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Unlike traditional halogen headlight bulbs that burn out with around 500 hours of use, quality high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs can last anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 hours. That likely means you aren’t shopping for replacement HID bulbs as frequently as you would if you had halogen headlights, but eventually they will need to be replaced.
The most convenient way to get replacement HID bulbs is to go to your dealership and having them replaced. But that will likely be your most expensive option. If you’re willing to swap out the bulbs on your own, then you can save yourself a bit of money by purchasing replacement bulbs online or at a local auto parts store.
Unlike halogen headlights, there isn’t a wide assortment of manufacturers that offer replacement HIDs. But there are a few brands you might want to stick with to ensure the same quality lighting you got from the factory. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of counterfeit products out there, so make sure you’re getting it from a reputable distributor that can prove the bulb’s authenticity.
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1. Editor's Pick: Philips Xenon Standard
Philips is arguably the most well-known brand when it comes to HID headlights. In fact, Philips is the inventory of Xenon HID technology and various automakers use the company’s HIDs as standard equipment on their vehicle. That’s also a reason why Philips Xenon Standard bulbs are one of the most popular available on the market. Each Philips Xenon Standard HID headlight bulb comes with an original equipment quality seal for the most reliable performance and is DOT compliant.
Each Philips Xenon Standard bulb is rated differently depending on the application. For example, the D1S and D2R bulbs are rated at 85 volts and 35 watts, with the D1S offering 3350 (± 300) lumens at a 4200K color temperature. The D2R meanwhile is rated at 3000 (± 250) lumens with the same color temperature. Make sure when you’re comparing different products that you refer to the manufacturer’s websites for specifications, rather than relying on the retailer’s website for accurate information.
The company offers its replacement bulb in a variety of fitments, so it’s almost guaranteed there’s a product that fits your car. When purchasing a Philips Xenon Standard replacement bulb, make sure there is a Philips Certificate of Authenticity (COA) on the box. You can verify the authenticity of the product by scanning the QR code or going to a website.
2. Sylvania HID Headlight Bulb
Another popular brand within the automotive lighting industry is Sylvania. There’s a good chance you have come across Sylvania headlight bulbs in the aisles of your local auto parts store, so it’s little surprise its HID bulbs are also one of the best.
Sylvania is the North American operation of OSRAM, a lighting manufacturer headquartered in Germany. If you purchase a Sylvania bulb, there’s a possibility it will an OSRAM product in Sylvania packaging. Keep in mind that headlight regulations in Europe are different than the U.S., so if you’re purchasing a replacement, make sure you get one that’s legal for your country. Certain automakers use OSRAM HID headlight bulbs straight from the factory, so if you’re having a tough time looking for an OSRAM replacement in the U.S., check for Sylvania instead.
Designed, engineered, and manufactured to exact specifications, Sylvania’s HID replacement bulbs promise to deliver extremely long life and superior visibility. They’re available in a variety of applications, but the lineup isn’t as comprehensive as Philips.
Pay close attention to the specifications for your particular bulb, but most Sylvania HID replacements are rated at 85 volts and 35 watts with 3200 lumens and a 4150K color temperature.
3. Kensun HID Replacement Bulbs
A popular brand for HID conversion kits, Kensun also offers a variety of HID replacement bulbs. Kensun’s bulbs are much more affordable than Philips Xenon Standard and Sylvania HID bulbs, but they may not last as long. The company also offers replacement bulbs for Bi-Xenon headlights and combination bulbs for low Xenon/high halogen and high Xenon/halogen DRL.
When shopping for a Kensun replacement bulb, you can choose between 35 watts or 55 watts and a wide range of color temperatures from 3000K to 30000K. It’s likely higher temperature bulbs, which result in different colors, aren’t legal in your country so stick to what you can use on the road safely. But for those that want to further customize their vehicle, the options are there for off-road use – including pink and green HID bulbs.
Each HID bulb from Kensun claims to be 100-percent waterproof, 100-percent dustproof, and 100-percent shock proof and come with a two-year warranty. If your vehicle is currently equipped with halogen headlights and you’re searching for a way to upgrade, Kensun’s kits are worth a look. Just make sure they’re legal to use in your state, as most HID kits are intended for off-road use only.
4. HID Warehouse
Likely the most affordable HID replacement bulbs out on the market, HID Warehouse specializes in HID bulbs and conversion kits for a wide range of makes and models of vehicles. The company offers replacement bulbs in pairs for various applications and colors, depending on the temperature you want, including 3000K, 5000K, 6000K, 8000K, 10000K, Ruby Pink, Midnight Purple, and Deep Blue. Again, check with your state’s official laws before choosing a bulb that’s brighter than 5000K.
HID Warehouse also offers a two-year warranty with its products, so despite its low price, you’re getting a bit of a guarantee with live tech support based in the U.S.
The replacement bulbs are also compatible with most aftermarket HID kits, and each pair of bulbs includes two plug-and-play wiring harnesses allowing for a quick and easy installation. HID Warehouse says its bulbs are waterproof and shockproof, 100-percent reversible, and have received ISO9001 certification.
Like Kensun’s bulbs, HID Warehouse’s bulbs are ideal if you’re looking for an affordable replacement, or even a temporary solution. Just keep in mind that some owners have run into issues with their life spans, which is to be expected given their price compared to Philips and Sylvania.
5. Cougar Motor HID Replacement Bulbs
Another affordable and popular option comes from Cougar Motor, with its HID bulbs available in various sizes and colors, although the company doesn’t offer as much of a variety as Kensun and HID Warehouse. Buyers can choose from 4300K, 5000K, 6000K, and 8000K color temperatures for 35-watt bulbs.
Cougar Motor says each bulb is laser aligned to the base during the manufacturing process, ensuring a tight beam pattern. The blend of xenon gas is also measured to the proper color temperature and is said to not fade over time. The bulbs have a projected lifespan of 3,000 hours, offer up to 7600 lumens per pair, are IP67 waterproof, and come with a two-year warranty.
Like other aftermarket bulbs, Cougar Motor’s product comes with a plug-and-play harness that is designed to fit your factory OEM housing without any necessary wiring or modifications.
Again, keep in mind when purchasing budget HID bulbs that they may not always have the best quality control. There’s always the chance you get a bad bulb, so purchase from a reputable retailer that won’t cause a headache if you need to return or exchange the product.
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