Plenty of imitation HID (high-intensity discharge) solutions are out there. Most of them, however, won't provide the actual HID technology that you are after. We did some research to come up with a high-quality HID kit, with ballasts (not just fake HID bulbs) that won't break the bank. We partnered with XenonDepot.com to install a set of Xenon HID lamps and see the improvement for ourselves.
Xenon HID lamps do not have a filament. Instead, the light is created by an electrical discharge between two electrodes in an airtight quartz capsule filled with xenon gas, mercury, and metal halide salts. This improves durability, as road vibrations can cause damage to regular coil halogen lighting. True HID light sources also produce a blue/purple white light. The color temperature is approximately 6,000K (for this set) compared with 3,200K for halogen. The light output from a 35-watt Xenon HID lamp is approximately 80 percent more than a 55-watt halogen bulb. The Xenon HID system also draws less power from your vehicle's electrical system, even as it produces more light.
With all this in mind, don't be fooled by imitation bulbs that have the luxury-light look. If you actually want the high-output lighting, then you'll need a kit that includes HID ballasts, wiring, and the bulbs themselves. Follow along as we show you just how easy it is to add HIDs to your mini. For more information, contact the companies listed in the source box.
1. Here's a look at the HID...
1. Here's a look at the HID kit from XenonDepot.com. It comes complete with two bulbs, two ballasts, wiring harness, and complete instructions.
2. First things first: Find...
2. First things first: Find a good place to mount the ballasts. The wire lengths indicate that the ballasts have to be mounted fairly close to the headlamp itself, so we decided to mount them on the core support next to each lamp. To gain access, the side marker lights were taken off.
3. With the side markers removed,...
3. With the side markers removed, the grille was unclipped.