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Thread: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

  1. #1
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Ok, I decided to put one of these kits to the test, mainly for my own curiosity. The tests were performed using a PSU capable of supplying 40A @ 16V DC continuously and is voltage regulated, so no chance of voltage lag, a Lux meter from DX and a Protek 506 True RMS DMM. I decided to post the results for anyone who might be interested to know, sorry if i've burst anyone's bubble. I know I've burst my own.

    The set up:







    Now for the bad news:

    INPUT: 14.8V
    BALLAST
    Start up current: 5.51A DC
    Run current: 3.66A DC
    Start up voltage: 14.8V DC
    Run voltage: 14.8V DC
    BULB
    Start up current: 1.69A AC
    Run current: 0.49A AC
    Start up voltage: Unmeasurable without a High Voltage DMM, with test leads attached bulb wonít ignite.
    Run voltage: 86.3V AC (106.8V AC on a non RMS meter)
    Wattage at bulb: 42.29W
    Lux at 300mm from bare bulb @ 15mins runtime: 5,320



    INPUT: 11.1V
    BALLAST
    Start up current: 7.41A DC
    Run current: 5.24A DC
    Start up voltage: 11.1V DC
    Run voltage: 11.1V DC
    BULB
    Start up current: 1.67A AC
    Run current: 0.49A AC
    Start up voltage: Unmeasurable without a High Voltage DMM, with test leads attached bulb wonít ignite.
    Run voltage: 86.3V AC (106.8V AC on a non RMS meter)
    Wattage at bulb: 42.29W
    Lux at 300mm from bare bulb @ 15mins runtime: 5,220

    I didnít bother doing a 12V test after seeing the results between 14.8V and 11.1V, itís pretty obvious the ballast is regulated. I also donít read too much into the difference in Lux, I just took the measurements to see if there were any significant advantages in running 14.8V vs 11.1V. I donít know if a bulb with a different arc length would pull more current out of the ballast or not ?




    .
    Last edited by Morepower!; 07-20-2008 at 07:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    awesome work and thanks.

    these cheap HID kits are bs.

    its not surprising but.



  3. #3
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    As Xeray has indicated a few times, looks like these are rated at "input" specs, not output. Efficiency is in the low 80's or below.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

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    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    As Xeray has indicated a few times, looks like these are rated at "input" specs, not output. Efficiency is in the low 80's or below.
    The same marketing games they play on the Home Depot specials with 20 or 30 million candle power.

    Believe me they (Asian ballast makers) know the 35 watt std ballasts are output based not input. They just decided to change the rules when they came out with 55 watt ballasts. Our newer ballasts are better than 90% so our 55 watt input nets a 50 watt output. This also means much less heat to manage (heatsink away).

    To bad we dont have worse efficiency we could use their "creative" rating system and claim 65 watt to "play" their numbers game.

    Also, most if not all Asian made HID bulbs cant take sustained 50 watt operation. 40-45 watts is much easier for them to cope with. They claim some of their bulbs to be 50 watt capable most cannot handle it. I am making general statements here, not absolutes.

    There is a law of business that I have found to be true: There are three general factors in a competitive product market.

    Price, Quality, Availibility

    You can only get at most 2 of the 3 in any purchase.

    Low price, High quality, NO quick delivery

    High Quality, Quick Delivery, NO low price

    and so on......

    I think you see where I am going with this.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Morepower, could you take some closer photo(s) of the ballast. That ballast looks like one that is sold under a few different labels here in USA.

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    I'm not surprised at all. Still a little improvement over a "35W" I guess.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot36 View Post
    I'm not surprised at all. Still a little improvement over a "35W" I guess.
    Maybe 800 more Lumens using a quality 4200K bulb.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by XeRay View Post
    Morepower, could you take some closer photo(s) of the ballast. That ballast looks like one that is sold under a few different labels here in USA.
    Ballast pics as requested, please let me know if it is the one you think it is.








    Also while I was mucking around testing things I decided to put the new PSU to the test.









    Note: The load is fencing wire.

    I suppose, in true CPF style, I should jam the load into a reflector, double the input power and take some beamshots ?




    .

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    fencing wire??? ROFL

    Thanks for your input Xeray

    Maybe 800 more Lumens using a quality 4200K bulb.


    I feel so cheated buying 55w HID KITS. OMG I'm a sucker.



  10. #10

    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Great Work....very interesting. Thanks for you time on this.

    I bet you can get more out of an OEM ballast. There are several car guys, modifying the ballast and turning them up. I am sure you can get 50-75W out of a good OEM unit.

