Product was successfully added to your shopping cart.

HID Xenon Color Chart - Ultimate Headlight Temperature Guide


Whether you are looking to find the best HID color for your car's headlights or simply looking to learn how HID colors work, you've come to the right place.

For those that are not familiar with how HIDs work in the first place, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs create light by heating a special gas and metal mixture contained within the bulb.

The temperature at which the gas inside the HID bulb is heated determines the color of the light emitted ranging from red to white to purple.

HID Headlights Colors - Kevin Scale

When looking to upgrade your headlights (or fog lights) from halogen to xenon HIDs, you will need to choose the color of the bulbs. Our comprehensive HID color guide will make sure you pick the perfect color lights for your car and needs.

HID Color & Temperature Chart

HID bulbs come in a variety of colors ranging from yellows (3000K – 4300K) to whites (5000K – 6000K) to blues and purples (8000K and over). The best way to decide which color/temperature you should choose for your HID bulbs is by looking at our HID color chart.

The brightest HID bulb color can be found in the lower-middle end of the spectrum sporting a primarily white color (4300K – 6000K). From our testing and experience, we find that 6000K produces the best light output and visibility.

Xenon HID Headlights Color Temperature Chart Table

What is the brightest HID color temperature?

The brightest HID color temperature is 6000K, emitting perfectly white light with a slight tint of blue. 4300K and 5000K will be close seconds but will have a very light tint of yellow (4300K) or a faint tint of blue (5000K).

Most people shopping for HIDs believe that a higher bulb temperature will yield a brighter light but this is in fact not true. As the bulb color temperature increases to reach blue and purple levels, the light output will be inferior to regular halogen lights.

HIDs generate light through xenon gas when powered. The light output (brightness) of HIDs is therefore proportional to the amount of power that is supplied. So, the higher the power the brighter the light emitted from the bulbs will be.

The power, measured in watts (W), is provided by the HID ballasts, which is the power supply. Our HID headlight and fog light conversion kits come with two HID wattage options 35W and 55W.

For maximum brightness and the ultimate nighttime driving experience, we recommend going with our 55W HID kit in white, which produces an exceptionally powerful, dense, and wide bright white light without risking any damage to your vehicle, headlight or electrical systems.

XenonPro - HID Headlight Kits Banner

Watts (W) to Lumens Conversion Table

Wattage (W) HID Light Output - Lumens (lm)* Halogen Light Output - Lumens (lm)*
35W 5500lm 1100lm
55W (brightest) 8000lm 1400lm
* Total light output from both headlights or fog lights

What is the best HID color temperature?

Most people looking to upgrade their headlights to HIDs from halogens are doing so with the intention of improving visibility on the road, in which case the best HID color would be 4300K, 5000K or 6000K.

There is technically no single best color because that will entirely depend on what you are looking to achieve with an HID upgrade. The following summarizes the best HID color temperatures for different purposes:

  • Maximum brightness: 4300K to 6000K (powerful and bright white color)
  • Nicest style: 8000K to 12000K (stylish blue to purple color)
  • Imitating stock lighting: 3000K (bright yellowish light similar to halogens)
Temp Color Details Best for
3000K Golden Yellow Yellow (95%) White (5%) Fog lights
4300K Yellow-White White (90%) Yellow (10%) Nighttime visibility
5000K* Bright White White (95%) Blue (5%) Nighttime visibility
6000K* Alpine White White (90%) Blue (10%) Nighttime visibility/style
8000K Ice Blue White (70%) Blue (30%) Stylish look
10000K** Pure Blue Blue (95%) Purple (5%) Stylish look
12000K** Purple Purple (100%) Stylish look
*Recommended **May not be street legal in some jurisdictions.

XenonPro - LED & HID Headlight Kits Banner

It’s important to note that stylish lights (8000K and above) are the least bright and may, in fact, emit less light than your stock halogens.

If you want the perfect balance between brightness and style, we recommend going with 6000K bulbs, which are very bright and have a nice blue tint. If you want a good balance between brightness and original lighting color, we recommend going with 4300K.

Lumens (Lm) vs. Kelvins (K)

A common point of confusion on this topic is the difference between lumens and kelvins. In brief, lumens are used to measure brightness while kelvins are used to measure a light color.

lumens are units of brightness and kelvins are a unit of temperature just like pounds are a unit of weight. The more units (lumens) a light produces, the brighter it will be. A lower temperature (kelvin) will result in warmer lights (yellow, amber, orange, red) and a higher one will result in cooler light (white, blue, purple). Lights with different color temperatures (kelvins) can theoretically produce the same amount of light (lumens).

