We originally started selling HID Lights some 10 years ago, being one of the first in the UK to do so we have followed the trends that have come and gone over the years.
Originally when we first set out, products available for us to purchase at the time was limited. There was no need for Canbus compatible ballasts, and HID bulb types also quite limited mainly being in the bulb fitments of H1, H3, H4 and H7. The HID Ballasts we first imported was still 12v 35watt but they looked quite different to what we sell today, they was full sized looking somewhat like a packet of 20 cigarettes in appearance.
|The quality of the ballast was very good with some lasting 6 years and more before needing to be replaced.|
As time moved on so did the appearance of the ballasts, some of the larger components used to make up the circuitry was relocated and this allowed the body of the ballast to dramatically reduce in size. We saw the first wave of slim ballasts being introduced to market.
|Slim ballast started a trend and something that people started to search for more and more, it soon became the main feature people looked for when choosing what HID Kit to buy choosing the slim over the older style full sized ones.|
With the main focus being on the size of the ballasts used in a HID Kit, bulb quality and type was still being overlooked by people looking to upgrade to HID Lights. With that said the HID Bulbs being produced at the time also started to get some traction with manufacturers looking to set themselves apart from each other by offering certain changes and features. We will discuss bulbs a little more in another post.
As prices of higher specced cars of the time started to fall, they began to become more popular and people looking to purchase used cars was now able to not only afford them but also modify them. Installing HID lights to cars without them, we found was one of the first modifications people chose to carry out. This was mainly down to the fantastic results achieved vs the low cost of the HID kits. This was great for business but did not come without some problems for us. The higher specced cars often had Canbus systems from factory, meaning the vehicle would monitor the lighting and report back to the driver showing a error on the dashboard if it found any problem with the lighting. That was great for the owner of the vehicle, if a bulb had blown somewhere the car would report this and the owner could replace the bulb. Fantastic!
Not so fantastic for us. Because the HID Lights ran at different wattage and resistance to the original Halogen Bulbs this would often cause a fault with the Canbus systems. So we started to see a influx of people complaining that they was getting errors after fitting the HID Kits.
We combatted this by then offering HID Error Cancellers with HID Kits for people that needed Canbus safe HID Lights.
|This was one of the best Error Cancellers of its time, solving most errors on most cars. We still get people coming back now running non Canbus Ballasts and these error cancellers.|
Certain cars reacted better to some error cancellers than others, we stock The ones shown above that worked on most cars. We also had to stock different ones for BMW and Audi. Selling HID Kits became a bit more of a struggle because we couldn't rely on the customer to know what would work and what wouldn't so we had a lot of contact with people prior to them purchasing trying to make sure what they was buying worked with the car they had.
The birth of the Canbus Ballast, couldn't come soon enough.
Now with more and more vehicles having Canbus Systems, Ballast manufacturers started to build the error cancellers into the wiring of the Ballasts. In most cases just hard wiring in a error canceller. Clever!
This was great for cars that accepted the error canceller and displayed no errors, but not so great for cars that still shown errors. Adding another error canceller to a ballast that already had one built in wasn't advised.
Time moved on some more and vehicle manufacturers started to use similar Canbus systems, meaning we could offer one product that pretty much could pass all Canbus systems. Life was good whilst it lasted.
Lately we have seen some new vehicles using even more complicated lighting systems, not only the Canbus side of things but modules controlling the lights and electronic fuses causing issues. Ballasts again have evolved and manufacturers are still at war trying to develop the best all round ballast to be used on 100% of all vehicles.
|Digital Ballasts with on board processors are now the latest item used to rage war against those pesky error messages. Who thought there was so much involved in fitting HID Lights?|
The digital processors used, monitor the systems and can adapt to make changes where needed to try and bypass the complicated systems of today trying to go un noticed to provide the best trouble free lighting.
With that being said most reputable lighting suppliers like ourselves spend a lot of time testing and helping the manufacturers so the end user doesn't have too. Tailor made packages are more common now, examples of this our are Ford Fiesta Xenon HID Conversion Kits and Our Ford Transit Xenon HID Conversion Kits. The Ford Fiesta doesn't have a Canbus system or a complicated BCM (Body Control Module), but a Ford Transit has one of the most complicated systems we have ever seen. Canbus ballasts are more expensive than non Canbus ballasts, so selling a Canbus HID Kit to someone who owns a Fiesta doesn't make much sense. Hence why we now offer tailor made packages for some makes and models, mainly to try and keep the costs down as much as possible where we can for our customers. The typical person looking to upgrade to HID Lights wouldn't know this and we wouldn't expect them too either.