Are there HID bulbs in the 3000 to 3800K color range?

weedkill3

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
21
Hello, I have a 08 BMW 750 and 04 LS430, both use OEM DOT-compliant xenons. Their color temp is 4300k I believe.

My question is are there reputable xenon bulbs that match halogen color temperature in the 3000s to 4000s?

For me , I prefer the warmer color especially in bad weather.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

badtziscool

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
1,720
If there are, I've NEVER seen them before. They're all made to have cooler tints. If they were tinted warmer, it would be more like an actual yellow color like yellow fog lights, but never a warmer tint.
 

XeRay

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
1,333
Location
Ogden, Utah
Hello, I have a 08 BMW 750 and 04 LS430, both use OEM DOT approved xenons. Their color temp is 4300k I believe.

My question is are there reputable xenon bulbs that match halogen color temperature in the 3000s to 4000s?

For me , I prefer the warmer color especially in bad weather.

If you drive the 35 watt bulbs at 45-50 watts you should get a lower color temp of 3800-4000, in there somewhere.
 

weedkill3

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
21
If you drive the 35 watt bulbs at 45-50 watts you should get a lower color temp of 3800-4000, in there somewhere.


oh, well that doesn't sound safe...i guess that color temp is not a very marketable.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Hello, I have a 08 BMW 750 and 04 LS430, both use OEM DOT approved xenons. Their color temp is 4300k I believe. My question is are there reputable xenon bulbs that match halogen color temperature in the 3000s to 4000s? For me , I prefer the warmer color especially in bad weather.

There aren't any such bulbs commercially available, no, and there is no practical and legal/safe way of adjusting the wattage they're driven at as XeRay suggests. Koito used to offer 3900K D2R and D2S bulbs, but they discontinued them quite a few years ago -- and 3900K was still bluer than the 3100K to 3450K output of halogen bulbs, and you would not have noticed much difference between 3900K and 4300K.

It's possible there might be an off-list solution for you in the form of special nonstandard bulbs. I think Daniel Stern was working on something like this a while back; you could check with him about it.

Also, both of these cars are getting up there in years, so the lenses and reflectors might well be in a state of degradation, which will really screw up your ability to see safely, especially in bad weather, as will improper aim (that's a link to Stern's web site).
 

weedkill3

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
21
There aren't any such bulbs commercially available, no, and there is no practical and legal/safe way of adjusting the wattage they're driven at as XeRay suggests. Koito used to offer 3900K D2R and D2S bulbs, but they discontinued them quite a few years ago -- and 3900K was still bluer than the 3100K to 3450K output of halogen bulbs, and you would not have noticed much difference between 3900K and 4300K.

It's possible there might be an off-list solution for you in the form of special nonstandard bulbs. I think Daniel Stern was working on something like this a while back; you could check with him about it.

Also, both of these cars are getting up there in years, so the lenses and reflectors might well be in a state of degradation, which will really screw up your ability to see safely, especially in bad weather, as will improper aim (that's a link to Stern's web site).


Virgil, on a side note...are Hella HID bulbs just as good as GE, Osram, Philips, etc... Rockauto has them much cheaper compared the regular brands.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Virgil, on a side note...are Hella HID bulbs just as good

There's no way to know who actually made them, and they are...how shall we say...apparently more a marketing-driven than quality-driven part of Hella's product line.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
You can find lower CCT HID bulbs out there on the likes of the 'zon and the 'bay, but they're not from reputable makes. The fact that they're available in halogen formfactors says something.

oh, well that doesn't sound safe...i guess that color temp is not a very marketable.

It rather defeats one of the primary selling points and distinctions of HID vs halogen - "whiter light".
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
It rather defeats one of the primary selling points and distinctions of HID vs halogen - "whiter light".
Light from HID is not whiter than light from halogen, unless by "whiter light" in quotes you meant that marketers will (wrongfully!) portray HID light as being whiter than from halogen. Light from HID has a strong blue component; light from halogen is essentially that of a Planckian black-body radiator.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
Light from HID is not whiter than light from halogen, unless by "whiter light" in quotes you meant that marketers will (wrongfully!) portray HID light as being whiter than from halogen. Light from HID has a strong blue component; light from halogen is essentially that of a Planckian black-body radiator.

The scare quotes were very deliberate and I was speaking to consumer perception, no doubt helped along the way by countless marketing departments.

