HID Lamps: More Light on the Driving Situation

Written by Guest Blogger

To hear late night comedians tell it, the only trendy automotive upgrades out there are expensive spinning rims. The fact of the matter is that there’s an increasingly popular aftermarket add-on that can actually help you to see and be seen.

HID stands for “high intensity discharge.” Without getting too technical, HID lamps utilize plasma formed from a combination of gas and metal salts, which allows them to throw off more light while consuming less energy. Not surprisingly, they’ve become popular for all kinds of outdoor lighting, including the automotive variety. In fact, you’ve almost for sure have seen them — they throw off a distinctive bluish glow that adds a bit of a cool factor to any car.

They look great but the real safety benefits in terms of visibility are obvious, especially for folks who often drive at night and even more especially for folks who may frequently drive in poorly lit areas. HID lamps are available in pretty much all kinds of autos, definitely including such high end lines as BMW, Mercedes, and Bentleys but also in the more affordable makes.

Mainly because of the safety features, some friends of ours who live in a relatively remote suburban community recently purchased a Honda Civic HID kit for their college age daughter’s car. Though the purchase and installation of these isn’t exactly free, the daughter liked the way they looked and was also a somewhat nervous driver who was afraid to use her high-beams. Seemed like a perfect present.

Our friends found that the Civic HID kit can be purchased for a price that, considering the potential savings on even a very minor auto accident, wasn’t bad. In fact, those friends received a very real payback when, not long after upgrading, their daughter just narrowly avoided hitting a stray German shepherd who had run into her path on a narrow highway near their house. If she had hit the dog, there is a good chance the car would have skidded off the road and into a rather steep ravine. The benefits to the dog, the car, and especially the young woman and her family in terms of a possible injury and a certain huge expense are more than obvious. Nobody is likely to kiss a Honda Civic HID Kit, but our friends felt like doing just that.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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