Right now on eBay you can purchase an aftermarket 35w HID conversion kit with a single beam bulb for $28.92! This is incredible, it is such a good deal! Right? The truth is that it is not a good deal. It’s kind of like those musical instruments that you can purchase at WalMart for $40 when a decent guitar sells at your local music store for $200 or more. The musical instruments sold at WalMart are actually “instrument-shaped-objects” meaning that they look like a guitar, kind of sound like a guitar, but they will not produce the quality of sound or build quality that you would expect out of any decent guitar. This WalMart guitar will lose its pitch easily and frequently, fall apart early and wear out before you ever get your $40 worth, where as a high quality guitar from the right store will provide you with beautiful music for years. If you’re interested in purchasing a high quality HID kit that will treat you well for years then read on!
The same scenario goes for HID conversion kits. This kit sold on eBay is $29 SHIPPED, and how much does shipping cost? A small box shipped by first class US mail could cost as little as $5 domestically. Next, the PayPal and eBay seller fees for this item will amount to nearly $2-$3 per item. So when it’s all said and done you just bought yourself a pair of ballasts and a pair of bulbs with some wiring for $21 – what a steal! These kits are CHEAP because they are CHEAP, not because the buyer is getting a good deal. The truth is that this HID kit cost less to manufacture than a pair of high quality aftermarket HALOGEN headlights, but the electronics are more complicated than a regular headlight, so why would you ever want to spend money on this? Let’s look at what makes them so cheap:
- Waterproofing: A cheap HID ballast will not be waterproof. This can cause problems because of it being installed on your car exposed to the elements which will cause premature failure.
- Cheap Bulbs: A cheap HID bulb will be made of brittle plastic, poorly built o-rings, and an incorrect mixture of chemicals inside the bulb that give it the right color. Cheap bulbs will be a nightmare to deal with.
- AC VS DC Ballasts: DC ballasts are very simple to manufacture but they do not work as well. Because they are simple they are cheaper to buy and sell. Not only will a DC ballast not last as long but they could malfunction and damage the HID bulb.
- Wiring Connections: Cheap HID kits will skimp on as many of the components as possible, including packaging, instructions and in some cases the correct wiring to fit your vehicle. Sellers promoting cheap HID kits won’t tell you what you’re REALLY getting until it’s too late.
- Internal Components: The electronics used to build an HID ballast vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some strive for the highest quality that will run cooler, use less energy and produce a smooth output. Cheap HID ballasts will flicker and be choppy, use a lot of energy, run hot and generally not last very long.
I recommend the GTR Lighting Line of HID products: