HID Lighting 101: Just The Basics

D2S bulb dimensions
This is a High Intensity Discharge xenon gas-filled light bulb.


  • Xenon, or High-Intensity Discharge (HID), lighting provides more light and increases visibility of many peripheral objects (e.g., street signs and pedestrians) left in the shadows produced by standard halogen lighting.
  • HID light sources provide the brightest illumination available and are considered the benchmark against which other forward lighting technologies are measured.
  • HID light sources provide three to four times the light output of standard halogen light sources and promote better driving visibility by providing enhanced peripheral vision and improved down-road illumination. HID lighting can produce a crisp white light that stimulates reflective paint in road markers and signs.
  • HID lights do not have a filament which makes them more reliable and exhibit a longer lifespan than regular halogen “incandescent” light bulbs. Because they do not have a filament to break or degrade,  a xenon bulb may last up to 10 times longer than standard halogen lights.
  • HID light sources are very energy efficient. Bi-Xenon (dual beam) lighting uses up to 65 percent less energy than conventional lighting, reducing the CO2 emission of a vehicle considerably.
  • There are many examples of vendors trying to sell incandescent light bulbs with a filament as HID bulbs. This is a lie, because even though they may use a mixture of both halogen and xenon gases, they are still not HID. HID stands for “High Intensity Discharge” and is characterized by the power output and usage of an HID ballast. If the blue-tinted light bulb that is being sold as an “HID Bulb” does not have an accompanying ballast, then it is falsely advertised. To make sure you are always buying the right products, and the best HID products, check out GTRlighting.com.