CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
High Intensity Discharge headlamps
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps provide a brighter, whiter light for increased forward visibility. They produce about 2.5 times as much light as conventional halogen bulbs and have a distinct, bluish-white appearance to oncoming vehicles. Also, they are more durable than filament bulbs and require 37 percent less power to operate.
In contrast to standard sealed-beam or halogen lamps, HID headlamps use electrical energy to excite a metal halide. A quartz glass capsule filled with xenon gas receives a momentary high-voltage charge from an igniter, causing an arc between the two electrodes to light, then stabilize. The high output and small size of HID lamps allow them to be easily turned in active headlight systems to illuminate around corners.
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