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Not all HID Bulbs are created equal

Discussion in 'Knowledge Base Articles Discussion' started by 2k1Toaster, Dec 21, 2011.

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  1. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    So you are looking to replace your OE bulbs eh? This thread will have some basic information on High Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs and why you shouldn't cheap out and should shop smartly and informed.

    First off, how do you know when you need to replace your bulbs?

    It is probably not when you think. With halogens (oldschool bulbs that have been on and continue to be on cars for forever) it is quite simple. When the light goes out, the bulb needs to be changed. This is NOT true for HIDs. The quick answer is to replace them once they stop cold igniting.

    You may notice that your bulb doesn't "turn on" with the headlights. However, you may notice that you can turn them on and off a couple times in quick succession and it will work again. Most people attribute this to a vehicle problem with those "new fangled fancy lights". It isn't. That is the failure mode of HID bulbs.

    These bulbs do not have an easy life like halogens do. They are subjected to high stress and voltages on startup. This slowly erodes the electrode near the salt chamber (more on this later). As it slowly erodes the gap between the cathode and anode increases slowly. Eventually the gap becomes too wide for the turn on surge to pass, and you have an open circuit, no juice flows, no light comes out. However, a bit of charge remains and the salts might have just got zapped slightly warming them up along with all the bulb. When metal gets hot, it grows slightly. When you are in this electrode length of starting and maybe not starting temperature plays a factor. If you flick them on and off enough, eventually it might get hot enough to jump the chamber and start the ignition process. It may buy you a couple days, a couple weeks, or months. But you need to replace your bulbs when this happens. Assuming you drive with both headlights on at the same time, you will want to replace both bulbs even though only one is showing the problem. Also since this is PriusChat, if you have older D2R bulbs instead of the newer (2006+) D4R bulbs, your bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury in them and should be disposed of properly, not just thrown into the trash.

    Why replace bulbs on first sign of failure?


    Well simply put, it is bad for the entire system otherwise, and best case scenario is that you are gambling with your ability to reignite a bad bulb when you need to see.

    A halogen bulb is simple with one or more (2 in the Prius) filaments that glow when you send DC voltage through them and the surrounding gas. The gas is a halogen gas (obviously) and the filament is usually tungsten. Very similar to incandescent lightbulbs that you shouldn't have in your house anymore ;). You can make the DC voltage smaller and the bulb will glow dimmer, make it higher it glows more. You can take some AA batteries or a 9v or a car battery, hook it up to the bulb and voila... light!

    A HID bulb however is not like this. On startup, the ballast will convert the DC input (between 6vdc and 14vdc on a conventional car, much more limited for a Prius because there is no "cranking") to an AC signal at about 400Hz between 20kv to 30kv on startup and a resting voltage of between 80vac and 105vac. Note how I said 20kv to 30kv. The "kv" is kilovolts, or thousands of volts. Your house (in North America) runs 60Hz 110vac. So your car is pumping out 20,000vac to 30,000vac for a brief period of time. This is a huuuuuuuuuuge strain on the bulb, ballast, and ballast wiring. Luckily it only happens while turning on the bulb. See where I am getting to? When your bulb starts to go out, and you turn them on/off/on/off/on/off/on/off trying to get it lit, you are basically blasting your ballast and wiring with high stresses so much more than they should be. Things designed for high voltage startups generally can handle it for a limited time and then need a cool down period before you try again. You are eliminating the cool down and making it work as hard as possible many times in a row. So don't do it! A ballast is much more expensive than a bulb.

    What kind of bulbs?

    So now that we have determined how to tell if a bulb is dying, we need to know what to replace it with. This is not easy if you don't know what you are doing or what to look for. I hope to inform you here so you don't get ripped off.

    First off, the OEM for Toyota is Philips. German and very good quality. However when they have a bad batch, everyone gets a bad batch which did effect some 2006-2007 models of Prii. Other high quality to medium-high quality manufacturers include: OSRAM/Xenarc (also makes Sylvania), Koito, Panasonic, and GE.

    Koito is a big OEM for Toyota along with Denso (they make the ballasts, radio, nav unit, many of the ECUs, etc...). However as far as us HID people who aren't actually in the industry know, they don't have a bulb plant. It is speculated that they buy bulbs from Philips or OSRAM, but that is speculation. Also, the only bulb we have ever seen is the "Koito D2S" bulb. Generically marked and hard to determine the actual origin. It is also hard to source, so in general just stay away.

