Installing HID Bulbs

October 31, 2012

Installing HID bulbs in your car will result to brighter headlights and a more comfortable drive especially at night. High intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems utilize a colorless and odorless gas called Xenon which responds to electrical current, hence the name Xenon bulbs. These bulbs operate at a lower temperature and consume less power than standard 50/55 watt halogen bulbs. HID lights also last longer than ordinary bulbs as there are no filaments to break inside the bulb.

Most new cars in the market come standard with HID lighting kits to improve driving visibility. Safety concerns aside, installing HID bulbs in your car is easy and only requires basic tools to successfully accomplish. There are a lot of HID lighting kits available in the market that are designed to fit your car. Take into consideration that bulbs come in different sizes and color temperatures according to make and model of the car as well as personal preference. Check with your local state regarding rules and regulations that may apply to the intended modification.

Installing HID Bulbs


Work in a well lit and ventilated area. The engine should preferably be cool to avoid minor burns that may occur by touching hot parts inside the hood. Check your HID kit and confirm the correct size of the bulb. Depending on the model car, bulbs can either come in H1, H2, H3, H4, etc., sizes and a perfect fit must be ensured inside the headlight enclosure. Disconnect the negative cable on the vehicle battery before removing the old bulb.

Removal of Old Bulb

Depending on make and model, removal of the bulb may require you to remove the entire headlight assembly. Check your owner's manual for proper procedure. But for most cars, bulbs have a rubber cover that must be removed to expose the socket. Carefully pull the socket and unhook the spring that holds the bulb. Remove the protective plastic casing on the HID bulb and carefully insert inside the headlight enclosure. Once the bulb is set, check for looseness and play by turning clockwise and counterclockwise. There should be no movement on the bulb once it is set. 

Attach the Ballast

There is only one way to do this, as the ballast plug should fit the base of the bulb perfectly. Attach the ballast plug to the bulb and prepare for minor electrical connections. The procedure is dependent on the type of HID kit purchased. Follow the instruction manual that came with the HID kit. But the process is simply hooking the ballast plug to the ballast and connecting it to the original wiring of your vehicle. Make sure that all wiring are free from tangles and looseness that may interfere with normal vehicle operation, such as spinning belts and fans.

Final Procedure

The ballast should be attached to the vehicle body utilizing velcro straps or nuts and bolts. Find a suitable place inside the engine bay that the ballast could be safely attached to. Refer to the HID kit installation manual for ideas regarding ballast installation. Reconnect the negative cable on the vehicle battery and start the car. Turn on the headlights and enjoy the HID glow.

Some model cars will require removal of the vehicle bumper and fender to install HID bulbs and a professional should be consulted when such a case presents itself. 

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