How Many Amps Do Hid Lights Draw

HID or high-intensity discharge lights are popular for many businesses and homeowners due to their brightness and long life span. But one question that often comes up is how many amps these lights draw. So if you’re looking to install hid lights, you may be wondering how many amps they draw.


While the answer depends on various factors, generally speaking, hid lights tend to consume more power than other forms of lighting. That’s why it’s important to know what kind of amp capacity your electrical system can handle before making a purchase.

In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and also discuss other factors to consider when choosing HID lights. By understanding how many amps do hid lights draw, you can make sure you select the right set-up and avoid any potential problems down the road. Read on for more information!

Summary: HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights are known for their bright, efficient illumination and are commonly used in automotive headlights. The amount of electrical current or amps drawn by HID lights varies depending on the wattage of the specific HID system being used. A typical HID light system has a power rating of 35 watts, although some can be rated at 50 watts or higher.

For a standard 35-watt HID light, the initial startup or ignition phase can draw around 6 to 8 amps for a very brief period, usually less than a second. After this initial surge, the current draw stabilizes and drops significantly to about 3 to 3.5 amps during the normal operation phase. For higher wattage HID lights, the current draw will be proportionally higher. It is important to ensure that your vehicle’s electrical system can handle the additional load imposed by HID lights to prevent potential issues or damage to the electrical components.

Why It’s Important to Know How Many Amps Do Hid Lights Draw?

As we mentioned, hid lights are known for being powerful and long-lasting. But that also means they require more electricity to run. So if you’re not careful, it’s easy to overload your electrical system by installing too many HID lights. 

Therefore, you must know how many amps each light draws and calculate the total amps required for your set-up. This will help you avoid any electrical problems and ensure that your hid lights operate safely and efficiently.

How Many Amps Do Hid Lights Draw: 10 Things to Consider

1. Type of HID Light

The type of HID light you choose will play a role in how many amps it draws. There are different types of HID lights on the market, including metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights.

MH lights tend to be more energy-efficient, while HPS lights are typically brighter. There are also newer types of HID lights, such as ceramic metal halide (CMH) and induction, becoming more popular.

2. Wattage

Wattage is another important factor to consider when determining how many amps HID lights draw. The wattage will be listed on the product specifications and is usually between 100 and 1,000 watts.


The higher the wattage, the more amps the light will draw. A typical HID light consumes between 50 and 200 watts of power.

3. Voltage

The voltage of your HID lights will also affect how many amps they draw. Most HID lights operate on 120-volt or 240-volt systems. The voltage of HID lights also affects the color temperature of the light. The higher the voltage, the higher the color temperature will be.

4. Frequency

The frequency, or Hertz (Hz), is how often the current changes direction per second. In most cases, HID lights are 60 Hz.

This means that the current will change directions 60 times per second. The frequency can also affect the power draw of the light. A higher frequency will require more power to run than a lower frequency.

5. Warm-up Time

HID lights take a little bit of time to reach their full brightness. This is known as the warm-up time. Metal halide lights have a longer warm-up time than high-pressure sodium lights. The warm-up time can range from a few seconds to several minutes. This can affect the hidden lights drawing more power when switched on.

6. Current Flow Rate

The current flow rate is how much electricity is flowing through the light at any given time. The current flow rate is measured in amps.


To calculate the current flow rate, you need to know the wattage of the light and the voltage. For example, a 100-watt light on a 120-volt system would have a current flow rate of 0.83 amps.

7. Ballast Type

There are two types of ballasts: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts are older and not as efficient as electronic ballasts. They tend to be larger and heavier, making them more difficult to install HID lights.

Magnetic ballasts also create a humming noise when they are in use. Electronic ballasts are smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient. They also do not create any noise when they are in use.

8. Ballast Efficiency

Ballast efficiency is how well the ballast uses electricity to power the light. The higher the efficiency, the less electricity is wasted. Most magnetic ballasts are 60-70% efficient. At the same time, most digital ballasts are >90% efficient.

This means that for every 100 watts going into the ballast, 60-70 watts are wasted with magnetic ballasts, while only 10-20 watts are wasted with digital ballasts. Digital ballasts also can regulate power better than magnetic ballasts.

