We have all changed a light bulb in the course of our lives and it’s nothing special. Turn off the power, unscrew the old bulb and screw a new bulb in. It is really as simple as that. So, what could be so difficult about dealing with HID bulbs?
Well, there are some big differences between the incandescent bulbs that are commonly used in your home and the bulbs that come with HID kits. HID stands for “high intensity discharge” and these bulbs put out a lot of power. Much of that power turns into heat in the process. Many of us have accidentally touched an incandescent bulb before it is cool and we learned our lesson quickly. Well, if you accidentally touched the bulbs used in HID kits when they were on you would never forget it. These bulbs get so hot that they are actually a danger to themselves.
Now we get to the meat of the issue. Do not touch the bulbs that come with HID kits. The oil on your skin will get stuck to the bulb if you touch them and, when the bulb is turned on, these soiled areas will collect heat and cause hot spots that could cause a critical failure. I have worked with these kinds of bulbs and I have seen a lot of them detonate when they have been handled improperly. It takes a long time for this failure to occur because it takes time for the concentrated heat to weaken that particular spot, but it will dramatically reduce the life of your bulbs. Most people install HID kits to increase the efficiency of their headlights and reduce their costs over time with longer lasting bulbs, but that goes right out the window when the lifespan of the bulbs is so reduced.
If you accidentally touched the bulbs in your HID kits, you have not ruined them. All you have to do is wipe down the bulb with alcohol and a clean, soft, cotton cloth to get it clean again.