I think that they are great.........on tuners and low-riders. I would never put them on my Jeep or anything else that I was behind the wheel of. I don't like the way they look and I reallllllly don't like to see them coming toward me. Between my headlamps and my fog lights, my Jeep has enough illumination for any situation.
Sorry, but you did ask for opinions!
The kind of woman that when my feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh Crap, She's up!"
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I think we should have a FAQ on headlights already.
Most HID "kits" are illegal, unsafe, and just plain rude to your fellow motorists. Read This for some facts about them.
There are legal HID retrofit kits and home-made ways to retrofit HID capsules into projectors and then fit them to the JK.
If you've just got to do HIDs, I implore you to join HID Planet Forums, discuss the project with knowledgeable people, and do it right.
I'd also recommend joining Candlepower Forums and reading through some old posts about HID and other automotive lighting topics.
Here's how your eyes work in the context of light color as it relates to wavelength:
Originally Posted by Rockefeller S.L. Younga and Eiji Kimura
We investigated whether cones are the only photosensitive process mediating the photopic pupillary light reflex. New analyses were performed on previously published recordings, focusing on those evoked by the onset of photopically equated short- and long-wavelength stimuli. Comparisons between responses revealed contraction differences that slowly grew to a peak and gradually declined. The late contraction was associated with short wavelengths and appeared mostly at the higher stimulus intensities. We conclude that cones are not the only photoreception process mediating the photopic ON-reflex and infer that melanopsin is another. Melanopsin contributes to the steady-state pupil size in daylight illumination.
And a bit of a glossary:
Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann
Three main characteristics of any light are its spectral power distribution (SPD, the absolute presence and relative prevalence of the different wavelengths that humans can see), its colour rendering index (CRI, the fidelity with which the light reveals colours, compared to standardised sunlight conditions), and its correlated colour temperature (CCT, applicable only to white light, basically whether the light is "cool" or "warm" in appearance).
The visible portion of sunlight is a continuous spectrum from red to violet, with no gaps. The visible portion of a glowing filament (which is a blackbody radiator) is likewise a continuous spectrum from red to violet, with no gaps. The spectrum of an HID lamp is a series of peaks and valleys. The light is superabundant in certain wavelengths (colours), relatively deficient in others, and absolutely deficient in still others. So from the standpoint of SPD, halogen headlamps actually are much closer to sunlight than HIDs. Which is better? Well..."better" is tricky to define here, because it really depends on what exactly we're trying to do with the light we're creating. In general, a continuous spectrum (rather than a peaks-and-valleys spectrum) is better, because it makes it easier to get a higher CRI, which I'll get to in a moment. But that's definitely not an inviolable rule! Sometimes (as for example when driving through fog or snow) we want to filter out a portion (blue to violet, in this case) of the spectrum. And for general illumination, there are many excellent discontinuous-spectrum lights (fluorescents, HIDs, LEDs, etc.), though this is not an either/or situation. The old fluorescent lights and mercury vapour street lamps produced yucky-looking light because of gross excesses and deficiencies (peaks and valleys) in the spectrum, but today's phosphor and halide technologies are giving us fluoro, HID, and LED lights that may have a peaky spectrum, but contain enough of the various wavelengths to produce a good-quality light. It is worth noting here that there is no such a thing as "full-spectrum" light. The term is used by marketers of everything from headlight bulbs to seasonal affective disorder lights to reading lamps to new fluoro tubes for your kitchen, but it means whatever any particular marketeer wants it to mean. There is no standard definition — not even close.
Obviously, not all sunlight is the same, so a set of conditions has been standardised. In greatly simplified terms, the conditions can be understood as "noonday sun on a clear day". This is considered to be a CRI of 1.00 (sometimes stated as "100"). There is no light of CRI higher than 100, and a higher CRI is always better than a lower one except in certain very specialised lighting tasks (as for example in photographic darkrooms or in situations where ordinarily-tangential factors such as preservation of night vision, rather than ordinary factors like effective illumination, are the priority). A properly-fed tungsten-halogen filament lamp with a colourless glass or quartz envelope has a CRI of between 0.9 and 0.99 ("90" and "99"). Current-production automotive HIDs have CRI of between 0.7 and 0.74 ("70" and "74"). So, again, from the standpoint of CRI, halogen headlamps are closer to natural sunlight than HIDs.
