55W HID 4300K Kit Test Results

Morepower!

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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:

Thesetup.jpg



RMSMeter.jpg



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 won’t 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 won’t 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 didn’t bother doing a 12V test after seeing the results between 14.8V and 11.1V, it’s pretty obvious the ballast is regulated. I also don’t 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 don’t know if a bulb with a different arc length would pull more current out of the ballast or not ?




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BVH

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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.
 

XeRay

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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.
 

XeRay

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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.
 

Morepower!

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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.

DSCF6914.jpg




DSCF6911.jpg



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


DSCF6902.jpg




DSCF6903.jpg



Note: The load is fencing wire.:D

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




.
 

steed77

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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.

HID3.jpg
 

al2k

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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.
 

brickbat

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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...
 

AlexGT

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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
 

Lamphead

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...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"....;-)
 
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Morepower!

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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.
 
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XeRay

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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.
 

Dr.Skaramanga

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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 4300° 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
 

SafetyBob

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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.
 

BVH

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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.
 
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