    GE is trying hard to enter the bulb arena, but it is generally accepted that their bulb quality is still inferior to Philips and even to OSRAM. They are the only quasi-quality manufacturer with a 9000K bulb, however it is illegal for road use in the US, Canada, and all of the EU.

    Panasonic also is an OEM for many vehicle manufacturers. (Nissan likes them). However their bulb division is actually Matsushita and their bulbs are stamped with an "M". They also only make D2S as far as I know. Again Matsushita has no bulb factory of their own, and again it is speculated that they buy manufacture silked Philips. The bulb structures are nearly identical, but again it is speculation as they are not marked as Philips.

    So really, what I am saying here is to stick with Philips. If you have a 2004-2005 Prius, you have D2R bulbs. If you have a 2006+ Prius you have D4R bulbs. The difference being the D4x bulbs are Mercury free. If you do a retrofit (highly recommended) then you can have anything, but generally D2S. Note that D2S and D4S are the standards in the industry. The "S" denotes that it is for use in projectors (_S_traight) while the "R" denotes that it is for use in _R_eflectors. The optics are different and the bulbs are not meant to be mixed and matched. You can however cut notches into the base and "make it fit", but that is ill advised. So because D2S and D4S are the industry standards, bulbs are mostly made and designed for these bulb bases and optical properties. Some are "ported" over with minimal changes, some are designed from the ground up.

    Also just for extra info, D4x bulbs are about 200-300 lumens less bright than D2x bulbs because there is an extra glare shield blocking and then the mercury really does improve light output which has been removed for environmental reasons.

    If you want your basic replacement bulb:

    D2R that colour shifts after 100 or so hours: 85126 or 85122WX (identical bulb, different markings)
    D2R that doesn't colour shift: 85126+ or 85122WX+
    D2S that colour shifts after 100 or so hours: 85122
    D2S that doesn't colour shift: 85122+
    D4R that colour shifts: 42406
    D4R that doesn't colour shift: 42406+ (rare)
    D4S that colour shifts: 42402
    D4S that doesn't colour shift: 42402+ (rare)

    What makes a bulb (quick overview for terminology below)
    If you look at the picture below, you will see a standard Philips 85122 bulb. The base is the big black bit that actually connects to the connector. There is an inner chamber and an outer chamber of glass made of different materials. One part of the electrode travels from the top of the bulb through the twisty metal bits back to the base of the bulb. The other part of the electrode goes directly from the base of the bulb into the glass chamber and is harder to see. The salt chamber is the "bubble" in the middle of the inner glass chamber. The electrode ends in the two parts where it is pinched together before the bubble.

    [​IMG]
    eBay here we come! No don't do that...

    No... There are many more things to know about bulbs. Similar to how clothes have rip-offs that are branded the same or pretty much any electronics device by a major manufacturer that has a ripoff, so do HID bulbs. Every wonder why some standard 85122/85126 bulbs are $15/pair on eBay while others are $300/pair? Well, quality counts.

    Some things to keep in mind:
    Filament: The filament of genuine high quality bulbs are made from thoriated tungsten. A long time ago when microwaves were new technology, thoriated tungsten electrodes were introduced as an alternative to the use of pure tungsten electrodes. 1-2% of the electrodes are made up of thorium dioxide (ThO2) which makes the bulb last longer because the electrode is more robust.

    Remember above where the bulbs end of life comes becomes the electrode slowly corrodes away and eventually the 20-30kv spark cannot bridge the cold gap? Well the more robust the electrode, the slower it erodes, the longer the bulb lasts. Some bulbs are actually marked "LL" for Long Life like the Philips 85122LL which come standard on the Lexus LS series (like the LS430 which has one of the top 3 most coveted projectors). The LL bulbs generally contain 2% to 3% ThO2. Which make them erode even more slowly. An added benefit of ThO2 is that it has a more even heat profile and current flow which promotes a more stable arc across the salt gap. This produces a more stable and consistent light output while putting minimal stress on the salts themselves.

    Cheap bulbs generally are made of pure tungsten which is super cheap, and super crap. It erodes quickly, and the bulb life is short. It also stresses what little salts are in there (more on that in a bit) and the output can be "wavy" or inconsistent over temperature and/or time. In general the luminous output is also less with a tungsten filament because more of the current flowing through the filament is transferred to heat versus being used to arc the salts (making more light).

