Selecting a Color for Aftermarket HID Headlights
Most vehicles use halogen headlight bulbs, which provide typical lighting results familiar to those who often use incandescent bulbs at home. In the past few years, and to a much greater extent than when first introduced in the BMW 7 Series lineup in the early 1990s, HIDs have begun to outpace halogens, particularly among car enthusiasts and expert aftermarket automotive parts installers. These High Intensity Discharge headlights provide multiple times the brightness and much greater longevity than typically expected from halogens. And for those who like to keep appearances in mind at all times, HID bulbs are a diverse bunch, offering a range of colors for you to choose from. Below, we’ll break down some of the most popular options for color selections.
Colors for HID bulbs are selected based on a particular color temperature. Ranging generally from 3000K to 12000K, these temperatures correspond directly to the eventual light color you get out of the bulbs. Fortunately, color temperature has no relation to lighting brightness, so don’t expect decreased luminosity simply because the color temperature of the bulb you selected is on the lower side of the range. 3000K HIDs produce a warm, yellow-to-gold glow, and pair well with vehicles looking for a more retro-look. Yellow lights may seem more traditional, but again, they’re every bit as bright as a 10000K HID bulb.
Bulbs falling in this color temperature range tend to have a strong, piercing white color, that ranges from pure white to a slightly blue-ish tint. Generally, 6000K bulbs are the most popular aftermarket HID bulbs on the market, but HID colors should be selected according to your personal preference and the design of your car, not based on what’s hottest at the time being.
Bulbs in this HID color range will have violet and/or purple coloring. The 8000K will be a much softer purple and will have an almost white hue to it. A 10000K HID bulb will be much more vivid, and it’s purple will be blatantly saturated, unlike the 8000K.
For those drivers who really want a bold, ultramodern look to their vehicle’s headlights, 12000K HID bulbs are the way to go. This super-saturated, vivid blue color is quite unique, and blue tends to be a color that complements most other design elements and colors well, so clashing shouldn’t be an issue as much as it would be with purple HIDs.