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Xenon bulbs

On my 2001 Mazda Protégé 2.0 LX I want to change my halogen bulbs to xenon bulbs. Is it necessary to have a ballast as some online retailers ( sell them without the ballast kit; just the xenon bulb.

Any online vendor recommendations?


Xenon lamps require a ballast in order for them to function.

Why would you convert over to xenon lamp system when one of these lamps can cost $80.00 or more?


I have found two bulbs and their respective ballasts for under $80.00. I’m 75 and I would like a brighter light on the road. Xenon vs halogen are about twice as bright.

You mention xenon require ballasts. What’s with the vendors selling 50 Watt xenons without ballasts?

Can anyone give me constructive information?

The xenon lamps without a ballast are probably for vehicles that already have a xenon lamp system.


If you do decide to make the conversion, be certain to have the headlights professionally aimed to be certain you aren’t blinding oncoming drivers. Even then, be prepared to have people flashing their brights beams at you believing you’ve left YOUR brights on.

Thanks. I appreciate the input.

There are also a lot of fake Xenon bulbs being peddled with the term Xenon being used more for misleading marketing purposes rather than as an actual description of the gas.

Do some homework first on the bulbs you’re considering.

Thanks. I will do my homework. That is exactly why I’m asking for any personal recommendations for sellers.

you are going to kill another person with those so-called lights. They blind on coming traffic. be prepared.

What everybody is trying to say is that the Xenon lights that are aftermarket and not original to the car, are usually not properly aimed and don’t work as intended. They throw the light higher than needed and blind the oncoming cars and do not help your vision much either. You might be better off with upgraded regular lamps and probably adding some fog lights.

I agree with the others. After market lights are more often than not, poor quality. The good ones are rather expensive. “Xenon” is not a magic bullet."

I watched the HID Lights topic for over a year in a Sonata Forum and have NOT found the Negatives here to be true.,, DDM are brand names of HID Kits that Sonata Forum members have posted about, or that I’ve seen in other Forums via Googling. Call and confirm Car to Pkg for any brand. Mine/most I’ve seen are 35 Watts and DO HAVE BALLASTS to POWER the HID Brighter Bulbs. 2001 Cars are a different animal from current models in ways I don’t know but hopefully my info is generic.

Prices (seem to) range from $50 to current Xenon Supply sale $140 AND Do/Should WITHOUT FAIL include a Wiring Harness that Isolates your Kit from the car’s electrical system - powers from battery / Ballasts incl’d. The Driver-side Bulb Kit has 2-Spaded Wires that connect to the factory Bulb Connector to get On/Off signals and That’s It for interfacing to anything in the car other than Grounds and battery. HOW HARD it is to get to your Bulbs/Wiring is an issue per Self-Install Vs Paid Install. Some guys have installed Sonatas in 30-45 minutes. I’m 64 and it took me longer BUT having done it I could equal that on 2nd try.

NOT One in the Forum has posted about Blinding anyone, Me included. Can’t you Aim Lights Lower in your car if worst occurs?

I used/found that $50 Phillips Xtreme Bulbs Improved the OEM coverage but HID is a more dramatic change. Good luck!


YouTube Install Video for Sonata to show “Basics” of what’s Involved minus Obvious differences with '01 Protege Vs. '11 Sonata:

There are H.I.D. (high intensity discharge) lamps that require a ballast.
They use an electric arc (constant spark) through xenon gas.
Requires a high starting voltage then current regulation.

Then there are incandescent lamps. No ballast.
They use a hot filament enclosed in a halogen or argon gas,
sometimes with a bit of xenon mixed with the argon.

If it’s been a while since you have replaced your headlight bulbs, I’d just pick up some regular ones, as older bulbs can get very dim, and new ones make quite a difference. There are also some bulbs that are brighter than standard, without being xenon, I believe Sylvania Silverstar is an example of those. If you’re due for new bulbs though, I would try just the standard ones first, they will likely provide enough light for you and will keep you from blinding other drivers.

Following alust2013’s thought – does the car have clear covers over the headlights? The covers often get hazy or (like my '04 Camry) blurry from micro-scratches. The covers can sometimes be cleaned/polished. There have been several threads about that on this forum. One expert even suggested toothpaste.

I just happened to need a bulb for my headlights the other day. Sylvania offered 3 options. The life expectancy of the regular bulb was four. the other 2 choices were a much greater cost and shorter life expectancy. Being as 90% of my driving is in the daytime, and the headlights are on in the daytime it was a no brainer for me. Go for long life and less cost. If my headlights were not always on I would have considered spending more, but they work fine at night, could be better but not worth shorter life and greater expense for me. Mcguyers seems to work well for exterior lens dulling, luckily mine unclip for interior cleaning.

Rus, allow me to suggest having “driving lights” or even “fog lights” instead.
I too suffered from driving difficulties at night and looked at all the options. I feel the best option is driving or fog light. Driving lights have a narrower, longer beam and fog lights have a shorter, wider beam, but either will be a big help. Hella is generally considered the best on the market.

I would be remiss if I did not also add that I suffered from great difficulty driving at night. Until two weeks ago when I had cataract surgery on my worst eye, my left eye. I’ve discovered that the amount of light my left eye was letting in must have been very poor. The difference in my ability to see at night is truely dramatic. I was all set to install fog lights, and really don’t need them now. I mention this because if you haven’t had your eyes checked by a good opthamologist (MOT and optometrist), I strongly recommend it. The real answer to your problem might be in your eyes, as it was with me. I cannot wait to get my other eye done now.

Sincere best.

I’ve decided to install Philips X-treme Power bulbs They are supposed to be much brighter than standard halogen bulbs and not cause blindness to other drivers. Anyone tried these bulbs and what do you think of them???

The problem is the reflectors and lenses are not made for Xenon. They throw the light every where and blind on coming drivers. I would suggest Sylvania SilverStar® ULTRA. I use these in all my cars, because my wife has trouble seeing at night. When installing don’t touch the bulb. The oils from you skin will kill the bulbs. They do not last as long as conventional bulbs, but I love them.

I’ve tried the bulbs suggested by knifenmore and they do help.

But I sincerely suggest an eye exam first. If you DO have cataracts, extremely common in aging eyes, cataracts may be the source of night vision difficulty. After my surgery on my left eye, I’m truely amazed at the amount of light that the cataracts were blocking out. My night vision has changed dramatically.