This means that the bulb receives the exact amount of power it needs to produce light. With magnetic ballasts, the bulb only receives 70% of the power it needs, producing less light and running hotter (which will reduce its life).

9. Quality of the HID Ballast

The quality of the ballast can also affect how many amps it draws. A good quality ballast light will be more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan than a cheap one.


It is important to buy a ballast from a reputable company to ensure that you are getting a good quality product.

10. Filtering Circuit Capability

Some ballasts have a filtering circuit that helps to reduce the amount of power that is wasted. This can help to lower the amperage draw of the ballast.

In addition, filtering the circuit can help improve the ballast’s efficiency by up to 15%. So make sure your HID ballast has any filtering capabilities.

Some Helpful Tips and Suggestions When Buying Hid Lights

1. Make sure to buy a ballast that is the correct size for your car. A bigger ballast will draw more power than a smaller one.

2. Buy a ballast that has a good warranty. This will protect you in case there are any problems with the ballast.

3. Make sure to buy a ballast from a reputable company. Unfortunately, many companies sell cheap knockoffs that will not work as well as the real thing. Instead, you can look for Philips, Osram, and other top brands for ballast.

4. Do not buy used ballast or hid kits. These may have been damaged and could cause problems with your car.

5. Make sure to follow the installation instructions with your kit. If you are not comfortable doing the installation, ask a friend or professional to do it for you.

6. Do not touch the bulb’s glass with your bare hands. The oils from your skin can cause the bulb to break.

7. Do not look directly into the light of the bulb. The intense light can damage your eyes.

8. When you first turn on you’re hid lights, they may seem very bright. This is normal, and they will dim after a few minutes.

Does Hid Lights From After Market Draw Much Amp Power?

Yes, HID lights from aftermarket can draw a significant amount of amps depending on the ballast’s brand, quality, and efficiency. For example, a good quality ballast can be 90% efficient, while a cheap knockoff might only be 60-70% efficient.


This means that for every 100 watts going into the ballast, a cheap one might only be able to produce 60-70 watts of light. This is why it’s important to buy a good quality HID kit from a reputable company.

You will get better light output, but you’ll also save money in the long run because your lights will last longer and won’t draw as much power from your car’s electrical system.

In addition, HID lights are more efficient than traditional halogen bulbs, so they use less power. This is why upgrading to HID lights can be a great way to save money on your car’s electrical system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Power Do Hid Headlights Use?

it varies depending on the make and model of the headlight. However, most headlights using LED technology will use significantly less power than traditional halogen or incandescent headlights. In general, LED headlights will use anywhere from 10-30% of the power of a traditional light bulb while halogen lights typically use anywhere from 50-70%.

Do Hid Lights Draw More Power?

Yes, HID lights do draw more power than traditional incandescent or CFL lights. This is because the HID lamps use more energy to produce the same amount of light. The increased power consumption is because of the need to create a much brighter light, which requires more energy to do so.

Will Hid Melt My Headlights?

the effects of Hid on headlights will vary depending on the make and model of the headlights, the type of driving you do, and the weather conditions. Some users have reported that Hid has caused their headlights to melt or warp, while others have had no such problems. Ultimately, it is important to test Hid products in a controlled environment (such as in a laboratory) before using them in a real-world situation. If you are concerned about the potential effects of Hid on your headlights, it may be best to consult with a qualified technician or automotive expert.

Can Hid Lights Drain the Battery?

Hid lights do not drain the battery and are a good way to improve the appearance of your car or truck. Hid lights use less energy than traditional headlights and are often more visible in low-light conditions.


In conclusion, how many amps do hid lights draw really depends on different factors such as the quality of the ballast, the efficiency of the ballast, and the size of the ballast.

A good quality, efficient ballast can draw as little as ten amps while a cheap knockoff might draw as much as 20 amps. The car’s alternator can also play a huge role in how much power the hid lights will draw from the electrical system.

So, what does all of this mean for you? It means that if you’re looking to install hid lights in your car, you need to make sure that your alternator can handle the extra load.

And if you’re not sure whether or not your alternator can handle it, have a mechanic check it out before you buy and install any hid kits. Are there other things that you want us to cover when it comes to hid lighting? Let us know in the comments!

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