Understanding HID color temperature scale

The xenon HID color temperature scale is particular in that it features the brightest colors right in the middle of the scale while beginning and ending with dark and less bright colors. It is important to know that an HID bulb color is commonly expressed as a bulb temperature (example: Alpine White = 5000K), which is measured in Kelvins (“K”).

Kelvin is an absolute color temperature scale that can also be approximated in lumens, which is a common measure of light output/brightness. As a rule of thumb, bulbs with a higher color temperature produce a lower light output compared to lower temperature bulbs as summarized below.

Converting HID color temperature (Kelvins) to Lumens (lm)

Temp Color Lumens *
3000K Golden Yellow ~3,200 lm
4300K Yellow-White ~3,200 lm
5000K Bright White ~3,000 lm
6000K Alpine White ~3,000 lm
8000K Ice Blue ~2,300 lm
10000K Pure Blue ~2,100 lm
120000K Purple ~1,800 lm

There is a common misconception that a higher temperature bulb will emit a brighter light output, but this is in fact very wrong. The optimal HID color temperature for ultimate brightness stands right in the middle of the scale at 5000K or 6000K.

Although 3000K (golden yellow) and 4300K (yellow-white) have a higher light output (~3,200 lm) compared to the whites (~3,000 lm), the human eye can see better and more clearly in a white light comparable to natural sunlight.

The higher light output of 3000K HIDs also explains why they are most commonly used in and recommend for fog lights. The light output can be improved by almost two folds up to 8,000 lm by using a more powerful ballasts, such as the upgraded 55-watt HID conversion kit by XenonPro.

Breaking down HID color temperatures

Golden yellow light (3000K)

  • HID bulbs with a color temperature of 3000K produce a golden yellow light that most resembles halogen bulbs and fog lights. This bulb temperature is recommended for those that want to increase the light output from their headlamps/fog lights while maintaining the same color as their stock halogen bulbs.

Yellow-White (4300K)

  • 4300K bulbs produce white light with a hue of yellow comparable to natural lighting. This bulb color is perfect for drivers who wish to dramatically increase nighttime visibility without drastically changing their stock lighting color.

Alpine White (5000K)

  • With a slight tint of blue, 5000K alpine white bulbs will not only give you very bright lights similar to the 6000K but with a diminished bright and stylish blue hue.

Bright White (6000K)

  • 6000K is the ultimate bright light found right in the middle of the color temperature spectrum. This bulb will unquestionably produce the purest white color with a slight hint of blue and is perfect to dramatically improve nighttime visibility. Your lights will look like those of new luxury vehicles such as BMWs and Audis and will be most similar to LED headlights.

Ice Blue (8000K)

  • If you’re considering blue or purple lights, you should be ready to compromise on brightness because these are for aesthetics. These bulbs emit a powerful light-blue beam, which will only be marginally brighter than your stock halogens but will definitely look good.

Pure-Blue (10000K)

  • Like the 8000K, the pure blue 10000k bulbs are for looks only. These will emit a much darker blue compared to the 8000K and will be even less bright. At this level of the color temperature color spectrum, the light emission drops dramatically as explained above.

Purple (12000K)

  • Reaching the end of the color temperature spectrum we get a purple light color. These lights are very stylish and unique but unfortunately produce the same light output as stock halogen bulbs and potentially even less.

Blue & Purple Headlights

Blue and purple HID headlight bulbs are very popular despite not being a great source of light. Drivers and car enthusiasts like to get these for the Fast and the Furious appeal.

Blue Headlights HID Xenon Kit

Pros of blue and purple headlights

  • Stylish look
  • Expensive look
  • Unique color

Cons of blue and purple headlights

  • Low light output
  • Not suitable for fog lights
  • Illegal in some jurisdictions
  • Impractical during snow, rain or fog
  • May blind incoming traffic

Best HID color temperature for fog lights

If you are looking to upgrade your fog lights to HIDs it is best to go with a golden yellow (3000K) or yellow-white (4300K). We strongly recommend against using blue or purple bulbs (anything 6000K) for your safety in times of poor visibility (fog, haze, rain, snow, etc.).

Glossary of important light measurement terms

  • Kelvin (K): measure of bulb color temperature
  • Lumens (lm): measure of light output and brightness
  • Watts (W): measure of electrical power output

XenonPro - LED & HID Headlight Kits Banner