Posted by Rodrick on February 18, 1999 at 15:14:52:
In Reply to: Fake Xenons posted by JoeT on February 18, 1999 at 09:28:09:
Philips has an automotive lighting forum where for the past few months there has been a major and very heated debate about all the different blue bulbs such as Ion Blues, Crystal Blues, Philips BlueVisions, PIAA Plasma Blues and many many more. There is also heated discussion about the Xenon retrofitting kits available from some companies. You can visit the forum web page and read the posts from the last few months and you will find out more than you ever wanted to know. Their web page address is: http://www.lighting.philips.com/forum/forum_6/wwwboard.html
Here is a summary of what I know:
Blue lights are illegal in the U.S. as well as Europe. The blue bulbs from the major manufacturers, such as the Philips BlueVision have a blue coating not to make the light blue, but to take the yellow out and make the light very white. If the light output is really blue than it is not DOT approved and therefore illegal. There are companies that provide Xenon retrofits which include Xenon bulbs, ballasts and igniters. All of these are illegal because technically the regular halogen headlight housings and lenses are not designed for use with HID Xenons bulbs. They will cause too much glare and not focus the light correctly because of the differnt distances of the arc from the base in the Xenon VS. the element from the base in halogens. Also in Europe Xenon headlights are required by law to have headlight washers and automatic self-leveling systems. The only legal retrofits available at this time are made by Hella for the BMW E39 and Mercedes E-class. The only way you can have a legal Xenon retorfit for your E46 is to but the complete Xenon headlights, ballasts, and starters from a BMW dealership.
Hope this helps,