35W Vs. 55W HID | Is 55W HID Better Than 35W?

HID headlights are a popular option for car owners who want to add some extra flair to their rides. One of the most important decisions that a driver has to make is which HID will be best for his/her vehicle.

When choosing between 35W and 55W HID headlights, the question of which one is better doesn’t have a straightforward answer. Some people prefer 55W because they feel it gives them better and brighter light output than 35W.

Others prefer 35W because they want to save money. Another reason people prefer the 35W lamp is that it offers more energy savings. There are a few factors to consider when deciding between these two options, such as lumens and watts, color temperature, beam pattern, and more.

HID Headlights

First of all, let's talk about what HID headlight is. These are the latest in automotive technology. They offer drivers a unique blend of design, performance, and safety. These allow drivers to see better at night especially on wet roads.

The three main types of headlight bulbs are halogen, LED, and xenon HID. There are other types too but at this point, these are the most popular choices for cars out there.

Halogen HID lights use halogen gas while xenon HIDs use electricity to produce light. Depending on how much power your car needs and your budget, either would be an adequate choice for certain cars.

Choosing The Right Wattage

What is the best wattage for your headlight? This is a nice point about the intensity of light a bulb produces based on its wattage rating. It’s important to choose a high-wattage-rated bulb if you want a brighter light output.

There are a few options for light bulb sizes, but the most common sizes are the 35W and the 55W. You may also see a few 70-100w light bulbs. All factory-installed HID headlights use 35-watt ballasts, though headlights are usually sold with multiple wattages.

The best choice for you depends on what you are looking for. With the variety of different headlights on the market, there is something here for everyone!

35W HID:

  • Bulbs will turn on at their desired Kelvin/color temperature
  • Highly reliable and longer lasting.
  • A good set of projectors is necessary to be able to produce a bright light at night; this particular light is more than adequately bright.
  • The bulbs are designed to run at the coolest possible operating temperature, allowing for long-lasting finishes on projectors.

55W HID:

  • A 55W HID can allow drivers to see things more, which increases their reaction time at night, improving the safety of nighttime driving.
  • Without the right ballasts, these bulbs don’t maintain a consistent color scheme.
  • Increased heat may reduce the overall reflective qualities of projectors.
  • The lifespan of the ballast is reduced and not very long-lasting because of high power consumption.
  • Light output is increased by about 25-30%.

35W Vs. 55W HID | Which One Is Better?

HID headlights are the most cost-effective option for anyone looking to improve visibility on the road. However, they can be pricey. It is not an easy task to find a good HID light that fits all your needs, so we would like to help you with that!

When it comes to LED light bulbs, the 35w and 55w have been a topic of discussion. The difference between their wattage is a significant one as it impacts the electricity that these lights use.

If you're in the market for new headlights but aren't sure which one to get, here are some factors that might help you decide.


The headlights on most cars are designed to be used in low-light conditions. However, when driving at night time the headlights only illuminate the road in front of you, which is difficult to see if it is clear or not.

35W HID headlights are designed with a high-power output that is effective in lower light conditions. These headlights can help drivers see clearer at night and this helps them avoid accidents without having to use their high beams all the time.

However, most headlights don't provide the brightness and illumination that we need for our safety. This is where 55W HID headlights come in.


Using a real 35W ballast will be able to provide you with 3200 lumens at the very least. This bulb radiates twice the brightness of a factory halogen bulb! With this level of brightness, you will see clearly in the darkness & be able to drive safely at night.

Adding more power diminishes the effect, so a 55W kit can only deliver around 4000 lumens. The increase is only 25% and may be too bright to drive safely at night.

Bulb Life

An arc of electricity is created between two electrodes when an HID bulb emits light. An HID bulb's lifespan is determined by the lifespan of its electrodes, which wear down over time.

You are simply running them hotter when you increase the arc intensity, which will lead to a faster bulb failure. It is generally true that a bulb that uses 55W will last half as long as one that uses 35W.


