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Old 07-06-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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Some ideas - need your opinion

I've been considering of converting my headlights to xenon lights.
They consume 35 watts compared to 55/60 on standart halo bulb
Some of you done that?Do you think it will be worth the money?

Second: check THIS out(the page is compatible only with Internet Explorer for some reason)?
It is made by Bulgarian engineer.
I have friends with it and some of them really say they get increase in response and smoother engine operation,but some say nothing changed after installation.So I hesitate.

What do y'all think? Thumbs up or...
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivik View Post
I've been considering of converting my headlights to xenon lights.
They consume 35 watts compared to 55/60 on standart halo bulb
Some of you done that?Do you think it will be worth the money?

Second: check THIS out(the page is compatible only with Internet Explorer for some reason)?
It is made by Bulgarian engineer.
I have friends with it and some of them really say they get increase in response and smoother engine operation,but some say nothing changed after installation.So I hesitate.

What do y'all think? Thumbs up or...
Changing just your headlights won't make that much of a difference in total electrical load, but if you also change out your side and tail lights to LED bulbs then you will have a nice drop in total electrical load. I have no idea how much this would help your MPG or if it would even be noticeable.

I recently swapped out a standard dual filament bulb for an LED bulb on the tail/brake light on my ATV. Before the swap if I hit the brakes at night I could see my headlight dim and the voltage would drop from 14 v to 12.5 v(very small electrical system). Now when I hit the brakes, the headlights don't dim and the voltage stays constant 14!!
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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I"m planning on swapping my headlights to HID's soon as well. I barely notice a change at idle when I turn on my headlights + fogs, but there is a small .1L/H jump.

If you are asking if you will save money with the HID's, you'd have to do a lot of driving at night, and have a small engine for it to even out.

If you swapped out everything for LED's it might be noticeable tank to tank or with a scan gauge, but nothing major.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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Lightbulb

Is it legal to alter your directional and stop lights?

Well, I'll probably swap my headlights to HID.
I have 1.3 engine and you say it's noticeable on a smaller engine+the light is so good
Got to find a good(and cheap ) set on ebay though.
It will be good for cars with DRL's I think.

Any comments on the spark thingy?
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:36 AM   #5
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If you save 20W, that is 0.026HP.

If it takes 30 HP to keep you moving, you will save approx. 0.09% of your power (fuel consumption). If you double that because the conversion from mechanical power to electrical power is inefficient, you could save 0.18% of your fuel.

I think there are probably better ways to save gas, but every little bit helps!

-Bob C.
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Old 07-07-2007, 06:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivik View Post
I've been considering of converting my headlights to xenon lights.
They consume 35 watts compared to 55/60 on standart halo bulb
Some of you done that?Do you think it will be worth the money?
I looked at HID lights sometime back, but concluded that they don't make a lot of sense for FE (at least in the USA). Now, if you really want/need the extra light they provide, and you are willing to pay for it, they might be a decent choice. However, from a FE standpoint, they are more trouble than they are worth because:

1) Apparently after-market HID (headlight) conversions are illegal (for on road headlight use) in much of the USA. And HIDs have a distinct light output to them, so it's easier than you might think for the cops to tell that you have made such a conversion...

2) They only save about 20 watts per bulb (i.e. 35 watts vs 55 watts). This means you are only saving 40 watts of power, and then only if/when you are running your lights (and hopefully you aren't running your headlights the majority of the time). This is a drop in the bucket power wise, with many other areas of the car (for example: running fans less, or converting secondary lights to LEDs) having much more potential to save much more power than HIDs ever could.

3) HIDs are still fairly expensive to add on (several hundred dollars, last I checked). There are a lot of FE mods (both electrical savings and otherwise) that cost significantly less, and are much more likely to benefit FE than the 40 watts of power (when your headlights are on) that HIDs save.

Now, that said, there are things to be said for saving electricity in a car (because electrical load translates directly into increased alternator load on the engine), I just don't think HID bulbs are a good "cost effective" way to lower than load. IMHO you are much better off converting secondary lights to LEDs (as that's cheaper to do, even with quality LED modules, and saves many more watts of power), try to arrange things to run your fans (cabin fan, and engine/radiator fan) less (as the fans burn a significant amount of watts each), etc.

NOTE: There is a HUGE variation in quality of after-market LED (car bulb replacement) modules out there (both in terms of total light output, and also in terms of how wide of a viewing angle they support), and many of the cheaper modules are pretty much junk (from the standpoint of their light output qualities) IMHO. So you have to look at module specs closely (or find someone who has already bought something they like a lot), and buy on those details (vs just getting the cheapest or easiest to find LED modules). However, if you get the right modules, you can still convert almost all of your secondary lights in an average car for maybe $200-$300 car (less if you leave some of the "seldom used" lights alone), and have good light output as a result. And while that's still "real money", it's also less than a HID conversion, but will actually save you significantly more power than a HID headlight conversion would have saved (not to mention, also giving you car lights that virtually never burn out, as quality LEDs should have lives longer than most cars)...
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:55 PM   #8
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I agree with Draco! LED's before HID's
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by shivik View Post
Is it legal to alter your directional and stop lights?
Clearly there are legal LED turn signal and brake light modules out there in many cars/trucks. In fact, I see them all the time (especially on semis). As to "conversions" to LEDs, I think it's more a YMMV thing. Clearly if you aren't producing enough light (or the light is all aimed wrong) due to cheap/inappropriate LED modules, you can expect hassles from the cops. But beyond that, who knows?

