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.
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 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.
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.
|Wattage (W)||HID Light Output - Lumens (lm)*||Halogen Light Output - Lumens (lm)*|
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:
|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.|
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.
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).
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.
|3000K||Golden Yellow||~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|
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.
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.
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.).