HID Cross Reference
H4 / HB2 / 9003
H8 = H9 = H11
H10, Can Use 9005
H13 / 9008
H16 / 5202 / 9009
9004, Can use 9007
9005 / HB3, Can Use H10, 9140
9006 / HB4 / 9012
9007, Can use 9004
9145, Can Use 9005
880, 881, 886, 889, 890, 892, 894, 898, PG13, H27
D1R / D1S / D1C
D2R / D2S / D2C
D3R / D3S / D3C
D4R / D4S / D4C
A little bit about how HID lighting works
A high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp is a type of electrical lamp which produces light.
High Intensity Discharge ( H.I.D ) is a new type of lighting technology that primarily different from the conventional halogen bulbs that use a heated tungsten filament. Unlike Halogen lamps, High-Intensity-Discharge ( H.I.D ) lamps don't have a filament but create light by the arc between two electrodes. The arc activates the Xenon, which in turn ignites the metal halide. The light produced by an HID Xenon lighting system is greater than a standard halogen bulb and with less power consumption. On the road, HID Xenon lighting systems appear as a bright white beam which resembles natural daylight. The bright white beam offers greater visibility and road safety.
In an HID Xenon lighting system for automobile, the voltage between the two electrodes rises firstly from 12V to 23000V and keeps stable at 83V by using the Xenon HID ballasts system. Due to the ultra high voltage, the Xenon gas ionizes and a super-bright beam is produced, whose color temperature is up to 12000K . The HID Xenon lighting is much more economic, more stable and brighter than the conventional automobile lighting.
What is color temperature?
Many people believe that the higher the color temperature the brighter the lamp. This is incorrect. The color temperature is purely a scale to measure the color of the light output. It is a reference purely for color and could equally be called White, Green or Blue. The reality is the higher up the scale the lamps are the less bright they become. 5200K lamps are approx 5% brighter (measured in Lumens, not degrees K) than 7000K. But even a 9000K kit, which is another 10% dimmer, has so much more light than your used to with halogens it doesn’t matter much. HID lights provide tons of light you will not notice a tad less.
Degrees K = ONLY COLOR
Lumen = HOW BRIGHT
To give a short explanation, AC ballasts are more efficient, extend the life of an HID system up to two times that of a DC ballast, and are more reliable. Lets find out why!
What is the difference?
AC (Alternating Current) sends power through a circuit alternating between positive and negative voltages. The number of times the signal alternates between positive and negative voltage in a given second is its hertz (Hz) value. DC (Direct Current) uses a constant steady positive voltage in a circuit. An HID bulb requires power to flow from one metal electrode to another creating a spark inside your bulb. The AC Ballast alternates the power sent to the electrodes because of its alternating current so the wear and tear on the bulbs' electrodes are even, because both sides are used for positive and negative voltage. DC on the other hand, maintains positive voltage on one electrode throughout and wears down one electrode more than the other. This increases the overall temperature since one side is always hotter and, due to this additional heat, erodes the electrode and the life of the bulb significantly.
But I thought a car battery was 12v DC?
Correct, a vehicle's power is supplied from the 12 volt battery which happens to be a DC power supply. So why bother using an AC ballast that has to convert DC power into AC and then send AC power to the HID bulb? Simply put, AC Ballasts, due to its alternating current flow, puts less strain on the HID bulb's inner components while producing the same/better light output. AC systems also benefit from lower operating temperatures as well as better long term color accuracy due to its decrease in bulb wear and tear. The additional cost of converting DC to AC is well worth the price as you will save from an extended bulb life as well as an increase in lighting performance.
A quick tip on price!
An important point to note with AC vs. DC ballasts is the price point. DC ballasts are very simple to manufacture because they do not need to convert DC to AC and thus, they are cheaper to manufacturer and sell for very low prices. The downfall to the DC ballast is that oftentimes they burn out faster and you end up spending more time and more money under the hood replacing parts. AC components on the other hand, require a DC to AC conversion inductor coil and a voltage regulator which is more expensive to manufacture. You will often find eBay kits for around $35 dollars that are usually low quality DC kits. High-end Digital 35W AC Ballasts cannot even be produced at that dollar value, let alone sold for anything close to that price.
(Big Box Style Ballasts)
As you can see from the internal components shown above in the DC ballast, AC ballasts use almost twice as many integrated circuits and electronic components to monitor, regulate, and power the HID system. We use additional capacitors that are used to prevent flickering and smooth power output which helps stabilize a bulb and prolong its bulb life. Our internal relay prevents users from damaging the kit as they can sometimes be installed in reverse polarity shorting out the system and permanently damaging the kit. The increased amount of Mosfet/voltage regulators allows for accurate power output which, in turn, provides optimal control over color output.
So now you know!
AC Ballasts are more reliable, less prone to overheating, cause less wear and tear on an HID bulb, and provide better long term color accuracy over a DC based HID system. We can't tell you how many times customers call in asking for replacement parts on ballasts, bulbs, or both due to the short lifespan of other companies selling DC HID systems. When you order your next HID kit, make sure you select an AC based HID system and know that you are purchasing a reliable and superior technology that will last.
"D" Series Bulbs
Currently, the factory Xenon HID market is divided into 4 bulb types (D1, D2, D3, D4) in which they are then divided into 3 other subtypes (S, R, C). The bulb types are not interchangeable. Either the physical connectors are different, or the voltage required is different. D1 and D3 types look physically identical, and D2 and D4 types looks identical. The subtypes differ slightly. S and R bulbs are not interchangeable, but the C (sometimes referred to as 'common') will replace both S and R bulbs. S bulbs are generally found in vehicles with projector housings, while R bulbs are found in the few vehicles with reflector housings. The C type bulbs can physically replace the R type bulbs, but do not have the ceramic shield to limit the light from the bulb.
D1 and D3 bulbs: Aside from being just a bulb, these bulbs are easily distinguished by the metal box attached to the actual glass bulb itself. The metal box is an 'igniter' which is generally built as a seperate piece in D2 and D4 systems. These bulb types are much more expensive than its D2 / D4 counterparts for this reason (and also because the other bulb type is more common). There are 2 main differences between D1 and D3 bulbs. First is the voltage required to operate the bulb: D1 bulbs operate at 85V while D3 bulbs operate at 42V. Secondly, D3 bulbs are newer more environmentally friendly versions of D1 bulbs; D3 bulbs are mercury free. Because of these differences, D1 and D3 bulbs cannot be interchanged UNLESS their ballasts are replaced with the corresponding bulbs (you cannot mix components from 2 systems together).
D2 and D4 bulbs: D2 bulbs are currently the most commonly found HID bulb used by manufacturers. Unlike the D1 and D3 bulbs, these bulbs do not have ignitors built on the bulb itself. The same differences between D1 and D3 bulbs are true for these bulbs. First is the voltage required to operate the bulb: D2 bulbs operate at 85V while D4 bulbs operate at 42V. Secondly, D4 bulbs are newer more environmentally friendly versions of D2 bulbs; D4 bulbs are mercury free.Because of these differences, D2 and D4 bulbs cannot be interchanged UNLESS their ballasts AND IGNITORS are replaced with the corresponding bulbs to create a full D2 OR D4 system (you cannot mix components from 2 systems together).