Two of the most common questions our technical support representatives hear at RECON are regarding “how long do HID bulbs last?” and “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” It is true that HID light bulbs are more expensive than their traditional halogen counterparts, however, they are well worth the investment. HID light bulbs are more technologically advanced, being a newer type of bulb to the market. They pose many benefits for drivers, last longer than traditional headlight bulbs, and offer superior function. HID headlight bulbs are quickly becoming the lighting option of choice for truck lovers everywhere.
How Long Do HID Bulbs Last?
HID headlight bulbs last up to six times longer compared to halogen bulbs. This is a significant benefit to many drivers, as it means less frequent replacement and less worry about the bulbs burning out. Drivers can often go years without needing to replace HID headlight bulbs, making them a convenient and worthwhile purchase option.
The lifespan of your average halogen headlight bulb is just 500 to 1,000 hours, while HIDs last between 2,000 and 3,000 hours. There are other headlight bulbs on the market that last longer than HIDs. Xenon bulbs may last up to 10,000 hours, while LED headlight bulbs can last for up to 30,000 hours. However, every type of bulb will not work with every headlight installation or meet your unique needs as a driver so it is crucial to look at the pros and cons of each before you make a decision on which to buy.
When asking how long do HID bulbs last, it is crucial to know that their lifespan is closely connected to how many times you power on the bulbs. While the longevity of other types of bulbs may depend on running hours, HIDs depends on how often you use them. If you make frequent short trips at night, they are not likely to last as long.
The Benefits of HID Headlight Bulbs
With so many options for headlight bulbs, truck lovers often wonder about the benefits of buying HIDs specifically. HID bulbs produce a better quality of light compared to traditional halogen headlights, emitting a blue/white light that provides a better line of vision at night and in inclement weather. They perform better in bad weather compared to halogen bulbs and also draw less power from your truck’s battery while they are running.
HID headlights produce more than 3,000 lumens which are more than twice as many lumens as traditional halogen headlight bulbs. This makes the light from HID bulbs brighter and more efficient. The light from an HID headlight installation will reach further into the distance than halogen bulbs, will provide a greater scope of coverage in your peripherals, and provide even and focused illumination. HID headlights are said the be among the brightest lights on the market. They are also considered to have the whitest light and the best reach. Additionally, HIDs have a better selection on the color spectrum. Drivers can choose bulbs ranging from 3,000K to 30,000K while LED lights generally only offer options ranging from 3,000K to 10,000K.
If you frequently drive at night or in poor weather, HID bulbs are the ones you want, and if you live in a colder climate where it frequently snows HIDs are also the best bulb for you. This is because HID bulbs emit light in the infra-red spectrum. Infra-red light can help melt frost, snow, and ice off the lenses of your headlights in bad weather. LED lights do not emit this type of light and are therefore not beneficial to melting away debris in the winter months.
Cons of HID Headlight Bulbs
While there are many benefits to buying HID headlight bulbs for your truck, they may not be the best choice for you under certain circumstances. Many people ask “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” and the reality is that they do cost more than traditional halogen bulbs. For this reason, if you don’t do a lot of driving at night and don’t require the maximum power HID lightbulbs provide, they may not be the best option for you as a driver. Economically, they may not make sense.
Additionally, aftermarket HID installation kits are not street legal in every state. It is crucial that you check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to see if there are restrictions where you live.
Other potential disadvantages to using HID headlight bulbs include the fact that they generally do not perform as well as other types of lights in foggy weather. This is due to the blue hue of the light that the bulbs emit, which gets scattered in the fog. When this happens the light can reflect back towards your eyes, instead of penetrating the water droplets and providing the illumination you need. If you frequently drive in foggy weather HID headlight bulbs may not be right for you.
Advances in Automotive Lighting Technology
Why are HID bulbs so expensive compared to halogen bulbs? Part of the answer lies in the technological advances that have created HID headlights over the years. Halogen lightbulbs have existed since the 1880s. They are not a new technology and therefore are very easy and quick to manufacture. As long as cars and trucks have had headlights, halogen bulbs have been the installation of choice.
HID lightbulbs, however, are much newer compared to these traditional halogen components. HID lights first came to use in the 1990s, more than 100 years after halogen bulbs. It’s said that the first car to ever use HID installations was the BMW 7 series, but their use has grown in popularity ever since. First widely used in luxury car brands, now drivers everywhere have access to HID technology.
What to Do about Worn Out Headlights
Whether you have halogen headlight bulbs, HID bulbs, or LED bulbs, there will likely come a time when you do need to replace them. Headlight bulbs may break, burn out, or start to fade over time. While a halogen bulb is the most likely to simply burn out and require a sudden replacement, with HID bulbs you may notice that their power begins to fade over time.
HID bulbs lose approximately 70% of their power over their lifespan, meaning they will not provide the same quality of life as they did before. When you notice your lights starting to dim, it is best to replace them as soon as possible before they burn out to avoid being down a headlight on the road. Not only can losing a headlight bulb negatively impact your vision, but you may receive a traffic ticket from law enforcement as well.
If you currently have a halogen headlight installation and are looking for an upgrade, considering purchasing an HID conversion kit. Even if your truck came with halogen bulbs installed from the manufacturer, the process to convert your headlight installation so that it is compatible with HID lightbulbs is not complicated and does not require too much time. In fact, you should only need minor hand tools and the proper ballasts and wiring components to get up and running.
Make the Switch to HID Bulbs
If your truck is still using halogen headlight bulbs, make the switch to a set of newer, brighter, longer-lasting HID bulbs today. Many drivers wonder if it’s worth it and ask “how long do HID bulbs last?” The answer makes them well worth your while, as they have a lifespan that is up to six times greater compared to those traditional halogen bulbs. Additionally, many ask “why are HID bulbs so expensive?” However, when you see the difference in performance you will see that they are worth the investment.
HID bulbs offer many advantages over halogen bulbs, providing better sight at night and in poor weather. This is crucial for many truck drivers who demand the very best from their vehicles. Making the switch to HID bulbs is easier than you think–there is often no major work that needs to be done and a simple version kit will do the trick.
When you purchase HID lights, you will see that the difference is like night and day. Get ready to see further into the distance, with greater peripheral vision, and a clearer line of sight. Best of all, you likely will not have to worry about replacing the bulbs for years to come. You will get many miles out of your new installation and your truck will get the fresh upgrade it deserves.