Thursday, July 25, 2013

HID Rear Fog Lamp, NOT a Good Idea

So I recently outfitted the car with an HID back up bulb.  And, found out when doing this mod that, in fact the regular incandescent bulb was BRIGHTER than the LED bulb that had replaced it, which I then replaced with the HID bulb. My conclusion at the time was that the LED bulb was whiter or bluer than the yellowish incandescent bulb, but NOT brighter on the Lumens scale.  The HID bulb was whiter/bluer AND brighter than the LED bulb, so I decided to go forward with the install of the HID bulb.

At the time I had also compared the standard incandescent bulb and the LED bulb for the rear fog light - but it was obvious that the incandescent bulb resulted in a brighter, redder, light. Hence I kept the incandescent bulb in place.

But, while working on final rear diffuser mod, I decided to see what would happen if I took the next logical step of installing an HID bulb in place of the incandescent bulb for the rear fog lamp.  Here is the result.

Incandescent Bulb

HID Bulb
So again the regular incandescent bulb seems to produce the most light for a red lens, as used in the rear fog lamp.  I have to conclude that, despite the HID being "white" versus the yellow of the incandescent, either a yellow light produces more usable, visible light and/or for a RED lens, a whiter light behind a red lens does not always produce the brightest possible light. Or, perhaps an HID is directional and so works best if used in conjunction with a mirror lens surface that focuses the light in a proper way (like the headlights).

So the next step will be, researching the brightest possible incandescent bulbs! Stay tuned....


Unknown said...

White light is a mix of all wavelenghts of light, but in varying amounts depending on the source. Incandecent has a broad range but not high on intensity. A laser has a specific, single wavelength of incredible intensity. Hid bulbs are gas discharge in nature and have a range which is biased to give a favourable colour, depending on user reqs.

The red of the lens cover acts as a filter for most wavelengths other than red, so only red light gets out. Hid bulbs must be short of red light, so when filtered like this, the output is not bright.

Aki said...


Awesome! Thanks, really makes sense. So I guess the best way forward would be either to find a bulb designed for a a red lens, or an even brighter incandescent bulb. I was thinking of halogen but then read that heat, as well as current draw, is a problem with them.