    The cheap ballasts are just not as good. Something like this may be a better canadit for overdriving a ballast. hidplanet.com has some DIY on this topic.


  11. #11
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Looks to be identical to what is being sold by a number of "55 watt" kit sellers in USA.
    http://high-intensity.org/forums/showthread.php?t=566

    This ballast is marketed under a number of names including "Digital"

  12. #12
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Great tests, thanks!

    What's interesting is I purchased a very similar looking 55W kit from Hong Kong 6 months ago and tested it running straight off a fully charged car battery (voltage under load was just under 12V if I remember correctly) and the input into the ballast was 6A (after 2 minutes on), didn't measure at the bulb though so could just be an even less efficient ballast.

    Upon installing one into the right headlamp in my car and comparing the output to the OEM 35W ballast (also had a new bulb), the "55W" one did seem significantly brighter, I'd estimate around 1500 more lumen. With both installed the difference was even quite dramatic compared to stock.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Couple of things to keep in mind on your measurements.

    Thing 1 - Your Protek meter is specified to 1 kHz. I don't know what frequency the ballast is driving the lamp at, but if it's 1 kHz or more, there could be error in your measurement there. Also, electronic HID ballasts tend to provide square wave drive to the lamp, which means there will be high frequency energy at the harmonics of the drive frequency.

    Thing 2 - Calculating AC power by multiplying RMS volts by RMS amps works fine for non-reactive, linear loads, like resistors. HID lamps are non-linear, and I wouldn't be surprised if some additional error crept in because of this.

    That said, your DC input power calculation should be pretty accurate, and with only 55W of DC input power, I agree with your conclusion that there's no way the ballast is providing 55W to the lamp...
    Jim

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    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Seeing that the bulb is being driven at 42 watts I am wondering if using a good 35 watt bulb yield more lumens being overdriven by 7 watts than a 50watt being underdriven by 8 watts?

    AlexGT

  15. #15

    Naughty Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by XeRay View Post
    ...Our newer ballasts are better than 90% so our 55 watt input nets a 50 watt output. ...
    Isn't everybody using flyback as the topology for the power circuit in the ballast, since it's the most economy topology to use for this power range? For a conventional flyback to achieve over 90% efficiency is quite a stretch, if not impossible...unless Active Clamp or other soft switching method is used...but then soft switching thingy needs more active devices in the power train and is a bit less reliable...

    Also, just noticed that the XeVision's HID ballast and search light look so similar to the products from a Taiwan company called FarVision...here is the link....http://www.farvisionopto.com/eproductc.htm

    hmmm...I guess nobody can avoid the connection with the "Asian ballast makers"....;-)
    Last edited by Lamphead; 07-21-2008 at 07:18 AM.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Hey brickbat, thanks for your input on this and the additional info, I'm always eager to learn. And yes Specs for the meter at the 20A AC setting is 100Hz-1KHz, my knowledge is still limited when it comes to HID so I have no idea what they run at.
    I did wonder about waveform, but never even thought about frequency.

    By doing some searching it seems most of them are square wave, but I did see some that where triangular wave. I don't have any test equipment capable of measuring it so I took away the RMS from the bulb results. I do however know someone who might still have their test equipment, they used to be involved in something to do with communications.

    I ran the tests really for my own info, I needed to know the total power consumed, at what loads and when, and also to possibly learn more about them. I did also, of course, want to know if it was putting out 55W, which sadly isn't the case.
    Last edited by Morepower!; 07-21-2008 at 06:45 AM.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Lamphead View Post
    Isn't everybody using flyback as the topology for the power circuit in the ballast, since it's the most economy topology to use for this power range? For a conventional flyback to achieve over 90% efficiency is quite a stretch, if not impossible...unless Active Clamp or other soft switching method is used...but then soft switching thingy needs more active devices in the power train and is a bit less reliable...
    We do zero volt switching (approx 400 Hz output) and are just a bit better than 90%, our older stuff is about 85%.

    We never claimed to make the Searchlight. That is one of our manufacturing partners. Our ballasts are engineered in USA and the PCB's are mass produced by them. We have an exclusive arrangement with them on our Proprietary ballast products.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    hi

    just a short question for what i dont want to post a extra thread

    i have just orderd some parts for my low budget HID flashligt
    i use a 50/55W 4300į K car conversion kit, from china (dont have the money for a quality one, its my first hid)

    i want to mount a digital voltmeter in the spotlight host
    my question is now, whats the lowest input that wont cause any damage to the ballast or the bulb or is a normal ballast regulated and would only cutoff if there is not enough powerwithout damagin any part ?

    thanks
    Dr.Skaramanga

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    I need to ask the group of responders here a big question.