    Salts, the HIDs heart: Yes your HID bulb has salt in it. The salt is the heart of your bulb and is used as fuel essentially. I keep talking about the salt chamber, air gap between the cathode and anode, and the firing voltage to excite the salts. Well this is what makes the bulbs tick. When the bulb is first getting turned on, a 400Hz 25,000 volt signal is sent through the bulb. Although at least one manufacture uses 4KHz (4000Hz) and some oldschool 90's German vehicles with 1S/1R bulbs sometimes use high voltage DC (yikes!!!). The reason for the AC is because it puts the stress on the anode every time it fires and stress on the cathode every time it strikes. If you switch directions (what AC does) then the anode becomes the cathode and the cathode becomes the anode. Since the wear is different, switching back and forth makes the life longer by equally destroying itself. :)

    Anyways, that initial 25,000 volt signal jumps between the anode and the cathode in the salt chamber. This makes an electrical arc and the electrodes glow slightly blue-ish at the tips. This arc is hot. Very very hot. It makes the salts very hot. Eventually (milliseconds) the salts start to vapourize literally. The vapourized salts are then ionized by the arc between the electrodes making plasma. This plasma is super hot, super unstable, and extremely excited so it shoots photons off like nothing else making light. Along with photons it shoots of lots of bad radiated waves as well, more on that later. Once the plasma is created and the salts are vapourized, the ballasts can drop the voltage to 85vac and generally it is +/- 17vac to keep the arc going. 85vac is standard, but some run higher, some lower, and cheap ones jump around.

    So since the salts are the heart of your bulb, your bulb is only as good as the salts you have. Some common salts and their colours are:

    Sodium Iodide - White
    Thallium Iodide - yellow crystals that become red at 170oC
    Scandium Iodide - yellow powder
    Dysprosium Iodide - deep yellow powder
    Indium Iodide - deep red-brown color
    Mercury Iodide - Yellow (may or may not be added, but it may form due to the presence of iodide from the other salts)

    More rare (i.e. exotic and expensive) salts:
    Cerium Iodide-Yellow
    Neodymium Iodide - Green
    Holmium Iodide - yellow
    Erbium Iodide - Pink
    Thulium Iodide - Yellow
    Gadolinium Iodide - yellow
    Ytterbium Iodide - yellow

    Generally most bulbs are made of Scandium Iodide and Sodium Iodide. Higher temperature good quality bulbs use more Indium Iodide which is really expensive and hazardous to use (read as expensive). Every company has a closely guarded recipe of salts to make the precise colours.

    Cheap aftermarket crap generally use low quality salts and/or salts cut with other materials to barely allow the plasma to form and are easily diluted.

    All of the salts listed above are extremely expensive in high purities. When you look at the salt chamber of a Philips or high quality bulb, you will see it very yellow (or red) when new. When you look at a new cheap bulb, it will be almost clear. Almost clear means almost no salt, which means very very bad.

    Also the less salt in the chamber, the less salt vapour and the plasma is more unpredictable generally producing more heat and less light output. This makes these bulbs run hotter and again unevenly.

    When the electrode erodes, it actually starts depositing the tungsten in the salt chamber mixing with the salts. The salts themselves turn gray-ish because they are "burnt" but they are also mixed with tungsten as well. So over time with a little tungsten added, some colour shift to a different light spectrum and eventually too much tungsten decreases the luminous output. So new bulbs will first become whiter then slowly dim until there is not enough electrode left to make the air gap, or the salts are too contaminated by tungsten waste to vapourize and become plasma properly.

    Electrodes: We covered the chemical/material properties above with the difference between pure tungsten (bad) and a mix of ThO2 and tungsten (good). But there is also a mechanical aspect to it. Cheap bulbs sometimes have the electrodes sideways, crooked, or too short. The first two jeopardize the optical properties of the bulb and the structural integrity of the inner/outer glass chamber vacuum seal and chambers in general. Symmetrically sealed chambers can make the mechanical stress focus on the point of the glass by the electrode which is strongest versus if it is offset then the stress is still focusing on the tip of the glass but there is nothing there to hold it up.

