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Contents

What is Halogen and Xenon HID?
What are the advantages of Xenon HID?
How can I tell if I have Factory Xenon?
Headlight Lighting Comparison
What is Auto-Leveling (Electronic Self Level)?
What is Adaptive Front light System (AFS)?
What is Bi-Xenon (OEM Standard)?
What is Day-time Running Lights (DRL)?
What is Kelvin Temperature?
What does Sport Package Mean?
What is Angel Eye Wiring Harness?
What is Pre-Facelift and Facelift?
What is Pre-Installation by USR?
Abbreviation Glossary

What is Halogen and Xenon HID?


HALOGEN_BULB_H7 Halogen is a gas that used an incandescent lamp that has a small amount of a halogen (such as iodine or bromine added). The combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which re-deposits evaporated tungsten back onto the filament.

This is the most common used bulbs on the vehicles in the past century; it is considered the “standard” of light used on the vehicles today.  A halogen bulb would have filament inside the glass bulb.  Bulb sizes are named as H series and 9000 series such as H1, H3, H4, H7 and 9004, 9005, 9006, 9007…etc

Click Here for a quick video explanation.


D2C_D2R_D2S_HID_BULB Xenon is also a gas which is used in many High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs. Although different gases can be used for HIDs, most if not all Automotive HIDs uses Xenon gas in their HID Bulb. HID lamp is a new type of lighting technology that replaces the conventional halogen lamp.  HID lamps replace filaments of halogen lamps with electrodes.  It uses electrical discharge technology to ignite inert gas (Xenon gas) contained in a sealed bulb inside.  It was first developed and used in mid-90s, and up until today, this expensive and newer technology is still only used on high-end Luxury and Performance cars.  Now, it can be used on your vehicle.  Please check local laws / regulations before purchase the product.  We will not be held responsible in any way for the misuse and violation of the laws when using these products.

For Xenon bulb, the bulb size are named as D series, such as D1S, D2S, D2R, D3S, D4S.. etc

Click Here for a quick video explanation.
*Please note that a Genuine Xenon HID System comprises two main components: (A) HID Bulb and (B) HID Ballast.

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What are the advantages of Xenon HID?

There are many advantages of having HID.

1. High Intensity Brightness; HID Bulbs are 3 times brighter than the average halogen lamp. 
2. Longevity; HID Bulbs have longer life than the halogen lamp, which can last up to 2500 hours or more. 
3. Energy efficient; HID bulbs only draws 35W of power while a normal halogen lamp consumes 55W, while producing less brightness.

In addition, unlike the halogen lamp (which has filament inside the bulb), the filament is easily broken and once it breaks, the bulb will no longer work.  With HID, there is no filament inside the bulb, instead there is Xenon Gas.  Since there is no filament inside the HID bulb, there will be no failure bulbs causing by the break of filament for all HID bulbs.  Color; HID Bulb will produce whiter light beam that would illuminate the road ahead to produce better visibility and create a safer driving condition and ultimately reduceaccidents.

BEAM_PATTERN_ABEAM_PATTERN_CBEAM_PATTERN_B

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How can I tell if I have Factory Xenon?

There are a few ways (using two or more ways will provide higher accuracy) to check but the requirement is that you must have stock setup:
1.  You can check if behind or underneath of your stock headlight that you can find a silver metal box which would be the xenon HID ballast, then that would mean you have factory xenon model.



2. If you pull out your low beam bulb, if it says it’s D1S, D2S…etc that starts with the letter “D”, then you have factory xenon model.


3.  There might be some marking on the front lens or rear housing about the bulb size that is used, but this way is less reliable since the marking might offer the information about high beam which will be a halogen bulb, so you will use this method as reference addition to other methods described here. Photos below are of OEM Headlights


Photos below are of After Market Headlights

BMW E46 3-Series Example

Mercedes W203 C-Class Example

4.  Assuming you do not have factory Bi-Xenon (What is Bi-Xenon?) model, then you can go ahead turn on BOTH your low beam and high beam for about 15 seconds.  If you see both high (inner) and low (outer) beam have the same yellowish color after 15 seconds; then you have the halogen model.  If you see low beam (outer) is whiter than high beam (inner) after that 15 seconds, then you have factory xenon model.



Assuming you have Factory OEM headlights, another possible way to check to see whether if you have Factory Xenon is to see if your OEM headlight has Auto-Leveling Feature. Although not all Factory Xenon may have this feature, most of them do because of Government safety regulations. If you would like an example of what to check for in order to see whether if you have the Auto-Leveling feature, please Click Here.

