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Re: I read it, but... (archive)

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Posted by B. Wheaton on June 06, 2001 at 02:24:58:

In Reply to: I read it, but... posted by Magnus! on June 05, 2001 at 23:17:40:

I'm not sure if you read the same article as I did. In the article I referenced, there are very specific reasons with supporting examples of why it is the author's professional opinion that aftermarket HID conversions are normally not a good idea. There are specific mentions of such things as beam patterns, arc capsule placement, improper cutoff placement and excessive foreground illumination at the expense of adequate long distance illumination.

The author's main point in the article is that unless a head lamp assembly is specifically designed for HID arc discharge, you may have an impressive flood of foreground light that is certainly bright and dazzling, but with a beam that is not effectively focused for adequate distance vision or that is safely diverted so as not to blind oncoming traffic.

There is mention that for some cars, legitimate HID retrofit kits are available. But with the Philips kit being only bulb specific and not actually designed for a particular model of car, I would have to say that while it does look neat, actual functionality is probably at the mid to lower end of the performance spectrum. I find it hard to believe that this kit could perform anywhere near the level that a unit specifically designed for the E30 would. What we need is to find a (semi) scientific performance analysis of various automotive lighting sources to know once and for all how this conversion measures up.

This is not meant to rain all over the fact that you have just spent nearly $1000 on your new lighting setup. Lots of people spend large amounts of money on improvements for their cars that look cool, but actually have no performance impact. One example - EvoIII front and rear spoilers on cars that have never or will never see a track or competition. Heck, I have a front EvoIII spoiler, but my excuse is that I got it at a price way to low to pass up. ;^)

Your new lights do look great and I'm very glad that you are happy with them. At the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Take care.

Brandon Wheaton
1989 E30 M3


I only read repetition and generalities. He did not specify if different light housings affect the control of the beam. Xenon HID works only in projector lamps, which our Ellips are. If you could see my lights you could see how well directed our Ellips are. As for non projectors, I don't believe they work even if it is a 2002 Surburban. I've seen many new SUV that come with HID lights that blind me for miles, no matter what lane they're in. Also all of the first gen. versions of factory installed Xenon's suck anyway
But thanks for the read, I have read most of the stuff on that site before, and it can be helpful. The only change or upgrade I would make is, for the price might as well throw in the auto level controllers ( I wish).

Thanks,
Hope to be blinding you at Sig-fest Magnus!





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