    Glass Chambers: You are putting your health at risk and your projectors' chrome lining with cheap bulbs. Not only do the cheap bulbs burn hotter because of less salt, they burn more unstable. The plasma also radiates extremely intense UV rays along with other nasties. If you look at a good bulb you will see an inner chamber made of high temperature glass and an outer chamber sealed by a vacuum made of lower temperature glass but high UV blocking properties. Cheap manufacturers either use low quality outer shielding or some leave it off altogether to save costs. If you ran this bulb and stood infront of the bulb you would get a severesunburn. Similar things can happen with cracked glass chambers even on high quality bulbs. So there is the obvious health hazard, but to get to the chrome hazards, when it gets too hot the chrome will bubble. When the chrome bubbles, you get uneven spreads and hotspots at best and ignition/fire at worst. Remember you aren't dealing with grandma's bulbs. These are high voltage, high current, and extremely high output lights.

    Base Structure: The base structures of good high quality bulbs have large uniformly shaped rivets sturdily holding the base to bulb. The glass tubes are not overly large or fragile, The inner wire to the glass chamber has slack in it to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.

    Cheap bulbs have really crap rivets or sometimes none at all on some legs. The bulb base glass is sloppy which gives room for excess stress on the bottom, and in some cases the power wire is straight and taught which can snap, become overstressed, strained, or thinout with temperature variations.

    Identifying Crap:
    So to put this all together, here are some images and descriptions of bad bulbs versus good bulbs as sourced from hidplanet. The captions are below the images. "Real" denotes a real genuine Philips 85122 bulb. Fake 1 and Fake 2 denote cheap crap bulbs that claim to be 85122 bulbs but are nowhere even close.

    [​IMG]

    Real: Very good formation of the glass, small indentation in
    the center, return wire wild is encased in glass,
    bulb is sealed far from the glass body.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 1: Much taller than the real Philips, return wire weld is
    not encased in the glass, bulb is sealed much closer
    to center of bulb body.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 2: Sloppy formation of glass (slightly tilted and not straight),
    Return wire weld not enclosed in glass, bulb is sealed much
    closer to center of bulb body.

    [​IMG]

    Real: Nicely formed oval shape capsule, good size that is
    symmetrical in shape, thicker glass encasing diodes, white or
    slightly gray colored salts.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 1: Poorly formed capsule more square in shape, poorly
    formed glass that encases diodes very uneven, salts are red in
    color which is not correct for an 85122+.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 2: Oval shaped capsule that is very small and not symmetrical
    in shape, thin glass encasing diodes, salts are white and slightly
    yellow.

    [​IMG]

    Real: Larger perfectly symmetrical rivets, nicely
    tapered and formed lower glass tube, Zig-Zag
    Pattern of lower power wire within lower glass.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 1: Smaller rivets, the glass is nicely formed
    but the tube is overly large, lower power wire is
    mostly straight.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 2: Rivets are almost not noticeable, poorly
    formed lower glass tube, has Zig-Zag lower
    power wire.

    [​IMG]

    Real: Typing is made up of individual dots, matte white in color,
    spacing between words, letters and lines is all uniform.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 1: Typing still using individual dots but dots blend together,
    much too bright white, spacing is not uniform between letters
    and much too narrow between lines.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 2: Typing still using dots but blend together badly, much too
    dull white, spacing is not uniform and letters are not formed correctly

    [​IMG]

    Real: Small solder at the top is perfectly centered and nicely
    formed, protrusion on the center metal post fill most of the
    surface and nicely formed

    [Broken External Image]:http://img815.imageshack.us/img815/6504/solder1fake.jpg

    Fake 1: Small solder at the top is not centered and poorly
    formed, protrusion on the center metal post is poor formed
    and much too small.

    [​IMG]

    Fake 2: Small solder at the top is almost non-existent,
    protrusion on the center metal post is poorly formed
    and very small.

    Conclusion:
    So now you are armed with the basics (maybe slightly more than basic) of HID bulbs and the phoneys out there. Make sure to look for these features. I see bulbs on eBay right now for $15 that are the same as bulbs on sale for $300. You cannot go on price alone. You must make an informed decision. If you want to buy genuine bulbs, buy from a genuine wholesaler or retail outfit. I recommend theRetrofitSource.com for bulbs as well as the Toyota/Lexus dealership. Expect to pay between $50 to $100 per bulb. After reading through all the technology that goes into these bulbs, hopefully you will know why they cost more and are worth more than the walmart bin halogens.
  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Reserved, maybe for pictures of actual bulbs and outputs in the future...
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    You are the man!

    I thought I knew a lot but I learned from this. Thanks!!!
  4. DonDNH

    DonDNH Active Member

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    Thanks for the instruction. It was very useful.
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I was reading about the newest CBI bulbs from Phillips on HIDPlanet and found out that there are even CBI fakes on the market now. People are paying $200 for fake CBIs! Talk about getting ripped off. :(
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Wow! Thanks for all the great info.

