photo realism & halogen vs. HID -- important considerati
the white balance is correct across all of the photos that you see. the exposures were all bracketed and i selected a few of the best. i took all of the shots with a 4MP camera mounted on a tripod. exposure times were from 2 full seconds all the way to 1/400.
honestly, to get a true picture of the light these lamps produce i'd need to mount my camera to the dash and find myself a pitch black road.
however, if you take look the the first photo you'll get a good feel for what you will see in real life.
take a look at the bottom right corner. see the white parking line? the color on it is correct. now, take a look at the sidewalk. you'll see the lights shining onto the pavement is in fact hardly blue at all. what you are seeing from the headlight housings on the other pictures is a photographic representation of the actual light.
since the ambient light sources in some of the photographs wash out the true colour of the headlamps, an adjustment of the white balance was made. i used a whitecard to manually set the white balance on my camera. since the main light source was actually tungsten street lamps, the whitebalance isn't the same as you'd get with your eyes in the same situation. obviously since the camera is now working as an eye, we're seeing something slightly different than normal. add to this mix the fact that the light is being filtered through the headlight housing and then through the cameras optics, there are truly a lot of variables to be delt with. also, monitor calibration? yeah. . .there are a LOT
yadayadayada, i could go on and on about trying to get true colour in photographs from multiple light sources. i do appologize for the confusion, but i will assure you that the lights are amazing. although they do not appear QUITE as blue as they seem
in these photographs the hue does has a slight blueish tint to it. the light projecting from the housing & then reflected off of whatever surface the lamps happen to be pointing is about the truest white i have ever seen in a halogen bulb.
to sum all of this up for people just looking to know what the deal with these bulbs is, they are white as you can get without switching over to HID. the blue from these lamps is minimal, so if you want the blueish look of HID ( another optical illusion -- you will find a very good post on this forum about how your eyes are tricked ) you really ought to consider upgrading to HID.
considering the cost vs. the effect produced you will get more bang for your buck with these bulbs. coverage over the stock halogen is greatly improved both in throw and side to side coverage. the clarity of light is much more true to life. when driving through city lights on my way home in the rain last night, whatever the lamps shined upon was lit with a true representation of what it looked like under normal lighting circumstances. the combination of high & low beams produces a very strong, focused, clear, and well balanced light source. my night driving confidence with these lamps in my car has been greatly increased. for a total of about 80 dollars and 10 minutes of work, i consider it money well spent.
on the contrary, if i had $600 - $800 dollars to spend on upgrading the entire system to high output HID lamps, i would do so in a heartbeat. why? the power is amazing, the throw is outstanding, the confidence they inspire whilst driving in the dark is overwhelming, and the look is not duplicated any other way. however, the cost vs. the benefit, is obviously not worth the extra expense under normal circumstances.
as an educated consumer, one must be wary of how they spend hundreds of dollars. upon purchasing my 3, i lusted for the HID option. could i justify the extra expense? in my heart, no. in my eyes, yes. am i happy with this decision? very much. do i still lust for HID? of course, they LOOK amazing, but from a performance vs. cost point of view HIDs are, frankly, nothing but a rip-off.
sorry for the long ramble but i've given this junk quite a bit of consideration. your educated & thought out replies are welcome. i know there are many educated people on this board who will have valid points to add. i would love to hear what you have to say.