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Discussion Starter #1
Which one is better? Price is about the same. Also I remembered correctly that Sector111 HID actually is not really perfect (dont know if it's installation, but somehow the light have some peanut shadow on it or something, I can't remember the thread)

my requirement for HID is that it's bright and also doesn't require any splicing or anything whatsoever as I would like to have an option to switch back to OEM without problem just in case. and it looks like both HID kit are plug n play, but I want it to be as painless as possible to refer back.

Thanks.
 

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My Elise said:
As if undoing the splicing would take you more than 20 minutes?
Splicing and fixing splicing is a sure way to have electrical problems with the car many years down the road...
 

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i would go w/ ekologicals HID kit, i know he spent a lot of time & money to develope this kit and it's his only "product" and would be able to provide detail troubleshooting assistance if needed.
 

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Here are some facts and figures:

- Both kits use the same bulbs as they are from the same supplier. Thus, the bulbs are produced by the same plant that makes the bulbs for Philips.

- The smaller ballasts supposedly weigh 8oz. I didn't have a chance to weigh them before I shipped them out to a customer. The 50watt ballasts weigh more...I'll throw one on a scale if someone wants to know.

- The ignitor for the small ballast is external and similar to a long ferromagnet (sp?) usually found on the ends of cables like DVI, VGA cables. The ignitor for the 50Watt ballast is internal so there are far fewer wires to clutter the area (look at the install pics some users posted of the smaller ballasts).

- Sector111's kit gives you a pair of wires with a 1/4" male spade terminal for power and a smaller spade terminal for ground. The power runs from the fuse box, to the headlight, back from the headlight to behind the wheel well area to power the ballast. My kit uses the exact same connectors/terminals/seals as Lotus used and plugs and taps power before going to the headlight.

- 50watt HIDs produce approx 800 more lumens than the equivalent 35watt bulbs for a given color temperature.
 

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I went with Ekological’s HID kit. I purchased 50Watt 8000 K Xenon replacement for the driving lights. This winter I’ll replace the high beams with Osram SilverStars provided I can find them.

Although there is much debate about the lumens put out by Xenon bulbs verses traditional halogens I find the bulbs from Ekological significantly better than the standard bulbs. But I will admit that I took a bit of time to aim the lights after I put in the new bulbs so I’m not exactly comparing apples to apples.

The thing I can comment on with certainty is that the kit from Ekological didn’t require any splicing, or cutting or difficult routing of additional wires. I did have to find a place to mount the ballasts, which was a bit of a challenge on the passenger side, but I figured it out. It took me about 2 hours in total and it was the first time I’d ever done any such work on any car. The instructions that came with the lights were spot-on and easy to follow with the pictures.

I have no experience with the bulbs from Sector111 or Hunting Ridge Motors or any other place that may offer this kind of product. I’m not being paid by Ekological to write this and I don’t benefit financially in any way from the sales of any of these products. I’m just a (mostly) normal Minnesotan that wishes he could drive his Elise all year round ;)
 

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MyElise said:
You do know how to do this, don't you Tim? :rolleyes:
Yes, I do. At one time in my life I was certified to do Mil spec soldering, and I have the proper crimps (I used to work at a factory making wiring harnesses for a while back when I was going to college). When I make a repair, I do it properly, using the proper tools and shrink wrap, etc. the joint for protection.

However, every old car that I've ever had that had electrical problems was because of someone's cutting, splicing, or otherwise hacking the wiring harness. Most car forums (not EliseTalk because the Elise isn't that old yet) usually have nice long posts where someone is trying to figure out weird wiring problems or intermittent electrical failures in their old car - which usually is traced to someone hacking the wiring at some point in time.

No matter how well you cut, splice, and repair a wire, it's not going to be as good (and weather/corrosion resistant) as the original unmodified wire that was there originally.

If I make electrical changes to a car, it is/will always be, changes that can simply be unplugged and plugged back in the original way. Been there done that, and spent way too many hours of my life tracking down and repairing other's "simple cut and splice" hacks to be doing it myself.

I understand the time and effort that ekological put into finding the proper connectors to make his HID kit "plug and play". Putting together the kit is simple - anyone could do that - finding the right parts to "do it right" is what makes ekological's kit worth while. I'm not interested in HID lights (my Osram SilverStars are good enough for my needs), but if I was, I know where I'd be buying them.
 

