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  • Alpha HID kit review




    When you think of HID kits, cheap Chinese garbage usually comes to mind first. Most of us have had our experience with those $40 HID kits from companies like DDM and Kensun, and most of said experiences were overwhelmingly negative. I still have a few Kensun kits lying around, and everything from the ballasts to the bulbs are just bad. Comparing them to OEM gear or even aftermarket Morimoto gear puts them to shame.


    Of course, you can get excellent aftermarket HID parts as well. The Retrofit Source sells great quality HID equipment; I use Morimoto XB35 bulbs, adapters, and harness in my own car. But what about other aftermarket companies? Alpha HID isn't one I've heard of before, but I got a chance to test out their HID kit.


    Price:
    Alpha HID kits aren't exactly cheap, but they're priced pretty well. Usually $99, they're currently $79 for the kit. This includes ballasts and bulbs, no harness. It's everything you need to go from halogen to HID, though a harness is still something you should really consider getting. The bulbs are $29 per pair and come in 3000K, 4300K, 5000K, and 6000K. And ballasts are $39 each, available only in 35 watts. Plus you get free shipping on everything.


    Specs:
    The kit I got was an H7 35W kit with 5000K bulbs. The ballasts are AC and digital, and advertise an integrated ASIC chip. They are also DSP, but despite the negative connotation that feature might carry, it should be a good thing. Both the ballasts and the igniters are waterproof thanks to the potting.


    The bulbs are also well made. The base is made out of metal and the part that holds the capsule is ceramic. Alpha HID claims it uses Messer (German) xenon gas and Austrian UV-filtering quartz glass. I obviously can't back those claims up. All the connections are waterproof and they come with a grommet.


    Quality:



    The ballasts are extremely well made. The casing is metal and the finish screams quality. It's smooth and even. While other ballasts are painted, these are powder coated. Holding a ballast up to a Kensun ballast (which is comperable to many aftermarket ballasts), the difference is obvious. Weight is about the same, but the feel is very different. Even the 9006 connector is beefier (though one of the ballasts I got had a slightly crooked connector, like it was crooked in the mold. Pliers made quick work of it, and I was assured that it was a fluke).


    It comes with mounting brackets and all the hardware. Unlike the Kensun ballasts, they come with beefy bolts instead of tiny screws. To my surprise, lock washers were also included. Nice touch.





    The bulbs felt good as well. Everything was well made and there were no signs of any problems. They were straight and all the wires felt good. I was a little disappointed to see simple spades as the "plug and play" solution for the H7 plug, but I've never seen any other method used. The Retrofit Source does the same thing. I ended up cutting them out and sealing the holes with RTV, as I use dedicated adapters on my factory wiring to convert to 9006.


    Performance:
    First let's start with the ballasts. They are advertised as instant start, which intrigued me. I have Denso slim ballasts converted to AMP for my setup, so this was a great chance to compare these "instant start" ballasts to one of the fastest ballasts on the market. Here's a video demonstration, with the camera's color balance locked. The engine is running, both sides are using the Alpha bulbs, and both ballasts are on a TRS harness.





    Can you guess which is which? The Alpha ballast is on the left, while the Denso slim is on the right. As you can see, the two ballasts are pretty much on par. The Denso ballast may be ever so slightly faster, but unless you're focusing really hard, the difference is generally unnoticeable. Both are quite fast.


    What about in terms of power delivery? A big problem with aftermarket ballasts is that they don't pump out the advertised 35 watts, which is easily seen by the hotspot size. Kensun ballasts reduced my hotspot to less than half its size, which is an obvious giveaway of poor quality.





    Luckily, both hotspots are identical in size and both bulbs are identical in color. These are definitely quality ballasts.


    The bulbs are 5000K, compared to my previous 4300K Morimoto XB35 HID bulbs. So the comparison will show the difference in color. However, don't take the difference in hotspot to heart. The Morimotos are shimmed to provide better performance, while the Alpha bulbs are not.








    The bulbs started out around 3800K but quickly color shifted to the proper 5000K. I think it took less than 2 hours before they were at their proper color. The color is a brilliant white with a bit of yellow tint to it. Much whiter than most OEM HIDs but much yellower than factory LEDs. They're nearly pure white, but not quite there, not 5500K. I love the color.











    The Morimoto XB35 4300K bulbs always looked slightly green tinted to me, and the comparison confirms it. The Alpha bulbs are much more neutral and much colder, with less yellow and no blue. They are also just as bright as the Morimotos, as I tried shifting the bulb a little to simulate shimming. The difference in brightness isn't noticeable, and this is after putting a few dozen hours on the Alpha bulbs.


    Conclusion:
    I highly recommend the Alpha HID kids, and Alpha HID gear in general. The kit exceeded my expectations, though I admit my expectations were low after many aftermarket manufacturers disappointed me and left me jaded. The ballasts are fantastic and the bulbs are great. In fact, the ballasts are really the high point of this kit. The speed is top notch. Plus, the entire kit comes with a 3 year warranty. That's pretty impressive.


