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Why Are Other Xenons "Whiter/Brighter" Than Ours?

emzino Dec 28, 2007

  1. emzino

    emzino Active Member

    Maybe it's just me but why is it that say Mercedes, BMW 5series & Mini CooperS's have whiter/brighter Xenons than us?

    Just curious =)
  2. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

    All depends on the K rating of the bulbs, I think ours are around 6000-7000k and the other models higher, the higher the figure the more blue they appear. But beware the higher the figure the worse light they emit ie distance covered!
  3. dunk

    dunk Member

    the usual xenon bulb colour is about 4300k - its where you get most useful light output. higher K values will look whiter but not light the road better.

    a 6000k bulb will be down from 3400lumens to about 3100 or so.

    also viewed from the drivers seat you will see the true colour of your own light where as when you see an on-coming vehicle you tend to see the purple/blue edges of the spectrum caused by the projector mechanism rather than the real colour of their light - audi lights do look blueish white to other drivers
  4. alfiejts

    alfiejts Member

    Spot on Dunk.

    All OEM Xenons come with 4300k bulbs, so they are the same light colour.

    The reason some look different colours is down to the alignment of the projector beam.

    There's a bluish tint caused by refraction of the lens at the top of the beam - and that's what the aftermarket bulb kits are trying to emulate by using higher k-rating HID bulbs in normal reflectors.

    If I look at my own car - with matching OEM bulbs & headlights - you can see slightly different colours between the two headlights depending on where you stand in front - because of the angle that you're looking at the beam.

    The other cause of different colours in Mercs is that there are two sorts of Xenon headlights, the normal "projector" types (using a D2S type bulb) that Audi's use, but also a special D2R bulb for fitting into Xenon reflector headlights (which Merc use).

    The differences between the reflector and projector beams will present different appearances - but all OEM bulbs of both D2S and D2R type are 4300k colour...

    Its only the aftermarket kits that use different colours of bulbs to emulate the blue prism tint of an OEM headlight, but the actual light output reduces as the colour K number increases.

    4300k bulbs put most lumens out. 6000k are a bit less bright but anything above 6000k colour has a much lower lumen output.

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