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i have a version of eko's kit. without hesitation and question, i'd go with eko's kit if i could do it all over.

and of course,... no winking or blinking here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great, thanks for the feedback. I am going with ekological low beam 50 Watt kit and Osram Silverstars high beam (if I can find them. Anyone know where to find one?)
 

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35 or 50 watt???

I'm confused with the diffence in wattage. As far as I've learned, automotive HID bulbs are designed to consume 35 watts. This is the standard for OEM systems. If you use the same bulb at 50 watts are you driving it harder? Won't that shorten its life?

Thanks
 

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Also keep in mind that the igniters are usually the first to go bad in an HID kit. When using a kit that has ballasts with internal igniters, you will need to replace the complete ballast if the igniters go bad... just some extra info for ya. :)
 

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I just got around to finally installing ekologicals 50 watt 4500K kit on my Exige. Install went very smooth and clean, I'm a perfectionist and that being said I would recommend his kit to anyone.
 

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MikeC said:
I'm confused with the diffence in wattage. As far as I've learned, automotive HID bulbs are designed to consume 35 watts. This is the standard for OEM systems. If you use the same bulb at 50 watts are you driving it harder? Won't that shorten its life?

Thanks
Different bulbs. 35W bulb or 50W bulb. The 50W bulbs are brighter.
 

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Gideon said:
Also keep in mind that the igniters are usually the first to go bad in an HID kit. When using a kit that has ballasts with internal igniters, you will need to replace the complete ballast if the igniters go bad... just some extra info for ya. :)
Most kits with an external ignitor that I've seen can not have their ignitors replaced without replacing the entire ballast since detachable connector doesn't exist. So what you end up with is just another piece of hardware that dangles around. When I first looked around for kits, my main requirement was to avoid the external ignitor because of packaging issues and fitment into the Elise/Exige. My supplier showed me the current must-have slim ballast back in May of this year, but I was skeptical because of the sloppy wiring that it would lead to with the external ignitor and, well, it produced less lumens. I'd gladly have something weigh one pound, in total, more for an additional 1600 lumens between both headlights. Isn't that the point of adding HIDs to the car in the first place?
 

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ChrisB said:
Different bulbs. 35W bulb or 50W bulb. The 50W bulbs are brighter.
Actually, the bulbs are the same. I spoke to the supplier and he said that the higher wattages create a higher temp in the bulb capsule which results in an increase in internal pressure. So the glass has to be thicker or it wouldn't last. I'm currently researching the transport process of HID lights to give a more accurate answer whether the increase in wattage affects bulb life.
 

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Gideon said:
Also keep in mind that the igniters are usually the first to go bad in an HID kit. When using a kit that has ballasts with internal igniters, you will need to replace the complete ballast if the igniters go bad... just some extra info for ya. :)
True, and that is why the Sector 111 lifetime warranty is appealing.
 

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MikeC said:
I'm confused with the diffence in wattage. As far as I've learned, automotive HID bulbs are designed to consume 35 watts. This is the standard for OEM systems. If you use the same bulb at 50 watts are you driving it harder? Won't that shorten its life?
So here's the lowdown: HIDs work by striking an arc between the electrodes and heating up the halides and other metal compounds (often corrosive compounds). When the compounds enter the hottest part of the arc, they energize, split apart and emit radiation. They then leave the hottest part, cool down, merge, and precipitate and the cycle repeats. Thus, there is convective current happening inside that capsule. Of course, to get more light, you drive more electricity through the bulb to create more heat and excite the ions even more. You can see this with aquarium metal halide bulbs where they range from 150watts (that would sure be fun in the front of an Elise, huh?) to 400watts and up.

Now one has to ask why a HID bulb stops working (and they do...I had it happen on my M3 and as luck would have it, a cop pulled me over the same day for it!!!). When the ions precipitate, they can deposit on the electrodes (which is why it's bad to cycle the bulbs on and off without letting them reach full operating temp). Also, keep in mind that the compounds are often corrosive in nature, anyway. So, it would be safe to say that the higher temp will lead to slight acceleration in wear. But they have a lifetime warranty and so long as you stay with the same color temp you originally ordered from me and so long as you send back the original bulbs, you'll get a replacement set for free from me. :clap:
 
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