Glossary

AFS
Adaptive Front lighting System. The projectors turn with the steering wheel to help visibility around corners.

Aiming Adjusters
The knobs on the backside of a headlight housing that allow for adjustment of the beam pattern up/down & side-to-side.

AMP/AMP Connections
AMP is a universal type of connection between HID ballasts & their bulbs. They are a clip-style positive & negative connector. These are generally associated with an ‘Aftermarket PnP HID Kit’.

Autoleveling System
When the headlight’s beam automatically levels itself as the vehicle is driven up or down a sloping road. Inputs from the vehicle’s ECU signal electric motors to push in or out, adjusting the aim of the projector/reflector up or down.

Auxiliary reflector
A secondary reflector used to intensify the outer edges of a beam pattern. For Example: Lexus LS430 projectors are known for their extra width because of their Auxiliary reflectors.

Ballast
The electrical power plant that ignites & maintains an HID bulbs light arc.

Beam Pattern
The defined light output emitted from an HID projector. Generally has a defined backwards “Z” shape, a stepped upper light cutoff line, visible width limits and a foreground cutoff.

Bezel (see also Shroud)
The decorative trim cover that goes over a projector to enhance the aesthetics of an HID Retrofit. This item is purely aesthetic in an overall project.

Bulb Clip
The clips that hold an HID bulb in place/position in the projector bowl.

Butyl Rubber
The most common type of sealant that binds/seals the two halves of headlights together. This type of sealant becomes pliable when heated.

Bi-Xenon
A projector that has both high beam and low beam capability, that is switchable between the two.

Bixenon Control Box
Similar to a typical relay system, however, this unit also compensates for the lack of a low beam signal (when the high beam is engaged) keeping the ballasts powered. The heart of a bi-xenon relay wiring harnesses.

Bi-Xenon Solenoid
A solenoid that when power is applied, pulls or pushes the projector low beam cutoff shield out of the way. This activates the projector’s high beam output pattern.

Bulb Spacer
A thin spacer inserted in between the base of a D2S bulb and the reflector bowl/bulb holder to enhance light distribution and the size of the hotspot. (works well on only certain projectors)

CANbus Harness (see also standalone harness)
A type of wiring harness that uses twin control boxes with no extra wiring or relays to control a bi-xenon projector retrofit. This setup contains built in resistors & diodes.

Capsule
The small glass bubble inside the actual HID bulb itself, that houses the halide salts. (the actual ‘Arc’ light area)

CCFL
Cold Cathode Flourescent Lamp – Commonly known & used as “Halos” or “Angel Eyes”.

Centric Ring (see also Shroud Centric Ring)
A high temperature resistant plastic formed ring that fits inside a shroud or bezel and allows for a snug fit onto certain projectors (Morimoto Mini Series)

Clear Lens
An optically clear glass projector lens that enhances the performance & aesthetic characteristics of a projector’s light output.

Color Band
A band of colorful light spread across the beam pattern’s cutoff line.

Color Flicker
The effect HID projector headlights give off when their color band flashes in & out of the field of view of an onlooker.

Cutoff Line
The line that separates light below from darkness above in an HID projectors beam pattern.

Color Mod (see also Shield Mod)
A modification to a projector that creates more color/color flicker. This can also affect a projector’s cutoff line sharpness & clarity.

Color Shift
As HID bulbs age, they shift from their original Kelvin color to become more of a pure white/bluish color.

Cutoff Shield
A plate (fixed or hinged) inside the projector that defines the shape of the beam pattern & cutoff line.

Cutoff Step (see also LHD/RHD)
The step in the middle of a beam pattern’s cutoff line. This is also generally the brightest spot of a projector’s output.

D1R
D1R stands for Discharge 1st Generation Reflector. Discharge meaning it’s an HID bulb, 1st Generation meaning it’s a first generation style bulb and reflector meaning it’s for a reflector or reflex style housing (non-projector). These bulbs generally have a band around their glass capsule area to help control light output. This is a less common bulb style.

D1S
D1S stands for Discharge 1st Generation Shielded. Discharge meaning it’s an HID bulb, 1st Generation meaning it’s a first generation style bulb and shielded meaning it’s for a projector or shield-controlled-output style housing
(HID-projector). This is a less common bulb style.

D2R
D2R stands for Discharge 2nd Generation Reflector. Discharge meaning it’s an HID bulb, 2nd Generation meaning it’s a second generation style bulb and reflector meaning it’s for a reflector or refle’ style housing (non-projector). These bulbs generally have a band around their glass capsule area to help control light output. This is a more common bulb style.

