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Ring Busts Xenon HID Myths

06/09/2018

Despite being around for a number of years and fitted to an increasing number of cars, many garages and technicians are still reluctant to fit xenon HIDs, often seeing them as difficult to fit, expensive and potentially hazardous. To remedy this, aftermarket lighting expert Ring has decided to “bust the myths” surrounding xenon HID bulbs, offering up practical advice and answers for the questions they are asked most often. 

“When carrying out market research in the UK aftermarket, some independent garages we spoke to were reluctant to fit xenon HID bulbs. As lighting experts, it’s our job to educate the industry on this technology and open up what is a huge opportunity for their businesses.

“So we decided to take the top five myths and FAQs we hear on a regular basis and give the aftermarket the advice and answers they need.” Carl Harrison, bulb expert and Product Manager for Automotive Lighting at Ring  

Lighting the way

The introduction of xenon HID bulbs has been one of the biggest vehicle lighting developments of the last 20 years.

Xenon HID bulbs are different from ordinary bulbs as they have no filament. Instead, they have a glass capsule in the centre of the bulb containing xenon gas. Two metal electrodes going into the glass capsule enable a high voltage to cross the xenon gas. This voltage ignites the gas to produce a bright white light output.

For the bulbs to illuminate, the start-up voltage has to be very high and therefore a ballast is required for each headlamp. These ballasts convert the vehicle’s 12V DC voltage to ignite the bulb and then maintain a lower operating voltage.

As xenon HID bulbs become more common and are no longer restricted to just premium or luxury cars, many more motorists are now benefiting from the crisper, whiter colour temperatures, helping them see road signs and obstacles more clearly. In addition, legislation was introduced in 2012 so new vehicles produced after then would use D3 and D4 references, which do not contain mercury.

View Ring's range of xenon HID bulbs.

  • Myth number one: Xenon HID bulbs are difficult to fit. Ring says: Once the headlamps and ignition are switched off and the fuse removed, the bulb can be replaced in much the same way as a standard halogen filament bulb.
  • Myth number two: Xenon HID bulbs must be replaced by the main dealer. Ring says: The process of fitting a Xenon HID bulb is simple, as outlined above. There isn’t any reason why independent mechanics and technicians cannot fit them in your garage. To help you, Ring has developed printed fitting guides and an updated fitting video, which can be found at here.  
  • Myth number three: Xenon HID bulbs last forever. Ring says: Over the life of the bulb, the light from a Xenon HID bulb will change colour temperature and its light output will fall. With this in mind, Ring recommends replacing Xenon HID bulbs at least every five years, and both left and right bulbs at the same time to ensure light output is consistent.
  • Myth number four: You can’t tell the quality of a Xenon HID bulb just by looking at it. Ring says: All Ring Xenon HID bulbs are E marked to identify that they meet the strict requirements of ECE Regulation 99 – the UNECE standard for Gas Discharge Light Sources for Vehicles. Before you buy, look for the E mark (and approval number) on the base – or even better, buy Ring. 
  • Myth number five: The market for Xenon HID bulbs is in decline. Ring says: The number of vehicles with HID headlamps entering the car parc is still growing. Demand for D3S bulbs in particular is growing significantly due to changes in legislation. Approximately 10% of vehicles in the UK car parc have HID headlamps.

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