Tag Archives: projector headlights

Difference Between HID and Halogen Lights

A simple upgrade that can increase safety and looks of a vehicle are projector head lights and in turn HID lights.  The difference between HID lights and Halogen lights is the way they burn, to light up.  An HID light will make an arc between two electrodes, while a Halogen light will heat up filament within a gas filled glass.  In most cases HID lighting is more efficient, brighter, and thus safer to use on vehicles to see better in the dark.

Projector Headlights

When buying projector headlights do not assume that you are getting HID lights.  Often times cheap projector head lights are made to use halogen bulbs, instead of the brighter, more intense HID.  The bulbs are generally not interchangable and require an actual kit to get HID lighting out of a traditional halogen bulb setup.  If HID bulbs are used, then melting of the lens and housing is possible.

Before buying projector headlights, for the HID upgrade, make sure that HID bulbs will work in the new headlights you are buying.

High End Vehicle Use

Generally just because headlights on a vehicle are bright, does not mean that they are HID.  High end vehicle manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, and Lexus are the only vehicles that have stock HID lighting.  Any other mas produced mid range vehicle will require a HID kit to replace the halogen stock head lamp assembly.


This has been a post into a series of articles on explaining entry level questions to automotive enthusiasts.  There are greater details of differences that can be found on HID and Halogen lighting via Wikipedia.

Next What’s The Difference Article: Automatic Vs. Manual Performance

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Projector Headlights As Safety Equipment

Projector Headlights F150

Projector Headlights F150

Safety equipment becomes a major concern for car buyers as they become older, wiser, and add a little mini-me to the family.  I know my taste in vehicles changed abruptly when I had my first child and the questions I ask when buying a new vehicle changed too.  My focus changed to safety and what a certain car offers as protection for my now growing family.  A safety feature on newer cars are projector headlights, something older cars may not have, but can be installed easily.

As an upgrade to my older pickup truck I decided to buy projector headlights, mainly for safety reasons.  The old tarnished and sand burnt headlights just weren’t getting the job done, especially when adverse weather came into play.  Where I live it’s not too noticable, even at night because I rely on city lighting to lead my way, but whenever I leave town at night it becomes a concern.  That’s why I turned to installing projector headlights, the difference adds a new level of confidence in night time driving.

The younger crowd, or just those enthusiasts focused on the looks of their vehicle, may be more interested in the way the headlights look.  Projector headlights are unique to traditional ‘bulb’ style headlights in that they have a European look.  A typical projector headlight will feature a black background with a series of small circular lights in the middle.  The designs available differ depending on the vehicle model you are replacing the head lights on.  Personally, I went with something a little less flashy and more down to business, just to get the job done.

Because there are a number of different styles available, prices can vary greatly.  As an example, when buying the projector headlights for my 97 F150, I found prices ranging from as little as $130 up to $200.  That being said I still can stress enough how big of a difference it makes and how much more safe I feel driving my little girl around at night.
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