Best HID Kits: Upgrade Your Car Headlights For Better Lighting And Driving Safety
Learn about the best HID kits that improve your visibility and driving safety at night
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PUBLISHED ON April 29, 2019
A new car is usually delivered with headlights that have halogen bulbs. These bulbs are not the brightest or most effective when driving at night or through the fog, which is why more drivers are turning to HID kits. These offer crisp illumination and better visibility to increase safety on the road. HID stands for High-Intensity Discharge, and despite their intense lighting, they tend to consume less power and last longer than halogen and LED bulbs. When you’re looking for the best HID kit, it always pays to do some research beforehand to find the best HID conversion kit brand that suits your car. Luckily, we did the research for you and came up with our list of the best HID kits on the market.
- Best OverallInnovited Premium AC CanbusSummarySummaryBoth in illumination and visibility, this kit outperforms other products, making it our top pick. The easy-to-install bulbs and slim ballasts are water-resistant and come with a one-year warranty. The kit’s affordability and durability make it a good choice for the average car owner.ProsProsThe kit operates in extreme temperatures ranging from -40 to 105 degrees. It has a long service life, close to 5,500 hours. The ballast is a universal fit and works on most cars or motorcycles.ConsConsQuality control might be an issue with this kit. The bulbs don’t fit all headlight sizes.
- Best ValueSummarySummaryThis kit proves that a low price tag doesn’t mean less quality. It offers the best value because of the sturdy aluminum alloy and waterproof seal. It’s also compatible with a wide variety of vehicles thanks to the small bulb size.ProsProsIt uses less power and is inexpensive. Easy to install and replaces the stock H11 halogen bulbs. The waterproof seal makes it water-resistant when driving in the rain.ConsConsThe wiring is only single-sided. The company also has poor customer service.
- Honorable MentionH11 Morimoto EliteSummarySummaryA kit that offers five years of warranty coverage gives you pause for thought. It’s a heavy-duty product that justifies the steep price you will pay for it. This reliable HID kit ensures you’ll have high-quality headlights that work in the fog, rain, and on the darkest of nights.ProsProsIt comes with a double relay harness and has a plug-and-play installation process. It comes in 35-watt and 50-watt varieties.ConsConsThe kit is too pricey. It doesn’t offer many color options.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of an HID Kit
- Brighter light. HID provides better illumination than both LED and halogen bulbs. The high-quality lighting emanating from 35-watt HID bulbs is three times brighter than factory-issued bulbs. The best HID kits to buy provide illumination that cuts through the thick darkness and fog and gives you better visibility.
- Low power consumption. When you turn on your HID headlights, they usually use up 20 amps. That number quickly drops down to just 3 amps as you keep them on. This is far less than the 15 amps halogen bulbs consume on average.
- Longer life. HID bulbs don’t use a filament as a source of light. Filaments in traditional bulbs tend to use more energy and also have a short life. This is why HID bulbs last much longer than halogen lights, even if you do most of your driving at night. HID bulbs are cost-effective since you won’t need to replace them that often.
- Color options. Unlike halogen bulbs that come in one color, or LEDs that offer four colors, many top HID kits offer seven color options to choose from. The change of the light intensity changes the color of the light itself, which gives you different hues of blue, pink, green, and white. Usually, white light is the brightest and produces better illumination than the other colors.
Types of HID Kit
Single beam kits are best suited for cars that need two bulbs: one bulb for high beams and another for low beams. In this case, you’ll need two kits, one for each bulb. The two bulbs can be turned on or off independently from each other.
This type of bulb is for vehicles that use one bulb for both high and low beams. When installed, it converts only the low beam into HID while the high beam remains a halogen. The kit usually includes two ballasts and two HID bulbs.
This kit switches between low beams and high beams using a single HID. The kit comes with installation clamps and two ballasts as well. Bulb sizes vary and may not fit in every vehicle, which doesn’t make them a popular choice for car owners.
Using a single bulb, bi-xenon bulbs can switch from low to high beams. The kit uses four ballasts and installation clamps. Similar to other kits, they are 12 volts.
One guy started this company from his garage in California back in 1998. He used his background in concert stage lighting to create aftermarket lighting kits that are both affordable and much brighter than their halogen counterparts. The company’s products include the OPT7 Bullet-R HID Kit and the OPT7 Bolt AC HID Bulbs.
Morimoto was established in the USA in 2008 out of the need to provide aftermarket lighting that worked better in harsh driving conditions The company’s products have a reputation for performance, reliability, and good looks. These include the H8 Morimoto Elite HID Kit and the 9006 Morimoto Elite HID Kit.
Autolizer specializes in auto lighting and has been around for over a decade. The company is the proud maker of Osram automotive lighting, Philips automotive lighting, Xenon kits, LED kits, and others. Other products include the Autolizer XenTec 9006 10000K HID Xenon Bulb and the JLM HID Kit 880.
HID Kit Pricing
- Under $40: You can get a good HID kit at this price range even though you shouldn’t expect it to last long. The warranty will be limited, and the bulbs will not be as durable as more expensive options. Headlights under this category tend to flicker a lot or just die out after a short while.
