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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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.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to 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 Kits
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 HID kits as well as products, such as the OPT7 Car Aura 4pc Auto Underglow LED Lighting Kit.
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 2020
- 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 DDM Tuning Plus Premium HID Kit, as it’s easy to install and produces more powerful light than LED and halogen headlights.
For the best value, we chose the Lumenon 35w HID Kit, which comes packed with a lot of features for an inexpensive kit.