The surest way to know whether if you have Factory Xenon headlight is to check with your local Dealership. Most dealerships are able to check your vehicle Factory Packages by running your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

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Headlight Lighting Comparison Chart

Head-on Beam Kelvin output difference:

Halogen Low Beam

Halogen High Beam / Halogen Low Beam
G:\USR\IMAGES FOR OFFICIAL FAQ\How can I tell if I have Factory Xenon\ERICK\edit\Halogen Low.JPG
G:\USR\IMAGES FOR OFFICIAL FAQ\How can I tell if I have Factory Xenon\ERICK\edit\Halogen High.JPG

Xenon Low Beam

Halogen High Beam / Xenon Low Beam

 

Beam-Projection Kelvin Output Difference:

Halogen:

Low Beam Low Beam + High Beam


Xenon:

Low Beam Low Beam + High Beam


Bi-Xenon:

Low Beam Low Beam + High Beam

 

After-Market Bi-Xenon Example:

Low Beam Low Beam + High Beam


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What is Auto-Leveling (Electronic Self Level)?

Auto-Leveling is the new feature that was introduced in the late 90. Auto-Leveling is a feature that incorporates  a motor/servo built in a headlight which operates/actuates the headlight's inner adjustment mounts, which moves the Beam output angle up and down (either by car's ECU/OBC automatically or via a Self-Leveling Switch inside the car cabin). This headlight feature is to provide the best lighting angle for the headlight beam output, which helps maximizes the driver's visibility while also doubling to help not blind the oncoming traffic.

The earlier generation of Auto-Leveling headlight (1995-2002) would have the auto-leveling feature with itself having a separate connector for BMWs.  While Audi / VW would feature removable Auto-Leveling motor which can be removed from the stock headlight to be put on the new headlight if it has the capability to accept the stock auto-leveling motor, then the user will continue to enjoy such feature.  While the later generation of Auto-Leveling, everything is now narrowed to a single big connector that has many metal pins inside for all features including low beam, high beam, parking light, auto-leveling even signal light…etc

This headlight feature was originally offered/introduced exclusively for the top of line models. However, theheadlight feature quickly became a government standard for Factory Xenon models because of the HID Xenon being much brighter than Halogen light. However, Euro-spec vehicles might often have the Auto-Leveling feature available for Factory Halogen headlights.

Easiest way to know if your car has Auto-Leveling or not, is simply to turn on the headlight, if you see the headlight going up and down for a few seconds just after car’s ignition, which means you have Auto-Leveling.
If you originally don't have an Auto-Leveling headlight, upgrading to a headlight that comes with Auto-Leveling motor and feature will NOT make your car to have Auto-Leveling, because Auto-Leveling has to do with more than just the headlight upgrade.  It also has to do with re-programming of car's ECU (which only dealer have the machine to perform) plus some extra wiring harness and adapters for the Auto-Leveling plug. 

*If you originally don't have an Auto-Leveling feature, upgrading to a headlight set that features an Auto-Leveling motor and/or feature does not mean that your vehicle will be able to utilize it. If you originally did not have this feature and would like to activate it, you may need to re-program the car's ECU (which Dealership should only perform) . You may also need some extra wiring harness and adapters for the Auto-Leveling plug/motor.  Most of the Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen's Auto-Leveling plug are incorporated within the main headlight connector. Whereas much of BMW headlights (mostly   E38, E39, E46, E53 Chassis) have the Auto-Leveling Plug separate from the Factory Connectors. For the listed BMW Chassis above, the auto-leveling plug should be accessible/seen behind the headlight assembly.

Click to see an example

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What is Adaptive Front light System (AFS)?

Introduced to high end vehicles around year 2003, AFS differs from Auto-Leveling as Auto-Leving moves up and down. AFS instead moves the headlight beam left / right to help driver see the upcoming curved road better.  Rather than the mechanical linkages employed in earlier directional-headlamp systems, AFS relies on electronic sensors, transducers and actuators. Other AFS techniques include special auxiliary optical systems within a vehicle's headlamp housings. These auxiliary systems may be switched on and off as the vehicle and operating conditions call for light or darkness at the angles covered by the beam the auxiliary optics produce.  