This is measured in Kelvins (not "degrees Kelvin" as is sometimes incorrectly stated), and is directly keyed to the kelvin temperature of a blackbody radiator. In this scale, there is no such thing as "better/worse", just different/same/similar. The standardised sunlight conditions described above are considered to have a CCT of 6500K. Automotive HIDs (real ones, not ones that have been jiggered to produce bluer-than-standard light) are between 4000K and 4500K. Properly-fed tungsten-halogens are between 3100K and 3450K. So, in this respect, automotive HID headlamps are closer to sunlight.
Now, what are the safety performance implications? Enough research has been done to show that the poorer CRI of HID headlamps is of no safety consequence. Stop signs still look sufficiently red, for example, and guide signs still look yellow enough. The SPD might be causing some glare-related problems. Automotive HIDs have a high spike in the blue-violet region, and there's pretty good evidence that just as some people are glare-sensitive and some are not, some people are blue-sensitive and some are not. This is not a medical condition or disability, it's just a human variance like nose size or eye colour. There's also prety good evidence that at any given intensity, headlamp light with a higher proportion of blue light causes more glare than headlamp light with a lower proportion of blue in it. There is competing evidence, however — yes, academic researchers do compete with one another, with theories and studies and data instead of long-jumping frogs or whatever — suggesting that a higher blue content improves certain aspects of drivers' night vision. Scientifically this one hasn't been shaken all the way out yet, and it's possible both effects might exist simultaneously to some degree. From a marketing perspective, the question is moot; the decision's been made to push more and more towards the direction of bluish-white car lights.
Up to now, most of the research has effectively conflated CCT and SPD, because of the limitations of the headlamp light sources available for study: Tungsten-halogen bulbs have a high CRI, a continuous SPD, and a relatively low CCT. HIDs have a low CRI, a discontinuous SPD, and a relatively high CCT. This is to some degree an implementational limitation, not a conceptual one, and in my opinion it is likely to be found, eventually, that a blue-rich SPD can cause glare problems but a high CCT can potentially improve seeing performance. That is going to be a tricky balance to optimise, for high CCT to a significant degree goes along with blue-rich SPD. But we're now seeing LEDs that have a higher CCT than HID headlamp bulbs, but without a proportionately higher blue spike. It will be interesting to see what shakes out of this. The marketeers may have to find another tactic, having already painted themselves into a corner using blue paint: up to now, the bogus claim of "whiter" headlamp light has been used to refer to light that is in fact bluer. When it becomes possible to provide headlamp light that is of higher CRI and higher CCT rather than just higher in blue content, that light will in a more real sense be "whiter" than HID headlamp light...but what are they going to call it...?
More about bulb color if you're thinking of Sylvania Silverstars, IPF, or other blue bulbs:
Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann
Well, let's talk about colour filtration. The visible spectrum consists of all the colors of the rainbow: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo + violet. Glowing filaments produce a whole lot of light in the red-orange-yellow-green wavelengths, and relatively little light in the blue-violet wavelengths. To put very rough numbers on the matter, a middle-of-spec 9006 bulb operating at 12.8v produces 1000 lumens, of which approximately 250 are red, 250 are orange, 250 are yellow, 175 are green, 50 are blue and 25 are violet.
Now, suppose you want to add a filter to the glass that makes the light look bluer/colder. How does it do that? Well, there's no such thing as a filter that adds light into the beam passing through it -- filters can only suppress light, not add it. So if we can't add green-blue-violet light, then the only way to get the light to look colder is to suppress green-blue-violet's opposites, which are red-orange-yellow. If we want the light to look, let's say, 20% colder, we suppress red-orange-yellow by 20%. Looking up above, we see that we've got a total of 750 lumens' worth of red, orange and yellow. So, cutting this by 20% leaves 600 lumens, plus essentially all of the bulb's original green-blue-violet output of 250 lumens, so we've now got a bulb that produces light that looks 20% colder and produces 850 lumens.
