Category Archives: Lighting

To HID or not to HID. That is the question!

What are HID lights?

A High-intensity discharge (HID) lamp is a type of electrical lamp which produces light by means of an electric arc between tungsten electrodes housed inside a translucent or transparent fused quartz or fused alumina arc tube. This tube is filled with both gas and metal salts. The gas facilitates the arc’s initial strike. Once the arc is started, it heats and evaporates the metal salts forming a plasma, which greatly increases the intensity of light produced by the arc and reduces its power consumption. High-intensity discharge lamps are a type of arc lamp.

Compared with fluorescent and incandescent lamps, HID lamps have higher luminous efficacy since a greater proportion of their radiation is in visible light as opposed to heat. Their overall luminous efficacy is also much higher: they give a greater amount of light output per watt of electricity input.

Aftermarket HID kits

After attending several club meetings and seeing how sweet those HID and Angel Eyes look on Mazda 3’s, I have started to think about installing them on my car.

Being that I am older, I have become very hesitant about modifications to my car.  So I did what every grown man under 35 does:  Googled it.  I read several articles and forum posts talking about HID conversions.  I even have spoken to several people who have HID kits installed about it.  With arguments being made for having them and others for not, it has become quite confusing.

The upside of HID kits

The positives of installing HID kits on your Mazda3 include a custom, high-end luxury look that is unique when compared to other Mazda3’s.  The higher luminous efficacy of HID lights should create a brighter, longer path of light giving the driver a longer view of the road ahead.

The downside to aftermarket kits

While performing my research I came across Daniel Stern Lighting which has a great article on HID conversions and warning against them and the legality of them.

Here is a very informative investigative news story from the UK that talks about the legality of them.  While the laws in the UK may differ from Canada and the US, the effects of these conversions seem to be univeral.

The Verdict?

It seems that most people are very pleased with their HID kits,  however I am not convinced that I can acheive the greater lighting distance without blinding oncoming drivers with an aftermarket kit.  So I am not sure if I want to go through the expense or hassle of installing HID’s only to be disappointed.   So I am weighing my options and would like to know what other Mazda3 owners think.

Your experiences with such kits or even information that you have found would be appreciated not only by me, but by other readers.  Please leave a comment below with your opinons and information regarding HID’s or this article.