High-intensity discharge (HID) Lights
The lights were installed over a weekend. A few nights prior to
doing the installation I took “before”
pictures pointing into the woods behind my house, just so I
could get a controlled comparison of the Halogen lights vs.
Xenon lights. The night I took the “after” set of pictures,
my first professional comment was ... HOLY CRAP.
These things are flame throwers. It’s
not just the beam straight out but the residual light
dispersed around the front of the vehicle. And they're not
just brighter but more of a whiter light and definitely
cooler running (cooler to the touch of the reflector
housing). I focused the beam of light to a wide angle,
which is easy with the Lightforce lights with a simple
rotation of the housing. the images below say it all.
The shot on the left is the Halogen. The beams were a
little more overlapped than they should have been hence the
circular pattern in the Halogen shot but that how I ran them
to concentrate the light down the trail to see more.
The shot on the right is the Xenon. With that shot I
had a wider spread of the beams. I found that I could
do this because I had so much light to work with. The
incredible thing I found was the amount of spill-over light
that the lights created, which made it possible to walk
around the perimeter of the front of the Jeep and actually
see the ground in the areas where I was walking. The
following pictures were an attempt to capture the results of
the upgrade, however it's always hard to show the actual
improvement in pictures. Click for a close up.
With the Xenon bulb, the length of the
bulb over the Halogen bulb is a bit longer. Therefore
the focal length of the bulb within the reflector will be a
little different than the Halogen bulb in this case.
With the HID, the light source sits deeper
into the reflector. The net effect is that you will
have to adjust the reflector out a little more with the
Xenon bulbs. Further than the Halogen to get the same
light spread. This is not a problem as the Lightforce
reflector has a triple O-ring seal and a long threaded neck.
I may put a slightly larger O-ring on the neck to ensure
there is a good seal and maybe put a little lithium grease
on the seal to allow it to slip when adjusting. Just
be sure not to get any grease inside the reflector and
especially not onto the bulb. Just to ensure
there is an adequate seal, I move the o-ring that would be
used if the reflector was full seated, to the base of the
threads, where it would be in use. In this location,
it would actually work as an additional o-ring seal again
when the reflector is rotated out for a wider beam.
Information about HID - High Intensity Discharge
The HID (High-intensity discharge) light has basically 3 modes of operation, start, warm-up and run.
There are three components in the HID system, the bulb, ballast, and
igniter. Most HID systems have the igniter located in the ballast,
some have it located with the bulb and some as a separate component.
The bulb before start-up, has an open-circuit impedance, so during
the start mode, the igniter fires a short duration pulse of 2000 to
5000 volts. After the arc is established, the bulb impedance reduces
dramatically and the warm-up mode begins. During warm-up mode, the
ballast supplies an AC square wave, 400 or 500hz at about 50volts
and ramp up to about 80 volts in a few seconds, then it’s in run
There is another case, where the light is turned off and then turned
back on, called re-light. Depending on bulb temperature, re-light
may take up to 23,000 volts to re-establish the arc, thus the need
for a 23,000 volt ballast.
The wiring to the HID bulb is rated at 25kv, and 50kv
with the wires. There is no common mode such as vehicle ground, so
it’s very safe. Even so, care must be given not to damage the wires.
During operation, ff an arc cannot be established during start mode, the ballast will
cease operation until it is cycled off then back on.
Not all HID Lights are created
For the Philips HID bulbs, notice the metal structure securing
the bulb to the base, these have spot welds. For the "made in china" bulb,
includes their version of the D2S, notice the lack of metal
support structure. Instead there is some type of cement.
In some testing during the development of this kit, one bulb had become loose in the cement,
possibly from heat or
vibration, (there was little or no vibration during the testing). This
was one of several noted problems. The bottom line is you
are going to get what you pay for.
Philips HID bulbs
China Made HID bulbs
Xenon is a member of the zero-valence elements that are called
noble or inert gases, however, "inert" is not a completely accurate
description of this chemical series since some noble gas compounds
have been synthesized. In a gas filled tube, xenon emits a blue glow
when the gas is excited by electrical discharge. Using tens of
gigapascals of pressure, xenon has been forced into a metallic
This gas is most widely and most famously used in light-emitting
devices called Xenon flash lamps, which are used in photographic
flashes and stroboscopic lamps.
Continuous, short-arc, high pressure Xenon arc lamps have a color
temperature closely approximating noon sunlight and are used in
solar simulators, some projection systems, automotive HID headlights
and other specialized uses. They are an excellent source of short
wavelength ultraviolet light and they have intense emissions in the
near infrared, which are used in some night vision systems.
High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps include these types of
electrical lamps: mercury vapor, metal halide (also HQI),
high-pressure sodium, low-pressure sodium and less common, xenon
short-arc lamps. The light-producing element of these lamp types is
a well-stabilized arc discharge contained within a refractory
envelope (arc tube) with wall loading in excess of 3 W/cm² (19.4
Compared to fluorescent and incandescent lamps, HID lamps produce a
much larger quantity of light in a relatively small package.
to get the Ligthforce HID Kit:
Give them a call at:
for a great price on a set.