E46Fanatics - View Single Post - quick HID question
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:17 AM   #53
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
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My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
Apologies for the bluntness of the "feeding me the DOT" stuff. I just view the DOT legality the same as you.

Beyond that, highly informative post. your bringing it into the discussion is valid in this instance. But are hotspots or flare really that bad compared to putting them in a halogen housing? Maybe I'm just severely underestimating the effects of flare? So if he's putting his DDM ballast onto a stock xenon there's no issue, correct?

The quality part was more directed at Mango.

Although, Mango, why are halogens capable of a cleaner retrofit?
I'm not sure what you mean by "compared to putting them in a halogen housing". The thing about it is, there's not a ton of consistency. The setups aren't DOT legal, and they're not OEM, so there's no reference standard to adhere to.

As a for instance, years ago when I daily drove an Integra GS-R, I had a plug and play kit in it. In the Integra community, it was known that certain brand re-based bulbs yielded nice output when shoved in our halogen housings. Others did not. We had a list of places to buy from, and places to avoid. They don't all have the same construction, so the focal point of the output wasn't all the same. Add to that, the options with color temperature, and you have a recipe to potentially have issues with the output.

These setups have gotten better, and it's honestly not likely that you're going to have bad hot spotting and glare when using a rebased bulb in a halogen projector housing these days (reflectors are a totally different story). But, IMO, the important thing is to understand the engineering without just buying frankenstien parts and throwing them in there, devoid of thought. If you're after the best light output for your halogen projectors, the answer is usually to get a good set of bulbs (night breakers or silverstars), and new plastic outer lenses. However, the vendors would have you think that you'll get more usable light by throwing 8000K rebased bulbs in there with an HID PNP kit.

Some of the functionality argument is lost on people, as some just want the look of the bluish light (which is NOT what you get from OE HID's, BTW). But anyways, no, there's no issue using DDM ballasts with the stock HID system in terms of light output. The bulb determines the color temperature, and as long as you're using a D2S bulb with OE color temp, the ballast will yield proper functionality. Connectors may or may not mate up, I haven't looked at what their current options are.

It's worth noting that OE bulbs put out the most useable light, which is pure white and at a color temp of around 4400 or 4500K. The farther you deviate from white, the less useable light output you have. The bluish 8000K or so kits have less intense output. They do, however, mimic the look people think OE HID systems put out.

When you're driving towards a car with OE HID's, you'll see them as having a bluish hue. This is because your eyes are above the cutoff line of the light output. You're seeing mostly refracted light that is an artifact of the projector and is "color shifted" to the blue end of the spectrum. The driver sees white, and you would too, if your eyes were under his cutoff line (you'd also be upset at how intense the light was). I think these PNP Kits with blue tinted light output came from the days when people wanted the "look" of cars with HIDs. But, regardless. The optimal lighting is a pure white bulb with an optimal focal point for the projector its in. Light intensity does come into play, but there are other aspects to consider, that's all.

Hope that answers a few questions without opening up any more.
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