Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

So I upgrade my 3 Sport (5-door) halogen low beams to VOLT HIDs, this past week. Bought them from Oliver over at XenonExpert.com for a decent price. I used the 4300k to stay as close to stock HIDs as possible. The first thing I noticed was a "dead zone" in the front and lots of light to the sides. In other words, I can see really well to the sides of my car but not well in front. I also noticed when they're initially turned on, they spark up real bright and dim down almost immediately. Both headlights seem the same in brightness so it's hard to say it's a ballast acting up unless both are. Anyway, I triple checked everything to make sure the bulbs were in right and flush against the housing. Everything seems fine with the install. I found a few threads explaining how HIDs SHOULD look and how they shouldn't. Mine definitely don't seem right. Has anyone had an issue with HIDs not projecting enough light in front? These only gone in one way I assume(black part of bulb goes down)? I'm slightly bummed because I spent the extra money on the Volts vs the DDMs because I was told DDMs sometimes don't fire up right away. Any help is appreciated.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 07:16 AM
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

I can't speak on the light pattern because I don't have a 2nd gen, and these are halogen projectors MADE for halogen bulbs. In the 1st gen, halogen projectors accepted HID bulbs to a certain extend, but it did produce glare.

When the bulbs first turn on, they are usually bright blue, then it tones down to white. This is normal, this has to do with the arc being established within the bulb. As far as it being a bit dim, they needed to be burned in, so give them some time.

Trust me, they're far brighter than your halogen bulbs.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

Thanks, Say Chi Sin Lo. The HIDs are definitely brighter to the sides of the car but not so much up front. I read on this forum before about the projectors being meant for halogens and not HIDs, which makes sense since the halogens were stock. So I guess my question is, can I adjust the headlight to focus more light upfront? I know I can angle the lens up and down but I didn't want to go turning screws unless I was sure that's what would fix the problem. If it helps, my pattern is kind of like the bottom of an flat oval and the cutoff is real blurry. Like you said, these projectors weren't meant for HIDs but I don't see many people complaining about this mod. I'll try and take some pics tonight of the beam of light and pattern.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 11:05 AM
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

I don't think the problem is electrical. If the ballasts were not supplying enough juice the lights either wouldn't work or would maybe be dim. But the relative brightness of HIDs compared to halogens doesn't make a huge difference in the beam pattern. A bit more leakage around the edges will visible because it is brighter but the basic distribution of light should be the same as with halogen bulbs. No, this sounds like an optics/alignment issue.

I know with the 04-09 models it was possible to put the bulb in upside down or without the spacer, either of which would cause messed up light distribution. I believe the 2010 uses an H11 bulb (and no spacer) which should be harder to install incorrectly. But it is still possible - I'd check to make sure the bulbs are seated properly first.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 11:14 AM
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

It does sound like your bulbs are incorrectly seated.



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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

I'll give that another shot. From the looks of it, there isn't much room for error on the 2010+ model. Push in, turn (black part of bulb goes down). The rubber grommet definitely sits tight and made it hard to turn. So maybe somethings getting pinched. Heading out now to take a look.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

Everything looks flush to me. Maybe I'm just losing my mind. I'll try and take some picks tonight. I appreciate everyones input.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 03:02 PM
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

[quote author=balding geezer link=topic=178387.msg3772885#msg3772885 date=1282575913]
I don't think the problem is electrical. If the ballasts were not supplying enough juice the lights either wouldn't work or would maybe be dim. But the relative brightness of HIDs compared to halogens doesn't make a huge difference in the beam pattern. A bit more leakage around the edges will visible because it is brighter but the basic distribution of light should be the same as with halogen bulbs. No, this sounds like an optics/alignment issue.

I know with the 04-09 models it was possible to put the bulb in upside down or without the spacer, either of which would cause messed up light distribution. I believe the 2010 uses an H11 bulb (and no spacer) which should be harder to install incorrectly. But it is still possible - I'd check to make sure the bulbs are seated properly first.
[/quote]

HID's can't actually be dim when they are new. The reason HID's go dim is that there is a black coating on the outside envelope that blocks light from getting through (causing more heat to be created). If the ballast wasn't supplying enough juice, it would cycle on and off (the ballasts strike with around 15,000V so don't go probing around them when the switch is on) - but this is usually only associated with a faulty ballast, or an aged lamp that takes too much VA to maintain the arc.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 10:04 PM
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

Also, you can't "focus" the light coming out your projectors. The screws are only there to aim lights up/down, left/right.

I think we need a picture of your light pattern so we can tell you whether or not you're seeing things, or something's wrong.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Volt HID (35w 4300k) are kind of dim

Ok finally got a chance to take some pics. It's been rainy here in south jersey for the past few days.
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