I do know that many places (including many of the companies selling the conversions) admit that HID headlight conversions are mostly just legal for "off road" (track, etc) use in the USA. However, unlike the HID conversions, I've yet to find any official source (or anyone selling LEDs for that matter) that says that the LED conversions aren't legal for "on road" cars (which doesn't necessarily mean they are legal, just that I haven't found any official source that says they aren't). And furthermore, my LED conversion was done so nicely IMHO, it would be hard to tell "at a distance" (i.e. without going into the car and physically looking at the "bulb") that it wasn't an OEM job (or even that I had LEDs in there, vs normal lights). So until I hear something different from a cop, I'll leave my LED modules in (as they produce good light, at a fraction of the watts the bulbs I replaced used, and they should last practically "forever").

NOTE: If you replace your turn signal lights with LEDs (as I have), you may also have to upgrade your light "flasher" unit. The reason for this, is that many cheap OEM "flashers" are designed to expect the current draw of the normal incandescent lights in the car. But since LEDs take so much less power, the flasher gets confused and flashes the lights at the wrong rate. But thats easily fixed by replacing the stock flasher with a new "electronic" flasher that doesn't care what your light current load is. I think it cost me about $13/each for the newer flashers I put in both mine and my wife's cars.

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Originally Posted by shivik View Post
It will be good for cars with DRL's I think.
I think not.

If I'm not mistaking, the arc-lamp nature of HID bulbs, means that there is no real practical way to "dim" them. So they are either "off", "warming up" (they take a few seconds to get to full light output), or "on". So if you think HIDs will help you with your DRLs, you are very likely mistaken.

OTOH there are LED DRL replacements out on the market now. For example, if your car uses it's own HB4 bulb as a DRL, you can just buy a LED HB4 module and pop it in. And even if you have one of those stupid designs that runs the main lights on low (as your DRL), you could still convert your DRL over to LEDs (however in the latter case it would be more work, as you would have to wire in your own LED lens assembly for your DRL, and bypass your existing "normal lights" wiring).

NOTE: My old CRX has something very much like a DRL, in that there are front facing WHITE secondary lights that come on either when I use my full headlights, or when I just flip the switch to the 1st position (what would be the "parking lights" on some American cars). Naturally I replaced the bulbs in these white (non-headlight) front facing lights with high powered LED modules. And yes, I do turn on those secondary lights (without the full power of the headlights) when I want to be easier to be seen (for example, on heavily overcast days)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivik View Post
Any comments on the spark thingy?
The physics of HID lamps is sound, if a little exotic.

Basically, HIDs are fancy versions of an "arc lamp" (i.e. essentially a high powered halogen bulb WITHOUT any light filament in it, that actually gets its light by a spark/arc of electricity in the bulb). This technology is more energy efficient than normal halogen technology for HIGH light output (arc lamps aren't very energy efficient at the low end of things, which is why extra bright headlights is about as dim as HIDs come), but there are lot of electrical (not to mentioned light aiming) "gotchas" to get it all to work smoothly. As just one example, you need a special electrical circuit to properly adjust the electrical properties when you turn the bulb on, or it won't properly "spark" (or will blow the bulb by sparking too hard). Which means that HIDs are more costly (and more of a PITA) to install than just replacing a bulb, as you essentially have to give them their own custom electrical controller. Furthermore, the light aiming properties of HIDs are different than normal bulbs, which means that you have to aim them significantly differently (than you would a normal bulb) or you will blind the oncoming drivers (by blasting bright light into their eyes).

None of this means that HIDs can't be usefully used in cars. In fact, if the car came (from the factory) with HIDs, and the auto-maker had the proper testing of those lights done, they are even legal to use on USA streets. However, due to the difficulties of "getting it right", after market "HID conversions" are apparently not legal (for USA "on road" use) in much of the country...
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DracoFelis View Post
None of this means that HIDs can't be usefully used in cars. In fact, if the car came (from the factory) with HIDs, and the auto-maker had the proper testing of those lights done, they are even legal to use on USA streets. However, due to the difficulties of "getting it right", after market "HID conversions" are apparently not legal (for USA "on road" use) in much of the country...
My '07 Prius came with HID's. I have noticed that when first I turn my lights on, there is an odd flash/look that last for ~.5 seconds. Must be the starting sequence that was mentioned.
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