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The option I'm most interested in is #4 and #5 but neither has HID. Does HID greatly improve night vision and driving as claimed? My local dealer said that I can replace the standard bulbs with HID ones. However, this is not the same as having the HID "system". Can anyone offer an opinion? THANKS. Also, could a HID package be purchased and installed in an after market fashion?
 

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If you have any concerns about your night driving vision (seeing the road, not reading the signs) you will certainly see improvement with these lights. Turning on your fog lights when the road is wet will also help you see the lane marks. Poor night vision while driving is one of the most frequent complaints I hear in a day from my patients.
 

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You can't just replace the bulbs any more than you can replace incandescent household bulb with flourescent. OK, they have them now where the bulb is much smaller than past and incorporates the needed ballast, but even then, sometimes they don't fit in some fixtures. You get the idea though. There's a ballast (poor name for it) to regulate its voltage and current. The link I posted which Overtork reposted describes how HID works.

Besides the bulb itself being installed to emit light, there's also the question of managing its projection. Considerations include general light pattern, change of pattern for high beam, and leveling of beam to compensate for car tilt with changes of load.
 

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My night vision has deteriorated in the last 5 years. I was diagnosed with cataracts 2 years ago (prematurely at age 55) but at the current time I can't afford to take care of it, having a high medical insurance deductable. My HID headlights do make a definite difference. It's as if I've gone back to about the very beginning of night vision problems. But I know in the next year or 2 I will have to deal with this. Anyone in their late 50s and beyond who have night vision problems should have a vision checkup.
 

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I'm not sure it makes that much difference...

My '04 Prius had standard lights. The '06 has the HID lights. I've only driven the new car a couple of times at night and I don't see much difference.

My wife has a '99 Acura that has some serious flame throwers. As to whether the Acura lights are HID, I'm not sure. I thought they were. However, I can guarantee that the Prius HID are not in the same league as the Acura.
 

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wayneswhirld said:
My night vision has deteriorated in the last 5 years. I was diagnosed with cataracts 2 years ago (prematurely at age 55) but at the current time I can't afford to take care of it, having a high medical insurance deductable. My HID headlights do make a definite difference. It's as if I've gone back to about the very beginning of night vision problems. But I know in the next year or 2 I will have to deal with this. Anyone in their late 50s and beyond who have night vision problems should have a vision checkup.
Amen. 8)
 
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