Depending on how you drive, you may want to choose between 35W bulbs or 55W bulbs. When choosing the correct bulb for your use, be sure that you’re considering the lifespan of your investment. Here are some tips.

The 35W bulbs offer the most reliable performance and can be used for a long time if they are installed correctly and properly maintained. The 55W bulbs last longer than the halogen bulbs, but not nearly as long as the 35W bulbs. So, 35W is more reliable.

Power Draw

As soon as a ballast ignites, it draws a considerable amount more power than it does when it is supplying a true 55 watts of power. Depending on the size of the bulb, your factory wiring can only provide 16-55 watts.

If you run your HIDs through your factory wiring, that power draw can permanently damage the wiring. It can even damage your car's "motherboard," which usually costs around $1000 to get a new one.


It is important to keep in mind that no electrical device is 100% efficient. A small amount of power is always lost as heat, which is why ballasts warm-up during operation.

A one-watt increase results in a 20-lumen increase but adding another watt will only increase the light by 19 lumens. As a result, 55W ballasts appear to be less efficient than 35W ballasts, despite producing a greater amount of power.

For example, with an extra 1 watt, you could get an additional 20 lumens. You could get only 19 additional lumens if you increase another watt. Over time, you will get only more heat, not more brightness. This phenomenon is known as the diminishing return.


Heat is created when more power is used! With increasing power, a higher power bulb in an automotive HID becomes less efficient. As with all factory-installed OEM HIDs, HID bulbs are designed for 35W.

At 55 watts, you are simply overdriving them. It is not possible to buy a bulb designed specifically for 55 watts. It simply means the color is adjusted for that level of power.

Therefore, a true 55W of power will create a significant amount of heat, which is extremely hazardous since it might melt housings and sockets. Replacing modern headlamps isn't cheap either.

Which One Is Better?

35W is the clear winner here. The 55W consumes more power and runs hotter. In addition, the 55W bulb has a shorter lifespan than a 35W HID or standard bulb.

55W kits are used for higher power output, while 35W are used for manufacturers, drivers, and states. In my experience, 35W bulbs are mostly found in luxury vehicles. The 55W is the best choice if you want maximum brightness and high glare.

In summary, a stronger power source will produce a brighter light, but it will also come with technical shortcomings. Over time, these may make the installation and maintenance of 55W more difficult.

Are 55W HID Lights Even Worth Buying?

You may not even be getting 55W from most "55W" kits on the market. Those are only rated at 35W of input power and some "55W" kits won't even run 55W of output (which means they're charging more for something that's about 35 watts). Save money by choosing a "real wattage" ballast that will not overcharge you.

If you decide to go with a 55W HID kit, there is a risk of fire or electric shock if it's not installed correctly. Ask yourself this, is the larger arc of light and extra brightness worth it when considering all the risks?

Frequently Asked Question

Can I Use 35W HID Bulb with 55w?

You cannot use a 35W HID bulb with a 55W ballast. If you do, the voltage drops on the wire that is carrying power to the ballast and the input side of the lamp will not be at 55V and this can result in your bulb failing very soon and dimming.

What is The Difference Between 35 and 55 watt HIDs?

The main difference between the 35 and 55 watt HIDs is that the 55 watt HID has a higher level of brightness. This is because it uses greater lumens per watt, which means it has more lumens in direct relation to its wattage input.

Is 35W HID Better Than 55W Halogen?

The intensity of light emitted by HID lighting is about three times more than that of standard 55 watt halogen bulbs. The color rendering index, or CRI, of a HID bulb is also higher than a halogen bulb and the light appears brighter and whiter.

Will hid Melt my Headlight?

No, it will not melt your headlight unless you have it installed wrong and too close to the headlight lens

Final Words

The main focus of this 35W Vs. 55W HID article is on how these lights perform as an upgrade to your current headlight system.

This is important because some people may not be able to upgrade their existing headlight system, whereas others might want a cheaper option for an upgrade.

These headlights are more affordable by nature and also provide better lighting performance than other types of lights currently available on the market.

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