Headlight - HID vs Halogen (Information)
Information provided by Steventh

HID vs Halogen (Ordinary Lights)

• HID lights are much brighter (35w HIDs app three times brighter and 55w HIDs app five times brighter than 65W Halogen).
• They produce a whiter light (that makes reflective surfaces almost glow)
• They last longer than ordinary headlights (3000hr or about 4 times as long)
• They use less power once warmed up. A 55w halogen bulb uses 10-15 amps vs a 35w HID which uses 20 amps for starting, dropping to 3 – 6 (6 may be for 55W HID) amps once warm.
• They generate less heat (ie a 35w HID draws 35w to produce about 160w of light).

They draw more current than ordinary headlights in the first few seconds until they are warmed up – this is not usually a problem.
Because they take a few second to warm up they are not suited to “flashing” though when warm this may not be a problem.
They may not be "legal" as aftermarket kits may not be DOT approved.

What is HID (High Intensity Discharge)
HID lamps generate light by creating an electrical arc that ignites the gas (Xenon and other gases) inside the globe. Unlike traditional globes (including Halogen) they do not use a filament that heats up and glows. To produce the arc, a high energy pulse is generated by the ballast. In many ways the HID is like a fluorescent light.

Not All Xenons are HID
Do not confuse HID lights which use a mixture of Xenon and other gases with “Xenon” lights that are replacements for Halogen lights. The replacement Xenon lights still use a filament and are not HID lights even though they come in a range of “colour temperatures” and give a blueish light.

Motorcycle (M/C) vs Car HID Kits
For each light you need the following 1. HID globe, 2. ballast, 3. wiring. Some kits provide brackets and ties etc. From what I can see the significant difference between car and M/C HID kits is that M/C kits upgrade one light/globe and car kits two.

Some (not all) M/C kits claim;
1. Longer wiring looms; as the ballast is usually placed behind the lights this may not be required.
2. More Water Resistance; as the ballast is usually placed inside fairings this may not be required.
3. Greater Vibration Resistance; car HIDs are often used for off road applications so they need to be sturdy anyway and most bikes travel on the same roads as cars so are not subject to greater vibration than a firmly sprung car so this may not be required.
4. Smaller Ballast; “slim” ballasts are now available (for both car and M/C) and may be required if you have limited space. These appear to be the similar size but half the thickness of standard ballasts. Standard ballasts are about the size of a 20 pack of cigarettes.

I am not convinced that there is any real difference between a car and M/C kit except the higher cost per lamp for the motorcycle kit.

35w vs 55w Kits
Most M/C kits 35w whereas cars use either 35w or 55w. The 35w kits are most popular and give about three times the light of the 55-65w Halogen lights they replace. The 55w HID kits are marketed as Racing Kits and give about five times the light of the Halogen they replace.

My understanding is the only disadvantage of the 55w kits is the larger initial power draw when warming up. My concern of extra heat was allayed when I was advised that the heat generated by a 55w HID is less than a 65w Halogen. Another disadvantage is that the 55w may be too bright and draw the attention of the local constabulary and annoy other road uses.

Headlight Aim and Safety
Proper headlight aim is critical with HID for safety and comfort of other road users because of their tremendous light output.

Upgrade High or Low Beam?
There are two types of High and Low beam systems

1. Individual Globes for High and Low Beam
Many M/C and modern headlights use a separate globe for high and low beam. The Hayabusa series 1 (K1-K7) uses an H7 (55w) for low beam and HB3 (65w) for high beam, each in its own fitting. Series 2 (K8) use H7 (55w) for Low and H9 (65w) for high beam.

M/C kits typically only upgrade one light and therefore you can only convert either the high beam or the low beam unless you buy a second kit (or buy a car kit with two ballasts, wiring looms and globes).

The consensus of opinion is to upgrade the low beam first for the following reasons;
1. the increase in light on low beam will be better than your existing high beam anyway even though it is not as focussed.
2. a major safety factor of HID for motorcycles is that other vehicles will see you - this wonâ€t happen if your HID is not switched on.
3. most of us donâ€t use high beam very often.

Upgrading both but need different globes? I contacted 6 suppliers on eBay (including one lighting wholesaler in Victoria, Australia who was extremely helpful) and all were happy to provide a car kit with two different globes to suit the Hayabusa at little or no additional cost.

2. Older Style Dual Filament Globes
With these in low beam only one filament is activated and in high beam both are switched on which increases the amount of light and also changes the focal point as the source of the light changes in relation to the parabolic mirror at the back of the headlight. For these types of lights HID kits which elevate the position of the bulb in the fitting can be purchased.

Which Colour?
The choice is really easy; the most popular colours are; 4300k (white) or 6000k (slightly blue).

HID lights come in a range of colours called Kelvin (or colour temperature). The colours range from yellowish (3000k) to white (4500k) to blueish (6000k) to purplish (>10000k). Most halogen “ordinary lights are about 3200k and factory HIDs on BMW etc tend to be 4100k (closest to daylight).

Higher colour temperatures reduce the light output (Lumens) however we “see” better in whiter lights so it is a trade-off between maximising lumens and best colour.
Higher wattages tend to lower the colour temperature. According to one manufacture a “6000K bulb in the 55W will be more like a 4500K bulb in a 35W system” so you may want choose a higher temperature.
Another comment is that new black asphalt absorbs blue light so a yellow light (say 4500k) may be more effective than a blue light on these surfaces.

Fitting is meant to be almost “plug n Play” and take about 40 mins (Yeah right!). You plug the HID wiring into the existing light wiring, secure the ballast in a protected area and insert the HID globes which are a direct replacement (and fit) for halogen globes.

I will update this post with installation instructions when I have installed the lights. However, Busdriver has described installing HIDs under the thread HID Headlights started by Heidi1 (if I remember correctly it took several hours and no doubt a few beers or was it bundy)

Are they Legal
DDM lighting who make a range of M/C kits have found that “over 6000k can be illegal in most states of Australia, which is why we recommend 4300k to 6000k only”. As far as I know HID kits are not DOT approved, however many imported vehicles are fitted with HID lights as standard equipment (apparently DOT approved if installed by the manufacturer). If concerned contact your Dept of Transport.

What I Am Doing

I have a K7 and will be ordering a car 55w car kit with an H7 and HB3 bulb in 6000k colour. As already mentioned many suppliers are happy to provide their kits with two different lights. I would prefer the slim or digital ballast but am not insisting on this as the Busa has plenty of room in the nose for the standard size ballast.

Thanks to Madmax, Blackzook, Busdriver, and Heidi1 for answering my PMs on their lights, also Brightlightautoparts who answered a couple of questions.

I have written my understanding of HIDs based on limited research on the internet, suppliers†literature and correspondence with others. I do not have any expertise in this area and am not providing any advice which should be relied upon. My views are probably wrong based on misinterpretation of what I have read.

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