D2S
D2S stands for Discharge 2nd Generation Shielded. Discharge meaning it’s an HID bulb, 2nd Generation meaning it’s a second generation style bulb and shielded meaning it’s for a projector or shield-controlled-output style housing (HID-projector). This is a very common bulb style.

D4S
D4S stands for Discharge 4th Generation Shielded. Discharge meaning it’s an HID bulb, 4th Generation meaning it’s a fourth generation style bulb and shielded meaning it’s for a projector or shield-controlled-output style housing (HID-projector). This is a common bulb style. This bulb is used on newer vehicles and is a mercury-free environmentally friendly bulb. This bulb is marginally brighter than a standard D2S style bulb, but also requires a sepcial ballast to use.

Diffused Lens (see also Fluted lens)
The front lens on a headlight that has refractive lines cast into it to control the light into a proper beam pattern. Retrofits can NOT be done on headlights with lenses like this.

Digital ballast
A smart ballast that will shut itself off before self-destructing. This can be from failed startup attempts at hot-striking a bulb, moisture intrusion or other possible harm factors.

Diode
An important electrical component for a bi-xenon wirring harnesses that doesn’t use a bixenon control box. This allows the ballast power relay to remain active when the high beams are engaged.

DL50
High end 50/55w D2S HID bulb produced by Philips Germany. This bulb has a high lumen rating of 5500-5800 per bulb when used with a 55watt ballast and a Kelvin rating of 4100K. A nice bulb, but expensive and rare to find.

Double-Cutoff
A problem in the beam pattern where the upper cutoff line has a yellowish shadow under it. This can usually be corrected by simply pushing lightly on the cutoff shield forward towards the lens.

DOT
Department Of Transportation. They determine the acceptable standards for automotive lighting here in the USA.

DOT Step (see also LHD/RHD)
The step in the middle of the light cutoff line is more vertical as opposed to slanted.

Dremel tool
The most popular an invaluable rotary tool used in the retrofitting process. Can be fitted with a variety of bits to cut, shape and smooth all retrofit components.

DRL
Daytime Running Lights

ECE
Economic Commission of Europe. They determine the acceptable standards for automotive lighting in Europe.

ECE Step
The step in the middle of the light cutoff line is more slanted as opposed to vertical.

Electrodes
Two thin metal contacts on both sides of the inner bulb capsule inside the HID bulb itself. These arc with electricity upon ignition from the ballast to create a light reaction.

Fluted Lens (see also Diffused lens)
The front lens on a headlight that has refractive lines cast into it to control the light into a proper beam pattern. Retrofits can NOT be done on headlights with lenses like this.

Focus Height
The distance between the flat bottom on a projector lens and the top of the rounded crest on the face. Crucial for creating a focused beam pattern.

Foreground Cutoff
The beam pattern projected on the ground directly in front of a car. Determined by the foreground cutoff shield if applicable. The shape can be modified.

Foreground Limiter
A secondary cutoff shield inside the projector that creates a defined beam pattern on the ground directly in front of the car.

Fresnel Lens (see also diffused lens)
Glass projector lens with concentric rings molded into it to soften and distribute the output.

Halide Salts
The alkaline salts used inside of an HID bulb’s capsule. When electricity arcs across the electrodes it creates a reaction with the salts that makes light.

Heat Gun Method
Method for opening headlights using a heat gun to warm the perimeter of the headlight housing to soften the glue and ultimately pry the two halves apart.

HID
High Intensity Discharge

Hot Spots
Un-wanted light output areas or spots created when using a Plug-and-Play HID kit with halogen projectors or reflectors.

Hot-Strike
An attempt (successful or not) to re-ignite an HID bulb immediately after it was just turned off.

Housing Cap
The rubber cap that seals the rear side of a headlight housing.

Igniter
The component that ramps up the voltage using a series of capacitors to ignite the HID bulb. Generally integrated with the ballast, however, in the case of D1S/R bulbs it is integrated into the base of the actual light bulb.

Igniter Cord
The igniter is built into the socket that twists/clips onto the back of the HID bulb and is connected to the wiring that plugs into the ballast control box.

Inline Fuse
Part of a wiring harness that protects the wiring & ballasts should something go wrong.

Integrated Igniter
Igniter that is built into the ballast.

Inverter
The power supply for a CCFL Halo/Angel Eye Ring.

JDM
Japanese Domestic Market : Vehicles or Parts sold in Japan

Kelvin
The color measurement of an HID bulb. Lower is a more yellow spectrum & Higher is more blue/purple spectrum

LED
Light Emitting Diode

Lens Retainer
The metal ring that holds the glass lens on the projector. Pressed, screwed or clipped on.

Lens Spacers
Used to fine tune the focus of a projector’s beam pattern by raising the projector lens. Commonly made of metal rings.

