HID stands for High Intensity
Discharge, it is a type of lighting technology that replaces the filament of
the light bulb with Xenon gas. The xenon gas allows the lamps to produce
minimally adequate amounts of light immediately upon startup and speeds up the warm
up time. The amount of light output is three times that of a standard halogen
bulb. The lamps also glow at a higher light temperature (closer to natural
sunlight) that gives it its distinct color and appearance. The degrees are
measured in Kelvin due to the fact that they are so hot. HID kits (unless
otherwise specified) consumes only 35W of electricity making them over 3 times
more efficient than traditional halogen bulbs. HID is the same thing as xenon
lights, which are sold on many luxury cars.
ballasts are the heart of any HID headlight system. Ballasts stabilize and
maintain the "arc" created by igniting Xenon gas and other noble elements.
Together these gases produce a brilliant white light, which can be manipulated
by increasing or decreasing the composition of certain elements in the bulb.
Ballasts are technologically complex units. They convert incoming power into a
high voltage that ignites and maintains a steady stream of energy to the HID
bulb. Without a ballast to convert and regulate the incoming power, the HID
bulb will not function. A ballast also acts as a monitor for the lighting
system. If there is damage to either the starter or the bulb, the ballast shuts
down the flow of power to prevent further damage and exposure. Ballasts are
designed to last several years with normal use.
Temperature is a measurement in Degrees Kelvin that indicates the hue of a
specific type of light source. Many people believe the misconception that color
temperature is a rating of the brightness of the bulb or HID kit. This belief
is completely false. The reality of the matter is that the higher the color
temperature, the less useable light output you will obtain. The 6000K bulb produced 15% less light than the 4300K. HID kits rated at 4300K or 6000K actually produce the best
usable light output.