Apr 26 2011

What are xenon headlights? HID lights?

Category: Automotive


Xenon/HID headlightsA xenon headlight, also known as a HID (High Intensity Discharge), is a type of car headlight that offers a number of distinct advantages over the standard incandescent headlamp. Instead of using filament, xenon headlights create light by igniting an arc between two tungsten electrodes. These electrodes are housed in a quartz bulb that is pressurized with xenon gas and other materials. Once an electrical charge excites the gas, a discharge of photons occurs which produces a bright, powerful light. The difference between the two technologies is how the photons are released. Standard halogen headlights use heat to create light, HID lights use electricity. Since xenon headlights use electricity they are able to produce light at much cooler temperatures which makes them less likely to degrade over time and ultimately last longer. They also give the user more of a uniform intensity that allows for even light distribution while driving at night. Xenon headlights will often have a noticeable blue tint that is a result of energy that is released by gases within the bulb. The radiation produces a spectrum of light that maxes out in the visible blue region. Fake xenon headlights will often try to mimic the blue effect by coating the bulb with a blue tint.

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