Xenon Lamp

I have a 1998 BMW 540i. The warning light for check lowbeam lights came on. My mechanic says it’s a Xenon lamp and costs $300.00. Yikes! Can I use the h7 55watt bulb for lowbeam instead of Xenon?

Sorry no. You might be able to retrofit for standard lamps, but that would be even more expensive if possible.

Now you are beginning to know why those fancy expensive bluish lamps were an extremely poor idea from the start.

If your mechanic is the dealer, you may well be able to find an independent mechanic who will do the job for less, but it will still be expensive.

Now you know why I am disappointed when the US government caved in to the auto designers and allowed something other than the standard sealed beam headlights.  You remember the kind, you either had two 7 inch round lamps or four 5 inch round lamps on the front of your car.  Only three different parts took care of any car and cost a couple of dollars and took less than five minutes to replace yourself.  

 How about a bring back the sealed beam campaign?  This might be a good place to start.  Look for a new thread ...

Most of that price is for just the bulb itself.

Why on earth would it be a good idea to let the government decide what headlights you can and cannot have? I think they have more pressing matters to worry about. I realize that HID’s may be more expensive and involved to replace, but they have their benefits as well. They illuminate the road better, and if properly aimed they are not anymore likely to blind oncoming traffic than regular halogen or sealed beam units. I think most of the complaints about them are more of a case of people overreacting to the color temperature of the light more than anything else. In another 10 years when most cars will have HID’s as options or standard you won’t hear nearly as many complaints.

Replacing a halogen bulb can’t be any harder or time consuming than replacing a sealed beam unit. I can replace both headlight bulbs in either of my cars in about 2 or 3 minutes.

$300 sounds about right. You cannot use a standard halogen bulb. You can downgrade your headlights to the standard halogen units, but it will cost significantly more than $300. You have a high end luxury car, expect to pay a correspondingly high price for parts and service.

Check this source out for HID xenon lamps at $129 pair: http://www.plasmagarage.com/XENON-bulbs.html

What does government regulation have to do with this???

Anyway, I think what most people are objecting to aren’t true HID systems, it’s those dumb blue, overly bright halogens that are likely improperly aimed to boot.

Thanks for the link. That’s a lot better than the dealer price. The light is excellent, so I can appreciate the advantages of this type of lamp.

Yes, I do like my used, high end luxury car. Each repair brings a reminder that it is indeed a high end luxury car. I avoid the dealer and appreciate better buy resources to help trim the costs of repairs and maintenance. Thanks for your comment.

Agreed. As an added benefit, few if ANY lighting systems can compare with a pair of H-6014 sealed beams. Wow! You can see the road again! It should be no surprise over-the-road trucks STILL use them…

I was merely responding to Mr. Meehan’s commentary about the US government allowing automakers to use lights other than the sealed beam units. And how I feel the government has more important things to worry about, than what kind of headlights the public is allowed to have.

The same Web site offers an adapter kit (for $150) to down-grade to halogen lamps, if you wanted to.

In fact, I’m one of those who object to the HID itself. Perhaps not the technology, but the fact that the bulb cost $300, and in my case (1998 Lincoln Mark VIII), is not even available. The only option I have is to install a $1,600 kit to convert to halogen. Traffic regulations require that I have two operating headlamps, but if you cannot purchase a replacement, then what. At a minimum, government should regulate that replacement parts must be available.