Care for car HID headlights?

IMTRBO

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Hi everyone,

Anyone know if the same care for handheld HID lights is required for car HID headlights?

I've read that I should wait at least one minute before turning a HID light off, just so it has time to warm up fully first. Also, after turning a HID light off, I should wait at least a minute before turning it back on again, so that it is allowed to cool down a little.

I'm just wondering if I should be treating my car HID headlights the same way? Will it help prolong the life/performance of the headlights? Or does it not matter for automotive headlights?

Thanks for your assistance!
 

tay

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Hoboken, NJ
yes, quickly turning them on and off will reduce lightspan.

on startup, the ballasts run 23kV across the bulbs, to heat up the gas in the capsule to the right state. After a minute or so, it reduces the voltage, because the bulbs are hot enough that it only has to maintain the temperature.

If you flick them on and off, it runs the extra voltage again, reducing lifespan.
 

-Virgil-

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Mar 26, 2004
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What matters is how often you turn them on — as Tay says, the startup sequence ("strike") is much harder on the burner than steady-state operation. It doesn't matter when you turn them off; there's no benefit to letting the burner warm up before turning it off. Hot-restrike (turning it back on quickly after turning it off) can place stress on the burner and/or ballast depending on overall system architecture.
 

IMTRBO

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Oh I see!

I've just been concerned because I would like to use the 'auto headlight' feature on my car; However, I notice that it would automatically turn my headlights on when I drive under the shadow of a bridge, and then turn them off again a few seconds later when I've gone past the bridge. I was worried that switching off the light so soon after switching it on would damage it, but from what has been said it sounds like it should be fine.

That's great news! Thanks again for the help! :twothumbs
 

superjoe83

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every time they strike, whether it be hot or cold there is some electrode wear/erosion, which over time will widen the electrode gap, resulting in a lower bulb life with possible increased color shifting.

For example, take two HID bulbs, both have 2000 hours burn time, but bulb #1 has been turned on and off about 4000 times in that 2000hrs, bulb #2 has been only turned on and off 2000 times. Bulb #1 will have more electrode wear and more color shift than bulb #2, i hope that makes some sense
 

IMTRBO

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Is there a standard color shift? ie. does it become more blue, or more yellow, for example?

Would the brightness be affected as well, or only the color?

Thanks! :)
 

superjoe83

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Is there a standard color shift? ie. does it become more blue, or more yellow, for example?

Would the brightness be affected as well, or only the color?

Thanks! :)

all, HID (metal halide) bulbs color shift and loose lumens as they age, most will turn more blue/purple
 

worldedit

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Jul 4, 2007
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There are car headlights that dont turn on and off the HID bulb, but move it inside the reflector with a motor. That should be the best solution for bulb life.
 

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