A typical system measures steering angle and vehicle speed to swivel the headlamps.  The most advanced AFS systems use GPS signals to anticipate changes in road curvature, rather than simply reacting to them.  To know whether you have AFS system or not, you can see if your headlight beam moving left / right when you change the direction of the steering wheel, but again that is not 100% scientific, so the best way is actually call to any dealer, give them your VIN number and they will be able to tell you whether you have stock equipped AFS headlight or not.

Click to see an example

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What is Bi-Xenon (OEM Standard)?

Bi-Xenon means high and low beam are both genuine xenon HID, but the real bi-xenon uses the same xenon bulb and ballasts in the same projector in which that projector has an electric controlled shutter built in front of light bulb but behind the glass projector lens.  When using low beam function, the shutter is lowered covering half of the light output and when you switch to high beam, the shutter is lifted, thus nothing blocking in front of the bulb. This then produces full further beam output = high beam effect.  This is the real bi-xenon that is used on all latest OEM Bi-Xenon headlight on Mercedes, Audi, BMW and VW. 

Unlike many fake bi-xenon out there that is simply putting multiple set of xenon bulbs in different housing or have the HID bulb itself moves forward and backward to achieve the beam pattern differences.

Video: What is Bi-Xenon?

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What is Day-time Running Lights (DRL)?

DRL stands for Daytime Running Light which originally was developed and used in countries that are more prone to foggy conditions and it is a safety feature which has now become standardized by many car manufacturers.  In some countries, it is by law required features (such as Canada).

Please note that the DRL feature is not site specific on a vehicle. As long as the supposed “DRL” Light remains on during the day (with the Parking Brake disengaged) and turns off OR becomes dimmer (automatically) when the “Parking Light” Light is engaged, then the supposed light should be your DRL.

There are two main types of Day-time Running Lights. (1) Halogen DRL vs. the (2) LED DRL. There are other types of DRL, however to keep things simple, we will focus on the two main types. The picture example below shows BMW 3-series (Right) and MBZ C-Class (Left). You will notice that the BMW has “Halogen” DRL Lit (within the headlight) whereas the MBZ has the “LED” DRL lit (underneath the headlight and on the bumper).

 

DRL may use your low beam or high beam or others, but it is normally supplied only with 27.5W power versus the original 55W halogen bulbs used in the halogen low beam or halogen high beam.  So it might create an issue if you upgrade a genuine xenon HID system to the headlight if the DRL function is using the new xenon HID system.  This is because standard xenon HID needs 35W to power it, while DRL is only supplied with 27.5W, it means the system is underpowered.  Flickering, error message, not able to fire it up would be the common issue if you have DRL powering the HID system.  To solve it, the installer can either disable the DRL feature altogether or do minor re-wiring so the DRL is powering something else other than the new HID light.

Please use the links attached below to see demonstartion of different versions of DRL:
Low Beam DRL
High Beam DRL
"LED" DRL

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What is Kelvin Temperature?

The "K" presents color temperature, it's the abbreviation of Kelvin (K).  Here is a chart to show you what the color will look like in Kelvin.  The lower the number, the closer to the Red.  The normal halogen lamp has 3200K, which is yellowish color as you can see in the chart.  While many car manufacturers has already provided Xenon HID Headlights on their top end luxury and performance cars, they are still using the Generation1 4300K which is whiter than the halogen lamp, but not white enough.  The Generation2 Xenon HID has 6000K which is what the Sunlight has, pure white.  Therefore, it out performances the halogen lamp of course but also out performances the Generation1 4300K.  We recommend 6000K is the best and suitable for any conditions. 

If your car already has factory Xenon HID, then you will only need to change the bulbs to have it upgraded to 6000K or above color temperature.  We sell replacement HID bulbs too, so you can check our eBay stores or contact us to purchase the Xenon HID bulbs separately.

The higher the "K" goes, you will see that it becomes more bluish and purplish.  The ideal color temperature for the people who likes a little bluish in their Xenon HID should choose 8000K.  Only the more extreme people should consider 10000K and 12000K.  Please check your local laws/regulations before you upgrade anything.  The seller will hold no responsibility when the product is misuse, mishandled and has issues with local laws/regulations.

Please note that it is normal to see when the Xenon HID first light up to appear more bluish than after maybe 30 seconds of lighting up.  Basically the "normal" operational color will show after 30~60 seconds of turning on the Xenon HID.

KELVIN_BAR

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What does Sport Package Mean?

