35w vs 55w HIDs - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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35w vs 55w HIDs

Hello all!

New to this forum and basically here for a question on behalf of a Christmas gift for the girlfriend's 2010 mazda 3.

She is basically complaining that her stock halogens don't illuminate a high enough output for driving in poorly lit areas at night. I see many of you all have upgraded with DDM Tuning's slim ballast kits with your stock projectors. However I am torn between 35w 5000k's or 55w 6000k's. I want her to see a lot better at night especially in rural areas but I don't want to risk blinding anyone if the 55w is too bright.

So basically to anyone who has a 5000k or 6000k 55w is it overkill? Do you get highbeamed and piss people off when you pass them at night? And to people with 5000k 35w would you want your low beams to be any brighter? Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 05:29 AM
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First of all, are those lamps aimed proper(optimized)?
(too low=limited lit area, too much foreground lighting

too high=blinding to the others, light up toward infinity, wasting on the road illumination)

For rural area night driving, using high beam is the proper way to obtain better visibility.

Low beam is designed to reach only so far=cut-off, no matter how you try make it brighter with higher output light source, lit area will still stay same.

By putting HID bulbs in, it will just intensify lit area but you end up adding too much lighting right in front of you and loose distance vision.

Brighter light source is not equal to better visibility.

You want balanced illumination intensity at right part of beam pattern. Which you will lose this balance by putting HID bulb in halogen projector.

In rural area, especially if you got 55W HID, your eyes will adjust to too much of foreground illumination and will suffer distance view greatly.

Also how aftermarket HID ballast designed for higher wattage set up(like 50W or 55W) is not convincing quality to my standard.

Personally, I don't even recommend HID kit in halogen projector, my suggestion is 35W HID system at 4100K(4300K).
And aim them right.

Unless you have other preference reason for 5000K to 6000K range color than better visibility, stick with 4100K for better output. (Higher K rate light loose output volume large but yet, it will glare more than higher output 4100K range light source. )

Last edited by upashi; 11-23-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input mate I agree with the majority of it. Her lows are adjusted at the proper level, but even the stock halogen high beams are terrible imo. However I do disagree with your underlined statement. HIDs vs. the stock bulbs in the 2010 3 are like comparing a basic mag light to a flood light. They are so dull that you need a brighter light source in order to increase visibility. Alas you have answered my question, 35w 5000k it is
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 04:34 PM
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Please do everyone a favor and get 35W. They work great, and they won't piss everyone off.

I got 6000k 35W back in the day and it looked sexy and worked great... even out in the sticks
If you want performance over looks, stick with 4-5000k as upashi mentioned

whoops just realized you already decided lol

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 06:00 PM
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Oh and...
don't use fog light if you want better distance view!
and use high beam when you can.

Below is bit of academic study based blah about vehicle front lighting if you are interested to read.

Your mentioned mag light and flood is good example to explain what you may be missing when you consider about vehicle front lighting.

mag light works well for distance shoot even with smaller output light source, because it focus strong to intensify beam in center, and not much illumination around beam. while flood is to light up wider area instead of reaching far, less intensity overall=can't reach far, but help see wider area.

Low beam has both character in well design balance.

desired low beam beam distribution is higher focus on beam center, along cut-off line(which land on road at most distance in beam pattern)
and you want much dimmer distribution on near view, so relatively distance illumination stands out more.

Halogen projector is designed based on halogen bulb light source intensity to achieve this balance.

If our eye response is like liner response to brightness, it won't matter but unfortunately, it works bit different.

By putting HID bulb in halogen projector, you literally gain almost twice illumination intensity right in front of you(which you can say better visibility for near sight) but eyes won't response twice better for distance illumination intensity even though, it should be similar balance in terms of beam distribution rate.

Basically, you don't want to bring your threshold level of "bright" higher based on near sight.

I am sure what you want to see isn't mainly right in front of you, but at moderate distance view in average driving speed. Don't get confused by brighter illumination you get from HID not gonna work at same balance

For high beam, it somewhat works better with brighter light source for distance reach compare to low beam though.

High beam optics is normally wider spot beam optics that light up beam center and above cut-off.

But if high beam gets too bright, as soon as you turn high beam off, eye need to adjust back to low beam brightness level..so balance really is key to have better night time visibility.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 02:16 PM
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I got 35W 6000K Morimoto HIDs with actual HID bi-xenon projectors and the results are much better than stock, however, the brightness is somewhat to be desired, this may have more to do with using 6000K bulbs than anything else, if I went down to 5000K or 4500K it would be better for me. A 35W HID is roughly as bright as a 55W Halogen, by that logic, a 55W HID would blind people in on-coming lanes. Another thing to consider is that bright blue lights are distracting to other drivers as they look for a second like police lights until you notice that they are solid. If you really want bright HIDs get 35W 4500K HIDs, and use real HID projectors. Also, get them aimed properly, mine may be a tad too low and that is likely part of my problem.

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