One of the most common upgrades done in the automotive lighting world is replacing your stock halogen/incandescent headlights with blue halogen/xenon type bulbs. They are still incandescent and they still partially use xenon gas, and sometimes they use more electricity and are rated at a higher power than your original bulbs. Some companies like Putco, Street Glow, Nokya and GP Thunder have done a good job at producing a regular style blue headlight bulb. They look good, the last a decent amount of time, and they are brighter than stock in a plug and play form.
Enter the “H.O.D” bulb… HOD stands for, this is not a joke, “High Definition Olive Lamp”… are you kidding me? The name comes from a translation of the original Chinese name of the bulb after describing the shape as being round like an olive. Today retailers are marketing the product by calling it a High-Output-Discharge bulb, which sounds much better but it’s not the original name of the technology. Your best bet for better lighting is an HID system for your vehicle, there is still nothing brighter than a true xenon high intensity discharge system. Even the best LED headlights still cannot compare to HID.
When you find an HOD bulb for sale, it looks just like the others out there. Do your own research and hit up Google for these brands:
Vance Hypersports HOD
Eagle One HOD
All of the packaging is the same for each “brand” and they all equally perform poorly. I was blown away when I watched a testing and review video on the Tundra forum about using these bulbs in high beams – you can’t even tell they are turned on! Watch this video for a demonstration of HOD bulbs in the high beam position of a Toyota Tundra:
If you want to learn more about HOD bulbs, and what proponents of the product are talking about, check out this blog:
Basically, what this all comes down to is, until the technology in made better, don’t waste your money on an HOD bulb product. They are all the same, just re-branded for each company selling them, and they don’t perform as well as many factory headlight bulbs. They are cool looking, they are blue and attractive in their packaging, but provide no real functional value to the enthusiast.