hid or high-intensity discharge headlights represent the evolution of automotive headlights that has replaced the standard halogen lights. the benefits of hid technology are numerous. they are much more efficient, using less energy than your average halogen bulb. more importantly, their output is much stronger, giving you better visibility at night. d2s hid bulb is one of the most common ones you’ll find on the market today. here’s everything you need to know about this type of xenon bulb.
what is a d2s hid bulb?
d2s stands for discharge 2nd generation, shielded. as its name states, this is the second generation of hid lights that are designed for use in headlights fitted with projectors. many people confuse d2s with d2r, where r stands for reflector. such bulbs are used in headlights that have a reflective surface.
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which d2s bulb is the best? osram, philips, or other?
right off the bat, there’s no definitive answer here. brands such as osram and philips arguably offer the best d2s bulbs on the market right now. that being said, sticking with any proven brand is the right way to go. using no-name bulbs is a good way to end up with compromised headlights.
can you use d2s hid bulbs in halogen headlights?
the short answer is no. using d2s hid bulbs in standard halogen headlights won’t work even if you add the ballast and everything else that is required. the issue is the lack of a projector. without one, there is nothing to focus the beam of a d2s bulb, which will result in you blinding everyone coming your way down the road.
if you want to convert your halogen headlights to xenon bulbs, you’ll need to buy a complete aftermarket headlight unit with projectors that fit your vehicle.
replacing d2s bulbs
replacing a d2s bulb isn’t something you’ll do every day. in fact, most bulbs have a life span of around 2,000 hours. this also means that your chances of replacing a bulb within warranty are fairly slim. fortunately, the process isn’t difficult. we’ll be using a bmw e46 330xl for this demonstration.
before we start, here are a few words of caution:
- never handle bulbs with your bare hands, as the oil from your skin will create hotspots on the bulb itself. this can cause it to burst or otherwise fail
- make sure that the key is in off position before messing with your hid lights. xenon bulbs use a high voltage source to ignite the light, and you don’t want any of that voltage going through your body
- be prepared to disassemble and remove a few components to reach your hid assembly.
we start our journey on the passenger side of the vehicle. our first task is to remove the washer fluid reservoir that is held in place by a 10 mm screw. with the tank loose, we can get it out of the way and access the bulb cover.
removing the hid bulb cover comes down to releasing a few tabs, although this depends on your vehicle make and model. be prepared for the cover to offer some resistance if you drive an older vehicle. that being said, don’t force anything as the cover is easy to break.
once you pop the cover, you’ll notice an orange connector that holds the bulb in place. don’t start pulling on the connector in an effort to access the bulb. the way this connector
writings on an e46 includes a locking ring you have to turn to unlock. similar solutions are present on other makes and models. twist the ring and make sure that the locking tab is completely out of the slot.
with the connector off, you’ll be presented with the back end of your d2s hid bulb. the bulb itself is held in place by another lock ring. to remove it, all you need to do is turn it counterclockwise. once unlocked, you’ll be able to pull the old bulb out.
with the old one out, it’s time to insert the new unit back in. make sure that the new bulb is placed inside the index slots. you have to match the orientation and then ensure that the bulb is fully seated in place.
the last thing to do is place the locking ring back on the backside of your new d2s xenon bulb, add some dielectric grease to the male connector on the bulb, and finally put the orange connector back in place. also, make sure that the locking tab is actually locked.
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finally, install the bulb cover back in place while making sure that it is seated in the two slots as pictured below (similar system found on other makes).
should you replace d2s xenon bulbs in pairs?
generally speaking, xenon lights lose their brightness and dim over time. their performance and output aren’t binary in the sense that they either work 100% or don’t work at all. when you replace a dead d2s bulb with a new one, you could find yourself with two headlights that are now of different brightness.
the best thing to do is change them in pairs if you’re looking for perfect symmetry. however, since people rarely get these for free, and they aren’t exactly cheap, it’s perfectly fine to replace only one at a time. bonus points if you manage to squeeze this job under an extended warranty.
find the right d2s bulb for your car
if you’re trying to find a quality d2s bulb for your car, all you have to do is check out our online catalog. we offer a wide range of d2s xenon bulbs made by renowned manufacturers such as osram and others. that being said, we also carry a whole range of more modern bulbs, ballasts, and other accessories related to xenon headlights in general.
once you choose your vehicle make and model on our drop menu, you’ll be presented with the products that fit your car. feel free to contact our support if you have any questions regarding our products, the warranty we offer, or anything else.