Originally Posted by hschisler
Thanks Bruce. After reading the article, I'm wondering why HID upgrades are illegal? Whassup with that -- don't some cars come with HID headlights, and doesn't BMW offer an HID option on the 2006 LT? (or is BMW's Xenon option not HID?) Obviously I don't know much about this technology except that it's out there and every single person who installs an HID on their LT raves about it, and I know I have to do something with my own light.
Yes, HID (Xenon) technology is on cars, and has been for years now. But, that is in reflector/lens systems designed for the different light source, and with automatic levelers to keep them aimed properly as the load in the car changes. I don't know if BMW is using a leveler in the '06 motorcycle adaptation. I Europe an automatic leveler is required on an HID system.
If the lens/reflector system is not made for HID, the light beam will not be the correct shape and cut-off to satisfy DOT, who we all know will take years to adapt to any new technology anyway.
HID is not illegal in the USA, but converting a halogen system to HID by just putting the bulb in the halogen reflector/lens system is.
Don't worry too much about it though. We have been doing it on LTs for years now, have not heard of anyone ever being even noticed by a law enforcement officer. Fortunately, the lens/reflector in the pre-05 LTs is very good, and HID conversion works great, with a nice sharp low beam top cut-off line.
I would think that the Ducati system would be legal to sell as HID, especially if BMW is not putting a leveler on the motorcycle HID option. Ducati designs would be furnishing (hopefully) a probably Hella HID module, not converting a halogen reflector to HID. Hella makes several of the automotive HID systems, and they even have Bi-Xenon reflector systems that use a solenoid to move the bulb inside the housing, or move a blade in front of the bulb to affect high/low beam switching.
Eventually, HID will be far more integrated into automobiles, not just the high end cars as it now is. Of course that is assuming that LED technology does not take over first. That is already heavily in the works, with Hella a key player. We can expect to start seeing LED headlights in some cars by 2010, with Audi coming out with them first in the A8-W12. I guess the W-12 engine from that $1.2 million Bugati is going to show up in an Audi next.