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Old 12-30-2004, 02:38 AM   #1
volkl23
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Default Is what dealer said about HIDs true?

My dad had his left Xenon HID replaced on his BMW X5 at the dealership yesterday. When he came home and went into the garage, he noticed that the left HID (newly replaced one) was significantly YELLOWER than the right. He drove back to the dealer that same day. The service manager was confused about it too. They went to the tech who installed it.

This is where it gets confusing. The tech printed some piece of paper (what my dad said) and showed it to my dad. Supposedly, this piece of paper outlined that newly replaced HIDs will be yellower initially and that it would become a "normal" white after approximately 100 hours of use. My dad was satisfied (albeit confused) and left.

I wish my dad had kept this piece of "paper", but of course he didn't. Is my tech and this piece of paper full of it? I thought color is only related to temperature with lower temps = yellower and higher temps = whiter/bluer/purpler. Do HIDs need to be broken in??

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Old 12-30-2004, 03:50 AM   #2
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I know that HID's need to be warmed up but thats all I know.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:33 AM   #3
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as far i know, after 100 hours of usage, there will be color shift. Normally, it'll go from whitish to more purplish/bluish side. AND as you know, it will lose very small amount of lumens as the color shift occurs.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:50 AM   #4
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I believe this is bull... so does that mean all the car manufactures leave the bmw, sti's lights on for 100's? I'd call another tech and ask him.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:02 AM   #5
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as stated above, not bs. all HID lights "break in" to some extent.

ken
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:24 AM   #6
volkl23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJRCS
as far i know, after 100 hours of usage, there will be color shift. Normally, it'll go from whitish to more purplish/bluish side. AND as you know, it will lose very small amount of lumens as the color shift occurs.
I would like to know more about this. What exactly is happening during this "100" hours that's creating this color shift? When you say color shift, are you implying that the temperature of the bulbs change, say from 4100k-4300k?

This subject has piqued my curiosity greatly.
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ride5000
as stated above, not bs. all HID lights "break in" to some extent.

ken

YUP! the bulbs will 'slightly' change color as they break in a bit. thats why it is recommended that they be changed in pairs.

Bob
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkl23
This subject has piqued my curiosity greatly.
I'm not an HID expert, but there may be other possibilities in addition to the break-in-color-shift discussed. Anyone knowledgeable about this, do feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

(1) Yellowing of optics/reflectors due to outgassing
If the replacement did not involve new reflector & optics, it is possible that the optics / reflectors cause the yellow output due to outgassing. Apparently, different types of HID arc tube units generate different levels of outgassing. If swapping the arc tubes left and right results in the same side being yellower, then outgassing may be relevant imho.

Relevant links:
http://www.autolamps-online.com/gasdischarge/
("Outgassing is gases given off by the lamps materials and coatings that discolour the reflective surfaces of your headllights")
http://www.finishing.com/115/81.html
("Apparently, due to the high temperature environment created by the HID lamp, outgassing of the coating material is occurring, primarily the fluoride")

(2) The makeup of the HID arc tube used
Different designs have different levels of color consistency. Just like buying 2 separate halogen bulbs of the same model & brand for the left & right headlights may result in noticeable color difference, apparently HID arc tubes also have some output color variance within the same production batch. For an oem equipment, I doubt the difference is large enough. So, perhaps this is not a major issue here.

Relevant link:
http://www.sylvania.com/BusinessProd...larcPowerball/
(a Sylvania design that claims to have superior color consistency)

(3) Color shift due to reduced input to the HID arc tube
There is an energy-saving method that involves a special ballast that can generate reduced output (i.e. reduced input to the HID arc tube). One of the side effects is a color shift. Perhaps it may also be possible that the electronics & wiring on one side of the headlight results in an unintended reduced input to the HID arc tube, causing a shift in color.

Relevant link:
http://www.ecmweb.com/mag/electric_l..._controls_new/
( various lighting control, mentioning that special ballasts for HID that allow reduced output can result in color shift)
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for the links Satrya. I think I have some serious reading to do! lol.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkl23
Thanks for the links Satrya. I think I have some serious reading to do! lol.
You're welcome. By the way, I'm not implying in any way that the break-in phenomena not be the cause of the color discrepancy. Either way, imho the other 3 are not impossible either.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:23 PM   #11
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I don't think it's a heat issue w/automotive HIDs. They produce less heat than their halogen counterparts.
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:59 PM   #12
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I know on my brother's aftermarket hid kit on his RSX, he has 7000k hids which were very blue at the start, but has now become a white, almost yellow color after a year of use. I've heard of hids changing color after time, but no idea what is the cause...
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:09 PM   #13
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I would really like to know what exactly is happening when hids are "broken in." Everybody has mentioned it, but nobody has chimed in how it works.
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkl23
I would really like to know what exactly is happening when hids are "broken in." Everybody has mentioned it, but nobody has chimed in how it works.
The members here probably would know:

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:34 PM   #15
volkl23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank3
The members here probably would know:

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/
Done! Let's see what they have to say about it.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:00 PM   #16
Hank3
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Looks like you got some good info
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:37 PM   #17
volkl23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank3
Looks like you got some good info
I got everything answered! THanks for the link Hank!

For those who are also interested:

http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2557
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:35 PM   #18
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Every HID lamp I have seen has a general break-in... they'll do some odd colors when new every once in a while...

HID lamps also get dimmer with age & light output will diminish...
This tends to apply to lamps on for 10-24hrs a day though.
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Old 12-30-2004, 10:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkl23
I got everything answered! Thanks for the link Hank!
No prob

Sometimes HID ethusiasts can come in handy
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