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#1 Tuesday 18th March 2014 22:28:22

Verified Member
From: N/Wales, Cheshire
Registered: Tuesday 13th June 2006
Posts: 800

HID Headlamps: Advantage v Nuisance

It appears that even after these headlamps have been available for some years, manufacturers have not rushed to make them standard on all but the top of the range cars.

Could they be destined to the annals of history like headlamp wash/wipers and the talking dashboard of the Austin Maestro.

Having never driven a car with these I wonder if those who have see an advantage, or being on the receiving end, are they just an annoyance.



Tuesday 18th March 2014 22:28:22

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Re: HID Headlamps: Advantage v Nuisance

#2 Wednesday 19th March 2014 02:00:41

From: Boston, Lincolnshire
Registered: Wednesday 11th December 2013
Posts: 23

Re: HID Headlamps: Advantage v Nuisance

They're a bit brighter, but they won't be put on low end cars for this reason: it doesn't influence a buying decision. A vehicle manufacturer would rather put a reversing camera, radar cruise control, electronic stability control or something that directly relates to safety in the specification than HID lights which have negligible benefit. As most of these safety innovations are made by Bosch, manufacturers end up paying additional licence fees to them and therefore the cost of building the car increases as the pressure to include more and more safety features comes from consumers and legislators. To give you an idea of how tight they are, I think it was GM that said it paid about US$1.50 for a jack, outsourced to the lowest bidder.
HID lights won't save a toddler from being crushed in the driveway by a lumbering SUV; a reversing camera will, and this is easy to sell.


#3 Wednesday 19th March 2014 07:53:39

Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: Sunday 5th August 2007
Posts: 3,269

Re: HID Headlamps: Advantage v Nuisance

HID lights make a considerable difference to the illumination of the road ahead.
They also last several years before bulb replacement, most people will never need to replace a bulb. Many can be adjusted to driving on the right by flipping a switch.
But if they are installed they must have both a self levelling system and a wash system.

As tuscanv6 says there is a cost to this, if that cost is not effective in increasing sales, then it is wasted from a manufacturers point of view. Safety benefits are always hard to sell.

Incidentally, most HIDs cause no,problem for others. They do need to be kept properly adjusted and the brightness is a problem if badly aimed.
The majority of dazzle is caused by cheap after market kits, fitted poorly into headlamps that were never designed to use them


#4 Friday 4th April 2014 15:08:29

Verified Member
Registered: Sunday 29th October 2006
Posts: 805

Re: HID Headlamps: Advantage v Nuisance

My car has xenon (HID) headlights, it makes a tremendous difference over the non-HID lights in my last car. From a styling point of view they also look much nicer, with a much 'cooler' colour temperature than tradition tungsten or halogen lamps. As said by kaf above it is a legal requirement for cars with xenons to have automatic levelling (this can be done either in the suspension or the headlamp unit itself) and also a wash system. Thus, the risk of blinding oncoming traffic when the car is unevenly loaded is much reduced because the level adjustment does not have to be done manually (which people without xenons NEVER do).

Whilst xenons used to be exclusive to high end cars, they can now be found on pretty much everything, I think even the Ford Fiesta has them as an optional extra. I expect one day they will be standard, just like self cancelling indicators.

I agree though that features like electronic stability control (my car is 12 year old and also has this as standard equipment, and after discovering the benefits of it I will never buy another car without it) and auto dimming mirrors should be on all cars as standard.


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