Now, 850 lumens happens to be the minimum legal output for a 9006 (which has a spec of 1000 lumens, ± 15%). Unless we're an evil fly-by-night company that really doesn't care about quality and legality, we can't produce a bulb that produces only the bare minimum of light, because half our production will be 849 lumens or less just on account of the variances encountered in mass production. So, we have to put in a high-luminance filament to try to counteract some of the filtering losses, but we still have to come in under the max-allowable-wattage spec in DOT or ECE regulations.
So, let's say we build our 9006 with a high-zoot filament that produces 1200 lumens. That's too much for a legal 9006, but we're going to block some of those lumens with our coloured filter (blue glass). This 1200-lumen filament produces, let's say, 300 lumens red, 300 lumens orange, 300 lumens yellow, 210 lumens green, 60 lumens blue and 30 lumens violet. Now we put that same blue glass over it, which suppresses red-orange-yellow by 20%. Now we've got 720 lumens' worth of red-orange-yellow after filtration, plus 300 lumens' worth of green-blue-violet. That gives us a 910-lumen bulb, which is enough above the 850-lumen legal minimum that we can run the bulb and even if some filaments only produce 1150 lumens instead of 1200, we're still legally OK. Of course, we still only have 910 lumens instead of 1000, and our 1200-lumen filament is going to have a significantly shorter life than a 1000-lumen filament, but we've got our colder/bluer light appearance in a legal bulb.
By now you probably see why filtering for yellow does not significantly reduce light output: Take our 1000-lumen 9006 as broken down by colour output above. No such thing as a filter that adds extra yellow light, so we have to get our yellow by suppressing blue-violet (the particular yellow that yellow headlamp/foglamp bulbs produce, called "selective yellow" and described above, contains all the green found in white light. If we took out green, we'd have a turn signal type of amber-orange light.) OK, then, let's cut blue-violet by 80%. That means we've got our 925 lumens' worth of red-orange-yellow-green, plus 15 lumens' worth of blue-violet (after filtration). Total: 940 lumens. MUCH smaller loss! OK, so we put in a very slightly better filament, say one that produces 1060 lumens, and now we've got 980 lumens' worth of red-orange-yellow-green, plus 16 lumens' worth of blue-violet (after filtration) for a total of 996 lumens, which is for all intents and purposes identical to our original 1000-lumen uncoloured bulb (a parking lamp bulb puts out as few as 30 lumens).
A good, legal, expensive HID retrofit will throw a bunch of light forward.
Is it "better" light than you could get from a nice Cibie, Marchal, or Hella reflector and decent H4 bulb?
Very debatable answer.
The easiest way to improve your JK lighting is to retrofit H4 reflectors. Daniel Stern sells mostly Cibie and they work very very well. He also has some pricier Cibies and some Marchals that are even better.
Install a good bulb in the H4 reflectors. I like the 70/65 Osram.
I believe if the car didn't come from the factory with HID's, you should just leave it alone. Most of the kits are just worthless. I've had tons of buddies that buy them, install them, and a week later they have a ballast or bulb take a dump. Then the customer service with most of those companies is terrible.
Who needs extra light? My jeep came with plenty right from the factory, so much so it evidently irritates oncoming cars even when the high beams are not on. I keep getting flashed all of the time on lonely roads. Every time it happens it makes me wonder why anybody would want to blind oncoming traffic even more by making it more intense. If you can't see maybe it is time to stay off the road at night rather than install a system that makes it better for you but blinds everybody else. God help you if you blind someone and send them off of the road and then later is found that the lighting in it is illegal. I wonder if there is a purgatory for all of you light sinners out there?
Participate in life....Keep movin'....Go there....JK'n it.........Do it! Jeep #1: Red Rock 08 JK Rubicon 4dr, 6 sp manual, Stock Mud Tires, MyGIG Upgrade, Hard Top, after sale BestTop SunRider Soft Top, Congo Cage Rack, Mopar slush mats Jeep #2 Black 08 JK Rubicon 2dr, 6 sp manual, both tops, some chrome...uggg (my wife's jeep) Jeep #3 White 92 YJ (my son's jeep) A great quote from a good friend: "All hail click clack and master jk'n." Click and clack are my idols!