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Thread: Failed HID light

  1. #1

    Default Failed HID light

    I recently installed a DDM Tuning slim kit with the digital ballast in my CTS, which has an option for HIDs but came with halogen lights in mine. The housing, however, is the same, as there are projector optics and part of the molding is used to mount the factory ballast.

    Anyway, what happens is that the right light doesn't come on, although it does flicker on whenever I turn the low beams from off to on, every time. The left light works perfectly. What could the most likely cause be? Failed ballast?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    The optics are not the same; it's a common misunderstanding that halogen and xenon projectors are the same except for the bulb holder. They're not; the reflectors and the lenses are different, just like my eyeglasses are different than yours even if we pick exactly the same frames. Fact is, "HID kits" in halogen-bulb headlamps (any kit, any headlamp, any vehicle) do not work safely or effectively, which is why they are illegal. See here for details, then get the "HID kit" out of your lamps before you cause a crash.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Why didn't you retrofit OEM HID's if your car was available with them?
    Got Biodiesel?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    The optics are not the same; it's a common misunderstanding that halogen and xenon projectors are the same except for the bulb holder.
    Why wouldn't they be?
    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_Bomber View Post
    Why didn't you retrofit OEM HID's if your car was available with them?
    $1000 vs $75

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Halogens use reflectors whereas HIDs use projectors.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by NightKids View Post
    Halogens use reflectors whereas HIDs use projectors.
    No, halogens can be built with projectors. But all optics are built around a particular light source, and switching the light source breaks the output pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    Why wouldn't they be? (the same?)
    You too. An optic or reflector built for a uniform-brightness filament is completely different from one built for an arc. Changing the light source will break the output pattern, just like randomly reshaping the reflector or projector would.
    Last edited by AnAppleSnail; 07-08-2010 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Clarity
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    Why wouldn't they be?
    Well, it's possible they are the same, and I couldn't tell you without info from the data sheets on the parts. But generally speaking reflectors and optics are designed for unique light sources, projection optics from a car with halogen lamps focus a larger filament to produce the desired beam, when you change to an HID with a different size and shape output and with more light the beam is affected, and will produce more light in possible the wrong places.

    Now it may produce a fine beam and make damn sure you compare the beams under heavy scrutiny with photos before and after from a tripod on a smooth surface. It's also good to test with one OEM in and one HID in and compare beams.

    Even if they do look ok, if they are not within a color range, or if they are not designed for HID lamps and you get pulled over you can get ticketed, they are NOT DOT approved now. Unless of course they are HID compatible contact the manufacture not the dealer.
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    Why wouldn't they be?
    Quote Originally Posted by 65535 View Post
    Well, it's possible they are the same, and I couldn't tell you without info from the data sheets on the parts.
    It's not possible that they are the same as it requires a very different focus method to take the light from an arc and distribute it the same was as light from a filament.
    Now it may produce a fine beam and make damn sure you compare the beams under heavy scrutiny with photos before and after from a tripod on a smooth surface. It's also good to test with one OEM in and one HID in and compare beams.
    It's only good to test with a photogoniometer. Pictures, or visually comparing beams is not a good test. Also, it won't produce a fine beam.


    .. they are NOT DOT approved now.
    The DOT doesn't approve regulated parts.

    This thread should have ended with post #2.

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    Flashaholic* LumenHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post

    Anyway, what happens is that the right light doesn't come on, although it does flicker on whenever I turn the low beams from off to on, every time. The left light works perfectly. What could the most likely cause be? Failed ballast?
    Post # 2 didn't answer the question, now did it?

    It may be the ballast but it could also be the new bulb.
    Swap the known good left side ballast over to the right side and see if the right bulb lights up.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by LumenHound View Post
    Post # 2 didn't answer the question, now did it?
    The question isn't valid because it refers to illegally used equipment, in violation of Rule 11.

    Assisting him with that, then, would also be violating Rule 11.

    Rule 11
    You agree, through your use of this BB, that you will not use this BB to post any material which is knowingly illegal or promotes illegal activity.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by LumenHound View Post
    Post # 2 didn't answer the question, now did it?
    Yep, it did. The answer is "The question is irrelevant because…"

  12. #12

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    Why wouldn't they be?
    Go read the linked explanation.

    $1000 vs $75
    Well, it looks like you got what you paid for, doesn't it! If you want a car that has cheap parts, pick something other than a Cadillac. www.car-part.com , searchable used parts.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* LumenHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Yep, it did. The answer is "The question is irrelevant because…"
    Can you provide a link to the details about the two different optics General Motors installs in this specific vehicle for halogen vs. HID bulbs? I would like to read those data sheets.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    (1) Go read the linked explanation.

    (2) Well, it looks like you got what you paid for, doesn't it! If you want a car that has cheap parts, pick something other than a Cadillac. www.car-part.com , searchable used parts.
    (1) I did. I couldn't see where it said that HID lights in non-aftermarket projectors for halogen lights caused any more glare than HID lights in their OEM projectors. I did see that there could be some hot spotting, but again I did not see that this caused any glare.

    (2) Just like how a new 335i won't ever have any problems with its high pressure fuel pump, right? Also, you should change your name to Schadenfreudemann.

    Anyway, I appreciate the discussion, folks. I guess I'm just going to swap the light and ballast together.
    Last edited by 454Casull; 07-08-2010 at 08:07 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    (1) I did. I couldn't see where it said that HID lights in non-aftermarket projectors for halogen lights caused any more glare than HID lights in their OEM projectors. I did see that there could be some hot spotting, but again I did not see that this caused any glare.
    If that's what you got out of reading the link...you didn't read the link.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post
    (1) I did. I couldn't see where it said that HID lights in non-aftermarket projectors for halogen lights caused any more glare than HID lights in their OEM projectors. I did see that there could be some hot spotting, but again I did not see that this caused any glare.
    If a reflector were a point source, trigonometry would answer this. Since it's not, ANY change in the bulb/reflector behavior will unpredictably affect the behavior of the cutoff. Here's Hella's diagram of the solenoid shield used to make the top of the beam pattern dark.