    Did not realize that fake Philips HIDs existed and are even marked as being Philips and made in Germany. I bought replacement D4R bulbs fromhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B00480J4J6?tag=priuschatcom-20 (was shipped and sold by Amazon, not a 3rd party) and received a supposedly German made Philips D4R but will need to take a closer look to see if it looks legit.

    edit: I still have the original German made Philips D4R that was failing and came out of my Prius (car was bought new). The print actually looks pretty close to Fake #2's w/it being light and the dots running together but everything looks uniform.

    The replacement that I bought from Amazon has the print dots being more distinct and the lettering looks uniform. I believe what I received from Amazon is genuine from looking at the other signs.

    It's too bad that fakes exist. The Philips boxes they came in look like they can be easily counterfeited and there are no holograms of any sort on the box nor bulb (not that those can't be faked either, if they existed).

    In the past, I've been pointing to Philips D2R and D4R bulbs on Amazon, as examples. Now, I'm a bit hesitant to for fear of pointing people to counterfeits. I sure hope what Amazon itself stocks and ships is genuine.

    I know that you here and elsewhere have stated that Toyota got a bad batch, affecting 06-07s, but I wonder if that's really the case or if just the D4R bulbs are just less reliable than D2R. Toyota and the class action lawsuit lawyers might have some actual stats to show if things got better in 08 and 09.

    FWIW, since you mention Nissan, I had HIDs on my 02 Maxima (bought in late 01) and 04 350Z. Before I sold my 02 Maxima in early 06, the HIDs never gave me trouble. At the time, folks on maxima.org felt that the HIDs were of good quality as nobody seemed to have failures.

    My 04 350Z (bought in late 03) that I sold in July 2011 also never had HID trouble. I have no idea if they used Panasonics as I never had to replace them.
  7. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    If you look on eBay right now you can find fake 85122's for $300/pair. The old advice used to be just buy the more expensive ones and you were safe. They have caught on and now sell the same thing in various postings with higher and higher price tags. Same thing, just more expensive. When you spend $300 you are less likely to believe you bought crap.



    Amazon sells things from all over. I have products on Amazon in their warehouse. If you pay their fee, you can sell whatever you want including the fakes.

    Phillips boxes are usually just plain white with black text when they ship to the OEMs. But consumer grade boxes do differ between years and so on.

    The early D4R and D4S bulb designs were weaker and did not last as long as their D2R and D2S counterparts. They should have lasted longer than what some users report. However, I take what they report with a grain of salt (pun intended) because a couple years turns into a year, and 50,000miles turns into "a few thousand" miles. Just because Toyota settles or any company settles doesn't mean that they admit or even acknowledge there was a problem. Sometimes it is just easier to make people that don't understand and will never understand just go away then to continue to tell them they are wrong. I personally feel this is what Toyota did with the headlight "recall". It wasn't their fault, I do not personally think there was anything wrong except the bulb was not as great as previous generations but still exceptional. It lasted longer than halogens would have. The real problem was that Toyota had them listed as assembly replacement parts, so when the bulb went out, you got a new bulb, ballast, and headlight housing which is uber expensive.

    Around 2007 is when D4x technology "caught up" to D2x technology in terms of longevity with the exception of the LL bulbs. Again the timing is just too coincident. But try explaining this to all the people who jump on the bandwagon and by the time you are done you spent more money, time, and frustration than just to pay them a few dollars and say "go away".

    All HID vehicles have greater life expectancy than their halogen counterparts. What skews this is when someone with HIDs drives with them on 24/7 (like me) versus someone with halogens who rarely drives at night and only turns the lights on when needed. The halogens in this case will last longer chronologically, but in terms of hours of operation, the HID always wins. But then you get the "your fancy bulbs only lasted 2 years? My cheap halogens are stock and 6 years old". True statements, but they mean nothing.

    Your Nissan also probably had D2S or D2R which in comparison to your old tech D4R bulbs will last longer and shine brighter when comparing new to new bulbs.
  8. swelljibes

    swelljibes New Member

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    Thanks for the education and the manufacturer recommendations.

    My wife's 2007 Prius just lost a headlight. As expected, prices at local dealers for one D4R are high... around $140/per bulb. I did find one local shop that carries Wagner bulbs, though, for $98. I recognize Wagner as a brand whose brake parts I used many years ago, but I have no idea of their current quality levels, especially for replacement HID bulbs.