Car makers are now trying to differentiate base model vs. top of the line to justify the price difference and to fit the market.  Here we will use two good examples to illustrate:

BMW’s most popular smaller vehicle would be the 3 Series.  The base model might be 325i, while paying more would get you a bigger engine and other nice upgrades, so you would have a 330i.  However, if you pay to have the top of the line which shares the same chassis, then you would get an M3.  Each model would tailor to each sections of the buyer who is willing to pay certain amount to get certain equipment.  M3 obviously get the best engine, racing seat, huge aggressive body styling, spoiler, wheel…etc  While there might be buyers who at the time of purchasing the car is not able to afford M3, but do want to have more aggressive look than the stock equipped 325i for instance.  So, BMW would offer something called Sport Package or also known as ///M Package.  So for buyer who pays extra for 325i or 330i that comes with Sport Package would be equipped with something better than the base while similar if not equal to the M3’s parts such as aggressive body styling.  Obviously the price range would be from lowest to highest, 325i or 330i base, 325i or 330i with Sport Package, and finally M3.

Second example, the same goes to Mercedes-Benz, using C Class as example, base C250 / C350 base, C250 / C350 with Sport Package (also known as AMG package), and finally AMG C63. 

Please note with ///M or AMG package still does not mean you have the actual ///M or AMG models as fundamentally car makers still want to distinguish similar to ///M vs. M3 and similar to AMG vs. real AMG C63.

Why this information, with or without Sport Package is crucial?  Because in many cases, with or without Sport Package would determine what type of body styling you have, which means you might have different front bumper, fog lamp, headlight just because you have with or without Sport Package.  That is why it is very important you know that information.

If you are the first owner of the vehicle, you are most likely know if you have with or without Sport Package, however if you buy a used car, the chance that you know will be slimmer.  Worry not, this is why we provide both With and Without Sport Package vehicle photos so you can double check yourself.  If you are still uncertain, send in your own vehicle’s photos, we will help you identify it.


Manufacturer

Base Model

Sports Package

Highest Tier Model

Audi


A4/S4

S-Line

RS4

BMW


328i/335i


M-Sport


M3

MBZ


C250/C350


AMG-Sport


C63 AMG

Lexus

IS250/IS350


F-Sport


ISF

Click each model above to view an example.

 

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What is Angel Eye Wiring Harness?

If your vehicle originally does not come with Angel Eye Halo Ring feature, it would mean like any electrical feature that the new Angel Eye feature is required to connect to power to light up.  Unfortunately the light manufacturer usually either does not provide such wiring or incorrect type of wiring is included that makes the installation very difficult for installer.  That is the reason that we through our 15+ years experience, provide the solution of the proper wiring for easy connection, and most important, to cause no error after install.

USR's Universal Angel Eye Wiring Harness click here.

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What is Pre-Facelift and Facelift?

Most car's production period (chassis life) is around 4 to 6 years. In between each chassis production period the car manufacturer usually will make minor improvements (design-wise and/or engine-wise) after 2 to3 years after its initial chassis introduction. This is to update the car's look and to stimulate market.  The first half of the production period (before the manufacturer updates the chassis) is commonly referred as Pre-Facelift, whereas post half of the chassis production period is referred as Facelift.

Example Photos:

Pre-Face  
Facelift  

 

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What is Pre-Installation by USR?

As almost all the automotive lighting manufacturers offer parts only, if end user purchase such parts, they sometimes would have difficulty figuring out how to put additional upgrade into it, namely genuine Xenon HID and/or Angel Eye Halo Rings…etc  Even for people who knows, might take literally hours to complete, not to mention the risk of damaging the parts in between.  It is our highest recommendation that whenever an option such as Pre-Installation by USR (Unique Style Racing) is offered, unless you are very aware the parts, your own vehicle’s structure, the time it involves that you will need to invest to putting them together, you should ALWAYS choose Pre-Installation by USR which means we who has tons of experiences that doing this day and night would professionally pre-install the components for you so it will be professionally pre-assembled with quality control and backed by our warranty so that installer has much easier setup when receive to complete the installation of the product.

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Abbreviation Glossary

AFS - Adaptive Front-light System
DRL = Day-time Running Lights
ECU = Engine control unit
GPS = Global Positioning System
HID = High Intensity Discharge
K = Kelvin
OBC/OBD = On Board Computer / On-Board Diagnostics
OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
PnP = Plug and Play
RMA = Return Merchant Authorization
VIN = Vehicle Identification Number

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