One of the most frequent questions we are asked is: “What color HID kit is the brightest?” In an effort to answer this question, we contacted Kensun Inc., one of the market leaders in aftermarket HID kits, and asked them to provide us with one of each of their kits so we could test them all for you. We used a Dr. Meter digital light meter to test the light output of each kit. In order to get an accurate comparison, we installed all 30 kits (three each of ten different color temperatures):
- In the same vehicle
- Parked in the same location in our test garage
- We gave each of them ample time to heat up to their full capacity
- We obtained all measurements from the brightest point in the driver’s side headlight beam
Included in our test were the following color temperatures:
We tested tach of these bulb colors using the following three different ballasts:
- 35W High Performance Ballast
- 35W Digital Slim Ballast
- 55W Digital Slim Ballast
The results of our test are shown in the chart below.
You can see that when paired with any of the three ballasts, the 5,000K kit is the brightest. This wasn’t a surprise. We expected the most light output to come from somewhere between the 4,300K and 6,000K range. One thing we didn’t expect to see was the large drop in brightness from the 55W 8,000K bulbs.
The gallery below provides you with a shot taken of each of the headlight installations, allowing you to see the reading on the lux meter. The question is…knowing now which HID kit color is the brightest, which one should you choose?
To help you make your decision, check out our “what hid kit should I choose” article for three criteria to consider.