More generally, the higher CCT HID is known for is a desirable thing that has flourished with the transition to LED. Simply being "not halogen" is generally perceived as being better, something that I believe will persist for some time.
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
There's less of an argument here than it looks like. Both things are true at the same time: higher-CCT (bluer) light is a sales and marketing gimmick that has been leveraged into a perceived advantage. And also, high or relatively high blue content causes glare without a concomittant improvement in seeing, and other problems.

The marketers and those being marketed to, prefer the bluer-and-bluer trend and justify it with propaganda about "whiter light" and "closer to natural sunlight/natural daylight".

The engineers know we could have more light for better seeing (while keeping glare the same) or less glare (while keeping intensity the same) by backing away from blue.

The engineers also know they will lose to the marketers...every time.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
It's not desirable from a standpoint of actual better visual acuity.
I am speaking to subjective market perception, not largely inaccessible to the layperson engineering and physiology tomes. For more than 20 years the interest has been to replicate the "not halogen" >4000K CCT that HID produces. The automakers are well aware of this and have generally locked the much-desired HID and LED headlights behind upper trim levels. The aftermarket has turned out all kinds of cr_p products to address this unmet want.

Suspect the same factor is at play here as with LED flashlights where higher CCTs are generally perceived to be brighter than lower CCTs with identical lumens.
 

Alaric Darconville

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 2, 2001
Messages
5,377
Location
Stillwater, America
I am speaking to subjective market perception, not largely inaccessible to the layperson engineering and physiology tomes. For more than 20 years the interest has been to replicate the "not halogen" >4000K CCT that HID produces. The automakers are well aware of this and have generally locked the much-desired HID and LED headlights behind upper trim levels. The aftermarket has turned out all kinds of cr_p products to address this unmet want.
At one time, the high CCT was easy to point at and say "Look, HID is... DIFFERENT! It doesn't look like those dingy halogen bulbs you suffered with!" Funnily enough, when halogen came out, that was one of the marketing points: "It doesn't look like those dingy non-halogen bulbs!"

The higher CCT was NEW and DESIRABLE because it's so MODERN and HIGH TECH and all that. For HID, the higher CCT really can't be helped much. With LED, there's no reason to have high CCTs because they operate very differently from HID. There's no arc, just a blue LED and some phosphor, so LEDs can be very bright AND have a much lower CCT and a very high CRI. But by the time LEDs got to where they are today the marketers jumped on those high CCTs, and like -Virgil- pointed out, the engineers lost. (The consumers did, too, and without even realizing it, since they've been convinced by the marketers already.) Sadly, though HID is on the way out, it leaves behind that legacy of stymied engineers and a consuming public that just doesn't know any better.

Suspect the same factor is at play here as with LED flashlights where higher CCTs are generally perceived to be brighter than lower CCTs with identical lumens.
For the same intensity of white light, more blue=more glaring; more glaring can be mistaken for "brighter".
 
Last edited:

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
With LED, there's no reason to have high CCTs because they operate very differently from HID. There's no arc, just a blue LED and some phosphor, so LEDs can be very bright AND have a much lower CCT and a very high CRI.

The sweet spot for LED production seems to begin at 5000K + middling color rendition (hello, blue spike) where manufacturers can deliver in consistent volume at a good price with great lm/W efficiency; >6000K with mediocre color rendition they're positively lousy with (but the lm/W figures can be better). If you're moving a lower-volume product that you charge a premium for you can afford to be picky in terms of bin availability - but it's a vanishingly-rare automotive customer that wants <5000K automotive lighting and will pay a premium for it. Thus the deck is stacked: consumers prefer higher CCTs, and OEMs need consistent availability + minimal line-item cost.
 

XeRay

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
1,333
Location
Ogden, Utah
Virgil, on a side note...are Hella HID bulbs just as good as GE, Osram, Philips, etc... Rockauto has them much cheaper compared the regular brands.

It sure looks like a Philips brand bulb, just private labeled, could also be GE but not Osram (don't know much about Toshiba "Harrison" from Japan, I guess they look more like Osram). They are being sold on Amazon, Walmart, Summit Racing, Rock Auto etc. Silly they say 12V, that's a typical ballast voltage. Feed the bulb 12 VDC or AC you get nothing. 85V (AC) is the correct claim for D2S, but that would obviously confuse everyone, so they just "dumb it down" for consumers.
 
Last edited:

XeRay

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
1,333
Location
Ogden, Utah
Philips is known for selling their seconds to Wagner, so maybe they also pawn them off on Hella.


That would be my bet too, doesn't hurt the Philips name and brings in extra revenue that would be normally lost and a cost to destroy and get rid or the waste.
 
Top