How To Install Hid Headlight

This is our guide on how to install HID headlight bulbs. 

HID headlight bulbs offer a ton of benefits compared to stock halogens, making them a popular replacement or upgrade option. 

Some advantages of HID headlights include higher brightness, a cooler color profile, and improved efficiency compared to most stock halogen headlight bulbs. So if you want better visibility and more safety for nighttime driving, HIDs are the move. 

Installing HIDs is actually fairly easy and nothing you can’t do from the comfort of your own home. 

We’ve been testing and working on headlights for over a decade, so if you need help installing HID headlights on your car, you came to the right place. 

Keep reading for more information on how to install HID headlights. 

Why You Might Want To Install HID Headlights

There are a ton of advantages to installing HID headlight bulbs in your car. 

Better Performance

HID headlight bulbs can be as much as 5x brighter than their halogen bulb counterparts. This brightness really helps with nighttime driving, where you need every bit of light you can possibly get. 

Improved Efficiency

HIDs are also quite efficient. They offer brighter light than stock halogens, but do not draw that much more power. Depending on the setup, an HID headlight might even draw less power than a halogen. 

In fact, while most HID headlights draw more power than halogens at startup, once they get up to operating temperatures, they consume significantly less power. 

Cooler Color Profile

HIDs have a cooler, whiter color profile. Not only does this look more aesthetically pleasing, but white light also helps you pick out obstacles, road signs, other vehicles, pedestrians, and stray animals more easily. 

Enhanced Longevity 

HIDs have significantly longer lifespan compared to halogens. In fact, a pair of HIDs can last up to 8000 hours, whereas even the best halogens can only manage about 1000 hours.  

What You’ll Need To Install HID Headlight Bulbs

If you purchased an HID headlight conversion kit that is compatible with your particular car, you don’t really need any other special tools. 

HID Headlight Conversion Kit

The HID headlight conversion kit should include the Xenon bulb, the ballast, and all of the necessary wiring and connectors needed to install the HID bulbs in your stock headlight assembly. 

Gloves

As with any headlight install, we recommend using gloves, especially when handling the bulb, as this will prevent any smudges or fingerprints on the Xenon bulb. This is important because even the slightest smudge could show up in the headlight beam, and reduce the effectiveness of the HID. 

Screwdriver

As you’ll see in our guide, the stock headlights are mounted in a pretty tight spot. You might have to unlatch some clips or open some tabs that you just can’t get to with your hands. That’s where the screwdriver comes in. 

Zip Ties

We will use zip ties to mount the ballast in place somewhere on the body of the car so that it does not move around when driving. 

How To Install An HID Headlight Kit

The exact process for installing an HID kit will vary from kit to kit and car to car, but here’s a general installation guide. 

Step 1: Remove The Stock Headlight Bulb

The first step is to remove the bulbs that are already in the headlight. Do this by finding where the bulbs slot into the headlight assembly and disconnect any wires leading into the headlight. 

You might have to unlatch some clips or tabs that are holding the wires and the bulb in place. If you can’t get to them with your fingers, try prying them open with the screwdriver. 

Once the wires are disconnected, most headlight bulbs come out with a simple twist and pull motion. 

Step 2: Remove The Plastic Cap From The Xenon Bulb

Once the headlight bulb has been removed from its socket, prepare the Xenon bulb for installation. Most HID kits put the Xenon bulb in a plastic cap so that it does not get damaged. 

Unscrew this cap and remove any other plastic bits. Here, we highly recommend wearing gloves before handling the bulb as the glass could easily break or get smudged, which will decrease the efficacy of the HID headlights. 

Step 3: Insert The Bulb Into The Socket

Carefully slot the Xenon bulb into the empty headlight socket, and twist to lock it in place. Remember to close any tabs or clips that are designed to keep the headlight bulb in place. 

Step 4: Wire Up The Ballast and The Headlight Kit

Next up, we have to wire up the whole system. The HID kit will come with a wiring diagram that tells you exactly where to plug everything in. Be sure to connect the ballast properly, as described in the wiring diagram. 

And once you’re done connecting the ballast to the bulbs, remember to connect the stock headlight connector to the ballast as well. People often forget this simple step. 

If for some reason the HID kit doesn’t come with a wiring diagram, head over to the manufacturer’s website and find one there. Alternatively, you can just connect the wires yourself as they are probably color coded or have unique shapes that only connect to a specific style of connector. 

Step 5: Mount The Ballast To The Car’s Body

Finally, once the HID bulbs and the ballast have been connected, you need to mount the ballast so that it does not move around when you drive. Your HID kit might come with metal brackets that you can use to securely mount the ballast in place.

Alternatively, you can also use zip ties to mount the ballast. We opted to do both just to be on the safe side. 

Step 6: Test The HID Headlights

After the HID bulbs and the ballast have been installed and wired up, check to see if the lights work properly. If one of the bulbs is not turning on, go back and flip the connector 180 degrees. That should do the trick.

Conclusion

So, to sum up, HID kits offer a ton of benefits for nighttime driving, from better visibility to improved aesthetics, and the like. 

HID kits are fairly easy to install and you don’t even need any special tools to get the job done. But there are still some important things to keep in mind when installing HID headlights in your car.


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Richard Nickleson is the author and owner behind Headlight Reviews. He first started the site as a hobby to share his insights on car parts and specifically headlight bulbs, but it soon ballooned and now he writes on all topics surrounding headlights bulbs. If you've got a bulb question, contact Richard here.