50 watt vs 35 watt

Far from being merely superior in terms of output, there is another major advantage to 50 watt HIDs over 35 watt HIDs. Modern vehicle electronics senses the load on certain circuits to detect when bulbs have blown. The latest manufacturers wiring technique, a CANBUS arrangement, is very sensitive to the load passing through a circuit and will often shut the circuit down is there is insufficient resistance. Thus many modern motorcycle and cars may experience problems by using a 35 watt HID, as the current draw makes the brain of the vehicle think there is something wrong with the circuit therefore shut down the circuit. In other cases circuits will malfunction and the HID light will flicker or occasionally randomly switch off. No good if you are driving down a dark road at the time approaching a bend. At the very least, a modern vehicle will constantly display a blown bulb warning when using a 35 watt HID kit.

All of these issues are avoided by using a 50 watt HID kit. The 50 watt kit has a power consumption within 10% of the standard 55 watt halogen bulbs they often replace and as such causes no shocks, stresses or surprises to the systems.

Manufacturers of 35 watt kits have in the last 12 months or so sought to avoid this problem by adding in resistors to the ballast. Thats great in terms of solving the problems but of course this adds another problem. Heat. Further, if you are using 50 watts of power, why not get 50 watts of light, rather than 35 watts of light and a resistor wasting away the remaining power. It also makes a mockery of vendors claims that the units use less energy than the halogen bulbs they replace. So be warned, many modern 35 watt ballasts will often consume 50+ watts of energy, even though they only give you 35 watts worth of HID light.

50 watt vs 35 watt

Over 99% of HID kits for sale in the marketplace are the lower power 35 watt HID kits. But we specialise in the hard to find, ultra high performance 50 watt HIDs. We pair together heavy duty waterproof, dustproof, vibration proof E approved 50 watt ballast / igniters with 50 watt HID bulbs, for whatever purpose you deem appropriate. 50 watt HIDs have been used for diving (underwater illumination) and search lighting (ultra high performance portable lighting) and as lighting for film and television for some time. Now, we are able to supply the same technology in the more widely used convenient fitments (the H series bulbs).

The photo above shows 2 headlights being projected onto a garage door. The 50 watt is over 50% brighter than the 35 watt.

50 watt HIDs are notably brighter than 35 watt HIDs and people who have shifted up from 35 watts to 50 watts have been astounded. But don�t just take our word for it, here is a comment from one satisfied customer:

Oh my God - I have just fitted one of HID50s 50W units to my main beam. It is phenomenal, not just in comparison to the 55w standard halogen, but also compared to the 35W HID I replaced.

Want more? Well how about a definitive magazine article that compares assorted HID kits: The following article tests both 35 watt HIDs and 50watt. Its actually for conversion kits for light aircraft landing lights and they test four 35 watt kits and one 50 watt kit.

Aviation Consumer HID Article March 06 Results of comparative tests were that the 35 watt kits all performed similarly, but the 50 watt HID stood out notably.

The real stunner was [the] 50-watt lamp, whose brightness is best described as stupefying. Our target holder squinted in discomfort as he walked downrange to collect intensity data with the light meter. The 50-watt HID delivered more light at 600 feet than our stock light did at 200 feet. A couple of these lamps mounted in the wings would turn night to day on a dark taxiway.

and they sum up

We think HID lighting is a compelling addition to any aircraft and we would favor a 50-watt over a 35-watt system.

A 35 watt HID is a 35 watt HID, and sweep away the advertising propaganda that many web sites try and tell you, they produce slightly over twice the amount of light that a 55 watt Halogen light bulb does. As you have probably read on our page regarding lumens, a 55 watt halogen bulb produces a standard 1400 lumens of light. A 35 watt HID produces a standard 3200 lumens. That means sweep away the bizarre maths behind some of the claims (and I have read farcical claims of 300% more light and 50% less power), the reality is a 35 watt HID produces 128% more light than a 55 watt halogen bulb, and consumes 36% less power. The maths isn�t that hard to do, so do be sceptical of people selling you ridiculous claims without any knowledge of the real figures behind it.

Further as the aircraft HID bench test above shows, 35 watt HIDs are 35 watt HIDs. They all perform similarly. Claims of our ballasts are much brighter are about as valid as selling real estate on the moon. We at HID50 go our of our way to get ballasts which are smaller, light, stronger, faster to full power and more durable and reliable, but we have yet to find a 35 watt ballast that is any brighter than another 35 watt ballast.


Here is a daytime picture of an outdoor scene with some ranges marked on it

Similarly, the claim these are the brightest lights you can buy are often found attached to 35 watt HID sellers. Naturally, its a propaganda claim. While 50 watt HIDs may not be that well known and are very hard to find, 50 watt HIDs are available and they are dramatically brighter than 35 watt HIDs. 50 watt HIDs are around 50% brighter again than the 35 watt HIDs.

If you want brighter lights than 35 watt HIDs, then you get 50 watt HIDs. Simple.


Here is the same scene at night, illuminated with 50 watt HID. Not the tree in the middle, which is 150 yards away from the light source.