It’s common to replace the factory-issued halogen headlights with one of the best HID headlight conversion kits. Headlights have come a long way since the first oil-based ones used in the 1880s. Also referred to as Xenon lights, these high-intensity discharge (HID) lights are brighter than their halogen counterparts. They also produce much less heat than other headlights.
HID kits are aftermarket products, which means they're parts that enhance your vehicle. The best HID kits offer outstanding beam consistency and brightness. The basic principle of the HID is that it uses heated metal and gas salts to form plasma. This generates a light intensity that is more intense than halogen lights. Because of this, most HID headlights have a bluish tint when turned on, and also requires a ballast due to high voltage current. However, several complaints of blinding light from oncoming traffic have been made, dubbing these Xenon lights as “blinding.”
HID headlights are in demand in the market today because they:
- Have a longer life span
- Improve fuel efficiency and use 30% less power
- Improve visibility and driving safety
- Are easy to convert
- Look great
- Improve nighttime driving
- Are smaller and more versatile
- Have a more natural light beam
- Have become a status symbol
Here is a list of 2018's top rated and reviewed HID headlight conversion kits to help you choose the best products for your car or truck:
Best HID Conversion Headlight Kits | Top 8
Best HID Headlight Conversion Kits | What To Look For
HID headlights use different kinds of bulbs. If you look at the HID headlamp, you will see markings (D1R, D2R, D1S, D2S, D2C, D3S, and D4S) referring to bulb type. These markings refer to the various types: S stands for “Shielded,” R stands for “Reflection,” and C stands for “Colored”. The numberings D1-D4 refer to other features such as differences in use of mercury, the base shape/size, and other factors. While they may look like they're interchangeable, it is important use the correct bulb or you may risk damaging your headlight kit.
When you're choosing headlights for your car, you should consider the following:
- Temperature – Temperature is typically measured in Kelvin degrees. The higher the temperature, the whiter the color is. Temperature can go as high as 35,000 Kelvin degrees but high temps are not for vehicle use. Lower temperatures, like 3000K, will give you get yellowish lights. Which may be effective as fog lights, but not necessarily as headlights. As a general rule, anything over 6000K is discouraged. In fact, it may be (illegal in some places) by the Department of Transportation.
- Lumens – Lumens refers to the brightness of your headlights. It works inversely to temperature. This means that if the temperature is high, the lumens is low and vice versa.
- Wattage –Wattage passes through the bulb after warming up. When the bulb is new, the bulb tends to shine brighter. This is because the length of the passage is short. However, as the end electrodes start to erode, the passage gets longer. This affects brightness. The common choices in wattage are either 35 or 55 watts. The 35-watt bulb lasts 5000 hours, which means you may never need to change the bulb. The 55-watt varriant has an average life span of 1000 hours, but is brighter by 20%. Beware, there are issues on “melting” headlights with the 55 watts but this happens if you use the wrong housing.
- Ballast – Ballast provides the 20,000 volts needed to turn on the headlights. HID headlights operate with Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC). A HID conversion kit with a DC ballast ages faster but is cheaper.
- Beam – Some cars have dual beam. If you want to switch to HID and keep the dual beam, get the Bi Xenon bulb, not the single beam or Low HID/high halogen bulbs.
HID headlight kits typically come as a complete package: HID bulbs, wiring, ballasts, and manual.