- $40-$70: HID kits around this price range are of high quality and are more reliable. You’ll get a warranty that covers both ballasts and bulbs as well. The headlights tend to offer a bright light that you can rely on regardless of the weather conditions.
- Over $100: Heavy-duty HID kits come with a hefty price tag. These are a long-term investment where you can drive at night knowing that your headlights won’t let you down.
Since HID bulbs come in two wattage varieties—35 or 55 watts—you’ll need to pay attention to the product you’re purchasing. The industry doesn’t have standards. Sometimes, 55 watts refers to the ballast, not the bulb itself. This requires you to read the product description carefully to make sure the bulb is not 35 watts or even 40 watts when you’re paying for a 55-watt HID kit.
When you ask yourself what is the best HID kit, you’re really asking about its lumens. Lumens refer to the light particles (AKA photons) that the bulb emits. It has nothing to do with the intensity of the light itself. A bulb that produces more lumens tends to illuminate the road much better than a bulb with more intense light or glare.
The color of the HID light produced by the bulb is an important issue to consider when buying the HID kit. It’s not just because different colors, such as shades of blue, might impact your own visibility; it turns out certain colors are not street legal. Generally speaking, only white light is street legal in the USA, so you need to make sure your headlights don’t get you in trouble with the law.
- Durability: Whether it’s quality HID kits you’re after or it’s the brightest HID kit, durability should be something you factor in. While 35-watt bulbs have a good lifespan, 55-watt kits are known for their durability-related issues. They don’t last long since the wiring is not heavy-duty and can melt under the strain of the extra energy. If you’re using a 55-watt HID bulb, you might need a projection kit to handle the excessive heat and energy it produces.
- AC/DC: Whether you choose a kit that has an AC or DC power supply should come down to your budget. An AC power supply doesn’t cause the wiring to melt, but you only get it with more expensive kits. At the same time, DC kits deliver more power directly to the bulbs and are cheaper.
Best HID Kit Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Innovited Premium AC Canbus
Fewer HID kits stand out with an array of enticing features as our top pick. Innovited Premium AC Canbus has a good service life of about 5,500 hours. That’s a little over seven and a half months of night driving. Even if you drive every night all night, those powerful HID bulbs won’t let you down.
The slim and rubber-sealed ballasts are water-resistant and can fit in most vehicles. The plug-and-play installation doesn’t require much experience or fiddling around with the wiring and clamps. The kit doesn’t flicker or give errors or warning messages, and with a one-year warranty, both the ballasts and bulbs are well covered.
There are a few downsides. There are a few issues with quality control, which could be resolved with more responsive customer service. You also need to check whether this specific kit will fit in your vehicle. Since the industry lacks a standard, it doesn’t fit in all headlight sizes.
Best Value: OPT7 Blitz 55W
The OPT7 Blitz 55W bulb is our value pick because, despite the inexpensive price tag, it’s packed with some appealing features that every car owner would appreciate. At the top is its diversity compatibility. The kit can fit in a wide range of cars and motorcycles of different models and makes.
With a small ballast, it’s easy to assume the lighting would be limited in scope and power. Yet, this kit emits light more intense than typical halogen bulbs. It is both water- and shock-resistant thanks to the aluminum alloy and silicone in the structure. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
Despite these features, the kit has single-sided wiring, which can make it tricky to install. In addition, the kit doesn’t offer a good selection of colors. Finally, the bulbs are prone to malfunctioning at odd times.
Honorable Mention: H11 Morimoto Elite
This is one of the top-end products on the market price-wise. Its hefty price, however, is well justified given its heavy-duty construction. The high-quality build is also backed by a five-year warranty.
When it comes to quality and performance, this is a reliable product. The relay harness will keep the kit working at high capacity longer than many other kits. It also comes with a bracket attached to the ballast, which is handy when mounting or installing the kit.
The biggest drawback is the steep price. For the price, you’d expect it to offer more color options, which isn’t the case. Customer service is another issue that needs improvement.
- Always check that the product has a warranty and that the warranty covers the important parts of the light such as the ballast and the bulbs.
- When replacing old HID bulbs, you don’t need to get separate ballasts for them. Upgrading from halogen to HID, however, would require a full HID light conversion kit.
- Plug-and-play installation is a sign of a quality kit. If the kit requires a lot of work to get it into the headlight, you should look for another option.
- Durability is key to a good purchase choice. Make sure you’re investing in a kit that will give you good service for years to come without letting you down.
Q: Does the HID kit make the low beams brighter?
A: Yes. The goal of installing an HID kit is to get brighter light out of your headlights. This includes both the low and high beams.
Q: Do the HID low beams stay on at all times, even when the high beams are on?
A: Yes, if the car has a dual beam system where there are two bulbs for the beams. When the high beam is on, the low beam stays on as well.
Q: What is the best HID color?
A: Diamond-white is by far the best color, as it offers better visibility to the driver in most driving conditions.
For our top overall pick, we chose the Innovited Premium AC Canbus. It’s easy to see why with its affordability, ease of installation, the various colors it offers, and the long service life. It also produces more powerful light than LED and halogen headlights.
For the best value, we chose the OPT7 Blitz 55W, which comes packed with a lot of features for an inexpensive kit. It fits in many vehicles thanks to its small-size ballast. It’s also weatherproof and shockproof.