    Any thoughts on the use of Wagner replacement bulbs...?
  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    I have never heard of Wagner having a production factory. If they don't make them, I wouldn't buy them.
    1 person likes this.
  10. swelljibes

    swelljibes New Member

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    2k1Toaster:

    Thanks. Following your response I queried the shop carrying the Wagner bulbs. They stated the bulbs actually have markings on them stating "Phillips". Although they could certainly be fakes, I'm going to give them a whirl...
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    For $98 you can buy known real genuine Phillips bulbs. Seems like unneeded risk, but your choice.
  12. swelljibes

    swelljibes New Member

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    UPDATE:

    I got the Wagner units home, but it turned out I got a respite... the headlights seemed to be working this weekend. I never saw the headlight out, but if it "self healed" then it matches symptoms I've read about a soon-to-fail bulb, so I probably have a some indeterminate time before it totally fails. I inspected the bulbs under a high-powered magnifying lens and unfortunately the dot-lettering on the bulb stem matches the "bad" examples given above, plus I see not-so-great soldering that matches your last two images... So I think these are fakes.

    Given the respite I was able to avoid installing the fakes this weekend. I'll return them and order units from one of the "good" vendors listed in various locations here and in the Yahoo Prius 2G forum.

    Thanks for the help.
  13. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Intermittent failure is a sign of death. There is more on this as well as why this is bad in the first post. Use it as you would (hopefully!) use a spare tire. Use it only long enough to get a replacement on there, but no more. Keep them as emergency backups if you want, but not for daily use especially if you do any significant part of your driving outside of dawn to dusk.
  14. manlyprius

    manlyprius Junior Member

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    Was this designed by NASA engineers for manned space flight? I'm a production engineering manager. If one of my engineering teams came in with this over-complicated, over-engineered, exotic, expensive headlight contraption for an everyday passenger car I would fire every last one of them on the spot. What were the pinheads at Toyota thinking when they released a 400 Hz 30,000 Volt computer controlled ballasted circuit for mass production? This belongs on a nuclear submarine or the Space Shuttle.
  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    It has been around for a while, and started going on production cars in the late 80's, early 90's. Before that it was in video projectors, airplanes, and lots of other places. Every movie theatre screen has at least 2 of these bulbs burning all the time. A 3D capable theatre has 4 bulbs going. It didn't start on the Prius, and it is a much improved system over halogen.

    The thing you are using right now to view this is possible because of space flight...
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I need your opinion on rebased bulbs. What in your estimation is the best H11 HID bulb available in terms of performance, reliability, warranty etc.. I've only used the DDM and Morimoto bulbs when I couldn't use OE bulbs. The DDMs were disappointing and the Morimotos worked fine and come with a nice warranty. I am going to do a little test using cheap DDM bulbs but when money permits I would like to try the best bulb and make comparisons. I hope that this can help guide Prius owners in their upgrades. :)

    This includes any possible modifications to run say an H9 or 2006 bulb.
  17. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Hi sorry I didn't see this earlier!



    As far as I know DDM actually have pretty good QA on the bulbs. What was disappointing about the DDM bulbs? I have never used Morimoto bulbs, but I have bought some DDMs to do a comparison. However those bulbs have maybe 3 hours of use on them total so it is not really that impressive of a test on my end...



    I wouldn't do it. It just gives people the option or idea to run a HID setup in their stock halogen setups. It is just silly. A retrofit isn't all that hard, although I admit my Prius retro is the most frustrating I have ever had. My inflated tire pressure and the gigantic housing with bouncy reflectors make adhesion a pain and the vibrations on the lights from the 50psi+ tires is ridiculous!
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Wonderful post. I hope this thread is a sticky in hte knowledge base section for G2 Prius.
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    To follow up on Amazon and Philips, Philips has FINALLY fixed their North American automotive lighting web site (it was busted for ages and at one point, they removed the link to it). From Philips Car lamps, Lighting, if you click "Where to buy", that leads to Philips Zip Code Locator which does list Amazon a place to buy their lighting products.

    I think and hope that if one buys Philips D4R or D2R bulbs from Amazon and they're being sold by Amazon (and not a 3rd party), that one can be be reasonably sure that they're genuine.
  20. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Just remember that Amazon ships from both their warehouse and from resellers from their "marketplace". So be careful in which you choose.
    dogfriend likes this.
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