If you are looking to improve nighttime visibility, enhance your vehicle cosmetics or a combination of both, Extreme Audio in Richmond, Virginia, has your solution. We have been specializing in lighting upgrades for several years now, and offer the best-performing, most-reliable products available today.
The sad reality of replacement lighting is that most items are low-cost, bottom-of-the-barrel products that you should run far, far away from. Our team has spent significant time and resources on finding products that meet our standards. For most vehicles, we have replacement headlight, foglight and reverse light bulbs.
HID lighting is where it all got started. Makers of luxury vehicles started the trend of installing HID headlight systems on their vehicles in the mid-1990s. Right after those first vehicles came out, people have wanted this technology in their vehicles equipped with normal incandescent bulbs.
HID lighting has several benefits:
The light emitted from HID bulbs is much closer in color temperature to natural sunlight, so they let you see dark colors and shadows much better at night. Have you ever noticed that you can see a black dog walking across the road just fine during the day but not at night? It is your headlights. They are yellowish in color. HIDs will give you much better nighttime visibility.
With HID lighting, you not only get a light color that improves visibility – you also get more total light output. We often see 50 to 100 percent improvement in visibility when you add in the increased output and color change.
If you swap out one incandescent headlight bulb for an HID bulb, the cosmetic improvement is phenomenal. What makes it even better is that you have options of different colors. HID bulbs come in different kelvin ratings, or heat ratings. You start out with a light that is yellowish and then move to white, slightly blue, really blue and purple. The best performance is in the 5 to 6 k range where the light is completely white or slightly blue.
HID lighting does have some drawbacks. You can’t cut any corners on the installation or you will have problems. They come with a ballast that has to be securely mounted, and should really draw power directly from the battery for the longest life expectancy. When you turn on your HIDs, they take 1 to2 seconds to reach full brightness, so you have to keep that in mind when using them for high beams.
LED lighting is quickly becoming the reference standard for headlights in factory-equipped vehicles. Extreme Audio has been involved in this category since the beginning. The first models of LED replacement bulbs were poorly designed and had low output; in essence, they were lousy. The good news is that every generation improves significantly.
Here are LED advantages:
When you turn on headlights equipped with LED bulbs, you will get full output instantly. This is a great advantage when engaging your high beams.
LED bulbs originally came in around 6,500 k, which is a white light with a hint of blue. It is a great color for nighttime visibility. Some companies now offer sleeves for LED bulbs to change the color, should you desire. It is a low-cost way to get HID color options. If you are looking for a specific color other than 6,500 k, though, HID may be the best solution for you.
LEDs do have some drawbacks. They don’t perform as well in projector housings as HID bulbs, but they are getting better with every generation. They don’t offer the same light output as HID – while they are noticeably brighter than incandescent bulbs, HID still wins the output war. For right now, LED is still an “early adopter” technology, but the performance gap continues to close when compared to HID.
Installation of your new bulbs is just as important as the product itself. We have removed countless installations to install our products, and many times the fault can be traced to a poor-quality installation. That is not a concern at Extreme Audio. Our team has installation standards that meet, or often exceed, those of car manufacturers.
When you are ready to upgrade the lighting in your vehicle, we invite you to stop by Extreme Audio in Mechanicsville or Midlothian. Our expertly trained staff will work with you to find the best solution for your needs.
You can also contact us here for more information about any of our products or services.