LED (light emitting diode) lights and HID (high intensity discharge) lights are two types of lighting that are used in automotive headlights. HID is the type of lighting that was traditionally used before LED and other types of bulbs were made available. It is often debated which type of lighting is best. Although HID lamps are brighter, they require a few seconds of “cooling off” in between uses, produce more heat and do not last as long as LED lights.
LED lights are not as bright as HID but generally last longer and work more efficiently, drawing less power from the vehicle’s battery. They are also cheaper than HIDs because of the materials used to construct them are more widely available. LED lamps are constructed as one piece, meaning that there are fewer parts to break and require repair.
Their predecessor, HID lights are among the brightest but because of the way they function behind the plastic of a headlight cover, some of their brightness is lost. The light uses gas that works to create a type of light similar to daylight and is used in the majority of vehicles on the road. The materials from which it is created are becoming more expensive, lending an advantage to the cheaper LED lights. Additionally, HID lamps draw more power than LEDs, draining more power from the vehicle’s battery. They also require an electrical ballast to control the amount of power the lamp is using. If the HID lamp functions without the ballast, more and more power will be drawn from the battery, eventually draining it.
Headlight conversion kits can be purchased in order to change the type of lighting with which the vehicle was factory-made. HID or halogen headlights can be replaced with LED lights using the conversion kit, or vice versa. While the longer lasting and more energy efficient LED lights are a popular choice for converting older headlights, HID lights are available in more options and colors of light.
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