Are you confused between 35 Watt or 55 Watt HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights? Don’t know which one is better? Well, we will help you out. Choosing one from the two LEDs can be an excellent task. With many pros and cons on both sides, it isn’t easy to make out of the two. We hope by the end of this article you may have made your choice based on your requirement.
HID headlights have a lot of benefits. Switching to HID lights can prove beneficial to many drivers. They give out the brighter intensity of light and increase visibility at night. Bright light helps the driver have a better vision, making it safer and easier to drive at night. These lights also have long-lasting battery life and can work up to 50,000+ hours.
Compared to halogen lights, they draw less power from the car engine, and therefore, the car’s load is less. HID ballasts work at basically two powers are the 35W or 55W. These two are the major differences; many other smaller ones make each of them unique. We shall discuss them in this article.
How Do HID Lights Work?
HID stands for High-Intensity Discharge. In HID headlights, light is produced by a discharge of electricity between two terminals through an ionized gas.
HID lights are comparable to neon lights, where gas is used for lighting up as well. But HID lights are much brighter. They are traditionally used in stadiums and streets. But today you get many models which are used in cars.
An HID bulb has two electrodes sealed inside a glass tube along with gas and metal salts. In automotive headlights, metal-halide salts are used. The gas used in this application is Xenon, which is why this light is often called Xenon light.
The use of Xenon has a purpose. Usually, an HID light will require a few minutes to warm up and glow. With the use of Xenon, the time is reduced to around 10 seconds.
HID lights need a higher voltage to light up. Most cars run on 12 V DC power. To achieve a higher voltage, most of the HID lights come with a ballast, which is what is connected to the car’s electrical system. HID lights light up differently in different circumstances.
They glow differently in the beginning and after you have been driving for some time. To stabilize this, the ballast has to be connected with the lights.
When you are converting your car from Halogen to HID, you will have to bet the ballast and connect it to your car’s electrical circuit, and to this ballast, the lights are connected. For cars already fitted with HID headlights, the ballast is part of the car’s electronics.
Advantages Of HID Headlights
HID’s are much better than Halogens in many ways:
Watt for watt, HID lights are brighter than Halogen bulbs, using up less power and therefore fuel in your car.
HID lights can work a lot longer than halogens because they are not dependent on a filament for lighting.
The main advantage people find with installing HID headlights is the choice of color that you can get. The color of light is indicated by the temperature at which they operate. Halogen lights normally operate at 3000 to 3500 K, which gives a yellowish light.
The HID bulbs operate in many temperature ranges. People generally prefer the ones that have temperatures between 4500 to 6000 K, where the light color is bright white or bluish. This is much closer to the daylight that we get from the sun.
Efficiency Of HID Lights
HID headlights are not the best when it comes to efficiency in converting electrical power to light. There is a lot of loss of energy as they develop a lot of heat. Supposing a light is working at 50% efficiency, we can say that when you drive the bulb at 30 W, it is using only 15 W.
But when you compare the HID headlights with Halogen lights, they are much more efficient. A bulb’s efficiency can be expressed in the number of lumens of light it produces per watt of electricity. While a 35W HID lamp produces 74 lumens per watt, the standard halogen produces only 38 lumens per watt.
The 35W bulbs
People use the 35W HID bulbs to fulfill various purposes. They are brighter than standard bulbs.
- Companies like Xentec, Oreva, etc., manufacture these bulbs and have made them a hit in the market.
- This product can enhance your vision at night while driving or doing any other task.
- This product has a long life and does not draw a lot of power to operate.
- Three times brighter than halogen bulbs
- A long life
- Do not draw a lot of power.
- Do not heat up.
- Not as bright as 55W
- Cannot be mounted outside headlight without modification
The 55W bulbs
They are brighter than the 35W lights and can provide a broader vision. Bosch and Philips are the two leading companies that make 55W bulbs.
- Brighter with more lumens
- Provides a wide vision
- Helps in safe driving
- Longer life than halogen lights
- Can cause glare
- Gets overheated
35 Watt or 55 Watt HID?
We can differentiate between them based on the following points:
- Brightness and Wattage
Brightness and Wattage
The main difference between the two HID lights is their wattage. Wattage or power can affect both of them in different ways. Let’s see the differences between them:
These bulbs are the most commonly manufactured units in the automobile sector. Many companies pre-install them in their cars. Most of these are factory-installed in luxury cars. Their brightness ranges from 2300 to 3500 lumens approximately, and they are three times brighter than halogen bulbs.
- Do not produce heat
- Consumes less power
- No color washing
- Three times brighter compared to halogen bulbs
- You cannot mount it outside the headlight without making modifications.
They have a higher power release which makes them more bright. 55W bulbs are four to five times brighter than halogen bulbs and have an intensity of 3000-4800 lumens. Anyone looking for maximum brightness must go for them.
- More lumen intensity
- Brighter light than other bulbs
- Color washing prone
- Can get overheated
- Bulb life is shorter
- It can cause glare/light that is blinding for some motorists
The winner is the 35W bulb.
Though HID bulbs run on a cooler scale than halogen bulbs still they can get overheated. The 35W conversion kit does not have the problem of getting heated up as 55W has. It is the main downside of the 55W kit. If you wish to make the most out of the 55W kit, you need to make sure that your headlights are metallic. The plastic ones will melt.
Also, you can upgrade the plugs of plastic to ceramic ones as they are better at withstanding heat and can make the lights stay better. By doing this, the lights won’t burn or melt the wiring or the housing, which can cause damage. It would help if you compared all factors before you buy anything.
The winner is again the 35W bulb
35w bulbs can run at low temperatures with enough brightness, whereas 55W lights can get overheated. They do provide better light output but, due to heating problems, can have a shorter lifespan than 35W bulbs. If correctly fitted and taken care of, the 35W bulbs can outlive the car. The 55W bulbs work longer than the halogens but not as much as 35W due to their heating technology.
In the end, the final winner is the 35W bulb.
35W bulbs: Standout features
The standout features are:
- It has a longer life than 55W bulbs
- It does not hurt the eyes of the oncoming driver
- It does not produce heat enough to damage the car’s housing or wires.
The 55W bulb: Standout features
The standout features are:
- It gives out a brighter light than any other bulb
- Provides a broader vision that can increase the reaction time of drivers at night and prevent accidents
I hope the information we shared was enough to make you choose between the two. These light bulbs can revolutionize your driving experience.
If you are looking for brighter light and something that can help you travel at night, probably the 55W is the best option. A 55W bulb will provide enough light to light up at least 10 meters of the road ahead and gives you enough time to respond if something jumps in front of the car. Having a lot of visibility can help avoid accidents at night, especially at places where deer and other land animals often cause accidents.
They are easy to install as well and can be helpful to people who travel a lot. However, their life span is short compared to 35W bulbs, and they also get overheated.
If you want something durable and efficient, then 35W is the answer. These bulbs have a longer life than the 55W bulbs and are three times brighter than the halogen bulbs. They also do not suck power from the car engine, and thus the motor does not overwork itself. They also do not get overheated.
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Relevant Resources: Can you replace halogen headlights with LED? Read our How-To Guide to find out.