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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the stock lights on my 91 SI are terrible and I can barely see at night -unless I turn on my high beams
anyway
Im wondering, can I buy HID bulbs to replace my stock bulbs? I want that blue, crisp clear brightness without buying the whole conversion kit
is this possible? If so what bulbs should I buy? (looking to get them off ebay)
thanks alot!

-brandon
 

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no you cant just buy hid bulbs the reason there so blue and crisp because they have a ballasts like an amp owering them i got my kit off ebay for around 142 and they are sick there very blue and very bright it was worth everypenny
 

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Yea, HIDs need that ballast to convert the 12V of the car to the extreme voltage they require to burn. I want to say they use less amps, and somewhere around 12K Volts.
 

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HID systems generally use around 35 watts per bulb, and put out more light than a standard 55 watt halogen bulb.
There's a fundemental difference in how the two bulbs produce light.
In a halogen bulb (a varaition on the general incandescent light design), a bunch of power is passed through a long, very thin strand of metal until it heats up white-hot, giving off light. Unfortunately, being so hot causes them to pass alot of waste heat to their surroundings, which is why they aren't very efficient (not much light for the power used to drive them).
In an HID bulb, light is given off by an arc (a sustained spark) of electricity through a volume of a preticular gas. The electricly charged gas gives off light directly, so much less heat is produced, making them more efficient. In addition to the xenon HID bulbs you see in cars, street lamps are also HID lights. The yellowish ones use high pressure sodium gas, the blueish ones use mercury vapor.
Since sodium and mercury are both non-gaseous at room temperature, it takes several minutes for the light to warm up, vaporize all the mercury/sodium and reach peak light output. In street lights, that's not a big deal since they only have to warm up once a day, at dusk.
In cars, you wouldn't want to be forced to sit around for 5 minutes, waiting for your headlights to warm up so you can drive at night. As such, they use xenon, an inert gas, to produce light. There's still a warm up period, but the corresponding change in brightness isn't nearly as pronouced, and mostly results in the color of the light changing slightly. IIRC, xenon isn't as efficient a light producer as sodium or mercury, and the lamps are more difficult to start, requiring more complex (expensive) ballasts, making them less desirable for public roadway lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow bobski that pretty much explained the whole thing right there

as for the angel eyes, wouldnt it be a smarter idea to buy those rather then a conversion kit ? not only do you get a nice headlight but also more brightness? i am wrong on this? what are the pros and cons between angel eyes and HID's ?
 

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Angel eyes are the little glowing rings that BMW put around each lens in their headlights. The original angel eyes were glass rings lit by a dedicated halogen bulb.
They're simply eye candy, or maybe could pass as a marker light.
Aftermarket headlight manufacturers have emulated this by installing similar LED-driven plastic rings in their lights. I've heard that many times, the LEDs are wired to be over-driven, giving a brighter halo, but at the expense of the LED's longevity (LEDs normally last 50-100,000 hours).
You can make them yourself using window blind adjustment rod (clear, hexagonal plastic), a heat source, a dremel w/cutting wheel and some LEDs. Heat up the rod until it's bendable, wrap it around an object like a cup or something to get the ring shape, let cool. Use the dremel to cut little evenly spaced notches in the back of the ring to improve the lighting effect (the rod acts as a light guide, the notches will be illuminated by the LEDs). Polish the ends of the rod and attach LEDs so they shine into the ends of the rod. Cover the LEDs themselves with electrical tape or shrink wrap (something to block the light coming directly from the LED). Add appropriate resistors for the LEDs you're using so the 12v from your car doesn't burn them out.
 

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bobski said:
You can make them yourself using window blind adjustment rod (clear, hexagonal plastic), a heat source, a dremel w/cutting wheel and some LEDs. Heat up the rod until it's bendable, wrap it around an object like a cup or something to get the ring shape, let cool. Use the dremel to cut little evenly spaced notches in the back of the ring to improve the lighting effect (the rod acts as a light guide, the notches will be illuminated by the LEDs). Polish the ends of the rod and attach LEDs so they shine into the ends of the rod. Cover the LEDs themselves with electrical tape or shrink wrap (something to block the light coming directly from the LED). Add appropriate resistors for the LEDs you're using so the 12v from your car doesn't burn them out.
An alternative would be electroluminescent wire, it's sold as cool neon or glowire. Neat stuff.
 

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Bringing back an old topic.

Im going to be getting HID's for my car, there brighter and better.

The question is, and i was talking to matt about this, would you need to change the headlight housing to something clear?

Matt was talking about how those (clear projectors) will be angled wrong and the light wouldnt be on the road. I think that the lens, being that there angled for halogen and arent clear, would block alot of the light.

What does the Community think of this problem?
 

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yeah i was saying if you put HIDs in a halogen housing (even a projector one) that the light would scatter and the cutoff would be bad, working badly at best, blinding everyone at worst.

IMO, the only proper way to run HIDs is with a retrofit of a complete housing from a real HID car (acura/honda, audi, and nissan are fairly easy to make work).

You then install the HID projector housing into your headlight housing. people have been doing this on bugeye integras for years with good results.

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Yeah, the problem with putting HID bulbs in halogen housings mostly has to do with where the light ends up.
CRX headlights throw a box of light down the road infront of the car, and then a little bit pretty much all over the place. With the increased light output of an HID, that little bit all over the place would become a good bit more all over the place... It could result in excessive glare for other drivers.
I've read that the actual design of the HID bulb could alter the beam pattern as well. In a halogen bulb, light is produced by a thin wire as I said earlier. That wire is coiled up into a nice tight helix (actually a very long, thin helix, wrapped into a larger, short helix shape) to save space, which ends up looking more or less like a glowing cylinder inside the bulb once it's lit. In an HID bulb, light is produced by an arc in an envelope of gas... That arc has a sort of oval shape.
While I havn't taken the time to experiment, I suspect the box of light that the stock CRX headlights throw out infront of the car may be box shaped because of the cylindrical (rectangular when viewed from any face but the ends) shape of the filiment. Who knows what shape you will get from the oval of an HID lamp.
As matt said, your best bet is a projector housing. Projectors use a lens and an internal metal plate to create their beam pattern, so I don't think filiment shape will be nearly as important. An OEM HID projector assembly would assure that you get a proper beam pattern, but you may be able to get away with one of the aftermarket bolt-in projector headlight conversions and the proper HID retrofit.
 

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If the light is really bad you need to either adjust them or get some new bulbs. To me HID isn't worth the expense, when a good set of bulbs will do wonders.

For USDM headlights I highly recommend the 9005 mod for your lowbeams. Ever since I've had the JDM/EDM headlights though, I shop for H4H/H4 bulbs based on the color temperature. I think 4100K is optimal. Right now I've got 4100K PIAA H4s in my car, and they're outstanding.
 
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