- by Atul H. Patel, Editor-in-Chief
Cool blue light. How
modern. How bright. How cool (in the other sense). High Intensity Discharge head lamps have
become increasingly popular and desirable to the point that they are a mini
status symbol. This phenomenon even
justifies the creation of paltry halogen lights that appear like HID’s. Young people with their otherwise normal
vehicles want to be noticed. The whitish
blue lights get attention, and in the case of real HID’s or bi-xenons, they get
enough attention to annoy other drivers.
But from the standpoint of a person who owns a car with HID’s, I occasionally notice the hostility. People sneer at me because the light is somewhat annoying. I bought them as part of a luxury package on my car since I wanted the up-level stereo and passenger power seat. I do have auto-leveling, a feature that on my car is programmed to wink at start-up, almost as if to say hello. The light is bright and works well for my own visibility. I can’t complain about that. An average HID system is usually much better than an average halogen system. But what makes it worse is that my daytime running lights are the HID’s, so they are on all the time. I’m guessing some people think I am showing off by keeping my HID’s on all the time, but this is not the case. I’m not one to visually show off in my car. I prefer the underdog approach, downshifting to 3rd to surprise those who underestimate a stationwagon. At night, it becomes apparent how rare HID’s really are, (unless you live in a wealthy city). And they’re one of the few features that you can show off at night, probably the only one that can be made known from a mile away. I wonder if the police seek out HID’s for wealthy would-be ticket victims.
So this all creates a dilemma. Should I put on a bumper sticker that says,
“I’m not showing off. My HID’s stay on
by themselves all the time.” Or one that
says, “I didn’t buy HID’s to annoy people, just to see better.” I’m also left to wonder how long my HID’s
will last. I’ve heard they’re pricey to
replace, in the hundreds of dollars. I
hope that prices will come down by the time I actually need to replace them or
I can wear them out before my bumper-to-bumper warranty runs out, that is, if
In any case, I like my HID’s. Others seem not to like mine, especially those driving in the opposite direction, and I do worry about replacing them. All in all, they’re a bit over-rated but they are cool, blue, and different, (at least for now).