You normally see HID or high-intensity discharge lights in luxury cars. They are expensive, no doubt, but they produce a much brighter light than OEM bulbs during night driving, thus increasing your visibility and safety. So, HID bulbs protect you from road accidents.
These bulbs are very efficient and run for more than 2,000 hours. That is why you will find many people are willing to switch over to HID from their current halogen bulb headlights.
But before using an HID headlight, you should understand that HIDs are available in many colors. This is where an HID color chart comes in. You will find different colors in an HID bulb color chart.
The color of the light is important because different colors are suited to different purposes. This article will share a detailed HID color chart, which will help you choose a color for your headlight.
What Is An HID?
An HID or high-intensity discharge bulb does not have a filament like a halogen bulb. It contains a noble gas called Xenon. Xenon has the unique property that it lights up when you pass an electric current through it.
This produces a much brighter light than the regular filament-based process. It covers nearly three times the area of light produced by halogen bulbs.
What Is An HID Ballast?
But how does current pass through the HID bulbs? Well, you need to use a ballast if you are planning to have HID headlight. The ballast provides the right high voltage and constant flow of current, which helps light up the Xenon.
Advantages Of HID
- An HID bulb can produce three times brighter light in comparison to a halogen bulb
- The HID bulbs consume significantly less power
- Low maintenance
- Xenon bulbs are much more appealing than halogens
- These bulbs are more durable and have a longer life span in comparison to other bulbs.
What Is An HID Color Chart?
In our HID color chart below, you can find various colors as indicated by their Kelvin strength. Now you may ask, what is Kelvin? Kelvin is a unit of the temperature of color; the higher the temperature, the hotter the bulb’s gas.
|Colors||Temperature (Kelvins)||What It Looks Like|
|Yellow||3000 K||Similar to halogens, pure yellow|
|Off-White||4300 K||A combination of white and yellow|
|Pure White||5000 K||Just like sunlight, white in color|
|Crystal White||6000 K||White light slightly tinted with blue|
|Light Blue||8000 K||White and blue|
|Deep Blue||10,000 K||Dark Blue|
|Dark Blue||12,000 K||Very dark blue|
Visual Representation of Kelvin Scale for Light
Source: By Bhutajata – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
You need to choose the bulb according to the color you want. If you choose a higher Kelvin color temperature, your HID headlight will produce blue light.
On the other hand, if you select a lower kelvin color temperature, your headlight will produce yellow light. It’s a myth that higher Kelvin means more bright light. In actuality, it is not so.
Each color temperature indicates a color of light that you will see. The point to note here is that the higher the Kelvin, the less efficient the light is to use as a headlight in your car.
The ideal color temperature for HID bulb headlight is 4300 to 6000K. Within this range, your headlight color will be pretty similar to sunlight which is the best color to drive in the night.
If you increase the color temperature above 6000K, then your headlight will produce blue shades, making it tougher for you to drive.
At 10000K and above, the light of your headlight produces a completely blue color, and you cannot see anything on the road.
A wrong color temperature HID bulb can lead you to road accidents. Blue-colored lights may look cool but are not ideal to use as a headlight.
Different Color Temperature And Their Purpose
Yellow HID Light
If you choose an HID temperature of 3000K, then your headlight will produce yellow light. You will see these lights in cars older than ~15 years.
Yellow color headlights have been a staple for a long time since halogens also emit yellow light. It is good for all kinds of weather conditions. The only problem is the distance to which yellow light reaches, which is usually lower than other colors.
Lastly, you should choose this color if there is frequent fog or snow in your area.
Off-White Or OEM White HID Light
OEM HID light means white with some tints of yellow. It looks pretty similar to sunlight, and it is also a good one to use as a headlight. But the OEM headlight is quite dim. Some people may like it, whereas others don’t want to have a dim HID headlight.
If you intend to choose the OEM headlight, you need to select the HID temperature 4300K.
Pure White Light
If you want your headlight to produce pure white light, you need to choose the color temperature of 5000K. The 5000 HID kits are most popular in the market because they produce clear white light, which is best for driving both day and night. They are the brightest HID bulb.
Crystal White Light
A color temperature of 6000K will produce white light with some tints of blue. The light will be 95 percent whitish in color and 5 percent bluish in color. This color headlight is quite attractive and clean. A driver can easily see everything on the road at night. 6000K HID kits are also popular in the market.
