Monday, July 28, 2008

a whiter shade of headlight

i'd seen the cars on the road - the ones with headlights throwing out bright white light, sometimes with a tinge of blue. i'd been curious for some time now about how to get that for my car. the standard weaker looking yellowy tinge just doesn't quite cut it.

recently, one of my headlight bulbs died. thus began my search for a whiter light.

a lot of the marketing for brighter, whiter (or bluer) headlights throw around the word "xenon" with reckless abandon. after a bit of reading, my initial thoughts of getting proper HID (high intensity discharge) xenon lights were quickly dashed when i learned that installing this gear is nowhere near as straighforward (nor economical!) as simply switching bulbs... in the end i opted for this set of Calibra "Xenon Blue" bulbs, which are really halogen lamps, of course - there's nothing xenon about them. the pair cost $27.99 from my local supercheap auto, which was a much better price than a similar single bulb selling at a competitor about 100m away.

the colour temperature of 4000K is supposedly more white than the yellowy tinge of most standard bulbs (and at the bottom range of what xenon lamp emit), which is essentially the difference i was looking for. they do look visibly whiter to the naked eye (though not quite blue!), and that will suffice me until the next replacement, at which time i might try to find out whether there is a better breed of white halogen, for i'm sure that not every car i see with strong white lights are using HIDs...

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