    If the ebay and all the import ballast are of poor quality, where do we find good ones at?

    Is it worth stripping out ballasts out of wrecked cars? Are they even powerful enough?

    I want to try and mod one of my POB lights with something noticably better and bigger or find a HF light and mod it.

    Bob E.
    TF 3W Lux,TF 3 W Cree,Fenix L2D-CE, Fenix L2T,Fenix P1D,Fenix P3D-CE w/3x123 tactical body,P3D-CE Q5 w/2x123 tact bdy,3D & 3C Mag w/Malkoff,Modded ROV Swivel Sportsman with KPR112 bulb & 3xCR123

  20. #20
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Look for the Philip's brand or Hella. They are usually the one's supplied with the $400+- HID kits. But I'm not sure how much more Wattage you'd get out of them. They are a much better quality ballast built with quality parts but still are 35 Watt rated.
    Last edited by BVH; 08-09-2008 at 10:19 PM.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

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    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Got my 55 Watt, (input), 5000K "Digital" brand kit installed in my Silverado. Went for a 10-mile drive down and back on a very crowded boulevard. No flashes from anyone. I noticed, as many of the Duramax truck forum members say, that the stock projectors in our trucks are very good candidates for HID. There is a very definite horizontal cut-off which dramatically reduces the light reaching "eye-level" of almost every car that I opposed and those that crossed in front of me on cross streets. No ones head was illuminated. I love the color of 5000K for vehicle HIDs. There's no hint of blue in them. Sort of like my "Diamond white" color produced by my Locators if you're familiar with Shootout 4. I like 4300K in flashlights.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

  22. #22
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    It's good that the conversion worked out so nicely for you, I've heard some horror stories while reading around. It's interesting you prefer a hotter colour temp. for your vehicle and a colder one for flashlights. Is there some kind of advantage in this ? Also on another note could you possibly take a pic of the component side of the board in the Digital ballast, that is of course if you don't mind and it dosn't void the warranty some how ? It would be interesting to compare it against an analogue ballast like the one tested here as I havn't seen a Digi ballast.

  23. #23
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    I like 4300K in flashlights only because I want as many Lumens out of the bulb as possible and 43K does that. Truth be told, 5000K is the color my eye prefers - flashlight, vehicle, whatever. With the truck and two lights working, I don't miss the very slight loss going from 4300K to 5000K.

    The ballasts are kind of a pain to get at and remove for pics. In the spirit of our quest for knowledge, I'd pay half of the cost of a ballast if you want to pick one up for yourself?

    My guess is that my "Digital" is exactly the same as your ballast. The mounting tabs, the white potting compound between the input spade connectors, the label (substitute "Digital" for "Conquer" and they look the same), the two different shaped metal "catches" on the input plug housing to latch onto the source plug. Everything except the name looks identical.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

  24. #24
    Flashaholic Morepower!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Ah yes, the exrta Lumens. That's a very generous offer and thanks for that but unfortunately I just spent my "HID quota" for a little while not more than 3hrs ago. Not only that, I feel you are correct in the assumption that they are the exact same ballast. I think one could safely put money on it. Besides all that I am trying to source some DL-50 bulbs as it dosn't look like the group buy is going to get off the ground, unless you think otherwise ?

  25. #25
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Yes, I'd say the Group Buy is Dead On Arrival! You may be aware but just in case, there are two DL50's. The standard and the Fatboy with a larger ionization chamber/bubble. If you're successful, try to ensure that they're Fatboys and I'll be in for 3-4 bulbs.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Anyone want to guess what the overall wattage of these 55w ballasts are?

    Only 43w at the bulb, but how much watts total too run the ballast.



  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Figure between 80-85% efficiency what ever that comes out to watt wise. It's not a huge number in any case.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashanator View Post
    Anyone want to guess what the overall wattage of these 55w ballasts are?Only 43w at the bulb, but how much watts total too run the ballast.
    Probably 49-56 watts input. Best to measure the input amps and volts after about 2-3 minute warm up.

    Multiply the measured DC amps X the actual voltage to get watts. You probably already knew that.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Thanks for that Xeray.



  30. #30

    Default Re: 55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashanator View Post
    Anyone want to guess what the overall wattage of these 55w ballasts are?

    Only 43w at the bulb, but how much watts total too run the ballast.
    assuming 85% efficiency, input power would be 43w / 0.85 = 50.6w. i guess 50w meaning 50w on input?

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