    The light hitting that shield comes from the reflector. If the arc of the lamp is in the wrong place, it will change the cutoff angle. Either you'll blind drivers or your highbeams will point into the ground. If the arc is high or low, I think the effect will be more dramatic than if it's slightly to the front or the back. I think you'd have to do at 3D modeling with an accurate copy of the headlamp to test this, though. Even if you manage to space the arc just right so it's not too bad, it wouldn't be legal. This doesn't mean that "legal" headlights are safe, and in fact many legal headlights are dangerous. But I can't recommend spending money to get doubtful results and definitely-illegal equipment. Have insurance companies ever tried to refuse payment "because your illegal lights caused the wreck?" I'm not sure how to check, and that might be a crackpot theory of mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by 454Casull View Post

    Anyway, what happens is that the right light doesn't come on, although it does flicker on whenever I turn the low beams from off to on, every time. The left light works perfectly. What could the most likely cause be? Failed ballast?
    It's either the ballast or the bulb - I think a failed bulb completely fails to light though.
    Last edited by AnAppleSnail; 07-08-2010 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Forgot the picture!
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    ANY change in the bulb/reflector behavior will unpredictably affect the behavior of the cutoff.
    True, and of equal or greater concern, it'll alter the distribution of light under the cutoff.

    The light hitting that shield comes from the reflector. If the arc of the lamp is in the wrong place, it will change the cutoff angle.
    Yes. The typical response to this is along the lines of "my HID kit puts the arc in exactly the same place as the filament was". But that's neither sufficient nor even possible; the filament is a cylinder with bright edges and fading ends, while the arc is a crescent with bright ends and fading edges. The placement is essentially irrelevant because the shape of the light source is wrong for the optics.

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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Swap the ballasts from side to side. If the fault follows the ballast, it's the ballast.

    I received one faulty ballast from them before and they made it right.

    My other DDM lights have been working for a couple years now without issue.

    If the fault does not follow the ballast, swap bulbs if even then it does not follow the bulbs, sounds like the bulb monitoring system in your vehicle does not like the way HIDs draw power.

    Look into the BOW harnesses or even rewiring.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by KLowD9x View Post
    Swap the ballasts from side to side. If the fault follows the ballast, it's the ballast.

    I received one faulty ballast from them before and they made it right.

    My other DDM lights have been working for a couple years now without issue.

    If the fault does not follow the ballast, swap bulbs if even then it does not follow the bulbs, sounds like the bulb monitoring system in your vehicle does not like the way HIDs draw power.

    Look into the BOW harnesses or even rewiring.
    You obviously don't understand the concerns being discussed in this thread. It is irrelevant as to whether or not the bulb or the ballast has failed, because that bulb and ballast should not be there. He needs to replace the HID kit with the proper halogen bulb.
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
    You obviously don't understand the concerns being discussed in this thread. It is irrelevant as to whether or not the bulb or the ballast has failed, because that bulb and ballast should not be there. He needs to replace the HID kit with the proper halogen bulb.
    I'm sorry, I was not speaking to you. I don't know what made you think that I was, for I never mentioned your user name.

    My post was directed to the author of the original post. Please refrain from making this mistake again.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by KLowD9x View Post
    I'm sorry, I was not speaking to you. I don't know what made you think that I was, for I never mentioned your user name.

    My post was directed to the author of the original post. Please refrain from making this mistake again.
    Hmm, you might want to read up on rules in this forum

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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by rushnrockt View Post
    Hmm, you might want to read up on rules in this forum
    Helping other members is wrong?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    What year CTS?
    Both generations have projectors regardless of light source. 9006xs/9005xs/9145 fog or HID lows via D1S

    The current generation has optional bi-HID with D1S, H11 fog; or H11 low/H9 high.


    Do not let people fool you to think that driving is a privilege. It is a right, but with rights come responsibilities. Do not swap in an HID light source where a filament should be.
    You are creating potential criminal liability.


    I am waiting, hoping, that there will be an H11 base with an H9 burner.
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    [Rule 11 violation - contents of post removed - DM51]
    Last edited by DM51; 09-03-2010 at 03:57 PM.

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    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by KLowD9x View Post
    Helping other members is wrong?
    No, discussing illegal activities is. Putting a HID bulb in a Halogen projector is still illegal, because it changes the beam pattern, and light distribution pattern of the original equipment. Therefore, your previous suggestion to test the other bulb with the ballast is not allowed, because it is helping with the discussion of illegal activity.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
    No, discussing illegal activities is. Putting a HID bulb in a Halogen projector is still illegal, because it changes the beam pattern, and light distribution pattern of the original equipment. Therefore, your previous suggestion to test the other bulb with the ballast is not allowed, because it is helping with the discussion of illegal activity.
    I'm not the one putting the bulbs in my car, nor are any of you, just the OP is.

    If the OP wants to risk it, that is their choice.

    Doesn't mean I am not going to help them with their problems.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Failed HID light

    Quote Originally Posted by KLowD9x View Post
    Helping other members is wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
    No, discussing illegal activities is. Putting a HID bulb in a Halogen projector is still illegal...
    Quote Originally Posted by KLowD9x View Post
    I'm not the one putting the bulbs in my car... the OP is.

    Doesn't mean I am not going to help them with their problems.
    John_Galt is right. So in this case it DOES mean you are not going to help the OP. Not on CPF, anyway.

    Thread closed.
    Resistance is futile...

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