The color temperature of 8000K will produce pale blue. Some people also use this color headlight on the roads, enabling them to see in the streets. A Pale blue color headlight will make your car look modern. But, this color is not suitable for the eyes.
Pale blue color may strain your eyes at night. Even this color is not helpful in harsh weather conditions. When your environment goes bad unluckily, like heavy rain or snowfall on the midway, you cannot see correctly. It’s tough to drive at that time.
If you choose a 10000K color temperature as a headlight, then you are surely going to attract police. Even you need to pay for the ticket. A driver will partially see everything on the road if he uses a deep blue color headlight. So, I think you should not choose this color as a headlight because safety is the priority.
If someone chooses a color temperature of 12,000K or above, it will produce a deep blue or purple color. You should not use these colors in your headlight.
Blue Lights In Cars
Now, you might wonder why people would prefer blue lights on their car? Let’s discuss blue lights a bit in the next section.
Advantages Of Blue light
- A blue headlight can give a stylish and luxurious look to your car. You might have seen that high-end luxury cars often have blue-tinted headlights.
Disadvantages Of Blue Light
- Puts Pressure On your Eyes. In nature, we don’t find blue light. So, if someone is going to look constantly at the blue color headlight, it may strain his eyes or create some other eye problems.
- Legality. Some counties do not allow the blue color headlight on the road.
- Useless In Bad Weather Conditions. If you are going to drive with a blue headlight in foggy weather, you can’t see anything on the road.
You might also like to read our Ultimate Guide on How to Install Hid Kits
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which Is Better, 6000K Or 8000K?
You can measure the intensity of light by Kelvin. A 6000K color temperature will produce crystal white light and enables the driver to properly see everything on the road both day and night time. A 6000K color temperature is far better than an 8000K temperature because it emits almost all visible light spectrum.
Which Is Better, 5000K Or 6000K?
A 5000 K color temperature is better than 6000K because it produces clear white light, which is quite soft and relaxing for the eyes. It’s pretty pleasing to see the clear white light as a headlight.
Which Is The Best Color For The Headlight?
White light is the best color for headlight because this color is very close to sunlight.
Why HID Bulbs Last Longer?
In regular bulbs or halogen bulbs, you find a filament that can wear and frequently tear because of bumps or traveling on mountain roads. But, in HID, you will not find any filament.
They produce a brilliant visible light when an electric current passes through a noble gas. So, there is no question of wear and tear of the inner parts of the bulb. Even they don’t get heat up quickly. So, they will keep your parts of the car cool. That’s why an HID bulb lasts longer in comparison to other bulbs.
Are Yellow Lights Better Than White Lights?
If you are driving more often in foggy weather or rain and snow, then a yellow headlight will allow you to see roads compared to white light. That’s why many people are now opting for yellow light rather than white light.
Why Did My HID Turn Pink?
An HID bulb usually lasts for eight to ten years. When your HID turns pink, it is an indication that your bulb is not working correctly or will die very soon.
Why Is My HID Bulb Changing Color?
When you use an HID bulb for some years, there is a chance to increase the color temperature. So, your headlight will produce white with some tints of blue.
How Long Does An HID Ballast Last?
An HID ballast usually lasts for around three to five years. While buying ballast, you should not think about price but the quality. So, try to invest money in a good quality ballast.
Which Color Temperature Is Best For The Headlight?
5000K color temperature is best as it produces light similar to the daylight. Even this color temperature lies just in the middle of the color spectrum—That’s why it is best for both worlds.
Although HID bulbs are expensive, they produce brighter light on the roads, enabling drivers to drive correctly on the road. But before buying an HID kit, you should select the color of your headlight.
The headlight color decides the safety of a driver. In an HID color chart, you can find several colors with different color temperatures. If you select a lower color temperature, they are Warm colors, i.e., from red to white.
If you want a headlight that will produce color very close to sunlight, then you need to choose a color temperature of 4300K or 6000K. Again if you frequently drive in foggy weather, then you opt for 3000K color temperature.
If someone selects a higher color temperature, then they are an excellent color and usually not suitable for driving during night time. After reading this article, you are clear regarding HID color chart, and it will help you a lot in buying your HID kit.