes, absolutely. But between the increased safety, energy efficiency, and lifespan they offer, it’s an investment that may be worth it for many drivers. To look into retrofitting your vehicle with metal-halide lights, contact your local vendor of high-quality car components in Ottawa.