What Are Xenon Headlights?

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You’ll hear a lot of names bandied about when discussing headlights – halogen, xenon, “super blue,” and HID are just some of them. If you’re thinking about replacing your headlights and are looking for something that’s both higher performing and longer lasting, xenon headlights might sound like they fit the bill. What are they, though?

Xenon headlight bulbs

Xenon is a gas – it’s used in HID (high intensity discharge) lights. These headlights are very different from conventional halogen bulbs, and will not work in a standard headlight socket. You can find bulbs on the market that attempt to mimic the color of the light produced, but these are not xenon bulbs.

HID lights offer up to 90% better light emission than halogen bulbs, allowing you to see the road ahead much better. However, they differ a great deal from what most drivers are used to with their cars. There are three stages to lighting such a bulb. The first stage, ignition, is where xenon actually comes into play. A massive electrical charge is sent into the bulb from the ballast (another component not found with halogen bulbs). This supercharges the gas and increases the temperature significantly. Next, metallic salts in the bulb vaporize, helping to connect the two electrodes in the bulb. Finally, the ballast begins supplying constant voltage to create a stable arc between the electrodes.

Why xenon?

There are several advantages to using xenon bulbs. We’ve touched on the better light emission, but you’ll also find that they require less power overall to operate. They also last longer than halogen bulbs, meaning that you’ll replace your bulbs less frequently.

Of course, there are trade-offs here. If you have halogen bulbs currently, you’ll need to buy a full retrofit kit to use xenon bulbs. You’ll also find that direction is imperative – the brightness can literally blind other drivers, so you must have the lights angled correctly.


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Bryant

11 years of experience
311 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Infiniti FX35 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
It was just an outstanding job with unexpected discounts. I can't just believe. For my very first experience you guys are awesome!
BMW 528i xDrive - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Carmel, Indiana
Bryant has done a great job changing my brakes, very knowledgeable and does his job excellently. Would definitely reccomend him!

Edgar

7 years of experience
33 reviews
Edgar
7 years of experience
Mazda 5 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Austin, Texas
Edgar was amazing. Showed up right away and found the leak to my car immediately. I also requested the back breaks be changed out. Both things were done in a reasonable time and I didn’t need to get an Uber or beg for a loaner car. Plan on using this service and Edgar’s help again in the near future.
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Austin, Texas
Edgar was punctual and professional. He did a great job on the service of my vehicle. I would totally recommend him to people I know and people I don’t know.

Brian

22 years of experience
264 reviews
Brian
22 years of experience
Mazda 3 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Jacksonville, Florida
Always gets the job done quickly and professionally while letting me know about upcoming maintenance

Daniel

10 years of experience
54 reviews
Daniel
10 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Richmond, California
Showed up on time. Daniel explained everything thoroughly and even finished the job ahead of schedule.

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