    The bulbs are well aligned, both performing exactly as other bulbs and identical to each other, so no capsule alignment issues. The ballasts fired every time, despite me firing them up to 20 times a day. They resisted even the roughest of roads and never showed any major problems. I noticed a barely perceptible flickering (not on/off, but a slight dimming) twice early on, and once more a few weeks later. I don't know what's causing it, but I don't think it's the ballasts. They are installed on a 15 year old car with blown shocks so anything could cause this issue. But an Aplha HID rep has been extraordinarily helpful in figuring this out.


    If you're looking for a fairly priced HID kit, and aren't looking for frills like replaceable igniters and harnesses (though I still do suggest a harness!), Alpha HID is a great route. Plus you can buy the bulbs and ballasts separately, which is a great option for those who like to mix and match parts. Just the ballasts are an awesome investment.


    If you want to check them out, head to http://www.alphahid.com/ and look around. Unfortunately, Alpha HID doesn't offer any D2S stuff like ballasts or bulbs, but is geared more towards the aftermarket. I don't condone HID bulbs in reflector housings, but if you have yourself a nice pair of halogen projectors, this is a great purchase.

    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

  • #2
    I'vehad nothing but good with DDM.i mean II'veonly used them one two cars but both for a while with never a pproblem


    I have them in my fogs now and they fire everytime. Don'theat up fast like my OEM for my headlights. But they fire lol
    Originally posted by nine44
    350 wit da wrist boy?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ilikecars View Post
      I'vehad nothing but good with DDM.i mean II'veonly used them one two cars but both for a while with never a pproblem


      I have them in my fogs now and they fire everytime. Don'theat up fast like my OEM for my headlights. But they fire lol
      Kensun and DDM ballasts seem to be identical in literally every way. Now I had a GOOD impression of them when using them. But when comparing them to higher end stuff, that's when I realized how crap they are. Running a 4300K 35W kit, they looked around 5000K which was close enough. But hook up a Kensun bulb to a Kensun ballast and a Denso ballast side by side, and you can see the difference. I can post some comparison photos if you'd like.

      My main point is that the bulbs and ballasts are kinda tailored to each other. Both crap, but within the same spec to kinda give the impression that they work well.

      2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
      2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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      • #4
        Yeah I get you

        I would never run DDM bulbs in something useful lol
        Originally posted by nine44
        350 wit da wrist boy?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ilikecars View Post
          Yeah I get you

          I would never run DDM bulbs in something useful lol
          Yeah, DDM wouldn't be so bad for something like fog lights I guess. But for headlights, absolutely not. Which is why I loved this kit, it actually stands up to higher end gear like Morimoto and even the Denso ballasts. At least in performance.

          2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
          2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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          • #6
            after market is great, however how long they will last before they stop dropping in wattage, and slower start times is anyone guess.

            out of all the aftermarket ballast ive used (including TRS ballasts) they start to show signs of age after awhile. my oem's are noticeably brighter then my aftermarket after 500+hrs.
            Octa projectors, eight OEM bulbs, ~30,000lm , and 169 degrees of driving heaven!

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            • #7
              I fire my ballasts up to 20 times a day, and run them for hours and hours (especially during the winter months) so we'll see in short order how these hold up.

              I'm just impressed that they're so fast. Most aftermarket ballasts are real slow.

              2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
              2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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              • #8
                Thanks for a great review. The ballasts seem similar to FastBrights with a powder coating.

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                • #9
                  Talk about slow. You should see my DDM lol, the light green for like 20 seconds till its golden yellow
                  Originally posted by nine44
                  350 wit da wrist boy?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nuvolari View Post
                    Thanks for a great review. The ballasts seem similar to FastBrights with a powder coating.
                    I thought the same thing. Very similar. But Alpha says that their internals are different, and they have a patent on them. Dunno myself, but with the speed and body being similar, they're likely not ALL that different.

                    Originally posted by Ilikecars View Post
                    Talk about slow. You should see my DDM lol, the light green for like 20 seconds till its golden yellow
                    Haha I made a video comparing some Kensun ballasts to Denso. by the time the Denso was full yellow the Kensun was still dim blue.

                    2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                    2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think they just rebrand F3/X3 just like Kensun/Innovited, innovite a bit better than Kensun tho and cheaper. But they're under power vs F3, F3 pretty close comparison to my Denso.

                      08 Honda Pilot | RX330-AFS + TSX-R, Curve Shield | Osram CBI | Hella Gen 3 | DIY Bosch Relay Harness | X5 LED Fog | SuperFlux DRL

                      ** Please use the reputation system by clicking the on a helpful post

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                      • #12
                        thats an EK Lighting ballast and CN Light bulb

                        http://www.eklight.com/productView.asp?id=4499


                        Lexus GS350 F Sport : Skipper Designs Front Lip : Rotiform BLQ Concave : Michelin PSS : Brembo GT 380mm : RSR Suspension : GS350/STi-R Bi-xenon
                        * For any inquiries please e-mail TRSMatt@TheRetrofitSource.com, PM's = not a good way to reach me*

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                        • #13
                          Very nice review! Good to know there are quality options out there.
                          2010 Civic Si

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Matt, cool to know!

                            Dreamer glad to help! Surprisingly still running this kit, I like it.

                            2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder
                            2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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