Xenon Headlight Bulbs – All you need to know…

Xenon headlight bulbs have been used in the motor industry for many years now and are present in most Volkswagen Audi group models along with many other vehicle makes. Introduced to the VAG range in the late 1990’s these bulbs like the earlier halogen type use a gas within the bulb chamber to generate light. Unlike halogen bulbs, xenon bulbs do not have an internal filament therefore have a much longer life than standard headlight bulbs.

Xenon headlight bulbs are a very versatile bulb and are often supplied with varying light colour outputs which are measured in Kelvin (K) rather like any household LED bulbs. The colour scale ranges from an orange glow through to a bright blue / purple in some instances. It’s very important to choose the correct (K) colour when replacing xenon bulbs with so many variations which is why they should ideally be replaced in pairs.

What colour xenon bulb should you use?

When it comes to automotive xenon colours the standard colour will tend to be between 5000K and 6000K. This range of colour starts at an off white building to a crisp white at 6000K. The chart below shows you a full range of colours within the Kelvin spectrum

What types of xenon bulbs are there?

Xenon Headlight Bulbs

D3S Headlight Bulbs

Although all xenon bulb technology is essentially the same, there are various types of bulb design and fitment types. These type are typically separated into three categories; D1S, D2S and D3S.

D1S bulbs are often present in pairs within one headlight which control the high and low beam individually. BMW often uses this kind of set up within their vehicles.

D2S bulbs have external power units (ballasts) and starters and are smaller in size. These are typically found in some early VAG models from the late 1990’s through to the mid 2000’s.

D3S bulbs will often control high and low beam and will be present as a single bulb in most headlight configurations. These are the most common type of xenon headlight bulbs.

How to fit xenon headlight bulbs

Xenon headlight bulbs are relatively easy to fit and can be fitted by anyone with a basic mechanic skill level. Gaining access to the bulb can often be the most challenging as some makes and models will require the removal of the headlight and on some occasions a wing or the front bumper. In most cases this is not required and it can be a simple as opening the bonnet, removing the headlight bulb cover and simply swapping the bulb.

The fitting of the bulb itself requires the old bulb to be disconnected from the wiring and simply pulled away from the housing. When fitting the new xenon headlight bulb you will notice some spring loaded metal clips at the base of the bulb glass which allow the bulb to be pushed into the recess. Plug the bulb in and replace the headlight cover cap and the job is done.

JGP Automotive offer a range of cost effective xenon headlight bulbs along with other types of standard halogen bulbs. Why not check out our products and take advantage of our free first class delivery service.

For further information regarding all types of bulbs why not check out the Parkers guide website here.