28th January, 2015

Dear ARB,

I am looking to add some IPF driving lights to my new Mitsubishi Triton 4WD which I am setting up for touring. I’ve read many different opinions about the benefits of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting compared to traditional halogen lighting. On one hand, HID lights offer superior light output, yet on the other hand they are a lot more expensive and even considered to be illegal by some. As we cannot believe everything we read on the internet, I’d appreciate some guidance from ARB on the pros and cons of HID lighting so I can make an informed decision.


Adrian Pin

Hi Adrian,

I’ll put my IPF Product Manager’s hat on to answer this one. Thanks for the opportunity.

I really love HID lighting – it’s certainly the most efficient in terms of low current draw, long life and high output. However, in this quality form it comes at a higher price and if you can afford it, and most importantly if you have OEM HID headlights, it is the logical way to go.

On the other hand, if you have traditional incandescent headlights, even with IPF upgraded bulbs and looms, HID would be overkill on the auxiliary lights. This is an important consideration for drivers at night as the two light types
are quite different in how they illuminate and how our eyes adjust to that illumination. The contrast between the mixed types is somewhat extreme and you would find that coming from high beam and HID driving lights back down
to halogen headlamps on low beam would not be comfortable, and conversely when going back to high beam, the glare from roadside signs and objects would be distracting. Matching low and high beam light output has always been
important. The difference between the two should only ever be the shape of the beam and pattern of light distribution.

We currently do not supply the IPF HID headlamp conversions that are available overseas due to their price/value equation, and we do not recommend the many aftermarket low price HID conversion kits that are currently on offer in a number of automotive stores as their suitability/legality and reliability is questionable.

Consequently in your case I would recommend a headlight upgrade with ‘Fat Boy’ IPF H4 bulbs and ARB modular loom, and either the halogen 900 or 800 series full size lights or their XS versions which are higher specification but
similar performance. In either case, may I suggest a combination of one long range spot lens on the driver’s side to give you good distance vision, and a driving pattern on the passenger side to offer spread coverage around corners
and to the sides of roads where hazards and animals often appear. This is, by the way, the highest selling combination in the range.

We hope this helps with your decision, but feel free to talk to your local ARB outlet or myself for further information.

Greg Milton
(National Product & Services Manager)