55W Ballast- Addiction in Unnecessary Power
More often than we like, some customers call us and ask for the best “55W” ballast to “boost” up the HID bulbs in their cars. At HID Concept, we do not recommend using these so-called, “55W ballasts.” Before we go into why we do not recommend these “souped-up” ballasts, let’s briefly get insight to the ballast. For those who are wondering, “What is it and why do you need ballasts for HID lighting?”
Halogen and LED bulbs do not require to have the ballast. For HID bulbs, however, the metal halide(MH) ballasts provide the voltage to start the pulses which are necessary to ignite the HID bulb. Additionally, the ballast regulates operational current flow to the bulbs and also provides the correct steady supply of voltage. These are the reasons why having a correct ballast is important. It will maximize the bulb life and make certain that HID bulb will provide the proper color and light output.
So, going back to why we think it is not the best idea to have 55w ballast. Many parts of your car are interconnected and having correct parts ensure a safe and proper operation. When you replace the 35W ballast with 55W ballast, you immediate stress the power draw and parts like, wiring starts to degrade faster. In the worst scenario, you can kill the “motherboard” of your car and the repair job on that could cost nearly $ 1,000. Another possible damage is to the headlight casing. The R&D department at the car manufacturers are not just twiddling their thumbs in front of their computers. Every detail goes into designing and engineering the car, and installing a ballast which is not recommended by the manufacturer can, over a certain period, melt the headlight casing.
Also, the stress will directly affect the bulb life. If you purchase a “true” 55W ballast, the output of 55W will wear down your bulbs much faster than the 35W ballast. This is a simple deduction. Why would you want to sacrifice the lifespan of the bulbs; create unnecessary heat and is a waste of electricity in the car.
There is another factor that, not all, but most of so-called 55W ballast kits’ output is around 38~40W. I can’t speak for the sellers, but from our point of view, this is just a marketing upsell. Making 35W ballast vs. 55W cost the same. This is why HID Concept never recommends or sells 55W ballast, and only sell name brand that the car manufacturers use in their vehicles. (E.g. Valeo, Hella, Denso Koito and Mitsubishi)
Unfortunately, it is so easy to find the 55W ballast in the market that tells us that maybe there are some customers who purchase and install them without knowing the downside. There are even 55, 75, even 100w ballast in the market. We are not claiming that they are not genuine nor are we saying that some of you might get lucky and have no problem what so ever. However, a simple logic tells us that, If your shoe size is 10, wear a size 10 shoes.