LHD
Left hand drive – Projectors designated as LHD are for use in places like North America, where oncoming traffic drives on the left side of us. Relates to the shape of the beam pattern & controlling light output.

Lumen
The unit of measure for the intensity of an HID bulb. Higher lumens makes for brighter output

Morimoto
The house brand of The RetrofitSource – High quality headlight retrofit & HID components

OEM
Original Equipment Manufacture; Components that you would find factory-installed on a production car.

Optics
Branch of physics that studies properties and behaviors of light.

Oven Method
Method for opening headlights using an oven to warm the entire headlight housing evenly to soften the glue and ultimately pry the two halves apart. Recommended settings are 225-250 degrees for 10 minutes per light.

Pigtail
Any kind of component input with a socket on one end and wires coming out the other. Most commonly used for ballasts & bi-xenon solenoids.

Pin-Out
The order of the metal contacts/pins in an input socket for a relay wiring harness.

PNP
Plug n Play or Plug and Play

Potted
Protection for electrical components inside a ballast achieved by surrounding them with a “goop” like substance that prevents them from moisture damage.

Projector
The assembly that captures and focuses light from an HID bulb and projects it out onto the road in a controlled & defined beam pattern.

Quad setup
A projector retrofit using two projectors in each headlight housing. An intricate retrofit designed for maximum intensity, width & aesthetic appeal.

Ray-Trace
The precision measurement of light rays & the direction they are emitted from a light source. An important factor in designing optical systems such as HID projectors.

Relay
An electrical switch that has an input pin, an output pin, a switch pin, and a ground. The heart of a proper headlight wire harness.

Rebased
HID bulbs that have been modified for use in housings not designed to originally accept them. The shape of the plastic base has been changed to fit.

Reflector bowl
The back half of a projector that holds the bulb. Chromed inside to reflect light forward past the cutoff shield & through the projector lens.

Retrofit
The process of fabricating modern high performance lighting components into a common/basic halogen reflector style headlight housing.

Return wire
The metal wire that comes out of the top of an HID bulb, bends 180 degrees & goes down into the base to meet a contact which goes to a ground on the ballast. It’s an extension of the 2nd electrode on the bulb & is usually covered with a ceramic sleeve to protect from arc’ing.

RHD
Projectors designated as RHD are for use in places like the UK or Australia, where oncoming traffic drives on the right side. Relates to the shape of the beam pattern & controlling light output.

Rotational Alignment
A crucial step in retrofitting projectors to ensure the final beam patterns are horizontally level as well as aligned to eachother (left & right).

Sealed beam
A one piece headlight housing/light bulb commonly used in older automotive applications.

Shield Mod (see also Color Mod)
A modification to a projector that creates more color/color flicker. This can also affect a projector’s cutoff line sharpness & clarity.

Shroud (see also Bezel)
The decorative trim cover that goes over a projector to enhance the aesthetics of an HID Retrofit. This item is purely aesthetic in an overall project.

Shroud Centric Ring See also Centric Ring : A high temperature resistant plastic formed ring that fits inside a shroud or bezel and allows for a snug fit onto certain projectors (Morimoto Mini Series)

Shroud Extension
An custom fabricated extension that allows one to cover more inside their headlight than a typical shroud would allow for.

StandAlone Harness (see also canbus relay)
A type of wiring harness that uses twin control boxes with no extra wiring or relays to control a bi-xenon projector retrofit. This setup contains built in resistors & diodes.

USDM
United States Domestic Market : Vehicles or Parts sold in the USA

Xenon
Noble gas used in High Intensity Discharge Bulbs

Warm Up
The initial time it takes an HID bulb to reach full luminosity.

P32-D
The standard designation for a D2 (D2S/D2R) bulb base shape and its corresponding ballast socket type.

85122
The original Philips D2S bulb. 35w, 4300K.

85122+
The newer generation Philips D2S bulb. 35w, 4300K. Higher lumen rating, less resistant to color shifting (stays 4300K for longer) & resists lumen loss over time.

4300K
Kelvin rating for an HID bulb that’s generally white/off white in color. (OEM Color Spec)

5000K
Kelvin rating for an HID bulb that’s generally pure white in color. (slightly lower lumen rating)

6000K
Kelvin rating for an HID bulb that’s generally white with a tinge of blue in color. (slightly lower lumen rating)

H7
A common halogen low beam projector bulb type. The most similar halogen bulb to a D2S xenon bulb.

H4/9003
Standard 3 pin halogen headlight bulb setup. One bulb for low/high beam purposes.

9007/4
Standard 3 pin halogen headlight bulb setup. One bulb for low/high beam purposes.